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Nitrogen is an important element for the growth of flue-cured tobacco and is closely related to its yield and quality. In order to pursue higher economic benefits, excessive fertilizer is generally applied in flue-cured tobacco production, which is unfavourable for the sustainable development of flue-cured tobacco production and for the environment. In 2016 and 2017, experiments using different nitrogen fertilizer application rates in flue-cure tobacco were conducted in Yunnan province, and the changes in agronomic, economic and chemical indices as well as in residual soil nitrogen were compared. Linear and quadratic models were used to compare the response of tobacco to nitrogen fertilizer. With increasing nitrogen fertilizer rate, the proportions of superior to medium tobacco and the average price of flue-cured tobacco leaves initially increased and then decreased, while fresh weight, dry weight and the proportion of inferior tobacco showed the opposite trend. Total sugar and reducing sugar contents decreased with increasing nitrogen fertilizer rates, while total nitrogen and nicotine contents increased. Sensory evaluation scores had the highest value when 90 kg N/ha and 120 kg N/ha were applied. Soil nitrate contents increased as nitrogen fertilizer rate increased. The quadratic model was suitable for the response of cultivar K326 to nitrogen and 90 kg N/ha could meet the needs of cultivar K326.
This cross-sectional study aimed to examine the associations between dietary fibers (DF) intake and depressive symptoms in a general adult population in Tianjin, China. A total of 24,306 participants (mean age, 41 years; range 18-91 years) were enrolled. DF intake was assessed using a validated self-administered food frequency questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Self-Rating Depression Scale. Associations between DF intake and depressive symptoms were estimated using logistic regression analysis. Socio-demographic, behavioral, health status, and dietary factors were adjusted. In men, compared to participants in the lowest quartiles for total, soluble, vegetable, and soy DF, odds ratios (ORs; 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for depressive symptoms in the highest were 0.83 (0.69, 0.99), 0.74 (0.63, 0.87), 0.79 (0.65, 0.96), and 0.69 (0.60, 0.81), respectively. In women, compared to participants in the lowest quartiles for vegetable and soy DF, the ORs (95% CIs) for depressive symptoms in the highest were 0.77 (0.64, 0.93) and 0.82 (0.70, 0.95), respectively. No association was found between total or soluble DF intake and depressive symptoms in women. No association was found between insoluble, cereal, fruit, or tuber DF intake and depressive symptoms in men and women. Linear associations between DF intake and depressive symptoms were only detected for soy foods DF (men, β = -0.148, P < 0.0001; women, β = -0.069, P = 0.04). Results suggest intake of soluble, vegetable, and soy DF were inversely associated with depressive symptoms. These results should be confirmed through prospective and interventional studies.
LMNA mutations cause a variety of inherited diseases referred to as laminopathies which are associated with a wide spectrum of disease phenotypes, ranging from skeletal muscle disease, pre-mature ageing, metabolic disorders, and cardiac abnormalities. We present a case of a 14-year-old boy with dilated cardiomyopathy induced by the LMNA mutation (p. R429C) and described its electrocardiogram and imaging features.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a public health emergency of international concern. The current study aims to explore whether the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) are associated with the development of death in patients with COVID-19. A total of 131 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 from 13 February 2020 to 14 March 2020 in a hospital in Wuhan designated for treating COVID-19 were enrolled in the current study. These 131 patients had a median age of 64 years old (interquartile range: 56–71 years old). Furthermore, among these patients, 111 (91.8%) patients were discharged and 12 (9.2%) patients died in the hospital. The pooled analysis revealed that the NLR at admission was significantly elevated for non-survivors, when compared to survivors (P < 0.001). The NLR of 3.338 was associated with all-cause mortality, with a sensitivity of 100.0% and a specificity of 84.0% (area under the curve (AUC): 0.963, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.911–1.000; P < 0.001). In view of the small number of deaths (n = 12) in the current study, NLR of 2.306 might have potential value for helping clinicians to identify patients with severe COVID-19, with a sensitivity of 100.0% and a specificity of 56.7% (AUC: 0.729, 95% CI 0.563–0.892; P = 0.063). The NLR was significantly associated with the development of death in patients with COVID-19. Hence, NLR is a useful biomarker to predict the all-cause mortality of COVID-19.
This paper presents the design of frequency-tunable dual-band, tri-band and quad-band bandpass filters (BPFs). The proposed three BPFs can be independently tuned and individually switched by varying the capacitances of the varactors. In the designed tunable dual-band BPF (TD-BPF), common input/output feed lines are utilized for two tunable dual-mode resonators (TDRs). Further, three TDRs and four TDRs are employed to achieve tunable tri-band BPF (TT-BPF) and tunable quad-band BPF (TQ-BPF), respectively. Then, the TD-BPF and the TT-BPF are fabricated and measured to verify individual tunability and independent switchability. For the TD-BPF, the measurement results show that the center frequency (CF) of the first passband varies from 1.37 to 1.62 GHz, and the CF of the second passband varies from 2.3 to 2.64 GHz. In the measured TT-BPF, the tuning ranges of CFs of three passbands are 1.3–1.5 GHz, 2.36–2.6 GHz, and 3–3.54 GHz, respectively.
Protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) is an important target for discovering new herbicides that interfere with the synthesis of porphyrin. In order to discover new PPO inhibitor herbicides with improved biological activity, a series of new diphenyl ethers containing tetrahydrophthalimide are designed and synthesized. Among them, J6.1 (IC50=4.7 nM) and J6.3 (IC50=30.0 nM) show higher maize (Zea mays L.)PPO inhibitory activity than the commercial herbicides, i.e., oxyfluorfen (IC50=117.9 nM) and flumioxazin (IC50=157.1 nM). The greenhouse herbicidal activity of J6.3 is comparable to that of oxyfluorfen, and it is greater than that of flumioxazin. Even at a dose of 300 g active ingredients/hectare (a.i/ha), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) show greater tolerance to J6.3, suggesting that J6.3 could be used for further development of new herbicide candidates in those fields. In addition, molecular docking has been used to further study its mechanism of action. The results show that the introduction of nitro group and tetrahydrophthalimide into the diphenyl ether structure is beneficial to biological activity.
To explore if there is association between vitamin D supplementation through cod liver oil ingestion around the periconceptional period and the risk of developing severe CHD in offspring. Furthermore, we would examine the interaction between vitamin D and folic acid supplementation in the association.
A case–control study was conducted in Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, in which, a total of 262 severe CHD cases versus 262 controls were recruited through June 2016 to December 2017. All children were younger than 2 years. To reduce potential selection bias and to minimise confounding effects, propensity score matching was applied.
After propensity score matching, vitamin D supplementation seemed to be associated with decreased odds ratio of severe CHD (odds ratio = 0.666; 95% confidence intervals: 0.449–0.990) in the multivariable conditional logistic analysis. Furthermore, we found an additive interaction between vitamin D and folic acid supplementation (relative excess risk due to interaction = 0.810, 95% confidence intervals: 0.386–1.235) in the association.
The results suggested that maternal vitamin D supplementation could decrease the risk of offspring severe CHD; moreover, it could strengthen the protective effect of folic acid. The significance of this study lies in providing epidemiological evidence that vitamin D supplementation around the periconceptional period could be a potential nutritional intervention strategy to meet the challenge of increasing CHD.
Having enterprises engaged in environmentally friendly behavior is an important part of reducing negative environmental impacts. This study makes a quantitative analysis against the backdrop of China's transitional economic system. The results show that politically-connected enterprises significantly reduce environmental expenditure, but this only holds for state-owned enterprises; private enterprises with political connections spend significantly more. Analysis of the efficiency of environmental expenditure indicates that, for private enterprises, environmental spending is used as a way to maintain political connections, with rent-seeking as the likely motivation. Politically-connected private enterprises have not reduced their emissions to the same extent as state-owned enterprises, despite increased expenditure. Given the scale of environmental degradation in China during a period of massive economic and social upheaval, the results of this analysis provide a quantitative case for policy change: governments should shift focus to the results that environmental spending produces.
The unsteady forces acting on a body depend strongly on the local flow structures such as vortices. A quantitative understanding of the contribution of these structures to the instantaneous overall force is of fundamental significance. In the present study, a three-dimensional (3-D) vortex force map (VFM) method, extended from a two-dimensional (2-D) one, is used to provide better insight into the complex 3-D flow dynamics. The VFM vectors are obtained from solutions of potential equations and used to build the 3-D VFMs where the critical regions and directions associated with significant positive or negative contributions to the forces are identified. Using the existing velocity/vorticity field near the body, these VFMs can be used to obtain the body forces. A decomposed form of the force formula is also derived to separate the correction term contributed from the uncaptured vortices (close to or far away from the body). The present method is applied to the starting flow of a delta wing at high angle of attack, where LEVs are enhanced and stabilized by an axial flow effect. The analogy between the normal force of a slender delta wing and that of a 2-D flat plate with a steadily growing span is demonstrated via the VFM analysis. We find, for this application, that the force evolution exhibits some similar behaviour to a 2-D airfoil starting flow and, surprisingly, the force contribution mainly comes from the conical vortex sheet rather than the central core. Moreover, a quantitative understanding of the influence of LEVs in different evolution regimes on the body force is demonstrated.
The 7 degrees of freedom (DOF) redundant manipulator greatly improves obstacle/singularity avoidance capability and operational flexibility. However, the inverse kinematics problem of this manipulator is very difficult to solve because it has an infinite number of solutions. This paper uses a new numerical sequence processing method with a closed-loop framework to solve the inverse kinematics of the 7-DOF redundant manipulator. Simulation and experiment show that this method has high commonality. No special structure of the robot is required, and this method has improved computational efficiency and reliability.
In order to maintain the no-slip condition and the divergence-free property simultaneously, an iterative scheme of immersed boundary method in the finite element framework is presented. In this method, the Characteristic-based Split scheme is employed to solve the momentum equations and the formulation for the pressure and the extra body force is derived according to the no-slip condition. The extra body force is divided into two divisions, one is in relation to the pressure and the other is irrelevant. Two corresponding independent iterations are set to solve the two sections. The novelty of this method lies in that the correction of the velocity increment is included in the calculation of the extra body force which is relevant to the pressure and the update of the force is incorporated into the iteration of the pressure. Hence, the divergence-free properties and no-slip conditions are ensured concurrently. In addition, the current method is validated with well-known benchmarks.
In order to expand the family and improve the bioactivity of oral implant ceramics, the phase structures, mechanical and wetting properties of the hot-pressed yttria-zirconia/multilayer graphene oxide composite (3Y-ZrO2/GO) ceramics were investigated. GO was uniformly distributed in 3Y-ZrO2 powders, forming the C–O–Zr bond during the sintering process. In comparison to raw 3Y-ZrO2 ceramics, the flexural strength and fracture toughness improved up to 200% (1489.96 ± 35.71 MPa) in ZG3 (with 0.15 wt% GO) and 40.9% (8.95 ± 0.59 MPa m1/2) in ZG2 (with 0.1 wt% GO), respectively, while the relative density and Vickers hardness increased slightly. The toughening mechanisms included crack deflection, crack bridging, and GO put-out. Meanwhile, the composite ceramics were transformed into a more hydrophilic direction and indicated a good wetting property. In consideration of mechanical and wetting properties, the ZG3 would be a favorable alternative to the yttria-zirconia ceramic (Y-TZP) in dental implant applications. The results are expected to serve as a technical guidance for the fabrication and evaluation of dental implants.
Parabronema skrjabini is one of the most harmful nematodes to camels and is responsible for economic losses in animal husbandry industry. There is an urgent need for in-depth studies of potential vectors of the nematode due to its scant regarding information. As previous studies indicated that flies may be the vectors of P. skrjabini, we captured flies in the main camel-producing areas of Inner Mongolia. After autopsy of the specimens of two species of horn flies, we observed the morphology of the suspected nematode larvae found in them. Internal transcribed spacer ribosomal-DNA gene sequences were considered the best candidate to confirm the species of the larvae found. Our results showed that the homology compared with P. skrjabini was 99.5% in GenBank. Subsequently, we preliminarily identified two species of horn flies through morphological observation and then sequenced the mitochondrial-DNA-gene cytochrome oxidase subunit I obtained from two species of horn flies, with 100 and 99.2% similarity to sequences deposited in GenBank, respectively. Thus, we identified Haematobia titillans and Haematobia irritans and provided evidence for their potential role as vectors of parabronemosis. Our study provides reference for future research on the life history of the nematode and the vectors of parabronemosis.
In recent years, intracranial thrombectomy stent has been an important method to treat ischemic stroke caused by acute thrombosis. In this paper, a new intracranial thrombectomy stent with a fish scale-like structure was designed and its mechanical properties were studied by a finite element method. The porosity of all stents was more than 80%. The space occupation ratio (SOR) of the stents increased linearly with the increase of strut thickness, while the strut width had little effect on SOR. The maximum equivalent stress and strain, the directional deformation and overall radial load of the stent decreased with the increase of strut thickness, however, the strut width has little impact on these parameters. The stents with 0.2 mm strut width and the thickness of 0.15 and 0.20 mm had better radial load performance, and the stent with 0.2 mm strut width and 0.15 mm strut thickness had better contact performance with the vessel wall and displayed better flexibility. Therefore, the present study provides a theoretical basis for the design of new intracranial thrombectomy stent.
Pulsed-xenon-ultraviolet light (PX-UVL) is increasingly used as a supplemental disinfection method in healthcare settings. We undertook a systematic search of the literature through several databases and conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of PX-UVL in reducing healthcare-associated infections. Eleven studies were included in the systematic review and nine in the meta-analysis. Pooled analysis of seven studies with before-after data indicated a statistically significant reduction of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) rates with the use of the PX-UVL (incidence rate ratio (IRR): 0.73, 95% CI 0.57–0.94, I2 = 72%, P = 0.01), and four studies reported a reduction of risk of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections (IRR: 0.79, 95% CI 0.64–0.98, I2 = 35%, P = 0.03). However, a further four trials found no significant reduction in vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infection rates (IRR: 0.80, 95% CI 0.63–1.01, I2 = 60%, P = 0.06). The results for CDI and MRSA proved unstable on sensitivity analysis. Meta-regression analysis did not demonstrate any influence of study duration or intervention duration on CDI rates. We conclude that the use of PX-UVL, in addition to standard disinfection protocols, may help to reduce the incidence of CDI and MRSA but not VRE infection rates. However, the quality of evidence is not high, with unstable results and wide confidence intervals, and further high-quality studies are required to supplement the current evidence.
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.
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 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.