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Maternal systemic inflammation during pregnancy may restrict embryo−fetal growth, but the extent of this effect remains poorly established in undernourished populations. In a cohort of 653 maternal−newborn dyads participating in a multi-armed, micronutrient supplementation trial in southern Nepal, we investigated associations between maternal inflammation, assessed by serum α1-acid glycoprotein and C-reactive protein, in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, and newborn weight, length and head and chest circumferences. Median (IQR) maternal concentrations in α1-acid glycoprotein and C-reactive protein in the first and third trimesters were 0.65 (0.53–0.76) and 0.40 (0.33–0.50) g/l, and 0.56 (0.25–1.54) and 1.07 (0.43–2.32) mg/l, respectively. α1-acid glycoprotein was inversely associated with birth size: weight, length, head circumference and chest circumference were lower by 116 g (P = 2.3 × 10−6), and 0.45 (P = 3.1 × 10−5), 0.18 (P = 0.0191) and 0.48 (P = 1.7 × 10−7) cm, respectively, per 50% increase in α1-acid glycoprotein averaged across both trimesters. Adjustment for maternal age, parity, gestational age, nutritional and socio-economic status and daily micronutrient supplementation failed to alter any association. Serum C-reactive protein concentration was largely unassociated with newborn size. In rural Nepal, birth size was inversely associated with low-grade, chronic inflammation during pregnancy as indicated by serum α1-acid glycoprotein.
Nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs) are widely used for antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), but real-world data on treatment patterns and long-term clinical outcomes are not always available. Using data from electronic medical records between January 2011 and December 2016 in Shanghai, China, we evaluated patient characteristics, treatment patterns and clinical outcomes in patients with CHB. There were 6688 patients in the study cohort. The incidences of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were 41.0‰ and 6.8‰ person-years, respectively. There were more cirrhosis and HCC cases among patients who had shorter NA treatment duration (<365 days), or who were less compliant (<80%). In addition, increased risk of cirrhosis and HCC was observed in patients who did not achieve hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss/seroconversion. Moreover, patients with cirrhosis developed after antiviral treatments had a higher incidence of HCC (adjusted hazard ratio 15.86, 95% confidence interval 7.35–34.24). Good compliance with treatment and longer treatment duration significantly decreased the risk of developing cirrhosis and HCC. HBsAg loss seemed to be a protective factor for cirrhosis/HCC in NAs-treated patients with CHB, and cirrhosis was a confirmed risk factor for HCC development as expected.
The very high temperature reactor (VHTR) is a development of the high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) and one of the six proposed Generation IV reactor concept candidates. The 10 MW high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR-10) is the first pebble-bed gas-cooled test reactor in China. A sampling system for the measurement of carbon-14 (14C) was established in the helium purification system of the HTR-10 primary loop, which could sample 14C from the coolant at three locations. The results showed that activity concentration of 14C in the HTR-10 primary coolant was 1.2(1) × 102 Bq/m3 (STP). The production mechanisms, distribution characteristics, reduction routes, and release types of 14C in HTR-10 were analyzed and discussed. A theoretical model was built to calculate the amount of 14C in the core of HTR-10 and its concentration in the primary coolant. The activation reaction of 13C has been identified to be the dominant 14C source in the core, whereas in the primary coolant, it is the activation of 14N. These results can supplement important information for the source term analysis of 14C in HTR-10 and promote the study of 14C in HTGRs.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
The response of soil microbial communities to soil quality changes is a sensitive indicator of soil ecosystem health. The current work investigated soil microbial communities under different fertilization treatments in a 31-year experiment using the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profile method. The experiment consisted of five fertilization treatments: without fertilizer input (CK), chemical fertilizer alone (MF), rice (Oryza sativa L.) straw residue and chemical fertilizer (RF), low manure rate and chemical fertilizer (LOM), and high manure rate and chemical fertilizer (HOM). Soil samples were collected from the plough layer and results indicated that the content of PLFAs were increased in all fertilization treatments compared with the control. The iC15:0 fatty acids increased significantly in MF treatment but decreased in RF, LOM and HOM, while aC15:0 fatty acids increased in these three treatments. Principal component (PC) analysis was conducted to determine factors defining soil microbial community structure using the 21 PLFAs detected in all treatments: the first and second PCs explained 89.8% of the total variance. All unsaturated and cyclopropyl PLFAs except C12:0 and C15:0 were highly weighted on the first PC. The first and second PC also explained 87.1% of the total variance among all fertilization treatments. There was no difference in the first and second PC between RF and HOM treatments. The results indicated that long-term combined application of straw residue or organic manure with chemical fertilizer practices improved soil microbial community structure more than the mineral fertilizer treatment in double-cropped paddy fields in Southern China.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The effects of soluble fiber inclusion in gestation diets with varying fermentation characteristics (fermentation kinetics and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA)-profile) on lactational feed intake of sows and their piglet growth over two parities were investigated using an in vitro–in vivo methodology. After breeding, 90 multiparous Landrace sows were randomized to one of three experimental diets: the control (CON) diet, konjac flour (KF) diet or sugar beet pulp (SBP) diet. All diets had similar levels of net energy, CP, insoluble fiber and NDF, but KF and SBP diets had higher soluble fiber levels than the CON diet. During gestation, the sows were restrictively fed with three different diets, but during lactation, all the sows were similarly fed ad libitum. The three gestation diets were enzymatically hydrolyzed using pepsin and pancreatin, and enzymolyzed residues were used in in vitro fermentation. Gas and SCFA production were monitored during fermentation. After fermentation, enzymolyzed residues of KF or SBP diets resulted in higher final asymptotic gas volume than those of the CON diet. The enzymolyzed residues of KF diet were mainly part of rapidly fermented fractions, whereas those of SBP diet were mainly part of slowly fermented fractions. In addition, the acetic acid, butyric acid and total SCFA concentrations of enzymolyzed residues of KF diet were higher (P<0.01) than the control and SBP diets. In the in vivo studies, on day 90 of gestation, the KF diet sows had higher plasma SCFA concentration (P<0.05) at 4 h after feeding than the CON diet sows. Furthermore, the KF diet sows had lower plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentration (P<0.01) at 4 h after feeding, and a lower value of homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)-insulin resistance (P<0.05), but a higher value of HOMA-insulin sensitivity (P<0.01). The KF diet sows also consumed more feed during lactation (P<0.01) and weaned significantly heavier pigs (P<0.01) than the CON diet sows. The overall results showed that the high fermentation capacity KF diet contributed to an increased lactational feed intake and improved performance of piglets in the second reproductive cycle.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
Diarrhea is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and the incidence of diarrhea in the world has changed little over the past four decades. To assess the prevalence of and healthcare practices for diarrhea, a cross-sectional study was conducted in Pudong, Shanghai, China. In October 2014, a total of 5324 community residents were interviewed. Respondents were asked if they had experienced diarrhea (defined as ⩾3 passages of watery, loose, bloody, or mucoid stools within a 24-h period) in the previous month prior to the interview. The monthly prevalence of diarrhea was 4·1% (95% CI: 3·3–4·8), corresponding to an incidence rate of 0·54 episodes per person-year. The proportion of individuals with diarrhea who sought healthcare was 21·2% (95% CI: 13·4–29·0). Diarrhea continues to impose a considerable burden on the community and healthcare system in Pudong. Young age and travel were identified as predictors of increased diarrhea occurrence.
Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) is a frequently occurring epidemic and has been an important cause of childhood mortality in China. Given the disease's significant impact nationwide, the epidemiological characteristics and spatio-temporal clusters in Fuyang from 2008 to 2013 were analysed in this study. The disease exhibits strong seasonality with a rising incidence. Of the reported HFMD cases, 63·7% were male and 95·2% were preschool children living at home. The onset of HFMD is age-dependent and exhibits a 12-month periodicity, with 12-, 24- and 36-month-old children being the most frequently affected groups. Across the first 60 months of life, children born in April [relative risk (RR) 8·18], May (RR 9·79) and June (RR 8·21) exhibited an elevated infection risk of HFMD relative to January-born children; the relative risk compared with the reference (January-born) group was highest for children aged 24 months born in May (RR 34·85). Of laboratory-confirmed cases, enterovirus 71 (EV71), coxsackie A16 (Cox A16) and other enteroviruses accounted for 60·1%, 7·1% and 32·8%, respectively. Spatio-temporal analysis identified one most likely cluster and several secondary clusters each year. The centre of the most likely cluster was found in different regions in Fuyang. Implications of our findings for current and future public health interventions are discussed.
While radiocarbon is widely applied in dating ancient samples, recent studies reveal that 14C concentrations in modern samples can also yield precise ages due to the atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices between 1950 and 1963. 14C concentrations in both enamel and organic matter of 13 teeth from 2 areas in China were examined to evaluate and improve this method of forensic investigation. Choosing enamel near the cervix of the tooth can reduce the error caused by the difference between the sample formation time and whole enamel formation time because tooth enamel formations take a long time to complete. A proper regional data set will be helpful to get an accurate result when calculating the age of the sample (T1) by the CALIBomb program. By subtracting the enamel formation time (t), the birth date of an individual (T2) can be confirmed by enamel F14C from 2 teeth formed at different ages. Calculated enamel formation dates by 14C concentration are basically consistent with corresponding actual values, with a mean error of 1.9 yr for all results and 0.2 yr for the samples formed after AD 1960. This method is more effective for dating samples completed after AD 1960. We also found that 14C concentrations in organic matter of tooth roots are much lower than atmospheric concentrations in root formation years, suggesting that the organic material keeps turning over even after tooth formation is complete. This might be a potential tool for identification of death age to extract a proper component for 14C dating. We also observed that δ13C values between hydroxyapatite and organic matter indicate that isotopic fractionation during the biomineralization is 8–9%‰ more positive in mineral fractions than in organic matter.
Twenty-two annually banded samples of coral from 1977 to 1998 were collected from Daya Bay, South China Sea, and bomb 14C concentrations were determined. The interannual variation of coral Δ14C is controlled mainly by oceanic factors. In ENSO years, the coastwise upwelling current of the South China Sea has been intensified; hence, the coral Δ14C displays its minimum value. The interannual variation curve of Δ14C in coral bears a relationship with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) curves: the correlation coefficient between Δ14C and (SOI)w is 0.43 and the correlation coefficient between Δ14C and (SOI)y is 0.27. The coral Δ14C has no remarkable response to the variation of solar radiation energy. In the past 20 yr or so, the general situation and oceanic thermal structure of the South China Sea are still stable even though interannual variations in atmosphere-sea interaction and upwelling current driven by the tropical energy have occurred.
There is limited information about the influences of long-term fertilizer management on methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from double-cropping paddy fields in Southern China. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to characterize the changes of CH4 and N2O related to different fertilizer treatments based on a long-term field experiment. The experiment was initiated in 1986 and consisted of five treatments: unfertilized (CK), mineral fertilizer alone (MF), rice residues plus mineral fertilizer (RF), low manure rate plus mineral fertilizer (M1 + F), and high manure rate plus mineral fertilizer (M2 + F). Investigations were conducted over 2 years, from 2013 to 2014, to examine the CH4 and N2O emissions from paddy field of Southern China. The results indicated that M2 + F plots had the largest CH4 emissions during the early rice and late cropped rice and that MF and RF had larger N2O emissions than CK in both early and late cropped rice. When compared with the control, total N2O emissions in both rice-growing seasons increased in both MF and RF in 2013 and 2014. The global warming potentials (GWP) from paddy fields were ranked as M2 + F > M1 + F > RF > MF > CK. Meanwhile, the results demonstrated that CH4 and N2O emissions were closely associated with the soil redox potential and soil temperature. In summary, the incorporation of rice residues in addition to the use of mineral fertilizer (RF treatment) may be an effective fertilizer management practice for mitigating total GWP per grain yield and maintaining rice grain yield in southern China.
Intramuscular fat (IMF) is an important trait influencing meat quality, and intramuscular stromal-vascular cell (MSVC) differentiation is a key factor affecting IMF deposition. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) is often used to screen the differentially expressed genes during differentiation of MSVCs, where proper reference genes are essential. In this study, we assessed 31 of previously reported reference genes for their expression suitability in porcine MSVCs derived form longissimus dorsi with qPCR. The expression stability of these genes was evaluated using NormFinder, geNorm and BestKeeper algorithms. NormFinder and geNorm uncovered ACTB, ALDOA and RPS18 as the most three stable genes. BestKeeper identified RPL13A, SSU72 and DAK as the most three stable genes. GAPDH was found to be the least stable gene by all of the three software packages, indicating it is not an appropriate reference gene in qPCR assay. These results might be helpful for further studies in pigs that explore the molecular mechanism underlying IMF deposition.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of maternal protein or energy restriction on hormonal and metabolic status of pregnant goats during late gestation and their postnatal male kids. Forty-five pregnant goats were fed a control (CON), 40% protein-restricted (PR) or 40% energy-restricted (ER) diet from 90 days of gestation until parturition. Plasma of mothers (90, 125 and 145 days of gestation) and kids (6 weeks of age) were sampled to determine metabolites and hormones. Glucose concentration for pregnant goats subjected to PR or ER was less (P<0.001) than that of CON goats at 125 and 145 days of gestation. However, plasma nonesterified fatty acids concentration was greater (P<0.01) at 125 and 145 days for PR and ER than CON. Protein restriction increased (P<0.01) maternal cortisol concentration by 145 days of gestation, and ER decreased (P<0.01) maternal insulin concentration at 125 days of gestation. Moreover, maternal amino acid (AA) concentrations were affected by nutritional restriction, with greater (P<0.05) total AA (TAA) and nonessential AA (NEAA) for PR goats but less (P<0.05) TAA and NEAA for ER goats at 125 days of gestation. After 6 weeks of nutritional recovery, plasma concentrations of most metabolic and hormonal parameters in restricted kids were similar to CON kids, except for reduced (P<0.05) insulin concentration in ER, and reduced (P<0.05) Asp concentration in PR and ER kids. These results provide information on potential metabolic mechanisms responsible for fetal programming.
Globally, the prevalence of oesophageal cancer cases is particularly high in China. Since 1982, oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) has been hypothesized as a risk factor for oesophageal cancer, but no firm evidence of HPV infection in oesophageal cancer has been established to date. We aimed to conduct a meta-analysis to estimate the high-risk HPV-18 prevalence of oesophageal cancer in the Chinese population. Eligible studies published from 1 January 2005 to 12 July 2014 were retrieved via computer searches of English and Chinese literature databases (including Medline, EMBASE, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure and Wanfang Data Knowledge Service Platform). A random-effects model was used to calculate pooled prevalence and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). A total of 2556 oesophageal cancer cases from 19 studies were included in this meta-analysis. Overall, the pooled HPV-18 prevalence in oesophageal cancer cases was 4·1% (95% CI 2·7–5·5) in China, 6·1% (95% CI 2·9–9·3) in fresh or frozen biopsies and 4·0% (95% CI 2·3–5·8) in paraffin-embedded fixed biopsies, 8·2% (95% CI 4·6–11·7) by the E6/E7 region and 2·2% (95% CI 0·9–3·6) by the L1 region of the HPV gene. This meta-analysis indicated that China has a moderate HPV-18 prevalence of oesophageal cancer compared to cervical cancer, although there is variation between different variables. Further studies are needed to elucidate the role of HPV in oesophagus carcinogenesis with careful consideration of study design and laboratory detection method, providing more accurate assessment of HPV status in oesophageal cancer.
Optical components such as lenses, glass windows, and prisms are subject to Fresnel reflection due to the mismatch between the refractive indices of the air and glass. An optical interface layer, i.e., antireflection (AR) layer, is needed to eliminate this unwanted reflection at the air/glass interface. Nanostructured broadband and wide-angle AR structures have been developed using a scalable self-assembly process. Ultra-high performance of the nanostructured AR coatings has been demonstrated on various substrates such as quartz, sapphire, polymer, and other materials typically employed in optical lenses. AR coatings on polycarbonate lead to optical transmittance enhancement from approximately 90% to almost 100% for the entire visible, and part of the near-infrared (NIR), band. The AR coatings have also been demonstrated on curved surfaces. AR coatings on n-BK7 lenses enable ultra-high light transmittance for the entire visible, and most of the NIR, spectrum. Nanostructured oxide layers with step-graded index profiles, deposited onto the optical elements of an optical system, can significantly increase sensitivity, and hence improve the overall performance of the system.
Defect structures in Rubidium Titanyl Phosphate (RTP) crystals (non-doped and doped) grown by the Top Seeded Solution Growth (TSSG) method were characterized using Synchrotron White Beam X-ray Topography. Main defects observed in non-doped crystals are growth sector boundaries while both growth sector boundaries and growth striations are observed in the Nb single doped and (Nb,Yb)-codoped crystals with relatively few linear defects such as dislocations. Results show that the overall crystalline quality is lowered as more doping elements are incorporated. Details of defect distributions are correlated with the growth process to facilitate high quality growth of doped RTP.