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The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed serious challenges. It is vitally important to further clarify the epidemiological characteristics of the COVID-19 outbreak for future study and prevention and control measures. Epidemiological characteristics and spatial−temporal analysis were performed based on COVID-19 cases from 21 January 2020 to 1 March 2020 in Shandong Province, and close contacts were traced to construct transmission chains. A total of 758 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported in Shandong. The sex ratio was 1.27: 1 (M: F) and the median age was 42 (interquartile range: 32–55). The high-risk clusters were identified in the central, eastern and southern regions of Shandong from 25 January 2020 to 10 February 2020. We rebuilt 54 transmission chains involving 209 cases, of which 52.2% were family clusters, and three widespread infection chains were elaborated, occurring in Jining, Zaozhuang and Liaocheng, respectively. The geographical and temporal disparity may alert public health agencies to implement specific measures in regions with different risk, and should attach importance on how to avoid household and community transmission.
As for the efficient dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), one of the important goals is to increase the light harvesting efficiency to further improve the photoelectric conversion efficiency (PCE). The excellent photoanode materials should possess a uniform porous structure, a large surface area, high crystallinity, and good stability. Herein, the porous TiO2 electrode (named as S-1.5) with the above merits had been prepared by the simple template-assisted method with camphene as the pore-forming reagent. The surface area of the porous TiO2 electrode can be tailored by introducing the amount of camphene. The porous TiO2 layer with the optimal surface area directly adhered on the top of the ultra-thin P25 dense layer had been constructed and this unique electrode with a “double layers structure”, which named as S-1.5/P25. When DSSCs assembled with this photoanode, a desirable PCE of 8.31% had been achieved, which was obviously higher than that of the commercial P25 (7.62%) in parallel. The improved PCE can be attributed to the improved utilization of sunlight, the facilitated photo-generated electron transfer, and the reduced interface resistance. Meanwhile, the related characterization including electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, intensity-modulated photovoltage spectroscopy, and intensity-modulated photocurrent spectroscopy was characterized to explore the possible mechanism.
The surface topology of biomaterial has a definite effect on the growth behavior of nerve cells for peripheral nerve regeneration. In this study, the silk fibroin (SF) film with different anisotropic microgroove/ridge was constructed by micropatterning technology. The effects of topologies width on the directional growth of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons were evaluated. The results showed that the topological structure of the SF film with higher SF concentration was more clear and complete. The microtopography of the SF film with a concentration of 15% and a groove width of around 30 μm could effectively guide the directional growth of the nerve fibers of DRG. And nerve fibers could obviously form nerve fiber bundles which may have a certain pavement effect on the recovery of nerve function. The study indicated that the SF film with a specific width of the topological structure may have potential applications in the field of directional nerve regeneration.
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.
This report is on the synthesis by electrospinning of multiferroic core-shell nanofibers of strontium hexaferrite and lead zirconate titanate or barium titanate and studies on magneto-electric (ME) coupling. Fibers with well-defined core–shell structures showed the order parameters in agreement with values for nanostructures. The strength of ME coupling measured by the magnetic field-induced polarization showed the fractional change in the remnant polarization as high as 21%. The ME voltage coefficient in H-assembled films showed the strong ME response for the zero magnetic bias field. Follow-up studies and potential avenues for enhancing the strength of ME coupling in the core–shell nanofibers are discussed.
Primary liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Most patients are diagnosed at late stages with poor prognosis; thus, identification of modifiable risk factors for primary prevention of liver cancer is urgently needed. The well-established risk factors of liver cancer include chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), heavy alcohol consumption, metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and aflatoxin exposure. However, a large proportion of cancer cases worldwide cannot be explained by current known risk factors. Dietary factors have been suspected as important, but dietary aetiology of liver cancer remains poorly understood. In this review, we summarised and evaluated the observational studies of diet including single nutrients, food and food groups, as well as dietary patterns with the risk of developing liver cancer. Although there are large knowledge gaps between diet and liver cancer risk, current epidemiological evidence supports an important role of diet in liver cancer development. For example, exposure to aflatoxin, heavy alcohol drinking and possibly dairy product (not including yogurt) intake increase, while intake of coffee, fish and tea, light-to-moderate alcohol drinking and several healthy dietary patterns (e.g. Alternative Healthy Eating Index) may decrease liver cancer risk. Future studies with large sample size and accurate diet measurement are warranted and need to consider issues such as the possible aetiological heterogeneity between liver cancer subtypes, the influence of chronic HBV or HCV infection, the high-risk populations (e.g. cirrhosis) and a potential interplay with host gut microbiota or genetic variations.
The X chromosome is known to play an important role in many sex-specific diseases. However, only a few single-nucleotide polymorphisms on the X chromosome have been found to be associated with diseases. Compared to the autosomes, conducting association tests on the X chromosome is more intractable due to the difference in the number of X chromosomes between females and males. On the other hand, X-chromosome inactivation takes place in female mammals, which is a phenomenon in which the expression of one copy of two X chromosomes in females is silenced in order to achieve the same gene expression level as that in males. In addition, imprinting effects may be related to certain diseases. Currently, there are some existing approaches taking X-chromosome inactivation into account when testing for associations on the X chromosome. However, none of them allows for imprinting effects. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a robust test, ZXCII, which accounts for both X-chromosome inactivation and imprinting effects without requiring specifying the genetic models in advance. Simulation studies are conducted in order to investigate the validity and performance of ZXCII under various scenarios of different parameter values. The simulation results show that ZXCII controls the type I error rate well when there is no association. Furthermore, with regards to power, ZXCII is robust in all of the situations considered and generally outperforms most of the existing methods in the presence of imprinting effects, especially under complete imprinting effects.
Findings for the roles of dairy products, Ca and vitamin D on ovarian cancer risk remain controversial. We aimed to assess these associations by using an updated meta-analysis. Five electronic databases (e.g. PubMed and Embase) were searched from inception to 24 December 2019. Pooled relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI were calculated. A total of twenty-nine case–control or cohort studies were included. For comparisons of the highest v. lowest intakes, higher whole milk intake was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk (RR 1·35; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·59), whereas decreased risks were observed for higher intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·73, 0·96), dietary Ca (RR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·60, 0·84) and dietary vitamin D (RR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·67, 0·95). Additionally, for every 100 g/d increment, increased ovarian cancer risks were found for total dairy products (RR 1·03; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) and for whole milk (RR 1·07; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·11); however, decreased risks were found for 100 g/d increased intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·95; 95 % CI 0·91, 0·99), cheese (RR 0·87; 95 % CI 0·76, 0·98), dietary Ca (RR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·98), total Ca (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99), dietary vitamin D (RR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·97) and increased levels of circulating vitamin D (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·72, 0·97). These results show that whole milk intake might contribute to a higher ovarian cancer risk, whereas low-fat milk, dietary Ca and dietary vitamin D might reduce the risk.
We present the experimental optimization of electrons in the several hundred keV energy range originated from laser-irradiated wire targets. Accelerated by a femtosecond laser pulse, an electron pulse emitted from the wire target was collimated immediately along the wire to a filter unit for the manipulation of energy and spatial distributions. It is shown in simulation that with a pair of magnets as the filter unit, the optimized electrons could serve as a compact and tunable electron source. The proposed system was demonstrated in a proof-of-principle experiment where we attained 1 fC bunch charge with transverse coherence length approaching 1 nm based on a 0.2 TW laser platform. This indicates the scheme as a promising candidate for single-shot electron diffraction.
Transmission of varicella occurs frequently in schools and households. We investigated the characteristics of varicella cases derived from within-household transmission and the modes of varicella transmission between school and household settings in Shanghai, China, from 2009 to 2018. Within-household transmission occurred in 278 households, of which 134 transmission events were between children. Sixty-one household varicella transmission events may be attributed to isolation procedures for infected students during school outbreaks, and 7.6% of school outbreaks were caused by schoolchildren cases derived from within-household transmission. The frequency of ‘school-household-school’ transmission adds an additional layer of complexity to the control of school varicella outbreaks. Administration of varicella vaccine as post-exposure prophylaxis after exposure is considered to be an effective measure to control varicella spread within households and schools.
Few studies have investigated the association between maternal dietary patterns (DP) during pregnancy, derived from reduced-rank regression (RRR), and fetal growth. This study aims to identify DP during pregnancy associated with macro- and micronutrient intakes, using the RRR method, and to examine their relationship with birth weight (BW). We used data of 7194 women from a large-scale cross-sectional survey in Northwest China. Dietary protein, carbohydrate, haem Fe density and the ratio of PUFA and MUFA:SFA were used as the intermediate variables in the RRR model to extract DP. Generalised estimating equation models were applied to evaluate the associations between DP and BW and related outcomes (including BW z-score, low birth weight (LBW) and small for gestational age (SGA)). Four DP during pregnancy were identified. Socio-demographically disadvantaged pregnant women were more likely to have lower BW and lower adherence to DP1 (high legumes, soyabean products, vegetables and animal-source foods, with relative low wheat and oils). Women with medium and high adherence to DP1 had significantly increased BW (medium 28·6 (95 % CI 7·1, 50·1); high 25·2 (95 % CI 2·7, 47·6)) and BW z-score and had significantly reduced risks of LBW and SGA. The associations were stronger among women with babies <3100 g. There is no association between other DP and outcomes. Higher adherence to the DP that was high in legumes, soyabean products, vegetables and animal-source foods was associated with improved BW in the Chinese pregnant women, particularly among those with disadvantageous socio-demographic conditions.
The development of GaN-on-diamond devices offers bright prospects for the creation of high-power density electronics. This article presents a process of fabricating GaN-on-diamond structure by depositing diamond films on dual sides, including heat dissipation diamond film and sacrificial carrier diamond film. Prior to heat dissipation diamond film layer preparation, aluminum nitride (AlN) is chosen as a dielectric layer and pretreated by nanodiamond (ND) particles, to enhance the nucleation density. Zeta potential measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy are used to analyze the AlN surface after each treatment. The results show that oxygen-terminated ND particles tend to adhere to an AlN surface because the oxygen-terminated NDs have –COOH and –OH groups, and hold a negative potential. On the contrary, fluorine-terminated AlN prefers to attract the hydrogen-terminated ND seeds, which resulted in higher diamond nucleation density. Based on this preliminary study, a dense high-quality GaN-on-diamond wafer is successfully produced by using AlN as the dielectric layer and a diamond film as the sacrificial carrier.
Bastian, Jetten, and Ferris (2014) reported that shared pain enhances people’s bonding and cooperative behavior, but that shared no-pain has no such effect. They concluded that shared pain is a type of social glue that can improve people’s cooperation. However, in real life, both painful and painless experiences are often nonshared. Logically, the most direct way to determine whether sharing is the important element or not is to compare shared conditions with nonshared conditions. We conducted two experiments to investigate the relative effects of pain and sharing on enhancing people’s bonding and cooperative behavior by adding conditions of unshared pain and unshared no-pain. In experiment 1, we replicated Bastian, Jetten, and Ferris’s (2014) findings, and found that the effect of pain on bonding was mediated by empathy. In experiment 2, we used a 2 (pain/no-pain) × 2 (shared/unshared) design and found that while shared pain still induced more cooperative behavior than shared no-pain, unshared pain did not induce more cooperative behavior than unshared no-pain. Moreover, we found that empathy significantly mediated the relationship between pain and bonding when participants shared the experience. These results suggest that sharing is a necessary component for pain to act as social glue.
A CoNiCrAlTaHfY/Co composite coating was prepared on the etched C/C composites by using duplex vapor phase surface alloying treatments, i.e., Co alloying and Co–Ni–Cr–Al–Ta–Hf–Y alloying. Microstructures and oxidation behavior of the coated C/C composites were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The result showed that the CoNiCrAlTaHfY/Co composite coating, 25 μm in thickness, was compact and composed of CrCoTa, AlCo2Ta, AlxCry, AlxNiy, and Co. The coating adhesion can be enhanced by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition etching of matrix surface and adding a Co intermediate layer between the CoNiCrAlTaHfY top layer and C/C composites substrate. The honeycomb structure after etching was helpful to alloying element absorb and diffuse into substrate surface, and the composite coating continuation was improved by the Co buffer layer. After exposing in air for 180 min at 1000 °C, the bulk C/C composites volatilized while the loss rate of coated C/C composites was 0.82%, showing an improved oxidation resistance. Mixed oxides mainly containing Al2O3 and Cr2O3 were formed in the composite coating surface and protected the C/C composites from oxidation in air.
Maintenance haemodialysis (MHD) is the use of a machine to filter wastes, salts and fluid from blood for at least 3 months to prolong the life of patients with advanced kidney failure. Although low dietary energy intake (DEI) has been observed in MHD patients, few studies have related DEI to the risk of mortality. To explore this relationship, a study included 1039 MHD patients from eight centres was conducted. DEI was assessed by three 24-h diet recalls and was normalised to ideal body weight (IBW). All-cause mortality and CVD mortality were the primary and secondary outcomes, respectively. During a median follow-up of 28 months, a U-shaped relationship was observed between DEI and all-cause or CVD mortality. The risk of all-cause mortality decreased significantly with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI <167·4 kJ/kg IBW per d (hazard ratio (HR) 0·98; 95 % CI 0·96, 1·00) and increased significantly with the increase of DEI in those with DEI ≥167·4 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 1·12; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·20). Similarly, the risk of CVD mortality decreased with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI <152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·93, 0·99) and increased with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI ≥152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 1·11; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·18). In summary, there was a U-shaped association between DEI and all-cause or CVD mortality, with a turning point at about 167·4 and 152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d, respectively, in MHD patients.
The microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.
The jungles of Linyun and Longlin Autonomous Prefecture, located in the heart of the southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, are home to the oldest tea trees (Camellia sinensis) in the world. In the absence of regular annual rings, radiocarbon (14C) dating is one of the most powerful tools that can assist in the determination of the ages and growth rates of these plants. In this work, cores were extracted from large ancient tea trees in a central Longlin rain forest; extraction of carbon was performed with an automated sample preparation system. The 14C levels in the tree cores were measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the University of Tsukuba. These measurements indicated that contrary to conventional views, the ages of trees in these forests range up to ~700 years, and the growth rate of this species is notably slow, exhibiting a long-term radial growth rate of 0.039±0.006 cm/yr. It was demonstrated that 14C analyses provide accurate determination of ages and growth rates for subtropical wild tea trees.