177 research outputs found

    Structural Color 3D Printing By Shrinking Photonic Crystals

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    The rings, spots and stripes found on some butterflies, Pachyrhynchus weevils, and many chameleons are notable examples of natural organisms employing photonic crystals to produce colorful patterns. Despite advances in nanotechnology, we still lack the ability to print arbitrary colors and shapes in all three dimensions at this microscopic length scale. Commercial nanoscale 3D printers based on two-photon polymerization are incapable of patterning photonic crystal structures with the requisite ~300 nm lattice constant to achieve photonic stopbands/ bandgaps in the visible spectrum and generate colors. Here, we introduce a means to produce 3D-printed photonic crystals with a 5x reduction in lattice constants (periodicity as small as 280 nm), achieving sub-100-nm features with a full range of colors. The reliability of this process enables us to engineer the bandstructures of woodpile photonic crystals that match experiments, showing that observed colors can be attributed to either slow light modes or stopbands. With these lattice structures as 3D color volumetric elements (voxels), we printed 3D microscopic scale objects, including the first multi-color microscopic model of the Eiffel Tower measuring only 39-microns tall with a color pixel size of 1.45 microns. The technology to print 3D structures in color at the microscopic scale promises the direct patterning and integration of spectrally selective devices, such as photonic crystal-based color filters, onto free-form optical elements and curved surfaces

    The dose of hemodialysis and patient mortality

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    The dose of hemodialysis and patient mortality. The relationship between the delivered dose of hemodialysis and patient mortality remains somewhat controversial. Several observational studies have shown improved patient survival with higher levels of delivered dialysis dose. However, several other unmeasured variables, changes in patient mix or medical management may have impacted on this reported difference in mortality. The current study of a U.S. national sample of 2,311 patients from 347 dialysis units estimates the relationship of delivered hemodialysis dose to mortality, with a statistical adjustment for an extensive list of comorbidity/risk factors. Additionally this study investigated the existence of a dose beyond which more dialysis does not appear to lower mortality. We estimated patient survival using proportional hazards regression techniques, adjusting for 21 patient comorbidity/risk factors with stratification for nine Census regions. The patient sample was 2,311 Medicare hemodialysis patients treated with bicarbonate dialysate as of 12/31/90 who had end-stage renal disease for at least one year. Patient follow-up ranged between 1.5 and 2.4 years. The measurement of delivered therapy was based on two alternative measures of intradialytic urea reduction, the urea reduction ratio (URR) and Kt/V (with adjustment for urea generation and ultrafiltration). Hemodialysis patient mortality showed a strong and robust inverse correlation with delivered hemodialysis dose whether measured by Kt/V or by URR. Mortality risk was lower by 7% (P = 0.001) with each 0.1 higher level of delivered Kt/V. (Expressed in terms of URR, mortality was lower by 11% with each 5 percentage point higher URR; P = 0.001). Above a URR of 70% or a Kt/V of 1.3 these data did not provide statistical evidence of further reductions in mortality. In conclusion, the delivered dose of hemodialysis therapy is an important predictor of patient mortality. In a population of dialysis patients with a very high mortality rate, it appears that increasing the level of delivered therapy offers a practical and efficient means of lowering the mortality rate. The level of hemodialysis dose measured by URR or Kt/V beyond which the mortality rate does not continue to decrease, though not well defined with this study, appears to be above current levels of typical treatment of hemodialysis patients in the U.S

    Development of an amplicon-based sequencing approach in response to the global emergence of mpox

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    The 2022 multicountry mpox outbreak concurrent with the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic further highlighted the need for genomic surveillance and rapid pathogen whole-genome sequencing. While metagenomic sequencing approaches have been used to sequence many of the early mpox infections, these methods are resource intensive and require samples with high viral DNA concentrations. Given the atypical clinical presentation of cases associated with the outbreak and uncertainty regarding viral load across both the course of infection and anatomical body sites, there was an urgent need for a more sensitive and broadly applicable sequencing approach. Highly multiplexed amplicon-based sequencing (PrimalSeq) was initially developed for sequencing of Zika virus, and later adapted as the main sequencing approach for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here, we used PrimalScheme to develop a primer scheme for human monkeypox virus that can be used with many sequencing and bioinformatics pipelines implemented in public health laboratories during the COVID-19 pandemic. We sequenced clinical specimens that tested presumptively positive for human monkeypox virus with amplicon-based and metagenomic sequencing approaches. We found notably higher genome coverage across the virus genome, with minimal amplicon drop-outs, in using the amplicon-based sequencing approach, particularly in higher PCR cycle threshold (Ct) (lower DNA titer) samples. Further testing demonstrated that Ct value correlated with the number of sequencing reads and influenced the percent genome coverage. To maximize genome coverage when resources are limited, we recommend selecting samples with a PCR Ct below 31 Ct and generating 1 million sequencing reads per sample. To support national and international public health genomic surveillance efforts, we sent out primer pool aliquots to 10 laboratories across the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, and Portugal. These public health laboratories successfully implemented the human monkeypox virus primer scheme in various amplicon sequencing workflows and with different sample types across a range of Ct values. Thus, we show that amplicon-based sequencing can provide a rapidly deployable, cost-effective, and flexible approach to pathogen whole-genome sequencing in response to newly emerging pathogens. Importantly, through the implementation of our primer scheme into existing SARS-CoV-2 workflows and across a range of sample types and sequencing platforms, we further demonstrate the potential of this approach for rapid outbreak response.This publication was made possible by CTSA Grant Number UL1 TR001863 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded to CBFV. INSA was partially funded by the HERA project (Grant/ 2021/PHF/23776) supported by the European Commission through the European Centre for Disease Control (to VB).info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Contribution of copy number variants to schizophrenia from a genome-wide study of 41,321 subjects

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    Copy number variants (CNVs) have been strongly implicated in the genetic etiology of schizophrenia (SCZ). However, genome-wide investigation of the contribution of CNV to risk has been hampered by limited sample sizes. We sought to address this obstacle by applying a centralized analysis pipeline to a SCZ cohort of 21,094 cases and 20,227 controls. A global enrichment of CNV burden was observed in cases (OR=1.11, P=5.7×10−15), which persisted after excluding loci implicated in previous studies (OR=1.07, P=1.7 ×10−6). CNV burden was enriched for genes associated with synaptic function (OR = 1.68, P = 2.8 ×10−11) and neurobehavioral phenotypes in mouse (OR = 1.18, P= 7.3 ×10−5). Genome-wide significant evidence was obtained for eight loci, including 1q21.1, 2p16.3 (NRXN1), 3q29, 7q11.2, 15q13.3, distal 16p11.2, proximal 16p11.2 and 22q11.2. Suggestive support was found for eight additional candidate susceptibility and protective loci, which consisted predominantly of CNVs mediated by non-allelic homologous recombination

    Obeticholic acid for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis: interim analysis from a multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial

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    Background Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a common type of chronic liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis. Obeticholic acid, a farnesoid X receptor agonist, has been shown to improve the histological features of NASH. Here we report results from a planned interim analysis of an ongoing, phase 3 study of obeticholic acid for NASH. Methods In this multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, adult patients with definite NASH,non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) activity score of at least 4, and fibrosis stages F2–F3, or F1 with at least oneaccompanying comorbidity, were randomly assigned using an interactive web response system in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive oral placebo, obeticholic acid 10 mg, or obeticholic acid 25 mg daily. Patients were excluded if cirrhosis, other chronic liver disease, elevated alcohol consumption, or confounding conditions were present. The primary endpointsfor the month-18 interim analysis were fibrosis improvement (≥1 stage) with no worsening of NASH, or NASH resolution with no worsening of fibrosis, with the study considered successful if either primary endpoint was met. Primary analyses were done by intention to treat, in patients with fibrosis stage F2–F3 who received at least one dose of treatment and reached, or would have reached, the month 18 visit by the prespecified interim analysis cutoff date. The study also evaluated other histological and biochemical markers of NASH and fibrosis, and safety. This study is ongoing, and registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02548351, and EudraCT, 20150-025601-6. Findings Between Dec 9, 2015, and Oct 26, 2018, 1968 patients with stage F1–F3 fibrosis were enrolled and received at least one dose of study treatment; 931 patients with stage F2–F3 fibrosis were included in the primary analysis (311 in the placebo group, 312 in the obeticholic acid 10 mg group, and 308 in the obeticholic acid 25 mg group). The fibrosis improvement endpoint was achieved by 37 (12%) patients in the placebo group, 55 (18%) in the obeticholic acid 10 mg group (p=0·045), and 71 (23%) in the obeticholic acid 25 mg group (p=0·0002). The NASH resolution endpoint was not met (25 [8%] patients in the placebo group, 35 [11%] in the obeticholic acid 10 mg group [p=0·18], and 36 [12%] in the obeticholic acid 25 mg group [p=0·13]). In the safety population (1968 patients with fibrosis stages F1–F3), the most common adverse event was pruritus (123 [19%] in the placebo group, 183 [28%] in the obeticholic acid 10 mg group, and 336 [51%] in the obeticholic acid 25 mg group); incidence was generally mild to moderate in severity. The overall safety profile was similar to that in previous studies, and incidence of serious adverse events was similar across treatment groups (75 [11%] patients in the placebo group, 72 [11%] in the obeticholic acid 10 mg group, and 93 [14%] in the obeticholic acid 25 mg group). Interpretation Obeticholic acid 25 mg significantly improved fibrosis and key components of NASH disease activity among patients with NASH. The results from this planned interim analysis show clinically significant histological improvement that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit. This study is ongoing to assess clinical outcomes

    The seeds of divergence: the economy of French North America, 1688 to 1760

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    Generally, Canada has been ignored in the literature on the colonial origins of divergence with most of the attention going to the United States. Late nineteenth century estimates of income per capita show that Canada was relatively poorer than the United States and that within Canada, the French and Catholic population of Quebec was considerably poorer. Was this gap long standing? Some evidence has been advanced for earlier periods, but it is quite limited and not well-suited for comparison with other societies. This thesis aims to contribute both to Canadian economic history and to comparative work on inequality across nations during the early modern period. With the use of novel prices and wages from Quebec—which was then the largest settlement in Canada and under French rule—a price index, a series of real wages and a measurement of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are constructed. They are used to shed light both on the course of economic development until the French were defeated by the British in 1760 and on standards of living in that colony relative to the mother country, France, as well as the American colonies. The work is divided into three components. The first component relates to the construction of a price index. The absence of such an index has been a thorn in the side of Canadian historians as it has limited the ability of historians to obtain real values of wages, output and living standards. This index shows that prices did not follow any trend and remained at a stable level. However, there were episodes of wide swings—mostly due to wars and the monetary experiment of playing card money. The creation of this index lays the foundation of the next component. The second component constructs a standardized real wage series in the form of welfare ratios (a consumption basket divided by nominal wage rate multiplied by length of work year) to compare Canada with France, England and Colonial America. Two measures are derived. The first relies on a “bare bones” definition of consumption with a large share of land-intensive goods. This measure indicates that Canada was poorer than England and Colonial America and not appreciably richer than France. However, this measure overestimates the relative position of Canada to the Old World because of the strong presence of land-intensive goods. A second measure is created using a “respectable” definition of consumption in which the basket includes a larger share of manufactured goods and capital-intensive goods. This second basket better reflects differences in living standards since the abundance of land in Canada (and Colonial America) made it easy to achieve bare subsistence, but the scarcity of capital and skilled labor made the consumption of luxuries and manufactured goods (clothing, lighting, imported goods) highly expensive. With this measure, the advantage of New France over France evaporates and turns slightly negative. In comparison with Britain and Colonial America, the gap widens appreciably. This element is the most important for future research. By showing a reversal because of a shift to a different type of basket, it shows that Old World and New World comparisons are very sensitive to how we measure the cost of living. Furthermore, there are no sustained improvements in living standards over the period regardless of the measure used. Gaps in living standards observed later in the nineteenth century existed as far back as the seventeenth century. In a wider American perspective that includes the Spanish colonies, Canada fares better. The third component computes a new series for Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is to avoid problems associated with using real wages in the form of welfare ratios which assume a constant labor supply. This assumption is hard to defend in the case of Colonial Canada as there were many signs of increasing industriousness during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The GDP series suggest no long-run trend in living standards (from 1688 to circa 1765). The long peace era of 1713 to 1740 was marked by modest economic growth which offset a steady decline that had started in 1688, but by 1760 (as a result of constant warfare) living standards had sunk below their 1688 levels. These developments are accompanied by observations that suggest that other indicators of living standard declined. The flat-lining of incomes is accompanied by substantial increases in the amount of time worked, rising mortality and rising infant mortality. In addition, comparisons of incomes with the American colonies confirm the results obtained with wages— Canada was considerably poorer. At the end, a long conclusion is provides an exploratory discussion of why Canada would have diverged early on. In structural terms, it is argued that the French colony was plagued by the problem of a small population which prohibited the existence of scale effects. In combination with the fact that it was dispersed throughout the territory, the small population of New France limited the scope for specialization and economies of scale. However, this problem was in part created, and in part aggravated, by institutional factors like seigneurial tenure. The colonial origins of French America’s divergence from the rest of North America are thus partly institutional

    The Seeds of Divergence: The Economy of French North America, 1688 to 1760

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