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Fullerene dimers have attracted extensive attention due to their unique structures and fascinating properties. Here, fullerene dimer derivatives with four to six carbon atoms in the esters are designed and synthesized. The property differences that caused by the carbon number in the esters of the fullerene dimers are investigated by performing their electrochemical, optical, and photoelectric measurements. As the carbon atom numbers in the esters increase from four to five and six, the absorption intensities increase to 1.6- and 4.4-folds. The intensities of the fluorescence spectra increase to 1.8- and 5.2-folds. Their photocurrent increases to 2- and 7-folds under the irradiation of a 405-nm laser. The LUMO energy levels move downward slightly from −3.89 to −3.90 and −3.92 eV, respectively. Our results indicate that as the carbon number increases, the carbon chain lengths in the ester structures increase, very slight effects produced on the energy levels of the fullerene dimers, but strongly contribute to their chemical activities and thus the photoelectronic efficiencies.
This Research Reflection short review presents an overview of the effects of heat stress on dairy cattle udder health and discusses existing heat stress mitigation strategies for a better understanding and identification of appropriate abatement plans for future stress management. Due to high ambient temperatures with high relative humidity in summer, dairy cows respond by changes of physical, biochemical and biological pathways to neutralize heat stress resulting in decreased production performance and poorer immunity resulting in an increased incidence of intramammary infections (IMI) and a higher somatic cell count (SCC). In vitro studies on bovine polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) suggested that heat stress reduces the phagocytosis capacity and oxidative burst of PMN and alters the expression of apoptotic genes and miRNA which, together with having a negative effect on the immune system, may explain the increased susceptibility to IMI. Although there are limited data regarding the incidence rate of clinical mastitis in many countries or regions, knowledge of SCC at the cow or bulk tank level helps encourage farmers to improve herd health and to develop strategies for infection prevention and cure. Therefore, more research into bulk tank SCC and clinical mastitis rates is needed to explain the effect of heat stress on dairy cow udder health and functions that could be influenced by abatement plans.
Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has presented an unprecedented challenge to the health-care system across the world. The current study aims to identify the determinants of illness severity of COVID-19 based on ordinal responses. A retrospective cohort of COVID-19 patients from four hospitals in three provinces in China was established, and 598 patients were included from 1 January to 8 March 2020, and divided into moderate, severe and critical illness group. Relative variables were retrieved from electronic medical records. The univariate and multivariate ordinal logistic regression models were fitted to identify the independent predictors of illness severity. The cohort included 400 (66.89%) moderate cases, 85 (14.21%) severe and 113 (18.90%) critical cases, of whom 79 died during hospitalisation as of 28 April. Patients in the age group of 70+ years (OR = 3.419, 95% CI: 1.596–7.323), age of 40–69 years (OR = 1.586, 95% CI: 0.824–3.053), hypertension (OR = 3.372, 95% CI: 2.185–5.202), ALT >50 μ/l (OR = 3.304, 95% CI: 2.107–5.180), cTnI >0.04 ng/ml (OR = 7.464, 95% CI: 4.292–12.980), myohaemoglobin>48.8 ng/ml (OR = 2.214, 95% CI: 1.42–3.453) had greater risk of developing worse severity of illness. The interval between illness onset and diagnosis (OR = 1.056, 95% CI: 1.012–1.101) and interval between illness onset and admission (OR = 1.048, 95% CI: 1.009–1.087) were independent significant predictors of illness severity. Patients of critical illness suffered from inferior survival, as compared with patients in the severe group (HR = 14.309, 95% CI: 5.585–36.659) and in the moderate group (HR = 41.021, 95% CI: 17.588–95.678). Our findings highlight that the identified determinants may help to predict the risk of developing more severe illness among COVID-19 patients and contribute to optimising arrangement of health resources.
To investigate the effects of dietary fibre on follicular atresia in pigs fed a high-fat diet, we fed thirty-two prepubescent gilts a basal diet (CON) or a CON diet supplemented with 300 g/d dietary fibre (fibre), 240 g/d soya oil (SO) or both (fibre + SO). At the 19th day of the 4th oestrus cycle, gilts fed the SO diet showed 112 % more atretic follicles and greater expression of the apoptotic markers, Bax and caspase-3, and these effects were reversed by the fibre diet. The abundance of SCFA-producing microbes was decreased by the SO diet, but this effect was reversed by fibre treatment. Concentrations of serotonin and melatonin in the serum and follicular fluid were increased by the fibre diet. Overall, dietary fibre protected against high fat feeding-induced follicular atresia at least partly via gut microbiota-related serotonin–melatonin synthesis. These results provide insight into preventing negative effects on fertility in humans consuming a high-energy diet.
Bile acids (BA) have emerged as signalling molecules regulating intestinal physiology. The importance of intestinal microbiota in production of secondary BA, for example, lithocholic acid (LCA) which impairs enterocyte proliferation and permeability, triggered us to determine the effects of oral probiotics on intestinal BA metabolism. Piglets were weaned at 28 d of age and allocated into control (CON, n 14) or probiotic (PRO, n 14) group fed 50 mg of Lactobacillus plantarum daily, and gut microbiota and BA profile were determined. To test the potential interaction of LCA with bacteria endotoxins in inducing damage of enterocytes, IPEC-J2 cells were treated with LCA, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and LCA + LPS and expressions of genes related to inflammation, antioxidant capacity and nutrient transport were determined. Compared with the CON group, the PRO group showed lower total LCA level in the ileum and higher relative abundance of the Lactobacillus genus in faeces. In contrast, the relative abundances of Bacteroides, Clostridium_sensu_stricto_1, Parabacteroides and Ruminococcus_1, important bacteria genera in BA biotransformation, were all lower in the PRO than in the CON group. Moreover, PRO piglets had lower postprandial glucagon-like peptide-1 level, while higher glucose level than CON piglets. Co-administration of LPS and LCA led to down-regulated expression of glucose and peptide transporter genes in IPEC-J2 cells. Altogether, oral L. plantarum altered BA profile probably by modulating relative abundances of gut microbial genera that play key roles in BA metabolism and might consequently impact glucose homoeostasis. The detrimental effect of LCA on nutrient transport in enterocytes might be aggravated under LPS challenge.
Physicians' attitudes and adoption behavior toward the delivery of prenatal tests take vital significance for its influence on their professional practice and patient acceptance. This study aimed to identify how physicians have perceived the diffusion of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) in China.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from July 2016 to October 2016 in Shanghai, and Fujian and Sichuan Provinces in China. Physicians working on prenatal screening completed a self-report questionnaire. Following Roger's diffusion of innovation model, multivariable logistic regressions were performed separately for the following key elements of the theory which influence diffusion: physician-perceived attributes of NIPT, communication channels, the nature of the social system, the extent of change agent (who introduces innovations into a society), promotion efforts, and physicians' benefits from adopting NIPT.
Most specialists had a positive attitude (53.2 percent) toward NIPT, whereas 58.9 percent of physicians had already adopted NIPT in their clinical practice. Physician adoption of NIPT was positively associated with the strength of HTA evidence (p = .03), perceived communication frequency with colleagues (p = .04), adoption by other physicians (p = .07), hospital competition (p = .06), hospital teaching status (p = .02), perceived for-profit genetic testing company's promotion (p < .001), and perceived clinical practice skill improvement (p = .02). However, the adoption behavior toward NIPT may be negatively associated with physician-perceived ethical concerns of NIPT (p = .06).
Obstetricians and gynecologists’ positive perceptions facilitate the adoption of NIPT. Combined with cost-effectiveness analysis of prenatal screening methods, health policy makers can promote the adoption of appropriate, cost-effective prenatal screening in pregnant women.
This paper presents geochemical and grain-size records since the early Holocene in core ECS0702 with a fine chronology frame obtained from the Yangtze River subaqueous delta front. Since ~9500 cal yr BP, the proxy records of chemical weathering from the Yangtze River basin generally exhibit a Holocene optimum in the early Holocene, a weak East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) period during the middle Holocene, and a relatively strong EASM period in the late Holocene. The ~8.2 and ~4.4 cal ka BP cooling events are recorded in core ECS0702. The flooding events reconstructed by the grain-size parameters since the early Holocene suggest that the floods mainly occurred during strong EASM periods and the Yangtze River mouth sandbar caused by the floods mainly formed in the early and late Holocene. The Yangtze River-mouth sandbars since the early Holocene shifted from north to south, affected by tidal currents and the Coriolis force, and more importantly, controlled by the EASM. Our results are of great significance for enriching both the record of Holocene climate change in the Yangtze River basin and knowledge about the formation and evolution progress of the deltas located in monsoon regions.
Only 30% or fewer of individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) convert to full psychosis within 2 years. Efforts are thus underway to refine risk identification strategies to increase their predictive power. Our objective was to develop and validate the predictive accuracy and individualized risk components of a mobile app-based psychosis risk calculator (RC) in a CHR sample from the SHARP (ShangHai At Risk for Psychosis) program.
In total, 400 CHR individuals were identified by the Chinese version of the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes. In the first phase of 300 CHR individuals, 196 subjects (65.3%) who completed neurocognitive assessments and had at least a 2-year follow-up assessment were included in the construction of an RC for psychosis. In the second phase of the SHARP sample of 100 subjects, 93 with data integrity were included to validate the performance of the SHARP-RC.
The SHARP-RC showed good discrimination of subsequent transition to psychosis with an AUC of 0.78 (p < 0.001). The individualized risk generated by the SHARP-RC provided a solid estimation of conversion in the independent validation sample, with an AUC of 0.80 (p = 0.003). A risk estimate of 20% or higher had excellent sensitivity (84%) and moderate specificity (63%) for the prediction of psychosis. The relative contribution of individual risk components can be simultaneously generated. The mobile app-based SHARP-RC was developed as a convenient tool for individualized psychosis risk appraisal.
The SHARP-RC provides a practical tool not only for assessing the probability that an individual at CHR will develop full psychosis, but also personal risk components that might be targeted in early intervention.
Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
In the three-phase (pure donor, pure acceptor, and mixed phases) morphologies of organic solar cells, the mixed phases produce an energy cascade that promotes the generation of free carriers. However, how to optimize the content of the mixed phases is a challenging problem. The authors proposed to control different content of mixed phases in DRTB-T and IDIC blends by additive and solvent vapor annealing (SVA). The authors first formed the largest extent amount of mixed phases by the additive cinene (2%) to inhibit the crystallization of DRTB-T and IDIC. And then, different amounts of mixed phases were achieved by further SVA for different times (from 0 to 50 s) to increase the content of pure DRTB-T and IDIC phases. The energetic offsets (ΔE) of pure and mixed phases gradually decrease from 0.529 to 0.477 eV for different content of mixed phases. When ΔE was 0.498 eV, the highest photocurrent density (Jsc) was obtained. The power conversion efficiency was increased from 3.23% (without any treatment) to 8.54%. Therefore, the authors demonstrated that the optimized content of the mixed phases is critical to device performance.
We study dynamical systems that have bounded complexity with respect to three kinds metrics: the Bowen metric
, the max-mean metric
and the mean metric
, both in topological dynamics and ergodic theory. It is shown that a topological dynamical system
has bounded complexity with respect to
) if and only if it is equicontinuous (respectively equicontinuous in the mean). However, we construct minimal systems that have bounded complexity with respect to
but that are not equicontinuous in the mean. It turns out that an invariant measure
has bounded complexity with respect to
if and only if
-equicontinuous. Meanwhile, it is shown that
has bounded complexity with respect to
if and only if
has bounded complexity with respect to
, if and only if
-mean equicontinuous and if and only if it has discrete spectrum.
We investigate the dynamic evolution of the price discovery function in Chinese agricultural futures markets using a newly developed rolling window cointegration approach. The results show that, compared with wheat and rice, the futures-spot cointegration relationship in the soybean and corn markets tends to be more durable and frequent. Dynamic cointegration analysis indicates that the recent market-oriented reforms in China have boosted the price discovery function of soybean and corn futures markets, whereas price stabilization policies tend to weaken the price discovery function of futures markets. The difference in price discovery function is attributed to differences in market mechanisms and Chinese agricultural policies.
Image stitching is important for the perception and manipulation of undersea robots. In spite of a well-developed technique, it is still challenging for undersea images because of their inevitable appearance ambiguity caused by the limited light in the undersea environment, and local disturbance caused by moving objects, ocean current, etc. To get a clean and stable background panorama in the undersea environment, this paper proposes an undersea image-stitching method by introducing graph-based registration and blending procedures. Specifically, in the registration procedure, matching the features in each undersea image pair is formulated and solved by graph matching, to incorporate the structural information between features. In the blending procedure, an energy function on the indirect graph Markov random field is proposed, which takes both image consistency and neighboring consistency into consideration. Coincidentally, both graph matching and energy minimization can be mathematically formulated by integer quadratic programming problems with different constraints; the recently proposed graduated nonconvexity and concavity procedure is used to optimize both problems. Experiments on both synthetic images and real-world undersea images witness the effectiveness of the proposed method.
Ceramics are strong but brittle. According to the classical theories, ceramics are brittle mainly because dislocations are suppressed by cracks. Here, the authors report the combined elastic and plastic deformation measurements of nanoceramics, in which dislocation-mediated stiff and ductile behaviors were detected at room temperature. In the synchrotron-based deformation experiments, a marked slope change is observed in the stress–strain relationship of MgAl2O4 nanoceramics at high pressures, indicating that a deformation mechanism shift occurs in the compression and that the nanoceramics sample is elastically stiffer than its bulk counterpart. The bulk-sized MgAl2O4 shows no texturing at pressures up to 37 GPa, which is compatible with the brittle behaviors of ceramics. Surprisingly, substantial texturing is seen in nanoceramic MgAl2O4 at pressures above 4 GPa. The observed stiffening and texturing indicate that dislocation-mediated mechanisms, usually suppressed in bulk-sized ceramics at low temperature, become operative in nanoceramics. This makes nanoceramics stiff and ductile.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
Nutrition therapy is considered an important treatment of burn patients. The aim of the study was to delineate the nutritional support in severe burn patients and to investigate association between nutritional practice and clinical outcomes. Severe burn patients were enrolled (n 100). In 90 % of the cases, the burn injury covered above 70 % of the total body surface area. Mean interval from injury to nutrition start was 2·4 (sd 1·1) d. Sixty-seven patients were initiated with enteral nutrition (EN) with a median time of 1 d from injury to first feed. Twenty-two patients began with parenteral nutrition (PN). During the study, thirty-two patients developed EN intolerance. Patients received an average of about 70 % of prescribed energy and protein. Patients with EN providing <30 % energy had significantly higher 28- d and in-hospital mortality than patients with EN providing more than 30 % of energy. Mortality at 28 d was 11 % and in-hospital mortality was 45 %. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that EN providing <30 % energy and septic shock were independent risk factors for 28- d prognosis. EN could be initiated early in severe burn patients. Majority patients needed PN supplementation for energy requirement and EN feeding intolerance. Post-pyloric feeding is more efficient than gastric feeding in EN tolerance and energy supplement. It is difficult for severe burn patients to obtain enough feeding, especially in the early stage of the disease. More than 2 weeks of underfeeding is harmful to recovery.
There is little evidence in China regarding the cost-effectiveness of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for Down syndrome (DS). This study aims to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of NIPT and provide evidence to inform decision-making.
To determine the cost-effectiveness of NIPT for DS, a decision-analytic model was developed using the TreeAge Pro software from a societal perspective in a simulated cohort of 10 000 pregnant women. Main indicators were based on field surveys from sampled hospitals in four locations in China and a literature review.
The conventional maternal serum screening (CMSS) strategy, contingent screening strategy (NIPT delivered to high risk pregnant women after CMSS), and universal screening strategy could prevent 3.02, 7.53, and 9.97 DS births, respectively. NIPT would decrease unnecessary invasive procedures, resulting in fewer procedure-related miscarriages. The cost-effectiveness ratio of the contingent screening strategy was the lowest. When compared with the CMSS strategy, the incremental cost per DS birth averted by the contingent screening strategy and universal screening strategy were USD 20,160 and 352,388, respectively. One-way sensitivity analysis showed that, if the cost of NIPT could be decreased to USD 76.92, the cost-effectiveness ratio of the universal screening strategy would be lower than the CMSS strategy.
Although NIPT has the merits of greater effectiveness and safety, CMSS is unlikely to be replaced by NIPT at this time because of NIPT's higher cost. Contingent screening may be an appropriate strategy to balance the effectiveness and cost factors of the new genetic testing technology.
High-peak-power transform-limited narrow-linewidth nanosecond all-fiber lasers are desired in a range of applications. However, their linewidths will be broadened by self-phase modulation (SPM). We propose a novel concept that generates transform-limited laser pulses by temporally shaping the pulse seed. The impact of the pulse shape on SPM-induced spectral broadening was studied numerically and experimentally. It was found theoretically that the square-shape pulsed laser is immune to SPM-induced spectral broadening. Based on this principle, we built a high-peak-power, linearly polarized, square-shape nanosecond all-fiber laser in a master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) configuration. Stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) limited peak powers of 4.02 kW, 5.06 kW, 6.52 kW and 9.30 kW were obtained at pulse widths of 8 ns, 7 ns, 6 ns and 5 ns. Thanks to the square-shape pulsed seed, the linewidths at maximum peak power remained at 129.5 MHz, 137.6 MHz, 156.2 MHz and 200.1 MHz, respectively, close to the transform-limited values of 110.8 MHz, 126.6 MHz, 147.7 MHz and 177.3 MHz.