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Fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 (FNDC5) is a transmembrane protein and the precursor of irisin, which serves as a systemic exerkine/myokine with multiple origins. Since its discovery in 2012, this hormone-like polypeptide has rapidly evolved to a component significantly involved in a gamut of metabolic dysregulations and various liver diseases. After a decade of extensive investigation on FNDC5/irisin, we are still surrounded by lots of open questions regarding its diagnostic and therapeutic values. In this review, we first concentrated on the structure–function relationship of FNDC5/irisin. Next, we comprehensively summarised the current knowledge and research findings regarding pathogenic roles/therapeutic applications of FNDC5/irisin in the context of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, fibrosis, liver injury due to multiple detrimental insults, hepatic malignancy and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. Moreover, the prominent molecules involved in the underlying mechanisms and signalling pathways were highlighted. As a result, emerging evidence reveals FNDC5/irisin may act as a proxy for diagnosing liver disease pathology, a sensitive biomarker for assessing damage severity, a predisposing factor for surveilling illness progression and a treatment option with protective/preventive impact, all of which are highly dependent on disease grading and contextually pathological features.
The sedimentary characteristics and preservation potential of lacustrine carbonates provide fundamental information on climate change. The lacustrine carbonate deposition in the Eocene Dongying Depression was investigated using a combination of mineralogical, petrological and geochemical analyses. Micritic calcite/dolomite, granular calcite, columnar calcite, calcareous shell fragments and reworked detrital calcite were identified. Varying patterns of carbonates (VPC) including lithofacies, geochemical indicators and carbonate distribution were revealed in the Dongying Depression: (i) carbonates hardly precipitate in the nearshore area (average 12 wt %); (ii) carbonate content is high (average 53 wt %) in the shallow lake and (iii) gradually decreases to reach a minimum (average 24 wt %) in the deeper part of the lake. Comparison of VPC in four Holocene lakes (the Qinghai Lake and Barkol Lake in China, Oro Lake in Canada and Montcortès Lake in Spain) with the Dongying Depression suggests that four distinct lake stages were developed, namely the terrigenous clastic/gypsum-rich, carbonate-rich, carbonate-decreasing and carbonate-poor stages. A depositional model of lacustrine carbonates influenced by detrital influx, climate, palaeoproductivity and salinity is developed. This study contributes to the understanding of the genetic mechanisms of lacustrine carbonate deposition to reconstruct environmental changes.
Listeriosis is a rare but serious foodborne disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. This matched case–control study (1:1 ratio) aimed to identify the risk factors associated with food consumption and food-handling habits for the occurrence of sporadic listeriosis in Beijing, China. Cases were defined as patients from whom Listeria was isolated, in addition to the presence of symptoms, including fever, bacteraemia, sepsis and other clinical manifestations corresponding to listeriosis, which were reported via the Beijing Foodborne Disease Surveillance System. Basic patient information and possible risk factors associated with food consumption and food-handling habits were collected through face-to-face interviews. One hundred and six cases were enrolled from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020, including 52 perinatal cases and 54 non-perinatal cases. In the non-perinatal group, the consumption of Chinese cold dishes increased the risk of infection by 3.43-fold (95% confidence interval 1.27–9.25, χ2 = 5.92, P = 0.02). In the perinatal group, the risk of infection reduced by 95.2% when raw and cooked foods were well-separated (χ2 = 5.11, P = 0.02). These findings provide important scientific evidence for preventing infection by L. monocytogenes and improving the dissemination of advice regarding food safety for vulnerable populations.
Previous analyses of grey and white matter volumes have reported that schizophrenia is associated with structural changes. Deep learning is a data-driven approach that can capture highly compact hierarchical non-linear relationships among high-dimensional features, and therefore can facilitate the development of clinical tools for making a more accurate and earlier diagnosis of schizophrenia.
To identify consistent grey matter abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, 662 people with schizophrenia and 613 healthy controls were recruited from eight centres across China, and the data from these independent sites were used to validate deep-learning classifiers.
We used a prospective image-based meta-analysis of whole-brain voxel-based morphometry. We also automatically differentiated patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls using combined grey matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid volumetric features, incorporated a deep neural network approach on an individual basis, and tested the generalisability of the classification models using independent validation sites.
We found that statistically reliable schizophrenia-related grey matter abnormalities primarily occurred in regions that included the superior temporal gyrus extending to the temporal pole, insular cortex, orbital and middle frontal cortices, middle cingulum and thalamus. Evaluated using leave-one-site-out cross-validation, the performance of the classification of schizophrenia achieved by our findings from eight independent research sites were: accuracy, 77.19–85.74%; sensitivity, 75.31–89.29% and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.797–0.909.
These results suggest that, by using deep-learning techniques, multidimensional neuroanatomical changes in schizophrenia are capable of robustly discriminating patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls, findings which could facilitate clinical diagnosis and treatment in schizophrenia.
We evaluated the distributions of dental splatters and the corresponding control measure effects with high-speed videography and laser diffraction. Most of the dental splatters were small droplets (<50 μm). High-volume evacuation combined with a suction air purifier could clear away most of the droplets and aerosols.
The sudden outbreak of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) sparked widespread concern about organisational resilience in the management domain. The resources, operations and practices of organisational resilience have to be considered in particular contexts at different stages and in relation to numerous inputs, processes and outputs. Selected as one example, the preparation, response and development of a retail supermarket's management and operations in China is examined through an empirical case study. Supply chain and digital construction, improvisational ability, system management and corporate social responsibility all played a positive role in this organisation's response to the outbreak of COVID-19 (2019–2020) in the Chinese management context. Organisational resilience is reflected in the case study organisation's self-interested and altruistic policies and practices. The case provides valuable insights on efficacious management practices for organisational resilience building in the retail industry.
Food insecurity has been shown to be associated with fast-food consumption. However, to date, studies on this specific topic are scarce. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the association between food insecurity and fast-food consumption in adolescents aged 12–15 years from sixty-eight countries (seven low-income, twenty-seven lower middle-income, twenty upper middle-income, fourteen high-income countries). Cross-sectional, school-based data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey were analysed. Data on past 30-d food insecurity (hunger) and fast-food consumption in the past 7 d were collected. Multivariable logistic regression and meta-analysis were conducted to assess associations. Models were adjusted for age, sex and BMI. There were 180 164 adolescents aged 12–15 years (mean age 13·8 (sd 1·0) years; 50·8 % boys) included in the analysis. Overall, severe food insecurity (i.e. hungry because there was not enough food in home most of the time or always) was associated with 1·17 (95 % CI 1·08, 1·26) times higher odds for fast-food consumption. The estimates pooled by country-income levels were significant in low-income countries (adjusted OR (aOR) = 1·30; 95 % CI 1·05, 1·60), lower middle-income countries (aOR = 1·15; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·29) and upper middle-income countries (aOR = 1·26; 95 % CI 1·07, 1·49), but not in high-income countries (aOR = 1·04; 95 % CI 0·88, 1·23). The mere co-occurrence of food insecurity and fast-food consumption is of public health importance. To tackle this issue, a strong governmental and societal approach is required to utilise effective methods as demonstrated in some high-income countries such as the implementation of food banks and the adoption of free school meals.
With the assimilation of satellite-based sea-ice thickness (SIT) data, the new SIT reanalysis from the Towards an Operational Prediction system for the North Atlantic European coastal Zones (TOPAZ4) was released from 2014 to 2018. Apart from assimilating sea-ice concentration and oceanic variables, TOPAZ4 further assimilates CS2SMOS SIT. In this study, the 5-year reanalysis is compared with CS2SMOS, the Pan-Arctic Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilating System (PIOMAS) and the Combined Model and Satellite Thickness (CMST). Moreover, we evaluate TOPAZ4 SIT with field observations from upward-looking sonar (ULS), ice mass-balance buoys, Operation IceBridge Quicklook and Sea State Ship-borne Observations. The results indicate TOPAZ4 well reproduces the spatial characteristics of the Arctic SIT distributions, with large differences with CS2SMOS/PIOMAS/CMST mainly restricted to the Atlantic Sector and to the month of September. TOPAZ4 shows thinner ice in March and April, especially to the north of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago with a mean bias of −0.30 m when compared to IceBridge. Besides, TOPAZ4 simulates thicker ice in the Beaufort Sea when compared to ULS, with a mean bias of 0.11 m all year round. The benefit from assimilating SIT data in TOPAZ4 is reflected in a 34% improvement in root mean square deviation.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
The thermal expansion coefficient (CTE) is a vital design parameter for reducing the thermal-stress-induced structural failure of electronic chips/devices. At the micro- and nano-scale, the typical size range of the components in chips/devices, the CTEs are probably different from that of the bulk materials, but an easy and accurate measurement method is still lacking. In this paper, we present a simple but effective method for determining linear CTEs of micro-scale materials only using the prevalent nanoindentation system equipped with a heating stage for precise temperature control. By holding a constant force on the sample surface, while heating the sample at a constant rate, we measure two height–temperature curves at two positions, respectively, which are close to each other but at different heights. The linear CTE is obtained by analyzing the difference of height change during heating. This method can be applied to study the size effect or surface effect of CTE of embedded micro-scale structures, aiding the failure analysis and structural design in the semiconductor industry.
Common vetch (Vicia sativa) is an important forage and green manure crop that is widely cultivated around the world. However, the large number of subspecies and accessions of common vetch has made taxonomic research on this species difficult. Pollen morphology data can provide important evidence in the study of plant phylogeny. Therefore, in this research, light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used to observe seven morphological traits of pollens from 22 common vetch accessions, and residual maximum likelihood and pattern analysis was conducted. The results showed that the pollen grains of the 22 accessions were all monad pollen and the polar view revealed three-lobed circular and triangular shapes, while the equatorial view mainly revealed an oblate shape; only one accession showed an oblate spherical shape. All accessions were 3-zonocolporate and the colpus length extended close to the poles. The polar axis length was (19.39 ± 0.97)–(42.12 ± 0.76) μm and the equatorial axis length was (35.97 ± 1.27)–(45.25 ± 0.81) μm. We found that qualitative traits of pollen shape, aperture polar view and ornamentation were highly stable. Among them, polar axis length, equatorial axis length and colpus length and width had significant differences among the accessions. The ratios of the equatorial and polar axes had significant differences among the subspecies. This trait information could be used for the classification and identification of common vetch accessions and subspecies.
The outbreak of COVID-19 generated severe emotional reactions, and restricted mobility was a crucial measure to reduce the spread of the virus. This study describes the changes in public emotional reactions and mobility patterns in the Chinese population during the COVID-19 outbreak.
We collected data on public emotional reactions in response to the outbreak through Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, between 1st January and 31st March 2020. Using anonymized location-tracking information, we analyzed the daily mobility patterns of approximately 90% of Sichuan residents.
There were three distinct phases of the emotional and behavioral reactions to the COVID-19 outbreak. The alarm phase (19th–26th January) was a restriction-free period, characterized by few new daily cases, but a large amount public negative emotions [the number of negative comments per Weibo post increased by 246.9 per day, 95% confidence interval (CI) 122.5–371.3], and a substantial increase in self-limiting mobility (from 45.6% to 54.5%, changing by 1.5% per day, 95% CI 0.7%–2.3%). The epidemic phase (27th January–15th February) exhibited rapidly increasing numbers of new daily cases, decreasing expression of negative emotions (a decrease of 27.3 negative comments per post per day, 95% CI −40.4 to −14.2), and a stabilized level of self-limiting mobility. The relief phase (16th February–31st March) had a steady decline in new daily cases and decreasing levels of negative emotion and self-limiting mobility.
During the COVID-19 outbreak in China, the public's emotional reaction was strongest before the actual peak of the outbreak and declined thereafter. The change in human mobility patterns occurred before the implementation of restriction orders, suggesting a possible link between emotion and behavior.
β-Glucan has been reported for its health benefits on blood lipids in hypercholesterolaemic individuals for years. However, people have paid little attention to the effects of β-glucan in populations with mild hypercholesterolaemia as well as the various delivering matrices. Our objective was to perform a meta-analysis to analyse the effects of β-glucan with different delivering matrices in mildly hypercholesterolaemic individuals. After conducting a comprehensive search in Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane Library, a total of twenty-one randomised controlled trials involving 1120 participants were identified to measure the pooled effect. The overall results indicated that consuming a dose of ≥3 g/d of β-glucan for at least 3 weeks could significantly reduce total cholesterol (TC) (−0·27 mmol/l, 95 % CI −0·33, −0·21, P < 0·001) and LDL-cholesterol (−0·26 mmol/l, 95% CI −0·32, −0·20, P < 0·001) compared with the control group in mildly hypercholesterolaemic individuals, while no significant difference was observed in TAG (−0·03 mmol/l, 95% CI −0·11, 0·06, P = 0·521) and HDL-cholesterol (0·01 mmol/l, 95% CI −0·03, 0·04, P = 0·777). There was evidence for modest unexplained heterogeneity in the meta-analysis. In conclusion, β-glucan can significantly reduce risk factors like TC and LDL-cholesterol for CVD in mildly hypercholesterolaemic individuals; furthermore, it appears that the effects of food matrices with both ‘solid products’ and ‘liquid products’ where β-glucan was incorporated into were ranked as the best way to exert its beneficial properties, while ‘liquid’ and ‘solid’ products were ranked as the second and third positions, respectively.
Human infections with avian influenza A (H7N9) virus are associated with exposure to poultry and live poultry markets, but the evidence of person-to-person transmission remains limited. This study reports a suspected person-to-person transmission of H7N9 virus, and explores what factors influenced this transmission.
We interviewed 2 patients with H7N9 infection and their family members as well as health-care workers. Samples from the patients and environments were tested by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.
The index patient became ill 5 to 6 days after his last exposure to the poultry bought in the market of Weimiao town. The second patient, the sister of the index patient, who had sustained intensive and unprotected close contact with the index patient, had no exposure to poultry. This study documents that the H7N9 virus was transmitted directly from the index patient to his sister.
Our findings suggest that person-to-person transmission may be associated with sustained close contact with the patient during his onset of early stage, when the H7N9 viral shedding increases sharply.
An effective method that combines solvent extraction with ultrasonic irradiation was developed to recycle spent bleaching clay (SBC) from modern oil refinery plants. The principle of ‘waste to treasure’ was used to achieve the regenerated SBC. Various characterization techniques were applied to analyse and compare regenerated SBC and commercial bleaching clay (CBC). The structure of the regenerated SBC did not show any obvious change compared with that of CBC, but the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller-specific surface area (SBET) and pore-volume values of the regenerated SBC increased. At the same time, the parameters of the regenerated SBC reached national standards. In addition, the samples were used as low-cost adsorbents for the adsorption of methylene blue (MB) from water. The regenerated SBC had greater adsorption efficiency and cycle performance for MB than CBC. Hence, the SBC may be treated by ultrasonic radiation combined with extraction, and the regenerated SBC has better properties than CBC. This work opens up a new approach to the regeneration and utilization of SBC and raises the potential of ultrasonic irradiation as an environmentally friendly method to be applied to various regeneration systems.
To determine whether a potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) surface mitigated by micro-milling would potentially threaten downstream optics, we calculated the light-field modulation based on angular spectrum diffraction theory, and performed a laser damage test on downstream fused silica. The results showed that the downstream light intensification caused by a Gaussian mitigation pit of 800 μm width and 10 μm depth reached a peak value near the KDP rear surface, decreased sharply afterward, and eventually kept stable with the increase in downstream distance. The solved peak value of light intensification exceeded 6 in a range 8–19 mm downstream from the KDP rear surface, which is the most dangerous for downstream optics. Laser damage sites were then induced on the fused silica surface in subsequent laser damage tests. When the distance downstream was greater than 44 mm with a downstream light intensification of less than 3, there were no potential damage threats to downstream optics. The study proves that a mitigated KDP surface can cause laser damage to downstream optical components, to which attention should be paid in an actual application. Through this work, we find that the current manufacturing process and the mitigation index still need to be improved. The research methods and calculation models are also of great reference significance for related studies like optics mitigation and laser damage.
Meditation is a type of mental training commonly applied in clinical settings and also practiced for general well-being. Brain functional connectivity (FC) patterns associated with meditation have revealed its brain mechanisms. However, the variety of FC methods applied has made it difficult to identify brain communication patterns associated with meditation. Here we carried out a coordinate-based meta-analysis to get preliminary evidence of meditation effects on changing brain network interactions. Fourteen seed-based, voxel-wise FC studies reported in 13 publications were reviewed; 10 studies with seeds in the default mode network (DMN) were meta-analyzed. Seed coordinates and the effect sizes in statistically significant regions were extracted, based on 170 subjects in meditation groups and 163 subjects in control groups. Seed-based d-mapping was used to analyze meditation versus control FC differences with DMN seeds. Meditation was associated with increased connectivity within DMN and between DMN and somatomotor network and with decreased connectivity between DMN and frontoparietal network (FPN) as well as ventral attention network (VAN). The pattern of decreased within-DMN FC and increased between-network FC (FPN and DAN with DMN) was more robust in highly experienced meditators compared to less experienced individuals. The identified neural network interactions may also promote meditation’s effectiveness in clinical interventions for treating physical and mental disorders.