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The high overall plant-based diet index (PDI) is considered to protect against type 2 diabetes in the general population. However, whether the PDI affects gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) risk among pregnant women is still unclear. We evaluated the association between PDI and GDM risk based on a Chinese large prospective cohort - Tongji Maternal and Child Health Cohort. Dietary data were collected at 13-28 weeks of pregnancy by a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. The PDI was obtained by assigning plant food groups positive scores while assigning animal food groups to reverse scores. GDM was diagnosed by a 75g 2-h oral glucose tolerance test at 24-28 weeks of gestation. Logistic regression models were fitted to estimate odds ratios (ORs) of GDM, with associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs), comparing women in different PDI quartiles. Among the total 2,099 participants, 169 (8.1%) were diagnosed with GDM. The PDI ranged from 21.0 to 52.0 with a median (IQR, interquartile range) as 36.0 (33.0-39.0). After adjusting for social-demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors etc., the participants with the highest quartile of PDI were associated with 57% reduced odds of GDM compared with women in the lowest quartile of PDI (Adjusted OR 0.43; 95% CI, 0.24-0.77; P for trend = 0.005). An IQR increment in PDI was associated with 29% decreased odds of GDM (Adjusted OR 0.71; 95% CI, 0.56-0.90). Findings suggest that adopting a plant-based diet during pregnancy could reduce GDM risk among Chinese women, which may be valuable for dietary counseling during pregnancy.
While most research focuses on the clinical treatment of COVID-19, fewer studies have investigated individuals' responses towards this novel infectious disease. This study aims to report the temporal changes in individuals' psychological wellbeing, perceived discrimination, sociopolitical perceptions and information-seeking behaviours among the general public in Hubei, China. Data were obtained from a two-wave survey of 1902 respondents aged 18–80 in Hubei province during the peak and mitigation stages of the outbreak. The results showed that the prevalence of psychological distress dropped from over 75% to around 15% throughout the study period, but perceived discrimination remained stable. Female, middle-aged, well-educated respondents and those employed in government/public institutions/state-owned enterprises tended to report more distress. While respondents' attention on COVID-19 information kept high and stable, their sources of information diversified across different sociodemographic groups. Over time, people obtained more social support from neighbourhoods than from their friends and relatives or non-government organisations. Over 80% of respondents were satisfied with the performance of the central government, which was notably higher than their ratings on the local government and neighbourhood/village committees. The findings of this research are informative for formulating effective intervention strategies to tackle various psychosocial problems during COVID-19.
Since December 2019, China has experienced a widespread outbreak of COVID-19. However, at the early stage of outbreak, investigations revealed a variety of patterns resulting in the transmission of COVID-19. Thus, it is essential to understand the transmission types and the potential for sustained human-to-human transmission. Moreover, the information regarding the characteristics of transmission helps in coordinating the current screening programme, and controlling and containing measures, and also, helps in deciding the appropriate quarantine duration. Thus, this investigation reports an outbreak of COVID-19 in a family residing in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China during the month of January−February 2020.
Clonorchis sinensis (C. sinensis) is one of the most serious food-borne parasites, which can lead to liver fibrosis or cholangiocarcinoma. Effective measures for clonorchiasis prevention are still urgently needed. Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) is an effective antigen delivery platform for oral vaccines. Chonorchis sinensis serpin (CsSerpin) was proved to be potential vaccine candidates. In this study, CsSerpin3 was displayed on the surface of B. subtilis spore and recombinant spores were orally administrated to BALB/C mice. CsSerpin3-specific IgA levels in faecal, bile and intestinal mucous increased at 4–8 weeks after the first administration compared with those in control groups. The mucus production and the number of goblet cells in intestinal mucosa elevated in B.s-CotC-CsSerpin3 (CotC, coat protein of B. subtilis spore) spores treated group compared to those in blank control. No significant difference in the activities of glutamic-pyruvic transaminase/ alanine aminotransferase and glutamic oxalacetic transaminase/aspartate aminotransferase were observed between groups. There was no side effect inflammation and observable pathological damage in the liver tissue of mice after administration. Moreover, collagen deposition and Ishak score were statistically reduced in B.s-CotC-CsSerpin3 spores treated mice. In conclusion, B. subtilis spores displaying CsSerpin3 could be investigated further as an oral vaccine against clonorchiasis.
This article presents a brief review of our case studies of data-driven Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) for intelligently discovering advanced structural metal materials, including light-weight materials (Ti, Mg, and Al alloys), refractory high-entropy alloys, and superalloys. The basic bonding in terms of topology and electronic structures is recommended to be considered as the building blocks/units constructing the microstructures of advanced materials. It is highlighted that the bonding charge density could not only provide an atomic and electronic insight into the physical nature of chemical bond of materials but also reveal the fundamental strengthening/embrittlement mechanisms and the local phase transformations of planar defects, paving a path in accelerating the development of advanced metal materials via interfacial engineering. Perspectives on the knowledge-based modeling/simulations, machine-learning knowledge base, platform, and next-generation workforce for sustainable ecosystem of ICME are highlighted, thus to call for more duty on the developments of advanced structural metal materials and enhancement of research productivity and collaboration.
Al-based composites with micrometer and submicro-TiB2 reinforcements (1 wt%) have been produced by selective laser melting (SLM) from mixed powder under different processing conditions. The results show that the densification level of SLM-processed composite with submicro-TiB2 particles (>99.0%) was 0.3–2.4% larger than that of micrometer TiB2-reinforced composite under the same processing conditions. The distribution of Si precipitates in the matrix experienced a transform from continuous cellular to directional line-like morphology with reinforcement size decreasing from micron to submicron. The reinforcement size added in the matrix also exhibited a critical influence on preferred orientation and grain size of matrix. The SLM-processed composites exhibited improved tensile strength and ductility with a decrease of reinforcement size. High tensile strength of ∼400 MPa and elongation of ∼3.6% were obtained for the fine TiB2-reinforced samples, increasing by 6 and 13% compared with that of micro-TiB2–added samples, respectively.
A CoNiCrAlTaHfY/Co composite coating was prepared on the etched C/C composites by using duplex vapor phase surface alloying treatments, i.e., Co alloying and Co–Ni–Cr–Al–Ta–Hf–Y alloying. Microstructures and oxidation behavior of the coated C/C composites were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The result showed that the CoNiCrAlTaHfY/Co composite coating, 25 μm in thickness, was compact and composed of CrCoTa, AlCo2Ta, AlxCry, AlxNiy, and Co. The coating adhesion can be enhanced by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition etching of matrix surface and adding a Co intermediate layer between the CoNiCrAlTaHfY top layer and C/C composites substrate. The honeycomb structure after etching was helpful to alloying element absorb and diffuse into substrate surface, and the composite coating continuation was improved by the Co buffer layer. After exposing in air for 180 min at 1000 °C, the bulk C/C composites volatilized while the loss rate of coated C/C composites was 0.82%, showing an improved oxidation resistance. Mixed oxides mainly containing Al2O3 and Cr2O3 were formed in the composite coating surface and protected the C/C composites from oxidation in air.
In this work, a new reconfigurable discrete 1D beam-steering Fabry–Perot cavity antenna with enhanced radiation performance is presented. It consists of a probe-fed patch antenna printed on the ground plane and a reconfigurable metasurface acting as the upper partially reflective surface to realize beam steering. By utilizing 6 × 6 proposed reconfigurable unit cells on the superstrate, the beam-steering angle can be effectively enhanced from ±7° to ±17° with fewer active elements and a much simpler biasing network. The proposed antenna was fabricated to validate the feasibility. Good agreement between the simulated and measured results is achieved. Moreover, the measured realized gains are over 11 dBi with a gain variation from the boresight direction to the tilted direction <0.2 dBi.
A bottom-feed omni-directional CP (circularly polarized) antenna array is proposed in this letter. The antenna array is composed of four elements (two printed ZPS (zero-phase-shift) line loops and two half-wavelength dipoles). The four elements are fed with the same phase and amplitude. The ZPS line loops provide the horizontal polarization while the dipoles provide the vertical polarization. Therefore, omni-directional circular polarization is formed in the far field. The feeding network consists of a 1–4 T-shaped power divider formed by parallel strip lines. In order to balance the amplitude of the feeding coaxial cable, the structure is used in the bottom to transfer parallel strip line to micro-strip line. Besides, the loops and the dipoles are placed on the different side of the network to guarantee the omni-directional radiation property. The measured impedance bandwidth of the fabricated antenna is 0.13 GHz (2.40–2.53 GHz) and the measured maximum CP gain at 2.45 GHz is 4.8 dBic.
To investigate the effects of environmental temperature and dietary Zn on egg production performance, egg quality and antioxidant status, as well as expression of heat-shock proteins (HSP) in tissues, of laying broiler breeders, we used a completely randomised design with a 2×3 factorial arrangement of treatments. The two environmental temperatures were normal (21±1°C, NT) and high (32±1°C, HT). The three dietary Zn sources were a Zn-unsupplemented basal diet (CON), and the basal diet supplemented with 110 mg Zn/kg as either the inorganic Zn sulphate (iZn) or the organic Zn proteinate with a moderate chelation strength (oZn). HT decreased (P<0·002) egg weight, laying rate, eggshell strength, thickness and weight, but increased (P≤0·05) rectal temperature, broken egg rate, misshapen egg rate, feed:egg ratio, Cu Zn superoxide dismutase activities in liver and pancreas, as well as metallothionein (MT) level in pancreas, and HSP70 mRNA levels in liver and pancreas of laying broiler breeders. Broiler breeders fed the oZn diet had higher (P<0·04) Zn content in the liver, as well as MT levels in the liver and pancreas, compared with those fed the CON diet. Under HT, broiler breeders fed the oZn diet had higher (P<0·05) Zn content in the pancreas compared with those fed the iZn and CON diets. The results from this study indicated that HT impaired egg production performance and eggshell quality possibly because of the disturbed redox balance and HSP homoeostasis, whereas the oZn is more available than the iZn for pancreatic Zn of heat-stressed laying broiler breeders.
In this study, the petrology, zircon U–Pb ages, Lu–Hf isotopic compositions, whole-rock geochemistry and Sr–Nd isotopes for newly recognized low-Mg and high-Mg adakitic rocks from the North Altun orogenic belt were determined. The results will provide important insights for understanding the continuities of the North Qilian and North Altun orogenic belts during early Palaeozoic time. The low-Mg adakitic granitoids (445 to 439 Ma) are characterized by high SiO2 (69–70 wt %), low Mg no. (43–48) and low Cr and Ni contents. In contrast, the high-Mg adakitic granitoids (425 to 422 Ma) have relatively lower SiO2 (65–67 wt %), higher Mg no. (60–62) and higher Cr and Ni contents. The low-Mg adakitic rocks have high initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7073–0.7084), negative εNd(t) (−1.9 to −4.0) and εHf(t) values (−6.8 to −2.0), and old zircon Hf model ages (1.4–1.7 Ga). In contrast, the high-Mg adakitic rocks show lower initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7044–0.7057), higher εNd(t) (−0.7 to 3.1) and positive εHf(t) values (2.0 to 6.9), with younger zircon Hf model ages (0.9–1.2 Ga). These results suggest that the low-Mg adakitic rocks were probably generated by the partial melting of thickened crust, whereas the high-Mg adakitic rocks were derived from the anatexis of delaminated lower crust, which subsequently interacted with mantle magma upon ascent. The data obtained in this study provide significant information about the geological and tectonic processes after the closure of the Altun Ocean. The continent–continent collision and thickening probably occurred during 450–440 Ma with the formation of low-Mg adakitic rocks, and the transition of the tectonic regime from compression to extension probably occurred at 425–422 Ma with the formation of high-Mg adakitic rocks. The geochemical, geochronological and petrogenetic similarities between the North Altun and North Qilian adakitic rocks suggest that these two orogenic belts were subjected to similar tectonomagmatic processes during early Palaeozoic times.
X-ray powder diffraction data, unit-cell parameters, and space group for ertapenem side chain, C20H19N3O7S, are reported [a = 4.907(6) Å, b = 18.686(3) Å, c = 22.071(1) Å, α = γ = 90°, β = 90.759(5)°, unit-cell volume V = 2023.82 Å3, Z = 4, ρcal = 1.462 g cm−3, and space group P21/c]. All measured lines were indexed and are consistent with the P21/c space group. No detectable impurity was observed.
We consider the nonlinear and ill-posed inverse problem where the Robin coefficient in the Laplace equation is to be estimated using the measured data from the accessible part of the boundary. Two regularisation methods are considered — viz. L2 and H1 regularisation. The regularised problem is transformed to a nonlinear least squares problem; and a suitable regularisation parameter is chosen via the normalised cumulative periodogram (NCP) curve of the residual vector under the assumption of white noise, where information on the noise level is not required. Numerical results show that the proposed method is efficient and competitive.
To investigate the effect of Mn on antioxidant status and on the expressions of heat shock proteins/factors in tissues of laying broiler breeders subjected to heat challenge, we used a completely randomised design (n 6) with a factorial arrangement of 2 environmental temperatures (normal, 21±1°C, and high, 32±1°C)×3 dietary Mn treatments (a Mn-unsupplemented basal diet (CON), or a basal diet supplemented with 120 mg Mn/kg diet, either as inorganic Mn sulphate (iMn) or as organic Mn proteinate (oMn)). There were no interactions (P>0·10) between environmental temperature and dietary Mn in any of the measured indices. High temperature decreased (P<0·003) Mn content, and also tended (P=0·07) to decrease Cu Zn superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) activity in the liver and heart. However, an increased Mn superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) activity (P<0·05) and a slight increase in malondialdehyde level (P=0·06) were detected in breast muscle. Up-regulated (P<0·05) expressions of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) and HSF3 mRNA and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) mRNA and protein were found in all three tissues. Broiler breeders fed either iMn or oMn had higher tissue Mn content (P<0·0001), heart MnSOD and CuZnSOD activities (P<0·01) and breast muscle MnSOD protein levels (P<0·05), and lower (P<0·05) breast muscle HSP70 mRNA and protein levels compared with those fed CON. Broiler breeders fed oMn had higher (P<0·03) bone Mn content than those fed iMn. These results indicate that high temperature decreases Mn retention and increases HSP70, HSF1 and HSF3 expressions in the tissues of laying broiler breeders. Furthermore, dietary supplementation with Mn in either source may enhance the heart’s antioxidant ability and inhibit the expression of HSP70 in breast muscle. Finally, the organic Mn appears to be more available than inorganic Mn for bone in laying broiler breeders regardless of environmental temperatures.
Pro-inflammatory cytokines are critical in mechanisms of muscle atrophy. In addition, asparagine (Asn) is necessary for protein synthesis in mammalian cells. We hypothesised that Asn could attenuate lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced muscle atrophy in a piglet model. Piglets were allotted to four treatments (non-challenged control, LPS-challenged control, LPS+0·5 % Asn and LPS+1·0 % Asn). On day 21, the piglets were injected with LPS or saline. At 4 h post injection, piglet blood and muscle samples were collected. Asn increased protein and RNA content in muscles, and decreased mRNA expression of muscle atrophy F-box (MAFbx) and muscle RING finger 1 (MuRF1). However, Asn had no effect on the protein abundance of MAFbx and MuRF1. In addition, Asn decreased muscle AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) α phosphorylation, but increased muscle protein kinase B (Akt) and Forkhead Box O (FOXO) 1 phosphorylation. Moreover, Asn decreased the concentrations of TNF-α, cortisol and glucagon in plasma, and TNF-α mRNA expression in muscles. Finally, Asn decreased mRNA abundance of muscle toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 and nucleotide-binding oligomerisation domain protein (NOD) signalling-related genes, and regulated their negative regulators. The beneficial effects of Asn on muscle atrophy may be associated with the following: (1) inhibiting muscle protein degradation via activating Akt and inactivating AMPKα and FOXO1; and (2) decreasing the expression of muscle pro-inflammatory cytokines via inhibiting TLR4 and NOD signalling pathways by modulation of their negative regulators.
To investigate the effect of Mn on antioxidant status and expression levels of heat-shock proteins/factors in tissues of laying broiler breeders subjected to heat challenge, we used a completely randomised design (n 6) with a factorial arrangement of 2 environmental temperatures (normal, 21 (sem 1)°C and high, 32 (sem 1)°C)×3 dietary Mn treatments (an Mn-unsupplemented basal diet (CON), or a basal diet supplemented with 120 mg Mn/kg diet as inorganic Mn sulphate (iMn) or organic Mn proteinate (oMn)). There were no interactions (P>0·10) between environmental temperature and dietary Mn in all of the measured indices. High temperature decreased (P<0·003) Mn content, and also tended (P=0·07) to decrease copper zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) activity in the liver and heart. However, an increased manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) activity (P<0·05) and a slight increase of malondialdehyde level (P=0·06) were detected in breast muscle. Up-regulated (P<0·05) expression levels of heat-shock factor 1 (HSF1) and HSF3 mRNA and heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) mRNA and protein were found in all three tissues. Broiler breeders fed either iMn or oMn had higher tissue Mn content (P<0·0001), heart MnSOD and CuZnSOD activities (P<0·01) and breast muscle MnSOD protein levels (P<0·05), and lower (P<0·05) breast muscle HSP70 mRNA and protein levels than those fed CON. Broiler breeders fed oMn had higher (P<0·03) bone Mn content than those fed iMn. These results indicate that high temperature decreases Mn retention and increases HSP70 and HSF1, HSF3 expression levels in tissues of laying broiler breeders. Furthermore, dietary supplementation with Mn in either source may enhance heart antioxidant ability and inhibit the expression of HSP70 in breast muscle. Finally, the organic Mn appears to be more available than inorganic Mn for bone in laying broiler breeders regardless of environmental temperatures.
An epigenetic mechanism has been suggested to explain the effects of the maternal diet on the development of disease in offspring. The present study aimed to observe the effects of a maternal high-lipid, high-energy (HLE) diet on the DNA methylation pattern of male offspring in mice. Female C57BL/6J mice were fed an HLE diet during gestation and lactation. The genomic DNA methylations at promoter sites of genes in the liver, mRNA and protein levels of selected genes related to lipid and glucose metabolism were measured by microarray, real-time PCR and Western blot. The results indicated that the percentage of methylated DNA in offspring from dams that were fed an HLE diet was significantly higher than that from dams that were fed a chow diet, and most of these genes were hypermethylated in promoter regions. The nuclear protein content and mRNA levels of hypermethylated genes, such as PPARγ and liver X receptor α (LXRα), were decreased significantly in offspring in the HLE group. The results suggested that the DNA methylation profile in adult offspring livers was changed by the maternal HLE diet during gestation and lactation.
This study presented a novel fabrication process for TiNi thin films by vacuum diffusion technology using reactive Ni/Ti/Ni multilayer thin films. The sandwiched thin films were prepared by chemical nickel plating. Ni/Ti/Ni multilayer films were heat treated for various diffusion times and temperatures and the influences of the temperature and diffusion time on the interdiffusion behavior of the Ti–Ni system were researched in detail. The results showed that a homogeneous TiNi thin film was obtained at 1173 K with a diffusion time of 4 h. Moreover, the formation sequence of the intermetallics in the Ti–Ni diffusion system was investigated by thermodynamic analysis and experiment. It was found that three compounds – TiNi3, Ti2Ni, and TiNi – formed in the diffusion process at the Ti/Ni interfaces. More importantly, the nucleation of TiNi3 and Ti2Ni was prior to that of TiNi because of the lower reaction Gibbs free energy and increasing interface energy of TiNi3 and Ti2Ni.
It is well established that estrogen and progesterone are critical endogenous hormones that are essential for implantation and pregnancy in females. However, the distribution of estrogen receptor α (ERα) and progesterone receptor (PR) in female reproductive tracts is elusive. Herein, we report that after serial treatments with pregnant mare's serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) with or without anti-PMSG (AP), mice could regulate the distribution of ERα and PR in the murine ovary, oviduct and uterus and the level of estradiol in serum. ERα and PR regulation by PMSG and anti-PMSG was estrous cycle-dependent and critical for promoting the embryo-implantation period. Furthermore, our results suggested that AP-42 h treatment is more effective than the other treatments. In contrast, other treatment groups also affected the distribution of ERα and PR in mouse reproductive tracts. Thus, we found that anti-PMSG has the potential to restore the distribution of ERα and PR, which could effectively reduce the negative impact of residual estrogen caused by the normal superovulation effect of PMSG in mice.