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In the present study, we use direct numerical simulation to investigate the density-driven convection in a two-dimensional anisotropic heterogeneous porous media associated with significant laminated formation. At first, the heterogeneous porous media are randomly generated to represent laminated structure, in which the horizontal correlation length of permeability field is much longer than the vertical counterpart. Then, a highly accurate pseudo-spectral method and compact finite difference scheme with higher order of accuracy are employed to numerically reproduce the convection flow in the laminated porous media. The results show that the laminated structures restrict interactions among the downward plumes of heavier fluid. The plumes tend to descend more straightly in a laminated porous medium associated with a slower growth rate. As a result, the laminated distribution of permeability is considered having an inhibiting effect on the convection flow.
The emergence of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is currently a global concern. In this study, our goal was to explore the changing expression levels of acute-phase reaction proteins (APRPs) in the serum of COVID-19 patients and to elucidate the immunological characteristics of COVID-19. In the study design, we recruited 72 COVID-19 patients, including 22 cases of mild degree, 38 cases of moderate degree and 12 cases of severe degree. We also recruited 20 patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and 20 normal control subjects as a comparison. Fasting venous blood was taken to detect the content of complement 3 (C3), complement 4 (C4), C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA) and prealbumin (PA). When compared the COVID-19 group with the CAP and normal control groups, respectively, the mean value of CRP and SAA in the COVID-19 group (including mild, moderate and severe patients) had increased significantly (P < 0.01), whereas the mean values of C3, C4 and PA decreased (P < 0.01). For the asymptomatic or mild symptomatic patients with COVID-19, the actual aggravation of disease may be more advanced than the clinical appearances. Meanwhile, the statistical analyses indicated that the development of COVID-19 brought about a significant increase in the content of CRP and SAA (P < 0.01), and a decline in the content of C3, C4 and PA (P < 0.01). These findings suggested that the changes in the level of APRPs could be used as indicators to identify the degree and progression of COVID-19, and the significant changes might demonstrate the aggravation of disease. This study provided a new approach to improve the clinical management plan and prognosis of COVID-19.
Polyglycolide (PGA) materials have been widely used in the medical field, but the degradation mechanism in the natural environment is still unclear. High-viscosity PGA was prepared by using twin-screw reaction extrusion polymerization. The mass and intrinsic viscosity of PGA samples, the pH of the solution surrounding the PGA samples in water, and the number of degradation products resulting from the degradation of the PGA samples were studied under different conditions and at different temperatures. PGA does not degrade at 70 °C in either dry air or in a vacuum. Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and differential spectroscopy revealed that the PGA samples in water at 70 °C for 40 days had a substantially reduced mass and substantially altered thermal behavior when compared with the control sample (undegraded PGA sample). The degradation of the PGA samples in humid conditions at 70 °C was similar to the degradation of the samples in water at 70 °C. The results of this study indicate that water and water vapor (moisture) in the natural environment are the main causes of PGA degradation, and higher temperatures accelerate the degradation process, which shortens the shelf life and life of PGA.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread over 213 countries and territories. We sought to describe the clinical features of fatalities in patients with severe COVID-19 in an internet-based retrospective cohort study through retrieving the clinical information of 100 COVID-19 deaths from non-duplicating incidental reports in Chinese provincial and other governmental websites between January 23 and March 10, 2020. About 6 of 10 COVID-19 deaths were males (64.0%). The average age was 70.7±13.5 years, and 84% of patients were elderly (over age 60 y). The mean duration from admission to diagnosis was 2.2±3.8 days (median: 1). The mean duration from diagnosis to death was 9.9±7.0 days (median: 9). About 3 of 4 cases (76.0%) were complicated by 1 or more chronic diseases, including hypertension (41.0%), diabetes (29.0%) and coronary heart disease (27.0%), respiratory disorders (23.0%) and cerebrovascular disease (12.0%). Fever (46.0%), cough (33.0%), shortness of breath (9.0%) were the most common first symptoms. Multiple organ failure (67.9%), circulatory failure (20.2%) and respiratory failure (11.9%) are the top three direct causes of death. COVID-19 deaths are mainly elderly and patients with chronic diseases especially cardiovascular disorders and diabetes. Multiple organ failure is the most common direct cause of death.
Accumulating studies have found structural and functional abnormalities of the striatum in bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, changes in intrinsic brain functional connectivity dynamics of striato-cortical circuitry have not been investigated in BD and MDD. This study aimed to investigate the shared and specific patterns of dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) variability of striato-cortical circuitry in BD and MDD.
Brain resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from 128 patients with unmedicated BD II (current episode depressed), 140 patients with unmedicated MDD, and 132 healthy controls (HCs). Six pairs of striatum seed regions were selected: the ventral striatum inferior (VSi) and the ventral striatum superior (VSs), the dorsal-caudal putamen (DCP), the dorsal-rostral putamen (DRP), and the dorsal caudate and the ventral-rostral putamen (VRP). The sliding-window analysis was used to evaluate dFC for each seed.
Both BD II and MDD exhibited increased dFC variability between the left DRP and the left supplementary motor area, and between the right VRP and the right inferior parietal lobule. The BD II had specific increased dFC variability between the right DCP and the left precentral gyrus compared with MDD and HCs. The MDD had increased dFC variability between the left VSi and the left medial prefrontal cortex compared with BD II and HCs.
The patients with BD and MDD shared common dFC alteration in the dorsal striatal-sensorimotor and ventral striatal-cognitive circuitries. The patients with MDD had specific dFC alteration in the ventral striatal-affective circuitry.
In this paper, we use finite element analysis (FEA) to study the linear viscoelastic response of polyurea, a type of hard–soft block copolymer. A Niblack's algorithm-based technique employed on atomic force microscopy images provides geometry inputs for the FEA model, while the viscoelastic master curves of the soft matrix are obtained via a combination of dynamic mechanical analysis data and molecular dynamic (MD) estimations. In this microstructural image-based FEA framework, we introduce an interphase area of altered properties between the hard and soft domains. Both spatial and property distributions of this interphase area affect the viscoelastic response of the copolymer system. To quantitatively investigate the impact of structural and property features of the interphase on the energy storage and dissipation of a system during linear perturbation, we develop a statistical descriptor representation of the interphase region related to physical parameters. Utilizing decision-tree and random forest concepts from machine learning, we apply a ranking algorithm to identify the most significant features for four different mechanical response descriptors. Results show that the total interphase volume fraction and shifting factor distributions in the interphase area dominate the magnitude of the tan δ peak, whereas the magnitudes of the shifting factors primarily affect the tan δ peak location in frequency space. This method allows us to readily identify the dominant features impacting individual properties and paves the way for material design of hard–soft block copolymer systems.
From 21 January 2020 to 9 February 2020, three family clusters involving 31 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 were identified in Wenzhou, China. The epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the family cluster patients were analysed and compared with those of 43 contemporaneous sporadic cases. The three index cases transmitted the infection to 28 family members 2–10 days before illness onset. Overall, 28 of the 41 sporadic cases and three of 31 patients in the family clusters came back from Wuhan (65.12 vs. 9.68%, P< 0.001). In terms of epidemiological characters and clinical symptoms, no significant differences were observed between the family cluster and sporadic cases. However, the lymphocyte counts of sporadic cases were significantly lower than those of family cluster cases ((1.32 ± 0.55) × 109/l vs. (1.63 ± 0.70) × 109/l, P = 0.037), and the proportion of hypoalbuminaemia was higher in sporadic cases (18/43, 41.86%) than in the family clusters (6/31, 19.35%) (P < 0.05). Within the family cluster, the second- and third-generation cases had milder clinical manifestations, without severe conditions, compared with the index and first-generation cases, indicating that the virulence gradually decreased following passage through generations within the family clusters. Close surveillance, timely recognition and isolation of the suspected or latent patient is crucial in preventing family cluster infection.
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.
The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) guidelines recommend the Royal Free Hospital-Nutritional Prioritizing Tool (RFH-NPT) to identify malnutrition risk in patients with liver disease. However, little is known about the application of the RFH-NPT to screen for the risk of malnutrition in China, where patients primarily suffer from hepatitis virus-related cirrhosis. A total of 155 cirrhosis patients without liver cancer or uncontrolled co-morbid illness were enrolled in this prospective study. We administered the Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002), RFH-NPT, Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) and Liver Disease Undernutrition Screening Tool (LDUST) to the patients within 24 h after admission and performed follow-up observations for 1·5 years. The RFH-NPT and NRS-2002 had higher sensitivities (64·8 and 52·4 %) and specificities (60 and 70 %) than the other tools with regard to screening for malnutrition risk in cirrhotic patients. The prevalence of nutritional risk was higher under the use of the RFH-NPT against the NRS-2002 (63 v. 51 %). The RFH-NPT tended more easily to detect malnutrition risk in patients with advanced Child–Pugh classes (B and C) and lower Model for End-stage Liver Disease scores (<15) compared with NRS-2002. RFH-NPT score was an independent predictive factor for mortality. Patients identified as being at high malnutrition risk with the RFH-NPT had a higher mortality rate than those at low risk; the same result was not obtained with the NRS-2002. Therefore, we suggest that using the RFH-NPT improves the ability of clinicians to predict malnutrition risk in patients with cirrhosis primarily caused by hepatitis virus infection at an earlier stage.
To overcome the steric effect of norbornene (NB), first-generation Grubbs’ catalyst (GC1) was used as the catalyst to graft NB onto the polypropylene (PP) chain by reactive extrusion. Instead of harsh reaction conditions, such as anhydrous, which was the general method to synthesize NB polymers, this convenient method would be easier to industrialize. The mechanism of grafting was studied by using Fourier Transform InfraRed spectra and differential scanning calorimetry. It was found that GC1 could initiate the ring-opening metathesis polymerization of NB to obtain short NB chain-grafted PP-g-NB. The rheological behavior showed that the grafted NB short chains on PP-g-NB increase the shear thinning of the polymers and decrease the system viscosity.