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Due to the lack of research between the inner layers in the structure of colonic mucous and the metabolism of fatty acid in the constipation model, we aim to determine the changes in the mucous phenotype of the colonic glycocalyx and the microbial community structure following treatment with Rhubarb extract in our research. The constipation and treatment models are generated using adult male C57BL/6N mice. We perform light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to detect a Muc2-rich inner mucus layer attached to mice colon under different conditions. In addition, 16S rDNA sequencing is performed to examine the intestinal flora. According to TEM images, we demonstrate that Rhubarb can promote mucin secretion and find direct evidence of dendritic structure-linked mucus structures with its assembly into a lamellar network in a pore size distribution in the isolated colon section. Moreover, the diversity of intestinal flora has noticeable changes in constipated mice. The present study characterizes a dendritic structure and persistent cross-links have significant changes accompanied by the alteration of intestinal flora in feces in models of constipation and pretreatment with Rhubarb extract.
Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is a type of behavioural addictions. One of the key features of addiction is the excessive exposure to addictive objectives (e.g. drugs) reduces the sensitivity of the brain reward system to daily rewards (e.g. money). This is thought to be mediated via the signals expressed as dopaminergic reward prediction error (RPE). Emerging evidence highlights blunted RPE signals in drug addictions. However, no study has examined whether IGD also involves alterations in RPE signals that are observed in other types of addictions.
To fill this gap, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 45 IGD and 42 healthy controls (HCs) during a reward-related prediction-error task and utilised a psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis to characterise the underlying neural correlates of RPE and related functional connectivity.
Relative to HCs, IGD individuals showed impaired reinforcement learning, blunted RPE signals in multiple regions of the brain reward system, including the right caudate, left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Moreover, the PPI analysis revealed a pattern of hyperconnectivity between the right caudate, right putamen, bilateral DLPFC, and right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) in the IGD group. Finally, linear regression suggested that the connection between the right DLPFC and right dACC could significantly predict the variation of RPE signals in the left OFC.
These results highlight disrupted RPE signalling and hyperconnectivity between regions of the brain reward system in IGD. Reinforcement learning deficits may be crucial underlying characteristics of IGD pathophysiology.
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to over 213 countries and territories. We sought to describe the clinical features of fatalities in patients with severe COVID-19.
We conducted an Internet-based retrospective cohort study through retrieving the clinical information of 100 COVID-19 deaths from nonduplicating incidental reports in Chinese provincial and other governmental websites between January 23 and March 10, 2020.
Approximately 6 of 10 COVID-19 deaths were males (64.0%). The average age was 70.7 ± 13.5 y, and 84% of patients were elderly (over age 60 y). The mean duration from admission to diagnosis was 2.2 ± 3.8 d (median: 1 d). The mean duration from diagnosis to death was 9.9 ± 7.0 d (median: 9 d). Approximately 3 of 4 cases (76.0%) were complicated by 1 or more chronic diseases, including hypertension (41.0%), diabetes (29.0%) and coronary heart disease (27.0%), respiratory disorders (23.0%), and cerebrovascular disease (12.0%). Fever (46.0%), cough (33.0%), and shortness of breath (9.0%) were the most common first symptoms. Multiple organ failure (67.9%), circulatory failure (20.2%), and respiratory failure (11.9%) are the top 3 direct causes of death.
COVID-19 deaths are mainly elderly and patients with chronic diseases especially cardiovascular disorders and diabetes. Multiple organ failure is the most common direct cause of death.
In traditional Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms based on Extended Kalman Filtering (EKF-SLAM), the uncertainty of state estimation will increase rapidly with the development of the exploration process and the increase of map area. Likewise, the computational complexity of the EKF-SLAM is proportional to the square of the number of feature points contained in the state variables in a single filtering process. A new SLAM algorithm combining the local submaps and the body-fixed coordinates of the rover is presented in this paper. The algorithm can reduce the computational complexity and enhance computational speed in consideration of the processing capability of the onboard computer. Due to the introduction of local submaps, the algorithm represented in this paper is able to reduce the number of feature points contained in the state variables in each single filtering process. Therefore, the algorithm could reduce the computational complexity and improve the computational speed. In addition, rover body-fixed SLAM could improve the navigation accuracy of a rover and decrease the cumulative linearization error by coordinates transformation during the update process, which is shown in the simulation results.
The Weibel instability and the induced magnetic field are of great importance for both astrophysics and inertial confinement fusion. Because of the stochasticity of this magnetic field, its main wavelength and mean strength, which are key characteristics of the Weibel instability, are still unobtainable experimentally. In this paper, a theoretical model based on the autocorrelation tensor shows that in proton radiography of the Weibel-instability-induced magnetic field, the proton flux density on the detection plane can be related to the energy spectrum of the magnetic field. It allows us to extract the main wavelength and mean strength of the two-dimensionally isotropic and stochastic magnetic field directly from proton radiography for the first time. Numerical calculations are conducted to verify our theory and show good consistency between pre-set values and the results extracted from proton radiography.
SCN5A encodes sodium-channel α-subunit Nav1.5. The mutations of SCN5A can lead to hereditary cardiac arrhythmias such as the long-QT syndrome type 3 and Brugada syndrome. Here we sought to identify novel mutations in a family with arrhythmia.
Genomic DNA was isolated from blood of the proband, who was diagnosed with atrial flutter. Illumina Hiseq 2000 whole-exome sequencing was performed and an arrhythmia-related gene-filtering strategy was used to analyse the pathogenic genes. Sanger sequencing was applied to verify the mutation co-segregated in the family.
Results and conclusions
A novel missense mutation in SCN5A (C335R) was identified, and this mutation co-segregated within the affected family members. This missense mutation was predicted to result in amplitude reduction in peak Na+ current, further leading to channel protein dysfunction. Our study expands the spectrum of SCN5A mutations and contributes to genetic counselling of families with arrhythmia.
Disclosing the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to a patient is controversial. There is significant stigma associated with a diagnosis of AD or dementia in China, but the attitude of the society toward disclosure of such a diagnosis had not been formally evaluated prior to our study. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the attitude toward disclosing an AD diagnosis to patients in China with cognitive impairment from their caregivers, and the factors that may affect their attitude.
We designed a 17-item questionnaire and administered this questionnaire to caregivers, who accompanied patients with cognitive impairment or dementia in three major hospitals in Shanghai, China. The caregiver's attitude toward disclosing the diagnosis of AD as evaluated by the questionnaire was compared to that of disclosing the diagnosis of terminal cancer.
A majority (95.7%) of the 175 interviewed participants (mean 14.2 years of education received) wished to know their own diagnosis if they were diagnosed with AD, and 97.6% preferred the doctor to tell their family members if they were diagnosed with AD. If a family member of the participants suffered from AD, 82.9% preferred to have the diagnosis disclosed to the patient. “Cognitive impairment” was the most accepted term by caregivers to disclose AD diagnosis in Chinese.
This study suggests most of the well-educated individuals in a Chinese urban area favored disclosing the diagnosis when they or their family members were diagnosed with AD.
Flavonoids may play an important role in the protective effects of vegetables, fruits and tea against colorectal cancer. However, associations between flavonoids and colorectal cancer risk are inconsistent, and a few studies have evaluated the effect of flavonoids from different dietary sources separately. This study aimed to evaluate associations of flavonoids intake from different dietary sources with colorectal cancer risk in a Chinese population. From July 2010 to December 2015, 1632 eligible colorectal cancer cases and 1632 frequency-matched controls (age and sex) completed in-person interviews. A validated FFQ was used to estimate dietary flavonoids intake. Multivariate logistical regression models were used to calculate the OR and 95 % CI of colorectal cancer risk after adjusting for various confounders. No significant association was found between total flavonoids and colorectal cancer risk, with an adjusted OR of 1·06 (95 % CI 0·85, 1·32) comparing the highest with the lowest quartile. Anthocyanidins, flavanones and flavones intakes from total diet were found to be inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk. Compared with the lowest quartile, the adjusted OR for the highest quartile were 0·80 (95 % CI 0·64, 1·00) for anthocyanidins, 0·28 (95 % CI 0·22, 0·36) for flavanones and 0·54 (95 % CI 0·43, 0·67) for flavones. All subclasses of flavonoids from vegetables and fruits were inversely associated with colorectal cancer. However, no significant association was found between tea flavonoids and colorectal cancer risk. These data indicate that specific flavonoids, specifically flavonoids from vegetables and fruits, may be linked with the reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
Salivary α-amylase (sAA) is responsible for the ‘pre-digestion’ of starch in the oral cavity and accounts for up to 50 % of salivary protein in human saliva. An accumulating body of literature suggests that sAA is of nutritional importance; however, it is still not clear how sAA is related to individual's nutritional status. Although copy number variations (CNV) of the salivary amylase gene (AMY1) are associated with variation in sAA levels, a significant amount of sAA variation is not explained by AMY1 CNV. To measure sAA responses to gustatory stimulation with citric acid, we used sAA ratio (the ratio of stimulated sAA levels to those of resting sAA) and investigated acute sAA responses to citric acid in children with normal (Normal-BMI, n 22) and low (Low-BMI, n 21) BMI. The AMY1 gene copy number was determined by quantitative PCR. We, for the first time, demonstrated attenuated acute sAA responses (decreased sAA ratio) to gustatory stimulation in Low-BMI (thinness grade 3) children compared with the Normal-BMI children, which suggest that sAA responses to gustatory stimulation may be of nutritional importance. However, child's nutritional status was not directly related to their resting or stimulated sAA levels, and it was not associated with AMY1 gene copy number. Finally, AMY1 CNV might influence, but did not eventually determine, sAA levels in children.
Nine prepubertal gilts (JunMu No. 1) were randomly allocated into three groups (n=3) and fed with a high-energy diet (Group H), a low-energy diet (Group L), or a moderate-energy diet (Group M) for 14 days. Free access to water was provided throughout the research period. Ovaries and uteri were collected after the energy treatments, and processed for determination of the absolute quantities of insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mRNA, using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The expression of IGF-1R and EGFR mRNA in ovaries and uteri was significantly ranked as: Group H>Group M>Group L (P<0.05). This result suggests that high energy intake markedly enhanced the ovarian and uterine expression of IGF-1R and EGFR in prepubertal gilts, whereas insufficient energy intake markedly inhibited such expression. IGF-1R and EGFR may be involved in mediating the effects of energy intake on the development of the reproductive system in prepubertal gilts.
A real-time fluorescent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was established to detect Streptococcus suis serotype 2. Primers and Taqman probe were designed according to cps2I (capsular polysaccharide 2I) gene using bio-software Primer Express2.0 and Oligo6.0. An 81 bp DNA fragment was amplified from S. suis serotype 2 genomic DNA, and the PCR product was cloned into pMD18-T vector and confirmed by DNA sequencing. The real-time fluorescent PCR amplification curve on a Lightcycler® showed that the method is accurate and specific for S. suis serotype 2 amplification, whereas reference bacteria S. suis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella sp., Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella sp., Listeria monocytogenes strains and a blank control were all negative. Tenfold serial dilutions of S. suis serotype 2 were used to measure the sensitivity of real-time fluorescent PCR: ten copies of bacteria could be detected in one PCR reaction and only 30 min were required for a single test. To examine the stability of the real-time fluorescent PCR, the positive control was detected at two different times. The threshold cycle (Ct) values showed no statistical differences (P>0.05). Thus, this method was stable and repeatable. These results indicate that this real-time fluorescent PCR technique could be applied for epidemic supervision in entry–exit inspection and quarantine.
To increase our understanding of the relationships of trunk fat mass (FMtrunk) and four anthropometric indices in Chinese males, 1090 males aged 20–40 years were randomly recruited from the city of Changsha, China. Waist circumference (WC) and hip circumference (HC) were measured using standardized equipment, and three other anthropometric indices of BMI, waist:hip ratio (WHR) and conicity index (CoI) were calculated using weight, height, HC and WC. FMtrunk (in kg) was measured using a Hologic QDR 4500 W dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanner. There was an increasing trend of FMtrunk, %FMtrunk (percentage of FMtrunk) and BMI, WC, WHR, CoI in successively older age groups (e.g. the mean FMtrunk values were 4·63 (sd 2·58), 5·39 (sd 2·74), 5·93 (sd 2·82), 6·57 (sd 2·94) in four 5-year age groups, respectively). FMtrunk and %FMtrunk were significantly correlated with four anthropometric indices with the Pearson's correlation coefficients ranging from 0·25 to 0·86. Principal component analysis was performed to form three principal components that interpreted over 99·5% of the total variation of four related anthropometric indices in all age groups, with over 65% of the total variation accounted by principal component 1. Multiple regression analyses showed that three principal components explained a greater variance (R2 70·0–80·1%) in FMtrunk than did BMI or WC alone (R2 57·8–74·1%). The present results suggest that there is an increasing trend of FMtrunk and four anthropometric indices in successively older age groups; that age has important effects on the relationships of FMtrunk and studied anthropometric indices; and that the accuracy of predicting FMtrunk using four anthropometric indices is higher than using BMI or WC alone.
Dense lossy AlN–SiC composites doped with Y2O3 were fabricated by spark plasma sintering (SPS). Both the microstructure and the dielectric properties are different from those of hot-pressed samples. Microstructure analysis reveals little solid solution (AlN)x(SiC)1-x is formed. Scanning evanescent microwave microscopy images show that the materials by SPS exhibit large contrast in dielectric permittivity, whereas the hot-pressed materials show very mild fluctuation in dielectric permittivity over the samples. The results indicate that AlN–SiC composites fabricated by SPS can be treated approximately as a mechanical mixture of AlN and SiC when estimating complex permittivity of the composite in the microwave range. The complex permittivity of the composites with different SiC contents can be phenomenologically predicted by effective medium approximation.
Two pairs of nested primers were derived from the 5′ flanking sequence of the bovine SRY gene to serve as male-specific sexing primers, which were used for PCR-based sex determination of bovine embryos in combination with casein protein gene primers as internal control. At the same time, methods of DNA extraction from bovine embryo cells were established and the sensitivity of nested PCR and normal PCR was studied for developing a technique of sex determination of bovine embryos adapted for practical use. Results showed that the primers used in the study were male-specific and all primers were bovine-specific. Boiling and freeze–thawing were used for DNA extraction from embryo cells. Amplification products were obtained with only 10 cells by nested PCR, so this system was used for the sex determination of bovine embryos. The sex of 10 Holstein cow embryos was identified and the results were confirmed upon birth of the calves.
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