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Taste preference is a pivotal predictor of nutrient intake, yet its impact on mild cognitive impairment (MCI) remains poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the association between taste preferences and MCI and the role of cardiometabolic diseases (CMD) in this association. The study included older adults, aged 65–90 years, with normal cognitive function at baseline who were enrolled in the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) from 2008 to 2018. MCI was measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination, and multivariable Cox regression models were applied. Among 6423 participants, 2534 (39·45 %) developed MCI with an incidence rate of 63·12 - per 1000 person-years. Compared with individuals with insipid taste, those preferring sweetness or spiciness had a higher MCI risk, while saltiness was associated with a lower risk. This association was independent of objective dietary patterns and was more pronounced among urban residents preferring sweetness and illiterate participants preferring spiciness. Notably, among sweet-liking individuals, those with one CMD experienced a significant detrimental effect, and those with co-occurring CMD had a higher incidence rate of MCI. Additionally, regional variations were observed: sweetness played a significant role in regions known for sweet cuisine, while the significance of spiciness as a risk factor diminishes in regions where it is commonly preferred. Our findings emphasize the role of subjective taste preferences in protecting cognitive function and highlight regional variations. Target strategies should focus on assisting individuals with CMD to reduce excessive sweetness intake and simultaneously receiving treatment for CMD to safeguard cognitive function.
Purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus L.) is a globally distributed noxious weed that poses a significant challenge for control due to its fast and efficient propagation through the tuber, which is the primary reproductive organ. Gibberellic acid (GA3) has proven to be crucial for tuberization in tuberous plants. Therefore, understanding the relationship between GA3 and tuber development and propagation of C. rotundus will provide valuable information for controlling this weed. This study shows that the GA3 content decreases with tuber development, which corresponds to lower expression of bioactive GA3 synthesis genes (CrGA20ox, two CrGA3ox genes) and two upregulated GA3 catabolism genes (CrGA2ox genes), indicating that GA3 is involved in tuber development. Simultaneously, the expression of two CrDELLA genes and CrGID1 declines with tuber growth and decreased GA3, and yeast two-hybrid assays confirm that the GA3 signaling is DELLA-dependent. Furthermore, exogenous application of GA3 markedly reduces the number and the width of tubers and represses the growth of the tuber chain, further confirming the negative impact that GA3 has on tuber development and propagation. Taken together, these results demonstrate that GA3 is involved in tuber development and regulated by the DELLA-dependent pathway in C. rotundus and plays a negative role in tuber development and propagation.
Ankle rehabilitation robots are widely used due to nerve injuries and sports injuries leading to decreased mobility of the ankle joint. However, the motion of most ankle rehabilitation robots has distinctions with human ankle physiological structure. In order to achieve more accurate rehabilitation training of the ankle joint, this paper proposes a novel 3-UPU parallel rehabilitation mechanism. In a certain range, the mechanism can perform rotation around any axis within the midplane, which means that the mechanism can achieve non-fixed-point rotation around the instantaneous axis of the ankle joint. The mechanism has three degrees of freedom and can perform ankle pronation/supination and inversion/eversion movements. Taking into account the structural differences of different human bodies, the rotating axis of the mechanism can be adjusted in both height and angle. Then, the workspace of the mechanism was solved, and the size parameters of the mechanism are analyzed based on the characteristics of the size parameters of the mechanism and the motion range of the ankle. A genetic algorithm was employed to optimize the mechanism’s parameters. Next, the motion trajectory of the mechanism was planned, and the length change of the mechanism driving pair during the motion planning of the angle was obtained through kinematics simulation. Finally, experimental verification of the above rehabilitation training methods indicates that the mechanism meets the requirements of ankle rehabilitation.
How do corporate political ties impact firm performance in a transition economy? This topic has attracted wide attention in the strategy field. Accordingly, our study replicates a highly influential study, ‘Managerial ties and firm performance in a transition economy: The nature of a micro-macro link’ (Peng & Luo, 2000). The original study found that managerial political ties greatly improve organizational performance, and that this ‘micro-macro’ link varies across ownership types, business sectors, firm sizes, and industry growth rates. This replication study offers a hierarchical view of political ties by extending it from the individual to the organizational level and explores the complex link between the two levels of corporate political ties and firm performance. The results of a staged quasi-replication exercise show some similarities with the original study in the mechanism of corporate political ties on firm performance but, more importantly, reveal some key differences in the effect size and contingent effects. Furthermore, an extended test shows that corporate political ties are multilevel, and different levels of political ties vary in their mechanisms and effects on firm performance. The findings reveal temporal and contextual sensitivities of political ties studies in transition economies.
Patients with cirrhosis experience worse health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and attempts are warranted further exploration of modifiable factors to improve HRQoL. Data on the impact of malnutrition risk on HRQoL among cirrhosis are limited; thus, we aimed to strengthen understanding by clarifying the relationship between nutritional status and low HRQoL in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Consecutive inpatients with cirrhosis attending our department within a tertiary hospital were studied. Generic health profiles and malnutrition risk were evaluated by the EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) and Royal Free Hospital-Nutritional Prioritizing Tool (RFH-NPT) score, respectively. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to determine association of malnutrition risk with low HRQoL. In this cohort of 364 patients with median age of 64 years and 49·5 % male, 55·5 % of the study population reported impairment pertinent to HRQoL in at least one dimension in terms of the EQ-5D. Moreover, malnutrition risk (RFH-NPT score: β coefficient = −0·114, P = 0·038) was proved to be independently associated with poor HRQoL in multiple analysis, after adjustment for significant variables like age, BMI and markers of decompensation. Notably, we found that health dimensions representing physical function (i.e. mobility, self-care and usual activities) are substantially affected, while malnourished patients reported less frequencies of complaints in other domain such as anxiety/depression. In conclusion, the risk of malnutrition assessed by the RFH-NPT score is independently associated with low HRQoL. It is operational to improve HRQoL by identifying patients at high malnutrition risk and providing timely nutrition treatment.
Huang Xiaowu 黃小午 (b. 1948), a Jiangsu Company laosheng 老生, studied with “chuan” generation (chuan zi bei 傳字輩) performers, including Zhou Chuanying 周傳瑛 and Zheng Chuanjian 鄭傳鑑 [all Appendix H]. His wife Wang Weijian 王維艱 is among the leading performers of laodan 老旦 roles of her generation.
The Palace of Lasting Life (Changsheng dian 長生殿) [Appendix F] is a chuanqi 傳奇 script by Hong Sheng 洪昇 (1645–1704) [Appendix G], completed in 1688. Also translated as The Palace of Eternal Youth and The Palace of Eternal Life, it deals with the familiar story of the doomed love between the Tang emperor Minghuang 唐明皇 (that is, the Xuanzong 玄宗 emperor Li Longji 李隆基, r. 685–762 CE) and Precious Consort Yang (Yang Guifei 楊貴妃; personal name Yang Yuhuan 楊玉環, 719–756 CE). The story of their love and its consequences already had a long tradition in fiction, verse, and drama before Hong's work. Whereas some of those treatments portray Yang as unfaithful and Minghuang as culpable for the An Lushan 安禄山 rebellion (755–763 CE) as a result of neglecting his responsibilities, Hong presents both figures sympathetically. One of the highlights of Qing drama and the kunqu stage, The Palace of Lasting Life is often cited “for its exceptional musicality, that is, for the marvelous fit between the words and the tune patterns Hong Sheng employed” (Zeitlin 2006, 458). The chuanqi script by Hong consists of 50 scenes, early performances of which reportedly lasted “three days and nights.” Both historically and at present, a more common way to perform this content would be to mix these scenes with highlights from other plays. From the mid-1980s onward, sequential kunqu 崑曲 versions of one or more sessions (for example, on consecutive evenings) have proven popular, including five-scene (1986) and four-session, 44-scene versions in Shanghai (2007) (Yang 2018, 29, 48–49, 63, 205).
Wang Shiyu 汪世瑜 (b. 1941), a sheng 生 of the Zhejiang Troupe, studied with “chuan” generation actors (chuan zi bei 傳字輩), including Zhou Chuanying 周傳瑛 [both Appendix H]. A 1986 winner of the Plum Blossom Prize (Meihua jiang 梅花獎), he is especially well known for his jinsheng 巾生 roles, including Pan Bizheng 潘必正 in this play and Liu Mengmei 柳夢梅 in The Peony Pavilion [Appendix F].
The Jade Hairpin (Yuzan ji 玉簪記) [Appendix F] is a sixteenth-century chuanqi 傳奇, and one of the most popular kunqu 崑曲 plays. Several scenes are in regular repertoire and evening-length versions have also become fairly common. Credited to an otherwise obscure author, Gao Lian 高濂 [Appendix G], the play concerns the story of the young scholar Pan Bizheng who, while residing at the Abbey of Female Chastity (Nüzhen guan 女貞觀), meets the novice nun Chen Miaochang 陳妙常. Chen has sought refuge from the war at the abbey, of which Pan Bizheng's aunt is the abbess. The plot follows their courtship, parting, and reunion. An intriguing first encounter occurs in “Talk over Tea” (“Chaxu” 茶叙). This is followed by a nocturnal musical meeting which is the subject of this lecture, “The Stirring Zither” (“Qintiao” 琴挑). This scene marks the beginning of their courtship. In “The Sick Visit” (“Wenbing” 問病) Pan has caught a cold and is lovesick for Chen, and they seek to convey their affection without the notice of his aunt. In “Stealing the Poem” (“Toushi” 偷詩) Pan discovers evidence of Chen's love for him in poem of hers, and in “Autumn River” (“Qiujiang” 秋江) she hires a boat to catch up with him after his aunt has sent him down the river to take the imperial examinations. Chen does catch up with him and they exchange love pledges (including the hairpin of the title), but have to part.
Hou Shaokui 侯少奎 (b. 1939) is a Northern Company actor and the son of Hou Yongkui 侯永奎 [Appendix H]. Best known for powerful martial roles, including Lord Guan 關公 (Guan Yu 關羽) in this scene as well as the wusheng 武生 Lin Chong 林沖 in “Fleeing by Night” (“Yeben” 夜奔), Hou won the Plum Blossom Prize (Meihua jiang 梅花獎) in its second installment in 1985. His autobiography provides rich materials on twentieth-century northern kunqu history and practice (Hou Shaokui and Hu Mingming 2007).
“Sword Meeting” (“Daohui” 刀會) is the fourth and final act of the zaju play The Great King Guan Attends a Meeting with a Single Sword (Guan Dawang du fu dandaohui 關大王獨赴單刀會), more usually known as Single Sword Meeting (Dandaohui 單刀會), by the great fourteenthcentury playwright Guan Hanqing 關漢卿 [Appendix G]. “Sword Meeting” is perhaps the best-known kunqu scene to directly derive from northern “variety plays” (zaju 雜劇). The lyrics of the version performed were adjusted to be singable for kunqu, though the qupai 曲牌 and their sequence are largely the same as in the zaju script. Two early versions of the full play are translated in Wilt L. Idema and Stephen H. West (2012).
The play's hero is the Three Kingdoms figure Guan Yu, better known as Lord Guan. This scene depicts a meeting between major figures from two of these Three Kingdoms, the states of Wu 吳 and of Shu 蜀. After the Battle of Red Cliffs (Chibi zhi zhan 赤壁 之戰) in the winter of 208–209 ce, Wu and Shu formed an alliance against Wei 魏. Liu Bei 劉備 (161–223 CE), emperor of Shu, temporarily borrowed Nanjun 南郡, part of Jingzhou 荆州, from Wu as a base to resist the aggression of Wei. However, Liu Bei later refused to return Nanjun when Wu claimed sovereignty, and sent Lord Guan, one of the most important Shu generals, to defend it.
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.
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.
The Zhu Maichen story originates as a case of ‘female-initiated divorce' in an ancient Chinese biography, before later becoming a familiar late imperial narrative. In the last hundred years, it has featured as a prominent part of the narrative heritage available for operatic reworking. The absence of a canonical authorial version gives more space for playwrights and performers to incorporate their current perspectives of gender and sexuality into various renditions. We have seen a continuance of older patterns where the wife is demonised for her desire to divorce, as well as productions tending to reconsider the travails of the wife. The Hokkien-language genre liyuanxi draws on local narrative versions to arrive at a happy ending, enabling Zhu to remarry his wife, while a new jingju (Beijing opera) version at the turn of century even enables the disillusioned wife to liberate herself from the hypocritic Confucian family. Yet in liyuanxi the wife is taken back, having retained chastity during their parting, while in jingju the wife's materialistic motivations led to criticism in the press. The female-initiated divorce thus provides no escape for Zhu Maichen's wife, who is condemned even when tragedy is averted or the narrative’s patriarchal morality subverted.
We aim to determine the correlation between parental rearing, personality traits, and obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) in different quantiles. In particular, we created an intermediary effect model in which parental rearing affects OCD through personality traits. All predictors were measured at the time of the survey, comprising parental rearing (paternal rearing and maternal rearing), demographics (grade and gender), and personality traits (neuroticism, extroversion, and psychoticism). These results suggest that (a) paternal emotional warmth was negatively correlated with OCD at the 0.40–0.80 quantile, while maternal emotional warmth was positively correlated with the OCD at the 0.45–0.69 quantile. (b) The correlation between negative parental rearing and OCD ranged from the 0.67 to 0.95 quantile for paternal punishment, 0.14–0.82 quantile for paternal overprotection, 0.05–0.36 and >0.50 quantile for maternal over-intervention and overprotection, and 0.08–0.88 quantile for maternal rejection. (c) Extroversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism were not only associated with OCD in a particular quantile but also mediated between parental rearing (namely parental emotional warmth, paternal punishment, paternal overprotection, maternal rejection, maternal over-intervention, and overprotection) and OCD. These findings provide targets for early interventions of OCD to improve the form of family education and personality traits and warrant validation.
Generating designs via machine learning has been an on-going challenge in computer-aided design. Recently, deep learning methods have been applied to randomly generate images in fashion, furniture and product design. However, such deep generative methods usually require a large number of training images and human aspects are not taken into account in the design process. In this work, we seek a way to involve human cognitive factors through brain activity indicated by electroencephalographic measurements (EEG) in the generative process. We propose a neuroscience-inspired design with a machine learning method where EEG is used to capture preferred design features. Such signals are used as a condition in generative adversarial networks (GAN). First, we employ a recurrent neural network Long Short-Term Memory as an encoder to extract EEG features from raw EEG signals; this data are recorded from subjects viewing several categories of images from ImageNet. Second, we train a GAN model conditioned on the encoded EEG features to generate design images. Third, we use the model to generate design images from a subject’s EEG measured brain activity. To verify our proposed generative design method, we present a case study, in which the subjects imagine the products they prefer, and the corresponding EEG signals are recorded and reconstructed by our model for evaluation. The results indicate that a generated product image with preference EEG signals gains more preference than those generated without EEG signals. Overall, we propose a neuroscience-inspired artificial intelligence design method for generating a design taking into account human preference. The method could help improve communication between designers and clients where clients might not be able to express design requests clearly.
Witherite originates from the biochemical sedimentation of barium in sea water. Due to the complexity of the metallogenic environment, witherite appears in many morphologies. However, the relationship between its diverse morphologies and its mineralisation environment is not well understood. In this paper, Ca2+, a common substitute for Ba2+, and mixed protein (egg white) were used to simulate the inorganic and organic environments of witherite mineralisation, respectively. Comparison of samples prepared under different conditions showed that Ca2+ and egg white have relatively independent regulatory effects on the mineralisation of witherite particles. Egg white primarily limits the growth of the nanocrystals, while Ca2+ directs their non-isodiametric growth. Results shows that Ca2+ is distributed along a gradient in nanocrystalline witherite particles, with the Ca2+ content being proportional to the diameter of the nanocrystals. The results of this study shed light on the different roles of organic matter and inorganic ions in the formation of witherite and offer insight into the genesis of its various morphologies.
Most childhood disabilities are caused by congenital factors such as birth defects. The present study aims to evaluate the effect of periconceptional nutrition intervention on the prevention of congenital disability among Chinese children using the National Birth Defects Intervention Project as a natural experiment. We obtained individual-level data from the Second National Sample Survey on Disability, a nationally representative survey, and 110 365 children born between September 1999 and August 2003 were included for analysis. Difference-in-differences estimates of the project effects on congenital disability were captured by exploiting temporal variation in the timing of project exposure across four birth cohorts along with geographical variation in project category at the province level. The findings contribute to an emerging body of evidence showing that prenatal micronutrient intervention before and during early pregnancy could substantially reduce the risk of congenital disability in childhood (OR 0·73; 95 % CI 0·57, 0·94). The National Birth Defects Intervention Project improved the awareness of reproductive health and disability prevention in the population. It highlights the need for a potential policy change focusing on early-life health investment in China.
Schizophrenia is a common major mental disorder and prenatal nutritional deficiency may increase its risk. We aimed to investigate long-term impact of prenatal exposure to malnutrition on risk of schizophrenia in adulthood using the Chinese famine of 1959–1961 as a natural experiment.
We obtained data from the Second National Sample Survey on Disability implemented in 31 provinces in 2006, and restricted our analysis to 387,093 individuals born from 1956 to 1965. Schizophrenia was ascertained by psychiatrists based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision. Famine severity was defined as cohort size shrinkage index. The famine effect on adult schizophrenia was estimated by difference-in-difference models, established by examining the variations of famine exposure across birth cohorts.
Compared with the reference cohort of 1965, famine cohorts (1959–1962) had significantly higher odds (OR: 1.84; 95% CI: 1.13, 3.00; P = 0.014) of schizophrenia in the rural population. After adjusting for multiple covariates, this association remained significant (OR: 1.82; 95% CI: 1.11, 2.98; P = 0.018). We did not observe statistically significant differences in odds of schizophrenia among famine cohorts compared with the reference cohort in the urban population.
Prenatal malnutrition exposure has a detrimental impact on risk of schizophrenia in adulthood in the rural population. Further studies were needed to investigate corresponding mechanisms on this topic.