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Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has presented an unprecedented challenge to the health-care system across the world. The current study aims to identify the determinants of illness severity of COVID-19 based on ordinal responses. A retrospective cohort of COVID-19 patients from four hospitals in three provinces in China was established, and 598 patients were included from 1 January to 8 March 2020, and divided into moderate, severe and critical illness group. Relative variables were retrieved from electronic medical records. The univariate and multivariate ordinal logistic regression models were fitted to identify the independent predictors of illness severity. The cohort included 400 (66.89%) moderate cases, 85 (14.21%) severe and 113 (18.90%) critical cases, of whom 79 died during hospitalisation as of 28 April. Patients in the age group of 70+ years (OR = 3.419, 95% CI: 1.596–7.323), age of 40–69 years (OR = 1.586, 95% CI: 0.824–3.053), hypertension (OR = 3.372, 95% CI: 2.185–5.202), ALT >50 μ/l (OR = 3.304, 95% CI: 2.107–5.180), cTnI >0.04 ng/ml (OR = 7.464, 95% CI: 4.292–12.980), myohaemoglobin>48.8 ng/ml (OR = 2.214, 95% CI: 1.42–3.453) had greater risk of developing worse severity of illness. The interval between illness onset and diagnosis (OR = 1.056, 95% CI: 1.012–1.101) and interval between illness onset and admission (OR = 1.048, 95% CI: 1.009–1.087) were independent significant predictors of illness severity. Patients of critical illness suffered from inferior survival, as compared with patients in the severe group (HR = 14.309, 95% CI: 5.585–36.659) and in the moderate group (HR = 41.021, 95% CI: 17.588–95.678). Our findings highlight that the identified determinants may help to predict the risk of developing more severe illness among COVID-19 patients and contribute to optimising arrangement of health resources.
To investigate the effects of dietary fibre on follicular atresia in pigs fed a high-fat diet, we fed thirty-two prepubescent gilts a basal diet (CON) or a CON diet supplemented with 300 g/d dietary fibre (fibre), 240 g/d soya oil (SO) or both (fibre + SO). At the 19th day of the 4th oestrus cycle, gilts fed the SO diet showed 112 % more atretic follicles and greater expression of the apoptotic markers, Bax and caspase-3, and these effects were reversed by the fibre diet. The abundance of SCFA-producing microbes was decreased by the SO diet, but this effect was reversed by fibre treatment. Concentrations of serotonin and melatonin in the serum and follicular fluid were increased by the fibre diet. Overall, dietary fibre protected against high fat feeding-induced follicular atresia at least partly via gut microbiota-related serotonin–melatonin synthesis. These results provide insight into preventing negative effects on fertility in humans consuming a high-energy diet.
The South Altyn Orogenic Belt (SAOB) is one of the most important orogenic belts in NW China, consisting of the South Altyn Continental Block and the Apa–Mangya Ophiolitic Mélange Belt. However, its Palaeozoic tectonic evolution is still controversial. Here, we present petrological, geochemical, zircon U–Pb and Lu–Hf isotopic data for the Mangya plutons with the aim of establishing the Palaeozoic tectonic evolution. We divide the Early Palaeozoic magmatism in the Apa–Mangya Ophiolitic Mélange Belt into four episodes and propose a plate tectonic model for the formation of these rocks. During 511–494 Ma, the South Altyn Ocean (SAO) was in a spreading stage, and some shoshonite series, I-type granitic rocks were generated. From 484 to 458 Ma, the oceanic crust of the SAO subducted northward, accompanied by large-scale magmatic events resulting in the generation of vast high-K calc-alkaline series, I-type granitic rocks. During 450–433 Ma, the SAO closed, and break-off of the subducted oceanic slab occurred, with the generation of some high-K calc-alkaline series, I–S transitional type granites. The SAOB was in post-orogenic extensional environment from 419 to 404 Ma, and many A-type granites were generated.
In this research communication we describe the DGAT1 sequence and promoter region in dairy cows and buffalo and compare the activities of DGAT1 between the two species in order to increase knowledge of the cause of milk fat variation. pGL-3 basic vectors were used to construct the reporter gene. Based on the predicted promoter region, 4 truncated plasmid vectors were constructed in cow-DGAT1 and 3 plasmid vectors in buffalo-DGAT1. Each reporter plasmid was transfected into the bovine mammary epithelial cell (BMEC), 293T cell, and CHO cells to analyze the activity using Dual-Luciferase Reporter Assay System. The results show that the region between −93 to −556 bp was essential for cow promoter activity while −84 to −590 bp was essential for buffalo promoter activity revealing these regions contain core promoter. The buffalo has higher promoter activity than cow yet it was not statistically significant. Comparison of candidate mutation K232A between cow and buffalo population revealed the presence of both the allelic population in dairy cows (lysine and alanine) however, only K (lysine) allelic amino acid was found in buffalo population. The absence of the alanine allelic population from buffalo explains the higher fat content of buffalo milk.
Findings for the roles of dairy products, Ca and vitamin D on ovarian cancer risk remain controversial. We aimed to assess these associations by using an updated meta-analysis. Five electronic databases (e.g. PubMed and Embase) were searched from inception to 24 December 2019. Pooled relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI were calculated. A total of twenty-nine case–control or cohort studies were included. For comparisons of the highest v. lowest intakes, higher whole milk intake was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk (RR 1·35; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·59), whereas decreased risks were observed for higher intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·73, 0·96), dietary Ca (RR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·60, 0·84) and dietary vitamin D (RR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·67, 0·95). Additionally, for every 100 g/d increment, increased ovarian cancer risks were found for total dairy products (RR 1·03; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) and for whole milk (RR 1·07; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·11); however, decreased risks were found for 100 g/d increased intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·95; 95 % CI 0·91, 0·99), cheese (RR 0·87; 95 % CI 0·76, 0·98), dietary Ca (RR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·98), total Ca (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99), dietary vitamin D (RR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·97) and increased levels of circulating vitamin D (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·72, 0·97). These results show that whole milk intake might contribute to a higher ovarian cancer risk, whereas low-fat milk, dietary Ca and dietary vitamin D might reduce the risk.
A scalable battery recycling strategy to recover and regenerate solid electrolytes and cathode materials in spent all solid-state batteries, reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gases.
With the rapidly increasing ubiquity of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), sustainable battery recycling is a matter of growing urgency. The major challenge faced in LIB sustainability lies with the fact that the current LIBs are not designed for recycling, making it difficult to engineer recycling approaches that avoid breaking batteries down into their raw materials. Thus, it is prudent to explore new approaches to both fabricate and recycle next-generation batteries before they enter the market. Here, we developed a sustainable design and scalable recycling strategy for next-generation all solid-state batteries (ASSBs). We use the EverBatt model to analyze the relative energy consumption and environmental impact compared to conventional recycling methods. We demonstrate efficient separation and recovery of spent solid electrolytes and electrodes from a lithium metal ASSB and directly regenerate them into usable formats without damaging their core chemical structure. The recycled materials are then reconstituted to fabricate new batteries, achieving similar performance as pristine ASSBs, completing the cycle. This work demonstrates the first fully recycled ASSB and provides critical design consideration for future sustainable batteries.
To investigate the hypothesis that folic acid supplementation and dietary folate intake before conception and during pregnancy reduce the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) and to examine the joint effect of folic acid supplementation and dietary folate intake on the risk of SGA.
Participants were interviewed by trained study interviewers using a standardized and structured questionnaire. Information on birth outcomes and maternal complications was abstracted from medical records and dietary information was collected via a semi-quantitative FFQ before conception and during pregnancy.
A birth cohort data analysis using the 2010–2012 Gansu Provincial Maternity and Child Care Hospital.
Women (n 8758) and their children enrolled in the study.
Folic acid supplementation was associated with a reduced risk of SGA (OR = 0·72, 95 % CI 0·60, 0·86), with the reduced risk seen mainly for SGA at ≥37 weeks of gestational age (OR = 0·70, 95 % CI 0·58, 0·85) and nulliparous SGA (OR = 0·67, 95 % CI 0·54, 0·84). There was no significant association between dietary folate intake and SGA risk.
Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation was associated with a reduced risk of SGA and the risk varied by preterm status and parity.
The aim of the present study was to explore the influence of tea consumption on diabetes mellitus in the Chinese population. This multi-centre, cross-sectional study was conducted in eight sites from south, east, north, west and middle regions in China by enrolling 12 017 subjects aged 20–70 years. Socio-demographic and general information was collected by a standardised questionnaire. A standard procedure was used to measure anthropometric characteristics and to obtain blood samples. The diagnosis of diabetes was determined using a standard 75-g oral glucose tolerance test. In the final analysis, 10 825 participants were included and multiple logistic models and interaction effect analysis were applied for assessing the association between tea drinking with diabetes. Compared with non-tea drinkers, the multivariable-adjusted OR for newly diagnosed diabetes were 0·80 (95 % CI 0·67, 0·97), 0·88 (95 % CI 0·71, 1·09) and 0·86 (95 % CI 0·67, 1·11) for daily tea drinkers, occasional tea drinkers and seldom tea drinkers, respectively. Furthermore, drinking tea daily was related to decreased risk of diabetes in females by 32 %, elderly (>45 years) by 24 % and obese (BMI > 30 kg/m2) by 34 %. Moreover, drinking dark tea was associated with reduced risk of diabetes by 45 % (OR 0·55; 95 % CI 0·42, 0·72; P < 0·01). The results imply that drinking tea daily was negatively related to risk of diabetes in female, elderly and obese people. In addition, drinking dark tea was associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
The microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.
The effects of straw alone or combined with industrial and agricultural wastes as fertilizers on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are still poorly known in cropland areas. Here, we studied the effects of 3.5 Mg ha−1 straw and 3.5 Mg ha−1 straw combined with 8 Mg ha−1 of diverse wastes on GHG emission in a subtropical Jasminum sambac plantation in southeastern China. There were five treatments in a completely randomized block design: control, straw only, straw + biochar, straw + steel slag, and straw + gypsum slag. Emissions of carbon dioxide were generally higher in the treatments with waste than in the control or straw-only treatments, whereas the contrary pattern was observed in CH4 and N2O emission rates. Moreover, the total global warming potentials (GWPs) were no significantly higher in most of the amended treatments as compared to the control and straw-only treatments. In relation to the treatment with only straw, GWPs were 9.4% lower when steel slag was used. This finding could be a consequence of Fe amount added by steel slag, which would limit and inhibit the emissions of GHGs and their transport from soil to atmosphere. Our results showed that the application of slags did not increase the emission of GHGs and that the combination of straw with steel slag or biochar could be more effective than straw alone for controlling GHGs emission and improve soil C and nutrient provision.
Developmental dyslexia is characterized by unexpectedly low reading ability in people who have adequate nonverbal intelligence, have acquired typical schooling, and have experienced sufficient sociocultural opportunities (Gabrieli, 2009; Peterson & Pennington, 2012). It is a recognized disorder in many literate societies and has been studied in a large variety of languages (Caravolas, 2005). The Chinese writing system presents sharp contrast to the alphabetic writing system in terms of how the graphic unit maps onto phonology and semantics. Thus, the investigations into the mechanisms for Chinese reading disability are important to the understanding of the universal and language-specific mechanisms of developmental dyslexia. The behavioral and neural correlates of Chinese developmental dyslexia have been studied extensively in the past twenty years or so, providing us with a rich understanding of Chinese developmental dyslexia.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Hepatitis B constitutes a severe public health challenge in China. The Community-based Collaborative Innovation hepatitis B (CCI-HBV) project is a national epidemiological study of hepatitis B and has been conducting a comprehensive intervention in southern Zhejiang since 2009.
The comprehensive intervention in CCI-HBV areas includes the dynamic hepatitis B screening in local residents, the normalised treatment for hepatitis B infections and the upcoming full-aged hepatitis B vaccination. After two rounds of screening (each round taking for 4 years), the initial epidemiological baseline of hepatitis B in Qinggang was obtained, a coastal community in east China. By combining key data and system dynamics modelling, the regional hepatitis B epidemic in 20 years was predicted.
There were 1041 HBsAg positive cases out of 12 228 people in Round 1 indicating HBV prevalence of 8.5%. Of the 13 146 people tested in Round 2, 1171 people were HBsAg positive, with a prevalence of 8.9%. By comparing the two rounds of screening, the HBV incidence rate of 0.192 per 100 person-years was observed. By consulting electronic medical records, the HBV onset rate of 0.533 per 100 person-years was obtained. We generated a simulated model to replicate the real-world situation for the next two decades. To evaluate the effect of interventions on regional HBV prevalence, three comparative experiments were conducted.
In this study, the regional hepatitis B epidemic in 20 years was predicted and compared with HBV prevalence under different interventions. Owing to the existing challenges in research methodology, this study combined HBV field research and simulation to provide a system dynamics model with close-to-real key data to improve prediction accuracy. The simulation also provided a prompt guidance for the field implementation.
A conventional Differential GPS (DGPS) techniques-based velocity and acceleration method (named here as ‘DVA’) may be difficult to implement in the Antarctic as there is a sparse distribution of reference stations over Antarctica. Thus, in order to overcome the baseline limitations and to obtain highly accurate and reliable velocity and acceleration estimates for airborne gravimetry, a network-based velocity and acceleration determination approach (named here as ‘NVA’), which introduces a wide network of stations and is independent of precise clock information, is applied. Here its performance for velocity and acceleration determination is fully exploited by using Global Positioning System (GPS), GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou observations. Additionally, a standalone receiver-based method named ‘SVA’, which requires precise clock information, is also implemented for comparison. During static tests and a flight experiment over Antarctica, it was found that the NVA method yields more robust results than the SVA and DVA methods when applied to a wide area network. Moreover, the addition of GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou systems can increase the accuracy of velocity and acceleration estimates by 39% and 43% with NVA compared to a GPS-only solution.
We suggest a new method to evaluate stress directionality, the ratio of principal stresses, using nanoindentation by introducing a modified Berkovich indenter that is extended in one direction from the Berkovich indenter. In a nonequibiaxial stress state, the indentation load-depth curves are shifted differently as the extended axis of the indenter is placed in accordance with each principal direction. The indentation load-difference is proportional to each principal stress and the slopes are defined by the normal and parallel conversion factors whose ratio is constant at 0.58. The suggested method was verified by indentation tests using five nonequibiaxial stressed specimens. The evaluated stress directionality results show agreement with the applied reference values within ±20%. Furthermore, we calculated the conversion factor ratios for other modified Berkovich indenters extended to different degrees through finite element analysis and confirmed that the conversion factor ratio was inversely proportional to the extension of the modified Berkovich indenter.
To identify the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its determinants among adolescents more than 4 years after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
Adolescents (1,125 total) from 2 junior high schools in areas affected by the catastrophic earthquake were followed up for 3 years. The self-rating PTSD scale based on the Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) and the Chinese Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of Mental Disorders, 2nd Edition, Revised (CCMD-2-R) was collected at 53 months, and determinant data were collected repeatedly. Logistic regression was used for a determinants analysis.
The prevalence of overall PTSD was 23.4% among the sample. The risk factors for PTSD were older age (OR=1.52, 95% CI: 1.20~1.92), and death or injury of a family member in the earthquake (OR=1.61, 95% CI: 1.09~2.37). Adolescents who had moderate-to-severe common mental health problems were more likely to have PTSD symptoms, with ORs from 3.98 to 17.67 (All P<0.05). Self-esteem remained a protective factor for PTSD regardless of age, whereas positive coping was a protective factor for PTSD when adolescents were older.
PTSD symptoms among adolescent survivors of a catastrophic earthquake seemed to persist over time. Long-term interventions are needed to alleviate PTSD symptoms among adolescent survivors. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:414-418)
In response to how they are compensated, mutual fund managers who are underperforming by mid-year are likely to increase the risk of their portfolios toward the year-end. We argue that an increase in the liquidity of the stocks that managers use to shift risk can lead to an increase in the size of their risky bets. This in turn hurts fund investors by increasing the costs of misaligned incentives associated with delegated portfolio management. We provide both theoretical and empirical results that are consistent with this argument. We use decimalization as an exogenous shock to liquidity to identify causal effects.
Previous studies in China showed large sex differences in childhood overweight and obesity (OW/OB) rates. However, limited research has examined the cause of these sex differences. The present study aimed to examine individual and parental/familial factors associated with sex differences in childhood OW/OB rates in China.
Variables associated with child weight status, beliefs and behaviours, and obesity-related parenting practices were selected to examine their sex differences and association with a sex difference in child OW/OB outcomes using logistic regression analysis.
Cross-sectional data analysis using the 2011 China Health and Nutrition Survey.
Children aged 6–17 years (n 1544) and their parents.
Overall child OW/OB prevalence was 16·8 %. Adolescent boys (AB; 12–17 years) were about twice as likely to be overweight/obese as adolescent girls (AG; 15·5 v. 8·4 %, P<0·05). AB more likely had energy intake exceeding recommendations, self-perceived underweight, underestimated their body weight and were satisfied with their physical activity level than AG. AG more likely practised weight-loss management through diet and self-perceived overweight than AB. Mothers more likely identified AG’s weight accurately but underestimated AB’s weight. Stronger associations with risk of childhood OW/OB were found in boys than girls in dieting to lose weight (OR=6·7 in boys v. 2·6 in girls) and combined maternal and child perception of the child’s overweight (OR=35·4 in boys v. 14·2 in girls).
Large sex differences in childhood obesity may be related to the sex disparities in weight-related beliefs and behaviours among children and their parents in China.
This study examined how financial strain, worry about having no care-giver and social engagement modify the association between widowhood and depressive symptoms among older adults in China. Using national representative data from older adults in China in 2006, we ran structural equation models and ordinary least square regressions to investigate the mediating and moderating effects of financial strain, worry about having no care-giver and social engagement on the association between widowhood and depressive symptoms. All three variables significantly mediated the association between widowhood and depressive symptoms. Compared to their married counterparts, widowed older adults showed more worry about having no care-giver, increased financial strain and lower social engagement, which were significantly associated with depressive symptoms. Higher level of worry about having no care-giver and lower social engagement significantly exacerbated the adverse effects of widowhood on depressive symptoms in the moderation analyses. Our finding of mediating effects suggests that widowhood is negatively related to psychological wellbeing via financial strain, social engagement and care resources. The results regarding moderating effects suggest that alleviating worry about having no care-giver and increasing social engagement may buffer the deleterious effect of widowhood on psychological wellbeing in later life.