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This study systematically reviewed literature on the neighbourhood food environment in relation to diet and obesity among residents in China.
A keyword search of peer-reviewed articles was performed in Cochrane Library, PubMed, and Web of Science. Eligibility criteria include study designs: longitudinal/cohort studies or cross-sectional studies; study participants: people of all ages; exposures: neighbourhood food environment (e.g. restaurants, supermarkets, wet markets, fast-food restaurants, or convenience stores); outcomes: diet and/or body weight status; and country: China.
Seventeen studies met all criteria and were included. Among the eight studies that assessed the neighbourhood food environment in relation to diet, six reported at least one statistically significant relationship in the expected direction, whereas the remaining two exclusively reported null effects. Among the eleven studies that assessed the neighbourhood food environment in relation to body weight or overweight/obesity, ten reported a significant association whereas the remaining one reported a null relationship. Variety, density, and proximity of food outlets were positively associated with local residents’ dietary diversity, portion size, and daily caloric intake. Density and proximity of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores were positively associated with local residents’ adiposity in some but not all studies. Evidence linking any specific food outlet type to diet/obesity remains lacking due to the small number of studies and heterogeneities in food environment measures, geographical locations, and population subgroups.
The neighbourhood food environment may influence diet and obesity among Chinese residents but the evidence remains preliminary. Future studies adopting an experimental study design and objective/validated environment and dietary measures are warranted.
A credit default swap (CDS) is an exchange of premium payments for a compensation for the occurrence of a credit event. Counterparty risks refer to defaults of parties holding CDS contracts. In this paper we develop a valuation/pricing model for a CDS subject to counterparty risks. Using the Cox–Ingersoll–Ross (CIR) model for interest rate and first arrival times of Poisson processes with variable intensities for the occurrences of credit default and counterparty defaults, we derive a mathematical formulation and make a full theoretical investigation. In addition, we develop a full theory for the corresponding infinite horizon problem and establish its connection with the asymptotic long expiry behaviour of finite horizon problem. Furthermore, we establish a connection between two major frameworks for default times: the structure model approach and the intensity model approach. We show that a solution of the structure model can be obtained as the limit of a sequence of solutions of intensity models. Regarded as an important theoretical development, we remove a constraint typically imposed on the parameters of the CIR model; that is, the well-posedness (existence, uniqueness and continuous dependence of parameters) of the mathematical model holds for any empirically calibrated parameters for the CIR model.
Annexin A2 (ANXA2) is reported to be associated with cancer development. To investigate the roles ANXA2 plays during the development of cancer, the RNAi method was used to inhibit the ANXA2 expression in caco2 (human colorectal cancer cell line) and SMMC7721 (human hepatocarcinoma cell line) cells. The results showed that when the expression of ANXA2 was efficiently inhibited, the growth and motility of both cell lines were significantly decreased, and the development of the motility relevant microstructures, such as pseudopodia, filopodia, and the polymerization of microfilaments and microtubules were obviously inhibited. The cancer cell apoptosis was enhanced without obvious significance. The possible regulating pathway in the process was also predicted and discussed. Our results suggested that ANXA2 plays important roles in maintaining the malignancy of colorectal and hepatic cancer by enhancing the cell proliferation, motility, and development of the motility associated microstructures of cancer cells based on a possible complicated signal pathway.
The intracellular concentration of calcium ion ([Ca2+]i) is a critical regulator of cell signaling and contractility of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). In this study, we employed an atomic force microscopy (AFM) nanoindentation-based approach to investigate the role of [Ca2+]i in regulating the cortical elasticity of rat cremaster VSMCs and the ability of rat VSMCs to adhere to fibronectin (Fn) matrix. Elevation of [Ca2+]i by ionomycin treatment increased rat VSMC stiffness and cell adhesion to Fn-biofunctionalized AFM probes, whereas attenuation of [Ca2+]i by 1,2-Bis (2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N’,N’-tetraacetic acid tetrakis (acetoxymethyl ester) (BAPTA-AM) treatment decreased the mechanical and matrix adhesive properties of VSMCs. Furthermore, we found that ionomycin/BAPTA-AM treatments altered expression of α5 integrin subunits and α smooth muscle actin in rat VSMCs. These data suggest that [Ca2+]i regulates VSMC elasticity and adhesion to the extracellular matrix by a potential mechanism involving changing dynamics of the integrin–actin cytoskeleton axis.
The purpose of the present meta-analysis was to evaluate the association between the inflammatory potential of diet, determined by the dietary inflammatory index (DII®) score, and depression.
Systematic review and meta-analysis.
A comprehensive literature search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science and EMBASE databases up to August 2018. All observational studies that examined the association of the DII score with depression/depressive symptoms were included.
Four prospective cohorts and two cross-sectional studies enrolling a total of 49 584 subjects.
Overall, individuals in the highest DII v. the lowest DII category had a 23 % higher risk of depression (risk ratio (RR)=1·23; 95 % CI 1·12, 1·35). When stratified by study design, the pooled RR was 1·25 (95 % CI 1·12, 1·40) for the prospective cohort studies and 1·16 (95 % CI 0·96, 1·41) for the cross-sectional studies. Gender-specific analysis showed that this association was observed in women (RR=1·25; 95 % CI 1·09, 1·42) but was not statistically significant in men (RR=1·15; 95 % CI 0·83, 1·59).
The meta-analysis suggests that pro-inflammatory diet estimated by a higher DII score is independently associated with an increased risk of depression, particularly in women. However, more well-designed studies are needed to evaluate whether an anti-inflammatory diet can reduce the risk of depression.
Scabies is a parasitic disease caused by the ectoparasite Sarcoptes scabiei, affecting different mammalian species, including rabbits, worldwide. In the present study, we cloned and expressed a novel inorganic pyrophosphatase, Ssc-PYP-1, from S. scabiei var. cuniculi. Immunofluorescence staining showed that native Ssc-PYP-1 was localized in the tegument around the mouthparts and the entire legs, as well as in the cuticle of the mites. Interestingly, obvious staining was also observed on the fecal pellets of mites and in the integument of the mites. Based on its good immunoreactivity, an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using recombinant Ssc-PYP-1 (rSsc-PYP-1) as the capture antigen was developed to diagnose sarcoptic mange in naturally infected rabbits; the assay had a sensitivity of 92·0% and specificity of 93·6%. Finally, using the rSsc-PYP-1-ELISA, the Ssc-PYP-1 antibody from 10 experimentally infected rabbits could be detected from 1 week post-infection. This is the first report of S. scabiei inorganic pyrophosphatase and the protein could serve as a potential serodiagnostic candidate for sarcoptic mange in rabbits.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
Toxoplasmosis is a serious zoonoses disease and opportunistic, and can be life-threatening. Dexamethasone (DEX) is widely used in the clinic for treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. However, long-term use of DEX is often easy to lead to acute toxoplasmosis in patients, and the potential molecular mechanism is still not very clear. The aims of this study were to investigate the effect of DEX on proliferation of Toxoplasma and its molecular mechanisms, and to establish the corresponding control measures. All the results showed that dexamethasone could enhance the proliferation of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites. After 72 h of DEX treatment, 566 (±7) tachyzoites were found in 100 host cells, while only 86 (±8) tachyzoites were counted from the non-treated control cells (P < 0·01). Gas chromatography (GC) analysis showed changes in level and composition of fatty acids in DEX-treated host cells, and T. gondii. Fish oil was added as a modulator of lipid metabolism in experimental mice. It was found that mice fed with fish oil did not develop the disease after infection with T. gondii, and the structure of fatty acids in plasma changed significantly. The metabolism of fatty acid in the parasites was limited, and the desaturase gene expression was downregulated. These results indicate that the molecular mechanism of dexamethasone to promote the proliferation of T. gondii may be that dexamethasone induces the change of fatty acids composition of tachyzoites and host cells. Therefore, we recommend supplementation of fatty acid in immunosuppressive and immunocompromised patients in order to inhibit toxoplasmosis.
Cryptorchidism represents one of the most common human congenital anomalies. In most cases, its etiology remains unclear and seems to be multifactorial. In the present study, a pair of monozygotic twins discordant for cryptorchidism was identified. Twin zygosity was confirmed by microsatellite genotyping. Whole exome sequencing and methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-Seq) of DNA extract from leucocytes were performed to, respectively, evaluate their exomes and epigenomes. No differences in exome sequencing data were found between the twins after validation. MeDIP-Seq analysis detected 5,410 differentially hypermethylated genes and 2,383 differentially hypomethylated genes. Bioinformatic analysis showed that these genes belonged to several biological processes and signaling pathways, including regulation of actin cytoskeleton, which has been previously implicated in the etiology of cryptorchidism. The findings of the present study suggest that non-genetic factors might contribute to the pathogenesis of cryptorchidism.
A series of Ni0.5Zn0.5Fe2O4 (NZO)/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) composites were prepared and studied for their potential application as magneto-dielectric antenna substrate materials. The NZO ferrite powders were synthesized by the solid-state reaction method and then annealed at different temperatures of 700, 900 and 1100 °C. The influence of the annealing treatment on the grain size, crystallinity and magneto-dielectric properties were discussed. The magnetic and dielectric properties of the composites were measured in 1 MHz–1 GHz and 100 Hz–1 GHz, respectively. With the annealing temperature increase from 700 to 1100 °C, the initial permeability of the composites increases from 3.89 to 7.93, while the static permittivity changed regularly with the growing grain size. Almost equal values of μ′ and ε′ are obtained in the composite sample with the 1100 °C annealed NZO powders. Considering the relatively low magnetic and dielectric loss tangent, this material is the promising candidate for the design of miniaturized antennas.
To study the formation mechanism and stability of the phase in the interface of tungsten carbide particles reinforced iron matrix composites, the composites were fabricated by spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique and combined with first-principles calculation. It was found that Fe3W3C compound was stable from the perspective of both thermodynamics and mechanical properties based on our calculations. Interfacial reaction product of tungsten carbide particles reinforced iron matrix composites was M6C. Experimental results indicated that the samples prepared by SPS did not appear interfacial reaction zone, while, interfacial reaction zone appeared for the remelted samples. With the increasing remelting temperature, the width of the interface reaction zone increased because the mutual diffusion occurred at the interface between tungsten carbide particles and matrix. Its formation mechanism was 3Fe + 3/2W2C → Fe3W3C + 1/2C. Our research might provide a theoretical guidance in controlling the interface of tungsten carbide particles reinforced iron matrix composites.
Cancer patients with depression or anxiety have poor survival, and the interaction between mental and physical problems in older patients may exacerbate this problem. K-ras oncogene (KRAS) mutation may play a role in the development of psychosocial distress and may be associated with poor survival of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients. This study investigated the association between KRAS gene mutations and psychosocial morbidity to explore the possible cancer/psychosis relationship in older mCRC patients.
In this study, 62 newly diagnosed mCRC patients were recruited and completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Demographic data were also collected, and clinicopathological data were retrieved from medical records. KRAS mutations were assessed via PCR analysis of tissue specimens from the patients.
The results showed that 28 of the 62 participants (45.2%) had positive screens for possible depression, and 45 of the 62 participants (72.6%) had positive screens for anxiety. The KRAS mutation rate was 40.3% (25/62), and 19 of the 25 patients with KRAS mutations (76.0%) had probable depression, whereas only 24.3% of the patients with wild-type KRAS were probably depressed (p < 0.05). The KRAS mutation was associated with higher HADS depression scores, independent of gender and performance status (p < 0.05), but not with higher HADS anxiety or total scores.
KRAS mutations were associated with depression severity and higher rates of probable depression in older mCRC patients. Depression should be assessed and treated as early as possible in older mCRC patients with the KRAS mutation. Further studies are needed to verify our current findings using a larger sample size.
As a unique tubular nanoclay, halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) have recently attracted significant research attention. The HNTs have outer diameters of ∼50 nm, inner lumens of ∼20 nm and are 200–1000 nm long. They are biocompatible nanomaterials and widely available in nature, which makes them good candidates for application in biomedicine. Compared with other types of nanoparticles such as polymer nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes, the drawbacks associated with HNTs include brittleness, difficulty with fabrication, low fracture strength, high density and inadequate biocompatibility. Preparation of polysaccharide-HNT composites offer a means to overcome these shortcomings. Halloysite nanotubes can be incorporated easily into polysaccharides via solution mixing, such as with chitosan (CS), sodium alginate, cellulose, pectin and amylose, for forming composite films, porous scaffolds or hydrogels. The interfacial interactions, such as electrostatic attraction and hydrogen bonding, between HNTs and the polysaccharides are critical for improvement of the properties. Morphology results show that HNTs are dispersed uniformly in the composites. The mechanical strength and Young's modulus of the composites in both the dry and wet states are enhanced by HNTs and the HNTs can also increase the storage modulus, glass-transition temperature and thermal stability of the composites. Cytocompatibility results demonstrate that the polysaccharide-HNT composites have low cytotoxicity even for HNT loading >80%. Therefore, the polysaccharide-HNT composites show great potential for biomedical applications, e.g. as tissue engineering scaffold materials, wound-dressing materials, drug-delivery carriers, and cell-isolation surfaces.
The cyclic coordinate descent (CCD) method is a popular loop closure method in protein structure modeling. It is a robotics algorithm originally developed for inverse kinematic applications. We demonstrate an effective method of building the backbone of protein structure models using the principle of CCD and a guiding trace. For medium-resolution 3-dimensional (3D) images derived using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), it is possible to obtain guiding traces of secondary structures and their skeleton connections. Our new method, constrained cyclic coordinate descent (CCCD), builds α-helices, β-strands, and loops quickly and fairly accurately along predefined traces. We show that it is possible to build the entire backbone of a protein fairly accurately when the guiding traces are accurate. In a test of 10 proteins, the models constructed using CCCD show an average of 3.91 Å of backbone root mean square deviation (RMSD). When the CCCD method is incorporated in a simulated annealing framework to sample possible shift, translation, and rotation freedom, the models built with the true topology were ranked high on the list, with an average backbone RMSD100 of 3.76 Å. CCCD is an effective method for modeling atomic structures after secondary structure traces and skeletons are extracted from 3D cryo-EM images.
To evaluate vitamin D deficiency prevalence and risk factors among pregnant Chinese women.
A descriptive cross-sectional analysis.
China National Nutrition and Health Survey (CNNHS) 2010–2013.
A total of 1985 healthy pregnant women participated. Possible predictors of vitamin D deficiency were evaluated via multiple logistic regression analyses.
The median serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was 15·5 (interquartile range 11·9–20·0, range 3·0–51·5) ng/ml, with 74·9 (95 % CI 73·0, 76·7) % of participants being vitamin D deficient (25-hydroxyvitamin D <20 ng/ml). According to the multivariate logistic regression analyses, vitamin D deficiency was positively correlated with Hui ethnicity (P=0·016), lack of vitamin D supplement use (P=0·021) and low ambient UVB level (P<0·001). In the autumn months, vitamin D deficiency was related to Hui ethnicity (P=0·012) and low ambient UVB level (P<0·001). In the winter months, vitamin D deficiency was correlated with younger age (P=0·050), later gestational age (P=0·035), higher pre-pregnancy BMI (P=0·019), low ambient UVB level (P<0·001) and lack of vitamin D supplement use (P=0·007).
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among pregnant Chinese women. Residing in areas with low ambient UVB levels increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency, especially for women experiencing advanced stages of gestation, for younger pregnant women and for women of Hui ethnicity; therefore, vitamin D supplementation and sensible sun exposure should be encouraged, especially in the winter months. Further studies must determine optimal vitamin D intake and sun exposure levels for maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels in pregnant Chinese women.