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The FNDC5 gene encodes the fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 that is a membrane protein mainly expressed in skeletal muscle and the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism may be associated with liver disease severity in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the influence of the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the relationship between sarcopenia and the histological severity of NAFLD.
370 adult individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD were studied. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass was measured by bioelectrical impedance. The association between the key exposure sarcopenia, and the outcome liver histological severity, was investigated by binary logistic regression. Stratified analyses were undertaken to examine the impact of FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the association between sarcopenia and the severity of NAFLD histology.
Patients with sarcopenia had more severe histological grades of steatosis and a higher prevalence of significant fibrosis and definite NASH than those without sarcopenia. There was a significant association between sarcopenia and significant fibrosis (adjusted odds ratio 2.79, 95%CI 1.31-5.95, p=0.008), independent of established risk factors and potential confounders. Among patients with sarcopenia, significant fibrosis occurred more frequently in the rs3480 AA genotype carriers than in those carrying the FNDC5 rs3480 G genotype (43.8% vs. 17.2%, p=0.031). In the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis, there was a significant interaction between the FNDC5 genotype and sarcopenia status (p-value for interaction=0.006).
Sarcopenia is independently associated with significant liver fibrosis, and the FNDC5 rs3480 G variant influences the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
A series of new synthetic armored cables were developed and tested to ensure that they were suitable for use with the RECoverable Autonomous Sonde (RECAS), which is a newly designed freezing-in thermal ice probe. The final version of the cable consists of two concentric conductors that can be used as the power and signal lines. Two polyfluoroalkoxy jackets are used for electrical insulation (one for insulation between conductors, and the other for insulation of the outer conductor). The outer insulation layer is coated by polyurethane jacket to seal the connections between the cable and electrical units. The 0.65 mm thick strength member is made from aramid fibers woven together. To hold these aramid fibers in place, a sheathing layer was produced from a polyamide fabric cover net. The outer diameter of the final version of the cable is ~6.1 mm. The permissible bending radius is as low as 17–20 mm. The maximal breaking force under straight tension is ~12.2 kN. The cable weight is only ~0.061 kg m−1. The mechanical and electrical properties and environmental suitability of the cable were determined through laboratory testing and joint testing with the probe.
Teenagers are important carriers of Neisseria meningitidis, which is a leading cause of invasive meningococcal disease. In China, the carriage rate and risk factors among teenagers are unclear. The present study presents a retrospective analysis of epidemiological data for N. meningitidis carriage from 2013 to 2017 in Suizhou city, China. The carriage rates were 3.26%, 2.22%, 3.33%, 3.53% and 9.88% for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. From 2014 to 2017, the carriage rate in the 15- to 19-year-old age group (teenagers) was the highest and significantly higher than that in remain age groups. Subsequently, a larger scale survey (December 2017) for carriage rate and relative risk factors (population density, time spent in the classroom, gender and antibiotics use) were investigated on the teenagers (15- to 19-year-old age) at the same school. The carriage rate was still high at 33.48% (223/663) and varied greatly from 6.56% to 52.94% in a different class. Population density of the classroom was found to be a significant risk factor for carriage, and 1.4 persons/m2 is recommended as the maximum classroom density. Further, higher male gender ratio and more time spent in the classroom were also significantly associated with higher carriage. Finally, antibiotic use was associated with a significantly lower carriage rate. All the results imply that attention should be paid to the teenagers and various measures can be taken to reduce the N. meningitidis carriage, to prevent and control the outbreak of IMD.
Fullerene dimers have attracted extensive attention due to their unique structures and fascinating properties. Here, fullerene dimer derivatives with four to six carbon atoms in the esters are designed and synthesized. The property differences that caused by the carbon number in the esters of the fullerene dimers are investigated by performing their electrochemical, optical, and photoelectric measurements. As the carbon atom numbers in the esters increase from four to five and six, the absorption intensities increase to 1.6- and 4.4-folds. The intensities of the fluorescence spectra increase to 1.8- and 5.2-folds. Their photocurrent increases to 2- and 7-folds under the irradiation of a 405-nm laser. The LUMO energy levels move downward slightly from −3.89 to −3.90 and −3.92 eV, respectively. Our results indicate that as the carbon number increases, the carbon chain lengths in the ester structures increase, very slight effects produced on the energy levels of the fullerene dimers, but strongly contribute to their chemical activities and thus the photoelectronic efficiencies.
No studies have reported on how to relieve distress or relax in medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The study aimed to establish which relaxation technique, among six, is the most feasible in first-line medical health workers wearing medical protective equipment.
This was a two-step study collecting data with online surveys. Step 1: 15 first-line medical health workers were trained to use six different relaxation techniques and reported the two most feasible techniques while wearing medical protective equipment. Step 2: the most two feasible relaxation techniques revealed by step 1 were quantitatively tested in a sample of 65 medical health workers in terms of efficacy, no space limitation, no time limitation, no body position requirement, no environment limitation to be done, easiness to learn, simplicity, convenience, practicality, and acceptance.
Kegel exercise and autogenic relaxation were the most feasible techniques according to step 1. In step 2, Kegel exercise outperformed autogenic relaxation on all the 10 dimensions among the 65 participants while wearing medical protective equipment (efficacy: 24 v. 15, no space limitation: 30 v. 4, no time limitation: 31 v. 4, no body position requirement: 26 v. 4, no environment limitation: 30 v. 11, easiness to learn: 28 v. 5, simplicity: 29 v. 7, convenience: 29 v. 4, practicality: 30 v. 14, acceptance: 32 v. 6).
Kegel exercise seems a promising self-relaxation technique for first-line medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment among COVID-19 pandemic.
The aim of this study was to explore the application of the flipped classroom approach in the training of Mass Casualty Triage (MCT) to medical undergraduate students.
In this study, 103 fourth-year medical students were randomly divided into a Flipped Classroom (FC) group (n = 51) and a Traditional Lecture-based Classroom (TLC) group (n = 52). A post-class quiz, simulated field triage (SFT) and feedback questionnaires were performed to assess both groups of students for their learning of the course.
In the post-quiz, the median (IQR) scores achieved by students from the FC and TLC groups were 42(5) and 39(5.5), respectively. Significant differences were found between the two groups. In the SFT, overall triage accuracy was 67.06% for FC, and 64.23% for TLC students. Over-triage and under-triage errors occurred in 18.43% and 14.50% of the FC group, respectively. The TLC group had a similar pattern of 20.77% over-triage and 15.0% under-triage errors. No significant differences were found regarding overall triage accuracy or triage errors between the two groups.
The FC approach could enhance course grades reflected in the post-quiz and improve students’ satisfaction with the class. However, there was no significant difference of competency between the two groups demonstrated in the SFT exercise.
The Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover 105 mm-diameter ice cores up to 1400 m depth and 41.5 mm-diameter bedrock cores up to 2 m in length. In order to ensure safe and convenient drilling, drilling auxiliaries are designed to support fieldwork and servicing. These auxiliaries are subdivided into several systems for power supply, drill tripping in the borehole, ice core and chip processing, and drill servicing and maintenance. The required equipment also includes two generators, a drilling winch with a cable, logging winch with a cable, control desk, pipe handler with a fixed clamp, chip chamber vibrator, centrifuge, emergency devices and fitting and electrical tools. Additionally, several environmental protective measures such as a new liquid-tight casing with a thermal casing shoe and a bailing device for recovering drilling fluid from the borehole were designed. Most of the auxiliaries were tested during the summer of 2018–2019 near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica while drilling to the bedrock to a depth of 198 m.
The Wulian complex is located on the northern margin of the Sulu orogenic belt, and was formed by collision between the North China Craton (NCC) to the north and South China Craton (SCC) to the south. It consists of the metasedimentary Wulian Group, gneissic granite and meta-diorite. The U–Pb analyses for the detrital zircons from the Wulian Group exhibit one predominant age population of 2600–2400 Ma with a peak at c. 2.5 Ga and several secondary age populations of > 3000, 3000–2800, 2800–2600, 2200–2000, 1900–1800, 1500–1300 and 1250–950 Ma; some metamorphic zircons have metamorphic ages of c. 2.7, 2.55–2.45, 2.1–2.0 and 1.95–1.80 Ga, which are consistent with magmatic-metamorphic events in the SCC. Additionally, the Wulian Group was intruded by the gneissic granite and meta-diorite at c. 0.76 Ga, attributed to Neoproterozoic syn-rifting bimodal magmatic activity in the SCC and derived from partial melting of Archaean continental crust and depleted mantle, respectively. The Wulian Group therefore has tectonic affinity to the SCC and was mainly sourced from the SCC. The detrital zircons have positive and negative ϵHf(t) values, indicating that their source rocks were derived from reworking of both ancient and juvenile crustal rocks. The major early Precambrian crustal growth took place during c. 3.4–2.5 Ga with a dominant peak at 2.96 Ga and several secondary peaks at 3.27, 2.74 and 2.52 Ga. The two oldest zircons with ages of 3307 and 3347 Ma record the recycling of ancient continental crust (> 3.35 Ga) and crustal growth prior to c. 3.95 Ga in the SCC.
A new, modified version of the cable-suspended Ice and Bedrock Electromechanical Drill (IBED) was designed for drilling in firn, ice, debris-rich ice and rock. The upper part of the drill is almost the same for all drill variants and comprises four sections: cable termination, a slip-ring section, an antitorque system and an electronic pressure chamber. The lower part of the IBED comprises an auger core barrel, reamers, a core barrel for ice/debris-ice drilling and a conventional geological single-tube core barrel or custom-made double-tube core barrel. First, the short and full-scale field versions of the IBED were tested at an outdoor testing stand and a testing facility with a 12.5 m-deep ice well. Then, in the 2018–2019 summer season, the IBED was tested in the field at a site ~12 km south of Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, and a ~6 cm bedrock core was recovered from a 198 m-deep borehole. A total of 18 d was required to penetrate the ice sheet. The retrieved core samples of blue ice, basal ice and bedrock provided valuable information regarding the Earth's paleo-environment.
Double-layer absorbers have recently been extensively studied because single-layer absorbers can hardly meet the requirements of advanced absorbing materials. However, determining how to couple the matching and absorption layers remains a challenge. In the present work, we applied the hydrothermal method to prepare an ultrasmall Fe3O4 nanoparticle and a hierarchical MXene/Fe3O4 composite and then studied the microwave attenuation capabilities of single- and double-layer absorbers containing these two materials with different thicknesses. Absorbers with well-coupled layers showed improved absorption performance on account of the excellent impedance matching behavior of the Fe3O4 layer and the high microwave attenuation capability of the MXene/Fe3O4 layer. When the thickness of the matching layer filled with Fe3O4 was 0.1 mm and that of the absorption layer filled with MXene/Fe3O4 was 1.9 mm, a maximum reflection loss of −48.7 dB was achieved at 9.9 GHz. More importantly, when the thicknesses of the matching and absorption layers were 0.9 and 1.1 mm, respectively, the effective bandwidth was nearly 3.9 GHz. The double-layer absorbers with enhanced absorption properties may be regarded as a new generation of materials for electromagnetic wave absorption.
Hypertension is a common comorbidity in COVID-19 patients. However, the association of hypertension with the severity and fatality of COVID-19 remain unclear. In the present meta-analysis, relevant studies reported the impacts of hypertension on SARS-CoV-2 infection were identified by searching PubMed, Elsevier Science Direct, Web of Science, Wiley Online Library, Embase and CNKI up to 20 March 2020. As the results shown, 12 publications with 2389 COVID-19 patients (674 severe cases) were included for the analysis of disease severity. The severity rate of COVID-19 in hypertensive patients was much higher than in non-hypertensive cases (37.58% vs 19.73%, pooled OR: 2.27, 95% CI: 1.80–2.86). Moreover, the pooled ORs of COVID-19 severity for hypertension vs. non-hypertension was 2.21 (95% CI: 1.58–3.10) and 2.32 (95% CI: 1.70–3.17) in age <50 years and ⩾50 years patients, respectively. Additionally, six studies with 151 deaths of 2116 COVID-19 cases were included for the analysis of disease fatality. The results showed that hypertensive patients carried a nearly 3.48-fold higher risk of dying from COVID-19 (95% CI: 1.72–7.08). Meanwhile, the pooled ORs of COVID-19 fatality for hypertension vs. non-hypertension was 6.43 (95% CI: 3.40–12.17) and 2.66 (95% CI: 1.27–5.57) in age <50 years and ⩾50 years patients, respectively. Neither considerable heterogeneity nor publication bias was observed in the present analysis. Therefore, our present results provided further evidence that hypertension could significantly increase the risks of severity and fatality of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
In this work, we propose a broadband, polarization-insensitive and wide incident angle stable metamaterial absorber (MA) based on the resistive film. The absorber consists of a three-layer structure with each layer of dielectric substrate printed with different shapes of resistive film. The multilayer structure not only extends the absorption bandwidth but also maintains high absorption under large wave incident angles. Numerical simulation shows that the absorptivity of a normal incident wave is above 90% in the frequency range 2.34–18.95 GHz, corresponding to a relative absorption bandwidth of 156%. Moreover, the whole MA structure has a total thickness of 11.3 mm, corresponding to 0.09 λ0 at its lowest absorption frequency. Due to the high symmetry of the structure, the absorber has good polarization insensitivity. In addition, for both transverse electric and transverse magnetic incidence, the proposed absorber achieves an absorptivity of more than 80% at incident angles of up to 45° and thus has good stability for wide incident angles. The absorption principle of the absorber is analyzed by the surface current and power loss density distribution. Parameter analysis is also performed for bandwidth optimization. Due to its advantages of wideband absorption with high efficiency, the proposed absorber has the potential to be applied to the energy-harvesting and electromagnetic stealth fields.
Primary liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Most patients are diagnosed at late stages with poor prognosis; thus, identification of modifiable risk factors for primary prevention of liver cancer is urgently needed. The well-established risk factors of liver cancer include chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), heavy alcohol consumption, metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and aflatoxin exposure. However, a large proportion of cancer cases worldwide cannot be explained by current known risk factors. Dietary factors have been suspected as important, but dietary aetiology of liver cancer remains poorly understood. In this review, we summarised and evaluated the observational studies of diet including single nutrients, food and food groups, as well as dietary patterns with the risk of developing liver cancer. Although there are large knowledge gaps between diet and liver cancer risk, current epidemiological evidence supports an important role of diet in liver cancer development. For example, exposure to aflatoxin, heavy alcohol drinking and possibly dairy product (not including yogurt) intake increase, while intake of coffee, fish and tea, light-to-moderate alcohol drinking and several healthy dietary patterns (e.g. Alternative Healthy Eating Index) may decrease liver cancer risk. Future studies with large sample size and accurate diet measurement are warranted and need to consider issues such as the possible aetiological heterogeneity between liver cancer subtypes, the influence of chronic HBV or HCV infection, the high-risk populations (e.g. cirrhosis) and a potential interplay with host gut microbiota or genetic variations.