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Many clinical trials showed favorable effects of high-doses supplemental n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on cardio-metabolic risk factors. However, limited studies examined the prospective associations of circulating n-3 PUFA with body fat and its distribution, metabolic syndrome (MS), carotid atherosclerosis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in subjects with habitual diets containing low levels of n-3 PUFA.
Materials and Methods
This community-based prospective study enrolled 4048 participants (40–75 years) at baseline (2008–2010, 2013) from Guangzhou, China. They were followed-up approximately once every 3 years. Fatty acids in erythrocyte membranes were measured at baseline. We determined metabolic syndrome factors, body fat by DXA scanning, carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and NAFLD by ultrasound at the visits. General information, anthropometric indices, habitual dietary intake and other covariates were assessed at each visit.
Among the total 4048 subjects, 3075 and 2671 subjects had erythrocyte n-3 PUFA data and completed the first and second follow-ups. Generally, erythrocyte n-3 PUFA were favorably associated with body fat (particularly at abdomen) and its changes, and with the presence and incidence of MS, type 2 diabetes, carotid IMT thickening. The participants with the highest (vs lowest) quartile of n-3 PUFA were associated with -5.81% fat mass (p < 0.001) and -2.11% of fat mass change at the abdomen (Android) area. The adjusted hazards ratios (95% CI) for the highest (vs. lowest) group were 0.74 (0.61, 0.89) (total n-3 PUFA), 0.71 (0.59, 0.86) (docosahexaenoic acid, DHA), 0.78 (0.65, 0.95) (docosapentaenoic acid, DPA), 1.96 (1.60, 2.40) (gamma-linolenic acid, GLA) for MS; 0.70(0.55, 0.90) (total n-3 PUFA), 0.67(0.52,0.87) (DHA) and 0.73(0.57,0.93) (DPA) for bifurcation IMT thickening, 0.57(0.38, 0.86) (eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA) and 0.63 (0.41, 0.95) (DPA) for type 2 diabetes, and 1.18 (1.09, 1.33) (DHA) for alleviated NAFLD. Both higher levels of total and individual marine n-3 PUFAs (DHA, EPA and DPA) were associated with lower blood pressure at baseline and lower changes in diastolic and systolic blood pressure over the follow-up period. Plant n-3 PUFA (α-linolenic acid, ALA) largely had less significant association with the above-mentioned indices as compared with marine n-3 PUFAs.
Higher proportions of erythrocyte n-3 PUFA (particularly marine sources) was associated with lower body fat, blood pressure and their changes, and lower risks of MS, type 2 diabetes and bifurcation IMT thickening, but higher chance of alleviated NAFLD in middle-aged and older adults.
The microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.
Both Canada and Singapore express support for—and have the reality of being—multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious; and both jurisdictions have an avowed commitment to the freedom of religion. Yet, this commitment expresses itself in different ways in these two contexts. Although both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Singaporean Constitution guarantee the freedom of religion, juridical definitions of what this freedom means may differ quite profoundly.
This Article explores and analyzes these two different environments that nonetheless share important features. We argue that the approaches of Singapore and Canada do not fall simply into the categories of being “liberal” or “illiberal,” but instead invite reflection and reconsideration on the concepts of pluralism, secularism, and liberalism in interesting ways. This Article thus highlights the significance of contextual factors in understanding the ways in which religious diversity is dealt with, particularly in Canada and Singapore, but also more generally.
Previous studies have shown that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet might contribute to managing risk factors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but evidence is limited. We examined the association of DASH diet score (DASH-DS) with NAFLD, as well as the intermediary effects of serum retinol-binding protein-4 (RBP4), serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), serum TAG, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and BMI.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. Dietary data and lifestyle factors were assessed by face-to-face interviews and the DASH-DS was then calculated. We assessed serum RBP4, hs-CRP and TAG and calculated HOMA-IR. The presence and degree of NAFLD were determined by abdominal sonography.
Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study participants, aged 40–75 years at baseline (n 3051).
After adjusting for potential covariates, we found an inverse association between DASH-DS and the presence of NAFLD (Ptrend = 0·009). The OR (95 % CI) of NAFLD for quintiles 2–5 were 0·78 (0·62, 0·98), 0·74 (0·59, 0·94), 0·69 (0·55, 0·86) and 0·77 (0·61, 0·97), respectively. Path analyses indicated that a higher DASH-DS was associated with lower serum RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI, which were positively associated with the degree of NAFLD.
Adherence to the DASH diet was independently associated with a marked lower prevalence of NAFLD in Chinese adults, especially in women and those without abdominal obesity, and might be mediated by reducing RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
Highly dense zirconia dental ceramic coatings were fabricated by aqueous electrophoretic deposition (EPD) and subsequently sintered between 1250 and 1450 °C. Microstructural examination revealed that aqueous EPDZrO2 coatings possessed a tetragonal phase structure and the grain size increased with increasing sintering temperature. Nanoindentation study proved that the aqueous EPDZrO2 coating also had excellent mechanical properties. The effect of different applied loads on hardness and elastic modulus of the 1350 °C-sintered sample at room temperature was investigated by the method of progressive multicycle measurement nanoindentation. The simulative experiment proved that hardness of aqueous EPDZrO2 exhibited reverse indentation size effect (ISE) behavior and then displayed the normal ISE response. The analysis indicates that the reverse ISE is attributed to the relaxation of surface stresses resulting from indentation cracks at small loads and normal ISE is caused by geometrically necessary dislocations. The tetragonal–monoclinic stress-induced phase transformation during nanoindentation is the primary cause of dental zirconia failures.
To assess the effect of famine exposure during early life on dietary patterns, chronic diseases, and the interaction effect between famine exposure and dietary patterns on chronic diseases in adulthood.
Cross-sectional study. Dietary patterns were derived by factor analysis. Multivariate quantile regression and log-binomial regression were used to evaluate the impact of famine exposure on dietary patterns, chronic diseases and the interaction effect between famine exposure and dietary patterns on chronic diseases, respectively.
Adults aged 45–60 years (n 939).
‘Healthy’, ‘high-fat and high-salt’, ‘Western’ and ‘traditional Chinese’ dietary patterns were identified. Early-childhood and mid-childhood famine exposure were remarkably correlated with high intake of the traditional Chinese dietary pattern. Compared with the non-exposed group (prevalence ratio (PR); 95 % CI), early-childhood (3·13; 1·43, 6·84) and mid-childhood (2·37; 1·05, 5·36) exposed groups showed an increased PR for diabetes, and the early-childhood (2·07; 1·01, 4·25) exposed group showed an increased PR for hypercholesterolaemia. Additionally, relative to the combination of non-exposed group and low-dichotomous high-fat and high-salt dietary pattern, the combination of famine exposure in early life and high-dichotomous high-fat and high-salt dietary pattern in adulthood had higher PR for diabetes (4·95; 1·66, 9·05) and hypercholesterolaemia (3·71; 1·73, 7·60), and significant additive interactions were observed.
Having suffered the Chinese famine in childhood might affect an individual’s dietary habits and health status, and the joint effect between famine and harmful dietary pattern could have serious consequences on later-life health outcomes.
We propose a hybrid spectral element method for fractional two-point boundary value problem (FBVPs) involving both Caputo and Riemann-Liouville (RL) fractional derivatives. We first formulate these FBVPs as a second kind Volterra integral equation (VIEs) with weakly singular kernel, following a similar procedure in . We then design a hybrid spectral element method with generalized Jacobi functions and Legendre polynomials as basis functions. The use of generalized Jacobi functions allow us to deal with the usual singularity of solutions at t = 0. We establish the existence and uniqueness of the numerical solution, and derive a hptype error estimates under L2(I)-norm for the transformed VIEs. Numerical results are provided to show the effectiveness of the proposed methods.
Proton radiography is used for advanced hydrotesting as a new type radiography technology due to its powerful penetration capability and high detection efficiency. A new proton radiography terminal will be developed to radiograph static samples at the Institute of Modern Physics of Chinese Academy of Science. The proton beam with the maximum energy of 2.6 GeV will be produced by Heavy Ion Research Facility in Lanzhou-Cooling Storage Ring. The proton radiography terminal consists of the matching magnetic lens and the Zumbro lens system. In this paper, the design scheme and all optic parameters of this beam terminal for 2.6 GeV proton energy are presented by simulating the beam optics using WINAGILE code. My-BOC code is used to test the particle tracking of proton radiography beam line. Geant4 and G4beamline codes are used for simulating the proton radiography system. The results show that the transmission efficiency of proton without target is 100%, and the effect of secondary particles can be neglected. To test this proton radiography system, the proton images for an aluminum plate sample with two rectangular orifices and a step brass plate sample are respectively simulated using Geant4 code. The results show that the best spatial resolution is about 36 μm, and the differences of the thickness are not >10%.
Reproductive interference is one of the major factors mediating species exclusion among insects. The cryptic species Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED) of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci complex have invaded many parts of the world and often exhibit niche overlap and reproductive interference. However, contrasting patterns of competitive displacement between the two invaders have been observed between regions such as those in USA and China. Understanding the roles of reproductive interference in competitive interactions between populations of the two species in different regions will help unravel other factors related to their invasion. We integrated laboratory population experiments, behavioural observations and simulation modelling to investigate the role of reproductive interference on species exclusion between MEAM1 and MED in China. In mixed cohorts of the two species MEAM1 always excluded MED in a few generations when the initial proportion of MEAM1 was ⩾0.25. Even when the initial proportion of MEAM1 was only 0.10, however, MEAM1 still had a higher probability of excluding MED than that for MED to exclude MEAM1. Importantly, we show that as MEAM1 increased in relative abundance, MED populations became increasingly male-biased. Detailed behavioural observations confirmed that MEAM1 showed a stronger reproductive interference than MED, leading to reduced frequency of copulation and female progeny production in MED. Using simulation modelling, we linked our behavioural observations with exclusion experiments to show that interspecific asymmetric reproductive interference predicts the rate of species exclusion of MED by MEAM1. These findings not only reveal the importance of reproductive interference in the competitive interactions between the two invasive whiteflies as well as the detailed behavioural mechanisms, but also provide a valuable framework against which the effects of other factors mediating species exclusion can be explored.
Recent evidence shows that excess nicotinamide can cause epigenetic changes in developing rats. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of maternal nicotinamide supplementation on the fetus. Female rats were randomised into four groups fed a standard chow diet (control group) or diets supplemented with 1 g/kg of nicotinamide (low-dose group), 4 g/kg of nicotinamide (high-dose group) or 4 g/kg of nicotinamide plus 2 g/kg of betaine (betaine group) for 14–16 d before mating and throughout the study. Fetal tissue samples were collected on the 20th day of pregnancy. Compared with the control group, the high-dose group had a higher fetal death rate, and the average fetal body weight was higher in the low-dose group but lower in the high-dose group. Nicotinamide supplementation led to a decrease in placental and fetal hepatic genomic DNA methylation and genomic uracil contents (a factor modifying DNA for diversity) in the placenta and fetal liver and brain, which could be completely or partially prevented by betaine. Moreover, nicotinamide supplementation induced tissue-specific alterations in the mRNA expression of the genes encoding nicotinamide N-methyltransferase, DNA methyltransferase 1, catalase and tumour protein p53 in the placenta and fetal liver. High-dose nicotinamide supplementation increased fetal hepatic α-fetoprotein mRNA level, which was prevented by betaine supplementation. It is concluded that maternal nicotinamide supplementation can induce changes in fetal epigenetic modification and DNA base composition. The present study raises the concern that maternal nicotinamide supplementation may play a role in the development of epigenetic-related diseases in the offspring.
It is found that there is an upper-limit critical power for self-guided propagation of intense lasers in plasma in addition to the well-known lower-limit critical power set by the relativistic effect. Above this upper-limit critical power, the laser pulse experiences defocusing due to expulsion of local plasma electrons by the transverse ponderomotive force. Associated with the upper-limit power, a lower-limit critical plasma density is also found for a given laser spot size, below which self-focusing does not occur for any laser power. Both the upper-limit power and the lower-limit density are derived theoretically and verified by two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. The present study provides new guidance for experimental designs, where self-guided propagation of lasers is essential.
Ecological evidence suggests that niacin (nicotinamide and nicotinic acid) fortification may be involved in the increased prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, both of which are associated with insulin resistance and epigenetic changes. The purpose of the present study was to investigate nicotinamide-induced metabolic changes and their relationship with possible epigenetic changes. Male rats (5 weeks old) were fed with a basal diet (control group) or diets supplemented with 1 or 4 g/kg of nicotinamide for 8 weeks. Low-dose nicotinamide exposure increased weight gain, but high-dose one did not. The nicotinamide-treated rats had higher hepatic and renal levels of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine, a marker of DNA damage, and impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity when compared with the control rats. Nicotinamide supplementation increased the plasma levels of nicotinamide, N1-methylnicotinamide and choline and decreased the levels of betaine, which is associated with a decrease in global hepatic DNA methylation and uracil content in DNA. Nicotinamide had gene-specific effects on the methylation of CpG sites within the promoters and the expression of hepatic genes tested that are responsible for methyl transfer reactions (nicotinamide N-methyltransferase and DNA methyltransferase 1), for homocysteine metabolism (betaine–homocysteine S-methyltransferase, methionine synthase and cystathionine β-synthase) and for oxidative defence (catalase and tumour protein p53). It is concluded that nicotinamide-induced oxidative tissue injury, insulin resistance and disturbed methyl metabolism can lead to epigenetic changes. The present study suggests that long-term high nicotinamide intake (e.g. induced by niacin fortification) may be a risk factor for methylation- and insulin resistance-related metabolic abnormalities.
The driving mechanism of solar flares and coronal mass ejections is a topic of ongoing debate, apart from the consensus that magnetic reconnection plays a key role during the impulsive process. While present solar research mostly depends on observations and theoretical models, laboratory experiments based on high-energy density facilities provide the third method for quantitatively comparing astrophysical observations and models with data achieved in experimental settings. In this article, we show laboratory modeling of solar flares and coronal mass ejections by constructing the magnetic reconnection system with two mutually approaching laser-produced plasmas circumfused of self-generated megagauss magnetic fields. Due to the Euler similarity between the laboratory and solar plasma systems, the present experiments demonstrate the morphological reproduction of flares and coronal mass ejections in solar observations in a scaled sense, and confirm the theory and model predictions about the current-sheet-born anomalous plasmoid as the initial stage of coronal mass ejections, and the behavior of moving-away plasmoid stretching the primary reconnected field lines into a secondary current sheet conjoined with two bright ridges identified as solar flares.
Pearlitic transformation in an ultrafine-grained (UFG) hypereutectoid steel was investigated. The steel was a plain carbon steel containing 1.0 wt% C and very few other elements. The UFG samples were prepared by thermomechanical treatment, and an average grain size of approximately 1 μm was achieved. The pearlitic transformation was conducted by heating the UFG samples at 1023 K for different times and then cooling in air. A new pearlitic transformation phenomenon was observed: traditional lamellar pearlite can be observed only when the grain size increases to a dimension larger than approximately 4 μm, which is a critical value. When grain size is smaller than this value, the pearlitic transformation occurs in the form of divorced eutectoid, and the microstructure is the ferrite matrix with granular cementite. This research indicates that grain size has a great influence on pearlitic transformation by shortening the diffusion distance and increasing the diffusion rate of carbon atoms in the UFG steel.
A double-slice-foil target is proposed for the generation of quasi-monoenergetic proton bunches by intense laser pulses. In this new target structure, two symmetrical solid slices are adjoined obliquely to the front side of a plane double-layer target. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations show that a large number of hot electrons are pulled out from solid slices and accelerated forward by direct laser acceleration, which lead to significant enhancement of the sheath field and the produced proton beam energy as compared with the normal plane double-layer target and some other modified targets. It appears that well-collimated proton bunches with energy larger than 200 MeV can be produced at the focused laser intensity of about 1021W/cm2 with the proposed target design.
Energetic electron beam generation from a thin foil target by the ponderomotive force of an ultra-intense circularly polarized laser pulse is investigated. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations show that laser pulses with intensity of 1022–1023 Wcm−2 generate about 1–10 GeV electron beams, in agreement with the prediction of one-dimensional theory. When the laser intensity is at 1024–1025 Wcm−2, the beam energy obtained from PIC simulations is lower than the values predicted by the theory. The radiation damping effect is considered, which is found to become important for the laser intensity higher than 1025 Wcm−2. The effect of laser focus positions is also discussed.
A review is presented on our recent Vlasov-Fokker-Planck (VFP) simulation code development and applications for high-power laser-plasma interactions. Numerical schemes are described for solving the kinetic VFP equation with both electron-electron and electron-ion collisions in one-spatial and two-velocity (1D2V) coordinates. They are based on the positive and flux conservation method and the finite volume method, and these two methods can insure the particle number conservation. Our simulation code can deal with problems in high-power laser/beam-plasma interactions, where highly non-Maxwellian electron distribution functions usually develop and the widely-used perturbation theories with the weak anisotropy assumption of the electron distribution function are no longer in point. We present some new results on three typical problems: firstly the plasma current generation in strong direct current electric fields beyond Spitzer-Härm’s transport theory, secondly the inverse bremsstrahlung absorption at high laser intensity beyond Langdon’s theory, and thirdly the heat transport with steep temperature and/or density gradients in laser-produced plasma. Finally, numerical parameters, performance, the particle number conservation, and the energy conservation in these simulations are provided.