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The Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR), initiated in 2001, has now become the largest twin registry in Asia. From 2015 to 2018, the CNTR continued to receive Chinese government funding and had recruited 61,566 twin-pairs by 2019 to study twins discordant for specific exposures such as environmental factors, and twins discordant for disease outcomes or measures of morbidity. Omic data, including genetics, genomics, metabolomics, and proteomics, and gut microbiome will be tested. The integration of omics and digital technologies in public health will advance our understanding of precision public health. This review introduces the updates of the CNTR, including study design, sample size, biobank, zygosity assessment, advances in research and future systems epidemiologic research.
Risk factors and prevalence of pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) diseases were retrospectively evaluated in 1208 suspected pulmonary TB patients seeking care at the Affiliated Hospital of Hangzhou Normal University between July 2018 and December 2018. Further analysis of 390 culture-positive cases demonstrated that 358 (358/390, 91.8%) were infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), 24 (24/390, 6.2%) with NTM and eight (8/390, 2.0%) with both MTB and NTM. M. intracellulare was the most prevalent NTM isolated (16/24, 66.7%), followed by M. abscessus (3/24), M. kansasii (2/24), M. avium (1/24), M. szulgai (1/24) and M. fortuitum (1/24). The difference between NTM and TB case rates for the ⩾65-year-old age group significantly exceeded the difference for the reference group (patients aged 25–44 years) (OR (95% CI): 4.63 (1.03–20.90)). Pulmonary NTM diseases incidence positively correlated with prior TB history (OR (95% CI): 12.92 (3.24–31.82)). Moreover, pulmonary NTM patients were significantly more likely to exhibit underlying bronchiectasis than pulmonary TB patients (OR (95% CI): 18.89 (7.54–47.88)). In conclusion, approximately one-tenth of culture-positive suspected pulmonary TB patients are infected with NTM (most frequently M. intracellulare) in Zhejiang Province, China. The elderly and those with bronchiectasis or a history of TB are at the greatest risk of contracting pulmonary NTM disease.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Nano-sized TiN-reinforced Ti metal matrix composites were fabricated by powder metallurgical route, which includes high-energy ball milling pretreatment and subsequent hot-press sintering treatment. The phase composition and microstructure of the sintered samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Results showed that N2 was absorbed and solubilized into TiH2 by milling pretreatment, and TiN was formed during sintering process and was fine to a grain size of 20–100 nm. The final phase composition of the composites was αTi, βTi, and TiN with solution N in matrix. Mechanical tests showed that with increasing milling time, the hardness of the composites increased by 31, 58, 93, and 101% compared with pure Ti. The compressive strength initially increased and later decreased to 2440 and 2120 MPa when milled for 1.5 and 2 h, respectively.
At GE Research, we are combining “physics” with artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance manufacturing design, processing, and inspection, turning innovative technologies into real products and solutions across our industrial portfolio. This article provides a snapshot of how this physical plus digital transformation is evolving at GE.
The second home-made single stage accelerator mass spectrometer (SSAMS) system dedicated to radiocarbon (14C) measurements was built after the first SSAMS system was moved to Guangxi Normal University. With some improvements to the second SSAMS system, the performance has been improved. With the conditions of total ion energy of 200KeV, ions charge states of 1+ and helium as stripper gas, 14C measurements with precision of 0.5% and a background level of 0.5 pMC were achieved. Details of the system and the experimental performance are given here.
Coherent cuboidal B2 nanoprecipitation in body-centered cubic (BCC)-based high-entropy alloys (HEAs) is important for the improvement of mechanical strength. The present work primarily investigated the effect of Ti substitution for Al on the cuboidal B2 nanoprecipitates in BCC Al0.7NiCoFeCr2 HEAs. A series of (Al,Ti)0.7NiCoFeCr2 HEAs with different Al/Ti ratios were prepared by suction-cast processing, and their microstructures and mechanical properties were then characterized comprehensively. It was found that the substitution of Ti for Al can change the phase structures of ordered precipitation, from the B2-AlNi to a highly ordered L21-Ni2AlTi phase. Especially, a small amount addition of Ti (≤4.2 at.%, Al/Ti ratio ≥2/1) renders the HEAs with cuboidal L21 nanoparticles coherently precipitated into the BCC matrix, which is attributed to the moderate lattice misfit (ε = 0.5–0.6%) between BCC and L21 phases. HEAs with such coherent microstructures exhibit high compressive yield strength of about 1700–1800 MPa. When the Ti content reaches up to 6.25 at.%, the matrix of the alloy will be turned into the σ phase, rather than BCC, leading to a heavy brittleness.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity is growing rapidly in many countries. Socioeconomic inequalities might be important for this increase. The aim of this study was to determine associations of body mass index (BMI), overweight and obesity with educational level and marital status in Chinese twins. Participants were adult twins recruited through the Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR), aged 18 to 79 years, and the sample comprised 10,448 same-sex twin pairs. Current height, weight, educational attainment, and marital status were self-reported. Regression analyses and structural equation models were conducted to evaluate BMI, overweight, and obesity associated with educational level and marital status in both sexes. At an individual level, both educational level and marital status were associated with higher BMI and higher risk of being overweight and obesity in men, while in women the effects of educational level on BMI were in the opposite direction. In within-Monozygotic (MZ) twin-pair analyses, the effects of educational level on BMI disappeared in females. Bivariate structural equation models showed that genetic factors and shared environmental confounded the relationship between education and BMI in females, whereas marital status was associated with BMI on account of significant positive unique environmental correlation apart in both sexes. The present data suggested that marital status and BMI were associated, independent of familiar factors, for both sexes of this study population, while common genetic and shared environmental factors contributed to education-associated disparities in BMI in females.
This study examined whether taking advice is influenced by regulatory fit and whether this effect is reduced or disappears within certain attribution conditions during vocational decision making. Experiment 1 created a vocational decision setting to compare differences in decision makers’ weight of advice (WOA) between ‘eager strategy’ and ‘vigilant strategy’ advice conditions. Results showed no significant main effect of regulatory orientation or advice strategy, but there was a significant interaction. The WOA value, with fit between regulatory focus and advice strategy, was higher than with a fit violation. Experiment 2 examined whether the regulatory fit effect is reduced or disappears within attribution conditions during vocational decision making. Results showed job seekers more easily take others’ advice under the fit condition, and a significant interaction existed between regulatory fit and attribution. Thus, attribution could reduce the influence of the regulatory fit effect. Implications for vocational consultants, job seekers, and advisors are also discussed.
Piglets are characteristically cold intolerant and thus susceptible to high mortality. However, browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) can induce non-shivering thermogenesis as a potential strategy to facilitate the animal’s response to cold. Whether cold exposure can induce browning of subcutaneous WAT (sWAT) in piglets in a similar manner as it can in humans remains largely unknown. In this study, piglets were exposed to acute cold (4°C, 10 h) or chronic cold exposure (8°C, 15 days), and the genes and proteins of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)-dependent and independent thermogenesis, mitochondrial biogenesis, lipogenic and lipolytic processes were analysed. Interestingly, acute cold exposure induced browning of porcine sWAT, smaller adipocytes and the upregulated expression of UCP1, PGC1α, PGC1β, C/EBPβ, Cidea, UCP3, CKMT1 and PM20D1. Conversely, chronic cold exposure impaired the browning process, reduced mitochondrial numbers and the expression of browning markers, including UCP1, PGC1α and PRDM16. The present study demonstrated that acute cold exposure (but not chronic cold exposure) induces porcine sWAT browning. Thus, browning of porcine sWAT could be a novel strategy to balance the body temperature of piglets, and thus could be protective against cold exposure.
Data of annual mean temperature, annual total precipitation and snow-cover area (SCA) in the winter season from 1982 to 2001 have been analyzed to examine the response of SCA to climate change in the Tarim basin, western China. The results show that over the entire basin SCA exhibits a slowly decreasing trend. The responses of SCA to temperature and precipitation in the northern, western and southern parts of the basin show a stronger effect of precipitation change on SCA than that of temperature. SCA has slowly increased below 2500ma.s.l., but has decreased at higher altitudes. The lowest-altitude zone was apt to be affected by precipitation, while the highest-altitude zone seems to have been influenced mainly by temperature. The middle zone from 2500 to 5000 m was the most sensitive to climate change. Snowfall and melt rates were higher in the 1990s than in the 1980s. In the winter season, SCA change was positively correlated with precipitation change but not with temperature change.
The glaciers on Yulong mountain (5596 m a.s.l.), China, are the southernmost in mainland Eurasia. The largest is Baishui glacier No. 1. Up to 90% of the annual precipitation there falls in summer, when warm moisture-rich air masses associated with the southwest monsoon reach the area from the Indian Ocean. The winter climate is influenced by air masses with a continental origin and by the southern branch of the westerlies. The snow that accumulates on Baishui glacier No. 1 includes marine aerosols associated with the summer monsoon, and dust brought in winter from central/west Asia, Africa or the Thar Desert area. Studies in May 2006 at two sites, one in the accumulation area (4900 m) and one in the ablation area (4750 m), revealed differences between the ionic composition of the snow that had accumulated in the 2005/06 winter and that of the snow which had been deposited during the preceding summer monsoon. Differences in the chemistry of the summer-accumulated snow at the two sites probably reflected local differences in ablation and elution rates, rather than differences in ion supplies. Differences in the chemistry of the winter-accumulated snow may reflect the influence of up-valley winds, which bring more crustal material to the lower site.
The genetic and environmental impacts on correlations between hearing and cognitive functions have not been well studied. Cognitive function was evaluated by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Hearing function was assessed by audiometric pure-tone hearing thresholds at different frequencies, including 0.5 kHz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, 4 kHz, 8 kHz, and 12.5 kHz, with the lower hearing thresholds indicating better hearing function. Cognitive and hearing functions were measured on 379 complete twin pairs (240 monozygotic and 139 dizygotic pairs) with a median age of 50 years (range: 40–80 years). Bivariate twin models were fitted to quantify the genetic and environmental components of the correlations between hearing and cognitive functions. The analysis showed significantly high genetic correlation between 2 kHz of hearing and cognition (rG = −1.00, 95% CI [−1.00, −0.46]) and moderate genetic correlation between 4 kHz of hearing and cognition (rG = −0.62, 95% CI [−1.00, −0.14]). We found no significant genetic correlations between low as well as high frequencies of hearing and cognition. Low to moderate common and unique environmental correlations were shown between low frequencies of hearing and cognition (−0.13 to −0.39) and the common environmental correlation between 8 kHz, one of the high frequencies of hearing, and cognition (−0.22). The middle frequencies of hearing and cognitive functions may have a shared genetic basis. Low frequencies of hearing and cognition may share similar common and unique environmental factors. At 8 kHz, the high frequency of hearing and cognition may share similar common environment. This twin study detected a significant genetic and environmental basis in the phenotype correlation between cognition and hearing, which differed across frequencies.
Studies from high-income countries report moderate-to-strong positive associations between alcohol use disorder (AUD) and other mental disorders, but there is little evidence about the comorbidity of AUD from low-and-middle-income countries.
A sample of 74 752 adults from five provinces that account for >12% of China's adult population was screened using the General Health Questionnaire, and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV was administered by psychiatrists to a subsample of 9619 males. The associations between AUD and other mental disorders at each site and the characteristics of men with AUD with and without comorbid mental disorders were estimated using logistic regression and summarized across sites using meta-analysis. Generalized estimation equations estimated the associations between the clinical features of alcohol dependence and comorbidity.
Robust inverse associations were found between current AUD and any mood disorder (adjusted OR = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.4–0.8) and any anxiety disorder (OR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.3–1.0). Compared with men without AUD, men with AUD without comorbid disorders were more likely to be middle-aged, to be currently married, and to have higher family incomes. Men with comorbid AUD and other disorders were more likely to have the clinical features of alcohol dependence than men with AUD without comorbid disorders.
Inverse associations between AUD and other mental disorders and the higher social status of men with AUD than men without AUD found in this large, representative sample of community-dwelling Chinese males highlight the importance of considering the local substance-use culture when designing clinical or preventive interventions for addictive conditions.
Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) play a fundamental role in insect olfaction. In recent years, Galeruca daurica (Joannis) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) has become one of the most important insect pests in the Inner Mongolian grasslands of China. This pest only feeds on the species of Allium plants, implying the central role of olfaction in its search for specific host plants. However, the olfaction-related proteins have not been investigated in this beetle. In this study, we identified 29 putative OBP genes, namely GdauOBP1–29, from the transcriptome database of G. daurica assembled in our laboratory by using RNA-Seq. All 29 genes had the full-length open reading frames except GdauOBP29, encoding proteins in length from 119 to 202 amino acids with their predicted molecular weights from 12 to 22 kDa with isoelectric points from 3.88 to 8.84. Predicted signal peptides consisting of 15–22 amino acid residues were found in all except GdauOBP6, GdauOBP13 and GdauOBP29. The amino acid sequence identity between the 29 OBPs ranged 8.33–71.83%. GdauOBP1–12 belongs to the Classic OBPs, while the others belong with the Minus-C OBPs. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that GdauOBPs are the closest to CbowOBPs from Colaphellus bowringi. RT-PCR and qRT-PCR analyses showed that all GdauOBPs were expressed in adult antennae, 11 of which with significant differences in their expression levels between males and females. Most GdauOBPs were also expressed in adult heads (without antennae), thoraxes, abdomens, legs and wings. Moreover, the expression levels of the GdauOBPs varied during the different development stages of G. daurica with most GdauOBPs expressed highly in the adult antennae but scarcely in eggs and pupae. These results provide insights for further research on the molecular mechanisms of chemical communications in G. daurica.
Genetic and environmental influences on predictors of decline in daily functioning, including forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), handgrip, and five-times-sit-to-stand test (FTSST), have not been addressed in the aging Chinese population. We performed classical twin modeling on FEV1, FVC, handgrip, and FTSST in 379 twin pairs (240 MZ and 139 DZ) with median age of 50 years (40–80 years). Data were analyzed by fitting univariate and bivariate twin models to estimate the genetic and environmental influences on these measures of physical function. Heritability was moderate for FEV1, handgrip, and FTSST (55–60%) but insignificant for FVC. Only FVC showed moderate control, with shared environmental factors accounting for about 50% of the total variance. In contrast, all measures of pulmonary function and muscle strength showed modest influences from the unique environment (40–50%). Bivariate analysis showed highly positive genetic correlations between FEV1 and FVC (rG = 1.00), and moderately negative genetic correlations between FTSST and FEV1 (rG = −0.33) and FVC (rG = −0.42). FEV1 and FVC, as well as FEV1 and handgrip, displayed high common environmental correlations (rC = 1.00), and there were moderate correlations between FVC and handgrip (rC = 0.44). FEV1 and FVC showed high unique environmental correlations (rE = 0.76) and low correlations between handgrip and FEV1 (rE = 0.17), FVC (rE = 0.14), and FTSST (rE = −0.13) with positive or negative direction. We conclude that genetic factors contribute significantly to the individual differences in common indicators of daily functioning (FEV1, handgrip, and FTSST). FEV1 and FVC were genetically and environmentally correlated. Pulmonary function and FTSST may share similar sets of genes but in the negative direction. Pulmonary function and muscle strength may have a shared environmental background.
Obesity is associated with blood pressure (BP), but the associations between different obesity indicators and BP have not reached agreement. Besides, both obesity and BP are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Whether they share the same genetic or environmental etiology has not been fully understood. We therefore analyzed the relationship between different obesity indicators and BP components as well as the genetic and environmental contributions to these relationships in a Chinese adult twin sample. Twins aged 18–79 years (n = 941) were included in this study. Body mass index (BMI) was used as the index of general obesity, whereas waist circumference (WC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were used as the indicators of central obesity. BP components included systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Linear regression models and bivariate structural equation models were used to examine the relation of various obesity indicators with BP components, and genetic or environmental influences on these associations, respectively. A strong association of BP components with BMI—and a somewhat weaker association with WC, WHtR, and WHR—was found in both sexes, independent of familial factors. Of these phenotypic correlations between obesity indicators and BP components, 60–76% were attributed to genetic factors, whereas 24–40% were attributed to unique environmental factors. General obesity was most strongly associated with high BP in Chinese adult twins. There were common genetic backgrounds for obesity and BP, and unique environmental factors also played a role.
Although the correlation between cognition and physical function has been well studied in the general population, the genetic and environmental nature of the correlation has been rarely investigated. We conducted a classical twin analysis on cognitive and physical function, including forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), handgrip strength, five-times-sit-to-stand test (FTSST), near visual acuity, and number of teeth lost in 379 complete twin pairs. Bivariate twin models were fitted to estimate the genetic and environmental correlation between physical and cognitive function. Bivariate analysis showed mildly positively genetic correlations between cognition and FEV1, rG = 0.23 [95% CI: 0.03, 0.62], as well as FVC, rG = 0.35 [95% CI: 0.06, 1.00]. We found that FTSST and cognition presented very high common environmental correlation, rC = -1.00 [95% CI: -1.00, -0.57], and low but significant unique environmental correlation, rE = -0.11 [95% CI: -0.22, -0.01], all in the negative direction. Meanwhile, near visual acuity and cognition also showed unique environmental correlation, rE = 0.16 [95% CI: 0.03, 0.27]. We found no significantly genetic correlation for cognition with handgrip strength, FTSST, near visual acuity, and number of teeth lost. Cognitive function was genetically related to pulmonary function. The FTSST and cognition shared almost the same common environmental factors but only part of the unique environmental factors, both with negative correlation. In contrast, near visual acuity and cognition may positively share part of the unique environmental factors.
Objectives: Curative hepatectomy and tumor thrombectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma with complicating biliary tumor thrombosis (HCC/BTT) is associated with high surgical morbidity and mortality. This retrospective study evaluated the effectiveness and safety of neoadjuvant transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) in HCC/BTT patients scheduled for curative resection.
Methods: Thirty consecutive patients with diagnosed HCC/BTT were hospitalized for neoadjuvant TACE and elective curative liver resection (group A; n=20) or curative liver resection alone (group B; n=10). The primary outcome measure was median survival.
Results: Group A had a significantly shorter overall operative time (160±25 versus 190±35 min; p < .01) and duration of inflow control (14.3±3.6 versus 25.1±5.1 min; p < .01) and significantly less intraoperative blood loss (150±35 versus 520±75 ml; p < .01) and transfusion (100±40 versus 375±55 ml; p < .01) as compared to group B. Among patients undergoing both thrombectomy and curative resection, the median survival of group A was significantly longer than that of group B (28.5 [9–54] versus 21.5 [6–39] months; p < .01); among those who received thrombectomy alone, the median survival of group A was also significantly longer than that of group B (12.8 [6–25] versus 4.5 [2–7] months; p < .01).
Conclusions: Neoadjuvant TACE significantly reduced the surgical risk of curative liver resection and significantly prolonged median survival in HCC patients with complicating BTT.