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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 Pickering emulsion was prepared via synergistic stabilization of a lipase and palygorskite particles. The optimum conditions for the stabilization of the Pickering emulsion, such as the concentrations of the palygorskite particles and lipase, were explored. The morphology of emulsion droplets was examined using digital optical microscopy and polarizing optical microscopy. The palygorskite–lipase co-stabilized Pickering emulsions were investigated by determination of the adsorption rate, pH and zeta potential of the aqueous dispersion, as well as by determining the contact angle values of the lipase solution on a palygorskite disc that was immersed in toluene. The catalytic performance of the immobilized lipase in the Pickering emulsion was studied via the investigation of its thermal stability, storage stability and reusability. The immobilized lipase showed greater stability than the free lipase. The lipase immobilized by Pickering emulsion retained a high level of activity even after seven periods of recycling.
The association of soft drink consumption with mental problems in Asian adolescents has not been reported. The present study aimed to investigate the association of soft drink consumption and symptoms of anxiety and depression in adolescents in China.
A cross-sectional study to investigate the association of intake of soft drinks and sugars from soft drinks with symptoms of anxiety and depression measured by the two-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-2) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2), respectively.
A comprehensive university in Changsha, China.
Newly enrolled college students in 2017.
In total, 8226 students completed the investigation and 8085 students with no systemic disorders were finally analysed. Students consuming soft drinks ≥7 times/week had significantly higher (mean difference; 95 % CI) GAD-2 (0·15; 0·07, 0·23) and PHQ-2 (0·27; 0·19, 0·35) scores compared with those barely consuming soft drinks, adjusted for demographic and behavioural factors. Those consuming >25 g sugar/d from soft drinks had significantly higher GAD-2 (0·11; 0·04, 0·18) and PHQ-2 (0·22; 0·15, 0·29) scores compared with non-consumers. The mediation effect of obesity in the associations was not clinically significant.
Adolescents consuming soft drinks ≥7 times/week, or >25 g sugar/d from soft drinks, had significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression. Dietary suggestion is needed to prevent anxiety and depression in adolescents.
Food pantries play a critical role in combating food insecurity. The objective of the present work was to systematically review and synthesize scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of food pantry-based interventions in the USA.
Keyword/reference search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane Library and CINAHL for peer-reviewed articles published until May 2018 that met the following criteria. Setting: food pantry and/or food bank in the USA; study design: randomized controlled trial (RCT) or pre–post study; outcomes: diet-related outcomes (e.g. nutrition knowledge, food choice, food security, diet quality); study subjects: food pantry/bank clients.
Fourteen articles evaluating twelve distinct interventions identified from the keyword/reference search met the eligibility criteria and were included in the review. Five were RCT and the remaining seven were pre–post studies. All studies found that food pantry-based interventions were effective in improving participants’ diet-related outcomes. In particular, the nutrition education interventions and the client-choice intervention enhanced participants’ nutrition knowledge, cooking skills, food security status and fresh produce intake. The food display intervention helped pantry clients select healthier food items. The diabetes management intervention reduced participants’ glycaemic level.
Food pantry-based interventions were found to be effective in improving participants’ diet-related outcomes. Interventions were modest in scale and usually short in follow-up duration. Future studies are warranted to address the challenges of conducting interventions in food pantries, such as shortage in personnel and resources, to ensure intervention sustainability and long-term effectiveness.
Given the global water challenges, solar-driven steam generation has become a renewed topic recently as an energy-efficient way for clean water production. Here, a hybrid plasmonic structure consisting of a top layer of TiN nanoparticles (NPs) and a bottom layer of mesoporous anodized alumina membrane (AAM) was rationally designed and fabricated. The top TiN NPs with broadband light absorption acted as a plasmonic heating layer, which converted the absorbed light to heat efficiently for interfacial water heating. The AAM acted as the mechanical support layer, guaranteeing the heat isolation and continuous water replenishment. With optimized thickness of the TiN top layer, a solar steam generation efficiency of 87.7% was achieved in this study. This efficiency is comparable or even higher than prior studies. The current work proves the capability of the TiN NPs as an alternative photothermal material.
The collimated electron jets ejected from cylindrical plasma are produced in particle-in-cell simulation under the applied longitudinal magnetostatic field and radial electrostatic field, which is a process that can be conveniently performed in a laboratory. We find that the applied magnetostatic field contributes significantly to the jet collimation, whereas the applied electrostatic field plays a vital role in the jet formation. The generation mechanism of collimated jets can be well understood through energy gain of the tagged electrons, and we conclude that the longitudinal momentum of the electrons is converted from the transverse momentum via the transverse-induced magnetic field. It has been found that the ejecting velocity of the jets is close to the speed of light when the applied electrostatic field reaches 3 × 1010 V/m. The present scheme may also give us an insight into the formation of astrophysical jets in celestial bodies.
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.
Epidemiological data show that osteoarthritis (OA) is significantly associated with lower birth weight, and that OA may be a type of fetal-originated adult disease. The present study aimed to investigate the prenatal food-restriction (PFR) effect on the quality of articular cartilage in female offspring to explore the underlying mechanisms of fetal-originated OA. Maternal rats were fed a restricted diet from gestational day (GD) 11 to 20 to induce intra-uterine growth retardation. Female fetuses and female adult offspring fed a post-weaning high-fat diet were killed at GD20 and postnatal week 24, respectively. Serum and knee cartilage samples from fetuses and adult female offspring were collected and examined for cholesterol metabolism and histology. Fetal serum corticosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in the PFR group were lower than those of the control, but the serum cholesterol level was not changed. The lower expression of IGF-1 in the PFR group lasted into adulthood. The expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) genes, including type II collagen, aggrecan and cholesterol efflux genes including liver X receptor, were significantly induced, but the ATP-binding-cassette transporter A1 was unchanged. PFR could induce a reduction in ECM synthesis and impaired cholesterol efflux in female offspring, and eventually led to poor quality of articular cartilage and OA.
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of in ovo feeding (IOF) of folic acid on the folate metabolism, immune function and the involved epigenetic modification of broilers. A total of 400 (Cobb) hatching eggs were randomly divided into four groups (0, 50, 100 and 150 µg injection of folic acid at embryonic age 11 d), and chicks hatched from each treatment were randomly divided into six replicates with 12 broilers/replicate after incubation. The results indicated that, in ovo, 100- and 150-µg folic acid injections improved the hatchability. The average daily gain and feed conversion ratio increased in the 150-µg group during the late growth stage. Simultaneously, in the 100- and 150-µg groups, an increase was observed in hepatic folate content and the expression of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (d1 and 42) and methionine synthase reductase (d21). IgG and IgM concentrations, as well as plasma lysozyme activity of broilers, showed a marked increase along with increasing folic acid levels. The splenic expression levels of IL-2 and IL-4 were up-regulated, whereas that of IL-6 was down-regulated, in the 100- and 150-µg folic acid treatment groups. In addition, histone methylation in IL-2 and IL-4 promoters exhibited an enrichment of H3K4m2 but a loss of H3K9me2 with the increased amount of folic acid additive. In contrast, a decrease in H3K4m2 and an increase in H3K9me2 were observed in the IL-6 promoter in folic acid treatments. Furthermore, in ovo, the 150-µg folic acid injection improved the chromatin tightness of the IL-2 and IL-4 promoter regions. Our findings suggest that IOF of 150 µg of folic acid can improve the growth performance and folate metabolism of broilers, and enhance the relationship between immune function and epigenetic regulation of immune genes, which are involved with the alterations in chromatin conformation and histone methylation in their promoters.
We compared the enhancement of photoactivity of transition metal ion (1 mol% Fe, Cu, Mn, and Zn) doped CeO2 nanocatalysts, and examined the effects of oxygen vacancies and the valence of the doped ions. The nanocatalysts were synthesized using a coprecipitation method and were characterized by x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller isotherm methods and Raman spectroscopy. The photocatalytic activities of these catalysts were tested using aqueous Rhodamine B (RhB) degradation under UV irradiation. The spherical CeO2 nanocatalysts had a mesoporous structure and ∼15 nm average particle size. The catalytic activity was closely related to the oxygen vacancies and the valence of the doped ions. An increase in oxygen vacancies of doped CeO2 decreased the photocatalytic activity. The photocatalytic activities of the catalysts decreased in the order: 1 mol% Fe > Cu > Mn > Zn > undoped CeO2. The 1 mol% Fe doped CeO2 degraded ∼92.6% of the RhB after 3 h of irradiation, and the degradation obeyed pseudo-first-order kinetics. Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry indicated that the photodegradation of RhB was a stepwise oxidation process. Under continuous oxidation, over a long reaction time, the RhB was completely oxidized to its final products, such as water and carbon dioxide.
A spectral-element method is developed to solve the scattering problem for time-harmonic sound waves due to an obstacle in an homogeneous compressible fluid. The method is based on a boundary perturbation technique coupled with an efficient spectral-element solver. Extensive numerical results are presented, in order to show the accuracy and stability of the method.
Owing to energy conservation of waste heat, Lead telluride, PbTe, based materials have promising good thermoelectric properties around a range of middle temperature (Fig. 1, from 300 to 600°C), due to their high melting point, fine chemical stability, and the high figure of merit Z. The general physical properties and factors affecting the figure of merit have been reviewed. This research is focused on the n-type of PbTe materials and collocated with analysis of densities, hardness, elastic modulus, and thermoelectric properties thermoelectric figure of merit ZT=GS2T/κ (where G is electrical conductivity, S is Seebeck coefficient , T is absolute temperature, and κ is thermal conductivity). Room temperature hardness and Young’s modulus are measured by nano-indentation. In this study, the hot-press compacts under the pressure of 4 ton/cm2 can reach the maximum density about 8.2 g/cm3, and hardness and elastic modulus are 0.6 GPa and 70 GPa, respectively. The figure of merit value (ZT) of PbTe in low temperature (around 340°C) was found about 1 with carrier concentration above 1019 cm−3. These results also indicate that the powder metallurgy parameters provide potentialities for further increase of the high efficiency of energy conversion in PbTe materials.
In this paper an active β-C2S was used to prepare compacted and polymerized pastes with low porosity. X-ray diffraction (XRD), mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and tri-methy silanation-gel permeation chromatography (TMS-GPC) techniques were used to characterize the microstructure of the pastes both before and after additions of inorganic complexing ions, Fe2+ and Ni2+, and organic silane VTES.
The results indicate that both inorganic complexing ions and organic silane can play a role in the polymerization of the native silicate anions in the cement pastes. These materials lead to a distinct increase of pentamer, octamer, and polymer components in the pastes, resulting in a decrease in the average C/S ratio in the C-S-H phase. The samples obtained from this processing have very high mechanical strengths, up to a compressive strength of 316 MPa, and fracture surface energy of 43 J/m2.
Recently, semiconductor nanocrystals or quantum dots (QDs) aroused great concern because of their unique properties such as the size-dependent photoluminescence. They have many excellent applications in areas of molecular bioimaging, medical detection and even energy, especially as biosensing and imaging instead of fluorescent dyes. For the bio-safety, however, we should assess the cytotoxicity of QDs before used in biomedical imaging. Here, the cytotoxicity of amino-functionalized CdSe/CdS (CdSe/CdS-NH2) QDs and carboxy-functionalized CdSe/CdS (CdSe/CdS-COOH) QDs was investigated by MTT assay method. According to our findings, both CdSe/CdS-NH2 and CdSe/CdS-COOH have a dose-dependent effect on cell proliferation. The cytotoxicity of QDs varies with storing time of QDs and kinds of cells. The cytotoxicity of QDs modified with -COOH or -NH2 groups both vary with concentrations in positive linear or change with QD storing time in negative linear. The results indicate that CdSe/CdS-COOH QDs have lower toxicity than CdSe/CdS-NH2 QDs. Hela cell is somewhat more sensitive to amino- and carboxy-modified QDs than Bel7404 cell for MTT assays.
Treatment of liver fibrosis associated with Schistosoma japonicum ova-induced granulomas remains a challenging proposition. Paeoniflorin (PAE, C23H28O11) has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and immunoregulatory effects and it is commonly used in Chinese Herbal prescriptions to treat hepatic disorders. The present study was carried out to investigate the effects of PAE on hepatic fibrosis of mice infected with S. japonicum and to explore its possible mechanism. Upon pathological examination of PAE-treated mice, the size of egg granuloma, fibrosis scores, the concentration of IL-13 and hydroxyproline in liver were significantly reduced compared with the model mice. In the primary culture of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), PAE inhibited IL-13-induced collagen synthesis. These results suggested that PAE might alleviate the hepatic granulomas and fibrosis caused by S. japonicum and the inhibitory effect of PAE on hepatic fibrosis might be associated with its ability to decrease the level of IL-13 and to interfere with the IL-13 signalling molecule in HSCs.
To investigate whether genetic variants in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (MTHFD) genes are associated with risk of congenital cardiac disease.
Accumulative evidence suggests that hyperhomocysteinaemia is associated with risk of congenital cardiac disease. Inherited polymorphisms in key folate metabolic pathway genes, MTHFR and MTHFD, may influence the efficiency of folate metabolism and plasma level of homocysteine.
A two-stage case–control study of congenital cardiac disease was conducted by genotyping MTHFR c.1793G>A and four other variants – MTHFR c.677C>T, c.1298A>C, and MTHFD c.1958G>A, c.401C>T – in a Chinese population consisting of 1033 congenital cardiac disease patients and 1067 non-congenital cardiac disease patients.
The variant genotypes of MTHFR c.1793GA/AA were associated with a significantly decreased risk of congenital cardiac disease in two stages combined, with an adjusted odds ratio of 0.67 and a 95% confidence interval of 0.54–0.84 (p = 0.0004). In comparison with wild-type homozygote c.1793GG, the effect was significant in isolated perimembranous ventricular septal defect patients with an adjusted odds ratio of 0.60 and a 95% confidence interval of 0.43–0.83 (p = 0.0003).
These findings indicate that MTHFR c.1793G>A may have a role in susceptibility to sporadic congenital cardiac disease.
Polyploid mouse embryos are important models for understanding the mechanisms of cleavage and preimplantation development in mammals. In this study, hexaploid (6n) mouse embryos were produced by the electrofusion of blastomeres from diploid (2n) and tetraploid (4n) embryos at the 2-cell stage. Furthermore, the developmental pattern of hexaploid embryos was evaluated by blastocyst rate, cell number, karyotype analysis, cytoskeleton staining and Oct-4 immunofluorescence. The results showed that 72.7% of the hexaploid embryos were able to develop to the blastocyst stage, which is a lower number than that found with normal diploid embryos (98.0%, p < 0.05). The cell number in hexaploid blastocyst was 12.3 ± 2.0, which was less than that found in diploid or tetraploid blastocysts (41.2 ± 7.2; 18.4 ± 3.5). Karyotype analysis confirmed that the number of chromosomes in hexaploid embryos was 120. β-Tubulin and Oct-4 immunofluorescence indicated that the hexaploid blastocysts were nearly lacking inner cell mass (ICM), but some blastomeres did show Oct-4-positive expression.
Chao Kou (1107–87), known by his posthumous temple name as Kao-tsung (r. 1127–62), was the ninth son of Emperor Hui-tsung (r. 1100–26) and a younger brother of Emperor Ch’in-tsung (r. 1126–7). Kao-tsung was the emperor who led the restoration of the Sung dynasty and inaugurated what is known as the Southern Sung dynasty (1127–1279). Resisting the Chin dynasty’s attempts at further conquest, the Southern Sung dynasty lasted more than one hundred and fifty years and enjoyed decades of economic and cultural prosperity. In traditional Chinese historiography the Southern Sung is considered a weak dynasty, humiliated as a vassal state by the Chin (Jurchen) dynasty (1115–1234). Kao-tsung is criticized for being a weak ruler unable to avenge Sung’s humiliation at the hands of Chin and unable to recover the Sung’s former northern territory. Kao-tsung is also criticized because he and his vilified chief councilor, Ch’in Kuei (1090–1155), were responsible for the death of general Yüeh Fei (1103–41), who, because of his efforts in resisting Chin, came to be regarded as a “national hero.” Despite these criticisms, Kao-tsung is perhaps better to be remembered as the young emperor who reigned through a period of disastrous military defeats and near-terminal political crises as the Sung dynasty faced oblivion, and yet later oversaw two decades of resistance, stability, and recovery.