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Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) could induce milk fat depression via regulating the body and blood fat metabolism. However, it is not completely clear how LPS might regulate triglyceride synthesis in dairy cow mammary epithelial cells (DCMECs). DCMECs were isolated and purified from dairy cow mammary tissue and treated with LPS. The level of triglyceride synthesis, the expression and activity of the liver X receptor α (LXRα), enzymes related to de novo fatty acid synthesis, and the expression of the fatty acid transporters were investigated. We found that LPS decreased the level of triglyceride synthesis via a down-regulation of the transcription, translation, and nuclear translocation level of the LXRα. The results also indicated that the transcription level of the LXRα target genes, sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1), fatty acid synthetase (FAS), acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 (ACC1), were significantly down-regulated in DCMECs after LPS treatment. Our data may provide new insight into the mechanisms of milk fat depression caused by LPS.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
Most species of the genus Eulecanium Cockerell (Hemiptera: Coccidae) are important economic pests for ornamental plants and fruit trees. Two morphologically similar species, Eulecanium giganteum Shinji and E. kuwanai Kanda, are distributed mainly in China and are quite difficult to identify because of the paucity of distinguishing characteristics, which can only be observed in slide-mounted young, adult females. Furthermore, we demonstrate here that the species occur in sympatry and on many of the same host plants. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) and the D2–D3 expansion segments of 28S rDNA were used for accurate identification of these two Eulecanium species from 19 different locations in China. The average K2P distances of COI sequences were 0.47% in E. kuwanai and 0.32% in E. giganteum, and the interspecific divergences varied from 7.23% to 8.34%. Neighbour-joining (NJ) trees of COI and 28S rDNA revealed two distinct non-overlapping clusters, respectively. Meanwhile, “best close match” analysis also showed that 100% of individuals were classified successfully using COI and 28 S sequences. Differentiating between E. giganteum and E. kuwanai is challenging when using ecological and morphological traits. In contrast, identification using DNA diagnostics appears to be very effective, especially when slide-mounted specimens are difficult to obtain.
We propose a Bayesian method to measure the total Galactic extinction parameters, RV and AV. Validation tests based on the simulated data indicate that the method can achieve the accuracy of around 0.01 mag. We apply this method to the SDSS BHB stars in the northern Galactic cap and find that the derived extinctions are highly consistent with those from Schlegel et al. (1998). It suggests that the Bayesian method is promising for the extinction estimation, even the reddening values are close to the observational errors.
Depression is one of the most pervasive and debilitating psychiatric diseases, and the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of depression have not been elucidated. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) has been implicated in synaptic plasticity underlying learning, memory, and neuropsychiatric disorders. However, whether Cdk5 participates in the development of depressive diseases has not been examined. Using the chronic mild stress (CMS) procedure, we examined the effects of Cdk5/p35 activity in the hippocampus on depressive-like behaviour in rats. We found that CMS increased Cdk5 activity in the hippocampus, accompanied by translocation of neuronal-specific activator p35 from the cytosol to the membrane in the dentate gyrus (DG) subregion. Inhibition of Cdk5 in DG but not in the cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) or CA3 hippocampal subregions inhibited the development of depressive-like symptoms. Overexpression of p35 in DG blocked the antidepressant-like effect of venlafaxine in the CMS model. Moreover, the antidepressants venlafaxine and mirtazapine, but not the antipsychotic aripiprazole, reduced Cdk5 activity through the redistribution of p35 from the membrane to the cytosol in DG. Our results showed that the development of depressive-like behaviour is associated with increased Cdk5 activity in the hippocampus and that the Cdk5/p35 complex plays a key role in the regulation of depressive-like behaviour and antidepressant actions.
Hierarchical ZnO/Si nanoheterostructure was prepared by growing oriented ZnO nanowire bundles onto the top of nanoporous silicon pillar array (NSPA) via a self-catalytic thermal evaporation and vapor-phase transport method. Samples were carefully characterized using field emission scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and luminescence spectroscopy. One ultraviolet, one blue-green, and two red emission bands were observed in ZnO/NSPA, and the emission mechanism is discussed by developing a model-based energy band diagram. The origins of the ultraviolet and blue-green photoluminescence (PL) bands were attributed to the emission from the band edge transition and surface states of oxygen vacancies of ZnO, while two red PL bands originated from NSPA and could be well explained by the quantum confinement-luminescence center model. The realization of such all solid and wide wavelength nanodevice might be both meaningful for developing new concept lighting devices and potentially extended to fabricate hierarchical Si-based nanoheterostructures in fabricating other optoelectronic nanodevices.
The East China Sea (ECS) supports a highly productive fishery and is rich in biodiversity, but economic development in China and peripheral countries has led to intensifying anthropogenic impacts in the ECS. In response to this the Chinese government has introduced a range of marine spatial management measures. A spatial ecosystem model (Ecospace) of the ECS was developed to examine (1) the likely nature of trade-offs between fishery and conservation goals resulting from the marine protected areas (MPAs) and (2) possible trade-offs within the fishery sector resulting from the MPAs. The results suggest that overall the fishery has benefited from all of the simulated MPAs, whereas, although they defy categorical interpretation, effects of the MPAs on biodiversity and ecosystem structure are variable. Simultaneous application of several metrics of ecosystem status indicates that the perceived effect of an MPA on ecosystem status can depend on which metrics for ecosystem status are used, and how these metrics are interpreted. The simulations indicate that a fisheries and conservation outcome beneficial to all is possible, but not guaranteed, with the creation of an MPA. Total landings and profitability are predicted to have increased as a result of each of the MPAs, albeit at the cost of reduced landings and profits to some sectors of the fishery. This study demonstrates the benefits of the additional information relating to biodiversity, ecosystem structure and within fishery dynamics available from spatial ecosystem models compared to the single species models typically used to examine MPA effects. However, the use of a more complex ecosystem model introduces additional uncertainty in model interpretation.
Silicon nanoporous pillar array (Si-NPA) is a silicon hierarchical structure with regularly patterned surface morphology. Through a heterogeneous reaction process, zinc sulfide nanocrystallites (nc-ZnS) were grown onto Si-NPA and a unique heterostructure of ZnS/Si-NPA was obtained. The formation of wurtzite nc-ZnS was proved by x-ray diffraction, and the average grain size was evaluated to be ∼18 nm. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy disclosed that as-grown nc-ZnS was well separated from Si-NPA by a SiO2 thin layer of ∼1.3 nm. The photoluminescence (PL) spectrum of ZnS/Si-NPA showed that in addition to the two red PL bands peaked at ∼648 and ∼705 nm observed in Si-NPA, three other PL bands peaked at ∼365, ∼418, and ∼472 nm were observed and attributed to the PL from nc-ZnS. It was also demonstrated that as-prepared ZnS/Si-NPA heterostructure could exhibit good rectification characteristic featured by a high forward current density of ∼75 mA/cm2 at 2 V and high reverse breakdown voltage of ∼10 V. Our results indicated that ZnS/Si-NPA might be a valuable heterostructure nanosystem to be further probed for achieving enhanced optical and electrical properties.
We report the fabrication and electrical characteristics of an ultrathin nanocrystalline-silicon/amorphous silicon oxide double barrier resonant tunneling diode. The cross-section high resolution TEM photographs indicate the layered structure and the crystallinity of nanocrystalline Si with an average grain size of 10 nm. In this prototype device, a series of reproducible conductance peaks have been observed as a function of the applied gate bias at room temperature. The real voltage spacing of 0.38V between the peaks is determined from an equivalent circuit. The results are in agreement with the theory of Coulomb blockade effect using 1.1 aF of capacitance in single Si nanocrystallite. We conclude that the observed behavior results from resonant tunneling, which is strongly influenced by Coulomb blockade effect, through the zero-dimensional states in the well isolated silicon quantum dots.
A significant difference of plasma interleukin (IL)-1α concentration was found between schizophrenic patients taking neuroleptic drugs (n = 38) and those not taking them (n = 14; P < 0.02); Kruskal-Wallis analysis revealed a significant difference of plasma IL-6 concentration among the patients taking neuroleptic drugs, those not taking them, and healthy control subjects (H = 7.1, d.f. = 2, P < 0.05); also, there was a significant difference of plasma IL-6 concentration between the patients taking neuroleptic drugs (n = 32) and those not taking them (n = 13; P < 0.01). No significant differences were found between the three groups in the concentrations of IL-1β, IL-2 and tumour necrosis factor(TNF)-α. The present results suggest that neuroleptic treatment may change IL-1α and IL-6 production in schizophrenic patients.
The unloading of an indentation provides information about the shape of the indentation and the elastic properties of the materials. The assumptions of axisymmetry and material isotropy are critically examined, and a model for transversely isotropic materials is compared to measurements on single crystals. The methods used to infer the area of the indentation from the unloading curve are examined. The area is a fundamental value for the determination of hardness, modulus, and other mechanical properties in the so-called nano-indentor and other continuously monitored indentor techniques. The models of elastic recovery which are currently used are found to lack the flexibility to model the parameters which determine indentation depth. If the current self-consistent model is extended to cover the important aspects of the unloading, the area of the indentation is still not determined uniquely. Guidelines for further development of a unique model are suggested.
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