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The concern for inequality, growth and development is undoubtedly crucial in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, most studies either rely on the nation-state estimates of carbon emissions to propose a uniform nation-wide growth (or degrowth) strategy, or they tailor the method to assess the inequality of one country at a time, making a cross-country cross-income comparison difficult. To fill this analytical gap, we synthesize the existing methods of emission calculations and calculate the level of carbon emissions associated with given income deciles of household consumption in five countries, namely China, Germany, India, the UK and USA. We find that the within-country inequality varies among countries, with the ratio between the top and bottom income deciles ranging from three to nine at the household level. We also find that the carbon emissions of the top income group in urban China is almost comparable to that of their peer group in the US, UK and Germany. Based on these results, we discuss the use of the remaining global carbon budget in the context of development and inequality.
The relationship between exposure to famine in early life and the risk of ascending aorta dilatation (AAD) in adulthood is still unclear; therefore, we aimed to examine the association in the Chinese population. We investigated the data of 2598 adults who were born between 1952 and 1964 in Guangdong, China. All enrolled subjects were categorised into five groups: not exposed to famine, exposed during fetal period, and exposed during early, mid or late childhood. AAD was assessed by cardiac ultrasound. Multivariate logistic regression and interaction tests were performed to estimate the OR and CI on the association between famine exposure and AAD. There were 2598 (943 male, mean age 58·3 ± 3·68 years) participants were enrolled, and 270 (10·4 %) subjects with AAD. We found that famine exposure (OR = 2·266, 95 % CI 1·477, 3·477, P = 0·013) was associated with elevated AAD after adjusting for multiple confounders. In addition, compared with the non-exposed group, the adjusted OR for famine exposure during fetal period, early, mid or late childhood were 1·374 (95 % CI 0·794, 2·364, P = 0·251), 1·976 (95 % CI 1·243, 3·181, P = 0·004), 1·929 (95 % CI 1·237, 3·058, P = 0·004) and 2·227 (95 % CI 1·433, 3·524, P < 0·001), respectively. Subgroup analysis showed that the effect of famine exposure on the association with AAD was more pronounced in female, current smokers, people with BMI ≥ 24 kg/m2 and hypertensive patients. We observed that exposure to famine during early life was linked to AAD in adulthood.
We investigated the effects of botulinum toxin on gait in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients with foot dystonia. Six patients underwent onabotulinum toxin A injection and were assessed by Burke–Fahn–Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS), visual analog scale (VAS) of pain, Timed Up and Go (TUG), Berg Balance Test (BBT), and 3D gait analysis at baseline, 1 month, and 3 months. BFMDRS (p = 0.002), VAS (p = 0.024), TUG (p = 0.028), and BBT (p = 0.034) were improved. Foot pressures at Toe 1 (p = 0.028) and Midfoot (p = 0.018) were reduced, indicating botulinum toxin’s effects in alleviating the dystonia severity and pain and improving foot pressures during walking in PD.
Inflammation might play a role in bipolar disorder (BD), but it remains unclear the relationship between inflammation and brain structural and functional abnormalities in patients with BD. In this study, we focused on the alterations of functional connectivity (FC), peripheral pro-inflammatory cytokines and their correlations to investigate the role of inflammation in FC in BD depression.
In this study, 42 unmedicated patients with BD II depression and 62 healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled. Resting-state-functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in all participants and independent component analysis was used. Serum levels of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Interleukin-8 (IL-8) were measured in all participants. Correlation between FC values and IL-6 and IL-8 levels in BD was calculated.
Compared with the HCs, BD II patients showed decreased FC in the left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) implicating the limbic network and the right precentral gyrus implicating the somatomotor network. BD II showed increased IL-6 (p = 0.039), IL-8 (p = 0.002) levels. Moreover, abnormal FC in the right precentral gyrus were inversely correlated with the IL-8 (r = −0.458, p = 0.004) levels in BD II. No significant correlation was found between FC in the left OFC and cytokines levels.
Our findings that serum IL-8 levels are associated with impaired FC in the right precentral gyrus in BD II patients suggest that inflammation might play a crucial role in brain functional abnormalities in BD.
The aim of this study was to assess the current status of disease-related knowledge and to analyze the relationship among the general condition, illness perception, and psychological status of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 118 patients using convenience sampling. The general questionnaire, disease-related knowledge questionnaire of COVID-19, Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ), and Profile of Mood States (POMS) were used to measure the current status of participants.
The overall average score of the disease-related knowledge of patients with COVID-19 was (79.19 ± 14.25), the self-care situation was positively correlated with knowledge of prevention and control (r = 0.265; P = 0.004) and total score of disease-related knowledge (r = 0.206; P = 0.025); the degree of anxiety was negatively correlated with the knowledge of diagnosis and treatment (r = −0.182; P = 0.049). The score of disease-related knowledge was negatively correlated with negative cognition (volatility, consequences, emotional statements) and negative emotions (tension, fatigue, depression) (P < 0.05); positively correlated with positive cognition (disease coherence) and positive emotion (self-esteem) (P < 0.05).
It was recommended that we should pay more attention to the elderly and low-income groups, and increase the knowledge about diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 and self-care in the future health education for patients.
Epidemic forecasting provides an opportunity to predict geographic disease spread and counts when an outbreak occurs and plays a key role in preventing or controlling their adverse impact. However, conventional prediction models based on complex mathematical modelling rely on the estimation of model parameters, which yields unreliable and unsustainable results. Herein, we proposed a simple model for predicting the epidemic transmission dynamics based on nonlinear regression of the epidemic growth rate and iterative methods, which is applicable to the progression of the COVID-19 outbreak under the strict control measures of the Chinese government. Our model yields reliable and accurate results as confirmed by the available data: we predicted that the total number of infections in mainland China would be 91 253, and the maximum number of beds required for hospitalised patients would be 62 794. We inferred that the inflection point (when the growth rate turns from positive to negative) of the epidemic across China would be mid-February, and the end of the epidemic would be in late March. This model is expected to contribute to resource allocation and planning in the health sector while providing a theoretical basis for governments to respond to future global health crises or epidemics.
To understand the characteristics and influencing factors related to cluster infections in Jiangsu Province, China, we investigated case reports to explore transmission dynamics and influencing factors of scales of cluster infection. The effectiveness of interventions was assessed by changes in the time-dependent reproductive number (Rt). From 25th January to 29th February, Jiangsu Province reported a total of 134 clusters involving 617 cases. Household clusters accounted for 79.85% of the total. The time interval from onset to report of index cases was 8 days, which was longer than that of secondary cases (4 days) (χ2 = 22.763, P < 0.001) and had a relationship with the number of secondary cases (the correlation coefficient (r) = 0.193, P = 0.040). The average interval from onset to report was different between family cluster cases (4 days) and community cluster cases (7 days) (χ2 = 28.072, P < 0.001). The average time interval from onset to isolation of patients with secondary infection (5 days) was longer than that of patients without secondary infection (3 days) (F = 9.761, P = 0.002). Asymptomatic patients and non-familial clusters had impacts on the size of the clusters. The average reduction in the Rt value in family clusters (26.00%, 0.26 ± 0.22) was lower than that in other clusters (37.00%, 0.37 ± 0.26) (F = 4.400, P = 0.039). Early detection of asymptomatic patients and early reports of non-family clusters can effectively weaken cluster infections.
The role of the speaker’s attention has been hypothesized to underlie grammatical choices such as the selection of case marking or voice, cf. a summary in Gildea (2012). Attention has been experimentally demonstrated to have at least some role in grammatical selection in experimental studies as well (cf. summaries in Myachykov, Posner, & Tomlin, 2005; Myachykov et al., 2011). Attention can be oriented toward specific stimuli or classes of stimuli so that detection of these stimuli will be enhanced. This orientation can be created either exogenously (through external cuing) or endogenously through participant-controlled choices in orienting (Posner, 1980).
Previous studies suggested that a disturbance of the dopamine system underlies the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD). In addition, the therapeutic action of medications for treating BD, such as valproate (VPA), might modulate dopamine system activity, but it remains unclear. Here, we aimed to investigate the role of the striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) in BD patients and in social defeat (SD) mice treated with VPA.
We enrolled community-dwelling controls (N = 18) and BD patients (N = 23) who were treated with VPA in a euthymic stage. The striatal DAT availabilities were approached by TRODAT-1 single photon emission computed tomography. We also established a chronic SD mouse model and treated mice with 350 mg/kg VPA for 3 weeks. Behavioral tests were administered, and striatal DAT expression levels were determined.
In humans, the level of striatal DAT availability was significantly higher in euthymic BD patients (1.52 ± 0.17 and 1.37 ± 0.23, p = 0.015). Moreover, the level of striatal DAT availability was also negatively correlated with the VPA concentration in BD patients (r = −0.653, p = 0.003). In SD mice, the expression of striatal DAT significantly increased (p < 0.001), and the SD effect on DAT expression was rescued by VPA treatment.
The striatal DAT might play a role in the pathophysiology of BD and in the therapeutic mechanism of VPA. The homeostasis of DAT might represent a new therapeutic strategy for BD patients.
It is essential to investigate the experiences behind why adolescents start and continue to self-harm in order to develop targeted treatment and prevent future self-harming behaviours.
The aims of this study are to understand the motivations for initiating and repeating nonfatal self-harm, the different methods used between first-time and repeated self-harm and the reasons that adolescents do not seek help from health services.
Adolescents with repeated nonfatal self-harm experiences were recruited to participate in individual, semi-structured qualitative interviews. The interviews were analysed with interpretative phenomenological analysis.
We found that nonfatal self-harm among adolescents occurred comparatively early and was often triggered by specific reasons. However, the subsequent nonfatal self-harm could be causeless, with repeated self-harm becoming a maladaptive coping strategy to handle daily pressure and negative emotions. The choice of tools used was related to the ease of accessibility, the life-threatening risk and the size of the scars. Adolescents often concealed their scars on purpose, which made early identification insufficient. Peer influence, such as online chat groups encouraging self-harm by discussing and sharing self-harm pictures, could also lead to increased self-harm. The results also included participants’ opinions on how to stop nonfatal self-harm and their dissatisfaction with the current healthcare services.
The current study provides important implications both for early identification and interventions for adolescents who engage in repeated nonfatal self-harm, and for individualising treatment planning that benefits them. It is also worthwhile to further investigate how peer influence and social media may affect self-harm in adolescents.
The prevalence of central obesity in the total population has been reported in numerous studies. However, information on the prevalence of central obesity within normal-category BMI is scant. In the present study, we examined the profiles of central obesity among normal-weight children and adolescents. A total of 29 516 (14 226 boys and 15 290 girls) normal-weight children and adolescents (excluding underweight, overweight and obesity) aged 7–18 years were included in the final analysis. Central obesity was defined by the international age- and sex-specific cut-offs of waist circumference (WC) and threshold of waist:height ratio (WHtR ≥ 0·5). All subjects were classified into four groups (Q1–Q4) according to the age- and sex-specific quartiles of BMI, those in the upper fourth (Q4) were defined as ‘high-normal BMI’ and those in the lower fourth (Q1) were defined as ‘low-normal BMI’. The prevalence of central obesity as measured by WC was 9·90 (95 % CI 9·41, 10·39) % for boys and 8·11 (95 % CI 7·68, 8·54) % for girls; by WHtR was 2·97 (95 % CI 2·69, 3·25) % for boys and 2·44 (95 % CI 2·20, 2·68) % for girls. Subjects in the Q4 group had a much higher prevalence of central obesity than their counterparts in the Q1 group (P < 0·01). Our findings suggest that the health risks of children with normal-weight central obesity may be missed when BMI is used alone as a measure; it is meaningful to include WC in clinical practice and to include the simple message ‘Keep your waist to less than half your height’.
The spring-tine harrow is gaining popularity for mechanical weeding. However, its weeding performance and mechanism have not been well understood. A spring-tine harrow was first tested in a controlled indoor soil bin at four different travel speeds (4, 6, 8, and 10 km h−1) with three different spring-loading settings (low, medium, and high). Then the harrow was tested in a wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) field at the same spring-loading settings at three different weeding timings (early, middle, and late) in 2019 and 2020. Soil cutting forces (draft and vertical), soil displacements (forward and lateral), soil working depth, weed control efficacy, weed density, and crop damage were measured. The results showed that the spring-loading setting had a more dominant effect on working depth and soil cutting forces than the speed. The soil displacements were more dependent on the speed compared with the spring-loading setting. Treatment effects on weeding performance indicators in the field were similar across years. Adjusting the spring-loading setting from low to high improved the weeding efficacy from 44.9% to 73.9% in 2019 and from 51.6% to 78.1% in 2020. Consequently, the final weed density was minimized at the high loading setting, with the reduction in 2020 being significant. The middle weeding timing caused the least crop damage, while reducing the final weed density by approximately one-third compared with the control (without mechanical weeding), which was the most desired outcome among the three timings tested.
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite, which can infect almost all warm-blooded animals, including humans, leading to toxoplasmosis. Currently, the effective treatment for human toxoplasmosis is the combination of sulphadiazine and pyrimethamine. However, both drugs have serious side-effects and toxicity in the host. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the discovery of new anti-T. gondii drugs with high potency and less or no side-effects. Our findings suggest that lumefantrine exerts activity against T. gondii by inhibiting its proliferation in Vero cells in vitro without being toxic to Vero cells (P ≤ 0.01). Lumefantrine prolonged mice infected with T. gondii from death for 3 days at the concentration of 50 μg L−1 than negative control (phosphate-buffered saline treated only), and reduced the parasite burden in mouse tissues in vivo (P ≤ 0.01; P ≤ 0.05). In addition, a significant increase in interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production was observed in high-dose lumefantrine-treated mice (P ≤ 0.01), whereas interleukin 10 (IL-10) and IL-4 levels increased in low-dose lumefantrine-treated mice (P ≤ 0.01). The results demonstrated that lumefantrine may be a promising agent to treat toxoplasmosis, and more experiments on the protective mechanism of lumefantrine should be undertaken in further studies.
Predictors of compliance with aspirin in children following cardiac catheterisation have not been identified. The aim of this study is to identify the caregivers’ knowledge, compliance with aspirin medication, and predictors of compliance with aspirin in children with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) post-percutaneous transcatheter occlusion.
A cross-sectional explorative design was adopted using a self-administered questionnaire and conducted between May 2017 and May 2018. Recruited were 220 caregivers of children with CHD post-percutaneous transcatheter occlusion. Questionnaires included child and caregivers’ characteristics, a self-designed and tested knowledge about aspirin scale (scoring scale 0–2), and the 8-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (scoring scale 0–8). Data were analysed using multivariate binary logistic regression analysis to identify predictors of compliance with aspirin.
Of the 220 eligible children and caregivers, 210 (95.5%) responded and 209 surveys were included in the analysis. The mean score of knowledge was 7.25 (standard deviation 2.27). The mean score of compliance was 5.65 (standard deviation 1.36). Child’s age, length of aspirin use, health insurance policies, relationship to child, monthly income, and knowledge about aspirin of caregivers were independent predictors of compliance with aspirin (p < 0.05).
Caregivers of children with CHD had an adequate level of knowledge about aspirin. Compliance to aspirin medication reported by caregivers was low. Predictors of medium to high compliance with aspirin were related to the child’s age and socio-economic reasons. Further studies are needed to identify effective strategies to improve knowledge, compliance with medication, and long-term outcomes of children with CHD.
A suite of Jurassic–Cretaceous migmatites was newly identified in the Liaodong Peninsula of the eastern North China Craton (NCC). Anatexis is commonly associated with crustal thickening. However, the newly identified migmatites were formed during strong lithospheric thinning accompanied by voluminous magmatism and intense deformation. Field investigations show that the migmatites are spatially associated with low-angle detachment faults. Numerous leucosomes occur either as isolated lenses or thin layers (dykes), parallel to or cross-cutting the foliation. Peritectic minerals such as titanite and sillimanite are distributed mainly along the boundaries of reactant minerals or are accumulated along the foliation. Most zircons show distinct core–rim structures, and the rims have low Th/U ratios (0.01–0.24). Zircon U–Pb dating results indicate that the protoliths of the migmatites were either the Late Triassic (224–221 Ma) diorites or metasedimentary rocks deposited sometime after c. 1857 Ma. The zircon overgrowth rims record crystallization ages of 173–161 Ma and 125 Ma, which represent the formation time of leucosomes. These ages are consistent with those reported magmatic events in the Liaodong Peninsula and surrounding areas. The leucosomes indicate a strong anatectic event during the Jurassic–Cretaceous period. Partial melting occurred through the breakdown of muscovite and biotite with the presence of water-rich fluid under a thermal anomaly regime. The possible mechanism that caused the 173–161 Ma and 125 Ma anatectic events was intimately related to the regional crustal extension during the lithospheric thinning of the NCC. Meanwhile, the newly generated melts further weakened the rigidity of the crust and enhanced the extension.
Accumulating studies have found structural and functional abnormalities of the striatum in bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, changes in intrinsic brain functional connectivity dynamics of striato-cortical circuitry have not been investigated in BD and MDD. This study aimed to investigate the shared and specific patterns of dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) variability of striato-cortical circuitry in BD and MDD.
Brain resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from 128 patients with unmedicated BD II (current episode depressed), 140 patients with unmedicated MDD, and 132 healthy controls (HCs). Six pairs of striatum seed regions were selected: the ventral striatum inferior (VSi) and the ventral striatum superior (VSs), the dorsal-caudal putamen (DCP), the dorsal-rostral putamen (DRP), and the dorsal caudate and the ventral-rostral putamen (VRP). The sliding-window analysis was used to evaluate dFC for each seed.
Both BD II and MDD exhibited increased dFC variability between the left DRP and the left supplementary motor area, and between the right VRP and the right inferior parietal lobule. The BD II had specific increased dFC variability between the right DCP and the left precentral gyrus compared with MDD and HCs. The MDD had increased dFC variability between the left VSi and the left medial prefrontal cortex compared with BD II and HCs.
The patients with BD and MDD shared common dFC alteration in the dorsal striatal-sensorimotor and ventral striatal-cognitive circuitries. The patients with MDD had specific dFC alteration in the ventral striatal-affective circuitry.
In late December 2019, patients of atypical pneumonia due to an unidentified microbial agent were reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Subsequently, a novel coronavirus was identified as the causative pathogen which was named SARS-CoV-2. As of 12 February 2020, more than 44 000 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been confirmed in China and continue to expand. Provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions of China have launched first-level response to major public health emergencies one after another from 23 January 2020, which means restricting movement of people among provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. The aim of this study was to explore the correlation between the migration scale index and the number of confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and to depict the effect of restricting population movement. In this study, Excel 2010 was used to demonstrate the temporal distribution at the day level and SPSS 23.0 was used to analyse the correlation between the migration scale index and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. We found that since 23 January 2020, Wuhan migration scale index has dropped significantly and since 26 January 2020, Hubei province migration scale index has dropped significantly. New confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Wuhan gradually increased since 24 January 2020, and showed a downward trend from 6 February 2020. New confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Hubei province gradually increased since 24 January 2020, and maintained at a high level from 24 January 2020 to 4 February 2020, then showed a downward trend. Wuhan migration scale index from 9 January to 22 January, 10 January to 23 January and 11 January to 24 January was correlated with the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Wuhan from 22 January to 4 February. Hubei province migration scale index from 10 January to 23 January and 11 January to 24 January was correlated with the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Hubei province from 22 January to 4 February. Our findings suggested that people who left Wuhan from 9 January to 22 January, and those who left Hubei province from 10 January to 24 January, led to the outbreak in the rest of China. The ‘Wuhan lockdown’ and the launching of the first-level response to this major public health emergency may have had a good effect on controlling the COVID-19 epidemic. Although new COVID-19 cases continued to be confirmed in China outside Wuhan and Hubei provinces, in our opinion, these are second-generation cases.
Salmonella is a leading cause of foodborne outbreaks in Taiwan. On 27 April 2018, a salmonellosis outbreak among customers of a restaurant was reported to the Taiwan CDC. We investigated the outbreak to identify infection sources and prevent further transmission. We interviewed ill customers and their dining companions. We conducted a case-control study to identify foods associated with the illness. Case-patients were those who had diarrhoea within 72 h after eating at the restaurant during 16–27 April 2018. Specimens, food samples and environmental samples were collected and tested for enteric pathogens. Salmonella isolates were analysed with pulse-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing. We inspected the restaurant sanitation and reviewed kitchen surveillance camera recordings. We identified 47 case-patients, including one decedent. Compared with 44 controls, case-patients were more likely to have had a French toast sandwich (OR: 102.4; 95% CI: 18.7–952.3). Salmonella Enteritidis isolates from 16 case-patients shared an indistinguishable genotype. Camera recordings revealed eggshell contamination, long holding time at room temperature and use of leftovers during implicated food preparation. Recommendations for restaurant egg-containing food preparation are to use pasteurised egg products and ensure a high enough cooking temperature and long enough cooking time to prevent Salmonella contamination.