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Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Compared with commercial polyolefin membranes, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) membrane prepared by electrostatic spinning has higher porosity, electrolyte uptake, thermal stability, and lithium-ion conductivity, etc. However, poor mechanical performance has largely limited the application of electrospun PAN separators. In this study, PAN/polyimide (PI) composite membrane is prepared by electrostatic spinning to improve the mechanical and electrochemical performances. Scanning electron microscopy, thermal analysis method, and electrochemical methods were used for evaluation of the electrospun composite membrane. The results show that the composite membrane possesses good thermal stability and exhibits better mechanical performance than pristine PAN membrane (increasing by 1.1 times in tension strength). The addition of PI can increase porosity and fluid absorption rate obviously. In addition, the composite membrane has high ionic conductivity (18.77 × 10−4 S/cm), wide electrochemical window (about 4.0 V), and excellent cycling performance. It can retain a discharge specific capacity of 153 mA h/g even after 50 cycles at 0.5 C. The electrospun PAN/PI membrane may be a promising candidate for lithium-ion battery separators.
In this study, we investigate a new simple scheme using a planar undulator (PU) together with a properly dispersed electron beam (
beam) with a large energy spread (
) to enhance the free-electron laser (FEL) gain. For a dispersed
beam in a PU, the resonant condition is satisfied for the center electrons, while the frequency detuning increases for the off-center electrons, inhibiting the growth of the radiation. The PU can act as a filter for selecting the electrons near the beam center to achieve the radiation. Although only the center electrons contribute, the radiation can be enhanced significantly owing to the high-peak current of the beam. Theoretical analysis and simulation results indicate that this method can be used for the improvement of the radiation performance, which has great significance for short-wavelength FEL applications.
Given the global water challenges, solar-driven steam generation has become a renewed topic recently as an energy-efficient way for clean water production. Here, a hybrid plasmonic structure consisting of a top layer of TiN nanoparticles (NPs) and a bottom layer of mesoporous anodized alumina membrane (AAM) was rationally designed and fabricated. The top TiN NPs with broadband light absorption acted as a plasmonic heating layer, which converted the absorbed light to heat efficiently for interfacial water heating. The AAM acted as the mechanical support layer, guaranteeing the heat isolation and continuous water replenishment. With optimized thickness of the TiN top layer, a solar steam generation efficiency of 87.7% was achieved in this study. This efficiency is comparable or even higher than prior studies. The current work proves the capability of the TiN NPs as an alternative photothermal material.
A novel synthetic air data estimation method without using air data sensors is presented, and the method only relies on the information from the Navigation System (NS) and Flight Control System (FCS). The aircraft's aerodynamic model is also required to make a connection between the FCS control parameters and the NS measurements. The airspeed, angle of attack and sideslip, angular velocity and wind speed are defined as state vectors, and state equations are established through the aircraft's aerodynamic model and dynamics. Linear velocity and angular velocity provided by the navigation system are considered as the measurement vector. To deal with variable wind fields, a novel Initialised Three-step Extended Kalman Filter (ITEKF), which considers the wind speed as an unknown input, is developed to track the variation of wind speed. Simulation results based on a Generic Hypersonic Vehicle (GHV) model are presented and compared with an existing method. Factors affecting the method's accuracy include the navigation system accuracy and the aerodynamic model error, are also discussed.
There are abundant data on secular trends in BMI; however, information on the change in subcutaneous fat is limited. The present study examined the trends in the prevalence of elevated skinfold thickness among children and adolescents over the past 19 years (1995–2014) in Shandong Province, China.
Data for the study were obtained from two cross-sectional surveys of schoolchildren carried out in 1995 and 2014. Triceps and subscapular skinfold thicknesses (SFT) of all participants were measured. The sum of triceps and subscapular SFT (SSFT) was applied. Children and adolescents with SSFT above or equal to the national age- and sex-specific 85th percentile were defined as ‘high SFT’.
Shandong Province, China.
A total of 16 917 students aged 7–18 years were included.
For both boys and girls, an increasing trend in ‘high SFT’ was observed between 1995 and 2014. The overall prevalence of ‘high SFT’ increased from 10·31 % for boys and 13·40 % for girls in 1995 to 33·94 % for boys and 29·30 % for girls in 2014 (P<0·01).
There are more children and adolescents with very high levels of SFT. These trends describe very unfavourable changes in the body composition and should give cause for concern.
SCN5A encodes sodium-channel α-subunit Nav1.5. The mutations of SCN5A can lead to hereditary cardiac arrhythmias such as the long-QT syndrome type 3 and Brugada syndrome. Here we sought to identify novel mutations in a family with arrhythmia.
Genomic DNA was isolated from blood of the proband, who was diagnosed with atrial flutter. Illumina Hiseq 2000 whole-exome sequencing was performed and an arrhythmia-related gene-filtering strategy was used to analyse the pathogenic genes. Sanger sequencing was applied to verify the mutation co-segregated in the family.
Results and conclusions
A novel missense mutation in SCN5A (C335R) was identified, and this mutation co-segregated within the affected family members. This missense mutation was predicted to result in amplitude reduction in peak Na+ current, further leading to channel protein dysfunction. Our study expands the spectrum of SCN5A mutations and contributes to genetic counselling of families with arrhythmia.
A 336-cm-long sediment core spanning the last 130 ka was recovered from Lake Xingkai on the northeastern margin of the East Asian summer monsoon domain to reveal the linkage between lacustrine depositional processes and environmental changes. Bayesian end member modeling analysis was conducted to partition and interpret the grain-size distributions of Lake Xingkai sediments. Our results suggest that the sedimentary system is characterized by three end members (EMs). EM1 and EM2, with a modal value of 13 and 10 μm, respectively, indicate the variation of local hydraulic conditions. EM3, with a modal value of 5 μm, reflects the background atmospheric dust loading. High atmospheric dust concentration generally occurred during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5d, MIS 4, and early MIS 3, when the climate in the Asian dust source region was cold and dry. In contrast, low dust concentration prevailed during MIS 2, likely due to the southward shift of the westerlies driven by maximum ice volume in the high latitudes.
Babesiosis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis prevalent in large parts of the world. This study was designed to determine the rates of Babesia microti infection among small rodents in Yunnan province, where human cases of babesiosis have been reported. Currently, distribution of Babesia in its endemic regions is largely unknown. In this study, we cataloged 1672 small wild rodents, comprising 4 orders, from nine areas in western Yunnan province between 2009 and 2011. Babesia microti DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 4·3% (72/1672) of the rodents analyzed. The most frequently infected rodent species included Apodemus chevrieri and Niviventer fulvescens. Rodents from forests and shrublands had significantly higher Babesia infection rates. Genetic comparisons revealed that Babesia was most similar to the Kobe- and Otsu-type strains identified in Japan. A variety of rodent species might be involved in the enzootic maintenance and transmission of B. microti, supporting the need for further serological investigations in humans.
The semilocal convergence of a third-order Newton-like method for solving nonlinear equations is considered. Under a weak condition (the so-called γ-condition) on the derivative of the nonlinear operator, we establish a new semilocal convergence theorem for the Newton-like method and also provide an error estimate. Some numerical examples show the applicability and efficiency of our result, in comparison to other semilocal convergence theorems.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
Previous studies have thoroughly investigated the prevalence and risk factors for completed suicide. In marked contrast is the lack of a better understanding of attempted suicide in the elderly. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly and examine the associated factors.
Using a multi-stage cluster sampling approach, a cross-sectional survey of 8,399 elderly house-dwelling residents was conducted in Shanghai, China.
The two-week prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly was 0.75%. In the bivariate analysis, having no caregivers, depressive, anxiety, sad, fear, obsessive-compulsive and anger symptom, and lower scores on the Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living and the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale were significantly associated with an increased risk of attempted suicide in the elderly. In the multivariate analysis, sad and fear symptoms were significantly and independently associated with a higher risk of attempted suicide in the elderly.
The two-week prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly is relatively high when compared with the annualized or lifetime prevalence reported in China and foreign settings. Elderly individuals with certain mental symptoms should be targeted for suicide prevention and provided with timely mental health support.
The long-term outcome of never-treated patients with schizophrenia is
To compare the 14-year outcomes of never-treated and treated patients
with schizophrenia and to establish predictors for never being
All participants with schizophrenia (n = 510) in Xinjin,
Chengdu, China were identified in an epidemiological investigation of 123
572 people and followed up from 1994 to 2008.
The results showed that there were 30.6%, 25.0% and 20.4% of patients who
received no antipsychotic medication in 1994, 2004 and 2008 respectively.
Compared with treated patients, those who were never treated in 2008 were
significantly older, had significantly fewer family members, had higher
rates of homelessness, death from other causes, being unmarried, living
alone, being without a caregiver and poor family attitudes. Partial and
complete remission in treated patients (57.3%) was significantly higher
than that in the never-treated group (29.8%). Predictors of being in the
never-treated group in 2008 encompassed baseline never-treated status,
being without a caregiver and poor mental health status in 1994.
Many patients with schizophrenia still do not receive antipsychotic
medication in rural areas of China. The 14-year follow-up showed that
outcomes for the untreated group were worse. Community-based mental
healthcare, health insurance and family intervention are crucial for
earlier diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation in the community.
Microstructural and property evolution of 1050 commercial pure aluminum subjected to high-strain-rate deformation (1.2–2.3 × 103 s−1) by split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) and subsequent annealing treatment were investigated. The as-deformed and their annealed samples at 373–523 K were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and microhardness tests. TEM observations reveal that the as-deformed sample is mainly composed of a lamellar structure, whose transverse/longitudinal average subgrain/cell sizes are 293 and 694 nm, respectively. The initial coarse grains are refined significantly. The initial lamellar grain structures are subdivided into pancake-shaped subgrains due to a gradual transition by triple junction motion at 473 K, and then a dramatic microstructural coarsening is observed at 523 K. It is suggested that annealing behavior of this dynamic loading structure is better considered as a continuous process of grain coarsening or continuous recovery.
Dilatometric studies of C–Mn hypoeutectoid steel with an as-cast structure were carried out to study the effects of the heating or cooling rate, heating and cooling process on phase transformation, and the thermal expansion coefficient. As the heating or cooling rate (Vc) increased, the characteristic temperatures of Ac1, Acp, and Ac3 also rose, while Ar3, Ar1, and Arp fell. In addition, the phase transformation temperature range (Ac3–Ac1) rose, while (Ar3–Arp) fell as the heating or cooling rate increased. At the same time, the maximum thermal expansion coefficients│αT│ between the heating and cooling processes during phase transformation showed significant differences, and the difference (│ΔαT│) in the maximum │αT│ between these processes increased along with the heating or cooling rate, and this is because of the different phase transformation rates, with regard to the change from austenite to ferrite on cooling and ferrite to austenite on heating. During the heating process, the phase transformation rate of ferrite to austenite first decreases and then increases as the temperature rises, and the phase transformation rate of austenite to ferrite first increases and then decreases during the cooling process. The evolution of carbon and substitutional alloying elements (Si and Mn) in austenite during heating and cooling is also analyzed in this work.
This work developed a phase congruency algorithm combined with texture analysis to quantitatively characterize collagen morphology in second-harmonic generation (SHG) images from human scars. The extracted phase and texture parameters of the SHG images quantified collagen directionality, homogeneity, and coarseness in scars and varied with scar duration. Phase parameters showed an increasing tendency of the mean of phase congruency with scar duration, indicating that collagen fibers are better oriented over time. Texture parameters calculated from local difference local binary pattern (LD-LBP) and Haar wavelet transform, demonstrated that the LD-LBP variance decreased and the energy of all subimages increased with scar duration. It implied that collagen has a more regular pattern and becomes coarser with scar duration. In addition, the random forest regression was used to predict scar duration, demonstrating reliable performance of the extracted phase and texture parameters in characterizing collagen morphology in scar SHG images. Results indicate that the extracted parameters using the proposed method can be used as quantitative indicators to monitor scar progression with time and can help understand the mechanism of scar progression.