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Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) holds vast potential in agriculture. However, its applications are still limited by its low efficiency. Histone 3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) was identified as an epigenetic barrier for this. Histone demethylase KDM4D could regulate the level of H3K9me3. However, its effects on buffalo SCNT embryos are still unclear. Thus, we performed this study to explore the effects and underlying mechanism of KDM4D on buffalo SCNT embryos. The results revealed that compared with the IVF embryos, the expression level of KDM4D in SCNT embryos was significantly lower at 8- and 16-cell stage, while the level of H3K9me3 in SCNT embryos was significantly higher at 2-cell, 8-cell, and blastocyst stage. Microinjection of KDM4D mRNA could promote the developmental ability of buffalo SCNT embryos. Furthermore, the expression level of ZGA-related genes such as ZSCAN5B, SNAI1, eIF-3a, and TRC at the 8-cell stage was significantly increased. Meanwhile, the pluripotency-related genes like POU5F1, SOX2, and NANOG were also significantly promoted at the blastocyst stage. The results were reversed after KDM4D was inhibited. Altogether, these results revealed that KDM4D could correct the H3K9me3 level, increase the expression level of ZGA and pluripotency-related genes, and finally, promote the developmental competence of buffalo SCNT embryos.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
Previous studies have revealed associations of meteorological factors with tuberculosis (TB) cases. However, few studies have examined their lag effects on TB cases. This study was aimed to analyse nonlinear lag effects of meteorological factors on the number of TB notifications in Hong Kong. Using a 22-year consecutive surveillance data in Hong Kong, we examined the association of monthly average temperature and relative humidity with temporal dynamics of the monthly number of TB notifications using a distributed lag nonlinear models combined with a Poisson regression. The relative risks (RRs) of TB notifications were >1.15 as monthly average temperatures were between 16.3 and 17.3 °C at lagged 13–15 months, reaching the peak risk of 1.18 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.35) when it was 16.8 °C at lagged 14 months. The RRs of TB notifications were >1.05 as relative humidities of 60.0–63.6% at lagged 9–11 months expanded to 68.0–71.0% at lagged 12–17 months, reaching the highest risk of 1.06 (95% CI 1.01–1.11) when it was 69.0% at lagged 13 months. The nonlinear and delayed effects of average temperature and relative humidity on TB epidemic were identified, which may provide a practical reference for improving the TB warning system.
Array antenna beam forming has high potential to improve the performance of the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) in urban areas. However, the widespread application of array antennas for GNSS multipath mitigation is restricted by many factors, such as the complexity of the system, the computation load and conflicts between required performance, cost budget and limited room for the antenna placement. The scope of this work is triplicate. (1) The pre-correlation beam forming structure is first suggested for multipath mitigation to decrease the system complexity. (2) With the pre-correlation structure, the equivalence of adaptive beam forming to quiescent beam forming is revealed. Therefore, the computational load for beam forming is greatly decreased. (3) A theoretical model is established to link the benefits of beam forming with GNSS performance improvement in terms of pseudorange quality. The model can be used by industry to balance the aforementioned restrictions. Numerical results with different array settings are given, and a 2 × 2 rectangle array with $0.4\lambda $ element spacing is suggested as a cost-effective choice in GNSS positioning applications in urban canyon areas.
We aimed to examine whether baseline neutrophil counts affected the risk of new-onset proteinuria in hypertensive patients, and, if so, whether folic acid treatment is particularly effective in proteinuria prevention in such a setting. A total of 8,208 eligible participants without proteinuria at baseline were analyzed from the renal sub-study of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial (CSPPT). Participants were randomized to receive a double-blind daily treatment of 10mg enalapril and 0.8mg folic acid (n=4,101) or 10mg enalapril alone (n=4,107). The primary outcome was new-onset proteinuria, defined as a urine dipstick reading of ≥1+ at the exit visit. The mean age of the participants was 59.5 (SD, 7.4) years, 3,088 (37.6%) of the participants were male. The median treatment duration was 4.4 years. In the enalapril-alone group, a significantly higher risk of new-onset proteinuria was found among participants with higher neutrophil counts (quintile 5; ≥4.8×109/L, OR, 1.44; 95%CI: 1.00, 2.06), compared with those in quintile 1-4. For those with enalapril and folic acid treatment, compared with the enalapril-alone, the new-onset proteinuria risk was reduced from 5.2% to 2.8% (OR, 0.49; 95%CI: 0.29, 0.82) among participants with higher neutrophil counts (≥4.8×109/L), whereas there was no significant effect among those with neutrophil counts <4.8×109/L. In summary, among hypertensive patients, those with higher neutrophil counts had increased risk of new-onset proteinuria, and this risk was reduced by 51% with folic acid treatment. If confirmed, neutrophil counts may serve as a biomarker to identify high-risk individuals who could particularly benefit from folic acid treatment.
We study the evolution of unidirectional water waves from a randomly forced input condition with uncorrelated Fourier components. We examine the kurtosis of the linearised free surface as a convenient proxy for the probability of a rogue wave. We repeat the laboratory experiments of Onorato et al. (Phys. Rev. E, vol. 70, 2004, 067302), both experimentally and numerically, and extend the parameter space in our numerical simulations. We consider numerical simulations based on the modified nonlinear Schrödinger equation and the fully nonlinear water wave equations, which are in good agreement. For low steepness, existing analytical models based on the nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLS) are found to be accurate. For cases which are steep or have very narrow bandwidths, these analytical models over-predict the rate at which excess kurtosis develops. In these steep cases, the kurtosis in both our experiments and numerical simulations peaks before returning to an equilibrium level. Such transient maxima are not predicted by NLS-based analytical models. Above a certain threshold of steepness, the steady-state value of kurtosis is primarily dependent on the spectral bandwidth. We also examine how the average shape of extreme events is modified by nonlinearity over the evolution distance, showing significant asymmetry during the initial evolution, which is greatly reduced once the spectrum has reached equilibrium. The locations of the maxima in asymmetry coincide approximately with the locations of the maxima in kurtosis.
In a back pressured duct with incident shocks, the shock train exhibits violent oscillations or even a rapid movement when it passes through a shock-wave–boundary-layer interaction (SWBLI) region. In this study, the dynamics of a shock train system was investigated. Linear stability analysis was used to identify the underlying cause of the unstable behaviour. Results from the eigenvalue analysis indicated that as the shock train enters the SWBLI region, the divergent vibration, which is the outcome of a Hopf bifurcation, emerges. An analysis based on the feedback mechanism identified a criterion for this instability, i.e. the sign of the gradient of the maximal pressure that the boundary layer can sustain. Different unstable motions were also investigated according to the condition of the non-existence of a limit cycle. These motions were associated with the speed of the shock train and the configurations of the flow parameter gradients. It was shown in the controllability matrix that the rapid movement is uncontrollable, which indicates that there is a low correlation between the shock train motion and the flap actuator in the SWBLI region. However, for the remaining part of the unstable motion, a fast-response actuator is required. According to the observability analysis, the shock train movement contributes more to the variation in the pressure behind the first separation shock than the backpressure further downstream, which confirms that monitoring the pressure change along the tunnel is a better method for shock train detection rather than a polynomial model using the backpressure.
Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are the primary cause of climate change and an estimated increase of 3.7 to 4.8 °C is predicted by the year 2100 if emissions continue at current levels. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) provide an interesting comparison study of the impact of climate change on bear species. While polar bears and giant pandas are arguably the most distant of the bear species with regard to life histories and behavior, both are likely to be significantly impacted by the broad-scale changes to their environment that are predicted to result from climate change. Herein, we review the conservation status of both species and their habitats, and present current and predicted evidence of the impacts of a changing climate on polar bear and giant panda survival.
Grain refinement has been applied to enhance the materials strength for miniaturization and lightweight design of nuclear equipment. It is critically important to investigate the low-cycle fatigue (LCF) properties of grain refined 316LN austenitic stainless steels for structural design and safety assessment. In the present work, a series of fine-grained (FG) 316LN steels were produced by thermo-mechanical processes. The LCF properties were studied under a fully reversed strain-controlled mode at room temperature. Results show that FG 316LN steels demonstrate good balance of high strength and high ductility. However, a slight loss of ductility in FG 316LN steel induces a significant deterioration of LCF life. The rapid energy dissipation in FG 316LN steels leads to the reduction of their LCF life. Dislocations develop rapidly in the first stage of cycles, which induces the initial cyclic hardening. The dislocations rearrange to form dislocations cell structure resulting in cyclic softening in the subsequent cyclic deformation. Strain-induced martensite transformation appears in FG 316LN stainless steels at high strain amplitude (Δε/2 = 0.8%), which leads to the secondary cyclic hardening. Moreover, a modified LCF life prediction model for grain refined metals predicts the LCF life of FG 316LN steels well.
With the aim of optimizing the traditional construction process of a fiber-reinforced lattice structure, the present study modified a previously proposed technique called “truss stacking and node gluing.” To explicitly investigate the structural compressive properties (compressive strength and compressive modulus under the flat pressure), the geometrical parameters, material properties, and topological configuration were examined in detail. Additionally, the present study conducted the relevant theoretical analyses to predict the possible destruction modes and compressive properties. All the samples were tested with a universal testing machine at a rate of 2 mm/min using the ASTM-C365 standard. The results showed that compressive properties are positively related to the relative density and negatively related to the aspect ratio. It was also found that the compressive performance for different materials was in the following order (from good to bad): cotton-fiber reinforced epoxy composite (CREC), jute-fiber reinforced epoxy composite (JREC), and nylon-fiber reinforced epoxy composite (NREC). Furthermore, the mixed topological structure performed as well as the square structure, and they both overmatched the diamond structure. Lastly, the accuracy of the theoretical analysis was evaluated by comparing the theoretical values and the experimental values.
Lead-free BaTiO3 (BT)-based multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) with the thickness of dielectric layers ~9 μm were successfully fabricated by tape-casting and screen-printing techniques. A single phase of the pseudo-cubic structure was revealed by X-ray diffraction. Backscattered images and energy-dispersive X-ray elemental mapping indicated the high quality of MLCCs without observation of interaction, wrapping, or delamination. The relaxor state was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy and temperature-dependent permittivity. Impedance spectroscopy at various temperatures revealed the electrical heterogeneous response for MLCCs with high-resistive electrical components. Improved energy storage performance was obtained by multilayering, comparing with the bulk ceramics. Enhanced recoverable energy density ~6.88 J/cm3 with high efficiency ~90% were realized under an electric field of 820 kV/cm, which is mainly attributed to the intrinsic high-resistivity and relaxor behavior. Furthermore, good temperature (20–85 °C) and frequency stabilities (0.5–50 Hz) were observed in the MLCCs, which are attractive for pulsed power applications.
To evaluate the effects of dietary Ca intake and Ca supplementation during pregnancy on low birth weight (LBW) and small for gestational age (SGA) infants.
A birth cohort study was conducted in 2010–2012 at the Gansu Provincial Maternity and Child Care Hospital in Lanzhou, China.
A birth cohort study.
Totally, 9595 pregnant women who came to the hospital for delivery at 20 weeks of gestation or more, and who were 18 years of age or older.
Compared with non-users, Ca supplement users had a reduced risk of LBW infants (OR = 0·77, 95 % CI: 0·63, 0·95) and a reduced risk of nulliparous women giving birth to LBW infants (OR = 0·75, 95 % CI: 0·58, 0·98) (P < 0·05). More specifically, both the use of Ca supplement before conception and during pregnancy (OR = 0·44, 95 % CI: 0·19, 0·99) and during pregnancy only (OR = 0·80, 95 % CI: 0·65, 0·99) had the main effect of reducing risk of nulliparous women giving birth to LBW infants (P < 0·05). There was no association between Ca supplementation and SGA (OR = 0·87, 95 % CI: 0·75, 1·01) (P > 0·05). However, higher dietary Ca intake during pregnancy decreases the risk of both LBW (quartile 2: OR = 0·72, 95 % CI: 0·55, 0·94; quartile 3: OR = 0·68, 95 % CI: 0·50, 0·62) and SGA infants (quartile 2: OR = 0·77, 95 % CI: 0·63, 0·95; quartile 3: OR = 0·71, 95 % CI: 0·57, 0·88, quartile 4: OR = 0·71, 95 % CI: 0·57, 0·88) (P < 0·05).
Ca supplementation and adequate dietary intake of Ca during pregnancy are associated with a decreased risk of LBW infants born to nulliparous women.
Few studies have assessed the characteristics of spousal psychopathologies among parents of schoolchildren with and without psychological disorders (PD) in China.
Parental symptoms were measured using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) in 275 mothers and 278 fathers of 298 schoolchildren with PDs diagnosed in a population survey and in 825 mothers and 834 fathers of 894 schoolchildren without PDs as a 1:3 matched comparison group. Spousal GHQ scores were compared. Childhood PD type, presence of childhood comorbidities, and multiple parental and family characteristics were examined as predictors for parental GHQ scores by multiple linear regression analyses.
The GHQ scores were significantly higher among mothers and fathers of children with any PD. Maternal GHQ scores were higher than paternal scores and significantly correlated with paternal GHQ scores in both groups. Spousal GHQ, personal PD history, and childhood PD comorbidity were significant independent predictors of both parents’ GHQ scores. There were also significant associations among parental chronic disease, low family income, and paternal and maternal GHQ score, as well as among low maternal education, less common disorder (LCD) prevalence in children and maternal GHQ score. The rate of GHQ score ≥3 for both parents was significantly higher in the study group than the control group (15.1 vs.7.0%).
Parents of children with any PD type demonstrate significantly elevated psychopathologies, and psychopathology tends to occur concomitantly and resemble that of the other spouse. Screening and treatment of parental psychiatric symptoms will benefit all family members.
The transmission error of cable-driven sheaves (CDS) used in space docking locks directly affects the synchronous docking of two spacecraft, which is guaranteed mainly by the preload applied to their serial cables. But it is difficult controlled precisely because of the complicated cable deformation and operating conditions. The synchronous testing efficiency of the docking locks is inevitably influenced, correspondingly. This paper proposes a prediction model for the transmission error of CDS based on their cable deformation. In this model, the deformations of non- and free sectional cables are both modified on finite element analysis, which are respectively derived from classical Capstan equation and Hooke’s law for them without considering the effects of the friction coefficient between wire strands. Based on the proposed model, the relationships between the transmission error and dominating factors are analyzed. Then the preload compensation for transmission error is obtained at the engaging and locking angles of the docking locks, respectively. Experiments validate the model. This can provide a valuable reference in controlling the transmission error of CDS and improving the assembly efficiency of docking locks.
Adipocytokines, which are secreted during fetal development by both mothers and fetuses, may influence fetal lung development, but little human data are available. We used data from the HOME Study to investigate the associations of cord blood adipocytokine concentrations with children’s lung forced expiratory volume (FEV1; N = 160) and their risk of wheeze (N = 281). We measured umbilical cord serum adipocytokine concentrations using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and FEV1 using a portable spirometer at ages 4 and 5 to calculate the percent predicted FEV1 (%FEV1). Parents completed standardized questionnaires of their child’s wheeze symptoms every 6 months from birth to age 5, then again at ages 6 and 8. We used multivariable linear mixed models and modified Poisson regression with generalized estimating equations to estimate associations of adipocytokine concentrations (log2-transformed) with children’s %FEV1 and the risk of wheeze, respectively, adjusting for sociodemographic, perinatal, and child factors. Cord serum leptin was not associated with children’s %FEV1. Higher cord serum adiponectin concentrations were associated with higher %FEV1 in girls (β = 3.1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.6, 5.6), but not in boys (β = −1.3, 95% CI: −5.9, 3.3) (sex × adiponectin p-value = 0.05). Higher leptin was associated with lower risk of wheeze in girls (RR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.66, 0.84), but not boys (RR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.69, 1.11) (sex × leptin p-value = 0.01). In contrast, higher adiponectin concentrations were associated with lower risk of wheeze (RR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.73, 0.96) in both boys and girls. These data suggest that fetal adipocytokines may impact lung development and function in early childhood. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings and explore the mechanisms underlying these associations.
This study describes a procedural blank assessment of the ultraviolet photochemical oxidation (UV oxidation) method that is used to measure carbon isotopes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) at the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility (NOSAMS). A retrospective compilation of Fm and δ13C results for secondary standards (OX-II, glycine) between 2009 and 2018 indicated that a revised blank correction was required to bring results in line with accepted values. The application of a best-fit mass-balance correction yielded a procedural blank of 22.0 ± 6.0 µg C with Fm of 0.30 ± 0.20 and δ13C of –32.0 ± 3.0‰ for this period, which was notably higher and more variable than previously reported. Changes to the procedure, specifically elimination of higher organic carbon reagents and improved sample and reactor handling, reduced the blank to 11.0 ± 2.75 µg C, with Fm of 0.14 ± 0.10 and δ13C of –31.0 ± 5.5‰. A thorough determination of the entire sample processing blank is required to ensure accurate isotopic compositions of seawater DOC using the UV oxidation method. Additional efforts are needed to further reduce the procedural blank so that smaller DOC samples can be analyzed, and to increase sample throughput.
To determine what exacerbate severity of the COVID-19 among patients without comorbidities and advanced age and investigate potential clinical indicators for early surveillance, we adopted a nested case−control study, design in which severe cases (case group, n = 67) and moderate cases (control group, n = 67) of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 without comorbidities, with ages ranging from 18 to 50 years who admitted to Wuhan Tongji Hospital were matched based on age, sex and BMI. Demographic and clinical characteristics, and risk factors associated with severe symptoms were analysed. Percutaneous oxygen saturation (SpO2), lymphocyte counts, C-reactive protein (CRP) and IL-10 were found closely associated with severe COVID-19. The adjusted multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed that the independent risk factors associated with severe COVID-19 were CRP (OR 2.037, 95% CI 1.078–3.847, P = 0.028), SpO2 (OR 1.639, 95% CI 0.943–2.850, P = 0.080) and lymphocyte (OR 1.530, 95% CI 0.850–2.723, P = 0.148), whereas the changes exhibited by indicators influenced incidence of disease severity. Males exhibited higher levels of indicators associated with inflammation, myocardial injury and kidney injury than the females. This study reveals that increased CRP levels and decreased SpO2 and lymphocyte counts could serve as potential indicators of severe COVID-19, independent of comorbidities, advanced age and sex. Males could at higher risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19 than females.
The mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) differs between countries and regions. This study aimed to clarify the clinical characteristics of imported and second-generation cases in Shaanxi. This study included 134 COVID-19 cases in Shaanxi outside Wuhan. Clinical data were compared between severe and non-severe cases. We further profiled the dynamic laboratory findings of some patients. In total, 34.3% of the 134 patients were severe cases, 11.2% had complications. As of 7 March 2020, 91.8% patients were discharged and one patient (0.7%) died. Age, lymphocyte count, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, direct bilirubin, lactate dehydrogenase and hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase showed difference between severe and no-severe cases (all P < 0.05). Baseline lymphocyte count was higher in survived patients than in non-survivor case, and it increased as the condition improved, but declined sharply when death occurred. The interleukin-6 (IL-6) level displayed a downtrend in survivors, but rose very high in the death case. Pulmonary fibrosis was found on later chest computed tomography images in 51.5% of the pneumonia cases. Imported and second-generation cases outside Wuhan had a better prognosis than initial cases in Wuhan. Lymphocyte count and IL-6 level could be used for evaluating prognosis. Pulmonary fibrosis as the sequelae of COVID-19 should be taken into account.
Early life stress has been associated with emotional dysregulations and altered architecture of limbic-prefrontal brain systems engaged in emotional processing. Serotonin regulates both, developmental and experience-dependent neuroplasticity in these circuits. Central serotonergic biosynthesis rates are regulated by Tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) and transgenic animal models suggest that TPH2-gene associated differences in serotonergic signaling mediate the impact of aversive early life experiences on a phenotype characterized by anxious avoidance.
The present study employed an imaging genetics approach that capitalized on individual differences in a TPH2 polymorphism (703G/T; rs4570625) to determine whether differences in serotonergic signaling modulate the effects of early life stress on brain structure and function and punishment sensitivity in humans (n = 252).
Higher maltreatment exposure before the age of 16 was associated with increased gray matter volumes in a circuitry spanning thalamic-limbic-prefrontal regions and decreased intrinsic communication in limbic-prefrontal circuits selectively in TT carriers. In an independent replication sample, associations between higher early life stress and increased frontal volumes in TT carriers were confirmed. On the phenotype level, the genotype moderated the association between higher early life stress exposure and higher punishment sensitivity. In TT carriers, the association between higher early life stress exposure and punishment sensitivity was critically mediated by increased thalamic-limbic-prefrontal volumes.
The present findings suggest that early life stress shapes the neural organization of the limbic-prefrontal circuits in interaction with individual variations in the TPH2 gene to promote a phenotype characterized by facilitated threat avoidance, thus promoting early adaptation to an adverse environment.