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Studies have suggested an association between metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the risk of metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases in the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD remains uncertain. Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 22,438 unaffected siblings of patients with MDD and 89,752 age-/sex-matched controls were selected and followed up from 1996 to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases during the follow-up period were identified. Compared with the controls, the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD had a higher prevalence of metabolic diseases, such as hypertension (5.0% vs. 4.5%, p = 0.007), dyslipidemia (5.6% vs. 4.8%, p < 0.001), and obesity (1.7% vs. 1.5%, p = 0.028), and cerebrocardiovascular diseases, such as ischemic stroke (0.6% vs. 0.4%, p < 0.005) and ischemic heart disease (2.1% vs. 1.7%, p < 0.001). Logistic regression analyses revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD were more likely to develop hypertension, dyslipidemia, ischemic stroke, and ischemic heart diseases during the follow-up period than the controls. Our study revealed a familial coaggregation between MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases.
Se, an essential biological trace element, is required for fish growth. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Protein deposition in muscle is an important determinant for fish growth. This study was conducted on juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to explore the nutritional effects of Se on protein deposition in fish muscle by analysing the postprandial dynamics of both protein synthesis and protein degradation. Trout were fed a basal diet supplemented with or without 4 mg/kg Se (as Se yeast), which has been previously demonstrated as the optimal supplemental level for rainbow trout growth. After 6 weeks of feeding, dietary Se supplementation exerted no influence on fish feed intake, whereas it increased fish growth rate, feed efficiency, protein retention rate and muscle protein content. Results of postprandial dynamics (within 24 h after feeding) of protein synthesis and degradation in trout muscle showed that dietary Se supplementation led to a persistently hyperactivated target of rapamycin complex 1 pathway and the suppressive expression of numerous genes related to the ubiquitin–proteasome system and the autophagy–lysosome system after the feeding. However, the ubiquitinated proteins and microtubule-associated light chain 3B (LC3)-II:LC3-I ratio, biomarkers for ubiquitination and autophagy activities, respectively, exhibited no significant differences among the fish fed different experimental diets throughout the whole postprandial period. Overall, this study demonstrated a promoting effect of nutritional level of dietary Se on protein deposition in fish muscle by accelerating postprandial protein synthesis. These results provide important insights about the regulatory role of dietary Se in fish growth.
Various treatments are found to be moderately effective in managing Demodex-related diseases except tea tree oil (TTO) and terpinen-4-ol (T4O), which showed superior miticidal and anti-inflammatory effects in numerous clinical studies. Their possible effects include lowering mite counts, relieving Demodex-related symptoms, and modulating the immune system. This review summarizes the current clinical topical and oral treatments in human demodicosis, their possible mechanisms of action, side-effects and resistance in treating this condition. TTO (especially T4O) is found to be the most effective followed by metronidazole, ivermectin and permethrin in managing the disease. This is because TTO has anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing effects. Furthermore, nanoTTO can even release its contents into fungus and Pseudomonas biofilms. Combinations of different treatments are occasionally needed for refractory cases, especially for individuals with underlying genetic predisposal or are immuno-compromised. Although the current treatments show efficacy in controlling the Demodex mite population and the related symptoms, further research needs to be focused on the efficacy and drug delivery technology in order to develop alternative treatments with better side-effects profiles, less toxicity, lower risk of resistance and are more cost-effective.
Bile acids (BA) have emerged as signalling molecules regulating intestinal physiology. The importance of intestinal microbiota in production of secondary BA, for example, lithocholic acid (LCA) which impairs enterocyte proliferation and permeability, triggered us to determine the effects of oral probiotics on intestinal BA metabolism. Piglets were weaned at 28 d of age and allocated into control (CON, n 14) or probiotic (PRO, n 14) group fed 50 mg of Lactobacillus plantarum daily, and gut microbiota and BA profile were determined. To test the potential interaction of LCA with bacteria endotoxins in inducing damage of enterocytes, IPEC-J2 cells were treated with LCA, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and LCA + LPS and expressions of genes related to inflammation, antioxidant capacity and nutrient transport were determined. Compared with the CON group, the PRO group showed lower total LCA level in the ileum and higher relative abundance of the Lactobacillus genus in faeces. In contrast, the relative abundances of Bacteroides, Clostridium_sensu_stricto_1, Parabacteroides and Ruminococcus_1, important bacteria genera in BA biotransformation, were all lower in the PRO than in the CON group. Moreover, PRO piglets had lower postprandial glucagon-like peptide-1 level, while higher glucose level than CON piglets. Co-administration of LPS and LCA led to down-regulated expression of glucose and peptide transporter genes in IPEC-J2 cells. Altogether, oral L. plantarum altered BA profile probably by modulating relative abundances of gut microbial genera that play key roles in BA metabolism and might consequently impact glucose homoeostasis. The detrimental effect of LCA on nutrient transport in enterocytes might be aggravated under LPS challenge.
The bacterial foraging optimisation (BFO) algorithm is a commonly adopted bio-inspired optimisation algorithm. However, BFO is not a proper choice in coping with continuous global path planning in the context of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs). In this paper, a grid partition-based BFO algorithm, named AS-BFO, is proposed to address this issue in which the enhancement is contributed by the involvement of the A* algorithm. The chemotaxis operation is redesigned in AS-BFO. Through repeated simulations, the relative optimal parameter combination of the proposed algorithm is obtained and the most influential parameters are identified by sensitivity analysis. The performance of AS-BFO is evaluated via five size grid maps and the results show that AS-BFO has advantages in USV global path planning.
This research communication describes associations between variation in the fatty acid binding protein 4 gene (FABP4) and milk fat composition in New Zealand Holstein-Friesian × Jersey cross dairy cows. After correcting for the effect of the amino acid substitution p.K232A in diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), which is associated with variation in many milk fatty acid (FA) component levels, the effect of FABP4 c.328A/G on milk FA levels was typically small. For the five genotypes analysed, the AB cows produced more medium-chain fatty acids than CC cows (P < 0.05), and more C14:0 FA than AA and AC cows (P < 0.05). The AA and AC cows produced less C22:0 FA (P < 0.01) than the BC cows, and the AC cows produced more C24:0 FA (P < 0.05) than was produced by the BC cows. Cows of genotype CC produce more long-chain fatty acids than cows of genotype BC (P < 0.05).
Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere. As the threat of terrorism develops, the China-Eurasia Expo held in Ürümqi, China is attracting fewer potential visitors. A nationwide survey of 2034 residents from 31 provinces and municipalities in China was conducted to examine the relation between the distance to respondents’ city of residence from Ürümqi and their levels of concern for safety and security concerning the Expo. The two were found to be positively related: the closer the respondents lived to Ürümqi, the less concerned they were with the safety and security of the Expo. This is consistent with the “psychological typhoon eye” effect, which states that people living closer to the center of an unfortunate event (whether natural or man-made hazards) are less concerned with the event’s negative consequences. This effect appears to hold for terrorism. There are implications of this finding for international counter-terrorism practice, tourism, and research.
While much of the literature on bilingualism and cognition focuses on group comparisons (monolinguals vs bilinguals or language learners vs controls), here we examine the potential differential effects of intensive language learning on subjects with distinct language experiences and demographic profiles. Using an individual differences approach, we assessed attentional performance from 105 university-educated Gaelic learners aged 21–85. Participants were tested before and after beginner, elementary, and intermediate courses using tasks measuring i.) sustained attention, ii.) inhibition, and iii.) attention switching. We examined the relationship between attentional performance and Gaelic level, previous language experience, gender, and age. Gaelic level predicted attention switching performance: those in higher levels initially outperformed lower levels, however lower levels improved the most. Age also predicted performance: as age increased attention switching decreased. Nevertheless, age did not interact with session for any attentional measure, thus the impact of language learning on cognition was detectable across the lifespan.
Malnutrition and acute kidney injury (AKI) are common complications in hospitalised patients, and both increase mortality; however, the relationship between them is unknown. This is a retrospective propensity score matching study enrolling 46 549 inpatients, aimed to investigate the association between Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002) and AKI and to assess the ability of NRS-2002 and AKI in predicting prognosis. In total, 37 190 (80 %) and 9359 (20 %) patients had NRS-2002 scores <3 and ≥3, respectively. Patients with NRS-2002 scores ≥3 had longer lengths of stay (12·6 (sd 7·8) v. 10·4 (sd 6·2) d, P < 0·05), higher mortality rates (9·6 v. 2·5 %, P < 0·05) and higher incidence of AKI (28 v. 16 %, P < 0·05) than patients with normal nutritional status. The NRS-2002 showed a strong association with AKI, that is, the risk of AKI changed in parallel with the score of the NRS-2002. In short- and long-term survival, patients with a lower NRS-2002 score or who did not have AKI achieved a significantly lower risk of mortality than those with a high NRS-2002 score or AKI. Univariate Cox regression analyses indicated that both the NRS-2002 and AKI were strongly related to long-term survival (AUC 0·79 and 0·71) and that the combination of the two showed better accuracy (AUC 0·80) than the individual variables. In conclusion, malnutrition can increase the risk of AKI and both AKI and malnutrition can worsen the prognosis that the undernourished patients who develop AKI yield far worse prognosis than patients with normal nutritional status.
The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of glucose, soya oil or glutamine on jejunal morphology, protein metabolism and protein expression of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signalling pathway in jejunal villus or crypt compartment of piglets. Forty-two 21 d-weaned piglets were randomly allotted to one of the three isoenergetic diets formulated with glucose, soya oil or glutamine for 28 d. On day 14 or 28, the proteins in crypt enterocytes were analysed with isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification and proteins involved in mTORC1 signalling pathway in villus or crypt compartment cells were determined by Western blotting. Our results showed no significant differences (P > 0·05) in jejunal morphology among the three treatments on day 14 or 28. The differentially expressed proteins mainly took part in a few network pathways, including antimicrobial or inflammatory response, cell death and survival, digestive system development and function and carbohydrate metabolism. On day 14 or 28, there were higher protein expression of eukaryotic initiation factor-4E binding protein-1 in jejunal crypt compartment of piglets supplemented with glucose or glutamine compared with soya oil. On day 28, higher protein expression of phosphor-mTOR in crypt compartment was observed in piglets supplemented with glucose compared with the soya oil. In conclusion, the isoenergetic glucose, soya oil or glutamine did not affect the jejunal morphology of piglets; however, they had different effects on the protein metabolism in crypt compartment. Compared with soya oil, glucose or glutamine may be better energy supplies for enterocytes in jejunal crypt compartment.
Anatase phase NOx/S6+–TiO2 (x= 0, 1) film with high solar-driven activity has been successfully prepared via electro-assisted oxidation processes. The morphological and structural properties of the film were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction, while the optical property was detected by UV-vis-NIR absorption spectroscopy. The results showed that the NOx/S6+–TiO2 film was composed of “flower-like” microvoids structure and displayed broad and strong optical absorption at around 544 and 1500 nm. Transient photocurrent response, photoluminescence spectroscopy, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy indicated that the generation and separation of photogenerated charges were significantly enhanced under simulated solar irradiation. The NOx/S6+–TiO2 film exhibited excellent photoelectrocatalytic activity for the degradation of methyl orange (MO), and the decoloration rate and TOC removal respectively reached 98.97 and 59.44% at 20 min under solar irradiation. The film still had good stability after reusing ten times. Furthermore, a possible mechanism of photoelectrocatalysis was suggested in MO degradation by using NOx/S6+–TiO2 film.
Pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, a pine parasitic nematode, poses a serious threat to its host pine forests globally. When dispersal-stage larvae 4 (dauer, DL4) of B. xylophilus enters the new pine, it moults into propagative adult (dauer recovery) and reproduces quickly to kill the host pine. Here, we found pine chemical volatiles, rather than the common dauer recovery factors of nematodes (e.g. suitable temperatures, nutrient availability or density), promote B. xylophilus dauer recovery. The results showed that volatilization of chemicals in host pines could attract DL4 and promote DL4 recovery. To identify which chemicals promote this process, we determined the stimulated activity of the main volatiles of pines including six monoterpenes and two sesquiterpenes. Results showed that all the six monoterpenes promoted dauer recovery, especially β-pinene and β-myrcene, but the two sesquiterpenes have no effect on the transformation. Furthermore, β-pinene performed gradient effects on dauer recovery. We hypothesized that when DL4 infect pine trees, the pine volatiles released from the feeding wounds are used as chemical signals for DL4 transformation to adult to reproduce and rapidly kill the pines. Our study identified the B. xylophilus dauer recovery chemical signal and may contribute to preventing pine wilt disease.
There is a dearth of data on the iodine balance studies of Chinese population. In the present study, we aimed to explore the appropriate recommended nutrient intake (RNI) of iodine based on healthy Chinese women. A 4-week study was conducted in twenty-five Chinese euthyroid women. Uniform diets with different iodine contents were provided in two different periods, in which non-iodised salt was given in the first 3 weeks, followed by 1 week of iodised salt administration. The total iodine intake from diet, water and air as well as the total iodine excretion through urine, faeces and respiration were monitored and determined. The sweat iodine loss was also considered. Moreover, the regression curve model was established between the 24 h iodine intake and 24 h iodine excretion. The 24 h iodine intake in the two periods was 194·8 (sd 62·9) and 487·1 (sd 177·3) μg/d, respectively. The 24 h iodine excretion was 130·9 (sd 39·5) and 265·4 (sd 71·8) μg/d, respectively. Both 24 h iodine intake and 24 h iodine excretion of the two periods were significantly different (all P<0·05). The iodised salt contributed approximately 62·7 % of the total daily iodine intake. Moreover, 92·3 % (277/300) of samples were in positive balance, while twenty-three cases were in negative balance. Our data show that the estimated average requirement for iodine was 110·5 μg/d. Therefore, the RNI for iodine to non-pregnant, non-lactating Chinese women was 154·7 μg/d.
Some firms use hidden knowledge facilitators (HKFs) to facilitate knowledge sharing among employees within intrafirm online communities. These firms hope for enhanced knowledge sharing outcomes within their organizations without letting employees know that HKFs exist. Yet, the extent to which HKFs’ interventions are effective remains unknown to researchers and managers. Built on the knowledge sharing (KS) literature, this study explores the unique roles of HKFs as moderators between a company and its employees. We develop several hypotheses to test the impact of the quantity and quality of HKFs’ online interventions on several KS outcomes. By analyzing log data of a Chinese corporation's online R&D community, we find that (1) the quantity of HKFs’ intervention has a mostly positive impact on KS outcomes; (2) the quality of HKFs’ intervention has a mixed impact on several KS outcomes, depending on which aspect of quantity is considered; and (3) the quality of HKFs’ intervention also moderates the positive impact of the quantity of HKFs’ intervention in different ways on different intended KS outcomes. This study makes a clear contribution to the literature on knowledge sharing and knowledge facilitation by demonstrating the impact of HKFs on KS outcomes in a Chinese context.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable mental illness that transmits intergeneratively. Previous studies supported that first-degree relatives (FDRs), such as parents, offspring, and siblings, of patients with bipolar disorder, had a higher risk of bipolar disorder. However, whether FDRs of bipolar patients have an increased risk of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains unclear.
Among the entire population in Taiwan, 87 639 patients with bipolar disorder and 188 290 FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were more likely to have a higher risk of major psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (RR 6.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.95–6.30), MDD (RR 2.89, 95% CI 2.82–2.96), schizophrenia (RR 2.64, 95% CI 2.55–2.73), ADHD (RR 2.21, 95% CI 2.13–2.30), and ASD (RR 2.10, 95% CI 1.92–2.29), than the total population did. These increased risks for major psychiatric disorders were consistent across different familial kinships, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins. A dose-dependent relationship was also found between risk of each major psychiatric disorder and numbers of bipolar patients.
Our study was the first study to support the familial coaggregation of bipolar disorder with other major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, MDD, ADHD, and ASD, in a Taiwanese (non-Caucasian) population. Given the elevated risks of major psychiatric disorders, the public health government should pay more attention to the mental health of FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
A mixture copula is a linear combination of several individual copulas that can be used to generate dependence structures not belonging to existing copula families. Because different pairs of markets may exhibit quite different dependence structures in empirical studies, mixture copulas are useful in modeling the dependence in financial data. Therefore, rather than selecting a single copula based on certain criteria, we propose using a model averaging approach to estimate financial data dependence structures in a mixture copula framework. We select weights (for averaging) by a J-fold Cross-Validation procedure. We prove that the model averaging estimator is asymptotically optimal in the sense that it minimizes the squared estimation loss. Our simulation results show that the model averaging approach outperforms some competing methods when the working mixture model is misspecified. Using 12 years of data on daily returns from four developed economies’ stock indexes, we show that the model averaging approach more accurately estimates their dependence structures than some competing methods.
Evidence on the association between maternal Hb concentration and preterm birth (PTB) risk is inconclusive. This paper aimed to explore whether women with anaemia or high Hb level before pregnancy would be at higher risk of PTB. We conducted a population-based cohort study with 2 722 274 women aged 20–49 years, who participated in National Free Pre-Pregnancy Checkups Project between 2013 and 2015 and delivered a singleton before 2016 in rural China. Logistic models were used to estimate OR and 95 % CI after adjusting for confounding variables. Restricted cubic spline models were applied to evaluate the dose–response relationships. A total of 192 819 (7·08 %) women had preterm deliveries. Compared with women with Hb of 110–149 g/l, the multivariable-adjusted OR for PTB was 1·19 (95 % CI 0·98, 1·44) for women with Hb<70 g/l, 1·01 (95 % CI 0·97, 1·03) for 70–99 g/l, 0·96 (95 % CI 0·95, 0·98) for 100–109 g/l, 1·04 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·06) for 150–159 g/l, 1·11 (95 % CI 1·05, 1·17) for 160–169 g/l and 1·19 (95 % CI 1·11, 1·27) for ≥170 g/l, respectively. The multivariable-adjusted OR for very PTB (VPTB) was 1·07 (95 % CI 1·03, 1·12) and 1·06 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·12) for women with Hb <110 and ≥150 g/l, compared with those with Hb of 110–149 g/l, respectively. Our study identified a U-shaped relationship between maternal preconception Hb concentration and PTB risk. Both preconception anaemia and high Hb level can significantly increase VPTB risk. Appropriate intervention for women with abnormal Hb levels before pregnancy is very necessary.
A high-precision line-of-sight extraction technique is essential for autonomous optical navigation during the Mars approach phase. To support future Mars exploration missions, an optical image simulation system is a necessary ground verification facility for Mars image generation and line-of-sight extraction algorithm tests. In this paper, an optical image generation procedure is first developed according to projection relationships, reference flight profiles and camera parameters. Next, a hybrid image processing and subpixel-level line-of-sight extraction algorithm is proposed through modification of moment-based sub-pixel edge detection and improvement of direct least-square fitting approaches. Finally, an optical image simulation system is established, and the experimental results show that the proposed procedure can effectively simulate the optical image in the field-of-view of a Mars spacecraft, and the hybrid extraction algorithm can obtain high-precision Mars centroid information.