SciCombinator

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Suicide is a major public health concern in Japan. This study aimed to characterize the trends in suicide mortality in Japan by method since 1979. Using data from the Japan vital registration system, we calculated age-standardized rates of suicide mortality separately by sex and method. We conducted a log-linear regression of suicide mortality rates separately by sex, and linear regression analysis of the proportion of deaths due to hanging, including a test for change in level and trend in 1998. While crude suicide rates were static over the time period, age-adjusted rates declined. The significant increase in suicide mortality in 1998 was primarily driven by large changes in the rate of hanging, with suicide deaths after 1998 having 36.7% higher odds of being due to hanging for men (95% CI: 16.3-60.8%), and 21.9% higher odds of being due to hanging for women (95% CI: 9.2-35.9%). Hanging has become an increasingly important method for committing suicide over the past 40 years, and although suicide rates have been declining continuously over this time, more effort is needed to prevent hanging and address the potential cultural drivers of suicide if the rate is to continue to decline in the future.

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We present a fully integrated and transportable multi-species trace gas sensor based on a mid-infrared (MIR) supercontinuum light source. The high brightness (surpassing synchrotron) and ultra-broad spectral bandwidth (2-4 μm) of this light source allows simultaneous detection of multiple broadband absorbing gas species. High sensitivity in the sub-ppmv level has been achieved by utilizing an astigmatic multipass cell. A grating-based spectrometer at a scanning rate of 20 Hz is developed employing a balanced detection scheme. A multi-component global fitting algorithm is implemented into a central LabVIEW program to perform real-time data analysis. The obtained concentration values are validated by the standard gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method. Field application of the sensor for quality control of stored fruits at a small scale is demonstrated, involving the detection of ethylene, ethanol, ethyl acetate, acetaldehyde, methanol, acetone, and water simultaneously. The sensor also shows promising potentials for other applications, such as environmental monitoring and biomedical research.

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In this paper, we present a WiFi-based intrusion detection system called Wi-Alarm. Motivated by our observations and analysis that raw channel state information (CSI) of WiFi is sensitive enough to monitor human motion, Wi-Alarm omits data preprocessing. The mean and variance of the amplitudes of raw CSI data are used for feature extraction. Then, a support vector machine (SVM) algorithm is applied to determine detection results. We prototype Wi-Alarm on commercial WiFi devices and evaluate it in a typical indoor scenario. Results show that Wi-Alarm reduces much computational expense without losing accuracy and robustness. Moreover, different influence factors are also discussed in this paper.

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We provide an overview of recent achievements using quartz tuning forks for sensing liquid viscosity and density. The benefits of using quartz crystal tuning forks (QTFs) over other sensors are discussed on the basis of physical arguments and issues arising in real world applications. The path to highly accurate and robust measurement systems is described and a recently devised system considering these findings is presented. The performance of the system is analyzed for applications such as the mixing ratio measurement of fuels, diesel-soot contamination for engine oil condition monitoring, and particle size characterization in suspensions. It is concluded that using properly designed systems enables a variety of applications in industry and research.

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A community needs assessment during a tribally-led Changing High-Risk Alcohol Use and Increasing Contraception Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) intervention highlighted the need to reduce the risk for alcohol exposed pregnancy (AEP) among American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) adolescent girls. The CHOICES for American Indian Teens (CHAT) Program aims to reduce the risk of AEP among AIAN teens in one Northern Plains tribal community. The CHAT team adopted an iterative process to modify the tribally-led CHOICES curriculum for AIAN teens. This paper describes the iterative process as well as the community perception towards AEP prevention among AIAN teens. The CHAT team conducted several levels of formative and qualitative research, including one-on-one interviews (n = 15) with community members, AIAN elders and school counsellors; and three focus groups with AIAN adolescent girls (n = 15). A qualitative data analysis identified several recommendations that centered on making the information regarding alcohol and birth control appealing to teens; ensuring the confidentiality of the participants; making the program culturally relevant; and including boys in the program. This study outlines various components prioritized by community members in creating a culturally-relevant and age-appropriate AEP prevention program and provides community perceptions of AEP prevention for the teens in this community.

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Tegsedi (Inotersen) is a chemically modified antisense oligonucleotide that inhibits the hepatic production of transthyretin (TTR). Several single-point mutations in TTR destabilize its structure, leading to the aggregation and accumulation of amyloid deposits in the nervous system, heart, kidneys and eyes. In July 2018, Tegsedi was approved by the European Commission for use in adults with stage one and two polyneuropathies. Later on, in October 2018, the FDA and Health Canada also approved its use for the treatment of the polyneuropathy of hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (hATTR) in adults in the U.S. and Canada. Tegsedi was developed by Ionis Pharmaceuticals, the company that holds the global marketing license, together with its subsidiary Akcea Therapeutics.

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Western-style diets have been linked with dyslipidemia and inflammation, two well-known risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Dietary sphingomyelin (SM) has been reported to modulate gut microbiota, and lower serum lipids and inflammation in mice on Western-style diets. However, few studies have examined if nutritionally-relevant intake of dietary SM can impact atherosclerosis progression. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine if incorporating 0.1% (w/w) egg SM (ESM) (equivalent to ~750 mg/day in humans) into a high-fat (45% kcal), cholesterol-enriched diet (HFD) could prevent atheroprogression in apoE-/- mice (n = 15/group). We found that mice fed with the ESM-rich diet had significantly lower epididymal fat mass (-46%) and tended to have higher spleen weights (+15%). There were no significant differences in serum lipids between groups. However, ESM-fed mice had significantly lower alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity. Additionally, ESM-fed mice displayed significantly less aortic root lipid accumulation (-31%) compared to controls. This improvement in atherosclerosis was paired with over a two-fold reduction in circulating serum amyloid A (SAA) in ESM-fed mice. Finally, there was also a modulation of the gut microbiota with ESM supplementation. ESM may have the potential to prevent atherosclerosis, however further research in the clinical setting is warranted.

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The aim of this review is to highlight current insights into the roles of choline and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in maternal and infant nutrition, with special emphasis on dietary recommendations, gaps in dietary intake, and synergistic implications of both nutrients in infant brain and eye development. Adequate choline and DHA intakes are not being met by the vast majority of US adults, and even more so by women of child-bearing age. Choline and DHA play a significant role in infant brain and eye development, with inadequate intakes leading to visual and neurocognitive deficits. Emerging findings illustrate synergistic interactions between choline and DHA, indicating that insufficient intakes of one or both could have lifelong deleterious impacts on both maternal and infant health.

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Osteoporosis is a degenerative skeletal disease with a limited number of treatment options. CK2.3, a novel peptide, may be a potential therapeutic. It induces osteogenesis and bone formation in vitro and in vivo by acting downstream of BMPRIA through releasing CK2 from the receptor. However, the detailed signaling pathways, the time frame of signaling, and genes activated remain largely unknown.

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The ultrasonic testing technique using Lamb waves is widely used for the non-destructive testing and evaluation of various structures. For air-coupled excitation and the reception of A0 mode Lamb waves, leaky guided waves are usually exploited. However, at low frequencies (<100 kHz), the velocity of this mode in plastic and composite materials can become slower than the ultrasound velocity in air, and its propagation in films is accompanied only by an evanescent wave in air. To date, the information about the attenuation of the slow A0 mode is very contradictory. Therefore, the objective of this investigation was the measurement of the attenuation of the slow A0 mode in thin plastic films. The measurement of the attenuation of normal displacements of the film caused by a propagating slow A0 mode is discussed. The normal displacements of the film at different distances from the source were measured by a laser interferometer. In order to reduce diffraction errors, the measurement method based on the excitation of cylindrical but not plane waves was proposed. The slow A0 mode was excited in the polyvinylchloride film by a dry contact type ultrasonic transducer made of high-efficiency PMN-32%PT strip-like piezoelectric crystal. It was found that that the attenuation of the slow A0 mode in PVC film at the frequency of 44 kHz is 2 dB/cm. The obtained results can be useful for the development of quality control methods for plastic films.