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The gut microbiota is directly influenced by dietary components, and it plays critical roles in chronic diseases. Excessive consumption of trans-fatty acids (TFA) is associated with obesity induced by alterations in gut microbiota, but the links between obesity and gut microbiota remain unclear. Therefore, studies examining the impact of TFA on intestinal microflora are essential. In our study, we performed 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing on faecal samples from Sprague–Dawley rats fed a basal diet (control (CON) group), high-fat (HF) diet (diet-induced obesity (DIO) group) or TFA diets (1 % TFA group and 8 % TFA group) for 8 weeks to investigate the effects of TFA/HF diets on obesity and gut microbiota composition. We found that the TFA/HF diets significantly induced obesity and changes in blood and brain physiological parameters of the rats. The relative abundance of the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes was inversely altered in the three test groups compared with the CON group. Proteobacteria increased slightly in the DIO, 1 % TFA and 8 % TFA groups. The genus Bacteroides increased in the DIO and 1 % TFA groups, but Muribaculaceae decreased in all experimental groups compared with the CON group. Moreover, significant differences were observed among clusters of orthologous group functional categories of the four dietary groups. Our observations suggested that the TFA/HF diets induced obesity and dysfunction of gut microbiota. Gut dysbiosis might mediate the obesity effects of TFA/HF diets.
High inductive helical support provides a solution to controlling the alignment error of inner electrodes in magnetically insulated transmission lines (MITLs). Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations were performed to examine the current loss mechanism and the effects of structural parameters on electron flow in an MITL with a helical inductor. An empirical expression related to the ratio of electron current loss to anode current and the ratio of anode current to self-limited current was obtained. Electron current loss caused by helical inductor with different structures was displayed. The results indicate that the current loss in an MITL, near an inductive helical support, comprises both the inductor current and the electron current loss. The non-uniform structure and current of a helical inductor cause an abrupt change in the magnetic field near the helical support, which leads to anomalous behavior and current loss of electron flow. In addition, current loss in the inductive helical-supported MITL is negligible when the inductance of the support is sufficiently high. This work facilitates the estimation of electron current loss caused by the inductive helical support in MITLs.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis are the common causes of human echinococcosis in China. An accurate species identification tool for human echinococcosis is needed as the treatments and prognosis are different among species. The present work demonstrates a method for the simultaneous detection of these three Echinococcus species based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR). Specific primers of this mPCR were designed based on the mitochondrial genes and determined by extensive tests. The method can successfully detect either separated or mixed target species, and generate expected amplicons of distinct size for each species. Sensitivity of the method was tested by serially diluted DNA, showing a detection threshold as less as 0.32 pg for both E. granulosus s.s. and E. canadensis, and 1.6 pg for E. multilocularis. Specificity assessed against 18 other parasites was found to be 100% except weakly cross-react with E. shiquicus. The assay was additionally applied to 69 echinococcosis patients and 38 healthy persons, confirming the high reliability of the method. Thus, the mPCR described here has high application potential for clinical identification purposes, and can further provide a useful tool for evaluation of serology and imaging method.
Cast tungsten carbide is widely used to reinforce iron or steel substrate surface composites to meet the demands of harsh wear environments due to its extremely high hardness and excellent wettability with molten steel. Cast tungsten carbide particle/steel matrix surface composites have demonstrated great potential development in applications under the abrasive working condition. The thermal shock test was used to investigate the fatigue behavior of the composites fabricated by vacuum evaporative pattern casting technique at different temperatures. At elevated temperatures, the fatigue behavior of the composites was influenced by the oxidation of tungsten carbide, producing WO3. Thermodynamic calculations showed that the W2C in the tungsten carbide particle was oxidized at an initial temperature of approximately 570 °C. The relationship between oxidation and thermal fatigue crack growth was investigated, and the results suggested that oxidation would become more significant with increasing thermal shock temperature. These findings provide a valuable guide for understanding and designing particle/steel substrate surface composites.
Obesity and insulin resistance play important roles in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Mg intake is linked to a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance; people with NAFLD or alcoholic liver disease are at high risk of Mg deficiency. The present study aimed to investigate whether Mg and Ca intakes were associated with risk of fatty liver disease and prediabetes by alcohol drinking status.
We analysed the association between Ca or Mg intake and fatty liver disease, prediabetes or both prediabetes and fatty liver disease in cross-sectional analyses.
Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) follow-up cohort of US adults.
Nationally representative sample of US adults in NHANES (n 13 489).
After adjusting for potential confounders, Mg intake was associated with approximately 30 % reduced odds of fatty liver disease and prediabetes, comparing the highest intake quartile v. the lowest. Mg intake may only be related to reduced odds of fatty liver disease and prediabetes in those whose Ca intake is less than 1200 mg/d. Mg intake may also only be associated with reduced odds of fatty liver disease among alcohol drinkers.
The study suggests that high intake of Mg may be associated with reduced risks of fatty liver disease and prediabetes. Further large studies, particularly prospective cohort studies, are warranted to confirm the findings.
Health system reform is considered a tough issue worldwide. Great efforts have been made toward health system building and strengthening. However, it is still unclear which health system is appropriate for different countries. This study aimed to systematically compare the characteristics of the establishment periods between eighty-eight counties of National Health Service (NHS) and Social Health Insurance (SHI).
Forty-eight NHS countries and forty SHI countries with data availability were selected. The establishment years of current health systems and other eighteen indicators in economics, society, population and health during establishment periods were collected. Comparison between NHS and SHI was conducted by descriptive analysis of every indicator.
Most NHS countries were established during the cold war, while SHI had been set up since the cold war ended. The median of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, urbanization rate and aging rate of SHI were USD 1535 in current dollars, 58.2 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively; compared with USD 1387, 41.2 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively of NHS. NHS countries had a smaller total population, lower mortality rate and elderly dependency ratio, while the birth rate and children's dependency ratio were higher. SHI countries showed a higher life expectancy and lower mortality rate in infants and children. NHS countries spent less in total health expenditure and a lower proportion of GDP. The median health expenditure per capita of SHI and NHS were USD 188 and USD 131 in current dollars, respectively. There was little difference among maternal mortality rates, and public and private health expenditure proportions.
NHS and SHI countries had different characteristics during the health system establishment periods. NHS was established earlier than SHI overall, so that SHI revealed higher levels in economic and social development. Health outcomes of NHS countries were slightly lower than SHI ones, while health expenditure was more in SHI countries. Specific social, economic, demographic and health conditions should be considered when countries are building their own health systems.
In this paper, we review the status of the multifunctional experimental platform at the National Laboratory of High Power Laser and Physics (NLHPLP). The platform, including the SG-II laser facility, SG-II 9th beam, SG-II upgrade (SG-II UP) facility, and SG-II 5 PW facility, is operational and available for interested scientists studying inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and a broad range of high-energy-density physics. These facilities can provide important experimental capabilities by combining different pulse widths of nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond scales. In addition, the SG-II UP facility, consisting of a single petawatt system and an eight-beam nanosecond system, is introduced including several laser technologies that have been developed to ensure the performance of the facility. Recent developments of the SG-II 5 PW facility are also presented.
Ritchmyer–Meshkov instability on an air/SF
interface is experimentally studied in a coaxial converging shock tube by a high-speed laser sheet imaging technique. An unperturbed case is first examined to obtain the characteristics of the converging shock and the shocked interface. For sinusoidal interfaces, the wave pattern and the interface morphology of the whole process are clearly observed. It is quantitatively found that the perturbation amplitude first decreases due to the shock compression, then experiences a rapid growth to a maximum value and finally drops quickly before the reshock. The reduction of growth rate is ascribed to the Rayleigh–Taylor stabilization caused by the interface deceleration motion that is present in the converging circumstance. It is noted that the influence of the wavenumber on the amplitude growth is very little before the reshock, but becomes significant after the reshock.
To study the clinical effect of lens cleaning paper patching on traumatic eardrum perforations.
A total of 122 patients were divided into 2 groups, of which 56 patients were treated with lens cleaning paper patching and 66 acted as controls. The closure rate and healing time were compared between the two groups.
The healing rate of small perforations was 96.4 per cent (27 out of 28) in the patching group and 90 per cent (27 out of 30) in the control group. The difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). The healing rate of large perforations was 89.3 per cent (25 out of 28) and 80.6 per cent (29 out of 36) in the two groups, respectively. The difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The healing time of large perforations was shorter in the patching group than in the control group (p < 0.01).
Patching with lens cleaning paper under an endoscope can accelerate the closure of large traumatic eardrum perforations.
The learning tools necessary to prepare the next generation of students must be shaped by the socio-economic needs of the 21st century. The needs of the 21st century – from rebuilding city scale physical infrastructure to personalized healthcare – not only require learning from the wealth of global information available on the Internet, but also the building of a strong grounding in fundamentals. History has shown that the depth in fundamentals has been achieved through conventional books. Indeed, authoritative books in physical fundamentals have been penned in the 19th century and early 20th century. We present a 21st century cyber-physical learning platform that combines the best of physical books with information systems. The systemic instantiation of the platform combines modern optics and computing to view books, scan objects, and enable interactive learning – while simultaneously benefitting from the vast pool of information on the Internet. The hybrid learning platform preserves the best of the past to pave the way for the future. It also enables future research such as meta-data and descriptive tagging of the large number of images available on the web.
In this paper, the nonlinear boundary value problem (BVP) for the Jeffery-Hamel flow equations taking into consideration the magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) effects is solved by using the modified Adomian decomposition method. We first transform the original two-dimensional MHD Jeffery-Hamel problem into an equivalent third-order BVP, then solve by the modified Adomian decomposition method for analytical approximations. Ultimately, the effects of Reynolds number and Hartmann number are discussed.
Ag–reduced graphene oxide (Ag/rGO) nanoparticle composites were synthesized through a facile one-step hydrothermal reaction using GO and silver carbonate (Ag2CO3) as raw materials. The homogeneous silver nanospheres with an average size of 50 nm well dispersed on the surface of rGO were obtained without other additives. During the formation process, GO both promotes the dispersion of Ag2CO3 in aqueous solution and acts as the substrate of silver cations, and the hydrolysis of Ag2CO3 provides silver cations and alkaline condition. Moreover, GO further serves as reducing agent to generate elemental silver in the alkaline condition. The as-prepared materials exhibit excellent surface-enhanced Raman scattering activities when used to detect the Raman signals of R6G absorbed on the Ag/rGO substrate.
To detect the expression of pro-fibrotic molecules, such as heat shock protein 47 (Hsp47), transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in liver specimens, and analyse their correlations with the progression of schistosomal hepatic fibrosis, liver biopsy was performed in 42 chronic schistosomiasis (CS) patients, 16 chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients and five healthy individuals (HI). Immunohistochemistry (IHC) analyses displayed that the expression of Hsp47, TGF-β1 and CTGF was increased in CS and CHB patients compared with HI. Using real-time PCR, the mRNA levels of Hsp47, TGF-β1 and CTGF were higher in CS patients compared with HI. In CS patients, the mRNA levels of these genes were correlated with the stage of fibrosis, and TGF-β1 mRNA expression was associated with the grade of inflammation. Additional analyses indicated that the mRNA levels of Hsp47 and CTGF were highly correlated with liver stiffness value and spleen thickness diameter, both of which represented the severity of fibrosis. In conclusion, the three molecules are involved in the pathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis infected by Schistosoma japonicum. TGF-β1 participates not only in the inflammatory process, but also in the fibrotic process in which Hsp47 and CTGF probably play a key role.
The fabrication of Ce3+-doped lutetium oxyorthosilicate (Lu2SiO5:Ce, LSO:Ce) scintillation ceramics was investigated by pressureless sintering starting from synthetic submicrometer polycrystalline LSO:Ce powder. It was found that translucent LSO ceramics were densified successfully with relative density of 99.5% under sintering condition of 1720 °C for 4 h. As-sintered LSO ceramics were pore-free with average grain size of 5 μm and exhibited a translucent state. The broad emission spectra centered at 419 nm of the LSO:Ce ceramics under vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and UV excitation at room temperature. Under x-ray excitation, the overall emission intensity of obtained LSO ceramics achieved twice of that of bismuth germanium oxide (also known as bismuth germanate) single crystal at room temperature. Under excitation of 356 nm and emission of 420 nm, the luminescence decay time of the obtained LSO scintillation ceramics reached only 21.2 ns. The light yield of the LSO ceramics was 21,300 ph/MeV, which reached 91% of that of LSO single crystal.
In this study, CeO2 nanowires–reduced graphene oxide hybrids (CeO2 NWs–RGO) were synthesized by a green hydrothermal method using CeO2 NWs and graphene oxide (GO) as raw materials. During the process of reduction of GO, hydrothermal condition with supercritical water provides thermal and chemical factors to synthesize RGO. The photocatalytic experimental results show that the CeO2 NWs–RGO hybrids exhibit enhanced photocatalytic activity for degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB) under UV-light irradiation. It is found that the degree of photocatalytic activity enhancement strongly depends on the mass ratio of RGO in the hybrids, and the remarkable photocatalytic activity is 20 times that of pristine CeO2 NWs when the loading amount of RGO is 8.0 wt%. The enhancement of photocatalytic activity can be attributed to the excellently elevated absorption ability for the dye through π–π conjugation as well as the effective inhibition of the recombination of photogenerated electrons because of the electronic interaction between CeO2 NWs and RGO sheets.
Sediment resuspension is an important internal lake process in regulating nutrient cycling and ecosystem structure. Tubificid worms are widely and abundantly distributed in freshwater ecosystems and are able to alter the sediment characteristics. This study was conducted to verify the hypothesis that the alteration of sediments by tubificids may substantially influence the sediment resuspension process. Specifically, we investigated the influence of Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri (Tubificidae) on sediment resuspension using an apparatus designed to simulate the sediment resuspension process in Lake Taihu (China). We examined L. hoffmeisteri according to its density (30 000 ind.m−2) in Lake Taihu and simulated the light (3.2 m.s−1), moderate (5.1 m.s−1) and strong (8.7 m.s−1) wind processes present in Lake Taihu. Tubificids loosened the sediment through their feeding and defecation activities and increased the sediment water content. The appearance of tubificids increased the suspended solids (SS) in a 1.6 m water column under all three wind processes. During the sedimentation process, SS decreased rapidly in both the control and tubificid treatments. The total SS in the water column was significantly increased by tubificids and it changed significantly with time. In addition, the small size particles of the SS in the tubificid treatment were higher than that in the control. So, the appearance of tubificid worms (L. hoffmeisteri) enhanced sediment resuspension and raised the proportion of small size particles in SS.
The process of high power laser interaction with the large scale length corona plasma produced by the leading edge of the laser pulse has been investigated. Early experimental results are re-analyzed and conclusions drawn. In particular, studies of the close connection of unstable filamentation instability with – mainly – two-plasmon decay and – partly – stimulated Raman scattering, stimulated Brillouin scattering, and resonance absorption are carried out in this paper. The positive and negative effects of filamentation instability are also discussed.
In the last five years, the Chinese government has begun to encourage the development of non-government organisations (NGO) to increase the supply of social support. Although changes in the NGO sector in China are well researched, questions remain about the barriers to increasing the supply of social services from registered NGOs. We use Mattei's managerial and democratic accountability framework to examine empirical data about the relationship between the way NGO disability services in Beijing are organised and barriers to improving the type, quantity and quality of their social services. Barriers include limited NGO management capacity and underdeveloped government relations. When viewed through the multidimensional accountability framework, the barriers are not surprising. The NGOs' understanding and application of accountability processes are rudimentary. We conclude that government policy to encourage the development of accountability practices of NGOs in China will be critical if it needs NGOs to supply quality social services.
The decomposition mechanism of block copolymer templates inside as-synthesized mesostructured solids has been systematically studied using solid-state 1H magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and high-vacuum Fourier transform infrared spectrometry. It is shown that there exists hydrogen-bonding interaction between silanols and block copolymers at the inorganic–organic interface in the self-assembled as-synthesized mesostructured solids, which plays an important role in protecting the surfactants against decomposition during the high-temperature hydrothermal treatment process. Increasing silanol concentration can enhance the hydrogen-bonding interaction and thus shows better “protection” effect. Moreover, the thermal decomposition of the block copolymer in as-synthesized mesostructured solids in air commences at higher temperatures compared with that in acidic solution or in air, providing further evidence in support of the silanol protection mechanism.
We have analyzed core MD01-2392, ∽360 km east of the Mekong River mouth in the South China Sea (SCS). Over the past 500 ka, planktonic foraminiferal oxygen-isotopic values are consistently lighter than northern SCS and open-ocean records by up to 0.5‰, indicating the influence of run-off from the Mekong River during both glacial and interglacial periods. Carbonate content is higher during interglacials; sedimentation rates were higher during glacials. Increased sedimentation rates since 30 ka imply increased run-off during the last glacial maximum and Holocene Period. Contrary to general experience, in which it is classed as a warm species for temperature estimates, the thermocline-dwelling species Pulleniatina obliquiloculata increased its numbers during glacial periods. This implies an estuarine circulation and even brackish-water caps during glacial periods, reinforcing the sense of strong run-off. In an overall decline of warm water, the thermocline shoaled stepwise, with rapid rises across the glacial terminations. We infer that the southern SCS was opened to an influx of Indian Ocean waters through southern passages at those times of rising sea levels.