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This paper develops the estimation method of mean and covariance functions of functional data with additional covariate information. With the strength of both local linear smoothing modeling and general weighing scheme, we are able to explicitly characterize the mean and covariance functions with incorporating covariate for irregularly spaced and sparsely observed longitudinal data, as typically encountered in engineering technology or biomedical studies, as well as for functional data which are densely measured. Theoretically, we establish the uniform convergence rates of the estimators in the general weighing scheme. Monte Carlo simulation is conducted to investigate the finite-sample performance of the proposed approach. Two applications including the children growth data and white matter tract dataset obtained from Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study are also provided.
Visitors to zoos are a source of potential stress to certain captive-housed animals. Much research has focused on Europe and America, whereas the effect of human audiences on the behaviour of captive animals in Chinese parks has so far not been investigated. Sika deer (Cervus nippon) housed in Zhu-Yu-Wan Park, Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, were studied to determine the effect of different visitor density levels on the animals’ activity. From June 21 to December 10, 2006, and again from February 21 to July 10, 2007, 21 subjects were observed for 10 h per week for a total of 44 weeks. Continuous focal animal sampling was used to quantify behaviours, and visitor density was recorded every minute. Friedman's tests were used to examine the effects of visitor density on the behaviour of sika deer. Results showed that high visitor density was significantly related to foraging, resting, watching and ‘non-visible’ behaviours. The findings demonstrate that high numbers of visitors have an effect on the welfare of sika deer.
Time preference reversal refers to systematic inconsistencies between preferences and bids for intertemporal options. From the two eye-tracking studies (N1 = 60, N2 = 110), we examined the underlying mechanisms of time preference reversal. We replicated the reversal effect in which individuals facing a pair of intertemporal options choose the smaller-sooner option but assign a higher value to the larger-later one. Results revealed that the mean fixation duration and the proportion of gaze time on the outcome attribute varied across the choice and bid tasks. In addition, time preference reversals correlated with individual differences in maximizing tendencies. Findings support the contingent weighting hypothesis and strategy compatibility hypothesis and allow for improved theoretical understanding of the potential mechanisms and processes involved in time preference reversals.
Genetic mutations of fused in sarcoma (FUS) causing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may disrupt mRNA splicing events. For example, the FUS c.1394-2delA variant was reported in two western ALS patients, but its molecular mechanism is unclear. In this study, we aim to investigate FUS splice site mutations in Chinese ALS patients.
Sanger sequencing was used to identify FUS splicing mutations in Chinese ALS patients. We combined a deep learning tool (SpliceAI), RNA sequencing, and RT-PCR/RT-qPCR to analyze the effect of FUS c.1394-2delA mutation on RNA splicing and expression. AlphaFold was used to predict the protein structure of mutant FUS. In transfected cell lines, we used immunofluorescence to assess cytoplasmic mislocalization of mutant FUS protein.
We identified a de novo FUS splice acceptor site mutation (c.1394-2delA, p. Gly466Valfs*14) in one Chinese sporadic ALS patient, which is linked to exon 14 skipping, and upregulated total FUS mRNA expression. The FUS splice site mutation was predicted to be translated into a truncated protein product at C-terminal. In vitro studies revealed that the FUS mutation increased cytoplasmic mislocalization in both HEK293T and SH-SY5Y cells.
We identified a de novo FUS splicing mutation (c.1394-2delA, p. Gly466Valfs*14) in 1 out of 233 Chinese ALS patients. It caused abnormal RNA splicing, upregulated gene expression, truncated FUS translation, and cytosolic mislocalization. Our findings suggested that FUS splice site mutation is rare in Chinese ALS patients and extended our knowledge of molecular mechanisms of the FUS c.1394-2delA mutation.
Many protected areas worldwide have been established to protect the last natural refuges of flagship animal species. However, long-established protected areas do not always match the current distributions of target species under changing environmental conditions. Here we present a case study of the Asian elephant Elephas maximus in Xishuangbanna, south-west China, to evaluate whether the established protected areas match the species’ current distribution and to identify key habitat patches for Asian elephant conservation. Our results show that currently only 24.5% of the predicted Asian elephant distribution in Xishuangbanna is located within Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, which was established for elephant conservation. Based on the predicted Asian elephant distribution, we identified the most important habitat patches for elephant conservation in Xishuangbanna. The three most important patches were outside Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve and together they contained 43.3% of the estimated food resources for Asian elephants in all patches in Xishuangbanna. Thus, we identified a spatial mismatch between immobile protected areas and mobile animals. We recommend the inclusion of the three identified key habitat patches in a new national park currently being planned by the Chinese authorities for the conservation of the Asian elephant.
Our research question was to evaluate the chromosome concordance of trophectoderm (TE) biopsy with noninvasive chromosome screening (NICS) using embryo culture medium renewed twice on Day 3 (D3) and Day 4 (D4). In this study, we evaluated 64 cycles with 223 biopsied blastocysts. These were categorized into two groups based on replacing embryo culture medium on D3 (control group) or on D3 and D4 (experimental group). The fundamental characteristics and main outcomes were compared. The concordance rates of NICS results with TE biopsy were determined according to next generation sequencing results. In total, 103 experimental and 120 control embryo cultures were collected, and the euploid status was analyzed using NICS technology. The overall concordance rates with TE biopsy of the experimental and control groups were 0.86 and 0.75, respectively. Statistically significant difference was found between the two groups. An additional medium renewal of the D4 embryo culture can improve the concordance of NICS with TE biopsy.
Understanding predator–prey interactions is essential for successful pest management by using predators, especially for the suppression of novel invasive pest. The green lacewing Chrysopa formosa is a promising polyphagous predator that is widely used in the biocontrol of various pests in China, but information on the control efficiency of this predator against the seriously invasive pest Spodoptera frugiperda and native Spodoptera litura is limited. Here we evaluated the predation efficiency of C. formosa adults on eggs and first- to third-instar larvae of S. frugiperda and S. litura through functional response experiments and determined the consumption capacity and prey preference of this chrysopid. Adults of C. formosa had a high consumption of eggs and earlier instar larvae of both prey species, and displayed a type II functional response on all prey stages. Attack rates of the chrysopid on different prey stages were statistically similar, but the handling time increased notably as the prey developed. The highest predation efficiency and shortest-handling time were observed for C. formosa feeding on Spodoptera eggs, followed by the first-instar larvae. C. formosa exhibited a significant preference for S. litura over S. frugiperda in a two-prey system. In addition, we summarized the functional response and predation efficiency of several chrysopids against noctuid pests and made a comparison with the results obtained from C. formosa. These results indicate that C. formosa has potential as an agent for biological control of noctuid pests, particularly for the newly invasive pest S. frugiperda in China.
Late Palaeozoic igneous rock associations in response to subduction, accretion, and final closure of the eastern Palaeo-Asian Ocean play a significant role in understanding the geodynamic evolution of the southeastern Central Asian Orogenic Belt. Previous studies have identified a Permian arc magmatic belt associated with the southward-dipping subduction of the eastern Palaeo-Asian Ocean along the Solonker–Changchun suture zone. The genetic mechanism and associated geodynamic settings are of great importance in deciphering the evolution of the eastern Palaeo-Asian Ocean. This paper presents zircon U–Pb–Hf isotope and whole-rock geochemical analyses for a suite of magmatic rocks including the early Permian diorite porphyrites (ca. 281.0 Ma), andesites (ca. 276 Ma) and rhyolites (ca. 275 Ma) in the Kulun region. The diorite porphyrites and andesites have high SiO2 and total alkali contents, and low MgO contents and Mg no. values, with enrichments in large ion lithophile elements and depletions in high-field-strength elements. These geochemical characteristics, together with low-Sr and high-Yb contents, a weak concave-upward shape of middle rare earth elements and negative Eu anomalies, suggest that these intermediate igneous rocks were generated by partial melting of amphibolitic lower crust at a crustal depth of 30–40 km. The rhyolites have heterogeneous isotopic compositions, with ϵHf(t) values and TDM2 ages of –20.8 to +0.5 and 3578∼1494 Ma, implying that they were likely derived from partial melting of a mixed source dominated by recycled ancient crust with minor juvenile crustal materials. The rhyolites show potassic affinity with relatively high K2O and very low Na2O, which was attributed to liquid immiscibility of felsic magma and subsequent limited fractional crystallization of plagioclase. The regional igneous associations, metamorphic events, and coeval sedimentary rocks along the Solonker–Changchun suture zone indicate that the early Permian igneous rocks were formed in an active continental arc environment in response to southward subduction of the eastern Palaeo-Asian Ocean.
Sporadic clusters of healthcare-associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) occurred despite intense rostered routine surveillance and a highly vaccinated healthcare worker (HCW) population, during a community surge of the severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) B.1.617.2 δ (delta) variant. Genomic analysis facilitated timely cluster detection and uncovered additional linkages via HCWs moving between clinical areas and among HCWs sharing a common lunch area, enabling early intervention.
Previous studies have suggested that maternal active smoking can increase the risk of birth defects, but evidence on second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) is limited. We aimed to assess the association between maternal exposure to SHS and birth defects in a Chinese population. The data were based on a large-scale cross-sectional survey conducted in Shaanxi Province, China. Considering the characteristics of survey design and the potential impact of confounding factors, we adopted propensity score matching (PSM) to match the SHS exposure group and the non-exposure group to attain a balance of the confounders between the two groups. Subsequently, conditional logistic regression was employed to estimate the effect of SHS exposure on birth defects. Furthermore, sensitivity analyses were conducted to verify the key findings. After nearest neighbor matching of PSM with a ratio of 2 and a caliper width of 0.03, there were 6,205 and 12,410 participants in the exposure and control group, respectively. Pregnant women exposed to SHS were estimated to be 58% more likely to have infants with overall birth defects (OR = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.30–1.91) and 75% more likely to have infants with circulatory system defects (OR = 1.75, 95% CI: 1.26–2.44). We also observed that the risk effect of overall birth defects had an increasing trend as the frequency of exposure increased. Additionally, sensitivity analyses suggested that our results had good robustness. These results indicate that maternal exposure to SHS likely increases the risk of overall birth defects, especially circulatory system defects, in Chinese offspring.
Neuroimaging- and machine-learning-based brain-age prediction of schizophrenia is well established. However, the diagnostic significance and the effect of early medication on first-episode schizophrenia remains unclear.
To explore whether predicted brain age can be used as a biomarker for schizophrenia diagnosis, and the relationship between clinical characteristics and brain-predicted age difference (PAD), and the effects of early medication on predicted brain age.
The predicted model was built on 523 diffusion tensor imaging magnetic resonance imaging scans from healthy controls. First, the brain-PAD of 60 patients with first-episode schizophrenia, 60 healthy controls and 21 follow-up patients from the principal data-set and 40 pairs of individuals in the replication data-set were calculated. Next, the brain-PAD between groups were compared and the correlations between brain-PAD and clinical measurements were analysed.
The patients showed a significant increase in brain-PAD compared with healthy controls. After early medication, the brain-PAD of patients decreased significantly compared with baseline (P < 0.001). The fractional anisotropy value of 31/33 white matter tract features, which related to the brain-PAD scores, had significantly statistical differences before and after measurements (P < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). Correlation analysis showed that the age gap was negatively associated with the positive score on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in the principal data-set (r = −0.326, P = 0.014).
The brain age of patients with first-episode schizophrenia may be older than their chronological age. Early medication holds promise for improving the patient's brain ageing. Neuroimaging-based brain-age prediction can provide novel insights into the understanding of schizophrenia.
The effects of early thiamine use on clinical outcomes in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) are unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between early thiamine administration and clinical outcomes in critically ill patients with AKI. The data of critically ill patients with AKI within 48 h after ICU admission were extracted from the Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care III (MIMIC III) database. PSM was used to match patients early receiving thiamine treatment to those not early receiving thiamine treatment. The association between early thiamine use and in-hospital mortality due to AKI was determined using a logistic regression model. A total of 15 066 AKI patients were eligible for study inclusion. After propensity score matching (PSM), 734 pairs of patients who did and did not receive thiamine treatment in the early stage were established. Early thiamine use was associated with lower in-hospital mortality (OR 0·65; 95 % CI 0·49, 0·87; P < 0·001) and 90-d mortality (OR 0·58; 95 % CI 0·45, 0·74; P < 0·001), and it was also associated with the recovery of renal function (OR 1·26; 95 % CI 1·17, 1·36; P < 0·001). In the subgroup analysis, early thiamine administration was associated with lower in-hospital mortality in patients with stages 1 to 2 AKI. Early thiamine use was associated with improved short-term survival in critically ill patients with AKI. It was possible beneficial role in patients with stages 1 to 2 AKI according to the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes criteria.
The provenance and tectonic setting of the Lower–Middle Triassic clastic sediments from the Napo basin, South China, have been examined here using detrital modes, whole-rock geochemistry and detrital zircon U–Pb ages. Field investigations indicate that these sediments consist of fan delta, slope and turbidity fan facies with dominantly southward palaeocurrent directions. Detrital modes and geochemical characteristics of the clastic rocks indicate that they were derived from mixed magmatic arc and Palaeozoic successions in a continental island arc setting, with no significant sediment recycling. The U–Pb age spectra of sandstone detrital zircons from different stratigraphic positions are similar, with one major group (300–230 Ma), two subordinate groups (400–320 Ma and 480–420 Ma, respectively) and two scattered groups (1200–800 Ma and 2000–1700 Ma, respectively). Thus, we consider that the north late Permian – Middle Triassic volcanic rocks and the uplifted Palaeozoic sedimentary/volcanic sequences constituted the predominant sources. The detritus derived from the late Permian Emeishan mafic rocks is subordinate and limited. The pre-Devonian zircons are likely sedimentary-recycled or magmatic-captured instead of directly derived from the early Palaeozoic orogen (e.g. Yunkai massif) and Neoproterozoic Jiangnan orogen because of the topographic barrier of a magmatic arc and carbonate platform. Considering the spatial and temporal distribution characteristics of the volcanic arc and ophiolite, we suggest that the Triassic Napo basin was a fore-arc basin within a continental island arc setting, which developed in response to the northward subduction of the Babu–Cao Bang branch ocean beneath the South China Block.
Sarcopenic obesity is regarded as a risk factor for the progression and development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Since male sex is a risk factor for NAFLD and skeletal muscle mass markedly varies between the sexes, we examined whether sex influences the association between appendicular skeletal muscle mass to visceral fat area ratio (SVR), that is, an index of skeletal muscle mass combined with abdominal obesity, and the histological severity of NAFLD. The SVR was measured by bioelectrical impedance in a cohort of 613 (M/F = 443/170) Chinese middle-aged individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD. Multivariable logistic regression and subgroup analyses were used to test the association between SVR and the severity of NAFLD (i.e. non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or NASH with the presence of any stage of liver fibrosis). NASH was identified by a NAFLD activity score ≥5, with a minimum score of 1 for each of its categories. The presence of fibrosis was classified as having a histological stage ≥1. The SVR was inversely associated with NASH in men (adjusted OR 0·62; 95 % CI 0·42, 0·92, P = 0·017 for NASH, adjusted OR 0·65; 95 % CI 0·43, 0·99, P = 0·043 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis), but not in women (1·47 (95 % CI 0·76, 2·83), P = 0·25 for NASH, and 1·45 (95 % CI 0·74, 2·83), P = 0·28 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis). There was a significant interaction for sex and SVR (Pinteraction = 0·017 for NASH and Pinteraction = 0·033 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis). Our findings show that lower skeletal muscle mass combined with abdominal obesity is strongly associated with the presence of NASH only in men.
Seasonal climate variability is an important component of Earth's climate system, and has a significant impact on ecosystems and social systems. However, the temporal resolution of most proxy-based paleoclimate records is limiting to fully understand the past seasonal changes. Here, we used high-precision monthly resolution Sr/Ca records of three Tridacna squamosa specimens from the northern South China Sea (SCS) to reconstruct the sea surface temperature (SST) seasonality during three time periods from the middle Holocene. The results suggested that SST seasonality in the northern SCS during the middle Holocene (3.21 ± 0.98°C) was smaller than that for recent decades (AD 1994–2004, 4.32 ± 0.59°C). Analysis of modern instrumental data showed that the SST seasonality in the northern SCS was dominated by the winter SST, which was deeply influenced by the intensity of East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM). A strong EAWM usually resulted in cooler winter SST and a larger SST seasonality in the northern SCS. The reconstructed Holocene EAWM records showed that the EAWM strengthened from the middle to late Holocene, which was seen in our reconstruction of less SST seasonality changes during the middle Holocene in the northern SCS. This study highlighted that the Sr/Ca ratios from Tridacna shells can be used as a potential high-resolution indicator of past seasonal climate changes.
To examine the association between sleep duration in different stages of life and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).
Design, setting, and participants:
A total of 2472 healthy elderly and 505 patients with aMCI in China were included in this study. The study analyzed the association between aMCI and sleep duration in different stages of life.
We compared sleep duration in different stages of life and analyzed the association between Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores and sleep duration by curve estimation. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between aMCI and sleep duration.
In the analysis, there were no results proving that sleep duration in youth (P = 0.719, sleep duration < 10 hours; P = 0.999, sleep duration ≥ 10 hours) or midlife (P = 0.898, sleep duration < 9 hours; P = 0.504, sleep duration ≥ 9 hours) had a significant association with aMCI. In the group sleeping less than 7 hours in late life, each hour more of sleep duration was associated with approximately 0.80 of the original risk of aMCI (P = 0.011, odds ratio = 0.80, 95% confidence interval = 0.68–0.95).
Among the elderly sleeping less than 7 hours, there is a decreased risk of aMCI for every additional hour of sleep.
People with serious mental illness are at great risk of suicide, but little is known about the suicide rates among this population. We aimed to quantify the suicide rates among people with serious mental illness (bipolar disorder, major depression, or schizophrenia).
PubMed and Web of Science were searched to identify studies published from 1 January 1975 to 10 December 2020. We assessed English-language studies for the suicide rates among people with serious mental illness. Random-effects meta-analysis was used. Changes in follow-up time and the suicide rates were presented by a locally weighted scatter-plot smoothing (LOESS) curve. Suicide rate ratio was estimated for assessments of difference in suicide rate by sex.
Of 5014 identified studies, 41 were included in this analysis. The pooled suicide rate was 312.8 per 100 000 person-years (95% CI 230.3–406.8). Europe was reported to have the highest pooled suicide rate of 335.2 per 100 000 person-years (95% CI 261.5–417.6). Major depression had the highest suicide rate of 534.3 per 100 000 person-years (95% CI 30.4–1448.7). There is a downward trend in suicide rate estimates over follow-up time. Excess risk of suicide in males was found [1.90 (95% CI 1.60–2.25)]. The most common suicide method was poisoning [21.9 per 100 000 person-years (95% CI 3.7–50.4)].
The suicide rates among people with serious mental illness were high, highlighting the requirements for increasing psychological assessment and monitoring. Further study should focus on region and age differences in suicide among this population.
High-quality primary care reduces premature mortality in the general population, but evidence for psychiatric patients in China is scarce.
To confirm excess mortality in patients with severe mental illness (SMI), and to examine the impact of community-based mental healthcare and other risk factors on their mortality.
We included 93 655 patients in 2012 and 100 706 in 2013 from the national mental health surveillance system in Sichuan, China to calculate the standardised mortality ratio (SMR). A total of 112 576 patients were followed up from 2009 to 2014 for model analyses. We used growth models to quantify the patterns of change for community management measures, high-risk behaviour, disease stability and medication adherence of patients over time, and then used multilevel proportional hazard models to examine the association between change patterns of management measures and mortality.
The SMR was 6.44 (95% CI 4.94–8.26) in 2012 and 7.57 (95% CI 5.98–9.44) in 2013 among patients with SMI aged 15–34 years, and diminished with age. Unfavourable baseline socioeconomic status increased the hazard of death by 38–50%. Positive changes in high-risk behaviour, disease stability and medication adherence had a 54% (95% CI 47–60%), 69% (95% CI 63–73%) and 20% (4–33%) reduction in hazard of death, respectively, versus in those where these were unchanged.
High excess mortality was confirmed among younger patients with SMI in Sichuan, China. Our findings on the relationships between community management and socioeconomic factors and mortality can inform community-based mental healthcare policies to reduce excess mortality among patients with SMI.
The global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is greatly threatening the public health in the world. We reconstructed global transmissions and potential demographic expansions of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 based on genomic information. We found that intercontinental transmissions were rare in January and early February but drastically increased since late February. After world-wide implements of travel restrictions, the transmission frequencies decreased to a low level in April. We identified a total of 88 potential demographic expansions over the world based on the star-radiative networks and 75 of them were found in Europe and North America. The expansion numbers peaked in March and quickly dropped since April. These findings are highly concordant with epidemic reports and modelling results and highlight the significance of quarantine validity on the global spread of COVID-19. Our analyses indicate that the travel restrictions and social distancing measures are effective in containing the spread of COVID-19.