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The effect of vitamin D (VD) on the risk of preeclampsia (PE) is uncertain. Few of previous studies focused on the relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk. Therefore, we conducted this 1:1 matched case–control study to explore the association of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk in Chinese pregnant women. A total of 440 pairs of participants were recruited during March 2016 to June 2019. Dietary information was obtained using a seventy-eight-item semi-quantitative FFQ. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 were measured by liquid chromatography–tandem MS. Multivariate conditional logistic regression was used to estimate OR and 95 % CI. Restricted cubic splines (RCS) were plotted to evaluate the dose–response relationship of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk. Compared with the lowest quartile, the OR of the highest quartile were 0·45 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·71, Ptrend = 0·001) for VD dietary intake and 0·26 (95 % CI 0·11, 0·60, Ptrend = 0·003) for serum levels after adjusting for confounders. In addition, the RCS analysis suggested a reverse J-shaped relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). A similar association was also found between serum concentrations of total 25(OH)D and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). In conclusion, this study provides evidence that higher dietary intake and serum levels of VD are associated with the lower risk of PE in Chinese pregnant women.
Spodoptera litura is an important pest that causes significant economic damage to numerous crops worldwide. Sex pheromones (SPs) mediate sexual communication in S. litura and show a characteristic degree of rhythmic activity, occurring mainly during the scotophase; however, the specific regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we employed a genome-wide analysis to identify eight candidate circadian clock genes in S. litura. Sequence characteristics and expression patterns were analyzed. Our results demonstrated that some circadian clock genes might regulate the biosynthesis and perception of SPs by regulating the rhythmic expression of SP biosynthesis-related genes and SP perception-related genes. Interestingly, all potential genes exhibited peak expression in the scotophase, consistent with the SP could mediate courtship and mating behavior in S. litura. Our findings are helpful in elucidating the molecular mechanism by which circadian clock genes regulate sexual communication in S. litura.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of immune-mediated disorders characterised by a chronic, relapsing-remitting inflammation predominantly affecting the gastrointestinal tract. IBD is incurable, affecting people in their most productive years. IBD is historically seen as a disease of Westernised nations although in recent times other countries have seen an exponential rise in cases. Although the exact pathogenesis remains unclear, evidence suggests that microbiota changes play a critical role in IBD pathogenesis. Over the past two decades, IBD has become one of the most studied human conditions linked to the gut microbiota. However, deciphering the intricate link between the gut microbiota and therapeutic efficacy remains elusive. This review will summarise the current evidence relating to the gut microbiota and its involvement in IBD pathogenesis as well as the impact of IBD treatments including pharmaceutical-, nutraceutical- and microbial-focused regimens on the gut microbiota.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to activities of daily living, which in turn has had a profound impact on the mental wellbeing of the public. An e-guide was designed to provide remote support to the general public through the application of a Behavioural Activation approach. Interactive, brief evidence-based exercises were included in the e-guide, along with mood ratings after each exercise to assess any improvements observed.
The e-guide was designed using the Xerte On- Line Toolkits open source software. Videos and interactive exercises were embedded within the resource, forming part of the brief intervention based on cognitivist and behaviourist principles. Information and further support was also provided for young people and parents. Videos from the public highlighting their experiences during the pandemic were also sourced and included (with consent). A pilot was launched to assess the impact of the e-guide. Participants were recruited from Cardiff University, mental health services and a local charity.
The e-guide was piloted on a sample of volunteers (n = 3), who completed a brief survey after engaging with the resource. Following the results of the pilot, the e-guide was promoted by the university's marketing team and made available to the public. At the 6-month mark, the e-guide had been accessed by 3228 individuals throughout the UK.
The e-guide has since been disseminated by support services for young people, places of employment and eduction institutions. The national impact of the e-guide is evidenced from the number of people accessing the resource exceeding 3000. With the long-term effects of the pandemic taking hold, it remains crucial to support the wellbeing of the general public through such initiatives that are administered remotely
Flavonoids are a group of phenolic secondary metabolites in plants that have important physiological, ecological and economic value. In this study, using the desert plant Artemisia sphaerocephala Krasch. as the sample material, the content and components of the total flavonoids in its seeds at seven different developmental stages were determined. In addition, the genes involved in flavonoid metabolism were identified by full-length transcriptome sequencing (third-generation sequencing technology based on PacBio RS II). Their expression levels were analysed by RNA-seq short reading sequencing, to reveal the patterns and regulation mechanisms of flavonoid accumulation during seed development. The key results were as follows: the content of total flavonoids in mature seeds was 15.05 mg g−1, including five subclasses: flavonols, chalcones, flavones, flavanones and proanthocyanidins, among which flavonols accounted for 45.78%. The period of rapid accumulation of flavonoids was 40–70 d following anthesis. The high expression of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), 4-coumarate-CoA ligase (4CL) and UDP-glucose:flavonoids 3-o-glucosyltransferase (UF3GT) promoted the accumulation of total flavonoids, while the high expression of flavonoids 3′-hydroxylase (F3′H) and flavonols synthase (FLS) made flavanols the main component. Transcription factors such as the MYB-bHLH-WDR (MBW) complex and Selenium-binding protein (SBP) directly regulated the structural genes of flavonoid metabolism, while C2H2-type zinc finger (C2H2), Zinc-finger transcription factor (GATA), Dehydration-responsive element binding (DREB), Global Transcription factor Group E protein (GTE), Trihelix DNA-binding factors (Trihelix) and Phytochrome-interacting factor (PIF) indirectly promoted the synthesis of flavonoids through hormones such as brassinoidsteroids (BRs) and abscisic acid (ABA). These results provided valuable resources for the application of related genes in genetics and breeding.
To establish optimal gestational weight gain (GWG) in Chinese pregnant women by Chinese-specific BMI categories and compare the new recommendations with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2009 guidelines.
Multicentre, prospective cohort study. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the OR, 95 % CI and the predicted probabilities of adverse pregnancy outcomes. The optimal GWG range was defined as the range that did not exceed a 1 % increase from the lowest predicted probability in each pre-pregnancy BMI group.
From nine cities in mainland China.
A total of 3731 women with singleton pregnancy were recruited from April 2013 to December 2014.
The optimal GWG (ranges) by Chinese-specific BMI was 15·0 (12·8–17·1), 14·2 (12·1–16·4) and 12·6 (10·4–14·9) kg for underweight, normal weight and overweight pregnant women, respectively. Inappropriate GWG was associated with several adverse pregnancy outcomes. Compared with women gaining weight within our proposed recommendations, women with excessive GWG had higher risk for macrosomia, large for gestational age and caesarean section, whereas those with inadequate GWG had higher risk for low birth weight, small for gestational age and preterm delivery. The comparison between our proposed recommendations and IOM 2009 guidelines showed that our recommendations were comparable with the IOM 2009 guidelines and could well predict the risk of several adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Inappropriate GWG was associated with higher risk of several adverse pregnancy outcomes. Optimal GWG recommendations proposed in the present study could be applied to Chinese pregnant women.
A deep ice core was drilled at Dome A, Antarctic Plateau, East Antarctica, which started with the installation of a casing in January 2012 and reached 800.8 m in January 2017. To date, a total of 337 successful ice-core drilling runs have been conducted, including 118 runs to drill the pilot hole. The total drilling time was 52 days, of which eight days were required for drilling down and reaming the pilot hole, and 44 days for deep ice coring. The average penetration depths of individual runs were 1 and 3.1 m for the pilot hole drilling and deep ice coring, respectively. The quality of the ice cores was imperfect in the brittle zone (650−800 m). Some of the troubles encountered are discussed for reference, such as armoured cable knotting, screws falling into the hole bottom, and damaged parts, among others.
Subglacial lake exploration is of great interest to the science community. RECoverable Autonomous Sonde (RECAS) provides an exploration tool to measure and sample subglacial lake environments while the subglacial lake remains isolated from the glacier surface and atmosphere. This paper presents an electronic control system design of 200 m prototype of RECAS. The proposed electronic control system consists of a surface system, a downhole control system, and a power transfer and communication system. The downhole control system is the core element of RECAS, and is responsible for sonde status monitoring, sonde motion control, subglacial water sampling and in situ analysis. A custom RS485 temperature sensor was developed to cater for the limited size and depth requirements of the system. We adopted a humidity-based measurement to monitor for a housing leak. This condition is because standard leak detection monitoring of water conductivity may be inapplicable to pure ice in Antarctica. A water sampler control board was designed to control the samplers and monitor the on/off state. A high-definition camera system with built-in storage and self-heating ability was designed to perform the video recording in the subglacial lake. The proposed electronic control system is proven effective after a series of tests.
The tobacco cutworm Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a polyphagous pest with a highly selective and sensitive chemosensory system involved in complex physiological behaviors such as searching for food sources, feeding, courtship, and oviposition. However, effective management strategies for controlling the insect pest populations under threshold levels are lacking. Therefore, there is an urgent need to formulate eco-friendly pest control strategies based on the disruption of the insect chemosensory system. In this study, we identified 158 putative chemosensory genes based on transcriptomic and genomic data for S. litura, including 45 odorant-binding proteins (OBPs, nine were new), 23 chemosensory proteins (CSPs), 60 odorant receptors (ORs, three were new), and 30 gustatory receptors (GRs, three were new), a number higher than those reported by previous transcriptome studies. Subsequently, we constructed phylogenetic trees based on these genes in moths and analyzed the dynamic expression of various genes in head capsules across larval instars using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Nine genes–SlitOBP8, SlitOBP9, SlitOBP25, SlitCSP1, SlitCSP7, SlitCSP18, SlitOR34, SlitGR240, and SlitGR242–were highly expressed in the heads of 3- to 5-day-old S. litura larvae. The genes differentially expressed in olfactory organs during larval development might play crucial roles in the chemosensory system of S. litura larvae. Our findings substantially expand the gene inventory for S. litura and present potential target genes for further studies on larval feeding in S. litura.
This paper presents a general framework for human-like motion control of 7-DOF S-R-S-redundant manipulators. The new framework simultaneously accomplishes five objectives: Cartesian trajectory tracking, obstacle avoidance, joint limit avoidance, human-like movement, and a feasibility evaluation of the Cartesian trajectory.We exhaustively compute all feasible arm configurations. This allows for quick evaluations of the feasibility of the Cartesian trajectories. They are applied to inverse kinematics of the redundant manipulator to improve the capability to handle multiple constraints, and enable the manipulator to imitate human movements. The efficiency of the proposed framework is demonstrated by kinematic experiments with a humanoid robot.
Experimental studies suggest that abnormal levels of Ca, Mg and phosphorus are implicated in pancreatic carcinogenesis. We investigated the associations between intakes of these minerals and the risk of pancreatic cancer in a case-control study conducted in 1994–1998. Cases of pancreatic cancer (n 150) were recruited from all hospitals in the metropolitan area of the Twin Cities and Mayo Clinic, Minnesota. Controls (n 459) were randomly selected from the general population and frequency matched to cases by age, sex and race. All dietary variables were adjusted for energy intake using the residual method prior to data analysis. Logistic regression was performed to evaluate the associations between intake of three nutrients examined and the risk of pancreatic cancer. Total intake of Ca (936 v. 1026 mg/d) and dietary intake of Mg (315 v. 331 mg/d) and phosphorus (1350 v. 1402 mg/d) were significantly lower in cases than in controls. After adjustment for confounders, there were not significant associations of total and dietary intakes of Ca, Mg and phosphorus with the risk of pancreatic cancer. In addition, no significant interactions exist between intakes of these minerals and total fat on pancreatic cancer risk. In conclusion, the present study does not suggest that intakes of Ca, Mg and phosphorus were significantly associated with the risk of pancreatic cancer.
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 – the Tongji Maternal and Child Health Cohort. Dietary data were collected at 13–28 weeks of pregnancy by a validated semi-quantitative FFQ. The PDI was obtained by assigning plant food groups positive scores while assigning animal food groups reverse scores. GDM was diagnosed by a 75 g 2-h oral glucose tolerance test at 24–28 weeks of gestation. Logistic regression models were fitted to estimate OR of GDM, with associated 95 % CI, comparing women in different PDI quartiles. Among the total 2099 participants, 169 (8·1 %) were diagnosed with GDM. The PDI ranged from 21·0 to 52·0 with a median of 36·0 (interquartile range (IQR) 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; Pfor 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 counselling during pregnancy.
Methylation at DNA, RNA and protein levels plays critical roles in many cellular processes and is associated with diverse differentiation events, physiological activities and human diseases. To aid in the diagnostic and therapeutic design for cancer treatment utilising methylation, this review provides a boutique yet comprehensive overview on methylation at different levels including the mechanisms, cross-talking and clinical implications with a particular focus on cancers. We conclude that DNA methylation is the sole type of methylation that has been largely translated into clinics and used for, mostly, early diagnosis. Translating the onco-therapeutic and prognostic values of RNA and protein methylations into clinical use deserves intensive efforts. Simultaneous examination of methylations at multiple levels or together with other forms of molecular markers represents an interesting research direction with profound clinical translational potential.
A series of new synthetic armored cables were developed and tested to ensure that they were suitable for use with the RECoverable Autonomous Sonde (RECAS), which is a newly designed freezing-in thermal ice probe. The final version of the cable consists of two concentric conductors that can be used as the power and signal lines. Two polyfluoroalkoxy jackets are used for electrical insulation (one for insulation between conductors, and the other for insulation of the outer conductor). The outer insulation layer is coated by polyurethane jacket to seal the connections between the cable and electrical units. The 0.65 mm thick strength member is made from aramid fibers woven together. To hold these aramid fibers in place, a sheathing layer was produced from a polyamide fabric cover net. The outer diameter of the final version of the cable is ~6.1 mm. The permissible bending radius is as low as 17–20 mm. The maximal breaking force under straight tension is ~12.2 kN. The cable weight is only ~0.061 kg m−1. The mechanical and electrical properties and environmental suitability of the cable were determined through laboratory testing and joint testing with the probe.
Lead-free ferroelectric electrocaloric ceramics that could convert electrical energy into heat are the promising candidate for environment-friendly cooling devices. For refrigeration devices, a large temperature change (ΔT) and good temperature stability are required, which are highly related to the phase structure and the applied electric field. In this work, a diffused ferroelectric–paraelectric (FP) phase transition is formed in (K, Na)NbO3 (KNN) by using appropriate composition engineering. The relaxor ferroelectrics in this work present both a large ΔT of 1.24 K and a high ΔT/ΔE of 0.19 K mm/kV. In addition, a wide temperature span exceeds 55 °C at the high electrocaloric effect (ECE) criterion (ΔT ≥ 0.5 K) could also be observed. This work not only opens a new strategy for obtaining high-performance ceramics for refrigeration devices but also extends the application area of the KNN-based lead-free ferroelectrics from sensors, actuators and energy harvesting to solid-state cooling applications.
Piezoelectric Ba0.85Ca0.15Zr0.1Ti0.9O3 (BCZT) has been found to be a competitive lead-free piezoceramic candidate and was prepared by a sol–gel technique due to its small particle size and homogeneous particle size distribution, but the sintering temperature is still quite high in the previous reports. In the present paper, lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) was used as a sintering aid and dopant for the sol–gel-derived piezoceramic powder, to facilitate the sintering process and adjust the densification, the microstructures and functional properties. With the addition of 0.5 wt% Li2CO3 sintered at 1300 °C, a high relative density 96% with piezoelectric coefficient d33 ~447 pC/N, planar coupling coefficient kp ~0.51, and Curie point TC ~98.7 °C was obtained. The way to properly define the critical changing points on temperature-dependent dielectric curves were further discussed. By altering sintering temperature and the amount of dopant, the mutual influence between the microstructures and the functional properties was explained, to further guide shaping BCZT in more complexed connectivities.
The present study investigated the association between fibre degradation and the concentration of dissolved molecular hydrogen (H2) in the rumen. Napier grass (NG) silage and corn stover (CS) silage were compared as forages with contrasting structures and degradation patterns. In the first experiment, CS silage had greater 48-h DM, neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) and acid-detergent fibre degradation, and total gas and methane (CH4) volumes, and lower 48-h H2 volume than NG silage in 48-h in vitro incubations. In the second experiment, twenty-four growing beef bulls were fed diets including 55 % (DM basis) NG or CS silages. Bulls fed the CS diet had greater DM intake (DMI), average daily gain, total-tract digestibility of OM and NDF, ruminal dissolved methane (dCH4) concentration and gene copies of protozoa, methanogens, Ruminococcus albus and R. flavefaciens, and had lower ruminal dH2 concentration, and molar proportions of valerate and isovalerate, in comparison with those fed the NG diet. There was a negative correlation between dH2 concentration and NDF digestibility in bulls fed the CS diet, and a lack of relationship between dH2 concentration and NDF digestibility with the NG diet. In summary, the fibre of CS silage was more easily degraded by rumen microorganisms than that of NG silage. Increased dCH4 concentration with the CS diet presumably led to the decreased ruminal dH2 concentration, which may be helpful for fibre degradation and growth of fibrolytic micro-organisms in the rumen.
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.
The Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover 105 mm-diameter ice cores up to 1400 m depth and 41.5 mm-diameter bedrock cores up to 2 m in length. In order to ensure safe and convenient drilling, drilling auxiliaries are designed to support fieldwork and servicing. These auxiliaries are subdivided into several systems for power supply, drill tripping in the borehole, ice core and chip processing, and drill servicing and maintenance. The required equipment also includes two generators, a drilling winch with a cable, logging winch with a cable, control desk, pipe handler with a fixed clamp, chip chamber vibrator, centrifuge, emergency devices and fitting and electrical tools. Additionally, several environmental protective measures such as a new liquid-tight casing with a thermal casing shoe and a bailing device for recovering drilling fluid from the borehole were designed. Most of the auxiliaries were tested during the summer of 2018–2019 near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica while drilling to the bedrock to a depth of 198 m.