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Mechanistic studies have suggested that antioxidants have beneficial effects on age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This study aimed to investigate the association between the types and sources of dietary vitamin and carotenoid intakes and AMD risk in China. A matched case-control study of 260 patients who were clinically diagnosed with AMD and 260 matched controls was performed. The participants were interviewed for dietary information and potential confounders, and comprehensive ophthalmic examinations were performed. Conditional logistic models were used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) across the categories of specific vitamins and carotenoids and their main sources. When comparing the extreme quartiles, the ORs(95% CI) were 0.30 (0.10, 0.88) for lutein and 0.28 (0.11, 0.74) for β-cryptoxanthin. The associations between AMD and other dietary vitamin and carotenoid intakes were generally weaker and non-significant. Higher intakes of spinach and egg, which are important sources of lutein, were associated with a reduced odds of AMD, with an OR comparing the highest and lowest categories of spinach being 0.42 (95%CI: 0.20, 0.88) and that comparing the highest and lowest categories of the egg being 0.52 (95% CI: 0.27, 0.98). Participants who were in the highest category of both egg intake and spinach intake had a much greater reduced odds of having AMD (OR: 0.23; 95%CI: 0.08, 0.71) than those in the lowest category of egg intake and spinach intake. In conclusion, a higher intake of lutein and lutein-rich foods was associated with a significantly decreased odds of AMD. These findings provide further evidence of the benefits of lutein and lutein-rich foods in the prevention of AMD.
In the United States, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and the rate of maternal mortality remains among the highest of any industrialized nation. Maternal cardiometabolic health throughout gestation and postpartum is representative of placental health and physiology. Both proper placental functionality and placental microRNA expression are essential to successful pregnancy outcomes, and both are highly sensitive to genetic and environmental sources of variation. Placental pathologies, such as preeclampsia, are associated with maternal cardiovascular health but may also contribute to the developmental programming of chronic disease in offspring. However, the role of more subtle alterations to placental function and microRNA expression in this developmental programming remains poorly understood. We performed small RNA sequencing to investigate microRNA in placentae from the Rhode Island Child Health Study (n = 230). MicroRNA counts were modeled on maternal family history of cardiovascular disease using negative binomial generalized linear models. MicroRNAs were considered to be differentially expressed at a false discovery rate (FDR) less than 0.10. Parallel mRNA sequencing data and bioinformatic target prediction software were then used to identify potential mRNA targets of differentially expressed microRNAs. Nine differentially expressed microRNAs were identified (FDR < 0.1). Bioinformatic target prediction revealed 66 potential mRNA targets of these microRNAs, many of which are implicated in TGFβ signaling pathway but also in pathways involving cellular metabolism and immunomodulation. A robust association exists between familial cardiovascular disease and placental microRNA expression which may be implicated in both placental insufficiencies and the developmental programming of chronic disease.
The purpose of this study aims to explore the relationships between business portfolio reconfiguration and firm performance in developing countries as well as the moderating roles played by organizational slack, capabilities and ownership structure. By using the perspectives of dynamic capabilities, resources-based view and social network, this study proposes that there is a U-shaped relationship between business portfolio reconfiguration and firm performance. Furthermore, while R&D capability, marketing capability and foreign ownership are expected to positively moderate this U-shaped relationship, organizational slack, state and domestic ownership may potentially make this U-shaped relationship less pronounced. We draw our observations from Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges in China from 2008 to 2017, and obtain 26,151 firm-year observations, which are consisted of 3,508 publicly traded companies. The results generally support our hypotheses, and some theoretical and practical implications are extracted from this study.
This experiment was conducted to evaluate the impact of substituting rice straw with citrus pulp (CRP), sweet potato peels (SPP) and vines (SPV) on fermentation quality and in vitro digestibility when ensiled with or without wet brewers' grains (WBG). Seven treatments were set as follows: (i) rice straw only (control); (ii) 800 g rice straw/kg + 200 g CRP/kg (RC); (iii) 720 g rice straw/kg + 180 g CRP/kg + 100 g WBG/kg (RC+); (iv) 800 g rice straw/kg + 200 g SPP/kg (RP); (v) 720 g rice straw + 180 g SPP/kg + 100 g WBG/kg (RP+); (vi) 800 g rice straw/kg + 200 g SPV/kg (RV); (vii) 720 g rice straw/kg + 180 g SPV/kg + 100 g WBG/kg (RV+). After ensiling for 3, 7, 14, 30 and 60 days, silos were opened for fermentation profile, aerobic stability and in vitro parameter analyses. All substitution types improved fermentation quality, characterized by significantly lower pH and NH3-N content, higher lactic acid content and V-scores. WBG application promoted hetero-fermentation and significantly increased DM losses, acetic acid and ethanol contents. After 60 days of ensiling, the NDF, ADF and cellulose contents in mixed silages significantly decreased compared to control. During aerobic exposure, WBG application significantly prolonged aerobic stability. SPV substitution significantly improved in vitro digestibility of dry matter, NDF and ADF. In conclusion, the SPP substitution combined with WBG application was recommended as a result of the optimal balance of fermentation quality, aerobic stability and in vitro digestibility.
The role of neurological proteins in the development of bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) remains elusive now. The current study aims to explore the potential genetic correlations of plasma neurological proteins with BD and SCZ.
By using the latest genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary data of BD and SCZ (including 41,917 BD cases, 11,260 SCZ cases, and 396,091 controls) derived from the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium website (PGC) and a recently released GWAS of neurological proteins (including 750 individuals), we performed a linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC) analysis to detect the potential genetic correlations between the two common psychiatric disorders and each of the 92 neurological proteins. Two-sample Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis was then applied to assess the bidirectional causal relationship between the neurological proteins identified by LDSC, BD and SCZ.
LDSC analysis identified one neurological protein, NEP, which shows suggestive genetic correlation signals for both BD (coefficient = −0.165, p value = 0.035) and SCZ (coefficient = −0.235, p value = 0.020). However, those association did not remain significant after strict Bonferroni correction. Two sample MR analysis found that there was an association between genetically predicted level of NEP protein, BD (odd ratio [OR] = 0.87, p value = 1.61 × 10−6) and SCZ (OR = 0.90, p value = 4.04 × 10−6). However, in the opposite direction, there is no genetically predicted association between BD, SCZ, and NEP protein level.
This study provided novel clues for understanding the genetic effects of neurological proteins on BD and SCZ.
Mounting evidence showed that insula contributed to the neurobiological mechanism of suicidal behaviors in bipolar disorder (BD). However, no studies have analyzed the dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) of insular Mubregions and its association with personality traits in BD with suicidal behaviors. Therefore, we investigated the alterations of dFC variability in insular subregions and personality characteristics in BD patients with a recent suicide attempt (SA).
Thirty unmedicated BD patients with SA, 38 patients without SA (NSA) and 35 demographically matched healthy controls (HCs) were included. The sliding-window analysis was used to evaluate whole-brain dFC for each insular subregion seed. We assessed between-group differences of psychological characteristics on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2. Finally, a multivariate regression model was adopted to predict the severity of suicidality.
Compared to NSA and HCs, the SA group exhibited decreased dFC variability values between the left dorsal anterior insula and the left anterior cerebellum. These dFC variability values could also be utilized to predict the severity of suicidality (r = 0.456, p = 0.031), while static functional connectivity values were not appropriate for this prediction. Besides, the SA group scored significantly higher on the schizophrenia clinical scales (p < 0.001) compared with the NSA group.
Our findings indicated that the dysfunction of insula–cerebellum connectivity may underlie the neural basis of SA in BD patients, and highlighted the dFC variability values could be considered a neuromarker for predictive models of the severity of suicidality. Moreover, the psychiatric features may increase the vulnerability of suicidal behavior.
Athetis lepigone Möschler (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) is a common maize pest in Europe and Asia. However, there is no long-term effective management strategy is available yet to suppress its population. Adults rely heavily on olfactory cues to locate their optimal host plants and oviposition sites. Pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) are believed to be responsible for recognizing and transporting different odorant molecules to interact with receptor membrane proteins. In this study, the ligand-binding specificities of two AlepPBPs (AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3) for sex pheromone components and host plant (maize) volatiles were measured by fluorescence ligand-binding assay. The results demonstrated that AlepPBP2 had a high affinity with two pheromones [(Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.11 ± 0.1 μM, (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.32 ± 0.15 μM] and ten plant volatiles, including (-)-limonene, α-pinene, myrcene, linalool, benzaldehyde, nonanal, 2-hexanone, 3-hexanone, 2-heptanone and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one. In contrast, we found that none of these chemicals could bind to AlepPBP3. Our results clearly show no significant differences in the functional characterization of the binding properties between AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3 to sex pheromones and host plant volatiles. Furthermore, molecular docking was employed for further detail on some crucial amino acid residues involved in the ligand-binding of AlepPBP2. These findings will provide valuable information about the potential protein binding sites necessary for protein-ligand interactions which appear as attractive targets for the development of novel technologies and management strategies for insect pests.
Previous studies have demonstrated structural and functional changes of the hippocampus in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, no studies have analyzed the dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) of hippocampal subregions in melancholic MDD. We aimed to reveal the patterns for dFC variability in hippocampus subregions – including the bilateral rostral and caudal areas and its associations with cognitive impairment in melancholic MDD.
Forty-two treatment-naive MDD patients with melancholic features and 55 demographically matched healthy controls were included. The sliding-window analysis was used to evaluate whole-brain dFC for each hippocampal subregions seed. We assessed between-group differences in the dFC variability values of each hippocampal subregion in the whole brain and cognitive performance on the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Finally, association analysis was conducted to investigate their relationships.
Patients with melancholic MDD showed decreased dFC variability between the left rostral hippocampus and left anterior lobe of cerebellum compared with healthy controls (voxel p < 0.005, cluster p < 0.0125, GRF corrected), and poorer cognitive scores in working memory, verbal learning, visual learning, and social cognition (all p < 0.05). Association analysis showed that working memory was positively correlated with the dFC variability values of the left rostral hippocampus-left anterior lobe of the cerebellum (r = 0.338, p = 0.029) in melancholic MDD.
These findings confirmed the distinct dynamic functional pathway of hippocampal subregions in patients with melancholic MDD, and suggested that the dysfunction of hippocampus-cerebellum connectivity may be underlying the neural substrate of working memory impairment in melancholic MDD.
An important field of the political economy literature examines the mechanism of property rights commitments in authoritarian regimes where formal political constraints are absent. While many of the existing studies focus on how domestic autocratic institutions shape the formation of property rights regimes, this paper takes an open-economy approach and examines the compound effect of global economic integration and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) on property rights protection in authoritarian regimes. We propose that the domestic presence of foreign factors of production is positively associated with more credible property rights commitments in authoritarian economies. Moreover, this association is moderated by authoritarian regimes' participation in institutionalized IGOs, which enhance the organizational capacity of these foreign owners of production factors. Through the transnational networks of production integration, international institutions indirectly alter the domestic distribution of bargaining power between the authoritarian government and private economic actors, rendering the commitment to property rights protection more credible. An analysis of a panel dataset consisting of 105 authoritarian regimes yields preliminary evidence supporting our proposition.
The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of disaster preparedness and to explore associated factors among emergency nurses in Guangdong Province, China.
In this descriptive, cross-sectional study, the mainland China version of the Disaster Preparedness Evaluation Tool was used to collect data from 633 nurses working in 26 emergency departments, in August 2018. Descriptive analyses were used to examine the disaster preparedness, and multiple linear regression analysis was used to investigate associated factors.
The perceived disaster preparedness of emergency nurses was at a moderate level. Among the 5 dimensions, the score for disaster management was lowest. Emergency nurses’ disaster training (r = .26; P < 0.001) and drill experiences (r = .22; P < 0.001) were significantly correlated with disaster preparedness. Six significant factors associated with disaster preparedness were identified in this study: age, gender, disaster training experience, disaster drill experience, willingness, and educational level (R2 = .14; F = 18.20; P < 0.001).
Hospitals and nurse managers should carry out interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary cooperation to improve emergency nurses’ disaster preparedness, especially disaster management. Organizing disaster simulation exercises, providing psychological support and safety considerations, and formulating disaster nursing training programs may be beneficial for emergency nurses’ disaster preparedness.
The article aims to estimate and forecast the transmissibility of shigellosis and explore the association of meteorological factors with shigellosis. The mathematical model named Susceptible–Exposed–Symptomatic/Asymptomatic–Recovered–Water/Food (SEIARW) was used to explore the feature of shigellosis transmission based on the data of Wuhan City, China, from 2005 to 2017. The study applied effective reproduction number (Reff) to estimate the transmissibility. Daily meteorological data from 2008 to 2017 were used to determine Spearman's correlation with reported new cases and Reff. The SEIARW model fit the data well (χ2 = 0.00046, p > 0.999). The simulation results showed that the reservoir-to-person transmission of the shigellosis route has been interrupted. The Reff would be reduced to a transmission threshold of 1.00 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.82–1.19) in 2035. Reducing the infectious period to 11.25 days would also decrease the value of Reff to 0.99. There was a significant correlation between new cases of shigellosis and atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind speed and sun hours per day. The correlation coefficients, although statistically significant, were very low (<0.3). In Wuhan, China, the main transmission pattern of shigellosis is person-to-person. Meteorological factors, especially daily atmospheric pressure and temperature, may influence the epidemic of shigellosis.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) is a cell surface receptor, belonging to the tyrosine kinase receptor superfamily. IGF1R plays a role not only in normal cell development but also in malignant transformation, which has become a candidate therapeutic target for the treatment of human cancer. This study aimed to explore insertions and deletions (indels) in IGF1R gene and investigate their association with growth traits in four Chinese cattle breeds (Xianan cattle, Jinnan cattle, Qinchuan cattle and Nanyang cattle). The current paper identified a 28-bp indel by polymerase chain reaction within IGF1R gene. The analysis showed that there was a significant correlation between the locus and the hucklebone width of Nanyang cattle in four periods, in which it was highly correlated at 6, 12 and 18 months. At the age of 6 months, it was also significantly correlated with body height, body weight and body length. Association analysis showed that the locus in Jinnan cattle was extremely significantly correlated with body slanting length and body weight, and significantly correlated with chest circumference. There was no significant correlation between this locus and growth traits of Xianan cattle and Qinchuan cattle. The detected indel in the IGF1R gene was significantly associated with growth traits in Jinnan and Nanyang cattle, and could be used as a molecular marker for growth trait selection.
Cognitive impairment is common in late-life depression, which may increase Alzheimer disease (AD) risk. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether late-life major depressive disorder (MDD) has worse cognition and increases the characteristic AD neuropathology. Furthermore, we carried out a comparison between treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and non-TRD. We hypothesized that patients with late-life depression and TRD may have increased β-amyloid (Aβ) deposits in brain regions responsible for global cognition.
We recruited 81 subjects, including 54 MDD patients (27 TRD and 27 non-TRD) and 27 matched healthy controls (HCs). Neurocognitive tasks were examined, including Mini-Mental State Examination and Montreal Cognitive Assessment to detect global cognitive functions. PET with Pittsburgh compound-B and fluorodeoxyglucose were used to capture brain Aβ pathology and glucose use, respectively, in some patients.
MDD patients performed worse in Montreal Cognitive Assessment (p = 0.003) and had more Aβ deposits than HCs across the brain (family-wise error-corrected p < 0.001), with the most significant finding in the left middle frontal gyrus. Significant negative correlations between global cognition and prefrontal Aβ deposits existed in MDD patients, whereas positive correlations were noted in HCs. TRD patients had significantly more deposits in the left-sided brain regions (corrected p < 0.001). The findings were not explained by APOE genotypes. No between-group fluorodeoxyglucose difference was detected.
Late-life depression, particularly TRD, had increased brain Aβ deposits and showed vulnerability to Aβ deposits. A detrimental role of Aβ deposits in global cognition in patients with late-onset or non-late-onset MDD supported the theory that late-life MDD could be a risk factor for AD.
It has been commonly observed on open waters that ducklings/goslings follow their mothers in a highly organized formation. The questions arise: (1) why are they swimming in formation? (2) what is the best swimming formation? (3) how much energy can be preserved by each individual in formation swimming? To address these questions, we established a simplified mathematical and numerical model and calculated the wave drag on a group of waterfowl in a swimming formation. We observed two new and interesting findings: wave-riding and wave-passing. By riding the waves generated by a mother duck, a trailing duckling can obtain a significant wave-drag reduction. When a duckling swims at the ‘sweet point’ behind its mother, a destructive wave interference phenomenon occurs and the wave drag of the duckling turns positive, pushing the duckling forward. More interestingly, this wave-riding benefit could be sustained by the rest of the ducklings in a single-file line formation. Starting from the third one in a queue, the wave drag of individuals gradually tended towards zero, and a delicate dynamic equilibrium was achieved. Each individual under that equilibrium acted as a wave passer, passing the waves’ energy to its trailing one without any energy losses. Wave-riding and wave-passing are probably the principal reasons for the evolution of swimming formation by waterfowl. This study is the first to reveal the reasons why the formation movement of waterfowl can preserve individuals’ energy expenditure. Our calculations provide new insights into the mechanisms of formation swimming.
The prevalence of malnutrition is high among oncology patients in Northern China. Malnutrition is related to the longer hospital stay, and it can be used to predict the prognostic outcome of patients. This work focused on investigating the relationship of nutritional condition with the length of hospital stay (LOS) in Northern Chinese patients with lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). The Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA), Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS 2002) score, recent weight loss and BMI were assessed in a probabilistic sample of 389 LUAD patients without epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations. This study collected the demographic and clinical features of patients in a prospective manner. Then, we examined the association of nutritional status with LOS among the population developing LUAD. According to the PG-SGA, 63 (16·3 %), 174 (44·7 %) and 78 (20·1 %) patients were at risk for undernutrition, moderate undernutrition and severe undernutrition, respectively. Nutritional risk was found in 141 (36·2 %) patients based on the NRS 2002. The average LOS for tumour patients in Northern China was 12·5 d. At admission, a risk of undernutrition or undernutrition according to the PG-SGA (P < 0·001), NRS 2002 (P < 0·001) and latest weight loss (P < 0·001) predicted the longer LOS. LOS was related to nutritional status and hospitalisation expenses (P < 0·001). LUAD patients who stayed in the ICU had a poorer nutritional status and a longer LOS (P < 0·001). In Northern Chinese patients with LUAD, a risk for undernutrition evaluated by the PG-SGA, the NRS 2002 and recent weight loss, but not BMI, could predict a longer LOS.
Detailed balance of a chemical reaction network can be defined in several different ways. Here we investigate the relationship among four types of detailed balance conditions: deterministic, stochastic, local, and zero-order local detailed balance. We show that the four types of detailed balance are equivalent when different reactions lead to different species changes and are not equivalent when some different reactions lead to the same species change. Under the condition of local detailed balance, we further show that the system has a global potential defined over the whole space, which plays a central role in the large deviation theory and the Freidlin–Wentzell-type metastability theory of chemical reaction networks. Finally, we provide a new sufficient condition for stochastic detailed balance, which is applied to construct a class of high-dimensional chemical reaction networks that both satisfies stochastic detailed balance and displays multistability.