574 research outputs found

    Effect of Pokémon Go on self-harm using population-based interrupted time-series analysis: quasi-experimental study

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    Background: Pokémon Go is a very popular location-based augmented reality game with widespread influences over the world. An emerging body of research demonstrates that playing Pokémon Go can lead to improvements in physical activity and psychosocial well-being; however, whether Pokémon Go reduces self-harm incidence at the population-level is still questionable. Objective: This study aimed to quantify how the launch of Pokémon Go in Hong Kong affected the incidence of self-harm using a quasi-experimental design. Methods: An interrupted time-series design with Poisson segmented regression adjusted for time and seasonality trends was used on data from 2012 to 2018 to detect any changes in the number of accident and emergency attendances due to self-harm, after Pokémon Go was launched. The findings were validated using a baseline control period and using other intentional injuries and minor noninjuries as control outcomes. We also assessed intervention effects by age group. Results: From January 1, 2012 to July 31, 2018, there were 13,463 accident and emergency attendances due to self-harm in Hong Kong. During the period after launching Pokémon Go, self-harm attendances dropped by 34% (adjusted incidence rate ratio: 0.66, 95% CI 0.61-0.73). When analyzed by age group, a reduction in self-harm incidence was only apparent in adults (18 to 24 years of age: adjusted incidence rate ratio: 0.78, P=.02; 25 to 39 years of age: adjusted incidence rate ratio: 0.75, P<.001; 40 years of age and older: adjusted incidence rate ratio: 0.57, P<.001). Conclusions: Self-harm incidence in the population, particularly in adults, showed a significant decline in the period after Pokémon Go was launched. Augmented reality games such as Pokémon Go show great promise as a tool to enhance psychosocial well-being and improve mental health

    PathogenFinder - Distinguishing Friend from Foe Using Bacterial Whole Genome Sequence Data.

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    Although the majority of bacteria are harmless or even beneficial to their host, others are highly virulent and can cause serious diseases, and even death. Due to the constantly decreasing cost of high-throughput sequencing there are now many completely sequenced genomes available from both human pathogenic and innocuous strains. The data can be used to identify gene families that correlate with pathogenicity and to develop tools to predict the pathogenicity of newly sequenced strains, investigations that previously were mainly done by means of more expensive and time consuming experimental approaches. We describe PathogenFinde

    The impact of compassion from others and self-compassion on psychological distress, flourishing, and meaning in life among university students

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    Objectives: Research shows that compassion from others and from the self may enable university students to face, overcome, and bounce back from adversity and generate a greater sense of thriving and meaning in life. However, the underlying processes are largely unknown. The present study aimed to examine the associations of compassion with psychological distress, flourishing, and meaning in life among university students and explore the mechanisms underlying these associations. Methods: A total of 536 Hong Kong university students completed questionnaires measuring their experiences of compassion from others, self-compassion, resilience, psychological distress, flourishing, and meaning in life. Results: Serial mediation analyses showed that compassion from others was associated positively with self-compassion, which was, in turn, linked to greater resilience and consequently lower levels of psychological distress and higher levels of flourishing and meaning in life. Conclusions: Our findings reveal the associations of compassion from others and self-compassion with the well-being and life meaning of university students. The findings highlight the importance of being open and receptive to love and kindness from others. The findings also point to the importance of developing a caring attitude toward oneself

    Swimming with Predators and Pesticides: How Environmental Stressors Affect the Thermal Physiology of Tadpoles

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    To forecast biological responses to changing environments, we need to understand how a species’s physiology varies through space and time and assess how changes in physiological function due to environmental changes may interact with phenotypic changes caused by other types of environmental variation. Amphibian larvae are well known for expressing environmentally induced phenotypes, but relatively little is known about how these responses might interact with changing temperatures and their thermal physiology. To address this question, we studied the thermal physiology of grey treefrog tadpoles (Hyla versicolor) by determining whether exposures to predator cues and an herbicide (Roundup) can alter their critical maximum temperature (CTmax) and their swimming speed across a range of temperatures, which provides estimates of optimal temperature (Topt) for swimming speed and the shape of the thermal performance curve (TPC). We discovered that predator cues induced a 0.4uC higher CTmax value, whereas the herbicide had no effect. Tadpoles exposed to predator cues or the herbicide swam faster than control tadpoles and the increase in burst speed was higher near Topt. In regard to the shape of the TPC, exposure to predator cues increased Topt by 1.5uC, while exposure to the herbicide marginally lowered Topt by 0.4uC. Combining predator cues and the herbicide produced an intermediate Topt that was 0.5uC higher than the control. To our knowledge this is the first study to demonstrate a predator altering the thermal physiology of amphibian larvae (prey) by increasing CTmax, increasing the optimum temperature, and producing changes in the thermal performance curves. Furthermore, these plastic responses of CTmax and TPC to different inducing environments should be considered when forecasting biological responses to global warming.Peer reviewe

    Consequences of the Expanding Global Distribution of Aedes albopictus for Dengue Virus Transmission

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    The dramatic global expansion of Aedes albopictus in the last three decades has increased public health concern because it is a potential vector of numerous arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), including the most prevalent arboviral pathogen of humans, dengue virus (DENV). Ae. aegypti is considered the primary DENV vector and has repeatedly been incriminated as a driving force in dengue's worldwide emergence. What remains unresolved is the extent to which Ae. albopictus contributes to DENV transmission and whether an improved understanding of its vector status would enhance dengue surveillance and prevention. To assess the relative public health importance of Ae. albopictus for dengue, we carried out two complementary analyses. We reviewed its role in past dengue epidemics and compared its DENV vector competence with that of Ae. aegypti. Observations from ‚Äúnatural experiments‚ÄĚ indicate that, despite seemingly favorable conditions, places where Ae. albopictus predominates over Ae. aegypti have never experienced a typical explosive dengue epidemic with severe cases of the disease. Results from a meta-analysis of experimental laboratory studies reveal that although Ae. albopictus is overall more susceptible to DENV midgut infection, rates of virus dissemination from the midgut to other tissues are significantly lower in Ae. albopictus than in Ae. aegypti. For both indices of vector competence, a few generations of mosquito colonization appear to result in a relative increase of Ae. albopictus susceptibility, which may have been a confounding factor in the literature. Our results lead to the conclusion that Ae. albopictus plays a relatively minor role compared to Ae. aegypti in DENV transmission, at least in part due to differences in host preferences and reduced vector competence. Recent examples of rapid arboviral adaptation to alternative mosquito vectors, however, call for cautious extrapolation of our conclusion. Vector status is a dynamic process that in the future could change in epidemiologically important ways

    Measurement of the inclusive and dijet cross-sections of b-jets in pp collisions at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV with the ATLAS detector

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    The inclusive and dijet production cross-sections have been measured for jets containing b-hadrons (b-jets) in proton-proton collisions at a centre-of-mass energy of sqrt(s) = 7 TeV, using the ATLAS detector at the LHC. The measurements use data corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 34 pb^-1. The b-jets are identified using either a lifetime-based method, where secondary decay vertices of b-hadrons in jets are reconstructed using information from the tracking detectors, or a muon-based method where the presence of a muon is used to identify semileptonic decays of b-hadrons inside jets. The inclusive b-jet cross-section is measured as a function of transverse momentum in the range 20 < pT < 400 GeV and rapidity in the range |y| < 2.1. The bbbar-dijet cross-section is measured as a function of the dijet invariant mass in the range 110 < m_jj < 760 GeV, the azimuthal angle difference between the two jets and the angular variable chi in two dijet mass regions. The results are compared with next-to-leading-order QCD predictions. Good agreement is observed between the measured cross-sections and the predictions obtained using POWHEG + Pythia. MC@NLO + Herwig shows good agreement with the measured bbbar-dijet cross-section. However, it does not reproduce the measured inclusive cross-section well, particularly for central b-jets with large transverse momenta.Comment: 10 pages plus author list (21 pages total), 8 figures, 1 table, final version published in European Physical Journal

    Variation in the Structure of Bird Nests between Northern Manitoba and Southeastern Ontario

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    Traits that converge in appearance under similar environmental conditions among phylogenetically independent lineages are thought to represent adaptations to local environments. We tested for convergence in nest morphology and composition of birds breeding in two ecologically different locations in Canada: Churchill in northern Manitoba and Elgin in southeastern Ontario. We examined nests from four families of passerine birds (Turdidae: Turdus, Parulidae: Dendroica, Emberizidae: Passerculus and Fringillidae: Carduelis) where closely related populations or species breed in both locations. Nests of American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches had heavier nest masses, and tended to have thicker nest-walls, in northern Manitoba compared with conspecifics or congenerics breeding in southeastern Ontario. Together, all species showed evidence for wider internal and external nest-cup diameters in northern Manitoba, while individual species showed varying patterns for internal nest-cup and external nest depths. American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches in northern Manitoba achieved heavier nest masses in different ways. American Robins increased all materials in similar proportions, and Yellow Warblers and Common Redpolls used greater amounts of select materials. While changes in nest composition vary uniquely for each species, the pattern of larger nests in northern Manitoba compared to southeastern Ontario in three of our four phylogenetically-independent comparisons suggests that birds are adapting to similar selective pressures between locations

    Management control systems in innovation companies: A literature based framework

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    Past research has traditionally argued that management control systems (MCSs) may present a hindrance to the creativity of innovation companies. This theoretical paper surveys the literature to focus an investigation on the MCSs of innovation companies. Within the object of control paradigm the paper develops and presents a theoretical model of the impact of eleven external, organisational and innovation related contingency factors on the MCSs in companies that engage in innovation activities. We also suggest measures for further empirical research. By formulating hypotheses on 43 potential interactions the model predicts contradictory influences on two direct control categories, results and action control, but stresses the importance of two indirect categories, personnel and cultural control. More specifically, the high levels of technological complexity and innovation capability in this type of company are expected to be negatively associated with the application of results and action control, whereas personnel and cultural seem to be more appropriate. Furthermore, important sources of finance, venture capital and public funding, are both hypothesised to be positively associated with the application of results, action and personnel control; whereas only public funding is predicted to be positively related to the application of cultural control. The principal contribution of this paper lies in synthesising the literature to provide a model of the impact of a unique set of eleven contingency factors for innovation companies on a broad scope of controls. In addition, the contingency model, if empirically validated, would add value by inferring the particular forms of management control which would be beneficial in innovative company settings. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

    Alternative pathway dysregulation in tissues drives sustained complement activation and predicts outcome across the disease course in COVID-19

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    Complement, a critical defence against pathogens, has been implicated as a driver of pathology in COVID-19. Complement activation products are detected in plasma and tissues and complement blockade considered for therapy. To delineate roles of complement in immunopathogenesis, we undertook the largest comprehensive study of complement in an COVID-19 to date, a comprehensive profiling of 16 complement biomarkers, including key components, regulators and activation products, in 966 plasma samples from 682 hospitalised COVID-19 patients collected across the hospitalisation period as part of the UK ISARIC4C study. Unsupervised clustering of complement biomarkers mapped to disease severity and supervised machine learning identified marker sets in early samples that predicted peak severity. Compared to heathy controls, complement proteins and activation products (Ba, iC3b, terminal complement complex) were significantly altered in COVID-19 admission samples in all severity groups. Elevated alternative pathway activation markers (Ba and iC3b) and decreased alternative pathway regulator (properdin) in admission samples associated with more severe disease and risk of death. Levels of most complement biomarkers were reduced in severe disease, consistent with consumption and tissue deposition. Latent class mixed modelling and cumulative incidence analysis identified the trajectory of increase of Ba to be a strong predictor of peak COVID-19 disease severity and death. The data demonstrate that early-onset, uncontrolled activation of complement, driven by sustained and progressive amplification through the alternative pathway amplification loop is a ubiquitous feature of COVID-19, further exacerbated in severe disease. These findings provide novel insights into COVID-19 immunopathogenesis and inform strategies for therapeutic intervention

    Risk of adverse outcomes in patients with underlying respiratory conditions admitted to hospital with COVID-19: a national, multicentre prospective cohort study using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK

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    Background: Studies of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 have found varying mortality outcomes associated with underlying respiratory conditions and inhaled corticosteroid use. Using data from a national, multicentre, prospective cohort, we aimed to characterise people with COVID-19 admitted to hospital with underlying respiratory disease, assess the level of care received, measure in-hospital mortality, and examine the effect of inhaled corticosteroid use. Methods: We analysed data from the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study. All patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 across England, Scotland, and Wales between Jan 17 and Aug 3, 2020, were eligible for inclusion in this analysis. Patients with asthma, chronic pulmonary disease, or both, were identified and stratified by age (<16 years, 16‚Äď49 years, and ‚Č•50 years). In-hospital mortality was measured by use of multilevel Cox proportional hazards, adjusting for demographics, comorbidities, and medications (inhaled corticosteroids, short-acting ő≤-agonists [SABAs], and long-acting ő≤-agonists [LABAs]). Patients with asthma who were taking an inhaled corticosteroid plus LABA plus another maintenance asthma medication were considered to have severe asthma. Findings: 75 463 patients from 258 participating health-care facilities were included in this analysis: 860 patients younger than 16 years (74 [8¬∑6%] with asthma), 8950 patients aged 16‚Äď49 years (1867 [20¬∑9%] with asthma), and 65 653 patients aged 50 years and older (5918 [9¬∑0%] with asthma, 10 266 [15¬∑6%] with chronic pulmonary disease, and 2071 [3¬∑2%] with both asthma and chronic pulmonary disease). Patients with asthma were significantly more likely than those without asthma to receive critical care (patients aged 16‚Äď49 years: adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1¬∑20 [95% CI 1¬∑05‚Äď1¬∑37]; p=0¬∑0080; patients aged ‚Č•50 years: adjusted OR 1¬∑17 [1¬∑08‚Äď1¬∑27]; p<0¬∑0001), and patients aged 50 years and older with chronic pulmonary disease (with or without asthma) were significantly less likely than those without a respiratory condition to receive critical care (adjusted OR 0¬∑66 [0¬∑60‚Äď0¬∑72] for those without asthma and 0¬∑74 [0¬∑62‚Äď0¬∑87] for those with asthma; p<0¬∑0001 for both). In patients aged 16‚Äď49 years, only those with severe asthma had a significant increase in mortality compared to those with no asthma (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1¬∑17 [95% CI 0¬∑73‚Äď1¬∑86] for those on no asthma therapy, 0¬∑99 [0¬∑61‚Äď1¬∑58] for those on SABAs only, 0¬∑94 [0¬∑62‚Äď1¬∑43] for those on inhaled corticosteroids only, 1¬∑02 [0¬∑67‚Äď1¬∑54] for those on inhaled corticosteroids plus LABAs, and 1¬∑96 [1¬∑25‚Äď3¬∑08] for those with severe asthma). Among patients aged 50 years and older, those with chronic pulmonary disease had a significantly increased mortality risk, regardless of inhaled corticosteroid use, compared to patients without an underlying respiratory condition (adjusted HR 1¬∑16 [95% CI 1¬∑12‚Äď1¬∑22] for those not on inhaled corticosteroids, and 1¬∑10 [1¬∑04‚Äď1¬∑16] for those on inhaled corticosteroids; p<0¬∑0001). Patients aged 50 years and older with severe asthma also had an increased mortality risk compared to those not on asthma therapy (adjusted HR 1¬∑24 [95% CI 1¬∑04‚Äď1¬∑49]). In patients aged 50 years and older, inhaled corticosteroid use within 2 weeks of hospital admission was associated with decreased mortality in those with asthma, compared to those without an underlying respiratory condition (adjusted HR 0¬∑86 [95% CI 0¬∑80‚ąí0¬∑92]). Interpretation: Underlying respiratory conditions are common in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Regardless of the severity of symptoms at admission and comorbidities, patients with asthma were more likely, and those with chronic pulmonary disease less likely, to receive critical care than patients without an underlying respiratory condition. In patients aged 16 years and older, severe asthma was associated with increased mortality compared to non-severe asthma. In patients aged 50 years and older, inhaled corticosteroid use in those with asthma was associated with lower mortality than in patients without an underlying respiratory condition; patients with chronic pulmonary disease had significantly increased mortality compared to those with no underlying respiratory condition, regardless of inhaled corticosteroid use. Our results suggest that the use of inhaled corticosteroids, within 2 weeks of admission, improves survival for patients aged 50 years and older with asthma, but not for those with chronic pulmonary disease. Funding: National Institute for Health Research, Medical Research Council, NIHR Health Protection Research Units in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at the University of Liverpool and in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London in partnership with Public Health England
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