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Chronic inflammation exerts pleiotropic effects in the aetiology and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Glucosamine is widely used in many countries and may have anti-inflammatory properties. We aimed to prospectively evaluate the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD risk and explore whether such association could be modified by smoking in the UK Biobank cohort, which recruited more than half a million participants aged 40–69 years from across the UK between 2006 and 2010. Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for potential confounding factors were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) as well as 95 % CI for the risk of incident COPD. During a median follow-up of 8·96 years (interquartile range 8·29–9·53 years), 9016 new-onset events of COPD were documented. We found that the regular use of glucosamine was associated with a significantly lower risk of incident COPD with multivariable adjusted HR of 0·80 (95 % CI, 0·75, 0·85; P < 0·001). When subgroup analyses were performed by smoking status, the adjusted HR for the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD were 0·84 (0·73, 0·96), 0·84 (0·77, 0·92) and 0·71 (0·62, 0·80) among never smokers, former smokers and current smokers, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between glucosamine use and smoking status (Pfor interaction = 0·078). Incident COPD could be reduced by 14 % to 84 % through a combination of regular glucosamine use and smoking cessation.
The risk of environmental contamination by severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the intensive care unit (ICU) is unclear. We evaluated the extent of environmental contamination in the ICU and correlated this with patient and disease factors, including the impact of different ventilatory modalities.
In this observational study, surface environmental samples collected from ICU patient rooms and common areas were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Select samples from the common area were tested by cell culture. Clinical data were collected and correlated to the presence of environmental contamination. Results were compared to historical data from a previous study in general wards.
In total, 200 samples from 20 patient rooms and 75 samples from common areas and the staff pantry were tested. The results showed that 14 rooms had at least 1 site contaminated, with an overall contamination rate of 14% (28 of 200 samples). Environmental contamination was not associated with day of illness, ventilatory mode, aerosol-generating procedures, or viral load. The frequency of environmental contamination was lower in the ICU than in general ward rooms. Eight samples from the common area were positive, though all were negative on cell culture.
Environmental contamination in the ICU was lower than in the general wards. The use of mechanical ventilation or high-flow nasal oxygen was not associated with greater surface contamination, supporting their use and safety from an infection control perspective. Transmission risk via environmental surfaces in the ICUs is likely to be low. Nonetheless, infection control practices should be strictly reinforced, and transmission risk via droplet or airborne spread remains.
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is the primary staple crop in Taiwan, and it can be grown twice a year. The prevalent subspecies grown in Taiwan is Japonica, and a transplanting system is used for rice production. Although the transplanting system is known for efficient weed control at the seedling stage, weedy red rice (WRR, O. sativa f. spontanea) infestation is progressively being reported. Fieldwork and previous studies have suggested that WRR infestation in Taiwan is probably related to growers’ operating practices and their perception of WRR. However, no data are available for a detailed investigation. The present study aimed to collect data on rice growers’ backgrounds, farming practices, and perceptions of WRR to quantify and characterize the patterns of farming operations for rice growers in Taiwan and to investigate factors contributing to WRR infestation. We collected 408 questionnaires completed by rice growers from 17 counties covering all rice production regions in Taiwan. The growers’ median age was 51 to 60 yr, and 75% of respondents had paddies from 0.25 to 2.75 ha in size, which corresponded with nationwide data for farmers’ backgrounds. In general, growers applied similar farming practices for both cropping seasons. Most respondents did not notice WRR infestation or consider it to be a problem: only 9.8% noticed a moderate to severe infestation of WRR in their fields. The major perceived causes of WRR infestation was seed impurity (55.1%) or cultivar degeneration (18.6%). Correlation analysis and farming patterns estimated with a nonnegative matrix factorization algorithm showed that WRR contamination rate was due to the use of dry or wet tillage. The present study provides the first quantitative and qualitative evidence of rice production practices and growers’ perceptions of WRR infestation in Taiwan.
In this paper, CuCr–Zr alloys prepared by vacuum melting with adding La and Ni elementswere heat-treated and aged, followed by plastic deformation using low-energy cyclic impact tests, to simultaneously improve their mechanical and electrical properties. Results showed that the grain size of the casted Cu–Cr–Zr alloys was significantly reduced after the solid-solution aging and plastic deformation process. There were a lot of dispersed Cr and Cu5Zr precipitates formed in the alloys, and the numbers of dislocations were significantly increased. Accordingly, the hardness was increased from 78 to 232 HV, and the tensile strength was increased from 225 to 691 MPa. Electrical conductivity has not been significantly affected after these processes. The enhancement of overall performance is mainly attributed to the combined effects of solid-solution hardening, fine grain hardening, and precipitation/dislocation strengthening.
Although the streaked optical pyrometer (SOP) system has been widely adopted in shock temperature measurements, its reliability has always been of concern. Here, two calibrated Planckian radiators with different color temperatures were used to calibrate and verify the SOP system by comparing the two calibration standards using both multi-channel and single-channel methods. A high-color-temperature standard lamp and a multi-channel filter were specifically designed for the measurement system. To verify the reliability of the SOP system, the relative deviation between the measured data and the standard value of less than 5% was calibrated out, which demonstrates the reliability of the SOP system. Furthermore, a method to analyze the uncertainty and sensitivity of the SOP system is proposed. A series of laser-induced shock experiments were conducted at the ‘Shenguang-II’ laser facility to verify the reliability of the SOP system for temperature measurements at tens of thousands of kelvin. The measured temperature of the quartz in our experiments agreed fairly well with previous works, which serves as evidence for the reliability of the SOP system.
Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) microspheres (CNMS) were fabricated via a solvothermal method by using dicyandiamide and cyanuric chloride as precursors. The morphology, band structure, and defects can be simultaneously regulated by merely adjusting the concentration of precursors. Structural characterization results indicate that all the prepared samples possess spherical morphology, while the band gap decreased as the precursor concentration increased from 8 mmol (CNMS-1) to 24 mmol (CNMS-3). Besides, ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy results suggested that the valence band of CNMS-2 (16 mmol) was much higher than that of CNMS-1 and CNMS-3. Additionally, organic elemental analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and electron paramagnetic resonance results unveil the formation of nitrogen defects on the surface of prepared samples. Besides, CNMS-2 exhibits an enhanced apparent reaction rate constant of RhB degradation than that of CNMS-1 and CNMS-3. The improved apparent reaction rate constant may be due to the lowered valence band as well as the formation of nitrogen defects. This work might guide the regulation of the morphology and band structure of g-C3N4-based materials prepared via the one-pot hydrothermal method.
Italian ryegrass has invaded wheat ﬁelds in China and is becoming a predominant, troublesome weed. Fenoxaprop-P-ethyl has been widely used for weed control on Chinese farms since the 1990s. However, overuse has led to fenoxaprop-P-ethyl resistance in Italian ryegrass in Chinese wheat fields. In this study, we identified a putative fenoxaprop-P-ethyl–resistant population of Italian ryegrass, HZYC-6, from Henan province, China. Mutations involving Asp-2078-Gly and Ile-1781-Leu substitutions were identified in the carboxyl-transferase domain of acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase in this population, and these mutations are the likely cause of the target site–based resistance to fenoxaprop-P-ethyl. In addition, we identified cytochrome P450–mediated metabolism of herbicides (non–target site based resistance) in the HZYC-6 population, indicating that multiple mechanisms of resistance may be segregating in this population. Furthermore, HZYC-6 was also highly resistant to haloxyfop-R-methyl and quizalofop-P-ethyl, moderately resistant to clodinafop-propargyl and sethoxydim, and had low resistance to clethodim and pinoxaden.
This study aimed to investigate the impacts of dietary threonine on intestinal immunity and inflammation in juvenile grass carp. Six iso-nitrogenous semi-purified diets containing graded levels of threonine (3·99–21·66 g threonine/kg) were formulated and fed to fishes for 8 weeks, and then challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 d. Results showed that, compared with optimum threonine supplementation, threonine deficiency (1) decreased the ability of fish against enteritis, intestinal lysozyme activities (except in the distal intestine), acid phosphatase activities, complement 3 (C3) and C4 contents and IgM contents (except in the proximal intestine (PI)), and it down-regulated the transcript abundances of liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide (LEAP)-2A, LEAP-2B, hepcidin, IgZ, IgM and β-defensin1 (except in the PI) (P<0·05); (2) could up-regulate intestinal pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-17D mRNA levels partly related to NF-κB signalling; (3) could down-regulate intestinal anti-inflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2, IL-4/13A (not IL-4/13B) and IL-10 mRNA levels partly by target of rapamycin signalling. Finally, on the basis of the specific growth rate, against the enteritis morbidity and IgM contents, the optimum threonine requirements were estimated to be 14·53 g threonine/kg diet (4·48 g threonine/100 g protein), 15.05 g threonine/kg diet (4·64 g threonine/100 g protein) and 15·17 g threonine/kg diet (4·68 g threonine/100 g protein), respectively.
High-protein diets are popular for weight management, but the health effects of such diets in diabetic persons are inconclusive. The aim of the present meta-analysis was to examine the effects of high-protein diets on body weight and metabolic risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. We searched the PubMed and Cochrane Library databases for relevant randomised trials up to August 2012. Either a fixed- or a random-effects model was used to combine the net changes in each outcome from baseline to the end of the intervention. Overall, nine trials including a total of 418 diabetic patients met our inclusion criteria. The study duration ranged from 4 to 24 weeks. The actual intake of dietary protein ranged from 25 to 32 % of total energy in the intervention groups and from 15 to 20 % in the control groups. Compared with the control diets, high-protein diets resulted in more weight loss (pooled mean difference: − 2·08, 95 % CI − 3·25, − 0·90 kg). High-protein diets significantly decreased glycated Hb A1C (HbA1C) levels by 0·52 (95 % CI − 0·90, − 0·14) %, but did not affect the fasting blood glucose levels. There were no differences in lipid profiles. The pooled net changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were − 3·13 (95 % CI − 6·58, 0·32) mmHg and − 1·86 (95 % CI − 4·26, 0·56) mmHg, respectively. However, two studies reported a large influence on weight loss and HbA1C levels, respectively. In summary, high-protein diets (within 6 months) may have some beneficial effects on weight loss, HbA1C levels and blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, further investigations are still required to draw a conclusion.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis (A. cantonensis) is the most common cause of parasitic eosinophilic meningitis worldwide. By using an animal model of BALB/c mice infected with A. cantonensis, previous studies indicated that the anthelmintic drug, albendazole, could kill A. cantonensis larvae and prevent further infection. However, the dead larvae will induce severe immune responses targeting at brain tissues. To alleviate the detrimental effects caused by the dead larvae, we administered curcumin, a traditional anti-inflammatory agent, as a complementary treatment in addition to albendazole therapy, to determine whether curcumin could be beneficial for treatment. The results showed that although curcumin treatment alone did not reduce worm number, combined treatment by albendazole and curcumin helped to reduce eosinophil count in the cerebrospinal fluid, better than using albendazole alone. This alleviating effect did not affect albendazole treatment alone, since histological analysis showed similar worm eradication with or without addition of curcumin. Nevertheless, curcumin treatment alone and combined albendazole-curcumin treatment did not inhibit MMP-9 expression in the brain tissue. In conclusion, curcumin, when used as a complementary treatment to albendazole, could help to alleviate eosinophilic meningitis through suppression of eosinophil count in the cerebrospinal fluid.
C-doped, Mo-doped, and (Mo, C)-codoped TiO2 photocatalysts were prepared by a sol-gel process. The photocatalytic activity was evaluated by the photocatalytic degradation of methyl orange (MO) under simulated solar irradiation. Results indicated that both monodoped and codoped TiO2 exhibited better visible light absorption behavior and narrower energy gap than pure TiO2, and codoped TiO2 showed a slightly higher adsorption property in the dark because of higher Brunauer–Emmett–Teller-specific surface area. The photocatalytic activity of monodoped TiO2 was also enhanced, and the (0.04% Mo, C)-codoped sample had the best photocatalytic activity for degrading MO among all of the samples. The reason can be ascribed to the synergistic effect due to Mo and C doping. Furthermore, the transfer pathways of photoinduced carriers and photocatalytic reaction mechanism of (Mo, C)-codoped TiO2 was first investigated.
The effect of Li3N additive on the Li-Mg-N-H system was examined with respect to the reversible dehydrogenation performance. Screening study with varying Li3N additions (5, 10, 20, and 30 mol%) demonstrates that all are effective for improving the hydrogen desorption capacity. Optimally, incorporation of 10 mol% Li3N improves the practical capacity from 3.9 wt% to approximately 4.7 wt% hydrogen at 200 °C, which drives the dehydrogenation reaction toward completion. Moreover, the capacity enhancement persists well over 10 de-/rehydrogenation cycles. Systematic x-ray diffraction examinations indicate that Li3N additive transforms into LiNH2 and LiH phases and remains during hydrogen cycling. Combined structure/property investigations suggest that the LiNH2 “seeding” should be responsible for the capacity enhancement, which reduces the kinetic barrier associated with the nucleation of intermediate LiNH2. In addition, the concurrent incorporation of LiH is effective for mitigating the ammonia release.
Miniature pigs are valuable for research in xenotransplantation and as models for investigating human diseases. Although many mammalian species have been cloned, the success rates have been very low, especially in the pig. In the present study, an attempt was made to optimize somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) protocols for use in the production of the Guangxi Bama mini-pig. Firstly, mini-pig fibroblast cells from a new-born Guangxi Bama piglet were isolated and cultured. Cell type was identified by fluorescence immunocytochemistry (ICC); the cells expressed cimentin, but not cytoceratin and follicular stimulation hormone receptor (FSHR). Secondly, the optimal cell cycle synchronization protocol for treating fibroblast cells from the newborn piglet's testicle was investigated by contact inhibition and serum starvation. When fibroblast cells were treated by contact inhibition, a higher fusion (66.0% vs. 58.3%, p > 0.05) and blastocyst production (20.8% vs. 15.1, p > 0.05) rates were obtained than with serum starvation. Thirdly, to examine the ability of old cells to be morphologically remodelled after activation, testicular fibroblasts (passage 10–14) were introduced into enucleated oocytes; enlarged nuclei were formed in most of the reconstructed embryos at 6 h and enlarged nuclei or distinct pseudopronuclei were formed in nearly all the reconstructed embryos at 12 h. The old donor cell could be morphologically remodelled correctly and was competent to support embryo development to the blastocyst in vitro. Fourthly, the in vitro development potential of the cloned embryos was investigated using two types of donor cell: ear fibroblasts and low or high passage testicular fibroblasts. The rate of fusion was highest using low passage testicle fibroblasts (84.5% vs. 69.8% and 80.0%, p < 0.05), as was development to the blastocyst stage (14.6% vs. 7.7% and 6.3%, p < 0.05). Finally, the effect of phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) on parthenogenetic and cloned embryo development was examined. The PHA had no significant effect on the parthenogenetic embryos, but cloned embryo development to the blastocyst stage was significantly increased by PHA (10μg/ml), (13.4% vs. 5.6% and 5.6%, p < 0.05).
To identify the disease-causing gene for a large multi-generational Chinese family affected by familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHCM), genome-wide screening was carried out in a Chinese family with FHCM using micro-satellite markers, and linkage analysis was performed using the MLINK program. The disease locus was mapped to 1q32 in this family. Screening for a mutation in the cardiac troponin T (cTnT) gene was performed by a PCR and sequencing was done with an ABI Prism 3700 sequencer. A novel C→G transition located in the ninth exon of the cTnT gene, leading to a predicted amino acid residue change from Ile to Met at codon 90, was identified in all individuals with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The results presented here strongly suggest that Ile90Met, a novel mutation in the cTnT gene, is causative agent of HCM in this family.
Pregnenolone sulphate (PREGS) is one of the most important neuroactive steroids. Previous study showed that PREGS enhanced long-term potentiation (LTP) via activation of post-synaptic NMDA receptors at excitatory synapses in the hippocampus. The present paper studied the effect of PREGS on LTP at excitatory synapses in the pyramidal cells of layers V–VI of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) using whole-cell patch-clamp in slices and made a comparison with that in the hippocampus. We also studied the mechanism of the effect of PREGS in the mPFC. We found that PREGS inhibited induction of LTP in the mPFC and had no influence on NMDA currents, which was different from its effect in the hippocampus. Moreover, the effect of PREGS on LTP in the mPFC was cancelled by α2-adrenoreceptor antagonist, α2A-adrenoreceptor antagonist, Gi protein inhibitor, adenylate cyclase inhibitor and protein kinase A inhibitor. These results suggest that PREGS inhibits LTP via activation of the α2-adrenoreceptor–Gi protein–adenylate cyclase–protein kinase A signalling pathway in the mPFC.
The localization of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and HSP70 mRNA in the heart, liver, lung, kidney, spleen, thymus and cloacal bursa in broilers that were heat stressed for 6 h was conducted using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization techniques. Positive HSP70 mRNA signals were detected in the liver and lung, especially in the vessel walls. A weak presence was found in the myocardial cells. No significant signals were observed in spleen, thymus and cloacal bursa. HSP70 was observed in the vessel walls of all investigated broiler tissues. Localizations of HSP70 and HSP70 mRNA suggest that HSP70 could be correlated with cardiovascular function.
In this paper we show that two semi-conjugate random dynamical systems (RDSs) on Polish spaces have the same entropy and pressure if the cardinal number of the pre-image of a point under the semi-conjugacy is finite almost everywhere.