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In late December 2019, patients of atypical pneumonia due to an unidentified microbial agent were reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Subsequently, a novel coronavirus was identified as the causative pathogen which was named SARS-CoV-2. As of 12 February 2020, more than 44 000 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been confirmed in China and continue to expand. Provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions of China have launched first-level response to major public health emergencies one after another from 23 January 2020, which means restricting movement of people among provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. The aim of this study was to explore the correlation between the migration scale index and the number of confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and to depict the effect of restricting population movement. In this study, Excel 2010 was used to demonstrate the temporal distribution at the day level and SPSS 23.0 was used to analyse the correlation between the migration scale index and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. We found that since 23 January 2020, Wuhan migration scale index has dropped significantly and since 26 January 2020, Hubei province migration scale index has dropped significantly. New confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Wuhan gradually increased since 24 January 2020, and showed a downward trend from 6 February 2020. New confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Hubei province gradually increased since 24 January 2020, and maintained at a high level from 24 January 2020 to 4 February 2020, then showed a downward trend. Wuhan migration scale index from 9 January to 22 January, 10 January to 23 January and 11 January to 24 January was correlated with the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Wuhan from 22 January to 4 February. Hubei province migration scale index from 10 January to 23 January and 11 January to 24 January was correlated with the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Hubei province from 22 January to 4 February. Our findings suggested that people who left Wuhan from 9 January to 22 January, and those who left Hubei province from 10 January to 24 January, led to the outbreak in the rest of China. The ‘Wuhan lockdown’ and the launching of the first-level response to this major public health emergency may have had a good effect on controlling the COVID-19 epidemic. Although new COVID-19 cases continued to be confirmed in China outside Wuhan and Hubei provinces, in our opinion, these are second-generation cases.
Flexible electrode is an indispensable component of emerging portable, flexible, and wearable electronic devices. Although various flexible electrodes with different dimensions and functions have been explored, developing a new electrode material with excellent mechanical reliability and superior electrical performance remains a challenge. Here, a graphene-covered Cu composite electrode film with a total thickness of ∼100 nm is successfully fabricated onto a flexible polyimide substrate by means of a series of assembly methods including physical vapor deposition, chemical vapor deposition, and transfer technique. The composite electrode film on the flexible substrate exhibits evidently enhanced tensile strength, monotonic bending, and repeatedly bending fatigue reliability as well as electrical performance compared with that of the bared Cu film electrode. Such excellent mechanical performances are attributed to the role of the graphene coating in suppressing fatigue damage formation and preventing crack advance. It is expected that the chemical vapor-deposited graphene-covered Cu composite electrode would extend the potential ultrathin metal film electrode as the innovative electrode material for the next-generation flexible electronic devices.
The language history questionnaire (LHQ) is an important tool for assessing the linguistic background and language proficiency of multilinguals or second language learners. Previously we developed a generic LHQ based on the most commonly asked questions in published studies (Li, Sepanski & Zhao, 2006) and provided a web-based interface (LHQ 2.0) that has flexibility in functionality, accuracy in data recording, and privacy for users and data (Li, Zhang, Tsai & Puls, 2014). LHQ3 (version 3) introduces new functions, developed in response to many comments/requests from users. One important improvement is the addition of an automatic scoring system, in that the new interface automatically calculates aggregated scores for language proficiency, language dominance, and language immersion levels. Finally, LHQ3 allows researchers to assign different weights to the modules when calculating the aggregated scores, addressing the issue of different focuses that different researchers put on multilingual speakers’ language usage and background.
Muscle fibre types can transform from slow-twitch (slow myosin heavy chain (MyHC)) to fast-twitch (fast MyHC) or vice versa. Leucine plays a vital effect in the development of skeletal muscle. However, the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation and its mechanism are still unclear. In this study, effects of leucine and microRNA-27a (miR-27a) on the transformation of porcine myofibre type were investigated in vitro. We found that leucine increased slow MyHC protein level and decreased fast MyHC protein level, increased the levels of phospho-protein kinase B (Akt)/Akt and phospho-forkhead box 1 (FoxO1)/FoxO1 and decreased the FoxO1 protein level. However, blocking the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway by wortmannin attenuated the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation. Over-expression of miR-27a decreased slow MyHC protein level and increased fast MyHC protein level, whereas inhibition of miR-27a had an opposite effect. We also found that expression of miR-27a was down-regulated following leucine treatment. Moreover, over-expression of miR-27a repressed transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC caused by leucine, suggesting that miR-27a is interdicted by leucine and then contributes to porcine muscle fibre type transformation. Our finding provided the first evidence that leucine promotes porcine myofibre type transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC via the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway and miR-27a.
Nacre-mimetic (PE/TiO2)4 nanolayered composites (NLCs) with the nanocrystalline TiO2 layer thickness less than 30 nm and different thickness ratios of inorganic/organic layers were successfully prepared by using layer-by-layer self-assembly and chemical bath deposition method. Mechanical properties, especially fatigue properties of the NLCs with different thickness ratios were evaluated. The elastic modulus, hardness and fracture toughness, strain amplitude to fatigue limits of the NLCs reached 27.78 ± 5.69 GPa, 1.33 ± 0.31 GPa, and 4.16 ± 0.20 MPa m1/2, respectively. Fatigue performance of the NLCs in the high and low cycle fatigue regimes was optimized by tailoring the thickness ratio of the TiO2/PE layers. The PE/TiO2 NLCs with the larger thickness ratio of ∼3 has the high fatigue limit (the critical strain amplitude of 0.0853%) in the high-cycle fatigue regime, while that with the smaller thickness ratio of ∼1 and ∼0.5 are of the good fatigue strength in the low-cycle fatigue regime. The basic mechanism for the enhanced fatigue performance is elucidated.
Leucine, one of the branched-chain amino acids, is the only amino acid to regulate protein turnover in skeletal muscle. Leucine not only increases muscle protein synthesis, but also decreases muscle protein degradation. It is well documented that leucine plays a positive role in differentiation of murine muscle cells. However, the role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation and its mechanism remains unclear. In this study, porcine myoblasts were induced to differentiate with differentiation medium containing different concentrations of leucine, and wortmannin was used to interdict the activity of protein kinase B (Akt). We found that leucine increased the number of myosin heavy chain-positive cells and creatine kinase activity. Moreover, leucine increased the mRNA and protein levels of myogenin and myogenic determining factor (MyoD). In addition, leucine increased the levels of phosphorylated Akt/Akt and phosphorylated Forkhead box O1 (P-FoxO1)/FoxO1, as well as decreased the protein level of FoxO1. However, wortmannin, a specific repressor of PI3K/Akt signalling pathway, attenuated the positive role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation. Our results suggest that leucine promotes porcine myoblast differentiation through the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway.
We present a novel route to fabricate 3D nanoporous α-Ti foams by dealloying of TiCu master alloy in solid state using Mg powders. Pure open-cell nanoporous α-Ti foams are fabricated with BET surface area of 34.4 ± 0.8 m2/g and pore size in the range of 2–50 nm. The dealloying using powders is a solid state chemical reaction process to form Cu2Mg phase and Ti/Mg nanocomposites. The constituent of Cu in the TiCu alloy was dissolved into Mg powders thanks to the kinetics of interface reaction and volume diffusion. The pore-forming mechanism is a solid-state interdiffusion process. The ligament coarsening is from 492 to 650 nm with increasing of the dealloying temperature. The hardness and elastic modulus in nanoporous α-Ti foam follow linear decay fit with ligament size increasing. Our results demonstrate a facile strategy for the fabrication of nanoporous Ti foams with novel nanostructures and tailored properties.
Choline and betaine are essential nutrients involved in one-carbon metabolism and have been hypothesised to affect breast cancer risk. Functional polymorphisms in genes encoding choline-related one-carbon metabolism enzymes, including phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT), choline dehydrogenase (CHDH) and betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT), have important roles in choline metabolism and may thus interact with dietary choline and betaine intake to modify breast cancer risk. This study aimed to investigate the interactive effect of polymorphisms in PEMT, BHMT and CHDH genes with choline/betaine intake on breast cancer risk among Chinese women. This hospital-based case–control study consecutively recruited 570 cases with histologically confirmed breast cancer and 576 age-matched (5-year interval) controls. Choline and betaine intakes were assessed by a validated FFQ, and genotyping was conducted for PEMT rs7946, CHDH rs9001 and BHMT rs3733890. OR and 95 % CI were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. Compared with the highest quartile of choline intake, the lowest intake quartile showed a significant increased risk of breast cancer. The SNP PEMT rs7946, CHDH rs9001 and BHMT rs3733890 had no overall association with breast cancer, but a significant risk reduction was observed among postmenopausal women with AA genotype of BHMT rs3733890 (OR 0·49; 95 % CI 0·25, 0·98). Significant interactions were observed between choline intake and SNP PEMT rs7946 (Pinteraction=0·029) and BHMT rs3733890 (Pinteraction=0·006) in relation to breast cancer risk. Our results suggest that SNP PEMT rs7946 and BHMT rs3733890 may interact with choline intake on breast cancer risk.
Two transmission curved crystal spectrometers are designed to measure the hard x-ray emission in the laser fusion experiment of Compton radiography of implosion target on ShenGuang-III laser facility in China. Cylindrically curved
-quartz (10–11) crystals with curvature radii of 150 and 300 mm are used to cover spectral ranges of 10–56 and 17–100 keV, respectively. The distance between the crystal and the x-ray source can be changed over a broad distance from 200 to 1500 mm. The optical design, including the integral reflectivity of the curved crystal, the sensitivity, and the spectral resolution of the spectrometers, is discussed. We also provide mechanic design details and experimental results using a Mo anode x-ray source. High-quality spectra were obtained. We confirmed that the spectral resolution can be improved by increasing the working distance, which is the distance between the recording medium and the Rowland circle.
Previous epidemiological studies have revealed the anti-cancer effect of dietary circulating carotenoids. However, the protective role of specific individual circulating carotenoids has not been elucidated. The purpose of this study was to examine whether serum carotenoids, including α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin, could lower the risk for breast cancer among Chinese women. A total of 521 women with breast cancer and age-matched controls (5-year interval) were selected from three teaching hospitals in Guangzhou, China. Concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin were measured using HPLC. Unconditional logistic regression models were used to calculate OR and 95 % CI using quartiles defined in the control subjects. Significant inverse associations were observed between serum α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein/zeaxanthin and the risk for breast cancer. The multivariate OR for the highest quartile of serum concentration compared with the lowest quartile were 0·44 (95 % CI 0·30, 0·65) for α-carotene, 0·27 (95 % CI 0·18, 0·40) for β-carotene, 0·41 (95 % CI 0·28, 0·61) for lycopene and 0·26 (95 % CI 0·17, 0·38) for lutein/zeaxanthin. However, no significant association was found between serum β-cryptoxanthin and the risk for breast cancer. Stratified analysis by menopausal status and oestrogen receptor (ER)/progesterone receptor (PR) showed that serum α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin were inversely associated with breast cancer risk among premenopausal women and among all subtypes of ER or PR status. The results suggest a protective role of α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin, but not β-cryptoxanthin, in breast cancer risk.
The prevalence and factors associated with delays in help seeking for people with dementia in China are unknown.
Within 1,010 consecutively registered participants in the Clinical Pathway for Alzheimer's Disease in China (CPAD) study (NCT01779310), 576 persons with dementia (PWDs) and their informants reported the estimated time from symptom onset to first medical visit seeking diagnosis. Univariate analysis of general linear model was used to examine the potential factors associated with the delayed diagnosis seeking.
The median duration from the first noticeable symptom to the first visit seeking diagnosis or treatment was 1.77 years. Individuals with a positive family history of dementia had longer duration (p = 0.05). Compared with other types of dementia, people with vascular dementia (VaD) were referred for diagnosis earliest, and the sequence for such delays was: VaD < Alzheimer's disease (AD) < frontotemporal dementia (FTD) (p < 0.001). Subtypes of dementia (p < 0.001), family history (p = 0.01), and education level (p = 0.03) were associated with the increased delay in help seeking.
In China, seeking diagnosis for PWDs is delayed for approximately 2 years, even in well-established memory clinics. Clinical features, family history, and less education may impede help seeking in dementia care.
0.7(0.1BiYbO3-0.9PbTiO3)-0.3 Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3 (0.7BYPT-0.3PMN) ternary piezoelectric ceramics were prepared by a columbite precursor method. The effects of sintering temperature on the crystalline phase, microstructure, and electrical properties of the ceramics were systematically investigated. There were two phases coexisting in the 0.7BYPT-0.3PMN ceramics sintered at 1100–1250 °C, one is the perovskite host phase with tetragonal symmetry and the other is Yb2Ti2O7 impurity phase. It was observed that, with increasing sintering temperature, the piezoelectric constant d33, dielectric constant εr, planar electromechanical coupling coefficient kp, and Curie temperature TC increased initially and then decreased. An apparent structure distortion could also be observed in samples synthesized at high sintering temperature due to the severe volatilization of Pb and Bi. The optimum performances of the material were obtained for samples sintered at 1150 °C with d33 = 100 pC/N, εr = 494, kp = 25.4%, and TC = 380 °C, respectively. It can be ascribed to the combined effect of a higher density, structural homogeneity with decreased tetragonality as well as a small amount of pyrochlore phase.
The colour of the edible portion of vegetables and fruit reflects the presence of specific micronutrients and phytochemicals. No existing studies have examined the relationship between the intake of vegetable and fruit colour groups and the risk of colorectal cancer. The present study, therefore, aimed to investigate these associations in a Chinese population. A case–control study was conducted between July 2010 and July 2014 in Guangzhou, China, in which 1057 consecutively recruited cases of colorectal cancer were frequency-matched to 1057 controls by age (5-year interval), sex and residence (rural/urban). A validated FFQ was used to collect dietary information during face-to-face interviews. Vegetables and fruit were classified into four groups according to the colour of their primarily edible parts: green; orange/yellow; red/purple; white. Unconditional logistic regression models were used to estimate the OR and 95 % CI. A higher consumption of orange/yellow, red/purple and white vegetables and fruit was inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer, with adjusted OR of 0·16 (95 % CI 0·12, 0·22) for orange/yellow, 0·23 (95 % CI 0·17, 0·31) for red/purple and 0·53 (95 % CI 0·40, 0·70) for white vegetables and fruit when the highest and lowest quartiles were compared. Total vegetable intake and total fruit intake have also been found to be inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk. However, the intake of green vegetable and fruit was not associated with colorectal cancer risk. The results of the present study, therefore, suggest that a greater intake of orange/yellow, red/purple and white vegetables and fruit is inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are often associated with persistent pains such as neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Hydrogen gas can reduce ROS and alleviate cerebral, myocardial, and hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injuries. In the present study, we aim to investigate whether hydrogen-rich saline can reduce neuropathic pain in a rat model of chronic constriction injury (CCI).
Thirty SD rats were randomly divided into three groups: sham group was administered sodium chloride by intrathecal injection (n=10); control groups underwent CCI surgery and were administered sodium chloride by intrathecal injection (n=10); vehicle group underwent CCI surgery and was administered hydrogen-rich saline by intrathecal injection (n=10). Drugs were administered in the dose of 100ul/kg once a day at 0.5 hours before and 1-7 day after CCI surgery. The mechanical thresholds were tested at one day before and 3-14 day after CCI surgery.
We found that hydrogen-rich saline significantly elevated the mechanical thresholds of neuropathic pain compared to vehicle (physiologic saline) control in CCI rats (p<0.05); it also decreased the levels of myeloperoxidase, maleic dialdehyde, and protein carbonyl in spinal cord by 7 days post-chronic constriction injury(p<0.05). In addition, hydrogen-rich saline also suppressed the expression of p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the spinal cord by 7 days post-chronic constriction injury (p<0.01, p<0.01, respectively), but had no effect on P2X4R (p>0.05), an ATP receptor.
Intrathecal injection of hydrogen-rich saline can decrease oxidative stress and the expression of p38MAPK and BDNF that may contribute to the elevated threshold of neuropathic pain in rat CCI model.
Lymphatic stomata are small openings of lymphatic capillaries on the surface of the mesothelium that lines the serous cavity and have the function of active absorption. They play an important role in physiological and pathological conditions. The cavity of the tunica vaginalis is a typical serous cavity of the testis, but the lymphatic stomata of the tunica vaginalis of humans have never been reported. Here, we studied their ultrastructure by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The submesothelial connective tissue with foramina was investigated after the mesothelial cells were digested using NaOH solution. We found the lymphatic stomata in cuboidal mesothelial cell regions of the parietal layer of the tunica vaginalis of humans with a diameter of about 1–2 μm. Sometimes, closed lymphatic stomata could be observed. Our study is the first to report the existence of lymphatic stomata of the tunica vaginalis of humans. We found that the tunica vaginalis cavity is connected with the lymphatic system through the stomata, which might provide a morphological basis for the drainage of hydrocele and tumor metastasis of the tunica vaginalis of humans.
Oxidative stress is detrimental to animals. Previous studies have indicated that arginine (Arg) may function as a potential substance against oxidative stress. The present study was conducted to explore the potential mechanisms behind the Arg-induced protective effects against oxidative stress in piglets. A total of thirty-six piglets were randomly allocated to six groups with six replicates per group. Piglets were subjected to three dietary treatments (namely two groups per treatment) in week 1 and fed with a basal diet (ArgL) or the basal diet supplemented with 0·8 % (ArgM) or 1·6 % (ArgH) l-Arg, respectively. On day 8, piglets were injected intraperitoneally either with diquat (10 mg/kg body weight) or sterile saline. The whole trial lasted 11 d. Results showed that dietary Arg supplementation did not affect growth performance in week 1. Oxidative stress significantly decreased the growth performance of piglets (P< 0·05). However, ArgH attenuated the negative effects of oxidative stress on feed intake and significantly increased the total antioxidant capacity in the liver under oxidative stress (P< 0·05). Both ArgM and ArgH enhanced the activities of plasma glutathione peroxidases and superoxide dismutases and decreased the IL-6 and TNF-α mRNA level in the liver under oxidative stress (P< 0·05). The present study not only shows that Arg can function as a potential nutrient to alleviate oxidative stress responses through the enhancement of antioxidant capacity, and inhibition of the expression of inflammatory cytokines, but the results also suggest that alleviation of oxidative stress responses using dietary nutrient components deserves further attention in the future.
Intense broad absorption bands centered around 1.7, 2.5, 3.1, and 3.7 eV take place in Er3+-diffused layer formed near MgO (5 mol%)-doped LiNbO3 crystal surface by in-diffusion of Er metal under Li-poor atmosphere. These bands are tentatively attributed to the defect absorption of small polarons, bipolarons, F-centers, and Q-polarons created due to Er3+ in-diffusion and Li2O loss from the crystal. It is interesting that the number, type, area, and peaking position of the bands can be controlled by the diffusion temperature and further oxidation treatment. Such material is a promising medium for data storage based upon two-color holography.
Locally Er3+-doped noncongruent, Li-deficient Ti:Er:LiNbO3 strip waveguide was fabricated with a technological process in sequence of preparation of Li-deficient LiNbO3 substrate using Li-poor vapor transport equilibration (VTE), Er3+, and Ti4+ diffusion in wet O2. The Li2O content change was evaluated from the measured birefringence. The Ti4+ and Er3+ profile characteristics in the waveguide were studied by secondary ion mass spectrometry. The results show that the VTE and subsequent Er3+ diffusion procedures resulted in totally ∼0.8 mol% Li2O content reduction. The Ti4+ profile follows a sum of two error functions in the width direction and a Gaussian function in the depth direction of waveguide. The Er3+ profile follows also a Gaussian function. At 1130 °C, the Ti4+ surface/depth diffusivity and surface concentration are 8.5 ± 1.3/1.98 ± 0.06 μm2/h and ∼7 mol%, respectively, and the Er3+ diffusivity and surface concentration are (12.8 ± 0.3) × 10−2 μm2/h and ∼0.6 mol%, respectively.
Bismuth sulfide (Bi2S3) polycrystalline bulks with a high relative density (>90%) were fabricated by combining mechanical alloying (MA) and spark plasma sintering (SPS). The microstructural and thermoelectric (TE) properties were investigated with a special emphasis on the influence of SPS temperature. The components (Bi/S ratio), grain size, and relative density of Bi2S3 bulk are sensitive to the SPS temperature, which all affect the electrical transport properties of samples. Elevating SPS temperature results in grain growth, densification, and spontaneous texturing, which benefit to enhance TE properties, whereas overheating leads to severe volatilization of both S and Bi and formation of porous microstructure. The highest figure of merit value reaches 0.22 at 573 K for the Bi2S3 sample obtained by applying SPS at 673 K for 5 min, which is the maximum value reported so far in bulk Bi2S3 system. The enhanced TE property of cheap and environmental friendly Bi2S3 material indicates a great promise in TE devices.