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With the popularization of carbon and nitrogen stable-isotope analysis methods used on archaeological samples from Xinjiang, the ancient paleodiet there has been revealed. However, research about isotopic analysis combined with environmental factors is rare, especially in such a variable and complex climate as that of the Tianshan region. We systematically analyzed the δ13C and δ15N results from animals and humans for dietary reconstruction of nomadic pastoralists from the Tianshan region during 3900–1200 cal BP. The δ13C and δ15N values for animals (sheep/goat, horse and cattle; n = 57) have a wide range from –20.8‰ to –14.7‰ for δ13C (–19.2 ± 1.0‰) and 3.2‰ to 9.9‰ for δ15N (7.0 ± 1.2‰). The δ13C and δ15N values from humans range from –19.6 to –12.3‰ (–16.0 ± 1.5‰) and 7.1 to 16.7‰ (–13.6 ± 1.5‰), respectively. The animal δ15N results indicate that the dry environment in the Tianshan region may result in elevated δ15N values. Synthesizing animal and human isotope results suggests that the inhabitants engaged in mobile herding economies subsidized with crops and wild animal meat from the Tianshan Mountains. In conclusion, we found that the regional environment closely relates to crop types, and temporal climate change has an effect on human dietary structure. Therefore, climate condition cannot be ignored when studying human paleodiet.
To explore the associations between dietary tastes and chronic diseases quantitatively.
We used the Geodetector method to establish associations between seven tastes and a variety of chronic diseases from the perspective of spatial stratified heterogeneity and explained the effects of dietary tastes on the spatial distribution of chronic diseases.
We used crowdsourcing online recipe data to extract multiple taste information about cuisines, combined with point of interest data on categorised restaurant data in different regions, to quantitatively analyse the taste preferences of people in different regions.
Crowdsourcing online recipe data and restaurant data in different regions.
The results showed that sixteen diseases were significantly associated with dietary tastes among the seventy-one types of chronic diseases. Compared with the effects of individual tastes, the interactions of tastes increased the risk of sixteen diseases, and many combinations of tastes produced nonlinear enhancement effects on the risk for diseases.
This study presents a quantitative study approach based on the crowdsourcing of data to explore potential health risk factors, which can be applied to the exploratory analysis of disease aetiology and help public health authorities to develop corresponding interventions.
For the guarantee of the long-distance transport of the bunches of China Initiative Accelerator Driven System (CIADS), a new scheme is proposed that extra magnetic field is used in the accelerator-target coupling section before the windowless target to minimize the self-modulation (SM) mechanism. Particle-in-cell simulations are carried out to study the influence of the solenoidal magnetic field on the self-modulation mechanism when long proton bunches move in the background plasmas. The long proton bunches used in the simulations are similar to these in the linear accelerator of CIADS. It is found that the presence of the solenoidal magnetic field will significantly inhibit the self-modulation process. For the strong magnetic field, the longitudinal separation and transverse focusing of the long bunches disappear. We attribute these phenomena to the reason that the strong solenoidal magnetic field restricts the transverse movement of plasma electrons. Thus, there are not enough electrons around the bunch to compensate the space charge effect. Moreover, without transverse current, the longitudinal pinched effect disappears, and the long bunch can not be separated into small pulses anymore.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.
The water and energy sectors of an economy are inextricably linked. Energy is required in water production, distribution, and recycling, while water is often used for energy generation. In many geographical locations, the energy-water nexus is exacerbated by the shortage of both fresh water resources and energy generation infrastructure. New materials, including metamaterials, are now emerging to address the challenges of providing renewable energy and fresh water, especially to off-the-grid communities struggling with water shortages. Novel nanomaterials have fueled recent technology breakthroughs in solar water desalination, fog and dew collection, and cloud seeding. Materials for passive thermal management of buildings and individuals offer promising strategies to reduce the use of energy and water for heating and cooling. While many challenges remain, emerging materials and technologies improve sustainable management of water and energy resources.
Multi-functions devices attract much attention due to their great potential and large demands in wearable electronics. Besides some studies of integrated different functional devices as one, there is a novel strategy to fabricate multi-functions devices, that using one device to achieve two or more functions. Herein, we report the temperature sensing and energy storage multi-functions device based on graphene supercapacitor. By measuring the change of leakage current of supercapacitor, the obtained device could detect the environmental temperature. Integrating the planar-structure supercapacitor on one flexible printed circuit board with electronic components together, the obtain device presents perfect mechanical stability that no noticeable difference of both capacitance and leakage current under any bending status. Importantly, the temperature sensing function exhibits a high accuracy of 1 °C with a high resolution of 0.0588 °C. This work demonstrates the feasibility of the strategy of one device achieve two functions: using one supercapacitor to achieve temperature sensing and energy storage dual function simultaneously.
Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating disease that typically affects formula-fed premature infants, suggesting that dietary components may influence disease pathogenesis. TAG are the major fat components of infant formula, and their digestion requires pancreatic lipases, which may be naturally deficient in premature neonates. We hypothesise that NEC develops partly from the accumulation of incompletely digested long-chain TAG-containing unsaturated fatty acids within the intestinal epithelial cells, leading to oxidative stress and enterocyte damage. We further hypothesise that the administration of a formula that contains reduced TAG (‘pre-digested fat’) that do not require lipase action may reduce NEC severity. To test these hypotheses, we induced NEC in neonatal mice using three different fat formulations, namely ‘standard fat’, ‘pre-digested fat’ or ‘very low fat’, and determined that mice fed ‘standard fat’ developed severe NEC, which was significantly reduced in mice fed ‘pre-digested fat’ or ‘very low fat’. The expression level of the critical fat-digesting enzyme carboxyl ester lipase was significantly lower in the newborn compared with older pups, leading to impaired fat digestion. The accumulation of mal-digested fat resulted in the significant accumulation of fat droplets within the intestinal epithelium of the distal ileum, resulting in the generation of reactive oxygen species and intestinal inflammation. Strikingly, these changes were prevented in pups fed ‘pre-digested fat’ or ‘very low fat’ formulas. These findings suggest that nutritional formula containing a pre-digested fat system may overcome the natural lipase deficiency of the premature gut, and serve as a novel approach to prevent NEC.
We report the utility of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) conducted in a clinically relevant time frame (ie, sufficient for guiding management decision), in managing a Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak, and present a comparison of its performance with emm typing.
A 2,000-bed tertiary-care psychiatric hospital.
Active surveillance was conducted to identify new cases of S. pyogenes. WGS guided targeted epidemiological investigations, and infection control measures were implemented. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)–based genome phylogeny, emm typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were performed. We compared the ability of WGS and emm typing to correctly identify person-to-person transmission and to guide the management of the outbreak.
The study included 204 patients and 152 staff. We identified 35 patients and 2 staff members with S. pyogenes. WGS revealed polyclonal S. pyogenes infections with 3 genetically distinct phylogenetic clusters (C1–C3). Cluster C1 isolates were all emm type 4, sequence type 915 and had pairwise SNP differences of 0–5, which suggested recent person-to-person transmissions. Epidemiological investigation revealed that cluster C1 was mediated by dermal colonization and transmission of S. pyogenes in a male residential ward. Clusters C2 and C3 were genomically diverse, with pairwise SNP differences of 21–45 and 26–58, and emm 11 and mostly emm120, respectively. Clusters C2 and C3, which may have been considered person-to-person transmissions by emm typing, were shown by WGS to be unlikely by integrating pairwise SNP differences with epidemiology.
WGS had higher resolution than emm typing in identifying clusters with recent and ongoing person-to-person transmissions, which allowed implementation of targeted intervention to control the outbreak.
The experiments reported in this research communication aimed to plot the expression pattern of Sirt3, a master regulator of energy metabolism and antioxidation defence, in the liver of dairy goats during perinatal period. Ten healthy dairy goats in late pregnancy were chosen, and needle biopsy was applied to collect liver samples at 1-week intervals. Protein levels of hepatic Sirt3 were analysed by western-blotting. Serum enzyme activities of manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) levels were measured, and their correlation with Sirt3 mRNA levels was also estimated. Compared with >3-week before parturition (BP), Sirt3 proteins were significantly reduced at 1-week after parturition (AP) and 2-week AP (P < 0·05), but increased on the day of parturition (P < 0·01). Correlation analysis revealed a positive association between hepatic Sirt3 mRNA levels and serum enzyme activity of Mn-SOD (r = 0·46), but a negative association between that and serum NEFA levels (r = −0·41). These data indicate that the decreased hepatic expression of Sirt3 might be one of the reasons that dairy goats undergo oxidative stress after parturition.
Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a common disease in premature infants characterised by intestinal ischaemia and necrosis. The only effective preventative strategy against NEC is the administration of breast milk, although the protective mechanisms remain unknown. We hypothesise that an abundant human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) in breast milk, 2′-fucosyllactose (2′FL), protects against NEC by enhancing intestinal mucosal blood flow, and we sought to determine the mechanisms underlying this protection. Administration of HMO-2′FL protected against NEC in neonatal wild-type mice, resulted in a decrease in pro-inflammatory markers and preserved the small intestinal mucosal architecture. These protective effects occurred via restoration of intestinal perfusion through up-regulation of the vasodilatory molecule endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), as administration of HMO-2′FL to eNOS-deficient mice or to mice that received eNOS inhibitors did not protect against NEC, and by 16S analysis HMO-2′FL affected the microbiota of the neonatal mouse gut, although these changes do not seem to be the primary mechanism of protection. Induction of eNOS by HMO-2′FL was also observed in cultured endothelial cells, providing a link between eNOS and HMO in the endothelium. These data demonstrate that HMO-2′FL protects against NEC in part through maintaining mesenteric perfusion via increased eNOS expression, and suggest that the 2′FL found in human milk may be mediating some of the protective benefits of breast milk in the clinical setting against NEC.
The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic value of plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor in children with heart failure.
Methods and results
Plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor was determined in 61 children, including 41 children with heart failure, 20 children without heart failure, and 30 healthy volunteers. The correlations between plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels and clinical parameters were investigated. Moreover, the diagnostic value of N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels was evaluated. Compared with healthy volunteers and children without heart failure, plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels were significantly elevated in those with heart failure (p<0.01). N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and left ventricular end-diastolic dimension were positively correlated with plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels (r=0.364, p=0.006; r=0.308, p=0.016), whereas there was a negative correlation between left ventricular ejection fraction and plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor (r=−0.353, p=0.005). Connective tissue growth factor was significantly correlated with the severity of heart failure (p<0.001). Moreover, addition of connective tissue growth factor to N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide did not significantly increase area under curve for diagnosing heart failure (area under curve difference 0.031, p>0.05), but it obviously improved the ability of diagnosing heart failure in children, as demonstrated by the integrated discrimination improvement (6.2%, p=0.013) and net re-classification improvement (13.2%, p=0.017) indices.
Plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor is a promising diagnostic biomarker for heart failure in children.
Hypertension is a major cause of premature death in China. Understanding risk factors including behavioural and predisposing factors may help to prevent development of hypertension and control the extent of premature mortality. In this case-control design conducted in Hunan province, 416 hypertensive subjects were matched with an equal number of normotensive persons from nearly 9,000 volunteers. A self-report questionnaire was employed to collect demographic and lifestyle information, and fasting serum biomarkers related to lipid profile, renal function, glucose level and uric acid were assessed. When age and sex were stratified, serum biomarkers such as blood urea nitrogen and triglycerides showed a significant difference for hypertension, while lifestyle behaviours including university degree, alcohol use, Body Mass Index and psychological stress (job and married life) were also associated with hypertension. After adjusting for covariate confounding factors, only elevated triglyceride levels were strongly linked to high blood pressure, odds ratio = 1.55, 95 per cent confidence level = 1.16–2.06. To control high blood pressure, hypertriglyceridemia should be included in hypertension treatment and followed up to assess the substantial risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Areas with low, adequate and excessive I content in water co-exist in China. Limited data are currently available on I nutrition and thyroid disease in lactating women and their breast-fed infants with different I intakes. This study aimed to evaluate I nutrition in both lactating women and their infants and the prevalence of thyroid disease in areas with different levels of I in water. From January to June 2014, a total of 343 healthy lactating women (excluding those taking anti-thyroid drugs or I supplements within a year of the study, consuming seafood at the time of the study or those diagnosed with congenital thyroid disease) from Beihai in Guangxi province and Jiajiazhuang, Yangcheng, Jicun and Pingyao townships in Shanxi province were selected. Compared with the I-sufficient group, median urinary I concentrations in both lactating women and infants as well as breast milk I levels were significantly lower in the I-deficient group (P<0·001). The prevalence of thyroid disease in lactating women, particularly subclinical hypothyroidism, was higher in the I-excess group than in the I-sufficient group (P<0·05). In areas with excessive water I content, high thyroid peroxidase antibody and high thyroglobulin levels were risk factors for abnormal thyroid-stimulating hormone levels. Our data collectively suggest that excessive I intake potentially causes subclinical hypothyroidism in lactating women. Moreover, enhanced monitoring of I status is important to avoid adverse effects of I deficiency or excess, particularly in susceptible populations such as pregnant or lactating women and infants.
Based on SDSS and South Galactic Cap U-band Sky Survey (SCUSS) photometry, we try to study the photometric metallicity of the Sagittarius (Sgr) stream in the south Galactic cap. We find that the Sgr stream has a wider metallicity distribution, and that its median metallicity is richer than that of the field halo stars. The neighboring field halo stars in our studied fields can be modeled by a two-Gaussian model, with peaks at [Fe/H]= −1.9 and [Fe/H]= −1.5. The metallicity distribution function (MDF) of the mixed population (Sgr stream and halo stars) has peaks at [Fe/H]= −1.9, [Fe/H]= −1.5 and [Fe/H]= −0.5, respectively.
To date, most antibodies from combinatorial libraries have been selected purely on the basis of binding. However, new methods now allow selection on the basis of function in animal cells. These selected agonist antibodies have given new insights into the important problem of signal transduction. Remarkably, when some antibodies bind to a given receptor they induce a cell fate that is different than that induced by the natural agonist to the same receptor. The fact that receptors can be functionally pleiotropic may yield new insights into the important problem of signal transduction.
The unsteady flow separation of airfoil with a local flexible structure (LFS) is studied numerically in Lagrangian frames in detail, in order to investigate the nature of its high aerodynamic performance. For such aeroelastic system, the characteristic-based split (CBS) scheme combined with arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) framework is developed firstly for the numerical analysis of unsteady flow, and Galerkin method is used to approach the flexible structure. The local flexible skin of airfoil, which can lead to self-induced oscillations, is considered as unsteady perturbation to the flow. Then, the ensuing high aerodynamic performances and complex unsteady flow separation at low Reynolds number are studied by Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs). The results show that the LFS has a significant influence on the unsteady flow separation, which is the key point for the lift enhancement. Specifically, the oscillations of the LFS can induce the generations of moving separation and vortex, which can enhance the kinetic energy transport from main flow to the boundary layer. The results could give a deep understand of the dynamics in unsteady flow separation and flow control for the flow over airfoil.
Plasma etching process plays a critical role in semiconductor manufacturing. Because
physical and chemical mechanisms involved in plasma etching are extremely complicated,
models supporting process control are difficult to construct. This paper uses a 35-run
D-optimal design to efficiently collect data under well planned conditions for important
controllable variables such as power, pressure, electrode gap and gas flows of
Cl2 and He and
the response, etching rate, for building an empirical underlying model. Since the
relationship between the control and response variables could be highly nonlinear, a
generalized regression neural network is used to select important model variables and
their combination effects and to fit the model. Compared with the response surface
methodology, the proposed method has better prediction performance in training and testing
samples. A success application of the model to control the plasma etching process
demonstrates the effectiveness of the methods.
Jia Peng, Departments of Molecular and Human Genetics, and Pathology and Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA,
Qinglei Li, Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX, USA,
Martin M. Matzuk, Departments of Molecular and Human Genetics, Pathology and Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Pharmacology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
In mammals, oocytes initially develop from primordial germ cells (PGCs), which divide and migrate to the gonad to become oogonia during fetal development. At birth, a mammalian female contains about two million primary oocytes, which remain quiescent in the prophase of meiosis I (refer to Chapters 2 and 6). Eventually, a subset of these immature oocytes will be surrounded by granulosa cells to form the primordial follicle pool. Folliculogenesis begins with the activation of a primordial follicle and ends with either the release of a fertilizable oocyte or follicular atresia. The pathways involved in oogenesis and folliculogenesis have been extensively studied, with an attempt to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying successful ovulation and fertilization. In this chapter, we highlight three major pathways critical for female germ cell development – transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), and small RNAs – and discuss mouse models used for dissecting the function of genes involved in these pathways.
Overview of the TGFβ pathway
The TGFβ superfamily is the largest family of secreted proteins in mammals . Members of the TGFβ family are involved in a variety of developmental and physiological processes. The canonical TGFβ signaling pathway begins with two dimeric ligands binding to type I and type II receptors to form an activated heterotetrameric receptor complex. The type II receptor within this activated complex phosphorylates the type I receptor, which in turn phosphorylates downstream SMAD proteins. These phosphorylated, receptor-regulated SMAD (R-SMAD) proteins can then bind to the common SMAD (co-SMAD; i.e., SMAD4), translocate into the nucleus, and interact with SMAD binding partners to regulate transcription of target genes (Figure 7.1).
Based on the South Galactic Cap U-band Sky Survey (SCUSS) and SDSS observation, we adopted the star-count method to analyze the stellar distribution in different directions of the Galaxy. We find that these model parameters may be variable with observed direction, which cannot simply be attributed to statistical errors.
To date, there has been little improvement in cryopreservation of bull sperm due to lack of understanding of the freezing mechanisms. Therefore, this study set out to investigate expression levels of fertility-associated proteins in bull sperm, and in particular the relationship between the 90 kDa heat-shock protein (HSP90) and the sperm characteristics after freezing–thawing. Semen was collected from eight Holstein bulls by artificial vagina. Characteristics of these fresh semen, including sperm motility, morphology, viability and concentration, were evaluated. Sperm quality was also assessed after freezing–thawing. Eight ejaculates were divided into two groups based on freezing resistance and sperm motility. Sperm proteins were extracted and sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis and western blotting were performed. SDS-PAGE results showed that there was substantial diversity in 90 kDa proteins in the frozen–thawed sperm and HSP90 was confirmed as one of the 90 kDa proteins by western blot. This study indicated that HSP90 expression correlated positively with sperm quality. The amount of expressed 90 kDa proteins in the high freezing resistance (HFR) group was significantly higher than that in the low freezing resistance (LFR) group (P < 0.05). Thus, higher expression of HSP90 could probably lead to the higher motility and freezing resistance of sperm found after freezing–thawing. Therefore, we concluded that level of HSP90 expression could be used to predict reliably and simply the freezing resistance of bull sperm.