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A liquid–gas interface (LGI) on submerged microstructure surfaces has the potential to achieve large slip velocities, which is significant for underwater applications such as drag reduction. However, surfactants adsorbing on the LGI can cause surface tension gradient against the mainstream, which weakens the flow near the LGI and severely limits drag reduction. The mechanism of the effect of surfactants on two-dimensional flows has already been proposed, while the effect of surfactants on the three-dimensional flow near the LGI is still not clear. In our study, we specifically design an experimental system to directly observe a three-dimensional backflow at the LGI. The formation as well as the behaviour of the backflow are demonstrated to be significantly influenced by the surfactant. Combining experimental measurements, theoretical analyses and numerical simulations, we reveal the underlying mechanism of the backflow, which is a competition between the mainstream and the Marangoni flows generated by the interfacial concentration gradients of surfactant simultaneously in streamwise and spanwise directions, reflecting the three-dimensional feature of the backflow. In addition, a kinematic similarity is obtained to characterize the backflow. The current work provides a model system for investigating the three-dimensional backflow at the LGI with surfactants, which is significant for practical applications such as drag reduction and superhydrophobicity.
Dysregulation in hepatic lipid synthesis by excess dietary carbohydrate intake is often relevant with the occurrence of fatty liver; therefore, the thorough understanding of the regulation of lipid deposition and metabolism seems crucial to search for potential regulatory targets. In the present study, we examined TAG accumulation, lipid metabolism-related gene expression, the enzyme activities of lipogenesis-related enzymes, the protein levels of transcription factors or genes involving lipogenesis in the livers of yellow catfish fed five dietary carbohydrate sources, such as glucose, maize starch, sucrose, potato starch and dextrin, respectively. Generally speaking, compared with other carbohydrate sources, dietary glucose promoted TAG accumulation, up-regulated lipogenic enzyme activities and gene expressions, and down-regulated mRNA expression of genes involved in lipolysis and small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) modification pathways. Further studies found that sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1), a key transcriptional factor relevant to lipogenic regulation, was modified by SUMO1. Mutational analyses found two important sites for SUMOylation modification (K254R and K264R) in SREBP1. Mutant SREBP lacking lysine 264 up-regulated the transactivation capacity on an SREBP-responsive promoter. Glucose reduced the SUMOylation level of SREBP1 and promoted the protein expression of SREBP1 and its target gene stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), indicating that SUMOylation of SREBP1 mediated glucose-induced hepatic lipid metabolism. Our study elucidated the molecular mechanism of dietary glucose increasing hepatic lipid deposition and found that the SREBP-dependent transactivation was regulated by SUMO1 modification, which served as a new target for the transcriptional programmes governing lipid metabolism.
The link between schizophrenia and cigarette smoking has been well established through observational studies. However, the cause–effect relationship remains unclear.
We conducted Mendelian randomisation analyses to assess any causal relationship between genetic variants related to four smoking-related traits and the risk of schizophrenia.
We performed a two-sample Mendelian randomisation using summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of smoking-related traits and schizophrenia (7711 cases, 18 327 controls) in East Asian populations. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) correlated with smoking behaviours (smoking initiation, smoking cessation, age at smoking initiation and quantity of smoking) were investigated in relation to schizophrenia using the inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method. Further sensitivity analyses, including Mendelian randomisation-Egger (MR-Egger), weighted median estimates and leave-one-out analysis, were used to test the consistency of the results.
The associated SNPs for the four smoking behaviours were not significantly associated with schizophrenia status. Pleiotropy did not inappropriately affect the results.
Cigarette smoking is a complex behaviour in people with schizophrenia. Understanding factors underlying the observed association remains important; however, our findings do not support a causal role of smoking in influencing risk of schizophrenia.
The Wulian complex is located on the northern margin of the Sulu orogenic belt, and was formed by collision between the North China Craton (NCC) to the north and South China Craton (SCC) to the south. It consists of the metasedimentary Wulian Group, gneissic granite and meta-diorite. The U–Pb analyses for the detrital zircons from the Wulian Group exhibit one predominant age population of 2600–2400 Ma with a peak at c. 2.5 Ga and several secondary age populations of > 3000, 3000–2800, 2800–2600, 2200–2000, 1900–1800, 1500–1300 and 1250–950 Ma; some metamorphic zircons have metamorphic ages of c. 2.7, 2.55–2.45, 2.1–2.0 and 1.95–1.80 Ga, which are consistent with magmatic-metamorphic events in the SCC. Additionally, the Wulian Group was intruded by the gneissic granite and meta-diorite at c. 0.76 Ga, attributed to Neoproterozoic syn-rifting bimodal magmatic activity in the SCC and derived from partial melting of Archaean continental crust and depleted mantle, respectively. The Wulian Group therefore has tectonic affinity to the SCC and was mainly sourced from the SCC. The detrital zircons have positive and negative ϵHf(t) values, indicating that their source rocks were derived from reworking of both ancient and juvenile crustal rocks. The major early Precambrian crustal growth took place during c. 3.4–2.5 Ga with a dominant peak at 2.96 Ga and several secondary peaks at 3.27, 2.74 and 2.52 Ga. The two oldest zircons with ages of 3307 and 3347 Ma record the recycling of ancient continental crust (> 3.35 Ga) and crustal growth prior to c. 3.95 Ga in the SCC.
The Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) gene has been identified as a top risk gene for schizophrenia in several large-scale genome-wide association studies. A variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) of this gene is the most significant expression quantitative trait locus, but its role in brain activity in vivo is still unknown.
We first performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan of 101 healthy subjects during a memory span task, trained all subjects on an adaptive memory span task for 1 month, and finally performed another fMRI scan after the training. After excluding subjects with excessive head movements for one or more scanning sessions, data from 93 subjects were included in the final analyses.
The VNTR was significantly associated with both baseline brain activation and training-induced changes in multiple regions including the prefrontal cortex and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Additionally, it was associated with baseline brain activation in the striatum and the parietal cortex. All these results were corrected based on the family-wise error rate method across the whole brain at the peak level.
This study sheds light on the role of AS3MT gene variants in neural plasticity related to memory span training.
Primary liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Most patients are diagnosed at late stages with poor prognosis; thus, identification of modifiable risk factors for primary prevention of liver cancer is urgently needed. The well-established risk factors of liver cancer include chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), heavy alcohol consumption, metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and aflatoxin exposure. However, a large proportion of cancer cases worldwide cannot be explained by current known risk factors. Dietary factors have been suspected as important, but dietary aetiology of liver cancer remains poorly understood. In this review, we summarised and evaluated the observational studies of diet including single nutrients, food and food groups, as well as dietary patterns with the risk of developing liver cancer. Although there are large knowledge gaps between diet and liver cancer risk, current epidemiological evidence supports an important role of diet in liver cancer development. For example, exposure to aflatoxin, heavy alcohol drinking and possibly dairy product (not including yogurt) intake increase, while intake of coffee, fish and tea, light-to-moderate alcohol drinking and several healthy dietary patterns (e.g. Alternative Healthy Eating Index) may decrease liver cancer risk. Future studies with large sample size and accurate diet measurement are warranted and need to consider issues such as the possible aetiological heterogeneity between liver cancer subtypes, the influence of chronic HBV or HCV infection, the high-risk populations (e.g. cirrhosis) and a potential interplay with host gut microbiota or genetic variations.
Information about seed dormancy cycling and germination in relation to temperature and moisture conditions in the natural environment is important for the conservation and restoration of rare species, including Begonia guishanensis and Paraisometrum mileense, two sympatric perennial limestone (karst) species. Dry afterripening (DAR) and wet and dry (WD) cycles at 15/5 and 25/15°C as well as moist chilling (MC) at 15/5°C were used to mimic the natural environment at different times of the year. A field experiment was conducted to monitor seasonal changes in germination responses of the seeds. About 40–65% of B. guishanensis and 5% of P. mileense seeds were dormant at maturity. DAR at 25/15 and 15/5°C as well as MC and WD cycles at 15/5°C alleviated dormancy for B. guishanensis but not P. mileense, and WD cycles at 25/15°C induced a deeper conditional dormancy for both species. Seeds of B. guishanensis exhibited dormancy cycling in the field, with increased dormancy under natural WD cycles at relatively high temperatures during the transition from the dry to the wet season in April to May and decreased dormancy during the wet season from June to October. KNO3 mitigated the dormancy-inducing effect of both artificial and natural WD cycles at relatively high temperatures for B. guishanensis. The field experiment indicated that seeds of B. guishanensis may be able to form a persistent soil seed bank, while almost all seeds of P. mileense germinate at the beginning of the wet season in the field.
A new fast-growing mycobacterium, designated strain QGD101T, was isolated from the sputum of an 84-year-old man suspected of tuberculosis in Wuhan Medical Treatment Center, Hubei, China. This strain was a gram-staining-negative, aerobic, non-spore-forming and catalase-positive bacterium, which was further identified as the NTM by PNB and TCH tests. The moxifloxacin and levofloxacin exhibited strong suppressing function against QGD101T with MIC values of 0.06 and 0.125 µg/ml after drug susceptibility testing of six main antimicrobial agents on mycobacteria. Based on the sequence analysis of 16S rRNA, rpoB, hsp65 and 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer, the strain QGD101T could not be identified to a species level. Mycobacterium moriokaense ATCC43059T that shared the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity (98%) with strain QGD101T was actually different in genomes average nucleotide identity (78.74%). In addition, the major cellular fatty acids of QGD101T were determined as C18:1ω9c, C16:0 and C18:2ω6c. The DNA G + C content was 64.9% measured by high performance liquid chromatography. Therefore, the phenotypic and genotypic characterisation of this strain led us to the conclusion that it represents a novel species of mycobacteria, for which the name Mycobacterium hubeiense sp. nov. (type strain QGD101T = CCTCCAA 2017003T = KCTC39927T) was proposed. Thus, the results of this study are very significant for the clinical diagnosis of tuberculosis and future personalised medicine.
Previous studies of amyloid diseases reported that the aggregating proteins share a similar conserved peptide sequence which can form the cross-β-sheet-containing nanostructures like nanofilaments. The template-assisted self-assembly (TASA) of peptides on inorganic substrates with different hydrophilicity could be an alternative approach to shed light on the fibrillization mechanism of proteins/peptides in vivo. To figure out the effect of interfaces on amyloid aggregation, we herein employed in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate the self-assembling of a Parkinson disease-related core peptide sequence (TGV-9) on a hydrophobic liquid–solid interface via real-time observation of the dynamic fibrillization process. The results show that TGV-9 forms one-dimensional nanostructures on the surface of highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) with three preferred growth orientations, which are consistent with the atomic lattice of HOPG, indicating an epitaxial growth or TASA. Conversely, the nanostructures formed in bulk solution can be free-standing nanofilaments, and the fibrillization mechanism is different from that on HOPG. These results could not only deepen the understanding of the protein/peptide aggregation mechanism but also benefit for the early diagnosis and clinic treatment of related diseases.
In a high-level radioactive waste repository, bentonite may react with the alkaline solution produced by cement degradation. In this study, bentonite was mixed with alkaline solution in a closed system and reacted for 3–24 months. Furthermore, swelling tests were conducted on the alkaline-dissolved bentonite immersed in distilled water. The swelling deformation decreased significantly with increases in the concentration of NaOH solution and reaction time, and this was mainly due to montmorillonite dissolution. The fractal e–p relationship (e is the void ratio and p is the vertical pressure) with two calculation coefficients (the swelling coefficient and the fractal dimension) was employed to determine the swelling of alkaline-dissolved bentonite. The fractal dimension increased slightly with increasing reaction time or concentration of NaOH solution, as the dissolution traces caused by the alkaline solution favoured an increase in the irregularity and fractality of the bentonite surface. The swelling coefficient decreased linearly with decreasing montmorillonite content. In addition, the swelling coefficient and the fractal dimension were related exponentially to the reaction time in alkaline solution. A relationship between the swelling of alkaline-dissolved samples and the reaction time was proposed, which might be used to assess the swelling properties of bentonite barriers that would be affected by long-term dissolution of the alkaline solution in a closed repository.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe psychiatric disorder associated with a high risk of suicide. This meta-analysis examined the prevalence of suicide attempts (SA) in patients with BD and its associated factors.
A systematic literature search was conducted in the PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE and Web of Science databases from their inception to 11 June 2018. The prevalence of SA in BD was synthesised using the random-effects model.
The search identified 3451 articles of which 79 studies with 33 719 subjects met the study entry criteria. The lifetime prevalence of SA was 33.9% (95% CI 31.3–36.6%; I2 = 96.4%). Subgroup and meta-regression analyses revealed that the lifetime prevalence of SA was positively associated with female gender, BD-I, BD Not Otherwise Specified and rapid cycling BD subtypes, income level and geographic region.
This meta-analysis confirmed that SA is common in BD and identified a number of factors related to SA. Further efforts are necessary to facilitate the identification and prevention of SA in BD. Long-term use of mood stabilisers coupled with psycho-social interventions should be available to BD patients to reduce the risk of suicidal behaviour.
A series of double-perovskite LaAMnNiO6 (A = La, Pr, Sm) catalysts with mesoporous morphology was prepared by a sol–gel method and further applied into photothermal synergistic degradation of gaseous toluene. Transmission electron microscopy and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller characterizations confirmed that double-perovskite LaAMnNiO6 (A = La, Pr, Sm) had obvious mesoporous structure, which can provide a larger specific surface area and further enhancing the reactivity of catalyst. UV-vis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy characterization illustrated that LaSmMnNiO6 possessed higher adsorption oxygen content and light absorption capacity, which contribute to the occurrence of catalytic oxidation in the Mars–van Krevelen redox cycle mechanism. A group of active tests showed that the double-perovskite LaSmMnNiO6 catalyst had a lower reaction initiation temperature (starting reaction at 75 °C) and a lower activity temperature of optimal reaction (more than 90% at 255 °C). Moreover, the research on reaction kinetics of the catalyst demonstrated that LaAMnNiO6 (A = La, Pr, Sm) had lower activation energy and thus exhibited better catalytic activity. The results of the study indicate that the double-perovskite LaAMnNiO6 (A = La, Pr, Sm) has broad application prospects in the field of volatile organic pollutant degradation.
Cryoconite is a dark-coloured granular sediment that contains biological and mineralogical components, and it plays a pivotal role in geochemistry, carbon cycling and glacier mass balance. In this work, we collected cryoconite samples from Laohugou Glacier No. 12 (LHG) on the north-eastern Tibetan Plateau during the summer of 2015 and measured the spectral albedo. To explore the impacts of this sediment on surface ablation, the ice melting differences between the cryoconite-free (removed) ice and the intact layers were compared. The results showed that the mean concentrations of black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC) and total iron (Fe) in the LHG cryoconite were 1.28, 11.18 and 39.94 mg g−1, respectively. BC was found to play a stronger role in solar light adsorption than OC and free Fe. In addition, ice covered by cryoconite exhibited the lowest mean reflectance (i.e., <0.1). Compared with the cryoconite-free ice surface, cryoconite effectively absorbed solar energy and enhanced glacial melting at a rate of 2.27–3.28 cm d−1, and free Fe, BC and OC were estimated to contribute 1.01, 0.99 and 0.76 cm d−1, respectively. This study provides important insights for understanding the role of cryoconite in the glacier mass balance of the northern Tibetan Plateau.
Residents of Hong Kong have undergone a dietary transition from a traditional Chinese diet that is high in seafood to a more Western diet. This may have affected the nutritional composition of breast milk of Hong Kong mothers. The present study aims to investigate the relationship between the dietary pattern and the fatty acid profile of the breast milk of lactating women in Hong Kong. Seventy-three volunteering healthy Hong Kong lactating mothers participated in the study. Their dietary intakes were assessed by using a 3-d dietary record and FFQ. The mean n-3 fatty acid levels were approximately 0·4 % (EPA) and 0·9 % (DHA) of total fatty acids in the breast milk of lactating mothers who had exclusively breastfed their infants aged 2–6 months. Maternal dietary intakes of n-3 fatty acids were positively associated with their levels in the breast milk. The levels of maternal intakes of freshwater and saltwater fish, especially the consumption of salmon, croaker and mandarin, were significantly correlated with the content of DHA in breast milk. The present study is among the very few in the literature to determine the fatty acid profile of breast milk in Hong Kong populations and verify certain dietary factors that influence this profile. High levels of n-3 PUFA, especially DHA, were observed in the breast milk of Hong Kong lactating women. The findings may serve as a dietary reference for lactating mothers to optimise the fatty acid profile of their breast milk.
Suicide attempt is an important indicator of suicide and potential future mortality. However, the prevalence of suicide attempts has been inconsistent across studies. This meta-analysis aimed to examine the prevalence of suicide attempts in individuals with schizophrenia and associated correlates.
Relevant publications in Embase, PsycINFO, PubMed, Web of science and Cochrane were systematically searched. Data on the prevalence of suicide attempts in individuals with schizophrenia were pooled using a random-effects model.
Thirty-five studies with 16 747 individuals with schizophrenia were included. The pooled lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts was 26.8% (95% CI 22.1–31.9%; I2 = 97.0%), while the 1-year prevalence, 1-month prevalence and the prevalence of suicide attempts from illness onset were 3.0% (95% CI 2.3–3.7%; I2 = 95.6%), 2.7% (95% CI 2.1–3.4%; I2 = 78.5%) and 45.9% (95% CI 42.1–49.9%; I2 = 0), respectively. Earlier age of onset (Q = 4.38, p = 0.04), high-income countries (Q = 53.29, p < 0.001), North America and Europe and Central Asia (Q = 32.83, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with a higher prevalence of suicide attempts.
Suicide attempts are common in individuals with schizophrenia, especially those with an early age of onset and living in high-income countries and regions. Regular screening and effective preventive measures should be implemented as part of the clinical care.
Cordierite foams were prepared by thermo-foaming of alumina–microsilica–talc powder dispersions in molten D-glucose anhydrous followed by reaction sintering at 1400 °C, which exhibited an interconnected cellular morphology and three-dimensional porous cell walls. The cordierite foam had a porosity of up to 96%, and its corresponding thermal conductivity was as low as 0.057 W/(m·K). The foam structures showed a great promise for gas filtration and gas catalytic support. The formation of interconnected cellular morphology, the variations of cell wall thickness, and cell size were explained from the perspective of viscosity and weak points in this paper. The linear shrinkage of cordierite foams having a density of 0.102–0.226 g/cm3 was in the range of 13.0–6.9%. And the compressive strength (0.05–0.28 MPa) was determined by the large cell size (1.1–1.3 mm), ultra-high porosity (91–96%), and characteristic of cordierite.
Civil emergencies occurring with little warning can quickly produce mass casualties. To develop an Emergency Department’s surge capacity, medical student involvement in the disaster response has been advocated. Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore is located in proximity to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and represents an untapped manpower resource. With appropriate training, medical students can be leveraged upon as ready and reasonably qualified manpower.
This review provides a snapshot of the conceptualization and setting up of the Disaster Volunteer Corps (DVC) program. We discuss the overall strategy and benefits to stakeholders, emphasizing the close symbiotic relationship between academia and healthcare services.
Duke-NUS medical students will be recruited to receive training from SGH emergency physicians. The frequency of training will be four times yearly, with ad hoc participation in disaster simulation exercises. A call-tree will be employed for DVC activation. The DVC curriculum includes disaster response principles, HAZMAT, crowd control, marshaling, logistics, psychological support, and basic first aid. Teaching methods include didactic lectures, case discussions, involvement in event medical cover, and participation in disaster simulation exercises and response planning.
To date, there are 10 medical students and four emergency physician faculty volunteers involved in the program. Support is provided by adjunct instructors from nursing, nuclear medicine, social work, and security, for training in decontamination, radiological disasters, psychological first aid, and crowd control measures respectively. Assessment by faculty will be conducted to ensure the quality of training and competency of skills.
The DVC provides a unique way of teaching medical students disaster medicine principles in a hands-on experiential format, while simultaneously enhancing the operational readiness of the hospital in times of disaster. This model of close collaboration between university educational and healthcare services provides a feasible model of structured volunteerism that could be replicated in other similar settings.