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Many protected areas worldwide have been established to protect the last natural refuges of flagship animal species. However, long-established protected areas do not always match the current distributions of target species under changing environmental conditions. Here we present a case study of the Asian elephant Elephas maximus in Xishuangbanna, south-west China, to evaluate whether the established protected areas match the species’ current distribution and to identify key habitat patches for Asian elephant conservation. Our results show that currently only 24.5% of the predicted Asian elephant distribution in Xishuangbanna is located within Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, which was established for elephant conservation. Based on the predicted Asian elephant distribution, we identified the most important habitat patches for elephant conservation in Xishuangbanna. The three most important patches were outside Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve and together they contained 43.3% of the estimated food resources for Asian elephants in all patches in Xishuangbanna. Thus, we identified a spatial mismatch between immobile protected areas and mobile animals. We recommend the inclusion of the three identified key habitat patches in a new national park currently being planned by the Chinese authorities for the conservation of the Asian elephant.
According to Hamilton's rule, matrilineal-biased investment restrains men in matrilineal societies from maximising their inclusive fitness (the ‘matrilineal puzzle'). A recent hypothesis argues that when women breed communally and share household resources, a man should help his sisters' household, rather than his wife's household, as investment to the later but not the former would be diluted by other unrelated members (Wu et al., 2013). According to this hypothesis, a man is less likely to help on his wife's farm when there are more women reproducing in the wife's household, because on average he would be less related to his wife's household. We used a farm-work observational dataset, that we collected in the matrilineal Mosuo in southwest China, to test this hypothesis. As predicted, high levels of communal breeding by women in his wife's households do predict less effort spent by men on their wife's farm, and communal breeding in men's natal households do not affect whether men help on their natal farms. Thus, communal breeding by women dilutes the inclusive fitness benefits men receive from investment to their wife and children, and may drive the evolution of matrilineal-biased investment by men. These results can help solve the ‘matrilineal puzzle'.
Most glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau have experienced continuous mass losses in response to global warming. However, the seasonal dynamics of glaciers on the southeastern Tibetan Plateau have rarely been reported in terms of glacier surface elevation and velocity. This paper presents a first attempt to explore the seasonal dynamics of the debris-covered Dagongba Glacier within the southeastern Tibetan Plateau. We use the multitemporal unoccupied aerial vehicle images collected over the lower ablation zone on 8 June and 17 October 2018, and 13 May 2019, and then perform an analysis concerning climatic fluctuations. The results reveal that the mean surface elevation decrease of the Dagongba Glacier during the warm season ($2.81\pm 0.44$ m) was remarkably higher than the cold season ($0.72\pm 0.45$ m). Particularly notable glacier surface elevation changes were found around supraglacial lakes and ice cliffs where ice ablation rates were $\sim$3 times higher than the average. In addition, a larger longitudinal decline of glacier surface velocity was observed in the warm season than that in the cold season. In terms of further comparative analysis, the Dagongba Glacier experienced a decrease in surface velocity between 1982–83 and 2018–19, with a decrease in the warm season possibly twice as large as that in the cold season.
The association between blood transfusion and ventilator-associated events (VAEs) has not been fully understood. We sought to determine whether blood transfusion increases the risk of a VAE.
Nested case-control study.
This study was based on a registry of healthcare-associated infections in intensive care units at West China Hospital system.
1,657 VAE cases and 3,293 matched controls were identified.
For each case, 2 controls were randomly selected using incidence density sampling. We defined blood transfusion as a time-dependent variable, and we used weighted Cox models to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) for all 3 tiers of VAEs.
Blood transfusion was associated with increased risk of ventilator-associated complication-plus (VAC-plus; HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.22–1.77; P <.001), VAC-only (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.01–1.65; P = .038), infection-related VAC-plus (IVAC-plus; HR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.33–2.39; P < .001), and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP; HR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.10–3.99; P = .024). Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion was also associated with increased risk of VAC-plus (HR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.08–1.65; P = .007), IVAC-plus (HR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.22–2.36; P = .002), and PVAP (HR, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.17–5.28; P = .018). Compared to patients without transfusion, the risk of VAE was significantly higher in patients with RBC transfusions of >3 units (HR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.25–2.40; P = .001) but not in those with RBC transfusions of 0–3 units.
Blood transfusions were associated with increased risk of all tiers of VAE. The risk was significantly higher among patients who were transfused with >3 units of RBCs.
To investigate the clinical impact of ventilator-associated events (VAEs) on adverse prognoses and risk factors for mortality among intensive care unit (ICU) patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) based on an ICU healthcare-associated infection (ICU-HAI) registry.
A cohort study was conducted based on an ICU-HAI registry including 30,830 patients between 2015 and 2018.
The study was conducted using data from 5 adult ICUs of a referral hospital.
Adult patients in the ICU-HAI registry who received ≥4 consecutive IMV days.
Clinical outcomes and mortality risk factors for VAEs were analyzed using propensity score matching (PSM), multivariate regression models, and sensitivity analyses.
Of 6,426 included patients, 1,803 developed 1,899 VAEs. After PSM, patients with VAEs did have prolonged length of stay in the ICU and in the hospital, increased hospitalization costs, longer days on mechanical ventilation, higher proportion of ≥9 days on mechanical ventilation, higher rate of failure in extubating mechanical ventilation, and excess all-cause mortality in the ICU. Older age (adjusted OR [aOR], 1.02), higher APACHE II score on ICU admission (aOR, 1.06), pneumonia (aOR, 1.49), blood transfusion (aOR 1.43), immunosuppressive drugs (aOR, 1.69), central-line catheter (aOR, 2.06), and ≥2 VAEs in the ICU (aOR, 1.99) were associated with higher risks for all-cause mortality in an ICU.
Patients with VAEs indeed had poorer clinical outcomes. Older age, higher APACHE II score on ICU admission, pneumonia, blood transfusion, immunosuppressive drugs, central-line catheter, and ≥2 VAEs in the ICU were risk factors for all-cause mortality of VAE patients in the ICU.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
With rapid growth of human population and decreasing labefaction of our environment, the usable fresh water is facing severe pollution and global shortage. Bio-inspired engineering and biotemplate-directed engineering thus offer great promise in clean water generation, including desalination, decontamination, and disinfection. This perspective begins with an introduction of solar energy-based interfacial evaporation system inspired by the natural systems of organisms, and then provides a review of the development and recent progress of the interfacial evaporation system for clean water generation. The long-term outlook in this field of clean water generation using bio-inspired interfacial systems is also discussed.
Serum vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD)) may influence serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels and bone mineral density (BMD). In the present study, we assessed serum 25OHD concentration and its association with PTH and BMD in urban males from Guiyang (N26.57°), the capital city of Guizhou province, Southwest China. We recruited 634 males aged >20 years from the Guiyang Health Measures Survey, and stratified them into three groups according to age: young (20–39 years), middle aged (40–59 years) and older (60–79 years). We measured serum concentrations of 25OHD, PTH levels and BMD of the lumbar spine (L1–L4), femoral neck and total hip. In addition, we also explored the relationship between 25OHD and lifestyle, socio-economic characteristics and medical history by applying covariance analysis and locally weighted regression plots. The results showed that serum 25OHD was <50 nmol/l in 59·3 % of the subjects and >75 nmol/l in 12·6 % of the subjects. Higher level of serum PTH was detected in relation to lower concentrations of serum 25OHD up to 50 nmol/l. A negative correlation between serum 25OHD and PTH concentrations was observed (r −0·207, P=0·003). Mean concentration of serum PTH increased gradually and plateaued while concentrations of serum 25OHD decreased to 50 nmol/l. Gradual increase in serum PTH was observed as 25OHD concentration was <25 nmol/l (P=0·004). BMD values at all sites were greater in the higher serum 25OHD concentration group. This study shows that low concentrations of serum 25OHD were common in males, and bone health was likely to be improved when serum 25OHD values were between 30 and 50 nmol/l.
We have fabricated Ag-decorated ZnO nanoplate arrays by combining water-bath heating toward ZnO hexagonal nanoplate arrays and subsequent decoration of Ag films or nanoparticles on the ZnO surfaces by magnetron sputtering or photoreduction. Experimental surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) results show that Ag-film–ZnO hybrid substrates with different Ag sputtering times exhibit a large difference in enhanced SERS signals for Rhodamine 6G (10−7 M). Atomic force microscope analysis reveals that two kinds of positions create abundant “hot spots” in this SERS substrate: one is located at the gap between adjacent separate Ag-film–ZnO hybrid nanoplates, and the other is located at the V-grooves formed by two adjacent interlaced Ag-film–ZnO hybrid nanoplates. The effects of simultaneous changes in interplate spacing and groove wall angle are considered to be the key factors affecting the SERS of our prepared Ag-film–ZnO hybrid substrates, which have also been evaluated by finite-difference time-domain simulation.
Ceratovacuna and Pseudoregma are important groups in Cerataphidini (Hemiptera, Hormaphidinae) that not only produce soldier aphids in galls on the primary hosts but also produce horned soldiers on the herbaceous secondary hosts. However, due to sampling bias in previous studies, the phylogenetic relationships of these two genera remain inconclusive. In this study, based on more extensive sampling and examination of both mitochondrial (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI); cytochrome b (Cytb)) and nuclear (elongation factor-1α (EF-1α); long-wavelength opsin (LWO)) genes, we reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships of Ceratovacuna and Pseudoregma. Phylogenetic analyses, along with morphological evidence, suggested that these two genera belong to the paraphyletic groups with species clustered into three main groups. The monophyly of Ceratovacuna and Pseudoregma as a whole was generally supported by all analyses. Monophyly of Pseudoregma was also supported. The estimated divergence times demonstrated that diversification of Ceratovacuna and Pseudoregma occurred approximately at 10 mya. The relatively low resolution for the basal relationships of the three main clades may indicate that these two genera have experienced a rapid radiation along with speciation burst of their secondary hosts during the late Tertiary.
In the spirit of the theoretical evolution from the Helmholtz model to the Gouy–Chapman–Stern model for electric double-layer capacitors, we explored the effect of a diffuse layer on the capacitance of mesoporous carbon supercapacitors by solving the Poisson–Boltzmann (PB) equation in mesopores of diameters from 2 to 20 nm. To evaluate the effect of pore shape, both slit and cylindrical pores were considered. We found that the diffuse layer does not affect the capacitance significantly. For slit pores, the area-normalized capacitance is nearly independent of pore size, which is not experimentally observed for template carbons. In comparison, for cylindrical pores, PB simulations produce a trend of slightly increasing area-normalized capacitance with pore size, similar to that depicted by the electric double-cylinder capacitor model proposed earlier. These results indicate that it is appropriate to approximate the pore shape of mesoporous carbons as being cylindrical and the electric double-cylinder capacitor model should be used for mesoporous carbons as a replacement of the traditional Helmholtz model.
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