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Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Novel NiMoO4-integrated electrode materials were successfully prepared by solvothermal method using Na2MoO4·2H2O and NiSO4·6H2O as main raw materials, water, and ethanol as solvents. The morphology, phase, and structure of the as-prepared materials were characterized by SEM, XRD, Raman, and FT-IR. The electrochemical properties of the materials in supercapacitors were investigated by cyclic voltammetry, constant current charge–discharge, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques. The effects of volume ratio of water to ethanol (W/E) in solvent on the properties of the product were studied. The results show that the pure phase monoclinic crystal NiMoO4 product can be obtained when the W/E is 2:1. The diameter and length are 0.1–0.3 µm and approximately 3 µm, respectively. As an active material for supercapacitor, the NiMoO4 nanorods material delivered a discharge specific capacitance of 672, 498, and 396 F/g at a current density of 4, 7, and 10 A/g, respectively. The discharge specific capacitance slightly decreased from 815 to 588 F/g with a retention of 72% after 1000 cycles at a current density of 1 A/g. With these superior capacitance properties, the novel NiMoO4 integrated electrode materials could be considered as promising material for supercapacitors.
Chickenpox is a common acute and highly contagious disease in childhood; moreover, there is currently no targeted treatment. Carrying out an early warning on chickenpox plays an important role in taking targeted measures in advance as well as preventing the outbreak of the disease. In recent years, the infectious disease dynamic model has been widely used in the research of various infectious diseases. The logistic differential equation model can well demonstrate the epidemic characteristics of epidemic outbreaks, gives the point at which the early epidemic rate changes from slow to fast. Therefore, our study aims to use the logistic differential equation model to explore the epidemic characteristics and early-warning time of varicella. Meanwhile, the data of varicella cases were collected from first week of 2008 to 52nd week of 2017 in Changsha. Finally, our study found that the logistic model can be well fitted with varicella data, besides the model illustrated that there are two peaks of varicella at each year in Changsha City. One is the peak in summer–autumn corresponding to the 8th–38th week; the other is in winter–spring corresponding to the time from the 38th to the seventh week next year. The ‘epidemic acceleration week’ average value of summer–autumn and winter–spring are about the 16th week (ranging from the 15th to 17th week) and 45th week (ranging from the 44th to 47th week), respectively. What is more, taking warning measures during the acceleration week, the preventive effect will be delayed; thus, we recommend intervene during recommended warning weeks which are the 15th and 44th weeks instead.
Previous neuroimaging studies demonstrated that retinal detachment (RD) subjects were associated with abnormal spontaneous brain activities; however, whether the altered interhemispheric functional connectivity (FC) occurred in RD patients remains unknown. The current study tried to explore the alternations of interhemispheric FC of the whole brain in unilateral RD patients using the voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) method and their connections to clinical features. Methods: We recruited 30 patients with RD (16 males and 14 females) and 30 healthy controls (HCs) (16 males and 14 females) whose age and sex were closely matched. All subjects underwent the rs-fMRI scans. The VMHC method was applied to directly assess the hemispheres’ functional interaction. The VMHC in these brain areas, which could be used as biomarkers to differentiate RD from HC, was identified by the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses. The relations between these patients’ clinical features and their mean VMHC signal values in multiple brain regions were calculated by Pearson correlation analysis. Results: RD patients had significantly lower VMHC values than HCs in the bilateral occipital lobe (Brodmann areas, BA 18), bilateral superior temporal gyrus (BA 39), and bilateral cuneus (BA 19). Moreover, the mean VMHC signal values of the bilateral cuneus were in positive correlation with the duration of the RD (r = 0.446, P = 0.013). Conclusion: Our results provided an evidence of disturbed interhemispheric FC in the visual area occurred in RD patients, which might provide some useful information to understand the neural mechanism of RD patients with acute vision loss. Furthermore, the VMHC values might indicate the progress of the RD.
Several studies have suggested that higher carotenoid levels may be beneficial for atherosclerosis patients, but few studies have examined this relationship in the Chinese population. This cross-sectional study examined the association between the levels of carotenoids in diet and serum and carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) in Chinese adults aged 50–75 years in Guangzhou, China. Dietary intake was assessed using a FFQ. HPLC was used to assay the serum concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein+zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene. The IMT at the common carotid artery (CCA) and bifurcation of the carotid artery was measured by B-mode ultrasound. A total of 3707 and 2947 participants were included in the analyses of dietary and serum carotenoids. After adjustment for demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle factors, all the serum carotenoids levels except lycopene were found to be inversely associated with the IMT at the CCA and bifurcation (Ptrend<0·001 to 0·013) in both men and women. The absolute mean differences in the IMT between the subjects in the extreme quartiles of serum carotenoid levels were 0·034 mm (α-carotene), 0·037 mm (β-carotene), 0·032 mm (lutein+zeaxanthin), 0·030 mm (β-cryptoxanthin), 0·015 mm (lycopene) and 0·035 mm (total carotenoids) at the CCA; the corresponding values were 0·025, 0·053 0·043, 0·050, 0·011 and 0·042 mm at the bifurcation. The favourable associations were also observed between dietary carotenoids (except lycopene) and the CCA IMT. In conclusion, elevated carotenoid levels in diet and serum are associated with lower carotid IMT values (particular at the CCA) in Chinese adults.
A coaxial-output rolled strip pulse-forming line (RSPFL) with a dry structure is researched for the purpose of miniaturization and all-solid state of pulse-forming lines (PFL). The coaxial-output RSPFL consists of a coaxial-output electrode (COE) and a rolled strip line (RSL). The COE is characterized by quasi-coaxial structure, making the output pulse propagate along the axial direction with a small output inductance. The RSL is rolled on the COE, whose transmission characteristics are analyzed theoretically. It shows that the RSL can be regarded as a planar strip line when the rolling radius of the strip line is larger than 60 times of the thickness of the insulation dielectric layer of RSL. CST modeling was carried out to simulate the discharging characteristic of the coaxial-output RSPFL. It shows that the coaxial-output RSPFL can deliver a discharging pulse with a rise time <6 ns when the impedance of the RSL matches that of the COE, which confirms the theoretical analysis. A prototype of the coaxial-output RSPFL was developed. A 49-kV discharging pulse on a matched load was achieved when it was charged to 100 kV. The discharging waveform has a pulse width of 32 ns, with a rise time of 6 ns, which is consistent with the simulation waveform. An energy-storage density of 1.9 J/L was realized in the coaxial-output RSPFL. By the method of multi-stage connection in series, a much higher output voltage is convenient to be obtained.
This study aimed to determine the effects of supplementing the diet of adult Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus with phosphatidylcholine (PC) on growth performance, body composition, fatty acid composition and gene expression. Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia fish with an initial body weight of 83·1 (sd 2·9) g were divided into six groups. Each group was hand-fed a semi-purified diet containing 1·7 (control diet), 4·0, 6·5, 11·5, 21·3 or 41·0 g PC/kg diet for 68 d. Supplemental PC improved the feed efficiency rate, which was highest in the 11·5 g PC/kg diet. Weight gain and specific growth rate were unaffected. Dietary PC increased PC content in the liver and decreased crude fat content in the liver, viscera and body. SFA and MUFA increased and PUFA decreased in muscle with increasing dietary PC. Cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 and secreted phospholipase A2 mRNA expression were up-regulated in the brain and heart in PC-supplemented fish. PC reduced fatty acid synthase mRNA expression in the liver and visceral tissue but increased expression in muscle. Hormone-sensitive lipase and lipoprotein lipase expression increased in the liver with increasing dietary PC. Growth hormone mRNA expression was reduced in the brain and insulin-like growth factor-1 mRNA expression in liver reduced with PC above 6·5 g/kg. Our results demonstrate that dietary supplementation with PC improves feed efficiency and reduces liver fat in adult Nile tilapia, without increasing weight gain, representing a novel dietary approach to reduce feed requirements and improve the health of Nile tilapia.
Advance directives are important for nursing home residents with dementia; for those with advanced dementia, surrogates determine medical decisions. However, in Taiwan, little is known about what influences the completion of these advance directives. The purpose of this study was to identify factors, which influence the presence of advance directives for nursing home residents with dementia in Taiwan.
Our cross-sectional study analyzed a convenience sample of 143 nursing home dyads comprised of residents with dementia and family surrogates. Documentation of residents’ advance directives, physical and cognitive status was obtained from medical charts. Surrogates completed the stress of end-of-life care decision scale and a questionnaire regarding their demographic characteristics. Nursing home characteristics were obtained from each chief administrator.
Less than half of the nursing home residents (39.2%) had advance directives and most (96.4%) had been completed by family surrogates. The following were predictors of an advance directive: surrogates had previously signed a do-not-resuscitate as a proxy and had been informed of advance directives by a healthcare provider; nursing homes had policies for advance directives and a religious affiliation.
Advance directives were uncommon for nursing home residents with dementia. Presence of an advance directive was associated with surrogate characteristics and the nursing home facilities; there was no association with characteristics of the nursing home resident. Our findings emphasize the need to develop policies and strategies, which ensure that all residents of nursing homes and their surrogates are aware of their right to an advance directive.
The present study examines the characteristics of clay minerals in shale gas reservoirs and their influence on reservoir properties based on X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. These analyses were combined with optical microscopy observations and core and well-log data to investigate the genesis, distribution characteristics, main controlling factors and pore features of clay minerals of the Lower Silurian Longmaxi Formation in the East Sichuan area, China. The clay mineral assemblage consists of illite + mixed-layer illite-smectite (I-S) + chlorite. This assemblage includes three sources of clay minerals: detrital, authigenic and diagenetic minerals. The lower section of the Longmaxi Formation in the Jiaoshiba area has sealing ability which resulted in abnormal high pressures during hydrocarbon generation which inhibited illitization. Therefore, an anomalous transformation sequence is present in which the mixed-layer I-S content increases with depth. This anomalous transformation sequence can be used to infer the existence of abnormal high pressures. The detrital components of the formation also affect the clay-minerals content indirectly, especially the abundance of K-feldspar. The transformation of mixed-layer I-S to illite is limited due to the limited availability of K+, which determines the extent of transformation. Three types of pores were observed in the shale reservoir rocks of the Longmaxi Formation: interparticle (interP) pores, intraparticle (intraP) pores and organic-matter pores. The clay-mineral content controls the development of intraP pores, which are dominated by pores within clay particles. For a given clay mineral content, smectite and mixed-layer I-S were more conducive to the development of shale-gas reservoirs than other clay minerals.
Brief cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is an emerging treatment for
schizophrenia in community settings; however, further trials are needed,
especially in non-Western countries.
To test the effects of brief CBT for Chinese patients with schizophrenia
in the community (trial registration: ChiCTR-TRC-13003709).
A total of 220 patients with schizophrenia from four districts of Beijing
were randomly assigned to either brief CBT plus treatment as usual (TAU)
or TAU alone. Patients were assessed at baseline, post-treatment and at
6- and 12-month follow-ups by raters masked to group allocation.
At the post-treatment assessment and the 12-month follow-up, patients who
received brief CBT showed greater improvement in overall symptoms,
general psychopathology, insight and social functioning. In total, 37.3%
of those in the brief CBT plus TAU group experienced a clinically
significant response, compared with only 19.1% of those in the TAU alone
group (P = 0.003).
Brief CBT has a positive effect on Chinese patients with schizophrenia in
In this paper, numerical simulations of solid particle erosion phenomena on H-type finned circular/elliptic tube surface, which is of great significance to the antiwear design of heat exchanger, are presented. The Eulerian-Lagrangian approach is applied to simulate the dilute gas-solid flow through H-type finned circular/elliptic tubes. A semi-empirical model is adopted to predict the erosion rate. The dynamics behavior of the entrained solid particles in the flow is presented. The geometry of eroded tube surface is changed with the predicted erosion which is taken into account by a UDF and the flow field is re-solved for the eroded tube surface at every time step. The influences of ten parameters (the tube bundle arrangement, particle size, particle concentration, fluid Reynolds number, fin thickness, fin pitch, fin length, fin width, slit width and the transverse tube pitch) on the maximum erosion depth of the H-type circular/elliptic finned tube surface are investigated. Using H-type finned elliptic tube surface can effectively reduce the erosion rate of tube surface comparedwith that using H-type finned circular tube surface. The erosion in in-line arrangement is less severe than that in staggered arrangement. With the increase of particle size, particle concentration and the fluid Reynolds number, the erosion rate of the tube surface rises. The numerically predicted effect of Reynolds number is in good agreement with previous test data. Among the six geometry parameters, the most influential parameter is the transverse tube pitch.
The metadynamic recrystallization (MDRX) behavior of a Nb–V microalloyed nonquenched and tempered steel was investigated by isothermal hot compression tests on Gleeble-1500 thermal-mechanical simulator. Compression tests were performed using double hit schedules at temperatures of 1273–1423 K, strain rates of 0.01–5 s−1, initial grain sizes of 92–149 μm and an inter-pass time of 0.5–10 s. The experimental results show that MDRX softening fraction increases with the increasing of deformation temperature, strain rate, and inter-pass time, while it decreases with the increasing of initial grain size. Based on the experimental results, the MDRX softening fraction kinetic model and recrystallized grain size model of the tested steel was established. Besides, using the above mathematic models, a finite element model was built to simulate the MDRX process of the tested steel. The simulation results show good agreement with the experimental ones, which indicates that finite element method is an effective approach to analyze the MDRX behavior and the established that mathematic models of the tested steel are reliable and accurate.
The present study aims to evaluate the antiparasitic activity of active components from Cynanchum paniculatum against Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. The antiparasitic activities of two bioassay-guided fractionationated compounds from C. paniculatum identified as Cynatratoside-A and Cynanversicoside C, by comparing spectral data (NMR and ESI-MS) with literature values, were evaluated by in vitro assay. These showed that both could kill theronts of I. multifiliis at a concentration of 10·0 mg L−1, with the median effective concentration (EC50) values of 4·6 mg L−1 and 5·2 mg L−1 for Cynatratoside-A and Cynanversicoside C, respectively. Encysted tomonts were killed at concentrations of 8·0 mg L−1 with both compounds. In vivo experiments demonstrated that fish treated with both compounds at 15·0 mg L−1 carried significantly fewer parasites than controls (P < 0·05). There were no mortalities among treated fish group compared with 75% mortality of untreated fish. Cynatratoside-A and Cynanversicoside C are therefore potential candidate drugs for use against I. multifiliis.
The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus strykeri was discovered in 2010 on the western slopes of the Gaoligong Mountains in the Irrawaddy River basin in Myanmar and subsequently in the same river basin in China, in 2011. Based on 2 years of surveying the remote and little disturbed forest of the Gaoligong Mountains National Nature Reserve in China, with outline transect sampling and infrared camera monitoring, a breeding group comprising > 70 individuals was found on the eastern slopes of the Gaoligong Mountains in the Salween River Basin. Given the Critically Endangered status of this primate (a total of < 950 individuals are estimated to remain in the wild), efforts to protect the relatively undisturbed habitat of this newly discovered population and to prevent hunting are essential for the long-term survival of this species.
In the paper, we focus on atom diffusion behavior in Ni-based superalloys, which have important applications in the aero-industry. Specifically, the expressions of the key physical parameter – transition rate (jump rate) in the diffusion can be given from the diffusion theory in solids and the kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) method, respectively. The transition rate controls the diffusion process and is directly related to the energy of vacancy formation and the energy of migration of atom from density functional theory (DFT). Moreover, from the KMC calculations, the diffusion coefficients for Ni and Al atoms in the γ phase (Ni matrix) and the γʹ phase (intermetallic compound Ni3Al) of the superalloy have been obtained. We propose a strategy of time stepping to deal with the multi-time scale issues. In addition, the influence of temperature and Al concentration on diffusion in dilute alloys is also reported.
Obesity and hyperlipidaemia increase the risk of CVD. Some strains of probiotics have been suggested to have potential applications in cardiovascular health by lowering serum LDL-cholesterol. In this work, high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidaemia in hamsters was treated with different doses (5×108 and 2·5×109 cells/kg per d) of heat-killed Lactobacillus reuteri GMNL-263 (Lr263) by oral gavage for 8 weeks. The serum lipid profile analysis showed that LDL-cholesterol and plasma malondialdehyde (P-MDA) were reduced in the GMNL-263 5×108 cells/kg per d treatment group. Total cholesterol and P-MDA were reduced in the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatment group. In terms of heart function, the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatments improved the ejection fraction from 85·71 to 91·81 % and fractional shortening from 46·93 to 57·92 % in the high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts. Moreover, the GMNL-263-treated, high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts exhibited reduced Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis and a reactivated IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway. Interestingly, the GMNL-263 treatments also enhanced the heat-shock protein 27 expression in a dose-dependent manner, but the mechanism for this increase remains unclear. In conclusion, supplementary heat-killed L. reuteri GMNL-263 can slightly reduce serum cholesterol. The anti-hyperlipidaemia effects of GMNL-263 may reactivate the IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway and reduce Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis in high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts.
Two-dimensional (2D) transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) exhibit unique electrical, optical, thermal, and mechanical properties, which enable them to be used as building blocks in compact and lightweight integrated electronic systems. The controllable and reliable synthesis of atomically thin TMDCs is essential for their practical application. Recent progress in large-area synthesis of monolayer TMDCs paves the way for practical production of various 2D TMDC layers. The intrinsic optical and electrical properties of monolayer TMDCs can be defined by stoichiometry during synthesis. By manipulating the lattice structure or layer stacking manner, it is possible to create atomically thin van der Waals materials with unique and unexplored physical properties. In this article, we review recent developments in the synthesis of TMDC monolayers, alloys, and heterostructures, which shine light on the design of novel TMDCs with desired functional properties.