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Muscle fiber characteristics comprise a set of complex traits that influence the meat quality and lean meat production of livestock. However, the genetic and biological mechanisms regulating muscle fiber characteristics are largely unknown in pigs. Based on a genome-wide association study (GWAS) performed on 421 Large White × Min pig F2 individuals presenting well-characterized phenotypes, this work aimed to detect genome variations and candidate genes for five muscle fiber characteristics: percentage of type I fibers (FIB1P), percentage of type IIA fibers (FIB2AP), percentage of type IIB fibers (FIB2BP), diameter of muscle fibers (DIAMF) and number of muscle fibers per unit area (NUMMF). The GWAS used the Illumina Porcine SNP60K genotypic data, which were analyzed by a mixed model. Seven and 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were significantly associated with DIAMF and NUMMF, respectively (P < 1.10E-06); no SNP was significantly associated with FIB1P, FIB2AP or FIB2B. For DIAMF, the significant SNPs on chromosome 4 were located in the previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) interval. Because the significant SNPs on chromosome 6 were not mapped in the previously reported QTL interval, a putative novel QTL was suggested for this locus. None of the previously reported QTL intervals on chromosomes 6 and 14 harbored significant SNPs for NUMMF; thus, new potential QTLs on these two chromosomes are suggested in the present work. The most significant SNPs associated with DIAMF (ALGA0025682) and NUMMF (MARC0046984) explained 12.02% and 11.59% of the phenotypic variation of these traits, respectively. In addition, both SNPs were validated as associated with DIAMF and NUMMF in Beijing Black pigs (P < 0.01). Some candidate genes or non-coding RNAs, such as solute carrier family 44 member 5 and miR-124a-1 for DIAMF, and coiled-coil serine rich protein 2 for NUMMF, were identified based on their close location to the significant SNPs. This study revealed some genome-wide association variants for muscle fiber characteristics, and it provides valuable information to discover the genetic mechanisms controlling these traits in pigs.
Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of vector-borne disease (VBD) in pets is one cornerstone of companion animal practices. Veterinarians are facing new challenges associated with the emergence, reemergence, and rising incidence of VBD, including heartworm disease, Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis. Increases in the observed prevalence of these diseases have been attributed to a multitude of factors, including diagnostic tests with improved sensitivity, expanded annual testing practices, climatologic and ecological changes enhancing vector survival and expansion, emergence or recognition of novel pathogens, and increased movement of pets as travel companions. Veterinarians have the additional responsibility of providing information about zoonotic pathogen transmission from pets, especially to vulnerable human populations: the immunocompromised, children, and the elderly. Hindering efforts to protect pets and people is the dynamic and ever-changing nature of VBD prevalence and distribution. To address this deficit in understanding, the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) began efforts to annually forecast VBD prevalence in 2011. These forecasts provide veterinarians and pet owners with expected disease prevalence in advance of potential changes. This review summarizes the fidelity of VBD forecasts and illustrates the practical use of CAPC pathogen prevalence maps and forecast data in the practice of veterinary medicine and client education.
Anatase phase NOx/S6+–TiO2 (x= 0, 1) film with high solar-driven activity has been successfully prepared via electro-assisted oxidation processes. The morphological and structural properties of the film were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction, while the optical property was detected by UV-vis-NIR absorption spectroscopy. The results showed that the NOx/S6+–TiO2 film was composed of “flower-like” microvoids structure and displayed broad and strong optical absorption at around 544 and 1500 nm. Transient photocurrent response, photoluminescence spectroscopy, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy indicated that the generation and separation of photogenerated charges were significantly enhanced under simulated solar irradiation. The NOx/S6+–TiO2 film exhibited excellent photoelectrocatalytic activity for the degradation of methyl orange (MO), and the decoloration rate and TOC removal respectively reached 98.97 and 59.44% at 20 min under solar irradiation. The film still had good stability after reusing ten times. Furthermore, a possible mechanism of photoelectrocatalysis was suggested in MO degradation by using NOx/S6+–TiO2 film.
The present study aimed to evaluate the validity and reproducibility of a thirteen-item FFQ regarding identification of dietary conditions in a rural population in China.
A reproducibility study repeated the first FFQ (FFQ1) approximately 4 weeks later (FFQ2). A validity study evaluated the mean of three consecutive 24 h diet recalls as the reference measure.
Residents of a rural area in Henan Province, which is located in the central region of China.
A total of 295 individuals participated in the reproducibility study. In addition, 123 people agreed to participate in the validity study. Spearman’s correlation coefficients between the two FFQ ranged from 0·06 (vegetables) to 0·58 (eggs). Spearman’s correlation coefficients between the two methods of collection ranged from 0·01 for cereal to 0·49 for staple foods. The mean of the intraclass correlation coefficients of the two FFQ (FFQ1 v. FFQ2) was 0·19. Bland–Altman analysis indicated good agreement for most food groups across the range of intake for the two studies.
The study demonstrated that our FFQ design could be used as a representative tool to conduct a dietary evaluation of a rural population.
Wire-shaped supercapacitors (WSSCs) hold great promise in portable and wearable electronics. Herein, a novel kind of high-performance coaxial WSSCs has been demonstrated and realized by scrolling porous carbon dodecahedrons/Al foil film electrode on vertical FeOOH nanosheets wrapping carbon fiber tows (FeOOH NSs/CFTs) yarn electrode. Remarkably, ionogel is utilized as solid-state electrolyte and exhibits a high thermal/electrochemical stability, which effectively ensures the great reliability and high operating voltage of coaxial WSSCs. Benefiting from the intriguing configuration, the coaxial WSSCs with superior flexibility act as efficient energy storage devices and exhibit low resistance, high volumetric energy density (3.2 mW h/cm3), and strong durability (82% after 10,000 cycles). Importantly, the coaxial WSSCs can be effectively recharged by harvesting sustainable wind source and repeatedly supply power to the lamp without a decline of electrochemical performance. Considering the facile fabrication technology with an outstanding performance, this work has paved the way for the integration of sustainable energy harvesting and wearable energy storage units.
The effect of maternal folate intake on small-for-gestational-age (SGA) births remains inconclusive. The present study aimed to investigate the associations of maternal folate intake from diet and supplements with the risk of SGA births using data from a cross-sectional study in Shaanxi Province of Northwest China. A total of 7307 women who were within 12 months (median 3; 10th–90th percentile 0–7) after delivery were included. Two-level models were adopted to examine the associations of folate (dietary folate, supplemental folic acid and total folate) intake with the risk of SGA births and birth weight Z score, controlling for a minimum set of confounders that were identified in a directed acyclic graph. Results showed that a higher supplemental folic acid intake during the first trimester was negatively associated with the risk of SGA births (≤60 d v. non-use: OR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·96; >60 d v. non-use: OR 0·78; 95 % CI 0·65, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per 10-d increase: OR 0·97; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·99). A higher total folate intake during pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of SGA births (highest tertile v. lowest tertile: OR 0·77; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per one-unit increase in the log-transformed value: OR 0·81; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·95). A similar pattern was observed for the birth weight Z score. Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation during the first trimester and a higher total folate intake during pregnancy were associated with a reduced risk of SGA births.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis are the common causes of human echinococcosis in China. An accurate species identification tool for human echinococcosis is needed as the treatments and prognosis are different among species. The present work demonstrates a method for the simultaneous detection of these three Echinococcus species based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR). Specific primers of this mPCR were designed based on the mitochondrial genes and determined by extensive tests. The method can successfully detect either separated or mixed target species, and generate expected amplicons of distinct size for each species. Sensitivity of the method was tested by serially diluted DNA, showing a detection threshold as less as 0.32 pg for both E. granulosus s.s. and E. canadensis, and 1.6 pg for E. multilocularis. Specificity assessed against 18 other parasites was found to be 100% except weakly cross-react with E. shiquicus. The assay was additionally applied to 69 echinococcosis patients and 38 healthy persons, confirming the high reliability of the method. Thus, the mPCR described here has high application potential for clinical identification purposes, and can further provide a useful tool for evaluation of serology and imaging method.
We aimed to investigate the association between plasma retinol and incident cancer among Chinese hypertensive adults. We conducted a nested case–control study, including 231 patients with incident cancer and 231 matched controls during a median 4·5-year follow-up of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. There was a significant, inverse association between retinol levels and digestive system cancer (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91). When compared with participants in the first quartile of retinol (< 52·3 μg/dl), a significantly lower cancer risk was found in participants in quartile 2–4 ( ≥ 52·3 μg/dl: OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·71). However, there was a U-shaped association between retinol levels and non-digestive system cancers where the risk of cancers decreased (although not significantly) with each increment of plasma retinol (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·89; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·31) in participants with retinol < 68·2 μg/dl, and then increased significantly with retinol (per 10 μg/dl increase: OR 1·65; 95 % CI 1·12, 2·44) in participants with retinol ≥ 68·2 μg/dl. In conclusion, there was a significant inverse dose–response association between plasma retinol and the risk of digestive system cancers. However, a U-shaped association was observed between plasma retinol and the risk of non-digestive cancers (with a turning point approximately 68·2 μg/dl).
There is growing evidence that suggests the association of vitamin D status with the development and progression of heart failure (HF). The objective of the present study is to assess the impact of concentration of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) on cardiac prognosis in patients with HF. Between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016, we consecutively recruited patients with HF. Patients were followed prospectively for a median duration of 1 year. Serum concentration of 25(OH)D was measured with competitive chemiluminescent immunoassay. The endpoints were cardiac events, including CVD death and rehospitalisation for worsening HF. Univariate and multivariable adjustments were performed with Cox proportional-hazard regression analyses. The 25(OH)D concentration was obtained in 343 patients with a median value of 17·4 (interquartile range 12·6–23·4) ng/ml. There were 102 cardiac events, including forty-three deaths and fifty-nine rehospitalisations. Multivariate Cox hazard analysis found that the serum concentration 25(OH)D was independently associated with cardiac events (hazard ratio 0·93, 95 % CI 0·88, 0·97) and CVD mortality (hazard ratio 0·83; 95 % CI 0·77, 0·89) after adjustment for confounding factors. We divided the HF patients into four groups according to the 25(OH)D quartiles. Kaplan–Meier analysis found that the patients with lower serum 25(OH)D concentration had a higher risk of cardiac events or CVD mortality than those with high serum 25(OH)D concentration (log-rank test P < 0·001 and P = 0·032). Decreased serum concentrations of 25(OH)D were associated with cardiac prognosis and CVD mortality in a Chinese population with HF independent of other baseline HF markers.
The onset of thermal convection in a rapidly rotating spherical shell is studied by linear stability analysis based on the fully compressible Navier–Stokes equations. Compressibility is quantified by the number of density scale heights
, which measures the intensity of density stratification of the motionless, polytropic base state. The nearly adiabatic flow with polytropic index
is considered, where
is the adiabatic polytropic index. By investigating the stability of the base state with respect to the disturbance of specified wavenumber, the instability process is found to be sensitive to the Prandtl number
. For large
, the quasi-geostrophic columnar mode loses stability first; while for relatively small
a new quasi-geostrophic compressible mode is identified, which becomes unstable first under strong density stratification. The inertial mode can also occur first for relatively small
and a certain intensity of density stratification in the parameter range considered. Although the Rayleigh numbers
for the onsets of the quasi-geostrophic compressible mode and columnar mode are different by several orders of magnitude, we find that they follow very similar scaling laws with the Taylor number. The critical
for convection onset is found to be always positive, in contrast with previous results based on the widely used anelastic model that convection can occur at negative
. By evaluating the relative magnitude of the time derivative of density perturbation in the continuity equation, we show that the anelastic approximation in the present system cannot be applied in the small-
Cryoconite is a dark-coloured granular sediment that contains biological and mineralogical components, and it plays a pivotal role in geochemistry, carbon cycling and glacier mass balance. In this work, we collected cryoconite samples from Laohugou Glacier No. 12 (LHG) on the north-eastern Tibetan Plateau during the summer of 2015 and measured the spectral albedo. To explore the impacts of this sediment on surface ablation, the ice melting differences between the cryoconite-free (removed) ice and the intact layers were compared. The results showed that the mean concentrations of black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC) and total iron (Fe) in the LHG cryoconite were 1.28, 11.18 and 39.94 mg g−1, respectively. BC was found to play a stronger role in solar light adsorption than OC and free Fe. In addition, ice covered by cryoconite exhibited the lowest mean reflectance (i.e., <0.1). Compared with the cryoconite-free ice surface, cryoconite effectively absorbed solar energy and enhanced glacial melting at a rate of 2.27–3.28 cm d−1, and free Fe, BC and OC were estimated to contribute 1.01, 0.99 and 0.76 cm d−1, respectively. This study provides important insights for understanding the role of cryoconite in the glacier mass balance of the northern Tibetan Plateau.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
To determine accessibility of the primary healthcare system for patients with stroke recently discharged from hospital.
This project mapped retrospective patient location data and the location of primary healthcare services in the same region. Patient location data were from all patients with stroke (N = 1595: January 2011–January 2017) discharged from one metropolitan hospital to the local Primary Health Network. Geographic Information System technology was used to map the patient discharge locations and the spatial distribution of primary healthcare services (general practitioner, pharmacy, allied health) across the region. Road network data were used to measure the level of access from each patient’s discharge location to the services.
Access to primary healthcare services was variable. Areas with larger proportions of patients with stroke did not necessarily have good service access. With an increase in travel time, the number of services accessible to patients also increased. However, the spatial variation of access to services remained largely unchanged.
Access to primary healthcare services for patients with stroke varies spatially, with a trend towards relatively low levels of accessibility for many patients. There is an urgent need for future planning to consider geographical access to primary healthcare services for patients with stroke.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
Wearable electrochromic devices are considered as the essential components for the development of smart clothing with the intelligent sensing, actuating, and displaying functions. In this study, the electrochromic composite flexible membranes of polyaniline (PANI) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) were fabricated by in situ polymerization of aniline monomer in the presence of RGO dispersion. The effects of RGO concentration on the morphology, chemical structure, crystallinity, and electrochromic behavior of the composite membranes were studied. Our experimental results show that the conductivity of PANI/RGO composite membrane increases with the increasing of RGO concentration from 0.1 to 0.25 wt%, and the highest conductivity is 3.57 S/cm. An improved electrochemical performance with good electrochromic cycle characteristic of the PANI/RGO composite can be obtained, which shows a wide color range from green to black compared with the PANI membrane that ranging from green to dark blue. This research provides a systematical investigation of flexible PANI-based electrochromic membrane, which has the potential application in the field of wearable electrochromic devices in the future.
The preparation of three-dimensional honeycomb nitrogen-doped carbon materials (3D-HNCMs) which can be used as electrode materials for supercapacitors is reported. The composites with the 3D honeycomb structure exhibited better electrochemical performance, and the structure and properties were proved by various means, such as SEM, TEM, IR, N2 sorption, XRD and XPS. Used as electrode materials for supercapacitors in the KOH electrolyte, 3D-HNCMs displayed a significantly high specific capacitance (409 F/g at a current of 0.5 A/g). Moreover, the 3D-HNCM electrode exhibited superior electrochemical performance, such as excellent cycling stability (98% capacitance retention after 10,000 cycles), a maximum energy density of 15.37 W h/kg, a maximum power density of 40.3 kW/kg, and low equivalent series resistance (2.1 Ω). Particularly, the electrochemical characteristic of 3D-HNCMs could be attributed to the synergistic effect of a high surface area, unique microporous and mesoporous structure, and nitrogen atom doping. These carbon materials with unique structure are promising electrode materials for future supercapacitor application.
This study aimed to reveal the associated risk factors for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) detected by T-SPOT.TB assay among health care workers (HCWs) at different working locations or job categories in China. This cross-sectional study included 934 HCWs who underwent the T-SPOT.TB assay. Demographic and social characteristics of the participants, including age, sex, job categories, department/ward and duration of healthcare service, were recorded. Among 934 HCWs, 267 (28.5867%) were diagnosed as having LTBI with positive T-SPOT.TB assay. HCWs working in inpatient tuberculosis (TB) (odds ratio (OR) 2.917; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.852–4.596; P < 0.001) and respiratory wards (OR 1.840; 95% CI 1.124–3.011; P = 0.015), and with longer duration of healthcare service (OR 1.048; 95% CI 1.016–1.080; P = 0.003) were risk factors for positive T-SPOT.TB result. Furthermore, longer working duration increased the positive rate of T-SPOT.TB results for physicians and nurses, and physicians had higher risks than nurses for the same working duration. Inpatient TB and respiratory wards were high-risk working locations for HCWs with LTBI, and longer duration of healthcare service also increased the risk of LTBI among HCWs. A complete strategy for TB infection control and protection awareness among HCWs should be enhanced.
Direct determination of barrier height (ΦBH) value between Ir and single crystal (001) hydrogen-terminated diamond with lightly boron doped has been performed using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy technique. 70 nm Ir islands were formed on hydrogen-terminated diamond surface using anodic aluminum oxide. The ΦBH value for Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was −0.43 ± 0.14 eV, indicating that Ir was a suitable metal for ohmic contact with hydrogen-terminated diamond. The band diagram of Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was obtained. The experimental ΦBH was compared with the theoretical ΦBH in this work.