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Studies have suggested an association between metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the risk of metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases in the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD remains uncertain. Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 22,438 unaffected siblings of patients with MDD and 89,752 age-/sex-matched controls were selected and followed up from 1996 to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases during the follow-up period were identified. Compared with the controls, the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD had a higher prevalence of metabolic diseases, such as hypertension (5.0% vs. 4.5%, p = 0.007), dyslipidemia (5.6% vs. 4.8%, p < 0.001), and obesity (1.7% vs. 1.5%, p = 0.028), and cerebrocardiovascular diseases, such as ischemic stroke (0.6% vs. 0.4%, p < 0.005) and ischemic heart disease (2.1% vs. 1.7%, p < 0.001). Logistic regression analyses revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD were more likely to develop hypertension, dyslipidemia, ischemic stroke, and ischemic heart diseases during the follow-up period than the controls. Our study revealed a familial coaggregation between MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases.
Family coaggregation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia have been presented in previous studies. The shared genetic and environmental factors among psychiatric disorders remain elusive.
This nationwide population-based study examined familial coaggregation of major psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives (FDRs) of individuals with ASD. Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database was used to identify 26 667 individuals with ASD and 67 998 FDRs of individuals with ASD. The cohort was matched in 1:4 ratio to 271 992 controls. The relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of ADHD, ASD, BD, MDD and schizophrenia were assessed among FDRs of individuals with ASD and ASD with intellectual disability (ASD-ID).
FDRs of individuals with ASD have higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders compared with controls: ASD 17.46 (CI 15.50–19.67), ADHD 3.94 (CI 3.72–4.17), schizophrenia 3.05 (CI 2.74–3.40), BD 2.22 (CI 1.98–2.48) and MDD 1.88 (CI 1.76–2.00). Higher RRs of schizophrenia (4.47, CI 3.95–5.06) and ASD (18.54, CI 16.18–21.23) were observed in FDRs of individuals with both ASD-ID, compared with ASD only.
The risk for major psychiatric disorders was consistently elevated across all types of FDRs of individuals with ASD. FDRs of individuals with ASD-ID are at further higher risk for ASD and schizophrenia. Our results provide leads for future investigation of shared etiologic pathways of ASD, ID and major psychiatric disorders and highlight the importance of mental health care delivered to at-risk families for early diagnoses and interventions.
To explore if there is association between vitamin D supplementation through cod liver oil ingestion around the periconceptional period and the risk of developing severe CHD in offspring. Furthermore, we would examine the interaction between vitamin D and folic acid supplementation in the association.
A case–control study was conducted in Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, in which, a total of 262 severe CHD cases versus 262 controls were recruited through June 2016 to December 2017. All children were younger than 2 years. To reduce potential selection bias and to minimise confounding effects, propensity score matching was applied.
After propensity score matching, vitamin D supplementation seemed to be associated with decreased odds ratio of severe CHD (odds ratio = 0.666; 95% confidence intervals: 0.449–0.990) in the multivariable conditional logistic analysis. Furthermore, we found an additive interaction between vitamin D and folic acid supplementation (relative excess risk due to interaction = 0.810, 95% confidence intervals: 0.386–1.235) in the association.
The results suggested that maternal vitamin D supplementation could decrease the risk of offspring severe CHD; moreover, it could strengthen the protective effect of folic acid. The significance of this study lies in providing epidemiological evidence that vitamin D supplementation around the periconceptional period could be a potential nutritional intervention strategy to meet the challenge of increasing CHD.
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.
For a wide range of insect species, the microbiota has potential roles in determining host developmental programme, immunity and reproductive biology. The tea geometrid moths Ectropis obliqua and E. grisescens are two closely related species that mainly feed on tea leaves. Although they can mate, infertile hybrids are produced. Therefore, these species provide a pair of model species for studying the molecular mechanisms of microbiotal involvement in host reproductive biology. In this study, we first identified and compared the compositions of microbiota between these sibling species, revealing higher microbiotal diversity for E. grisescens. The microbiota of E. obliqua mainly comprised the phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria, whereas that of E. grisescens was dominated by Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. At the genus level, the dominant microbiota of E. grisescens included Wolbachia, Enterobacter and Pseudomonas and that of E. obliqua included Melissococcus, Staphylococcus and Enterobacter. Furthermore, we verified the rate of Wolbachia to infect 80 samples from eight different geographical populations, and the results supported that only E. grisescens harboured Wolbachia. Taken together, our findings indicate significantly different microbiotal compositions for E. obliqua and E. grisescens, with Wolbachia possibly being a curial factor influencing the reproductive isolation of these species. This study provides new insight into the mechanisms by which endosymbiotic bacteria, particularly Wolbachia, interact with sibling species.
Toxoplasma gondii rhoptry protein TgROP18 is a polymorphic virulence effector that targets immunity-related GTPases (IRGs) in rodents. Given that IRGs are uniquely diversified in rodents and not in other T. gondii intermediate hosts, the role of TgROP18 in manipulating non-rodent cells is unclear. Here we show that in human cells TgROP18I interacts with the interferon-gamma-inducible protein N-myc and STAT interactor (NMI) and that this is a property that is unique to the type I TgROP18 allele. Specifically, when expressed ectopically in mammalian cells only TgROP18I co-immunoprecipitates with NMI in IFN-γ-treated cells, while TgROP18II does not. In parasites expressing TgROP18I or TgROP18II, NMI only co-immunoprecipitates with TgROP18I and this is associated with allele-specific immunolocalization of NMI on the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM). We also found that TgROP18I reduces NMI association with IFN-γ-activated sequences (GAS) in the IRF1 gene promoter. Finally, we determined that polymorphisms in the C-terminal kinase domain of TgROP18I are required for allele-specific effects on NMI. Together, these data further define new host pathway targeted by TgROP18I and provide the first function driven by allelic differences in the highly polymorphic ROP18 locus.
From 21 January 2020 to 9 February 2020, three family clusters involving 31 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 were identified in Wenzhou, China. The epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the family cluster patients were analysed and compared with those of 43 contemporaneous sporadic cases. The three index cases transmitted the infection to 28 family members 2–10 days before illness onset. Overall, 28 of the 41 sporadic cases and three of 31 patients in the family clusters came back from Wuhan (65.12 vs. 9.68%, P< 0.001). In terms of epidemiological characters and clinical symptoms, no significant differences were observed between the family cluster and sporadic cases. However, the lymphocyte counts of sporadic cases were significantly lower than those of family cluster cases ((1.32 ± 0.55) × 109/l vs. (1.63 ± 0.70) × 109/l, P = 0.037), and the proportion of hypoalbuminaemia was higher in sporadic cases (18/43, 41.86%) than in the family clusters (6/31, 19.35%) (P < 0.05). Within the family cluster, the second- and third-generation cases had milder clinical manifestations, without severe conditions, compared with the index and first-generation cases, indicating that the virulence gradually decreased following passage through generations within the family clusters. Close surveillance, timely recognition and isolation of the suspected or latent patient is crucial in preventing family cluster infection.
Hydrogen production from water electrolysis with renewable energy input has been the focus of tremendous attention, as hydrogen is widely advocated as a clean energy carrier. In order to realize large-scale hydrogen generation from water splitting, it is essential to develop competent and robust electrocatalysts that will substantially decrease the overpotential requirement and improve energy efficiency. Recent advances in electrocatalyst design reveal that interfacial engineering is an effective approach in tuning the adsorption–desorption abilities of key catalytic intermediates on active sites, accelerating electron transfer, and stabilizing the active sites for long-term operation. Consequently, a large number of hybrid electrocatalysts consisting of metal/compound interfaces have been demonstrated to exhibit superior performance for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution from water. This article highlights examples of these hybrid electrocatalysts, including noble metal and non-noble metal candidates interfaced with a variety of compounds. Specific emphasis is placed on the synthetic methods, reaction mechanisms, and electrocatalytic activities, which are envisioned to inspire the design and development of further improved electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution from water splitting on an industrial scale.
Studies have suggested the detrimental effects of obesity and systemic inflammation on the cognitive function of patients with bipolar or major depressive disorder. However, the complex associations between affective disorder, obesity, systemic inflammation, and cognitive dysfunction remain unclear.
Overall, 110 patients with affective disorder (59 with bipolar I disorder and 51 with major depressive disorder) who scored ≥61 on the Global Assessment of Functioning and 51 age- and sex-matched controls were enrolled. Body mass index ≥25 kg/m2 was defined as obesity or overweight. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines—including interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and C-reactive protein (CRP)—were measured, and cognitive function was assessed using various methods, including the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and go/no-go task.
Patients with bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder were more likely to be obese or overweight, had higher CRP and TNF-α levels, and had greater executive dysfunction in the WCST than the controls. TNF-α level (P < .05) but not affective disorder diagnosis or obesity/overweight was significantly associated with cognitive function deficits, although obesity/overweight and diagnosis were significantly associated with increased TNF-α level.
Our findings may indicate that proinflammatory cytokines, but not obesity or overweight, have crucial effects on cognitive function in patients with bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder, although proinflammatory cytokines and obesity or overweight were found to be strongly associated. The complex relationships between affective disorder diagnosis, proinflammatory cytokine levels, obesity or overweight, and cognitive function require further investigation.
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.
In many cases, the efficiency and safety of a drilling project depend on the reliability of the electrical and electronic control system, as the process progresses without visual access of the operator. The electrical and electronic system provides and regulates the power supply for the drill, collects and monitors the drill data during the whole operating process, and sends and receives the control instructions and feedback signals. The entire system is composed of the surface, borehole and software subsystems. The surface subsystem serves for operating the drilling process, transmitting the drilling and environmental data, and supplying power for the drill motor and downhole control system. The borehole subsystem is generally intended for borehole data acquisition, drill motor control, power regulation and communication. The software subsystem is designed for human–computer interaction, data processing and storage, and programming of signal acquisition and transmission of data. The control system of Antarctic subglacial drilling rig was tested during the 2018–2019 summer season near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, in the course of drilling to the bedrock at a depth of 198 m. It exhibited a steady and efficient performance without significant system failures.
Parakmeria omeiensis is a Critically Endangered tree species in the family Magnoliaceae, endemic to south-west China. The tree is functionally dioecious, but little is known about the species’ status in the wild. We investigated the range, population size, age structure, habitat characteristics and threats to P. omeiensis. We located a total of 74 individuals in two populations on the steep slopes of Mount Emei, Sichuan province, growing under the canopy of evergreen broadleaved forest in well-drained gravel soil. A male-biased sex ratio, lack of effective pollinating insects, and habitat destruction result in low seed set and poor seedling survival in the wild. We have adopted an integrated conservation approach, including strengthening in situ conservation, cultivation of saplings, ex situ conservation and reintroduction, to protect this species. The successful conservation of P. omeiensis has important implications for the conservation of the genus Parakmeria and the family Magnoliaceae.
To investigate homocysteine (Hcy) and folate levels, prevalence of hyperhomocysteinaemia (HHcy) and folate deficiency, which are affected by lifestyles in urban, agricultural and stock-raising populations.
This is a cross-sectional study.
Urban, agricultural and stock-raising regions in Emin, China.
Totally 1926 subjects – 885 (45·9 %) from urban, 861 (44·7 %) from agricultural and 180 (9·4 %) from stock-raising regions – were obtained using multistage stratified random sampling. Inclusion criteria encompassed inhabitants aged ≥15 years who resided at the current address for ≥6 months and agreed to participate in the study. Surveys on health behaviour questionnaires and physical examinations were conducted and blood samples collected.
The folate level of subjects from the stock-raising region was the lowest, followed by those from the agricultural region, and the highest in those from the urban region (3·48 v. 6·50 v. 7·12 ng/ml, P < 0·001), whereas mean Hcy showed no significant difference across regions. The OR for HHcy in stock-raising regions was 1·90 (95 % CI 1·11, 3·27) compared with the urban region after adjusting for all possible covariates. The OR for folate deficiency in stock-raising and agriculture regions was 11·51 (95 % CI 7·09, 18·67) and 1·91 (95 % CI 1·30, 2·82), respectively, compared with the urban region after adjusting for all possible covariates.
HHcy and folate deficiency are highly prevalent in stock-raisers, which is of important reference for HHcy control in Xinjiang, with a possibility of extension to others with approximate lifestyles.