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Echinococcus shiquicus is currently limited to the Qinghai–Tibet plateau, a large mountainous region in China. Although the zoonotic potential remains unknown, progress is being made on the distribution and intermediate host range. In this study, we report E. shiquicus within Gansu and Qinghai provinces in regions located not only around the central areas but also the southeast edge of the plateau and describe their genetic relationship with previous isolates from the plateau. From 1879 plateau pikas examined, 2.39% (95% CI 1.79–3.18) were infected with E. shiquicus. The highest prevalence of 10.26% (4.06–23.58) was recorded in Makehe town, Qinghai province. Overall the prevalence was marginally higher in Qinghai (2.5%, CI 1.82–3.43) than in Gansu (2%, CI 1.02–3.89). The cox1 and nad1 genes demonstrated high and low haplotype and nucleotide diversities, respectively. The median-joining network constructed by the cox1–nad1 gene sequences demonstrated a star-like configuration with a median vector (unsampled haplotype) occupying the centre of the network. No peculiar distinction or common haplotype was observed in isolates originating from the different provinces. The presence of E. shiquicus in regions of the southeast and northeast edges of the Qinghai–Tibet plateau and high genetic variation warrants more investigation into the haplotype distribution and genetic polymorphism by exploring more informative DNA regions of the mitochondrial genome to provide epidemiologically useful insight into the population structure of E. shiquicus across the plateau and its axis.
Adipocytokines, which are secreted during fetal development by both mothers and fetuses, may influence fetal lung development, but little human data are available. We used data from the HOME Study to investigate the associations of cord blood adipocytokine concentrations with children’s lung forced expiratory volume (FEV1; N = 160) and their risk of wheeze (N = 281). We measured umbilical cord serum adipocytokine concentrations using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and FEV1 using a portable spirometer at ages 4 and 5 to calculate the percent predicted FEV1 (%FEV1). Parents completed standardized questionnaires of their child’s wheeze symptoms every 6 months from birth to age 5, then again at ages 6 and 8. We used multivariable linear mixed models and modified Poisson regression with generalized estimating equations to estimate associations of adipocytokine concentrations (log2-transformed) with children’s %FEV1 and the risk of wheeze, respectively, adjusting for sociodemographic, perinatal, and child factors. Cord serum leptin was not associated with children’s %FEV1. Higher cord serum adiponectin concentrations were associated with higher %FEV1 in girls (β = 3.1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.6, 5.6), but not in boys (β = −1.3, 95% CI: −5.9, 3.3) (sex × adiponectin p-value = 0.05). Higher leptin was associated with lower risk of wheeze in girls (RR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.66, 0.84), but not boys (RR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.69, 1.11) (sex × leptin p-value = 0.01). In contrast, higher adiponectin concentrations were associated with lower risk of wheeze (RR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.73, 0.96) in both boys and girls. These data suggest that fetal adipocytokines may impact lung development and function in early childhood. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings and explore the mechanisms underlying these associations.
No studies have reported on how to relieve distress or relax in medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The study aimed to establish which relaxation technique, among six, is the most feasible in first-line medical health workers wearing medical protective equipment.
This was a two-step study collecting data with online surveys. Step 1: 15 first-line medical health workers were trained to use six different relaxation techniques and reported the two most feasible techniques while wearing medical protective equipment. Step 2: the most two feasible relaxation techniques revealed by step 1 were quantitatively tested in a sample of 65 medical health workers in terms of efficacy, no space limitation, no time limitation, no body position requirement, no environment limitation to be done, easiness to learn, simplicity, convenience, practicality, and acceptance.
Kegel exercise and autogenic relaxation were the most feasible techniques according to step 1. In step 2, Kegel exercise outperformed autogenic relaxation on all the 10 dimensions among the 65 participants while wearing medical protective equipment (efficacy: 24 v. 15, no space limitation: 30 v. 4, no time limitation: 31 v. 4, no body position requirement: 26 v. 4, no environment limitation: 30 v. 11, easiness to learn: 28 v. 5, simplicity: 29 v. 7, convenience: 29 v. 4, practicality: 30 v. 14, acceptance: 32 v. 6).
Kegel exercise seems a promising self-relaxation technique for first-line medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment among COVID-19 pandemic.
Specific adipokines, such as adiponectin and resistin, are secreted from adipose tissue and are associated with the development of obesity. Supplementation of dietary SCFA can prevent and reverse high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obesity. However, it is not clear whether SCFA ameliorate abnormal expression of adiponectin and resistin in the obese state. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of SCFA on adiponectin and resistin’s expressions in diet-induced obese mice, as well as the potential mechanisms associated with DNA methylation. C57BL/6J male mice were fed for 16 weeks with five types of HFD (34·9 % fat by wt., 60 % kJ) – a control HFD and four HFD with acetate (HFD-A), propionate (HFD-P), butyrate (HFD-B) and their admixture (HFD-SCFA). Meanwhile, a low-fat diet (4·3 % fat by wt., 10 % kJ) was used as the control group. The reduced mRNA levels of adiponectin and resistin in the adipose tissue of the HFD-fed mice were significantly reversed by dietary supplementation of acetate, propionate, butyrate or their admixture to the HFD. Moreover, the expressional changes of adiponectin and resistin induced by SCFA were associated with alterations in DNA methylation at their promoters, which was mediated by reducing the expressions of enzyme-catalysed DNA methyltransferase (DNMT1, 3a, 3b) and the methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 2 (MBD2) and suppressing the binding of these enzymes to the promoters of adiponectin and resistin. Our results indicate that SCFA may correct aberrant expressions of adiponectin and resistin in obesity by epigenetic regulation.
First principles studies about the influence of electric field and anisotropic oxygen vacancy on the dielectric properties of rutile titanium dioxide (TiO2) are investigated. These results demonstrate that dielectric properties of perfect TiO2 presents dependent on the low electric field that less than 5.2 MV/cm. As a comparison, the dielectric properties of defected TiO2 in (1 1 0) plane and [1 1 0] direction show more sensitive to high electric field. Further more, considering the different positions of oxygen vacancy, the oxygen vacancy locates in (1 1 0) plane of defected TiO2 appears more active to high electric field than it does in [1 1 0] direction. The effect of electric field and oxygen vacancy induce the distorted supercell structure and broken bond between the nearer oxygen atoms and titanium atoms. Moreover, the oxygen vacancy locates in (1 1 0) plane of defected TiO2 can create more potential broken bond. These results account for the difference of dielectric properties in perfect TiO2 and defected TiO2.
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and multiple sclerosis (MS) are chronic neuro-inflammatory diseases believed to arise from complex interactions between environmental and genetic factors. Recently, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in interleukin (IL)-2 and -7 receptor alpha genes have been identified as novel susceptibility alleles for MS in genome-wide association studies. However, similar research on NMO is limited. We aimed to investigate the association of IL2RA SNPs rs2104286 and rs12722489 and IL7RA SNP rs6897932 with Southern Han Chinese NMO and MS patients.
Frequencies of the three SNPs were examined in Southern Han Chinese mS cases (n=78), NMS cases (n=67) and controls (n=133) using sequencing-based typing.
The rs2104286G frequency in the IL2RA gene was significantly higher in NMO patients than in controls (puncorr=0.013, pcorr=0.026, OR:1.942, 95%CI:1.146-3.291).
The rs2104286 G allele in IL2RA is present at higher frequencies in NMO patients than in healthy controls within a Southern Han Chinese population.
We report on an influenza B outbreak in an Ontario long-term care facility in which 2 immunized residents receiving oseltamivir prophylaxis for at least 5 days developed laboratory-confirmed influenza B infection. All isolates were tested for the most common oseltamivir resistance, and none of them had resistance identified.
Cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al measurements from bedrock exposures in East Antarctica provide indications of how long the rock surface has been free from glacial cover. Samples from the crests of Zakharoff Ridge and Mount Harding, two typical nunataks in the Grove Mountains, show minimum 10Be ages of 2.00 ± 0.22 and 2.30 ± 0.26 Ma, respectively. These ages suggest that the crests were above the ice sheet at least since the Plio–Pleistocene boundary. Adopting a ‘reasonable’ erosion rate of 5–10 cm Ma-1 increases the exposure ages of these two samples to extend into the mid-Pliocene. The bedrock exposure ages steadily decrease with decreasing elevation on the two nunataks, which indicates ~200 m decrease of the ice sheet in the Grove Mountains since mid-Pliocene time. Seven higher elevation samples exhibit a simple exposure history, which indicates that the ice sheet in the Grove Mountains decreased only ~100 m over a period as long as 1–2 Ma. This suggests that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) was relatively stable during the Pliocene warm interval. Five lower elevation samples suggest a complex exposure history, and indicate that the maximum subsequent increase of the EAIS was only 100 m higher than the present ice surface. Considering the uncertainties, their total initial exposure and subsequent burial time could be later than mid-Pliocene, which may not conflict with the stable mid-Pliocene scenario.
A metallic glass/porous tungsten bi-continuous phase composite was prepared by pressure infiltration whose quasi-static compressive stress and strain to macroscopic failure are much higher than those of all the previous tungsten-reinforced metallic glass matrix composites. It deserves to be mentioned that because of its high-yield strength and high elastic strain limit, metallic glass seems to be used as the reinforcement to strengthen the crystalline materials in the bi-continuous phase composite materials.
(Zr62Cu15.4Ni12.6) (x = 6–12) in situ glassy composites containing uniformly distributed Ta-rich particles were prepared by arc-melting and copper mould casting. The results show that addition of 6–10 at.% Ta to Zr62Cu15.4Ni12.6Al10 results in dissolution of 2.4 to 4.6 at.% Ta in the glassy matrix, which promotes glass-forming ability, and the remaining Ta precipitates out as body-centered cubic (BCC) Ta-rich particles dispersed on the glassy matrix. The critical diameters for the composites with 6, 8, and 10 at.% Ta are 7, 7, and 6 mm, respectively. At 12 at.% Ta addition, the glass-forming ability is dramatically reduced because of the precipitation of secondary dendritic Ta-rich particles and other nanocrystallites from melts during copper mould casting. Also, owing to the solid-liquid reaction during induction heating, some Ta-rich particles formed in the master alloys will redissolve into the glassy matrix, resulting in a smaller volume fraction of Ta-rich particles in the as-cast glassy rods than that of the corresponding ingots. The glassy matrix composites exhibit enhanced plastic strain of about 7.5 to 22.5% at room temperature. The optimum Ta content in the glassy alloys is determined to be 10 at.%, which corresponds to the highest ultimate stress of 2220 MPa and the largest plastic strain of 22.5%. The plastic strain increases with increasing volume fraction of in situ BCC Ta-rich particles. This is apparently ascribed to the impedance of Ta-rich particles to shear bands. Ta-rich particles seed the initiation of multiple shear bands and block the shear band propagation, leading to intensive multiplication and bifurcation of shear bands.
During fieldwork of the 1998–99 and 1999–2000 Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE), three different kinds of Cenozoic sedimentary record were found in the Grove Mountains, which are in East Antarctica about 450km inland of Prydz Bay. These consist of (1) glaciogenic sedimentary erratics found in the moraine banks in the central area of Grove Mountains, which can be subdivided into four types according to different degrees of lithification as well as differences in inner structure and include in-situ diamicts; (2) palaeosols found in several small depressions in the southern slope of the Mount Harding; and (3) different kinds of glacial moraine floating on the surface of blue ice or around the foot of some nunataks. Preliminary results suggest that the in situ glaciogenic sediments were formed in the ice-sheet frontal area by the interaction of glacial movement and ice sheet melt water under climatic conditions warmer than today.
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