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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.
Protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) is an important target for discovering new herbicides that interfere with the synthesis of porphyrin. In order to discover new PPO inhibitor herbicides with improved biological activity, a series of new diphenyl ethers containing tetrahydrophthalimide are designed and synthesized. Among them, J6.1 (IC50=4.7 nM) and J6.3 (IC50=30.0 nM) show higher maize (Zea mays L.)PPO inhibitory activity than the commercial herbicides, i.e., oxyfluorfen (IC50=117.9 nM) and flumioxazin (IC50=157.1 nM). The greenhouse herbicidal activity of J6.3 is comparable to that of oxyfluorfen, and it is greater than that of flumioxazin. Even at a dose of 300 g active ingredients/hectare (a.i/ha), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) show greater tolerance to J6.3, suggesting that J6.3 could be used for further development of new herbicide candidates in those fields. In addition, molecular docking has been used to further study its mechanism of action. The results show that the introduction of nitro group and tetrahydrophthalimide into the diphenyl ether structure is beneficial to biological activity.
Flexibility is a key parameter of device mechanical robustness. The most profound challenge for the realization of flexible electronics is associated with the relatively low flexibility of power sources. In this article, two kinds of energy applications, which have gained increasing attention in the field of flexibility in recent years, are introduced: the lithium-ion batteries and the supercapacitors. We overview the latest progresses in flexible materials and manufacturing technology. The performances of the energy devices based on flexible materials are introduced. The advantages and disadvantages of different manufacturing processes are discussed systematically. We then focus on current technical difficulties and future prospects of research in flexibility.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the joint associations of dietary pattern and television viewing with risk factors of CVD among urban adults in China. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among urban adults in Nanjing, China. Five dietary patterns were identified based on a FFQ. Television time was obtained from a standard questionnaire and further classified into two categories (≤7, >7 h/week). Multiple logistic regression was used to calculate the OR and 95 % CI for the separate and joint associations of dietary patterns and television viewing with CVD risk factors. Compared with other dietary patterns, participants who followed the healthy traditional pattern had a lower likelihood of abdominal obesity (AO) (OR 0·52; 95 % CI 0·41, 0·67). Participants watching television no more than 7 h/week presented a 19 and 21 % lower likelihood for hypertension (HT) and elevated total cholesterol (ETC) than those with television time >7 h/week. Individuals who had less television time and a healthy dietary pattern had a lower OR for the presence of AO (OR 0·48; 95 % CI 0·36, 0·65), HT (OR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·77), ETC (OR 0·72; 95 % CI 0·57, 0·91) and elevated TAG (OR 0·76; 95 % CI 0·61, 0·95), compared with those who followed other dietary patterns and television time >7 h/week. In conclusion, both healthy traditional pattern and less television time are jointly associated with reduced levels of CVD risk factors. It has important public health implications regarding the precision prevention of CVD at population level.
Biological tissues have complex, three-dimensional (3D) organizations of cells and matrix factors that provide the architecture necessary to meet morphogenic and functional demands. Disordered cell alignment is associated with congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and neurodegenerative diseases and repairing or replacing these tissues using engineered constructs may improve regenerative capacity. However, optimizing cell alignment within engineered tissues requires quantitative 3D data on cell orientations and both efficient and validated processing algorithms. We developed an automated method to measure local 3D orientations based on structure tensor analysis and incorporated an adaptive subregion size to account for multiple scales. Our method calculates the statistical concentration parameter, κ, to quantify alignment, as well as the traditional orientational order parameter. We validated our method using synthetic images and accurately measured principal axis and concentration. We then applied our method to confocal stacks of cleared, whole-mount engineered cardiac tissues generated from human-induced pluripotent stem cells or embryonic chick cardiac cells and quantified cardiomyocyte alignment. We found significant differences in alignment based on cellular composition and tissue geometry. These results from our synthetic images and confocal data demonstrate the efficiency and accuracy of our method to measure alignment in 3D tissues.
Previous studies have investigated the association between dietary inflammatory potential and the development of cancer. For breast cancer the results have been equivocal. The present study aimed to investigate whether higher Dietary Inflammatory IndexTM (DII) scores were associated with increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. A total of 867 cases and 824 controls were recruited into the present case–control study from September 2011 to February 2016. DII scores were computed based on baseline dietary intake assessed by a validated 81-item FFQ. The OR and 95 % CI were assessed by multivariable logistic regression after adjusting for various potential confounders. DII scores in this study ranged from −5·87 (most anti-inflammatory score) to +5·71 (most proinflammatory score). A higher DII score was associated with a higher breast cancer risk (adjusted ORquartile 4 v. 1 2·28; 95 % CI 1·71, 3·03; adjusted ORcontinuous 1·40; 95 %CI 1·25, 1·39). In stratified analyses, positive associations also were observed except for underweight women or women with either oestrogen receptor+ or progesterone receptor+ status (but not both). Results from this study indicated that higher DII scores, corresponding to more proinflammatory diets, were positively associated with breast cancer risk among Chinese women.
MnOx–CeO2/t-ZrO2 catalyst was prepared by impregnation of nanotetragonal zirconia. The NO conversion of 5 wt% MnOx–CeO2/t-ZrO2 catalyst was 68.1% at 100 °C while that of 30 wt% MnOx–CeO2/t-ZrO2 catalyst was 97.4%. The x-ray diffraction, Brunner–Emmet–Teller measurements (BET), and H2-TPR showed surface properties of the prepared catalysts were good for selective catalytic reduction reactions. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis indicated that Mn4+ and Ce4+ oxidation states were predominant on the surface of the catalyst and so was lattice oxygen which was conducive to Lewis acid sites. NH3-TPD test results demonstrated that Lewis acid sites are predominant on the surface of catalyst. The presence of SO2 reduced the catalyst activity. The realized conversion dramatically decreased to 47% from nearly 100% after 8 h. Characterization of fresh and spent catalysts indicated the deterioration of active component and deposition of NH4HSO4 or (NH4)2SO4 contribute to SO2 poisoning.
In the present study, we evaluated the reproducibility and validity of dietary patterns among Chinese adult populations. A random subsample of 203 participants (aged 31–80 years) from a community-based nutrition and health survey was enrolled. An eighty-seven-item FFQ was administered twice (FFQ1 and FFQ2) 1 year apart; four 3 consecutive day, 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDR, as a reference method) were performed between the administrations of the two FFQ every 3 months. Dietary patterns from three separate dietary sources were derived using factor analysis based on twenty-eight predefined food groups. Comparisons between dietary pattern scores were made by using Pearson’s or intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), cross-classification analysis, weighted κ statistic and Bland–Altman plots; the four major dietary patterns identified from FFQ1, FFQ2 and 24-HDR were similar. Regarding reproducibility, ICC for z-scores between FFQ1 and FFQ2 were all >0·6 for dietary patterns. The ‘animal and plant protein’ pattern had the highest ICC of 0·870. For validity, the adjusted Pearson’s correlation coefficients for dietary pattern z-scores between two FFQ and the mean of four 3 consecutive day 24-HDR ranged from 0·387 for the ‘Chinese traditional’ pattern to 0·838 for the ‘animal and plant protein’ pattern. More than 75 % of the participants were classified into the same or adjacent quartile, and <5 % were misclassified into opposite quartiles. The weighted κ ranged from 0·259 to 0·680. Bland–Altman plots indicated that no significant deviation was found between two dietary assessment methods. Our findings indicate a good reasonable reproducibility and a reasonable validity of dietary patterns derived by factor analysis in China.
We evaluated the reproducibility and validity of an FFQ used in a Chinese community-based nutrition and health survey. A total of ninety-nine males and 104 females aged 31–80 years completed four three consecutive 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDR, served as a reference method, one three consecutive 24-HDR for each season) and two FFQ (FFQ1 and FFQ2) over a 1-year interval. The reproducibility of the FFQ was estimated with correlation coefficients, misclassification and weighted κ statistic. The validity was evaluated by comparing the data obtained from FFQ2 with the mean 24-HDR (m24-HDR). Compared with the m24-HDR, the FFQ tended to underestimate intake of most nutrients and food groups. For all nutrients and food groups, the Spearman’s and intra-class correlation coefficients between FFQ1 and FFQ2 ranged from 0·66 to 0·88 and from 0·65 to 0·87, respectively. Most correlation coefficients decreased after adjusting for energy. More than 90 % of the subjects were classified into the same or adjacent categories by both FFQ. For all nutrients and food groups, the crude, energy-adjusted and de-attenuated Spearman’s correlation coefficients between FFQ2 and the m24-HDR ranged from 0·21 to 0·69, 0·19 to 0·58 and 0·25 to 0·71, respectively. More than 70 % of the subjects were classified into the same and adjacent categories by both instruments. Both weighted κ statistic and the Bland–Altman plots showed reasonably acceptable agreement between the FFQ2 and the m24-HDR. The FFQ developed for adults in the Nanjing area can be used to reliably and validly measure usual intake of major nutrients and food groups.
The etiology and pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders has yet to be elucidated, so their differential diagnosis is a challenge. This is especially true in differentiating Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson disease (PD), and multiple system atrophy (MSA).
A total of 11 eligible articles were identified by search of electronic databases including PubMed, Springer Link, Elsevier, and the Cochrane Library, up to June 2014. In meta-analyses, standardized mean differences (SMD), with 95% confidence intervals (CI), comparing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) measures of α-synuclein between the above conditions were calculated using random-effects models.
CSF α-synuclein concentrations were significantly higher in AD compared to DLB [SMD: 0.32, 95% CI: (0.02, 0.62), z = 2.07, P = 0.038]; PD [SMD: 0.87, 95% CI: (0.15, 1.58), z = 2.38, P = 0.017]; or MSA [SMD: 1.14, 95% CI: (0.15, 2.14), z = 2.25, P = 0.025]. However, no significant difference was found between patients with AD and neurological cognitively normal controls [SMD: 0.02, 95% CI: (−0.21, 0.24), z = 0.13, P = 0.894].
Results of these meta-analysis suggest that quantification of CSF α-synuclein could help distinguish AD from other neurodegenerative disorders such as DLB, PD, or MSA.
Microstructural evolution in a CeO2-Gd2O3 system at atomic and nanoscale levels with increasing Gd concentration has been comprehensively investigated by transmission electron microscopy. When the Gd concentration was increased from 10 to 80 at.%, the phase transformation from ceria with fluorite structure to solid solution with C-type structure was not a sudden change but an evolution in the sequence of clusters, domains, and precipitates with C-type structure in the fluorite-structured matrix. Moreover, the ordering of aggregated Gd cations and oxygen vacancies in these microstructural inhomogeneities developed continuously with increasing Gd concentration. This microstructural evolution can be further described based on the development of defect clusters containing Gd cations and oxygen vacancies.
We present a systematic and efficient Chebyshev spectral method using quasi-inverse technique to directly solve the second order equation with the homogeneous Robin boundary conditions and the fourth order equation with the first and second boundary conditions. The key to the efficiency of the method is to multiply quasi-inverse matrix on both sides of discrete systems, which leads to band structure systems. We can obtain high order accuracy with less computational cost. For multi-dimensional and more complicated linear elliptic PDEs, the advantage of this methodology is obvious. Numerical results indicate that the spectral accuracy is achieved and the proposed method is very efficient for 2-D high order problems.
Nanosized incubational domain was observed in 10 at.% gadolinium-doped ceria (GDC) using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Dislocations were extensively observed in 10 at.% GDC instead of heavily doped 25 at.% GDC. By Fast Fourier Transform and Inverse Fast Fourier Transform analysis, it was noticed that the incubational domain existing in 10 at.% GDC has different lattice spacing and orientation from the neighboring ceria matrix. Furthermore, dislocations were usually observed in the interface region between the incubational domain and the ceria matrix. Based on experimental results, the formation mechanism of dislocation associated incubational domain in lightly gadolinium-doped ceria is rationalized.
Both types of long and short gamma ray bursts involve a stage of a hyper-Eddington accretion of hot and dense plasma torus onto a newly born black hole. The prompt gamma ray emission originates in jets at some distance from this ‘central engine’ and in most events is rapidly variable, having a form of sipkes and subpulses. This indicates at the variable nature of the engine itself, for which a plausible mechanism is an internal instability in the accreting flow. We solve numerically the structure and evolution of the neutrino-cooled torus. We take into account the detailed treatment of the microphysics in the nuclear equation of state that includes the neutrino trapping effect. The models are calculated for both Schwarzschild and Kerr black holes. We find that for sufficiently large accretion rates (>~10M⊙ s−1 for non-rotating black hole, and >~1M⊙ s−1 for rotating black hole, depending on its spin), the inner regions of the disk become opaque, while the helium nuclei are being photodissociated. The sudden change of pressure in this region leads to the development of a viscous and thermal instability, and the neutrino pressure acts similarly to the radiation pressure in sub-Eddington disks. In the case of rapidly rotating black holes, the instability is enhanced and appears for much lower accretion rates. We also find the important and possibly further destabilizing role of the energy transfer from the rotating black hole to the torus via the magnetic coupling.
Nanoparticles consisting of different biocompatible materials are attracting a lot of interest in the biomedical area as useful tools for drug delivery, photo-therapy and contrast enhancement agents in MRI, fluorescence and confocal microscopy. This work mainly focuses on the synthesis of polymeric/inorganic multifunctional nanoparticles (PIMN) based on biocompatible di-block copolymer poly(L,L-lactide-co-ethylene glycol) (PLLA-PEG) via an emulsion-evaporation method. Besides containing a hydrophobic drug (Indomethacin), these polymeric nanoparticles incorporate different visualization agents such as superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) and fluorescent Quantum Dots (QDs) that are used as contrast agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and fluorescence microscopy together. Gold Nanorods are also incorporated in such nanostructures to allow simultaneous visualization and photodynamic therapy. MRI studies are performed with different loading of SPION into PIMN, showing an enhancement in T2 contrast superior to commercial contrast agents. Core-shell QDs absorption and emission spectra are recorded before and after their loading into PIMN. With these polymeric/inorganic multifunctional nanoparticles, both MRI visualization and confocal fluorescence microscopy studies can be performed. Gold nanorods are also synthesized and incorporated into PIMN without changing their longitudinal absorption peak usable for lased excitation and phototherapy. In-vitro cytotoxicity studies have also been performed to confirm the low cytotoxicity of PIMN for further in-vivo studies.
To evaluate gene expression of Connexin37 (Cx37) in oocytes from in vitro follicles at different stages, mouse preantral follicles were isolated and cultured for 12 days in vitro. Compared with in vitro follicles, follicles grown in vivo were collected at day 14 (d14), d16, d18, d20, d22 and d24 with the same stages for gene expression of Cx37 in oocytes. Our results showed that Cx37 mRNA increased along with follicular development, reached the highest level at the onset of antrum cavity formation and decreased after antrum formation in both in vivo and in vitro mouse oocytes. However, Cx37 mRNA was significant higher (p < 0.01) in in vitro cultured oocytes than in vivo oocytes. Moreover, significantly higher levels of Cx37 mRNA were found in oocytes from in vitro disrupted follicles (p < 0.01) and non-grown follicles (p < 0.05) than those from normal follicles with a similar size. These data determine temporal gene expression of Cx37 in oocytes from follicules at different stages and indicate that the gene expression level of Cx37 in oocytes could be evaluated as a criterion to the regulatory mechanism of Cx37 in an in vitro model.
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