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The present study aimed to evaluate the validity and reproducibility of a thirteen-item FFQ regarding identification of dietary conditions in a rural population in China.
A reproducibility study repeated the first FFQ (FFQ1) approximately 4 weeks later (FFQ2). A validity study evaluated the mean of three consecutive 24 h diet recalls as the reference measure.
Residents of a rural area in Henan Province, which is located in the central region of China.
A total of 295 individuals participated in the reproducibility study. In addition, 123 people agreed to participate in the validity study. Spearman’s correlation coefficients between the two FFQ ranged from 0·06 (vegetables) to 0·58 (eggs). Spearman’s correlation coefficients between the two methods of collection ranged from 0·01 for cereal to 0·49 for staple foods. The mean of the intraclass correlation coefficients of the two FFQ (FFQ1 v. FFQ2) was 0·19. Bland–Altman analysis indicated good agreement for most food groups across the range of intake for the two studies.
The study demonstrated that our FFQ design could be used as a representative tool to conduct a dietary evaluation of a rural population.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Using polarized light microscopy, the large, triangular or cylindrical second brachial plate of the Petalocrinidae is demonstrated to be a compound brachial formed through fusion of brachial plates along the distal margin of the growing arms. Based on the number of ambulacral bifurcations, brachials from the primibrachitaxis through at least the quintibrachitaxis may have been fused to form this large plate. In Petalocrinus, fused brachials form a second brachial that assumed the same crystallographic orientation, but in Spirocrinus, multidirectional extinctions preserve some of the original multiplate arrangement.
Latrophilin (LPH) is known as an adhesion G-protein-coupled receptor which involved in multiple physiological processes in organisms. Previous studies showed that lph not only involved the susceptibility to anticholinesterase insecticides but also affected fecundity in Tribolium castaneum. However, its regulatory mechanisms in these biological processes are still not clear. Here, we identified two potential downstream carboxylesterase (cce) genes of Tclph, esterase4 and esterase6, and further characterized their interactions with Tclph. After treatment of T. castaneum larvae with carbofuran or dichlorvos insecticides, the transcript levels of Tcest4 and Tcest6 were significantly induced from 12 to 72 h. RNAi against Tcest4 or Tcest6 led to the higher mortality compared with the controls after the insecticides treatment, suggesting that these two genes play a vital role in detoxification of insecticides in T. castaneum. Furthermore, with insecticides exposure to Tclph knockdown beetles, the expression of Tcest4 was upregulated but Tcest6 was downregulated, indicating that beetles existed a compensatory response against the insecticides. Additionally, RNAi of Tcest6 resulted in 43% reductions in female egg laying and completely inhibited egg hatching, which showed the similar phenotype as that of Tclph knockdown. These results indicated that Tclph affected fecundity by positively regulating Tcest6 expression. Our findings will provide a new insight into the molecular mechanisms of Tclph involved in physiological functions in T. castaneum.
G-protein-coupled receptor 142 (GPR142) belongs to rhodopsin family. GPR142 and GPR119, both Gq-coupled receptors, are expressed in pancreatic β cells of pancreas; their activation eventually leads to triggering of insulin secretion. In this paper, through a systems and synthetic biology approach, the effect of a common hit compound has been investigated in GPR142 and GPR119 pathways. This hit that has the potential to be developed as a lead for nanodrug was obtained through high-throughput virtual screening. The hit compound was further docked with nanoparticles (GOLD, SPION, and CeO2). The probable effect of this potential hit on insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes and its dynamic behavior was explored. Kinetic simulation was performed for cross-validation of its role in both the pathways. This study opens up a probable avenue in therapy of type 2 diabetes through regulation of GPR142 and GPR119 receptors. The biological circuit constructed may further have an application as a modulator to control the up- and downregulation of the biochemical pathway and can be implemented as sensors or nanochips for therapy.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
One challenge faced by reinforcement learning (RL) agents is that in many environments the reward signal is sparse, leading to slow improvement of the agent’s performance in early learning episodes. Potential-based reward shaping can help to resolve the aforementioned issue of sparse reward by incorporating an expert’s domain knowledge into the learning through a potential function. Past work on reinforcement learning from demonstration (RLfD) directly mapped (sub-optimal) human expert demonstration to a potential function, which can speed up RL. In this paper we propose an introspective RL agent that significantly further speeds up the learning. An introspective RL agent records its state–action decisions and experience during learning in a priority queue. Good quality decisions, according to a Monte Carlo estimation, will be kept in the queue, while poorer decisions will be rejected. The queue is then used as demonstration to speed up RL via reward shaping. A human expert’s demonstration can be used to initialize the priority queue before the learning process starts. Experimental validation in the 4-dimensional CartPole domain and the 27-dimensional Super Mario AI domain shows that our approach significantly outperforms non-introspective RL and state-of-the-art approaches in RLfD in both domains.
As important epigenetic regulators, microRNA regulate protein expression by triggering the degradation of target mRNA and/or by inhibiting their translation. Dysregulation of microRNA expression has been reported in several cancers, including colorectal cancer. In this study, microRNA-array differential analysis revealed strongly enhanced expression of miR-24-1-5p in the colon tissue of azoxymethane/dextran sulphate sodium-induced mice that were fed with black raspberry anthocyanins for 9 weeks. Overexpression of miR-24-1-5p in human colorectal cancer cells significantly repressed β-catenin expression, and simultaneously decreased cell proliferation, migration and survival. Furthermore, miR-24-1-5p could target β-catenin and trigger a negative regulatory loop for β-catenin and its downstream target genes. β-Catenin signalling is vital to the formation and progression of human colorectal cancer. The current findings therefore identified miR-24-1-5p as a potent regulator of β-catenin, and this may provide a novel chemopreventive and therapeutic strategy for β-catenin signalling-driven colorectal cancer.
As a degenerative disease, the progression of dementia needs continued care provision and poses both psychological and financial burden for family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD). This study seeks to compare predictors of care costs and caregiver burden, and to identify modifiable factors that could alleviate the burden faced by dementia caregivers.
This study interviewed 231 PWD–caregiver dyads in a dementia clinic at a teaching hospital in southern Taiwan in 2013. A follow-up study was conducted a year later, and 167 dyads completed the second interview. Data collected included PWD characteristics, caregiver characteristics, relationship to PWD, and social support to caregivers. Caregiver burden was measured with the Zarit Burden Interview instrument. The association between each predictor variable and cost of care and caregiver burden scores was examined using linear mixed models.
Predictors of care costs were found to be different from predictors of caregiver burden: functional declines measured by Katz’s activities of daily living (ADL) scale were associated with total cost as compared to behavioral disturbance measured by Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), which showed no impact on care costs. However, NPI was a significant predictor of caregiver burden. Caregivers who were better-off financially also reported significantly lower caregiver burden.
Since predictors of care costs were different from the predictors of caregiver burden, providing training to caregivers in addressing PWD’s behavioral disturbance and proving financial assistance to low income caregivers could be effective in reducing caregiver burden.
The aim of this study was to investigate the in vivo degradation mechanism and the mechanical properties of poly(lactide-co-glycolide)/beta-tricalcium phosphate (PLGA/β-TCP) composite anchors. Anchors composed of PLGA and β-TCP were implanted in the dorsal subcutaneous tissue of beagle dogs for 6, 12, 16, and 26 weeks. The degradation of the materials was evaluated by measuring the changes in thermal behavior, crystallinity, and mechanical properties. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to observe the surface and longitudinal section of the material. The evaluation of mechanical strength retention and degradation properties suggest that the addition of β-TCP particles efficiently enhances their mechanical properties and thermal characteristics and delays their degradation rate. By analyzing the results of SEM, X-ray diffraction, and differential scanning calorimetry, we can infer that after 12 weeks, the connection between β-TCP and PLGA becomes less compact, which accelerates the decline of mechanical strength.
Temperature-dependent (173–373 K) hyperpolarized 129Xe nuclear magnetic resonance (129Xe NMR) analyses along with transmission electron microscopy and N2 adsorption measurements have been applied to understand pore structure and interconnectivity of bare and grafted mesoporous silicon sponge (MSS) materials. The Xe NMR chemical shift data indicate the existence of micropores inside the larger mesopore channels and the effects of grafting on the pore surfaces. The grafted layer estimated at 2 nm in thickness blocks the micropores on the surfaces of mesoporous channels. Partitioning of Xe between the micropores and the mesopores in the MSS materials is temperature-dependent, with Xe principally occupying the micropores at lower temperatures. In addition, the temperature-dependent Xe peak shift of MSS materials verifies the increased uniformity and interconnectivity of mesopores after surface grafting. The results from this study provide useful information for design and development of novel materials.
This paper presents new water-soluble bio-polyelectrolyte-based nanoparticles, formed from lanthanide-induced polysaccharide aggregates (LIPAs). These new nano-aggregates are formed by coordinating a photoluminescent lanthanide–ligand complex to a single polyelectrolyte [i.e. polyanionic hyaluronic acid (HA)] or to two oppositely charged polyelectrolytes [i.e. HA and polycationic chitosan (CHI)]. We demonstrate that photoluminescent Eu3+–ligand complexes, which are dispersed homogeneously in aqueous solution by the association with water-soluble HA. The polysaccharide supermolecular assembly can be tuned to obtain nanoparticles of different sizes and surface charges. The preparation of stable and water-soluble lanthanide complexes via Eu3+–LIPAs opens opportunities for use of luminescent lanthanides in aqueous environments, for biosensing and bioimaging applications.
A diverse Permian crinoid fauna is reported from the Taiyuan Formation, Dajian Member (Asselian) at Anyang, northeastern Henan Province of the North China Craton. The specimens are well preserved, including articulated crowns and cups. The fauna contains representatives of each of the major Paleozoic crinoid clades: Cladida (including the Flexibilia), Disparida, and Camerata. Identified genera suggest a greater affinity with North American faunas than with Tethyan faunas. Four new species, Neoprotencrinus anyangensis, Ulocrinus qiaoi, Artichthyocrinus limani, and Synbathocrinus chenae, are proposed herein.
To develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithm which can automatically detect food items from images acquired by an egocentric wearable camera for dietary assessment.
To study human diet and lifestyle, large sets of egocentric images were acquired using a wearable device, called eButton, from free-living individuals. Three thousand nine hundred images containing real-world activities, which formed eButton data set 1, were manually selected from thirty subjects. eButton data set 2 contained 29 515 images acquired from a research participant in a week-long unrestricted recording. They included both food- and non-food-related real-life activities, such as dining at both home and restaurants, cooking, shopping, gardening, housekeeping chores, taking classes, gym exercise, etc. All images in these data sets were classified as food/non-food images based on their tags generated by a convolutional neural network.
A cross data-set test was conducted on eButton data set 1. The overall accuracy of food detection was 91·5 and 86·4 %, respectively, when one-half of data set 1 was used for training and the other half for testing. For eButton data set 2, 74·0 % sensitivity and 87·0 % specificity were obtained if both ‘food’ and ‘drink’ were considered as food images. Alternatively, if only ‘food’ items were considered, the sensitivity and specificity reached 85·0 and 85·8 %, respectively.
The AI technology can automatically detect foods from low-quality, wearable camera-acquired real-world egocentric images with reasonable accuracy, reducing both the burden of data processing and privacy concerns.
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.
Serine protease inhibitors (serpins) play essential physiological roles in a wide range of biological processes. Serpins are researched limited in Taenia solium, although some are considered to participate in host immune responses. Tsserpins were identified as typical serpins due to the primary structure of characteristic features: the serpin motif, serpin signature and reaction centre loop (RCL). RCLs of four serpin genes (TsB6, Ts4848, Ts12383 and Ts570) contained the conserved sequences of inhibitory serpins, which may involve in immune regulation. TsEP45 differed greatly from the patterns of representative serpins, suggesting that TsEP45 may be non-inhibitory. The bioinformatic analyses were supposed that Tsserpins might be a potential antigen for diagnosis. The five recombinant Tsserpin proteins were expressed and identified reacting with Cysticercus cellulosae-positive serum samples. The indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISAs) based on Tsserpins were developed and validated, one of the five Tsserpins, TsEP45, showed excellent diagnostic results with 93·33% sensitivity and 94·12% specificity, respectively. This performance was in perfect accordance with the results of the bioinformatic analysis. This study provided a comprehensive demonstration of sequences and structural-based analysis of Tsserpins. The iELISAs based on five Tsserpins were developed and compared. TsEP45 was the potential species-specific antigen for developing iELISA to detect porcine cysticercosis.
A principle for absolute determination of an object' position by means of LLMC with a CCD camera and the method for finding the error from the instrument and the CCD chip are described in this paper. The observational power and application of the LLMC with a CCD are also discussed.
This article describes a new method by which azimuth and the instantaneous latitude of a meridian-prime vertical-transit instrument can be determined absolutely in mid-and low- latitude areas, and discusses some experimental observations obtained on a remodeled ZEISS transit instrument. Requirements for the development of a new type of transit circle along the lines of this new method are also presented.
This study aimed to describe the expression profiles of microRNAs (miRNAs) from mammary gland tissues collected from dairy cows with Streptococcus agalactiae-induced mastitis and to identify differentially expressed miRNAs related to mastitis. The mammary glands of Chinese Holstein cows were challenged with Streptococcus agalactiae to induce mastitis. Small RNAs were isolated from the mammary tissues of the test and control groups and then sequenced using the Solexa sequencing technology to construct two small RNA libraries. Potential target genes of these differentially expressed miRNAs were predicted using the RNAhybrid software, and KEGG pathways associated with these genes were analysed. A total of 18 555 913 and 20 847 000 effective reads were obtained from the test and control groups, respectively. In total, 373 known and 399 novel miRNAs were detected in the test group, and 358 known and 232 novel miRNAs were uncovered in the control group. A total of 35 differentially expressed miRNAs were identified in the test group compared to the control group, including 10 up-regulated miRNAs and 25 down-regulated miRNAs. Of these miRNAs, miR-223 exhibited the highest degree of up-regulation with an approximately 3-fold increase in expression, whereas miR-26a exhibited the most decreased expression level (more than 2-fold). The RNAhybrid software predicted 18 801 genes as potential targets of these 35 miRNAs. Furthermore, several immune response and signal transduction pathways, including the RIG-I-like receptor signalling pathway, cytosolic DNA sensing pathway and Notch signal pathway, were enriched in these predicted targets. In summary, this study provided experimental evidence for the mechanism underlying the regulation of bovine mastitis by miRNAs and showed that miRNAs might be involved in signal pathways during S. agalactiae-induced mastitis.
Palladium (Pd) nanostructures have been actively adapted for various applications and their properties and applicability closely depend on their shape, size, and density. In this paper, the evolution of self-assembled Pd nanostructures on the hexagonal c-plane GaN is presented by the systematical control of Pd deposition amount (DA) at distinctive temperatures. Pd nanostructures of various configurations, sizes, and densities are demonstrated based on the solid-state dewetting of Pd thin films and a clear distinction in the growth regimes is observed. Three growth regimes are clearly observed depending on the variation of DA, i.e., (i) the agglomeration of Pd nanoparticles, (ii) the coalescence of wiggly Pd nanostructures, and finally (iii) the growth of nanovoids and layers. Owing to the temperature-dependent dewetting process, the growth regimes are markedly shifted, resulting in the distinctive Pd nanostructures within the identical DA range. The results are discussed in conjunction with the surface diffusion, Volmer–Weber and coalescence growth model, and surface/interface energy minimization mechanism. In addition, the evolution of optical properties, emission band, and lattice properties are probed by reflectance, photoluminescence, and Raman spectroscopy, which exhibit varying spectral intensity and peak positions according to the surface morphology of Pd nanostructures.