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Objectives: Medical devices and the hospital environment can be contaminated easily by multidrug-resistant bacteria. The effectiveness of cleaning practices is often suboptimal because environmental cleaning in hospitals is complex and depends on human factors, the physical and chemical characteristics of environment, and the viability of the microorganisms. Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) lamps can be used to reduce the spread of microorganisms. We evaluated the effectiveness of an ultraviolet-C (UV-C) device on terminal room cleaning and disinfection. Methods: The study was conducted at an ICU of a medical center in Taiwan. We performed a 3-stage evaluation for the effectiveness of UV-C radiation, including pre–UV-C radiation, UV-C radiation, and a bleaching procedure. The 3 stages of evaluation were implemented in the ICU rooms from which a patient had been discharged or transferred. We collected the data from adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence testing, colonized strains, and their corresponding colony counts by sampling from the environmental surfaces and air. We tested 8 high-touch surfaces, including 2 sides of bed rails, headboards, footboards, bedside tables, monitors, pumping devices, IV stands, and oxygen flow meters. Results: In total, 1,696 environmental surfaces and 72 air samples were analyzed. The levels of ATP bioluminescence and colony counts of isolated bacteria decreased significantly after UV-C radiation and bleaching disinfection for both the environmental and air samples (P < .001). Resistant bacteria (vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, VRE) were commonly isolated on the hard-to-clean surfaces of monitors, oxygen flow meters, and IV pumps. However, they were also eradicated (P < .001). Conclusions: UV-C can significantly reduce environmental contamination by multidrug-resistant microorganisms. UV-C is an effective device to assist staff in cleaning the hospital environment.
In vitro rearing of honey bee larvae is ideal for bioassay studies; no honey bee stable cell lines are available. Inconsistency of internal development staging of reared larvae and a susceptibility to contamination are common problems encountered. Standardized protocols on rearing larvae in vitro to make the larvae growth and development more similar to that of natural colonies are necessary to ensure the accuracy of experimental results and promote honey bee research as a model organism. Here, we concluded that when larval fasting weight was >160 mg, the time point of gut emptying can be defined as the critical point separating the larval and prepupal stages. In this way, we can conduct precise studies on the prepupal stage, such as organ remodeling during metamorphosis. Simultaneously, we further verified that recombinant AccApidaecin in genetic engineered bacteria added to the larval diet upregulated antibacterial peptide gene expression, and did not stimulate the stress response in larvae, nor did it affect the pupation rate or eclosion rate. This demonstrated that feeding recombinant AccApidaecin can enhance the individual antibacterial ability at the molecular level.
There was no previous meta-analysis investigating the efficacy/tolerability of psychostimulants for symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in preschool children.
Databases including PubMed, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, ScienceDirect, and ClinicalTrials.gov were searched from inception to March 2022 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on therapeutic efficacy of psychostimulants against ADHD symptoms in preschool children (age ≤6 years) compared with placebos. Primary outcomes were (a) changes in ADHD symptoms evaluated by validated rating scales from parents’/teacher’s observation, or (b) post-intervention improvements in neuropsychological performance. Secondary outcomes were risks of adverse events.
Meta-analysis of nine eligible trials including 544 preschool children (mean age=4.86 years, female=11.98%, median treatment duration=4.33 weeks) supported the efficacy of psychostimulants against global symptoms from observations of parents (Hedges’ g=0.6152, p<0.0001) and teachers (Hedges’ g=0.6563, p=0.0039). Efficacy of psychostimulants was also noted against symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, especially the latter (i.e., main symptoms in preschool children). Moreover, male gender, older age, and longer treatment duration were associated with better efficacy. Regarding adverse events, only the risk of poor appetite was higher in the psychostimulant group (odds ratio [OR]=2.39). However, the qualities of evidence were low to very low, indicating potential discrepancy between the true and estimated effect.
Our results showed that psychostimulants might be beneficial for preschool children with ADHD, especially hyperactivity/impulsivity from teachers’ observation, with tolerable side effects. Nevertheless, the true magnitude of the effect needs to be confirmed with more research due to low to very low certainty of the evidence.
Electronic skin (e-skin) is playing an increasingly important role in health detection, robotic teleoperation, and human-machine interaction, but most e-skins currently lack the integration of on-site signal acquisition and transmission modules. In this paper, we develop a novel flexible wearable e-skin sensing system with 11 sensing channels for robotic teleoperation. The designed sensing system is mainly composed of three components: e-skin sensor, customized flexible printed circuit (FPC), and human-machine interface. The e-skin sensor has 10 stretchable resistors distributed at the proximal and metacarpal joints of each finger respectively and 1 stretchable resistor distributed at the purlicue. The e-skin sensor can be attached to the opisthenar, and thanks to its stretchability, the sensor can detect the bent angle of the finger. The customized FPC, with WiFi module, wirelessly transmits the signal to the terminal device with human-machine interface, and we design a graphical user interface based on the Qt framework for real-time signal acquisition, storage, and display. Based on this developed e-skin system and self-developed robotic multi-fingered hand, we conduct gesture recognition and robotic multi-fingered teleoperation experiments using deep learning techniques and obtain a recognition accuracy of 91.22%. The results demonstrate that the developed e-skin sensing system has great potential in human-machine interaction.
Resistant starch (RS) has received increased attention due to its potential health benefits. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of dietary corn RS on immunological characteristics of broilers. A total of 320 broiler chicks were randomly allocated to five dietary treatments: normal corn–soyabean (NC) diet group, corn starch diet group, 4 %, 8 % and 12 % RS diet groups. This trial lasted for 42 d. The relative weights of spleen, thymus and bursa, the concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) and IL-4 in plasma at 21 d of age, as well as the activities of total nitric oxide synthase (TNOS) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in plasma at 21 and 42 d of age showed positive linear responses (P < 0·05) to the increasing dietary RS level. Meanwhile, compared with the birds from the NC group at 21 d of age, birds fed 4 % RS, 8 % RS and 12 % RS diets exhibited higher (P < 0·05) relative weight of bursa and concentrations of NO and interferon-γ in plasma. Birds fed 4 % RS and 8 % RS diets showed higher (P < 0·05) number of IgA-producing cells in the jejunum. While compared with birds from the NC group at 42 d of age, birds fed 12 % RS diet showed higher (P < 0·05) relative weight of spleen and activities of TNOS and iNOS in plasma. These findings suggested that dietary corn RS supplementation can improve immune function in broilers.
A 1178 J near diffraction limited 527 nm laser is realized in a complete closed-loop adaptive optics (AO) controlled off-axis multi-pass amplification laser system. Generated from a fiber laser and amplified by the pre-amplifier and the main amplifier, a 1053 nm laser beam with the energy of 1900 J is obtained and converted into a 527 nm laser beam by a KDP crystal with 62% conversion efficiency, 1178 J and beam quality of 7.93 times the diffraction limit (DL). By using a complete closed-loop AO configuration, the static and dynamic wavefront distortions of the laser system are measured and compensated. After correction, the diameter of the circle enclosing 80% energy is improved remarkably from 7.93DL to 1.29DL. The focal spot is highly concentrated and the 1178 J, 527 nm near diffraction limited laser is achieved.
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.
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.
Quantum systems are modelled as different mathematical structures, depending on their nature and complexity. This chapter considers one of the simplest (discrete-time) models of quantum systems, namely quantum automata. It introduces a way of describing linear-time (dynamic) properties of quantum systems and presents several algorithms for checking certain linear-time properties of quantum automata, for example, invariants and reachability.
Model checking is an algorithmic technique for verification of computing and communication hardware and software. This book extends the technique of model checking for quantum systems. As preliminaries, this chapter introduces basics of model checking for both classical non-probabilistic and probabilistic systems.
This chapter develops model-checking techniques for a much larger class of quantum systems modelled as quantum Markov chains or more generally, quantum Markov decision processes. The differences between quantum automata and quantum Markov systems require us to develop algorithms for the latter that are fundamentally different from those for the former.
This chapter is intended to introduce some basic notions of quantum theory needed in the subsequent chapters for the reader who is not familiar with them. Quantum mechanics is a fundamental physics subject that studies the phenomena at the atomic and subatomic scales. This chapter introduces the required mathematical tools and presents the postulates mainly through their mathematical formalisms. The physics interpretation of these is only very briefly discussed.
This chapter is devoted to studying a class of even more complex quantum systems modelled as so-called super-operator-valued Markov chains (SVMCs). This new model is particularly useful in modelling the high-level structure of quantum programs and quantum communication protocols. Several algorithms for checking SVMCs are presented in this chapter.