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The Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR), initiated in 2001, has now become the largest twin registry in Asia. From 2015 to 2018, the CNTR continued to receive Chinese government funding and had recruited 61,566 twin-pairs by 2019 to study twins discordant for specific exposures such as environmental factors, and twins discordant for disease outcomes or measures of morbidity. Omic data, including genetics, genomics, metabolomics, and proteomics, and gut microbiome will be tested. The integration of omics and digital technologies in public health will advance our understanding of precision public health. This review introduces the updates of the CNTR, including study design, sample size, biobank, zygosity assessment, advances in research and future systems epidemiologic research.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by deficits in social interactions and perseverative and stereotypical behavior. Growing evidence points toward a critical role for synaptic dysfunction in the onset of ASD, and synaptic function is influenced by glial cells. Considering the evidence that neuroinflammation in ASD is mediated by glial cells, one hypothesis is that reactive glial cells, under inflammatory conditions, contribute to the loss of synaptic functions and trigger ASD. Ongoing pharmacological treatments for ASD, including oxytocin, vitamin D, sulforaphane, and resveratrol, are promising and are shown to lead to improvements in behavioral performance in ASD. More importantly, their pharmacological mechanisms are closely related to anti-inflammation and synaptic protection. We focus this review on the hypothesis that synaptic dysfunction caused by reactive glial cells would lead to ASD, and discuss the potentials of antineuroinflammatory therapy for ASD.
The jungles of Linyun and Longlin Autonomous Prefecture, located in the heart of the southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, are home to the oldest tea trees (Camellia sinensis) in the world. In the absence of regular annual rings, radiocarbon (14C) dating is one of the most powerful tools that can assist in the determination of the ages and growth rates of these plants. In this work, cores were extracted from large ancient tea trees in a central Longlin rain forest; extraction of carbon was performed with an automated sample preparation system. The 14C levels in the tree cores were measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the University of Tsukuba. These measurements indicated that contrary to conventional views, the ages of trees in these forests range up to ~700 years, and the growth rate of this species is notably slow, exhibiting a long-term radial growth rate of 0.039±0.006 cm/yr. It was demonstrated that 14C analyses provide accurate determination of ages and growth rates for subtropical wild tea trees.
Depression often coexists with other chronic conditions in older people. The COACH study is an ongoing random controlled trial (RCT) to test the effectiveness of a primary-care-based collaborative care approach to treat co-morbid hypertension and depression in Chinese rural elders. In the COACH model, a team—village doctor (VD), aging worker (AW), and psychiatrist consultant—provides collaborative care to enrolled subjects in each intervention village for 12 months. This study examines how COACH was implemented and identifies facilitators and barriers for its more widespread implementation.
Five focus groups were conducted, two with VDs, two with AWs, and one with psychiatrists, for a total of 38 participants. Transcripts were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
COACH care-team members showed shared understanding and appreciation of the team approach and integrated management of hypertension and depression. Team collaboration was smooth. All members regarded COACH to be effective in reducing depressive symptoms and improving patient health. Facilitators to implementation include training, leaders’ support, geographic proximity between VD and AW pairs, preexisting relationships among care-team members, comparability of COACH activities and existing practices of VDs and AWs, and care team members’ caring about older members of their villages. Barriers to sustainability include frustration of some VDs related to their low wages and feelings of overload of some AWs.
COACH was positively perceived and successfully implemented. The findings offer guidance for planning primary-care-based collaborative depression care in low- and middle-income countries.
Polyhedral YVO4: Ln3+ (Ln = Eu, Sm, Yb/Er, Yb/Tm) microcrystals were fabricated via a facile sol–gel auto-combustion method using NH4VO3 as vanadium source in the presence of glycine. The X-ray diffraction patterns were well matched with pure YVO4, and the doped lanthanide ions did not change the host structure. The YVO4 microcrystals annealed from 500 to 1000 °C for 3 h were polyhedral and ranged in particle size from 0.1 to 2 μm. The luminescence properties of YVO4: Ln3+ (Ln = Eu, Sm, Yb/Er, Yb/Tm) samples indicated that all of the YVO4: Ln3+ samples exhibited typical emission spectra of Ln3+ cations, suggesting that the Ln3+ cations were well doped in YVO4 and could be excited efficiently through matrix absorption. In addition, the corresponding mechanisms of emission and energy transfer in the YVO4: Ln3+ are proposed.
Findings of epidemiological studies regarding the association between carrot consumption and lung cancer risk remain inconsistent. The present study aimed to summarise the current epidemiological evidence concerning carrot intake and lung cancer risk with a meta-analysis. We conducted a meta-analysis of case–control and prospective cohort studies, and searched PubMed and Embase databases from their inception to April 2018 without restriction by language. We also reviewed reference lists from included articles. Prospective cohort or case–control studies reporting OR or relative risk with the corresponding 95 % CI of the risk lung cancer for the highest compared with the lowest category of carrot intake. A total of eighteen eligible studies (seventeen case–control studies and one prospective cohort study) were included, involving 202 969 individuals and 5517 patients with lung cancer. The pooled OR of eighteen studies for lung cancer was 0·58 (95 % CI 0·45, 0·74) by comparing the highest category with the lowest category of carrot consumption. Based on subgroup analyses for the types of lung cancer, we pooled that squamous cell carcinoma (OR 0·52, 95 % CI 0·19, 1·45), small-cell carcinoma (OR 0·43, 95 % CI 0·12, 1·59), adenocarcinoma (OR 0·34, 95 % CI 0·15, 0·79), large-cell carcinoma (OR 0·40, 95 % CI 0·10, 1·57), squamous and small-cell carcinoma (OR 0·85, 95 % CI 0·45, 1·62), adenocarcinoma and large-cell carcinoma (OR 0·20, 95 % CI 0·02, 1·70) and mixed types (OR 0·61, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·81). Exclusion of any single study did not materially alter the pooled OR. Integrated epidemiological evidence from observational studies supported the hypothesis that carrot consumption may decrease the risk of lung cancer, especially for adenocarcinoma.
The Beijing Twin Study (BeTwiSt), which was established in 2006, is an ongoing study aiming to investigate the genetic and environmental etiology of adolescent psychopathology. Resting-state brain imaging datasets have been examined for same-sex twins, and other psychological traits and emotional and behavioral variables have been examined for all twins. Based on the registry, the main findings regarding the etiological mechanism underlying adolescent development, magnetic resonance imaging results, and genetic and environmental influences on other psychological traits have been published. This article summarizes the key findings in these three areas and discusses future plans for the BeTwiSt.
Needles of Juniperus rigida are used in Chinese traditional medicine for the treatment of brucellosis, dropsy, skin disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. This is the first study that reports anatomical structures of the J. rigida needles collected at different altitudes. The most common anatomical, phytochemical, and histochemical techniques and methods are used. The results show that anatomical structures and chemical composition change significantly at different altitudes. The main anatomical characters are significant xeromorphic structures (thick epidermis, hypodermis, and cuticle), a stomatal band, a developed vascular bundle, and a marginal resin duct. The xeromorphic structures become more pronounced with increasing altitude. The phytochemical and histochemical results demonstrate that the content of the main chemical compounds (phenols and terpenoids) basically increases at a higher elevation. Histochemical analysis localizes the phenols in epidermal cells, sponge tissue, endothelial layer cells, and stomatal bands, and the terpenoids in palisade tissue, sponge tissue, and the edge of the resin duct. This work reveals the relation between anatomy and chemistry in J. rigida needles, contributes to the quality control of its ethno-medicine, and provides the evidence to develop the commercial cultivation.
Endometrial injury is an important cause of intrauterine adhesion (IUA), amenorrhea and infertility in women, with limited effective therapies. Recently, stem cells have been used in animal experiments to repair and improve injured endometrium. To date, our understanding of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) in endometrial injury repair and their further therapeutic mechanisms is incomplete. Here, we examined the benefit of ADSCs in restoration of injured endometrium by applying a rat endometrial injury model. The results revealed by immunofluorescence showed that green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labelled ADSCs can differentiate into endometrial epithelial cells in vivo. At 30 days after ADSCs transplantation, injured endometrium was significantly improved, with increased microvessel density, endometrial thickness and glands when compared with the model group. Furthermore, the fertility of rats with injured endometrium in ADSCs group was improved and had a higher conception rate (60% vs 20%, P = 0.014) compared with the control phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) group. However, there was no difference in the control group compared with the sham group. In addition, expression levels of the oestrogen receptor Eα/β (ERα, ERβ) and progesterone receptor (PR) detected by western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were higher in the ADSCs group than in the PBS group. Taken together, these results suggested that ADSC transplantation could improve endometrial injury as a novel therapy for IUA.
Multidimensional instabilities always develop with time during the process of radiation pressure acceleration, and are detrimental to the generation of monoenergetic proton beams. In this paper, a sharp-front laser is proposed to irradiate a triple-layer target (the proton layer is set between two carbon ion layers) and studied in theory and simulations. It is found that the thin proton layer can be accelerated once to hundreds of MeV with monoenergetic spectra only during the hole-boring (HB) stage. The carbon ions move behind the proton layer in the light-sail (LS) stage, which can shield any further interaction between the rear part of the laser and the proton layer. In this way, proton beam instabilities can be reduced to a certain extent during the entire acceleration process. It is hoped such a mechanism can provide a feasible way to improve the beam quality for proton therapy and other applications.
l-Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial β-oxidation and has been used as a lipid-lowering feed additive in humans and farmed animals. d-Carnitine is an optical isomer of l-carnitine and dl-carnitine has been widely used in animal feeds. However, the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine are difficult to study because of the endogenous l-carnitine background. In the present study, we developed a low-carnitine Nile tilapia model by treating fish with a carnitine synthesis inhibitor, and used this model to investigate the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine in nutrient metabolism in fish. l- or d-carnitine (0·4 g/kg diet) was fed to the low-carnitine tilapia for 6 weeks. l-Carnitine feeding increased the acyl-carnitine concentration from 3522 to 10 822 ng/g and alleviated the lipid deposition from 15·89 to 11·97 % in the liver of low-carnitine tilapia. However, as compared with l-carnitine group, d-carnitine feeding reduced the acyl-carnitine concentration from 10 822 to 5482 ng/g, and increased lipid deposition from 11·97 to 20·21 % and the mRNA expression of the genes involved in β-oxidation and detoxification in the liver. d-Carnitine feeding also induced hepatic inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis. A metabolomic investigation further showed that d-carnitine feeding increased glycolysis, protein metabolism and activity of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, l-carnitine can be physiologically utilised in fish, whereas d-carnitine is metabolised as a xenobiotic and induces lipotoxicity. d-Carnitine-fed fish demonstrates increases in peroxisomal β-oxidation, glycolysis and amino acid degradation to maintain energy homeostasis. Therefore, d-carnitine is not recommended for use in farmed animals.
To explore whether and how group cognitive-behavioural therapy (GCBT) plus medication differs from medication alone for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
Hundred and seventy patients were randomly assigned to the GCBT plus duloxetine (n=89) or duloxetine group (n=81). The primary outcomes were Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) response and remission rates. The explorative secondary measures included score reductions from baseline in the HAMA total, psychic, and somatic anxiety subscales (HAMA-PA, HAMA-SA), the Hamilton Depression Scale, the Severity Subscale of Clinical Global Impression Scale, Global Assessment of Functioning, and the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 4-week, 8-week, and 3-month follow-up.
At 4 weeks, HAMA response (GCBT group 57.0% vs. control group 24.4%, p=0.000, Cohen’s d=0.90) and remission rates (GCBT group 21.5% vs. control group 6.2%, p=0.004; d=0.51), and most secondary outcomes (all p<0.05, d=0.36−0.77) showed that the combined therapy was superior. At 8 weeks, all the primary and secondary significant differences found at 4 weeks were maintained with smaller effect sizes (p<0.05, d=0.32−0.48). At 3-month follow-up, the combined therapy was only significantly superior in the HAMA total (p<0.045, d=0.43) and HAMA-PA score reductions (p<0.001, d=0.77). Logistic regression showed superiority of the combined therapy for HAMA response rates [odds ratio (OR)=2.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02−4.42, p=0.04] and remission rates (OR=2.80, 95% CI 1.27−6.16, p=0.01).
Compared with duloxetine alone, GCBT plus duloxetine showed significant treatment response for GAD over a shorter period of time, particularly for psychic anxiety symptoms, which may suggest that GCBT was effective in changing cognitive style.
Phase retrieval is necessary for propagation-based phase-contrast imaging (PB-PCI). Arhatari established a model for predicting the impact of the sample-to-detector distance and the system noise on the phase retrieval performance. We have extended Arhatari's model to account for the parameters of excessive source size, finite detector resolution, and geometrical magnification for more practical cases. However, there exist interaction effects among these parameters resulting in difficulty of predicting the phase retrieval performance. In this study, we found that optimizing the trade-off among these parameters for phase retrieval is consistent with the improvement of edge enhancement to noise ratio (EE/N) in the “forward problem” of the PB-PCI. Hence, we engaged in establishing a relationship between EE/N and phase retrieval performance in terms of the “forward problem” and “inverse problem” of the PB-PCI, respectively. Our results showed that, at fixed detector resolution, phase retrieval from the phase-contrast projections at the same EE/N level resulted in the consistent phase retrieval performance. Therefore, the performance of phase retrieval can be predicted based on the EE/N level and be quantitatively optimized by increasing EE/N.
Exoskeleton robots have been widely used in many fields at present. When wearing the exoskeleton to operate, the wearer may be unconscious of the position of exoskeleton or affected by the surrounding environment, causing collision between two arms of exoskeleton or between arms and environment. The collision may result in the exoskeleton destroyed or even the wearer injured. This paper proposes a hierarchical safety control strategy for exoskeleton robots based on maximum correntropy Kalman filter and bounding box to ensure safe operation. Accurate joint angle prediction can be obtained by filtering out non-Gaussian impulsive noise using maximum correntropy criterion as evaluation criterion. Relative position relationship of the arms can be derived based on bounding box to realize hierarchical safe control. Enough experiments have been carried out, and the results validated the feasibility of the proposed method.
This study analysed the epidemiological characteristics of imported cases of acute infectious diseases and compared these features by nationality in 25 border counties of Yunnan Province from 2008 to 2017 to inform prevention strategies. Surveillance data for the imported cases collected in the border counties were analysed to determine disease variety, seasonal patterns, infection site and personal demographics and these features were compared by patient nationality. A total of 12 820 imported cases were reported in the 25 border counties, with 5610 foreign cases and 7210 native cases. The disease spectrum was more diverse among foreign cases than among native cases. Both foreign and native cases were mostly imported from Myanmar. The shift in the number of foreign cases was greater than that of native cases after 2016. Ruili, a city, that shares a border with Myanmar, exhibited the greatest number of imported infections. Farmers, businessmen, women and preschool children were frequently diagnosed with infections. Multiple prevention strategies including disease screening at the border, health education before departure and health service provision to foreigners should be carried out to reduce the risk of autochthonous spreading and to avoid potential outbreaks. Furthermore, international collaboration in terms of sharing infectious disease data should be improved between China and neighbouring countries.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
This paper investigates the generation of passive intermodulation (PIM) in coaxial connectors during vibration. A series of experiments were designed and the simulation model and method were proposed for understanding these phenomena. We found that PIM is mainly influenced by the contact stress and contact surface roughness during vibration. Thus, a power spectral density method is presented to identify the roughness parameter of contact surface based on the Weierstrass–Mandelbrot model, and the simulation model and method were verified by the relative experiments. Eventually, some suggestions for engineering application were provided.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have consistently revealed that a variant of microRNA 137 (MIR137) shows a quite significant association with schizophrenia. Identifying the network of genes regulated by MIR137 could provide insights into the biological processes underlying schizophrenia. In addition, DLPFC functional connectivity, a robust correlate of MIR137, may provide plausible endophenotypes. However, the regulatory role of the MIR137 gene network in the disrupted functional connectivity remains unclear. Here, we tested the effects of the MIR137 regulated genes on the risk for schizophrenia and DLPFC functional connectivity.
To evaluate the additive effects of the MIR137 regulated genes (N = 1274), we calculated a MIR137 polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia and tested its association with the risk for schizophrenia in the genomic data of a Han Chinese population that included schizophrenia patients (N = 589) and normal controls (N = 575). We then investigated the association between MIR137 PRS and DLPFC functional connectivity in two independent young healthy cohorts (N = 356 and N = 314).
We found that the MIR137 PRS successfully captured the differences in genetic structure between the patients and controls, but the single gene MIR137 did not. We then consistently found that a higher MIR137 PRS was correlated with lower functional connectivities between the DLPFC and both the superior parietal cortex and the inferior temporal cortex in two independent cohorts.
The findings suggested that these two functional connectivities of the DLPFC could be important endophenotypes linking the MIR137-regulated genetic structure to schizophrenia.
More people remain in the workforce into their late life as people’s life expectancy increases. This study examined the relationship between work stress and depressive symptoms of older workers in mainland China, focusing on the interplay between work stress with family and community factors in three (i.e., urban, rural, and migrant) settings.
National representative survey data on the Chinese labor force collected by the Social Science Research Center of Sun-Yetsen University in 2014 were used. The sample consisted of 5,751 workers aged 50 and above recruited from 29 out of 31 provinces in mainland China.
Work stress had a consistent and robust effect on depressive symptoms across older worker groups. Moreover, it interacted with family and community factors differentially in three settings. For migrant older workers, work stress was a dominant factor affecting their depressive symptoms. Among rural older workers, the influence of work stress on depressive symptoms depended on their family debt and neighborhood cohesion levels.
Stressors from work, family, and community comprised a general model that explains depressive symptoms in Chinese older workers. Interventions or service programs aimed at reducing work stress and improving mental health among older adults should consider the complexity of intertwining family and community dynamics as well as respective strengths in urban, rural, and migrant communities.