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This study assessed the molecular mechanism of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) protection against IPEC-1 cell damage induced by deoxynivalenol (DON). The cells were divided into six groups, including the CON group, the EPA group, the DHA group, the DON group, the EPA+DON group, and the DHA+DON group. RNA sequencing was used to investigate the potential mechanism, and qRT-PCR was employed to verify the expression of selected genes. Changes in ultrastructure were used to estimate pathological changes and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) injury in IPEC-1 cells. Transferrin receptor 1 (TFR1) was tested by ELISA. Fe2+ and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents were estimated by spectrophotometry, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) was assayed by fluorospectrophotometry. RNA sequencing analysis showed that EPA and DHA had a significant effect on the expression of genes involved in ER stress and iron balance during DON-induced cell injury. The results showed that DON increased ER damage, the content of MDA and ROS, the ratio of X-box binding protein 1s (XBP-1s)/X-box binding protein 1u (XBP-1u), the concentration of Fe2+, and the activity of TFR1. However, the results also showed that EPA and DHA decreased the ratio of XBP-1s/XBP-1u to relieve DON-induced ER damage of IPEC-1 cells. Moreover, EPA and DHA (especially DHA) reversed the factors related to iron balance. It can be concluded that EPA and DHA reversed IPEC-1 cell damage induced by DON. DHA has the potential to protect IPEC-1 cells from DON-induced iron imbalance by inhibiting ER stress.
Vitamin D, Ca and dairy products are negatively associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence, but little is known of their influence on CRC survival. To investigate prediagnostic intakes of vitamin D, Ca and dairy products for their relevance to CRC prognosis, we analysed 504 CRC patients enrolled in the Newfoundland Colorectal Cancer Registry Cohort Study who were diagnosed for the first time with CRC between 1999 and 2003. Follow-up for mortality and cancer recurrence was through April 2010. Data on diet and lifestyle factors were gathered via a validated, semi-quantitative FFQ and a Personal History Questionnaire. Multivariate Cox models estimated hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for the relationship of prediagnostic intakes of vitamin D, Ca and dairy products with all-cause mortality (overall survival, OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) among CRC patients. We found that prediagnostic Ca intake from foods, but not total Ca intake, was negatively associated with all-cause mortality (HR for Q2 v. Q1, 0·44; 95 % CI, 0·26, 0·75). An inverse relationship was also seen in a dose–response fashion for prediagnostic cheese intake (HR for Q4 v. Q1, 0·57, 95 % CI, 0·34, 0·95, Ptrend = 0·029). No evidence for modification by sex, physical activity, alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking was observed. In summary, high prediagnostic intakes of cheese and Ca from foods may be associated with increased survival among CRC patients. By manipulating diet, this study may contribute to the development of novel therapies that add to the armamentarium against CRC. Replication studies are required before any nutritional interventions are made available.
It is important to maintain the psychological well-being of front-line healthcare staff during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
To examine COVID-19-related stress and its immediate psychological impact on healthcare staff.
All healthcare staff working in the fever clinic, from 20 January 2020 to 26 March 2020, of a tertiary general hospital were enrolled. Stress management procedures were in place to alleviate concerns about the respondents’ own health and the health of their families, to help them adjust their work and to provide psychological support via a hotline. Qualitative interviews were undertaken and the Sources of Distress and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) were administered.
Among the 102 participants (25 males; median age 30 years, interquartile range (IQR) = 27–36), the median IES-R total score was 3 (IQR = 0–8), and 6 participants (6.0%) scored above the cut-off on the IES-R (≥20). Safety and security were acceptable or better for 92 (90.2%) participants. The top four sources of distress were worry about the health of one's family/others at 0.88 (IQR = 0.25–1.25), worry about the virus spread at 0.50 (IQR = 0.00–1.00), worry about changes in work at 0.50 (IQR = 0.00–1.00) and worry about one's own health at 0.25 (IQR = 0.25–0.75). There was a moderate correlation between the IES-R score and the Sources of Distress score (rho = 0.501, P = 0.001).
The stress levels of healthcare staff in the fever clinic during the COVID-19 epidemic were not elevated. Physio-psychosocial interventions, including fulfilment of basic needs, activation of self-efficacy and psychological support, are helpful and worth recommending in fighting COVID-19.
A few former studies suggested that there are partial overlaps in abnormal brain structure and cognitive function between hypochondriasis (HS) and schizophrenia (SZ). But their differences in brain activity and cognitive function were unclear.
Twenty-one HS patients, 23 SZ patients, and 24 healthy controls (HC) underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) with the regional homogeneity analysis (ReHo), subsequently exploring the relationship between ReHo value and cognitive functions. The support vector machines (SVM) were used on effectiveness evaluation of ReHo for differentiating HS from SZ.
Compared with HC, HS showed significantly increased ReHo values in right middle temporal gyrus (MTG), left inferior parietal lobe (IPL), and right fusiform gyrus (FG), while SZ showed increased ReHo in left insula, decreased ReHo values in right paracentral lobule. Additionally, HS showed significantly higher ReHo values in FG, MTG, and left paracentral lobule, but lower in insula than SZ. The higher ReHo values in insula were associated with worse performance in MATRICS consensus cognitive battery (MCCB) in HS group. SVM analysis showed a combination of the ReHo values in insula and FG was able to satisfactorily distinguish the HS and SZ patients.
Our results suggested that the altered default mode network (DMN), of which abnormal spontaneous neural activity occurs in multiple brain regions, might play a key role in the pathogenesis of HS, and the resting-state alterations of insula are closely related to cognitive dysfunction in HS. Furthermore, the combination of the ReHo in FG and insula was a relatively ideal indicator to distinguish HS from SZ.
To understand the characteristics and influencing factors related to cluster infections in Jiangsu Province, China, we investigated case reports to explore transmission dynamics and influencing factors of scales of cluster infection. The effectiveness of interventions was assessed by changes in the time-dependent reproductive number (Rt). From 25th January to 29th February, Jiangsu Province reported a total of 134 clusters involving 617 cases. Household clusters accounted for 79.85% of the total. The time interval from onset to report of index cases was 8 days, which was longer than that of secondary cases (4 days) (χ2 = 22.763, P < 0.001) and had a relationship with the number of secondary cases (the correlation coefficient (r) = 0.193, P = 0.040). The average interval from onset to report was different between family cluster cases (4 days) and community cluster cases (7 days) (χ2 = 28.072, P < 0.001). The average time interval from onset to isolation of patients with secondary infection (5 days) was longer than that of patients without secondary infection (3 days) (F = 9.761, P = 0.002). Asymptomatic patients and non-familial clusters had impacts on the size of the clusters. The average reduction in the Rt value in family clusters (26.00%, 0.26 ± 0.22) was lower than that in other clusters (37.00%, 0.37 ± 0.26) (F = 4.400, P = 0.039). Early detection of asymptomatic patients and early reports of non-family clusters can effectively weaken cluster infections.
A multidisciplinary fieldwork and research project was recently begun at the Yangshang site (220–140 ka), a late Early Paleolithic locale in the western Chinese Loess Plateau. 1696 lithic artifacts and 337 faunal remains were recovered during the excavation. Sedimentological and paleoenvironmental investigations indicate the site preserves a relatively long and minimally disturbed archaeological sequence associated with paleoenvironmental changes during MIS 7–6. A detailed techno-typological analysis of Yangshang's lithic assemblages was undertaken to examine the influence of glacial cycles on late Middle Pleistocene hominin technological strategies in the western Chinese Loess Plateau. The results show that while the Yangshang site is dominated by quartz-based core/flake assemblages typical of most Early Paleolithic sites in North China, the lithic assemblages provide evidence that different provisioning systems existed during the penultimate glaciation. We argue that these shifts reflect changes in land use and mobility that were tied to climate change. Our results suggest that theoretically informed statistical analyses of so-called unchanging and crude lithic technology can yield meaningful evidence for behavioral shifts.
We report on a power-scalable sub-100-fs laser in the 2-μm spectral range using a Tm3+-doped ‘mixed’ (Lu,Sc)2O3 sesquioxide ceramic as an active medium. Pulses as short as 58 fs at 2076 nm with an average output power of 114 mW at a pulse repetition rate of approximately 82.9 MHz are generated by employing single-walled carbon nanotubes as a saturable absorber. A higher average power of 350 mW at 2075 nm is obtained at the expense of the pulse duration (65 fs). A maximum average power of 486 mW is achieved for a pulse duration of 98 fs and an optical conversion efficiency of 22.3%, representing the highest value ever reported from sub-100-fs mode-locked Tm lasers.
Narrowband microwave generation with tuneable frequency is demonstrated by illuminating a photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS) with a burst-mode fibre laser. The whole system is composed of a high-power linearly polarized burst-mode pulsed fibre laser and a linear-state PCSS. To obtain a high-performance microwave signal, a desired envelope of burst is necessary and a pulse pre-compensation technique is adopted to avoid envelope distortion induced by the gain-saturation effect. Resulting from the technique, homogenous peak power distribution in each burst is ensured. The maximum energy of the laser burst pulse reaches 200 μJ with a burst duration of 100 ns at the average power of 10 W, corresponding to a peak power of 4 kW. When the PCSS is illuminated by the burst-mode fibre laser, narrowband microwave generation with tuneable frequency (0.80–1.12 GHz) is obtained with a power up to 300 W. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, it is the first demonstration of frequency-tuneable narrowband microwave generation based on a fibre laser. The high-power burst-mode fibre laser reported here has great potential for generating high-power arbitrary microwave signals for a great deal of applicable demands such as smart adaptive radar and intelligent high-power microwave systems.
During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Fangcang shelter hospitals were opened in Wuhan, China, to isolate and care for patients with mild or moderate symptoms. The patients and staff in the hospitals faced mental health challenges. This paper reports the experiences and mental health needs from them.
Following the qualitative design, semi-structured interviews were conducted in the EastWest Lake Fangcang Shelter Hospital, Wuhan on March 2020. Data collection and analysis was based on grounded theory. Open coding was adapted and a structured codebook was developed through coding seminars. The themes and subthemes were then confirmed through thematic analysis. The findings were further explained and integrated in a theoretical framework.
A total of 10 COVID-19 patients and 13 staff, including doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and policemen participated in the interviews. They have common needs, as well as their own needs. The perspectives from the staff also did complement for needs of the patients. The mental health needs were generalized into four themes, that is, basic needs, information and communication, emotional needs, and social support, each with several subthemes. In addition, there were some external factors that regulated the internal needs, which were summarized in a theoretical framework.
The study indicates the directions on hospital management, mental health services, policy making, and social work to meet the mental health needs of the inpatients and staff from temporary shelter hospitals like Fangcang in Wuhan during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) patients are judged to be very-high-risk if they had a history of multiple major ASCVD events, or one major ASCVD event with multiple high-risk conditions. Very-high-risk ASCVD patients are under high risk of adverse clinical events and need more attention in the management of secondary prevention. This real-world study aimed at estimating the prevalence of very-high-risk ASCVD and investigating the occurrence of adverse clinical events and associated risk factors among patients with very-high-risk ASCVD in China.
Data were obtained from the Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance database in Tianjin, China. Very-high-risk ASCVD patients were identified from 2014 to 2015 through the history of ASCVD events and evidence of high-risk conditions, and followed for 24 months. Adverse clinical events were measured by major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), a composite endpoint of stroke, myocardial infarction (MI) and death. A Cox regression model was used to identify risk factors of MACE, adjusting for potential confounders.
The percentage of clinical ASCVD patients identified as very-high-risk was 35.2 (N = 41,181), while 34,740 patients with continuous enrollment were included (mean age: 67.1 years; 42.5% female). The percentage of patients who had MACE in the 24-month follow-up period was 27.7, with stroke (22.3%) as the most prevalent event followed by death (6.9%) and MI (1.3%). Male gender, older age, and having MI or ischemic stroke (versus unstable angina) as the index major ASCVD event were risk predictors of MACE.
More than one-third of patients with clinical ASCVD are under very-high-risk in China, and among them 27.7 percent experience MACE during a 24-month follow-up period. Male patients, older patients, and patients who had MI or ischemic stroke are under higher risk of experiencing MACE. Future studies are warranted for comparing the differences in characteristics, pattern of drug use, occurrence of adverse clinical events and medical burden between very-high-risk ASCVD patients and ASCVD patients not at very-high-risk.
This study aimed at estimating the transmissibility of hepatitis C. The data for hepatitis C cases were collected in six districts in Xiamen City, China from 2004 to 2018. A population-mixed susceptible-infectious-chronic-recovered (SICR) model was used to fit the data and the parameters of the model were calculated. The basic reproduction number (R0) and the number of newly transmitted cases by a primary case per month (MNI) were adopted to quantitatively assess the transmissibility of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Eleven curve estimation models were employed to predict the trends of R0 and MNI in the city. The SICR model fits the reported HCV data well (P < 0.01). The median R0 of each district in Xiamen is 0.4059. R0 follows the cubic model curve, the compound curve and the power function curve. The median MNI of each district in Xiamen is 0.0020. MNI follows the cubic model curve, the compound curve and the power function curve. The transmissibility of HCV follows a decreasing trend, which reveals that under the current policy for prevention and control, there would be a high feasibility to eliminate the transmission of HCV in the city.
Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is a type of behavioural addictions. One of the key features of addiction is the excessive exposure to addictive objectives (e.g. drugs) reduces the sensitivity of the brain reward system to daily rewards (e.g. money). This is thought to be mediated via the signals expressed as dopaminergic reward prediction error (RPE). Emerging evidence highlights blunted RPE signals in drug addictions. However, no study has examined whether IGD also involves alterations in RPE signals that are observed in other types of addictions.
To fill this gap, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 45 IGD and 42 healthy controls (HCs) during a reward-related prediction-error task and utilised a psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis to characterise the underlying neural correlates of RPE and related functional connectivity.
Relative to HCs, IGD individuals showed impaired reinforcement learning, blunted RPE signals in multiple regions of the brain reward system, including the right caudate, left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Moreover, the PPI analysis revealed a pattern of hyperconnectivity between the right caudate, right putamen, bilateral DLPFC, and right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) in the IGD group. Finally, linear regression suggested that the connection between the right DLPFC and right dACC could significantly predict the variation of RPE signals in the left OFC.
These results highlight disrupted RPE signalling and hyperconnectivity between regions of the brain reward system in IGD. Reinforcement learning deficits may be crucial underlying characteristics of IGD pathophysiology.
There is growing interest globally in using real-world data (RWD) and real-world evidence (RWE) for health technology assessment (HTA). Optimal collection, analysis, and use of RWD/RWE to inform HTA requires a conceptual framework to standardize processes and ensure consistency. However, such framework is currently lacking in Asia, a region that is likely to benefit from RWD/RWE for at least two reasons. First, there is often limited Asian representation in clinical trials unless specifically conducted in Asian populations, and RWD may help to fill the evidence gap. Second, in a few Asian health systems, reimbursement decisions are not made at market entry; thus, allowing RWD/RWE to be collected to give more certainty about the effectiveness of technologies in the local setting and inform their appropriate use. Furthermore, an alignment of RWD/RWE policies across Asia would equip decision makers with context-relevant evidence, and improve timely patient access to new technologies. Using data collected from eleven health systems in Asia, this paper provides a review of the current landscape of RWD/RWE in Asia to inform HTA and explores a way forward to align policies within the region. This paper concludes with a proposal to establish an international collaboration among academics and HTA agencies in the region: the REAL World Data In ASia for HEalth Technology Assessment in Reimbursement (REALISE) working group, which seeks to develop a non-binding guidance document on the use of RWD/RWE to inform HTA for decision making in Asia.
Increased intake of vegetables and fruits has been associated with reduced risk of tuberculosis infection. Vegetables and fruits exert immunoregulatory effects; however, it is not clear whether vegetables and fruits have an adjuvant treatment effect on tuberculosis. Between 2009 and 2013, a hospital-based cohort study was conducted in Linyi, Shandong Province, China. Treatment outcome was ascertained by sputum smear and chest computerised tomography, and dietary intake was assessed by a semi-quantitative FFQ. The dietary questionnaire was conducted at the end of month 2 of treatment initiation. Participants recalled their dietary intake of the previous 2 months. A total of 2309 patients were enrolled in this study. After 6 months of treatment, 2099 patients were successfully treated and 210 were uncured. In multivariate models, higher intake of total vegetables and fruits (OR 0·70; 95 % CI 0·49, 0·99), total vegetables (OR 0·68; 95 % CI 0·48, 0·97), dark-coloured vegetables (OR 0·61; 95 % CI 0·43, 0·86) and light-coloured vegetables (OR 0·67; 95 % CI 0·48, 0·95) were associated with reduced failure rate of tuberculosis treatment. No association was found between total fruit intake and reduced failure rate of tuberculosis treatment (OR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·70, 1·37). High intake of total vegetables and fruits, especially vegetables, is associated with lower risk of failure of tuberculosis treatment in pulmonary tuberculosis patients. The results provide important information for dietary guidelines during tuberculosis treatment.
Having enterprises engaged in environmentally friendly behavior is an important part of reducing negative environmental impacts. This study makes a quantitative analysis against the backdrop of China's transitional economic system. The results show that politically-connected enterprises significantly reduce environmental expenditure, but this only holds for state-owned enterprises; private enterprises with political connections spend significantly more. Analysis of the efficiency of environmental expenditure indicates that, for private enterprises, environmental spending is used as a way to maintain political connections, with rent-seeking as the likely motivation. Politically-connected private enterprises have not reduced their emissions to the same extent as state-owned enterprises, despite increased expenditure. Given the scale of environmental degradation in China during a period of massive economic and social upheaval, the results of this analysis provide a quantitative case for policy change: governments should shift focus to the results that environmental spending produces.
In order to expand the family and improve the bioactivity of oral implant ceramics, the phase structures, mechanical and wetting properties of the hot-pressed yttria-zirconia/multilayer graphene oxide composite (3Y-ZrO2/GO) ceramics were investigated. GO was uniformly distributed in 3Y-ZrO2 powders, forming the C–O–Zr bond during the sintering process. In comparison to raw 3Y-ZrO2 ceramics, the flexural strength and fracture toughness improved up to 200% (1489.96 ± 35.71 MPa) in ZG3 (with 0.15 wt% GO) and 40.9% (8.95 ± 0.59 MPa m1/2) in ZG2 (with 0.1 wt% GO), respectively, while the relative density and Vickers hardness increased slightly. The toughening mechanisms included crack deflection, crack bridging, and GO put-out. Meanwhile, the composite ceramics were transformed into a more hydrophilic direction and indicated a good wetting property. In consideration of mechanical and wetting properties, the ZG3 would be a favorable alternative to the yttria-zirconia ceramic (Y-TZP) in dental implant applications. The results are expected to serve as a technical guidance for the fabrication and evaluation of dental implants.
This research involves a compact wideband circularly-polarized antenna array, which consists of a sequential rotating phase feed network, 2 × 2 mushroom-type metamaterial (MTM) unit, and so on. Each antenna array unit contains a microstrip feedline, an L-shaped slot antenna, and so on. The MTM-based antennas were incorporated with a sequential-phase network of sequentially rotated series-parallel feed to achieve wideband operation. The operational bandwidth and the radiation model in the high-frequency area were improved through the adjustment of spacing between the L-shaped slots while maintaining the size and structure of the MTM. The proposed design had dimensions of 80 mm × 80 mm × 3.5 mm (~1.64 λ0 × 1.64 λ0 × 0.072 λ0 at 6.15 GHz), and it was simulated, fabricated, and tested.