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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.
Accurate measurements of food volume and density are often required as ‘gold standards’ for calibration of image-based dietary assessment and food database development. Currently, there is no specialised laboratory instrument for these measurements. We present the design of a new volume of density (VD) meter to bridge this technological gap.
Our design consists of a turntable, a load sensor, a set of cameras and lights installed on an arc-shaped stationary support, and a microcomputer. It acquires an array of food images, reconstructs a 3D volumetric model, weighs the food and calculates both food volume and density, all in an automatic process controlled by the microcomputer. To adapt to the complex shapes of foods, a new food surface model, derived from the electric field of charged particles, is developed for 3D point cloud reconstruction of either convex or concave food surfaces.
We conducted two experiments to evaluate the VD meter. The first experiment utilised computer-synthesised 3D objects with prescribed convex and concave surfaces of known volumes to investigate different food surface types. The second experiment was based on actual foods with different shapes, colours and textures. Our results indicated that, for synthesised objects, the measurement error of the electric field-based method was <1 %, significantly lower compared with traditional methods. For real-world foods, the measurement error depended on the types of food volumes (detailed discussion included). The largest error was approximately 5 %.
The VD meter provides a new electronic instrument to support advanced research in nutrition science.
To assess the prevalence and to identify the associated factors of malnutrition among elderly Chinese with physical functional dependency.
Face-to-face interviews using standardised questionnaires were conducted to collect demographic information, health-related issues and psychosocial status. Physical function was measured by the Barthel Index (BI), and nutrition status was assessed by the Mini Nutritional Assessment–Short Form. Multivariate binary logistic regression was used to assess associated factors of malnutrition.
A total of 2323 participants (aged ≥ 60 years) with physical functional dependency in five provinces in China were enrolled using a multistage cluster sampling scheme.
The prevalence of malnutrition was 17·9 % (95 % CI 16·3, 19·4). Multivariable binary logistic regression revealed the independent risk factors of poor nutrition status were being female, older age, lower educational status, poor hearing, poor physical functional status, lack of hobbies, low religious participation, poor social support, lack of social participation and changes in social participation. The study found that the most significant independent risk factor for malnutrition was complete physical functional dependence (OR 4·46, 95 % CI 2·92, 6·82).
The findings of the study confirm that malnutrition and the risk of malnutrition are prevalent in Chinese older adults with physical functional dependency. In addition to demographic and physical health-related factors, psychosocial factors, which are often overlooked, are independently associated with nutrition status in Chinese older adults with physical functional dependency. A holistic approach should be adopted to screen for malnutrition and develop health promotion interventions in this vulnerable population.
The recent outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, China, has imposed challenges on the Chinese medical system. Not only the dramatically increasing number of infected cases and insufficient medical resources, but also the peoples’ panic throughout the whole country have made medical services extremely difficult. To respond to these challenges effectively, our hospital implemented an urgent response strategy, including human resources and medical resources preparation and re-allocation, immediate fever screening, strict patient-visiting flow management, and reasonable information communication. Our experience and response measures could provide a reference for other hospitals in the current situation.
Previous studies have shown conflicting findings regarding the relationship between maternal vitamin D deficiency (VDD) and fetal growth restriction (FGR). We hypothesised that parathyroid hormone (PTH) may be an underlying factor relevant to this potential association. In a prospective birth cohort study, descriptive statistics were evaluated for the demographic characteristics of 3407 pregnancies in the second trimester from three antenatal clinics in Hefei, China. The association of the combined status of vitamin D and PTH with birth weight and the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) was assessed by a multivariate linear and binary logistic regression. We found that declined status of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with lower birth weight (for moderate VDD: adjusted β = −49·4 g, 95 % CI −91·1, −7·8, P < 0·05; for severe VDD: adjusted β = −79·8 g, 95 % CI −127·2, −32·5, P < 0·01), as well as ascended levels of PTH (for elevated PTH: adjusted β = −44·5 g, 95 % CI −82·6, −6·4, P < 0·05). Compared with the non-VDD group with non-elevated PTH, pregnancies with severe VDD and elevated PTH had the lowest neonatal birth weight (adjusted β = −124·7 g, 95 % CI −194·6, −54·8, P < 0·001) and the highest risk of SGA (adjusted risk ratio (RR) = 3·36, 95 % CI 1·41, 8·03, P < 0·01). Notably, the highest risk of less Ca supplementation was founded in severe VDD group with elevated PTH (adjusted RR = 4·67, 95 % CI 2·78, 7·85, P < 0·001). In conclusion, elevated PTH induced by less Ca supplementation would further aggravate the risk of FGR in pregnancies with severe VDD through impaired maternal Ca metabolism homoeostasis.
Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
India has the second largest number of people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) globally. Epidemiological evidence indicates that consumption of white rice is positively associated with T2D risk, while intake of brown rice is inversely associated. Thus, we explored the effect of substituting brown rice for white rice on T2D risk factors among adults in urban South India. A total of 166 overweight (BMI ≥ 23 kg/m2) adults aged 25–65 years were enrolled in a randomised cross-over trial in Chennai, India. Interventions were a parboiled brown rice or white rice regimen providing two ad libitum meals/d, 6 d/week for 3 months with a 2-week washout period. Primary outcomes were blood glucose, insulin, glycosylated Hb (HbA1c), insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) and lipids. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) was a secondary outcome. We did not observe significant between-group differences for primary outcomes among all participants. However, a significant reduction in HbA1c was observed in the brown rice group among participants with the metabolic syndrome (−0·18 (se 0·08) %) relative to those without the metabolic syndrome (0·05 (se 0·05) %) (P-for-heterogeneity = 0·02). Improvements in HbA1c, total and LDL-cholesterol were observed in the brown rice group among participants with a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 compared with those with a BMI < 25 kg/m2 (P-for-heterogeneity < 0·05). We observed a smaller increase in hs-CRP in the brown (0·03 (sd 2·12) mg/l) compared with white rice group (0·63 (sd 2·35) mg/l) (P = 0·04). In conclusion, substituting brown rice for white rice showed a potential benefit on HbA1c among participants with the metabolic syndrome and an elevated BMI. A small benefit on inflammation was also observed.
Oxidative stress is closely related to metabolic disorders, which can lead to various diseases. Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a central regulator of oxidative stress. Sodium butyrate (NaB) has been shown to alleviate oxidative stress and insulin resistance, yet how Nrf2 is involved in the action of NaB remains unclear. In the present study, rats were rendered obese by feeding a high-fat diet for 9 weeks. NaB (300 mg/kg), which was gavaged every 2 d for 7 weeks, significantly alleviated high-fat diet-induced oxidative stress and insulin resistance. Additionally, the insulin signalling pathway in the liver was activated by NaB, associated with significant activation of Nrf2, superoxide dismutase and glutathione. Furthermore, hepatic up-regulation of Nrf2 in NaB-treated rats was associated with reduced protein content of histone deacetylase 1 and increased histone H3 acetyl K9 (H3K9Ac) modification on the Nrf2 promoter. The actions of NaB were completely abolished when Nrf2 was knocked down in vitro. Taken together, NaB acts as a histone deacetylase inhibitor to up-regulate Nrf2 expression with enhanced H3K9Ac modification on its promoter. NaB-induced Nrf2 activation stimulates transcription of downstream antioxidant enzymes, thus contributing to the amelioration of high-fat diet-induced oxidative stress and insulin resistance.
To understand the effect of pH value on the corrosion and corrosion fatigue behavior of AM60 magnesium alloy, electrochemical tests, viz., electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and fatigue tests, were carried out in PBS (phosphate buffered saline) solutions of pH 5.2, 7.4, and 9.0. The microstructure was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results are as follows: (i) the corrosion mechanism of AM60 under different pH values was different according to EIS; (ii) the corrosion resistance and corrosion fatigue life reduced in the following order: pH 9.0 > pH 7.4 > pH 5.2; (iii) the crack initiation was associated with hydrogen embrittlement of AM60 on the basis of fractographic analysis.
Familial monozygotic (MZ) twinning reports are rare around the world, and we report a four-generation pedigree with seven recorded pairs of female MZ twins. Whole-genome sequencing of seven family members was performed to explore the featured genetic factors in MZ twins. For variations specific to MZ twins, five novel variants were observed in the X chromosome. These candidates were used to explain the seemingly X-linked dominant inheritance pattern, and only one variant was exonic, located at the 5′UTR region of ZCCHC12 (chrX: 117958597, G > A). Besides, consistent mitochondrial DNA composition in the maternal linage precluded roles of mitochondria for this trait. In this pedigree, autosomes also contain diverse variations specific to MZ twins. Pathway analysis revealed a significant enrichment of genes carrying novel SNVs in the epithelial adherens junction-signaling pathway (p = .011), contributed by FGFR1, TUBB6, and MYH7B. Meanwhile, TBC1D22A, TRIOBP, and TUBB6, also carrying similar SNVs, were involved in the GTPase family-mediated signal pathway. Furthermore, gene-set enrichment analysis for 533 genes covered by copy number variations specific to MZ twins illustrated that the tight junction-signaling pathway was significantly enriched (p < .001). Therefore, the novel changes in the X chromosome and the provided candidate variants across autosomes may be responsible for MZ twinning, giving clues to increase our understanding about the underlying mechanism.
Introduction: To investigate the effects of paroxetine (PAR) on motor and cognitive function recovery in patients with non-depressed ischemic stroke (nD-AIS).
Methods: One hundred sixty-seven patients hospitalized for non-depressed acute ischemic stroke were selected and divided into treatment (T) and control (C) groups using a random number table. All patients received conventional secondary ischemic stroke prevention and rehabilitation training; patients in Group T additionally received treatment with PAR (10 mg/day during week 1 and 20 mg/day thereafter) for 3 months. The follow-up observation lasted 6 months. The Fugl–Meyer motor scale (FMMS), Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA), and Hamilton depression scale (HAMD) were used on D0, D15, D90, and D180 (T0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively; D180 = 90 days after treatment cessation) after study initiation, and scores were compared between the groups.
Results: The FMMS and MoCA scores differed significantly between Groups T and C at T2 and T3 (p < .05); by contrast, these scores did not differ significantly between the groups at T1 (p > .05). Furthermore, the HAMD scores differed significantly between the two groups at T3 (p < .05), but not at T1 and T2 (p > .05).
Conclusions: PAR treatment may improve motor and cognitive function recovery in patients with nD-AIS. Moreover, PAR may reduce the occurrence of depression after stroke.
The study aims to estimate the stress-strain constitutive behavior of intermetallic compounds (IMCs) observed in a solder interconnect from experimental nanoindentation responses through a modified analysis procedure for improved solution robustness based on Cheng and Cheng's and Dao et al.'s models. On the basis of parametric finite element nanoindentation simulation and dimensional analysis together with the concept of representative strain, a set of universal dimensionless functions are established, by which a forward and reverse analysis algorithm are created to predict nanoindentation responses from given elastoplastic properties and vice versa, respectively. The proposed analysis procedure is validated through comparison with the experimental nanoindentation responses and limited literature data. The results show that the proposed analysis procedure is an effective means for plastic property characterization of micro/nanoscale IMCs. The representative strain is found to be 0.056, which differs from the Dao et al.'s and Giannakopoulos and Suresh's estimate. Besides, though generally brittle and hard in nature, the IMCs in a micro/nanoscale thickness show high plasticity, and comprise a yield strength surpassing most typical engineering metals.
Background: This study assesses the value of the video head impulse test (vHIT) for early diagnosis of vestibular neuritis (VN) among acute vertigo. Methods: Thirty-three cases of vestibular neuritis (VN), 96 patients with other acute vertigo (AV), and 50 cases of normal controls used vHIT to quantitatively test a pair of horizontal vestibulo-ocular reflection (VOR) gains, two pairs of vertical VOR gains, and the corresponding three pairs of VOR gain asymmetry. The peculiarity of VOR gains in VN and the differences between VN and other AV, normal controls by vHIT, were collected and analyzed. Results: There were statistically significant differences in the three pairs of VOR gains asymmetry between VN and other AV, and normal controls (P<0.01). The sensitivity was 87.9% and specificity was 94.3% in differentiating VN from normal and other acute vertigo by vHIT. Conclusions: This study shows vHIT has advantages in the diagnosis of VN in acute vertigo with good sensitivity and specificity and indicates a widespread clinical application.
The Wuhan Pre/Post-Natal Twin Birth Registry (WPTBR) is one of the largest twin birth registries with comprehensive medical information in China. It recruits women from the first trimester of pregnancy and their twins from birth. From January 2006 to May 2016, the total number of twins enrolled in WPTBR is 13,869 twin pairs (27,553 individuals). The WPTBR initiated the Wuhan Twin Birth Cohort (WTBC). The WTBC is a prospective cohort study carried out through incorporation of three samples. The first one comprises 6,920 twin pairs, and the second one, 6,949 twin pairs. Both are population-based samples linked to the WPTBR and include pre- and post-natal information from WPTBR. The second sample includes neonatal blood spots as well. Using a hospital-based approach, we recently developed a third sample with a target enrolment of 1,000 twin pairs and their mothers. These twins are invited, via their parents, to participate in a periodic health examination from the first trimester of pregnancy to 18 years. Biological samples are collected initially from the mother, including blood, urine, cord blood, cord, amniotic fluid, placenta, breast milk and meconium, and vaginal secretions, and later from the twins, including meconium, stool, urine, and blood. This article describes the design, recruitment, follow-up, data collection, and measures, as well as ongoing and planned analyses at the WTBC. The WTBC offers a unique opportunity to follow women from prenatal to postnatal, as well as follow-up of their twins. This cohort study will expand the understanding of genetic and environmental influences on pregnancy and twins’ development in China.
Change mode and effects analysis (CMEA) is a powerful technique for measuring product flexibility toward future changes and diminishing the cost of redesign as well as shortening time to market. As a systematic methodology, it provides an in-depth view for the investigation of potential changes, causes, and effects in designs, products, and processes. Traditional CMEA determines the risk priorities of change modes by using change potential number, which requires the risk factors of design flexibility, occurrence, and readiness to be precisely evaluated. However, this is not always possible in real applications due to the uncertainty and subjectivity involved in the early design stages. It has been criticized much for its deficiencies in criteria weighting of the risk factors, change potential number calculation, and risk priorities determination of the change modes. This paper presents a systematic evaluation approach for determining a more rational rank of change modes by combining with the entropy weight method, rough number, and grey relational analysis. In this study, the entropy weight method is adopted to calculate the relative importance of risk factors. Rough number is presented to aggregate individual weights and preferences, and to manipulate the vagueness in the evaluation process. Then a rough number enhanced grey relational analysis is proposed to evaluate the risk ranking of change modes. Finally, a practical example is put forward to validate the performance of the proposed method. The result shows that the proposed change mode evaluation method can effectively overcome the shortcomings of traditional CMEA and strengthen the objectivity of product flexibility measurement.
We comment on the proposition “that lower temperatures and especially greater seasonal variation in temperature call for individuals and societies to adopt … a greater degree of self-control” (Van Lange et al., sect. 3, para. 4) for which we cannot find empirical support in a large data set with data-driven analyses. After providing greater nuance in our theoretical review, we suggest that Van Lange et al. revisit their model with an eye toward the social determinants of self-control.
Creative conceptual design requires significant previous design knowledge. Case-based reasoning enables learning from previous design experience and has a great potential in supporting creative conceptual design by means of seeking to retrieve, reuse, and revise most appropriate cases to generate inspired solutions. However, traditional case-based reasoning based creative conceptual design models focus on design strategies research, pay little attention to defining a consistent knowledge representation model, and neglect the research to make various types of knowledge retrieval tractable. Faced with such drawbacks, the expected design knowledge cannot be retrieved properly, especially in cases where multidisciplinary knowledge is concerned or exact query terms are absent. In order to solve these issues, this paper presents a combined approach to support creative conceptual design process. First, function–behavior–structure knowledge cell is introduced as a unified consistent design knowledge representation model. Second, a hybrid similarity measure is proposed to increase the overall possibility of obtaining useful design knowledge by considering semantic understanding ability. Third, an intelligent creative conceptual design system has been developed with a case study of a novel insulin pump design to demonstrate its usage, and two experiments are conducted to evaluate the performance of the proposed approach. The results show that the proposed approach outperforms other case-based reasoning based creative conceptual design models.