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Iodine is an essential nutrient that may change the occurrence of autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT). Apoptosis and DNA methylation participate in the pathogenesis and destructive mechanism of AIT. We detected the methylation and the expression of mRNA of intrinsic apoptosis-associated genes (YWHAG, ING4, BRSK2 and GJA1) to identify the potential interactions between the levels of methylation in these genes and different levels of iodine. 176 adult patients with AIT in Shandong Province, China, were included. The MethylTargetTM assay was used to verify the levels of methylation. We used PCR to detect the mRNA levels of the candidate genes. Interactions between methylation levels of the candidate genes and iodine levels were evaluated with multiplicative and addictive interaction models and GMDR. In the AIT group, YWHAG_1 and six CpG sites and BRSK2_1 and eight CpG sites were hypermethylated, whereas ING4_1 and one CpG site were hypomethylated. A negative correlation was found between methylation levels of YWHAG and mRNA expression. The combination of iodine fortification, YWHAG_1 hypermethylation and BRSK2_1 hypermethylation was significantly associated with elevated AIT risk. A four-locus model (YWHAG_1 × ING4_1 × BRSK2_1 × iodine level) was found to be the best model of the gene–environment interactions. We identified abnormal changes in the methylation status of YWHAG, ING4 and BRSK2 in patients with AIT in different iodine levels. Iodine fortification not only affected the methylation levels of YWHAG and BRSK2 but also interacted with the methylation levels of these genes and may ultimately increase the risk of AIT.
The aim of this study was to explore the status of thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin antibody (TGAb) in three areas with differing water iodine concentrations; and to discuss the relationships between these two thyroid antibodies and thyroid diseases in the three areas. We investigated 2503 adults from three areas. Urinary iodine concentrations, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), free triiodothyronine (FT3), TPOAb, TGAb and thyroid volume (TV) were measured, and thyroid ultrasonography was performed. The positivity rates of TGAb(+), TPOAb(+) and TGAb(+) and TPOAb(+) or TGAb(+) were significantly higher in iodine fortification (IF) areas than iodine adequate (IA) areas (all P < 0·05). In IF and iodine excess areas, the positivity rates of TPOAb(+), TGAb(+) and TPOAb(+) or TGAb(+) significantly increased with age (all P for trend < 0·05). The levels of TSH, TV and the prevalence of overt hypothyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism and goitre were significantly elevated in the thyroid antibody-positive groups in the three areas, but the FT3 was diminished (all P < 0·010). Positivity for TPOAb and TGAb was associated with an increased risk of subclinical hypothyroidism in the three areas. In areas with different median water iodine, positivity for both TPOAb and TGAb was associated with elevated TSH values. Notably, with the increased levels of TPOAb, the frequency of abnormally elevated TSH increased dramatically in the three areas.
The findings regarding the associations between red meat, fish and poultry consumption, and the metabolic syndrome (Mets) have been inconclusive, and evidence from Chinese populations is scarce. A cross-sectional study was performed to investigate the associations between red meat, fish and poultry consumption, and the prevalence of the Mets and its components among the residents of Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, China. A total of 4424 participants were eligible for the analysis. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the OR and 95 % CI for the prevalence of the Mets and its components according to red meat, fish and poultry consumption. In addition, the data of our cross-sectional study were meta-analysed under a random effects model along with those of published observational studies to generate the summary relative risks (RR) of the associations between the highest v. lowest categories of red meat, fish and poultry consumption and the Mets and its components. In the cross-sectional study, the multivariable-adjusted OR for the highest v. lowest quartiles of consumption was 1·23 (95 % CI 1·02, 1·48) for red meat, 0·83 (95 % CI 0·72, 0·97) for fish and 0·93 (95 % CI 0·74, 1·18) for poultry. In the meta-analysis, the pooled RR for the highest v. lowest categories of consumption was 1·20 (95 % CI 1·06, 1·35) for red meat, 0·88 (95 % CI 0·81, 0·96) for fish and 0·97 (95 % CI 0·85, 1·10) for poultry. The findings of both cross-sectional studies and meta-analyses indicated that the association between fish consumption and the Mets may be partly driven by the inverse association of fish consumption with elevated TAG and reduced HDL-cholesterol and, to a lesser extent, fasting plasma glucose. No clear pattern of associations was observed between red meat or poultry consumption and the components of the Mets. The current findings add weight to the evidence that the Mets may be positively associated with red meat consumption, inversely associated with fish consumption and neutrally associated with poultry consumption.
This study investigates how venture capital firms (VCs) choose syndication partners. Exponential random graph models of Chinese VC syndication networks from 2006 to 2013 show that the homophily mechanism does not always determine VCs’ partner selection. In selecting partners, VCs have to strike a balance between reducing uncertainty and mobilizing heterogeneous resources. Therefore, decisions about partners depend on institutional uncertainty and VCs’ investment preferences. While VCs that focus on traditional business in an immature market are more likely to form homogeneous syndications, their peers that prefer to invest in innovative companies and that can rely on a stable market tend to syndicate with heterogeneous partners.
Nitrogen is an important element for the growth of flue-cured tobacco and is closely related to its yield and quality. In order to pursue higher economic benefits, excessive fertilizer is generally applied in flue-cured tobacco production, which is unfavourable for the sustainable development of flue-cured tobacco production and for the environment. In 2016 and 2017, experiments using different nitrogen fertilizer application rates in flue-cure tobacco were conducted in Yunnan province, and the changes in agronomic, economic and chemical indices as well as in residual soil nitrogen were compared. Linear and quadratic models were used to compare the response of tobacco to nitrogen fertilizer. With increasing nitrogen fertilizer rate, the proportions of superior to medium tobacco and the average price of flue-cured tobacco leaves initially increased and then decreased, while fresh weight, dry weight and the proportion of inferior tobacco showed the opposite trend. Total sugar and reducing sugar contents decreased with increasing nitrogen fertilizer rates, while total nitrogen and nicotine contents increased. Sensory evaluation scores had the highest value when 90 kg N/ha and 120 kg N/ha were applied. Soil nitrate contents increased as nitrogen fertilizer rate increased. The quadratic model was suitable for the response of cultivar K326 to nitrogen and 90 kg N/ha could meet the needs of cultivar K326.
The association between gestational weight gain (GWG) and exclusive breast-feeding (EBF) practices remains unclear. The present study evaluated the association between GWG and EBF in the first 6 months postpartum among primiparas in rural China.
The study population was drawn from a previous randomized controlled trial, and the relevant data were obtained from an electronic, population-based perinatal system and a monitoring system for child health care. GWG was categorized according to the guidelines of the Institute of Medicine.
Five rural counties in Hebei Province, China.
A total of 8449 primiparas.
Of the women, 58·7 % breast-fed exclusively for the first 6 months postpartum. Overweight women who gained either more or less weight than the recommended GWG tended to experience failure of EBF (OR=0·49; 95 % CI 0·34, 0·70; P<0·001 and OR=0·79; 95 % CI 0·63, 0·99; P=0·048, respectively). The same results were also observed among obese women; the OR for lower and greater weight gain were 0·28 (95 % CI 0·08, 0·94; P=0·04) and 0·55 (95 % CI 0·32, 0·95; P=0·03), respectively.
GWG that is below or above the Institute of Medicine recommendations is associated with EBF behaviour for the first 6 months postpartum in overweight and obese primiparas in rural China.
The structure and function of grassland ecosystems can be altered by a changing climate, including higher temperature and elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration. Previous studies suggest that there is no consistent trend in seed germination and seedling recruitment as affected by these conditions. We collected seeds of two native and two invasive species over 6 years from a field study with elevated CO2 (600 p.p.m.) and temperature (1.5/3.0°C day/night) on the mixed-grass prairie of Wyoming, USA. Seed fill, viability and mass were evaluated and germination tests were conducted under alternating temperatures in growth chambers. Thermal time requirements to reach 50% germination (θ50) and base temperatures (Tb) for germination were determined using thermal time models. Climate change conditions had limited effects on seed fill, viability and mass. The combination of CO2 enrichment and warming increased germination of Bouteloua gracilis. Centaurea diffusa and Linaria dalmatica, two invasive species in this study, had the lowest θ50 and Tb required for germination among all the species studied. Although final germination percentages of these invasive species were not affected by treatments, previous studies reported increased seed production under future climate conditions, indicating that they could be more invasive at the regeneration stage in the future. We conclude that projected future temperature increases will have little effect on seed reproductive traits of native species. In addition, the distribution and abundance of B. gracilis and invasive species may be favoured by global climate change due to enhanced germination or seed production traits caused by elevated parental CO2 and temperature conditions.
Legionnaires’ disease (LD) is a globally distributed systemic infectious disease. The burden of LD in many regions is still unclear, especially in Asian countries including China. A survey of Legionella infection using real-time PCR and nested sequence-based typing (SBT) was performed in two hospitals in Shanghai, China. A total of 265 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) specimens were collected from hospital A between January 2012 and December 2013, and 359 sputum specimens were collected from hospital B throughout 2012. A total of 71 specimens were positive for Legionella according to real-time PCR focusing on the 5S rRNA gene. Seventy of these specimens were identified as Legionella pneumophila as a result of real-time PCR amplification of the dotA gene. Results of nested SBT revealed high genetic polymorphism in these L. pneumophila and ST1 was the predominant sequence type. These data revealed that the burden of LD in China is much greater than that recognized previously, and real-time PCR may be a suitable monitoring technology for LD in large sample surveys in regions lacking the economic and technical resources to perform other methods, such as urinary antigen tests and culture methods.
The enteric pathogens causing diarrhoea impair children's health severely. This study retrospectively analysed 1577 pathogens isolated from inpatients and outpatients in six hospitals located in Northern (Inner Mongolia), Northeastern (Hebei), Eastern (Shanghai and Jiangsu), Southern (Hainan) and Central (Hubei) China between 2008 and 2013. Of the 1577 enteric pathogens, Salmonella presented with the highest frequency (36·0%), followed by diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (23·7%), Staphylococcus aureus (15·0%), Shigella (13·1%), and Aeromonas (4·6%). The predominant pathogens varied in different regions of China, with Salmonella most prevalent in Shanghai and Hainan, diarrhoeagenic E. coli most prevalent in Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu and Hubei, and Shigella most prevalent in Hebei. Enteric pathogens were more frequently isolated in males (56·9%) than in females (43·1%). The highest proportion of all enteric pathogens was found in infants (67·6%) with a peak in summer and autumn (68·5%). Antimicrobial susceptibility assay demonstrated that Shigella was more resistant to ampicillin, ceftriaxone and sulfamethoxazole than Salmonella. Of the top two serotypes in Salmonella, Typhimurium was more resistant to ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole and chloramphenicol than Enteritidis (P < 0·001). Meanwhile, the resistance rates of Shigella flexneri against ampicillin/sulbactam, ciprofloxacin, and chloramphenicol were significantly higher than those of Shigella sonnei (P < 0·001). Multidrug resistance was apparent in 58·2% of Shigella and 45·9% of Salmonella, and this phenomenon was more pronounced in S. flexneri.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of dietary neutral detergent fibre (NDF) : crude protein (CP) ratio on duodenal microbial crude protein (MCP) flow and nitrogen (N) losses. The study was completed in a 5 × 5 Latin square design with five lactating Holstein dairy cows and 5 high-concentrate total mixed rations (TMR) with different forage combinations, typical for Northern China. The rations with a fixed forage-to-concentrate ratio (39 : 61) resulted in different dietary NDF : CP ratios: TMR1 3·03 : 1 (428·2 g NDF/kg : 141·4 g CP/kg); TMR2 2·74 : 1 (392·7 g NDF/kg : 143·2 g CP/kg); TMR3 2·55 : 1 (368·3 g NDF/kg : 144·4 g CP/kg); TMR4 1·84 : 1 (304·8 g NDF/kg : 165·8 g CP/kg); TMR5 1·60 : 1 (285·0 g NDF/kg : 178·0 g CP/kg). Rumen content, milk, blood, urine and faeces were sampled on the last 3 days of five 18-day periods. Purine derivatives in the urine samples were determined to estimate rumen MCP flow into the small intestine. Milk yield and milk protein yield increased linearly with decreasing dietary NDF : CP ratio although slight differences in dry matter intake were observed due to feed intake restriction. Diurnal ammonia N in the rumen and duodenal MCP flow increased linearly, but blood urea N, urinary N and faecal N linearly decreased with decreasing dietary NDF : CP ratio. The enhanced N utilization in the maize-silage-based TMRs (TMR4–5) in comparison with maize-stover-based TMRs (TMR1–3) increased milk yield and the synthesis of milk protein instead of milk fat in the lactating cows, probably due to high transfer of ammonia N into rumen MCP with a considerable increase of dietary non-fibre carbohydrate content and the decrease of NDF : CP ratio. The present results indicate that not only increasing dietary non-structural carbohydrate content but also adjusting the ratio of structural carbohydrate to CP ratio are important diet formulation strategies for mitigating N losses in lactating cows.
To examine changes in periconceptional folic acid supplementation behaviour among Chinese women of reproductive age after the implementation of a folic acid supplementation programme.
Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted.
One survey was before (2002–2004) and the other was after (2011–2012) implementation of the programme, both were conducted in two areas of China with different prevalence of neural tube defects. Information on supplementation behaviours was collected in face-to-face interviews with women early in their pregnancy.
A total of 1257 and 1736 pregnant women participated before and after the programme, respectively.
The rate of periconceptional folic acid supplementation increased from 15 % to 85 % in the high-prevalence population and from 66 % to 92 % in the low-prevalence population. However, more than half of the women began taking the supplement after learning they were pregnant. The proportion of women who began taking folic acid before their last menstrual period decreased after the programme in rural areas with both a high and low prevalence of neural tube defects.
Although periconceptional folic acid supplementation among Chinese women increased substantially after the programme, supplementation was often initiated too late to be effective in preventing neural tube defects. Educational and promotional campaigns should focus on how to increase the rate of folic acid supplementation before pregnancy.
The most important crustal growth on Earth occurred at ~2.7 Ga, but the North China Craton (NCC) is characterized by prevalent development of ~2.5 Ga juvenile crust, with relatively rare records of ~2.7 Ga crustal growth. The Fuping Complex in the middle segment of the Trans-North China Orogen (TNCO) between the Eastern and Western blocks of the NCC is composed mainly of ~2.5 Ga Fuping tonalitic–trondhjemitic–granodioritic (TTG) gneisses and Longquanguan augen gneisses, ~2.1 Ga Nanying granitic gneisses and the Wanzi supracrustal rocks. Previous studies have suggested one major phase of crustal growth at ~2.5 Ga, possible intracrustal recycling at ~2.1 Ga and the presence of older rocks in the Fuping Complex, but there has been no record of ~2.7 Ga crustal growth. The Fuping TTG gneisses are dominated by stromatic migmatite, and new U–Pb dating of magmatic zircons from two stromatic migmatite samples yielded three different ages: (1) 2.75 Ga, which is the oldest age obtained from the Fuping TTG gneisses, (2) 2.54 Ga, which just falls in the published zircon U–Pb age range of 2.53 to 2.47 Ga for the Fuping TTG gneisses, and (3) 2.11 Ga, which is almost the same as the age of the Nanying granitic gneisses. Therefore, there are two generations of TTG gneisses in the Fuping Complex. Importantly, both of the 2.75 and 2.54 Ga zircons have the highest εHf(t) values, almost equal to the contemporaneous depleted mantle. This indicates high contributions of juvenile material to the two generations of TTG gneisses. In contrast, the 2.11 Ga zircons have apparently low εHf(t) values of −0.47 to +2.04, just falling in between 2.55 and 2.75 Ga continental crust values. This strongly suggests the reworking of the two generations of TTG gneisses at 2.1 Ga. Zircon U–Pb and Hf isotopes convincingly reveal two major phases of crustal growth in the Fuping Complex at ~2.7 and ~2.5 Ga, the same as in the northern and southern segments of the TNCO, and also confirm one major phase of intracrustal recycling at ~2.1 Ga, which may be responsible for the Nanying granitic gneisses.
Stakes at 2 km intervals were installed in January 1997 and remeasured in February 1998, January 1999, January 2005 and during the 2007/08 austral summer along a 1248 km traverse route from Zhongshan station to Dome A, East Antarctica. Based on topographical parameters, meteorological features and the records of ∼650 stakes and six stake arrays, the route is divided into five zones. We find that the snow accumulation rate decreases with increasing altitude as one progresses inland, except in the zone 800–1128 km from the coast, where the average annual accumulation rate is higher than in the zone 524–800 km from the coast. The Dome A zone (1128–1248 km) has the lowest accumulation rate (35 kg m−2 a−1, 2005–08) due to having the highest elevation and being furthest from the coast. The surface mass balance in the region 202–1128 km from the coast exhibits no temporal change from 1999–2005 to 2005–08, but there is a change in the accumulation distribution. The zone from 202 to 524 km shows a decrease in surface mass balance from 84 kg m−2 a−1 in 1999–2005 to 67 kg m−2 a−1 in 2005–08, while the zone between 800 and 1128 km shows an increase from 67 kg m−2 a−1 in 1999–2005 to 75 kg m−2 a−1 in 2005–08.
To identify the disease-causing gene for a large multi-generational Chinese family affected by familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHCM), genome-wide screening was carried out in a Chinese family with FHCM using micro-satellite markers, and linkage analysis was performed using the MLINK program. The disease locus was mapped to 1q32 in this family. Screening for a mutation in the cardiac troponin T (cTnT) gene was performed by a PCR and sequencing was done with an ABI Prism 3700 sequencer. A novel C→G transition located in the ninth exon of the cTnT gene, leading to a predicted amino acid residue change from Ile to Met at codon 90, was identified in all individuals with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The results presented here strongly suggest that Ile90Met, a novel mutation in the cTnT gene, is causative agent of HCM in this family.
Tests were conducted to highlight the effects of donor cell treatment (bovine G0- and non-G0 phase somatic cells refrigerated for 1–5 or 12–14 days at 4°C), fusion solution (with or without cytochalasin B) and age of the rabbit (young, 3–5-months old; or multiparous, 10–12 months old) as oocyte donor on the fusion and mortality rates of bovine–rabbit interspecies reconstructed eggs. Results showed that there were no significant differences (P>0.05) in fusion and mortality rates of eggs reconstructed with G0 cells or non-G0 cells as nuclear donor somatic cells. The same was also true when nuclear donor somatic cells (G0 cells or non-G0 cells) were treated at low temperature (4°C) for 1–5 or 12–14 days. The fusion rate of reconstructed eggs did not change significantly (P>0.05) when adding cytochalasin B into the fusion solution, but the mortality rate increased significantly (P<0.05). No significant effect (P>0.05) was found in fusion rate of the eggs reconstructed with young rabbits' and multiparous rabbits' oocytes as recipient, but the mortality rate decreased significantly (P<0.01) for young rabbit oocytes compared with multiparous rabbit ones.
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