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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.
This study examined the influences of coated folic acid (CFA) and coated riboflavin (CRF) on bull performance, nutrients digestion and ruminal fermentation. Forty-eight Angus bulls based on a randomised block and 2 × 2 factorial design were assigned to four treatments. The CFA of 0 or 6 mg of folic acid/kg DM was supplemented in diets with CRF 0 or 60 mg riboflavin (RF)/kg DM. Supplementation of CRF in diets with CFA had greater increase in daily weight gain and feed efficiency than in diets without CFA. Supplementation with CFA or CRF enhanced digestibility of DM, organic matter, crude protein, neutral-detergent fibre and non-fibre carbohydrate. Ruminal pH and ammonia N content decreased and total volatile fatty acids concentration and acetate to propionate ratio elevated for CFA or CRF addition. Supplement of CFA or CRF increased the activities of fibrolytic enzymes and the numbers of total bacteria, protozoa, fungi, dominant fibrolytic bacteria and Prevotella ruminicola. The activities of α-amylase, protease and pectinase and the numbers of Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and Ruminobacter amylophilus were increased by CFA but were unaffected by CRF. Blood concentration of folate elevated and homocysteine decreased for CFA addition. The CRF supplementation elevated blood concentrations of folate and RF. These findings suggested that CFA or CRF inclusion had facilitating effects on performance and ruminal fermentation, and combined addition of CFA and CRF had greater increase in performance than CFA or CRF addition alone in bulls.
Based on hubs of neural circuits associated with addiction and their degree centrality (DC), this study aimed to construct the addiction-related brain networks for patients diagnosed with heroin dependence undertaking stable methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) and further prospectively identify the ones at high risk for relapse with cluster analysis.
Sixty-two male MMT patients and 30 matched healthy controls (HC) underwent brain resting-state functional MRI data acquisition. The patients received 26-month follow-up for the monthly illegal-drug-use information. Ten addiction-related hubs were chosen to construct a user-defined network for the patients. Then the networks were discriminated with K-means-clustering-algorithm into different groups and followed by comparative analysis to the groups and HC. Regression analysis was used to investigate the brain regions significantly contributed to relapse.
Sixty MMT patients were classified into two groups according to their brain-network patterns calculated by the best clustering-number-K. The two groups had no difference in the demographic, psychological indicators and clinical information except relapse rate and total heroin consumption. The group with high-relapse had a wider range of DC changes in the cortical−striatal−thalamic circuit relative to HC and a reduced DC in the mesocorticolimbic circuit relative to the low-relapse group. DC activity in NAc, vACC, hippocampus and amygdala were closely related with relapse.
MMT patients can be identified and classified into two subgroups with significantly different relapse rates by defining distinct brain-network patterns even if we are blind to their relapse outcomes in advance. This may provide a new strategy to optimize MMT.
Different from developed countries, there is a paucity of research examining how the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and Mediterranean diets relate to lipids in less-developed ethnic minority regions (LEMR). A total of 83 081 participants from seven ethnic groups were retrieved from the baseline data of the China Multi-Ethnic Cohort study, which was conducted in less-developed Southwest China between May 2018 and September 2019. Multivariable linear regression models were then used to examine the associations of the DASH and alternative Mediterranean diet (AMED) scores, assessed by modified DASH score and AMED, as well as their components with total cholesterol (TC), LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, TAG and TC/HDL-cholesterol. The DASH scores were negatively associated with TC, HDL-cholesterol and TAG. Comparing the highest quintiles with the lowest DASH scores, TC decreased 0·0708 (95 % CI −0·0923, −0·0493) mmol/l, HDL-cholesterol decreased 0·0380 (95 % CI −0·0462, −0·0299) mmol/l and TAG decreased 0·0668 (95 % CI −0·0994, −0·0341) mmol/l. The AMED scores were negatively associated with TC, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol. Comparing the highest quintiles with the lowest AMED scores, TC decreased 0·0816 (95 % CI −0·1035, −0·0597) mmol/l, LDL-cholesterol decreased 0·0297 (95 % CI −0·0477, −0·0118) mmol/l and HDL-cholesterol decreased 0·0275 (95 % CI −0·0358, −0·0192) mmol/l. Although both the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet were negatively associated with blood lipids, those associations showed different patterns in LEMR, particularly for TAG and HDL-cholesterol.
To investigate the influences of cobalt (Co) and folic acid (FA) on growth performance and rumen fermentation, Holstein male calves (n 40) were randomly assigned to four groups according to their body weights. Cobalt sulphate at 0 or 0·11 mg Co/kg DM and FA at 0 or 7·2 mg/kg DM were used in a 2 × 2 factorial design. Average daily gain was elevated with FA or Co supplementation, but the elevation was greater for supplementing Co in diets without FA than with FA. Supplementing FA or Co increased DM intake and total-tract nutrient digestibility. Rumen pH was unaltered with FA but reduced with Co supplementation. Concentration of rumen total volatile fatty acids was elevated with FA or Co inclusion. Acetate percentage and acetate to propionate ratio were elevated with FA inclusion. Supplementing Co decreased acetate percentage and increased propionate percentage. Activities of xylanase and α-amylase and populations of total bacteria, fungi, protozoa, Ruminococcus albus, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Prevotella ruminicola increased with FA or Co inclusion. Activities of carboxymethyl-cellulase and pectinase increased with FA inclusion and population of methanogens decreased with Co addition. Blood folates increased and homocysteine decreased with FA inclusion. Blood glucose and vitamin B12 increased with Co addition. The data suggested that supplementing 0·11 mg Co/kg DM in diets containing 0·09 mg Co/kg DM increased growth performance and nutrient digestibility but had no improvement on the effects of FA addition in calves.
To uncover the chewing mechanism of Cyrtotrachelus buqueti Guer, a mathematical model was created and a kinematic analysis of its rostrum mouthparts was conducted for, to our knowledge, the first time. To reduce noise and improve the quality of scanning electron micrographs of the weevil's mouthparts, nonlocal means and integral nonlocal means algorithms were proposed. Additionally, based on a comparison and analysis of five classical edge detection algorithms, a multiscale edge detection algorithm based on the B-spline wavelet was used to obtain the boundaries of structural features. The least squares method was used to analyze the data of the mouthparts to fit the mathematical model and fitted curves were obtained using Gaussian equations. The results show that curvature and concave–convex variations of the weevil's mouthparts can highlight fluctuations in friction effects when it chews bamboo shoots, which is helpful in preventing debris from bamboo shoots or other debris from sticking to the mouthpart surfaces. Moreover, this paper highlights the utility of micro-computed tomography (microCT) for three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction and a flowchart is suggested. The reconstructed slices were 9.0 μm thick and an accurate 3D rendered model was obtained from a series of microCT slices. Finally, a real model of the rostrum mouthparts was analyzed using finite-element analysis. The results provide a biological template for the design of a novel bionic drilling mechanism.
With the characteristics of full autonomy and no accumulated errors, polarisation navigation shows tremendous prospects in underwater scenarios. In this paper, inspired by the polarisation vision of aquatic organisms, a novel point-source polarisation sensor with high spectral adaptability (400 nm–760 nm) is designed for underwater orientation. To enhance the environmental applicability of the underwater polarisation sensor, a novel sensor model based on the underwater light intensity attenuation coefficient and optical coupling coefficient is established. In addition, concerned with the influence of light intensity uncertainty on sensor performance underwater, an antagonistic polarisation algorithm is adopted for the first time, to improve the accuracy of angle of polarisation and degree of polarisation in the low signal-to-noise ratio environment underwater. Finally, indoor and outdoor experiments are carried out to evaluate the performance of the designed polarisation sensor. The results show that the designed point-source polarisation sensor can acquire polarised light and be used for heading determination underwater.
The TanDEM-X DEM is a valuable data source for estimating glacier mass balance. However, the accuracy of TanDEM-X elevation over glaciers can be affected by microwave penetration and phase decorrelation. To investigate the bias of TanDEM-X DEMs of glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, these DEMs were subtracted from SPOT-6 DEMs obtained around the same time at two study sites. The average bias over the studied glacier areas in West Kunlun (175.0 km2) was 2.106 ± 0.012 m in April 2014, and it was 1.523 ± 0.011 m in Geladandong (228.8 km2) in October 2013. By combining backscatter coefficients and interferometric coherence maps, we found surface decorrelation and baseline decorrelation can cause obvious bias in addition to microwave penetration. If the optical/laser data and winter TanDEM-X data were used as new and historic elevation sources for mass-balance measurements over an arbitrary observation period of 10 years, the glacier mass loss rates in West Kunlun and Geladandong would be potentially underestimated by 0.218 ± 0.016 and 0.158 ± 0.011 m w.e. a−1, respectively. The impact is therefore significant, and users should carefully treat the bias of TanDEM-X DEMs when retrieving a geodetic glacier mass balance.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is highly contagious, and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by it has forced many countries to adopt ‘lockdown’ measures to prevent the spread of the epidemic through social isolation of citizens. Some countries proposed universal mask wearing as a protection measure of public health to strengthen national prevention efforts and to limit the wider spread of the epidemic. In order to reveal the epidemic prevention efficacy of masks, this paper systematically evaluates the experimental studies of various masks and filter materials, summarises the general characteristics of the filtration efficiency of isolation masks with particle size, and reveals the actual efficacy of masks by combining the volume distribution characteristics of human exhaled droplets with different particle sizes and the SARS-CoV-2 virus load of nasopharynx and throat swabs from patients. The existing measured data show that the filtration efficiency of all kinds of masks for large particles and extra-large droplets is close to 100%. From the perspective of filtering the total number of pathogens discharged in the environment and protecting vulnerable individuals from breathing live viruses, the mask has a higher protective effect. If considering the weighted average filtration efficiency with different particle sizes, the filtration efficiencies of the N95 mask and the ordinary mask are 99.4% and 98.5%, respectively. The mask can avoid releasing active viruses to the environment from the source of infection, thus maximising the protection of vulnerable individuals by reducing the probability of inhaling a virus. Therefore, if the whole society strictly implements the policy of publicly wearing masks, the risk of large-scale spread of the epidemic can be greatly reduced. Compared with the overall cost of social isolation, limited personal freedoms and forced suspension of economic activities, the inconvenience for citizens caused by wearing masks is perfectly acceptable.
The satellite constellation with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast on-board is of great importance for air traffic surveillance due to its multiple advantages compared with traditional methods. Although some research has been conducted on satellite constellation design based on coverage performance, the findings cannot entirely satisfy all the requirements of air traffic surveillance owing to the lack of analysis on inter-satellite links and network transmission. This paper presents a novel design of a low earth orbit satellite constellation network to solve this problem. Based on the requirements of space-based surveillance, an evaluation model of constellation performance is proposed concerning coverage, link and transmission. The simulation results show that the evaluation model can reflect the performance of a satellite constellation network designed for a space-based surveillance system, and a 55-satellite constellation design scheme with fairly good performance can fulfil the function of global real-time air traffic surveillance.
As an important dimensionless parameter for the vortex formation process, the general form of the formation time defined by Dabiri (Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech., vol. 41, 2009, pp. 17–33) is refined so as to provide better normalization for various vortex generator configurations. Our proposed definition utilizes the total circulation over the entire flow domain rather than that of the forming vortex ring alone. It adopts an integral form by considering the instantaneous infinitesimal increment in the formation time so that the effect of temporally varying properties of the flow configuration can be accounted for properly. By including the effect of buoyancy, the specific form of the general formation time for the starting forced plumes with negative and positive buoyancy is derived. A theoretical prediction based on the Kelvin–Benjamin variational principle shows that the general formation time manifests the invariance of the critical time scale, i.e. the formation number, under the influence of a source–ambient density difference. It demonstrates that the general formation time, based on the circulation production over the entire flow field, could take into account the effect of various vorticity production mechanisms, such as from a flux term or in a baroclinic fluid, on the critical formation number. The proposed definition may, therefore, serve as a guideline for deriving the specific form of the formation time in other types of starting/pulsatile flows.
High inductive helical support provides a solution to controlling the alignment error of inner electrodes in magnetically insulated transmission lines (MITLs). Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations were performed to examine the current loss mechanism and the effects of structural parameters on electron flow in an MITL with a helical inductor. An empirical expression related to the ratio of electron current loss to anode current and the ratio of anode current to self-limited current was obtained. Electron current loss caused by helical inductor with different structures was displayed. The results indicate that the current loss in an MITL, near an inductive helical support, comprises both the inductor current and the electron current loss. The non-uniform structure and current of a helical inductor cause an abrupt change in the magnetic field near the helical support, which leads to anomalous behavior and current loss of electron flow. In addition, current loss in the inductive helical-supported MITL is negligible when the inductance of the support is sufficiently high. This work facilitates the estimation of electron current loss caused by the inductive helical support in MITLs.
The effect of maternal folate intake on small-for-gestational-age (SGA) births remains inconclusive. The present study aimed to investigate the associations of maternal folate intake from diet and supplements with the risk of SGA births using data from a cross-sectional study in Shaanxi Province of Northwest China. A total of 7307 women who were within 12 months (median 3; 10th–90th percentile 0–7) after delivery were included. Two-level models were adopted to examine the associations of folate (dietary folate, supplemental folic acid and total folate) intake with the risk of SGA births and birth weight Z score, controlling for a minimum set of confounders that were identified in a directed acyclic graph. Results showed that a higher supplemental folic acid intake during the first trimester was negatively associated with the risk of SGA births (≤60 d v. non-use: OR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·96; >60 d v. non-use: OR 0·78; 95 % CI 0·65, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per 10-d increase: OR 0·97; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·99). A higher total folate intake during pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of SGA births (highest tertile v. lowest tertile: OR 0·77; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per one-unit increase in the log-transformed value: OR 0·81; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·95). A similar pattern was observed for the birth weight Z score. Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation during the first trimester and a higher total folate intake during pregnancy were associated with a reduced risk of SGA births.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis are the common causes of human echinococcosis in China. An accurate species identification tool for human echinococcosis is needed as the treatments and prognosis are different among species. The present work demonstrates a method for the simultaneous detection of these three Echinococcus species based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR). Specific primers of this mPCR were designed based on the mitochondrial genes and determined by extensive tests. The method can successfully detect either separated or mixed target species, and generate expected amplicons of distinct size for each species. Sensitivity of the method was tested by serially diluted DNA, showing a detection threshold as less as 0.32 pg for both E. granulosus s.s. and E. canadensis, and 1.6 pg for E. multilocularis. Specificity assessed against 18 other parasites was found to be 100% except weakly cross-react with E. shiquicus. The assay was additionally applied to 69 echinococcosis patients and 38 healthy persons, confirming the high reliability of the method. Thus, the mPCR described here has high application potential for clinical identification purposes, and can further provide a useful tool for evaluation of serology and imaging method.
Previous studies have inferred a strong genetic component in schizophrenia. However, the genetic variants involved in the susceptibility to schizophrenia remain unclear.
To detect potential gene pathways and networks associated with schizophrenia, and to explore the relationship between common and rare variants in these pathways and abnormal white matter integrity in schizophrenia.
The analysis included 100 first-episode treatment-naïve patients with schizophrenia and 140 healthy controls. A network-based analysis was carried out on the data collected from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Phase I (PGC-I). Based on our genome-wide association study and whole-exome sequencing data-sets, we performed a gene-set analysis to detect associations between the combining effects of common and rare genetic variants and abnormal white matter integrity in schizophrenia.
Patients had significantly reduced functional anisotropy in the left and right anterior cingulate cortex, left and right precuneus and extra-nuclear (t = 4.61–5.10, PFDR < 0.01), compared with controls. Generated from co-expression network analysis of the PGC-1 summary statistics of schizophrenia, a subnetwork of 207 genes associated with schizophrenia was identified (P < 0.01), and 176 genes were co-expressed in four gene modules. Functional enrichment analysis for genes in each module revealed that the yellow module was enriched with highly co-expressed, innate immune response genes. Furthermore, rare variants of enriched genes in the yellow module were associated with reduced functional anisotropy in the left anterior cingulate cortex (P = 0.006; Padjusted = 0.024) in patients only.
The pathogenesis of schizophrenia may be substantially influenced by genes involved in the immune system, via both pathway and network.
We previously reported four heterozygous missense mutations of MYH7, KCNQ1, MYLK2, and TMEM70 in a single three-generation Chinese family with dual Long QT and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy phenotypes for the first time. However, the clinical course among the family members was various, and the potential myocardial dysfunction has not been investigated.
The objective of this study was to investigate the echocardiographic and electrocardiographic characteristics in a genetic positive Chinese family with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and further to explore the association between myocardial dysfunction and electric activity, and the identified mutations.
A comprehensive echocardiogram – standard two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography and three-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography – and electrocardiogram were obtained for members in this family.
As previously reported, four missense mutations – MYH7-H1717Q, KCNQ1-R190W, MYLK2-K324E, and TMEM70-I147T – were identified in this family. The MYH7-H1717Q mutation carriers had significantly increased left ventricular mass indices, elevated E/e’ ratio, deteriorated global longitudinal stain, but enhanced global circumferential and radial strain compared with those in non-mutation patients (all p<0.05). The KCNQ1-R190W carriers showed significantly prolonged QTc intervals, and the MYLK2-K324E mutation carriers showed inverted T-waves (both p<0.05). However, the TMEM70-I147T mutation carriers had similar echocardiography and electrocardiographic data as non-mutation patients.
Three of the identified four mutations had potential pathogenic effects in this family: MYH7-H1717Q was associated with increased left ventricular thickness, elevated left ventricular filling pressure, and altered myocardial deformation; KCNQ1-R190W and MYLK2-K324E mutations were correlated with electrocardiographic abnormalities reflected in long QT phenotype and inverted T-waves, respectively.
Valvular heart diseases lead to over 300,000 heart valve replacements worldwide each year. Bioprosthetic heart valves (BHVs), derived from glutaraldehyde (GLUT) crosslinked porcine or bovine pericardium, are often used. However, valve failure can occur within 12–15 years due to progressive degradation and/or calcification. Being innovated by previous amino reagent studies used for GLUT detoxification and carbodiimide [1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide, EDC] chemistry, in this study, we developed a new fabrication method that utilizes exogenous amino donor arginine or lysine carbodiimide combined treatments to better stabilize the extracellular matrix of porcine pericardium. The carboxyl group density, amine content, differential scanning calorimetry, collagenase and elastase degradation, calcification by rat subdermal implantation, cytotoxicity, and platelet adhesion were characterized. We demonstrated that exogenous amino donor carbodiimide combined treatment for pericardiums had better resistance to elastase degradation (1.63 ± 0.11% and 1.44 ± 0.24% in arginine or lysine versus 3.68 ± 0.16% and 3.04 ± 0.11% in GLUT and GLUT/EDC control) and calcification (0.624 ± 0.193 and 0.637 ± 0.213 Ca µg/mg tissue in arginine or lysine versus 1.610 ± 0.124 and 1.512 ± 0.075 Ca µg/mg tissue in GLUT and GLUT/EDC control). This new strategy combined arginine or lysine and carbodiimide crosslinking would be a promising method to produce more robust BHVs with better structural stability and anticalcification property.
The Bi4Te3 films with well-ordered orientation and microstructure were successfully prepared on SiO2 substrate by a vacuum thermal evaporation deposition technique for the first time. We discussed the effects of evaporation temperature and substrate temperature on the phase and its well-ordered growth of Bi4Te3 films. The formation of Bi4Te3 phase is owing to the differences of the saturated vapor pressure. The thermoelectric transport properties of the Bi4Te3 films were investigated and the (00l)-oriented nanopillars array film has a better electrical transport performance, whose value of PF is 0.032 mWm−1 K−2 at 339 K, approaching twice that of the non-oriented ordinary film. The enhanced electrical properties of Bi4Te3 films could be achieved via the high-crystallinity well-controlled (00l)-oriented nanopillars array.