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The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effect of omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), at an EPA:DHA ratio of 150:500) and phytosterol esters (PS) on Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ninety-six NAFLD subjects were randomly assigned to the following groups: the PS group (receiving 3.3 g/day phytosterol ester); the FO group (receiving 450mg EPA+1500mg DHA/day); the PS+FO combination group (receiving 3.3 g/day phytosterol ester and 450mg EPA+1500mg DHA/day); and the PO group (a placebo group). The baseline clinical characteristics of the four groups were similar. The primary outcome was liver/spleen attenuation ratio (L/S ratio). The percentage increase in liver/spleen attenuation (≤1) in the PS+FO group was 36% (P=0.083), higher than those in the other three groups (PS group, 11%, P= 0.519; FO group, 18%, P=0.071; PO group, 15%, P=0.436). Compared with baseline, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) was significantly decreased in the three study groups at the end of the trial (PS, P=0.000; FO, P=0.002; PS+FO, P=0.001), and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) was significantly decreased in the FO group (P=0.036), PS+FO group (P=0.005) and PO group (P=0.032) at the end of the intervention. Notably, TGF-β was reduced significantly more in the PS+FO group than in the PO group (P=0.032). The TG and TC levels of the PS+FO group was reduced by 11.57% and 9.55%, respectively. In conclusion, co-supplementation of PS and EPA+DHA could increase the effectiveness of treatment for hepatic steatosis.
In recent years, there have been a significant influenza activity and emerging influenza strains in China, resulting in an increasing number of influenza virus infections and leading to public health concerns. The aims of this study were to identify the epidemiological and aetiological characteristics of influenza and establish seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) models for forecasting the percentage of visits for influenza-like illness (ILI%) in urban and rural areas of Shenyang. Influenza surveillance data were obtained for ILI cases and influenza virus positivity from 18 sentinel hospitals. The SARIMA models were constructed to predict ILI% for January–December 2019. During 2010–2018, the influenza activity was higher in urban than in rural areas. The age distribution of ILI cases showed the highest rate in young children aged 0–4 years. Seasonal A/H3N2, influenza B virus and pandemic A/H1N1 continuously co-circulated in winter and spring seasons. In addition, the SARIMA (0, 1, 0) (0, 1, 2)12 model for the urban area and the SARIMA (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 0)12 model for the rural area were appropriate for predicting influenza incidence. Our findings suggested that there were regional and seasonal distinctions of ILI activity in Shenyang. A co-epidemic pattern of influenza strains was evident in terms of seasonal influenza activity. Young children were more susceptible to influenza virus infection than adults. These results provide a reference for future influenza prevention and control strategies in the study area.
Few studies investigated the association between maternal dietary patterns (DPs) during pregnancy, derived from reduced-rank regression (RRR), and fetal growth. This study aims to identify DPs 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, heme iron density, and the ratio of poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids were used as the intermediate variables in the RRR model to extract DPs. Generalized estimating equation models were applied to evaluate the associations between DPs and BW and related outcomes (including BW z-score, low birth weight [LBW], and small-for-gestational-age [SGA]). Four DPs during pregnancy were identified. Socio-demographically disadvantaged pregnant women were more likely to have lower BW and lower adherence to DP1 (high legumes, soybean 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 [7.1, 50.1]; high: 25.2 [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 DPs and outcomes. Higher adherence to the DP that was high in legumes, soybean products, vegetables, and animal source foods was associated with improved BW in the Chinese pregnant women, particularly among those with disadvantageous socio-demographic conditions.
Losing one's only child is a major traumatic life event that may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); however, the underlying mechanisms of its psychological consequences remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated subregional hippocampal functional connectivity (FC) networks based on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and the deoxyribonucleic acid methylation of the human glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) in adults who had lost their only child.
A total of 144 Han Chinese adults who had lost their only child (51 adults with PTSD and 93 non-PTSD adults [trauma-exposed controls]) and 50 controls without trauma exposure were included in this fMRI study (age: 40–67 years). FCs between hippocampal subdivisions (four regions in each hemisphere: cornu ammonis1 [CA1], CA2, CA3, and dentate gyrus [DG]) and methylation levels of the NR3C1 gene were compared among the three groups.
Trauma-exposed adults, regardless of PTSD diagnosis, had weaker positive FC between the left hippocampal CA1, left DG, and the posterior cingulate cortex, and weaker negative FC between the right CA1, right DG, and several frontal gyri, relative to healthy controls. Compared to non-PTSD adults, PTSD adults showed decreased negative FC between the right CA1 region and the right middle/inferior frontal gyri (MFG/IFG), and decreased negative FC between the right DG and the right superior frontal gyrus and left MFG. Both trauma-exposed groups showed lower methylation levels of the NR3C1 gene.
Adults who had lost their only child may experience disrupted hippocampal network connectivity and NR3C1 methylation status, regardless of whether they have developed PTSD.
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.
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.
To evaluate the effects of gestational weight gain (GWG) in the first trimester (GWG-F) and the rate of gestational weight gain in the second trimester (RGWG-S) on gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), exploring the optimal GWG ranges for the avoidance of GDM in Chinese women.
A population-based prospective study was conducted. Gestational weight was measured regularly in every antenatal visit and assessed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) criteria (2009). GDM was assessed with the 75-g, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test at 24–28 weeks of gestation. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess the effects of GWG-F and RGWG-S on GDM, stratified by pre-pregnancy BMI. In each BMI category, the GWG values corresponding to the lowest prevalence of GDM were defined as the optimal GWG range.
Pregnant women (n 1910) in 2017.
After adjusting for confounders, GWG-F above IOM recommendations increased the risk of GDM (OR; 95 % CI) among underweight (2·500; 1·106, 5·655), normal-weight (1·396; 1·023, 1·906) and overweight/obese women (3·017; 1·118, 8·138) compared with women within IOM recommendations. No significant difference was observed between RGWG-S and GDM (P > 0·05) after adjusting for GWG-F based on the previous model. The optimal GWG-F ranges for the avoidance of GDM were 0·8–1·2, 0·8–1·2 and 0·35–0·70 kg for underweight, normal-weight and overweight/obese women, respectively.
Excessive GWG in the first trimester, rather than the second trimester, is associated with increased risk of GDM regardless of pre-pregnancy BMI. Obstetricians should provide more pre-emptive guidance in achieving adequate GWG-F.
The sense of bitter taste is critical for chickens to acquire and select feeds. It is important to understand the roles and mechanisms of bitter taste transduction in chickens. Denatonium is extensively used as a bitter taste receptor agonist to activate bitter taste receptors in recent studies. The objective of this study was to investigate the physiological effects and the potential molecular mechanisms of dietary exposure to a strong bitter taste receptor agonist on the jejunal epithelial cells of yellow-feathered chickens. A total of 240 yellow-feathered chickens were divided into four treatments receiving a normal diet (Control), a low-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 5 mg/kg denatonium), a middle-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 20 mg/kg denatonium) and a high-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 100 mg/kg denatonium) for 56 days, respectively. The results showed that dietary denatonium reduced (P < 0.05) the growth performance of chickens. High-dose denatonium damaged the morphology of the jejunal epithelium and decreased (P < 0.05) the activities of Ca2+-ATPase, sucrase and maltase after 56 days of exposure. Meanwhile, high-dose denatonium increased (P < 0.05) mRNA expressions of bitter taste receptors, which resulted in enhanced apoptosis in jejunal epithelial cells after 56 days of exposure. Furthermore, middle-dose and high-dose denatonium exhibited increased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of claudin 2 and decreased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of occludin after 28 days of exposure. Only high-dose denatonium decreased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of occludin after 56 days of exposure. In conclusion, denatonium manifested deleterious effects on the jejunum of chickens in a dose–effect manner via damaging the morphology of the jejunal epithelium, and inducing apoptosis associated with bitter taste receptors. Our data suggest that bitter-tasting feed additives may have side effects on the growth and development of intestines in chickens.
We aimed to comprehensively examine the association of breast-feeding, types and initial timing of complementary foods with adolescent cognitive development in low- and middle-income countries. We conducted a prospective cohort study of 745 adolescents aged 10–12 years who were born to women who participated in a randomised trial of prenatal micronutrient supplementation in rural Western China. An infant feeding index was constructed based on the current WHO recommendations. Full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) was assessed and derived by the fourth edition of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. The duration of exclusive or any breast-feeding was not significantly associated with adolescent cognitive development. Participants who regularly consumed Fe-rich or Fe-fortified foods during 6–23 months of age had higher FSIQ than those who did not (adjusted mean differences 4·25; 95 % CI 1·99, 6·51). For cows’/goats’ milk and high protein-based food, the highest FSIQ was found in participants who initially consumed at 10–12 and 7–9 months, respectively. A strong dose–response relationship of the composite infant feeding index was also identified, with participants in the highest tertile of overall feeding quality having 3·03 (95 % CI 1·37, 4·70) points higher FSIQ than those in the lowest tertile. These findings suggest that appropriate infant feeding practices (breast-feeding plus timely introduction of appropriate complementary foods) were associated with significantly improved early adolescent cognitive development scores in rural China. In addition, improvement in Fe-rich or Fe-fortified foods complementary feeding may produce better adolescent cognitive development outcomes.
The effects of dietary vitamin D, Ca and dairy products intakes on colorectal cancer risk remain controversial. The present study investigated the association between these dietary intakes and the risk of colorectal cancer in Guangdong, China. From July 2010 to December 2018, 2380 patients with colorectal cancer and 2389 sex- and age-matched controls were recruited. Dietary intake data were collected through face-to-face interviews using a validated FFQ. Unconditional multivariable logistic regression models were used to calculate the OR and 95 % CI after adjusting for various confounders. Higher dietary vitamin D and Ca intakes were associated with 43 and 52 % reductions in colorectal cancer risk, with OR of 0·57 (95 % CI 0·46, 0·70) and 0·48 (95 % CI 0·39, 0·61), respectively, for the highest quartile (v. the lowest quartile) intakes. A statistically significant inverse association was observed between total dairy product intake and colorectal cancer risk, with an adjusted OR of 0·32 (95 % CI 0·27, 0·39) for the highest v. the lowest tertile. Subjects who drank milk had a 48 % lower risk of colorectal cancer than those who did not (OR 0·52, 95 % CI 0·45, 0·59). The inverse associations of dietary vitamin D, Ca, total dairy products and milk intakes with the risk of colorectal cancer were independent of sex and cancer site. Our study supports the protective effects of high dietary vitamin D, Ca and dairy products intakes against colorectal cancer in a Chinese population.
In order to develop an efficient and accurate quasi-continuum approach for contact problems of low-dimensional nanoscale carbon materials, a van der Waals contact-bond model is proposed in this study. This method can involve the important information of nano- and micro-structures, such as the bonded carbon atom interactions and the long-range van der Waals effect, which is usually homogenized and neglected in continuum methods. The degree of freedom of the atomic systems can be reduced dramatically; therefore, the model is beneficial for rapid simulations and large-scale computations of carbon nano-components. The so-called higher-order Cauchy–Born rule is used to establish the geometrically consistent constitutive model, and a meshless local Petrov–Galerkin-based computational framework is constructed for the mechanical responses of carbon nanoscale systems. The stiffness matrix is derived analytically, and the incremental governing equation is solved with the Newton–Raphson iteration method. Consequently, this method is much faster than order-N2 approaches such as molecular dynamic simulation.
Identifying risk factors and mortality of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could have important implications for the clinical management of AD.
This pilot study aimed to examine the overall mortality of AD patients over a 10-year surveillance period in Shanghai, China. This study is an extension of our previous investigation on mortality of neurodegenerative diseases.
One hundred and thirty-two AD patients recruited from the memory clinics of two hospitals in Shanghai in 2007 were followed up until December 31, 2017 or death, representing a follow-up period of up to 10 years. Overall standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated, and predictors for survival at recruitment were estimated.
Sixty-seven patients had died by December 31, 2017, and the SMR at 10 years of follow-up was 1.225 (95% confidence interval 0.944–1.563). Employing Cox’s proportional hazard modeling, lower Mini-Mental State Examination score, and comorbid diabetes predicted poor survival in this cohort.
This pilot study suggests a similar survival trend of patients with AD compared to the general population in Shanghai urban region. Poor cognitive status and comorbid diabetes had a negative impact on the survival of AD patients.
The convex hull of a sample is used to approximate the support of the underlying distribution. This approximation has many practical implications in real life. To approximate the distribution of the functionals of convex hulls, asymptotic theory plays a crucial role. Unfortunately most of the asymptotic results are computationally intractable. To address this computational intractability, we consider consistent bootstrapping schemes for certain cases. Let
be a sequence of independent and identically distributed random points uniformly distributed on an unknown convex set in
). We suggest a bootstrapping scheme that relies on resampling uniformly from the convex hull of
. Moreover, the resampling asymptotic consistency of certain functionals of convex hulls is derived under this bootstrapping scheme. In particular, we apply our bootstrapping technique to the Hausdorff distance between the actual convex set and its estimator. For
, we investigate the asymptotic consistency of the suggested bootstrapping scheme for the area of the symmetric difference and the perimeter difference between the actual convex set and its estimate. In all cases the consistency allows us to rely on the suggested resampling scheme to study the actual distributions, which are not computationally tractable.
Dietary indices are widely used in diet quality measurement, and the index-based dietary patterns are related to gastric cancer risk. To evaluate the relationship between different kinds of index-based dietary patterns and gastric cancer risk, we systematically searched four English-language databases and four Chinese-language databases. The quality of studies was assessed by the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Meta-analyses were performed to estimate the association between gastric cancer incidence and different types of index-based dietary patterns. The odds ratios (OR) and hazard ratios (HR) of gastric cancer incidence were calculated by regression models in case-control studies and prospective cohort studies, respectively. The studies were pooled in the random-effects model to calculate the summarized risk estimate of the highest quantile interval of dietary indices, taking the lowest as the referent. The dietary indices included different versions of Mediterranean diet score (MDS) and dietary inflammatory index (DII), healthy eating index, Chinese food pagoda score, and food index score. The meta-analysis was carried out for studies on MDS and DII. The combined OR of gastric cancer for the highest MDS versus the referent was 0.42 (95% CI 0.2–0.86), and the combined HR was 0.89 (95% CI 0.68–1.17). The combined OR for DII was 2.11 (95% CI 1.41–3.15). Higher Mediterranean dietary pattern consumption might reduce gastric cancer risk, while higher inflammatory diet pattern consumption might increase gastric cancer risk.
In this paper, we focus on the configuration design of a reconfigurable robot that merges the functions of wheels, tracks, and legs together. A deformable rim is utilized to make the robot wheel reconfigurable to change its locomotion mode. Three rules of configuration design to achieve reconfiguration between different modes are proposed: (1) in wheel mode, the track wheel set should be hidden inside the wheel rim; (2) in track/leg mode, the folded wheel rim should be hidden inside the caterpillar loop; (3) the circumference of the wheel rim in wheel mode should be equal to the length of the track ring in track mode. According to these rules, the configuration of the deformable rim, track wheel set, and telescopic spoke are analyzed and designed. A prototype of the reconfigurable wheel is fabricated by three-dimensional printing, and its functions of locomotion in different modes, the switch between different modes, and its load-bearing ability are tested, verifying the effectiveness of the configuration design. Furthermore, a prototype of the reconfigurable robot is manufactured by computerized numerical control (CNC) machining to verify the structural design of the reconfigurable wheel. Compared to traditional hybrid robots with separate wheels, tracks, and legs, this reconfigurable design lends the multimodal robot both excellent terrain adaptability and a compact structure; thus, it can be widely used as a universal mobile platform in search and rescue missions and explosive object disposal missions.
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.
Inhibitory control is a key deficit in patients with schizophrenia. This study aims to test whether emotions can facilitate inhibition in patients with schizophrenia when they increase attention to inhibitory process.
A total of 36 patients with schizophrenia and 36 healthy controls completed an emotional stop-signal task. The task involved selective responses to “Go” stimuli and stopped response when emotional or neutral stop cues occurred.
In all conditions, patients with schizophrenia took longer time to inhibit response compared with healthy controls, indicating an overall impairment in response inhibition. Importantly, patients with schizophrenia and controls acquired similar size of benefit from the negative stop cues, showing as reduced reaction time to negative than neutral stop cues. However, the negative stop cues impaired subsequent Go performance only in patients with schizophrenia, indicating additional cost of the negative stop cues for patients with schizophrenia. In both groups, the positive stop cues did not have any significant influence on response inhibition.
These findings provide novel evidence for the benefit of emotional stop cues on inhibitory control in patients with schizophrenia and reveal different after-effects of emotional enhancement effect in patients and healthy populations. The findings may help develop effective interventions for improving inhibitory control in patients with schizophrenia and other clinical populations.
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.