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Shifts in the maternal gut microbiota have been implicated in the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Understanding the interaction between gut microbiota and host glucose metabolism will provide a new target of prediction and treatment. In this nested case-control study, we aimed to investigate the causal effects of gut microbiota from GDM patients on the glucose metabolism of germ-free (GF) mice. Stool and peripheral blood samples, as well as clinical information, were collected from 45 GDM patients and 45 healthy controls (matched by age and prepregnancy body mass index (BMI)) in the first and second trimester. Gut microbiota profiles were explored by next-generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and inflammatory factors in peripheral blood were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Fecal samples from GDM and non-GDM donors were transferred to GF mice. The gut microbiota of women with GDM showed reduced richness, specifically decreased Bacteroides and Akkermansia, as well as increased Faecalibacterium. The relative abundance of Akkermansia was negatively associated with blood glucose levels, and the relative abundance of Faecalibacterium was positively related to inflammatory factor concentrations. The transfer of fecal microbiota from GDM and non-GDM donors to GF mice resulted in different gut microbiota colonization patterns, and hyperglycemia was induced in mice that received GDM donor microbiota. These results suggested that the shifting pattern of gut microbiota in GDM patients contributed to disease pathogenesis.
The flow topology and leading-edge vortex (LEV) formation and detachment mechanism of a pitching and plunging flat plate are experimentally investigated in this study. Focus is placed on three novel aspects. First, to examine the differences between start-up and cyclic motions, the flow fields of one-shot experiments are compared to cyclic cases. The results show that the start cycle has very limited effect on the cyclic LEV development and flow topology evolution. Next, the influence of the maximum effective angle of attack on the LEV development in cyclic motion is introduced. Different secondary structures that lead to the detachment of LEV are found with variation of maximum effective angle of attack. Depending on the leading-edge shear-layer angle, three different flow topologies develop on the plate: quasi-steady development, boundary-layer eruption and secondary vortex formation. Which of these three topological scenarios occurs depends entirely on the maximum effective angle of attack. A vortex Reynolds number based on the transition time of the leading-edge shear-layer angle is defined to quantitatively assess which of the flow topologies will appear. Finally, a simplified model to describe the observed LEV growth is proposed, based on the assumptions that the velocity is constant at the outer vortex boundary and that the vortex boundary is a circular arc starting from the leading edge. The LEV circulation growth is found to increase linearly with the combination of the effective inflow velocity and the effective angle of attack.
This study aimed to identify clinical features for prognosing mortality risk using machine-learning methods in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A retrospective study of the inpatients with COVID-19 admitted from 15 January to 15 March 2020 in Wuhan is reported. The data of symptoms, comorbidity, demographic, vital sign, CT scans results and laboratory test results on admission were collected. Machine-learning methods (Random Forest and XGboost) were used to rank clinical features for mortality risk. Multivariate logistic regression models were applied to identify clinical features with statistical significance. The predictors of mortality were lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), C-reactive protein (CRP) and age based on 500 bootstrapped samples. A multivariate logistic regression model was formed to predict mortality 292 in-sample patients with area under the receiver operating characteristics (AUROC) of 0.9521, which was better than CURB-65 (AUROC of 0.8501) and the machine-learning-based model (AUROC of 0.4530). An out-sample data set of 13 patients was further tested to show our model (AUROC of 0.6061) was also better than CURB-65 (AUROC of 0.4608) and the machine-learning-based model (AUROC of 0.2292). LDH, CRP and age can be used to identify severe patients with COVID-19 on hospital admission.
Three-dimensional flow fields of a rectangular synthetic jet with aspect ratio of 3 and its interaction with a laminar cross-flow are measured using time-resolved tomographic particle image velocimetry. The synthetic-jet to free-stream velocity ratio is fixed at 1, and two orifice orientations, normal to (spanwise configuration) and aligned with (streamwise configuration) the cross-flow direction, respectively, are investigated. The flow scenarios are composed of a tilted vortex ring, a secondary trailing vortex and a tertiary near-wall vortex. Compared to previous results for circular cases, the legs of the trailing structures are found to be jointed in the spanwise direction by two shear-layer vortices at different wall-normal heights. In addition, the near-wall vortex is a crescent-shaped spanwise vortex. For the first time, as the peculiar process of non-circular vortex rings in quiescent condition, axis switching is validated to exist in the cross-flow. Associated with axis switching, the spanwise case exhibits interaction between the leeward vortex of the vortex ring and the downstream shear-layer vortex, which causes slower penetration and recovery of vortex ring tilting, but faster jet transition. Furthermore, the trailing structures and vortex ring are weakened, leading to lower peaks of the velocity deficit and overshoot in the jet region than those for the streamwise case. On the other hand, the spanwise case can induce a stronger near-wall vortex, which transfers more momentum and initial disturbance into the boundary layer. Consequently, the spanwise case yields larger velocity gradient and velocity fluctuation peak inside the boundary layer with a lower shape factor, suggesting greater efficiency of promoting boundary-layer transition.
Flavonoid-rich foods have shown a beneficial effect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in short-term randomised trials. It is uncertain whether the usual dietary intake of flavonoids may benefit patients with NAFLD. The present study evaluated the association between the usual intake of flavonoids and the risk of progression in NAFLD. The prospective study included 2694 adults from the Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study. Face-to-face interviews using a seventy-nine-item FFQ were administered to assess habitual dietary flavonoid intake, while abdominal ultrasonography was conducted to evaluate the presence and degree of NAFLD, with measurements conducted 3 years apart. After adjustment for potential confounders, higher flavonoid intakes were gradely associated with reduced risks of worsen NAFLD status. The relative risks of worsening (v. non-worsening) NAFLD in the highest (v. lowest) quintile were 0·71 (95 % CI 0·54, 0·93) for total flavonoids, 0·74 (95 % CI 0·57, 0·95) for flavanones, 0·74 (95 % CI 0·56, 0·96) for flavan-3-ols, 0·90 (95 % CI 0·68, 1·18) for flavonols, 0·73 (95 % CI 0·56, 0·93) for flavones, 0·79 (95 % CI 0·61, 1·02) for isoflavones and 0·74 (95 % CI 0·57, 0·96) for anthocyanins. An L-shaped relationship was observed between total flavonoid intake and the risk of NAFLD progression. Path analyses showed that the association between flavonoids and NAFLD progression was mediated by decreases in serum cholesterol and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. This prospective study showed that higher flavonoid intake was associated with a lower risk of NAFLD progression in the elderly overweight/obese Chinese population.
Birth weight influences not only brain development, but also mental health outcomes, including depression, but the underlying mechanism is unclear.
The phenotypic data of 12,872–91,009 participants (59.18–63.38% women) from UK Biobank were included to test the associations between the birth weight, depression, and brain volumes through the linear and logistic regression models. As birth weight is highly heritable, the polygenic risk scores (PRSs) of birth weight were calculated from the UK Biobank cohort (154,539 participants, 56.90% women) to estimate the effect of birth weight-related genetic variation on the development of depression and brain volumes. Finally, the mediation analyses of step approach and mediation analysis were used to estimate the role of brain volumes in the association between birth weight and depression. All analyses were conducted sex stratified to assess sex-specific role in the associations.
We observed associations between birth weight and depression (odds ratio [OR] = 0.968, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.957–0.979, p = 2.29 × 10−6). Positive associations were observed between birth weight and brain volumes, such as gray matter (B = 0.131, p = 3.51 × 10−74) and white matter (B = 0.129, p = 1.67 × 10−74). Depression was also associated with brain volume, such as left thalamus (OR = 0.891, 95% CI = 0.850–0.933, p = 4.46 × 10−5) and right thalamus (OR = 0.884, 95% CI = 0.841–0.928, p = 2.67 × 10−5). Additionally, significant mediation effects of brain volume were found for the associations between birth weight and depression through steps approach and mediation analysis, such as gray matter (B = –0.220, p = 0.020) and right thalamus (B = –0.207, p = 0.014).
Our results showed the associations among birth weight, depression, and brain volumes, and the mediation effect of brain volumes also provide evidence for the sex-specific of associations.
This paper proposes a set of novel indices for evaluating the kinematic performance of a 3-RRS (R and S denote revolute and spherical joint respectively, R denotes active joint.), parallel mechanism whose translational and rotational movements are strongly coupled. First, the indices are formulated using the decoupled overall Jacobian matrix, which is developed using coordinate transformation. Then, the influences of the homogeneous dimensionless parameters on these indices are investigated. In addition, the dimension synthesis of the 3-RRS parallel mechanism is carried out by minimizing the mean value of the kinematic performance indices and their standard deviation. The results demonstrate that the established approach facilitates good global kinematic performance of the parallel mechanism.
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.
Accumulating studies have found structural and functional abnormalities of the striatum in bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, changes in intrinsic brain functional connectivity dynamics of striato-cortical circuitry have not been investigated in BD and MDD. This study aimed to investigate the shared and specific patterns of dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) variability of striato-cortical circuitry in BD and MDD.
Brain resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from 128 patients with unmedicated BD II (current episode depressed), 140 patients with unmedicated MDD, and 132 healthy controls (HCs). Six pairs of striatum seed regions were selected: the ventral striatum inferior (VSi) and the ventral striatum superior (VSs), the dorsal-caudal putamen (DCP), the dorsal-rostral putamen (DRP), and the dorsal caudate and the ventral-rostral putamen (VRP). The sliding-window analysis was used to evaluate dFC for each seed.
Both BD II and MDD exhibited increased dFC variability between the left DRP and the left supplementary motor area, and between the right VRP and the right inferior parietal lobule. The BD II had specific increased dFC variability between the right DCP and the left precentral gyrus compared with MDD and HCs. The MDD had increased dFC variability between the left VSi and the left medial prefrontal cortex compared with BD II and HCs.
The patients with BD and MDD shared common dFC alteration in the dorsal striatal-sensorimotor and ventral striatal-cognitive circuitries. The patients with MDD had specific dFC alteration in the ventral striatal-affective circuitry.
Recently, the asymptotic mean value of the height for a birth-and-death process is given in Videla [Videla, L.A. (2020)]. We consider the asymptotic variance of the height in the case when the number of states tends to infinity. Further, we prove that the heights exhibit a cutoff phenomenon and that the normalized height converges to a degenerate distribution.
The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) guidelines recommend the Royal Free Hospital-Nutritional Prioritizing Tool (RFH-NPT) to identify malnutrition risk in patients with liver disease. However, little is known about the application of the RFH-NPT to screen for the risk of malnutrition in China, where patients primarily suffer from hepatitis virus-related cirrhosis. A total of 155 cirrhosis patients without liver cancer or uncontrolled co-morbid illness were enrolled in this prospective study. We administered the Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002), RFH-NPT, Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) and Liver Disease Undernutrition Screening Tool (LDUST) to the patients within 24 h after admission and performed follow-up observations for 1·5 years. The RFH-NPT and NRS-2002 had higher sensitivities (64·8 and 52·4 %) and specificities (60 and 70 %) than the other tools with regard to screening for malnutrition risk in cirrhotic patients. The prevalence of nutritional risk was higher under the use of the RFH-NPT against the NRS-2002 (63 v. 51 %). The RFH-NPT tended more easily to detect malnutrition risk in patients with advanced Child–Pugh classes (B and C) and lower Model for End-stage Liver Disease scores (<15) compared with NRS-2002. RFH-NPT score was an independent predictive factor for mortality. Patients identified as being at high malnutrition risk with the RFH-NPT had a higher mortality rate than those at low risk; the same result was not obtained with the NRS-2002. Therefore, we suggest that using the RFH-NPT improves the ability of clinicians to predict malnutrition risk in patients with cirrhosis primarily caused by hepatitis virus infection at an earlier stage.
Isolated congenital tricuspid regurgitation other than Ebstein’s anomaly was rare especially for children. The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics and to assess the results of tricuspid valvuloplasty for children with isolated tricuspid regurgitation.
From January 2010 to June 2019, 10 consecutive patients with isolated tricuspid regurgitation who were unresponsive to drug therapy underwent tricuspid valvuloplasty in our hospital. Patients’ clinical data were analysed retrospectively.
Mean age at operation was 48.5 ± 31.0 (range: 9–106) months and mean weight at operation was 16.1 ± 6.9 (range: 8.6–33.0) kg. All patients presented severe isolated tricuspid regurgitation. According to pathological lesions, the main causes accounted for chordae tendinea rupture (3/10), leaflet cleft (2/10), mal-connected chordal tendinea to leaflets (2/10), elongated chordae (1/10) and chordae absent (1/10), and severe anterior leaflet dysplasia (1/10). Individualised tricuspid valvuloplasty was adapted to all of them successfully. Post-operative echocardiography showed no tricuspid regurgitation in two patients and mild regurgitation in eight patients. The cardiothoracic ratios on their chest roentgenograms decreased from 0.59 ± 0.05 to 0.54 ± 0.05. At the latest follow-up (50.4 ± 47.2 months), echocardiography showed that mild to moderate tricuspid regurgitation in seven patients, moderate tricuspid regurgitation in three patients, and no patient with severe tricuspid regurgitation. All patients were in NYHA functional class I.
For patients with isolated tricuspid regurgitation who were not well responsive to drug therapy, individualised tricuspid valve repair can achieve an excellent result.
The clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 were analysed to determine the factors influencing the prognosis and virus shedding time to facilitate early detection of disease progression. Logistic regression analysis was used to explore the relationships among prognosis, clinical characteristics and laboratory indexes. The predictive value of this model was assessed with receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, calibration and internal validation. The viral shedding duration was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method, and the prognostic factors were analysed by univariate log-rank analysis and the Cox proportional hazards model. A retrospective study was carried out with patients with COVID-19 in Tianjin, China. A total of 185 patients were included, 27 (14.59%) of whom were severely ill at the time of discharge and three (1.6%) of whom died. Our findings demonstrate that patients with an advanced age, diabetes, a low PaO2/FiO2 value and delayed treatment should be carefully monitored for disease progression to reduce the incidence of severe disease. Hypoproteinaemia and the fever duration warrant special attention. Timely interventions in symptomatic patients and a time from symptom onset to treatment <4 days can shorten the duration of viral shedding.
During pulsar navigation, the high-frequency noise carried by the pulsar profile signal reduces the accuracy of the pulse TOA (Time of Arrival) estimation. At present, the main method to remove signal noise by using wavelet transform is to redesign the function of the threshold and level of wavelet transform. However, the signal-to-noise ratio and other indicators of the filtered signal need to be further optimised, so a more appropriate wavelet basis needs to be designed. This paper proposes a wavelet basis design method based on frequency domain analysis to improve the denoising effect of pulsar signals. This method first analyses the pulsar contour signal in the frequency domain and then designs a Crab pulsar wavelet basis (CPn, where n represents the wavelet basis length) based on its frequency domain characteristics. In order to improve the real-time performance of the algorithm, a wavelet lifting scheme is implemented. Through simulation, this method analyses the pulsar contour signal data at home and abroad. Results show the signal-to-noise ratio can be increased by 4 dB, the mean square error is reduced by 61% and the peak error is reduced by 45%. Therefore, this method has better filtering effect.
Leg weakness (LW) issues are a great concern for pig breeding industry. And it also has a serious impact on animal welfare. To dissect the genetic architecture of limb-and-hoof firmness in commercial pigs, a genome-wide association study was conducted on bone mineral density (BMD) in three sow populations, including Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire. The BMD data were obtained by ultrasound technology from 812 pigs (including Duroc 115, Landrace 243 and Yorkshire 454). In addition, all pigs were genotyped using genome-by-sequencing and a total of 224 162 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained. After quality control, 218 141 SNPs were used for subsequent genome-wide association analysis. Nine significant associations were identified on chromosomes 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 18 that passed Bonferroni correction threshold of 0.05/(total SNP numbers). The most significant locus that associated with BMD (P value = 1.92e−14) was detected at approximately 41.7 Mb on SSC6 (SSC stands for Sus scrofa chromosome). CUL7, PTK7, SRF, VEGFA, RHEB, PRKAR1A and TPO that are located near the lead SNP of significant loci were highlighted as functionally plausible candidate genes for sow limb-and-hoof firmness. Moreover, we also applied a new method to measure the BMD data of pigs by ultrasound technology. The results provide an insight into the genetic architecture of LW and can also help to improve animal welfare in pigs.
Distinguished by a marked combination of high strength and high fracture toughness, 18Ni-300 maraging steel (MS) is widely used for intricate tool and die applications. MS is also amenable to the powder bed fusion additive manufacturing process, providing unique opportunities to make small features and incorporate cooling channels in molds. In this study, tensile test samples were fabricated using selective laser melting to investigate the effects of built height and orientations on the evolution of the microstructure and the mechanical properties of the samples. The microstructure of the as-fabricated samples consists of the primary α-martensite phase and fine cellular microstructure (~0.66–0.83 μm) with the retained austenite γ-phase aggregated at the boundaries of the cells, resulting in an enhanced mechanical performance compared with traditional counterparts under the same condition (without post-heat treatments). Random grain orientations with weak textures are revealed in all samples. The XY-built samples display better tensile performance when compared to the Z-built samples due to the fine grain sizes and the retained γ phase. The bottom of the Z-built sample exhibits a higher hardness than other parts of the sample, which could be attributed to its finer cellular structure.
To improve speech emotion recognition, a U-acoustic words emotion dictionary (AWED) features model is proposed based on an AWED. The method models emotional information from acoustic words level in different emotion classes. The top-list words in each emotion are selected to generate the AWED vector. Then, the U-AWED model is constructed by combining utterance-level acoustic features with the AWED features. Support vector machine and convolutional neural network are employed as the classifiers in our experiment. The results show that our proposed method in four tasks of emotion classification all provides significant improvement in unweighted average recall.
Bile acids (BA) have emerged as signalling molecules regulating intestinal physiology. The importance of intestinal microbiota in production of secondary BA, for example, lithocholic acid (LCA) which impairs enterocyte proliferation and permeability, triggered us to determine the effects of oral probiotics on intestinal BA metabolism. Piglets were weaned at 28 d of age and allocated into control (CON, n 14) or probiotic (PRO, n 14) group fed 50 mg of Lactobacillus plantarum daily, and gut microbiota and BA profile were determined. To test the potential interaction of LCA with bacteria endotoxins in inducing damage of enterocytes, IPEC-J2 cells were treated with LCA, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and LCA + LPS and expressions of genes related to inflammation, antioxidant capacity and nutrient transport were determined. Compared with the CON group, the PRO group showed lower total LCA level in the ileum and higher relative abundance of the Lactobacillus genus in faeces. In contrast, the relative abundances of Bacteroides, Clostridium_sensu_stricto_1, Parabacteroides and Ruminococcus_1, important bacteria genera in BA biotransformation, were all lower in the PRO than in the CON group. Moreover, PRO piglets had lower postprandial glucagon-like peptide-1 level, while higher glucose level than CON piglets. Co-administration of LPS and LCA led to down-regulated expression of glucose and peptide transporter genes in IPEC-J2 cells. Altogether, oral L. plantarum altered BA profile probably by modulating relative abundances of gut microbial genera that play key roles in BA metabolism and might consequently impact glucose homoeostasis. The detrimental effect of LCA on nutrient transport in enterocytes might be aggravated under LPS challenge.