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The development of thermoelectric measurement technology at nanoscale is a challenging task. Here, a novel MEMS-based dual temperature control (DTC) measurement method for thermoelectric properties of individual nanowires was proposed. Different from conventional thermal bridge testing devices, this DTC thermoelectric testing device can obtain the thermoelectric properties by independently control ambient temperature and temperature difference between two ends of the nanowires through two separate resistance thermometers without auxiliary heating devices. The reliability of the model and the testing accuracy were verified by accurately measuring the thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, and the absolute value of the Seebeck coefficient of VO2 nanowires.
As the population ages, cognitive impairment is prevalent among older adults and this may cause a huge burden to society. In order to take precautions effectively, we need to understand the characteristics of cognitive function of older adults, especially the individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
To explore the characteristics of cognitive function changes in individuals with mild cognitive impairment.
A total of 108 individuals with MCI as MCI group and 108 volunteers as control group were recruited in the study. The age, gender and years of schooling were matched between the two groups. The cognitive function was evaluated with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA).
Individuals of MCI group performed poorer than those of control group on executive function, attention, calculation, language and delayed memory. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant (P < 0.05). The cognitive impairment in participants with MCI were delayed memory (100%), language (75%), executive function (66.7%), attention (44%) and calculation (20.4%).
The impairment of memory, language and executive function is the primary characteristics in individuals with MCI. Individuals with MCI have similar characteristics with early stage Alzheimer's disease (AD). We should take preventive measures to improve or delay AD.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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 condition of caregivers is important to the quality of care received by people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), especially at the late disease stages. This study addresses the distress placed on caregivers by participants’ neuropsychiatric symptoms at different stages of PD in Taiwan
This prospective study enrolled 108 people with PD. All participants were examined with the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI), and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale. Caregiver distress was measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Caregiver Distress Scale (NPI-D). Statistical analysis was used to explore the PD-related factors that contribute to caregiver distress.
The mean follow-up interval in the 108 PD participants were 24.0 ± 10.2 months with no participant lost to follow-up due to death. NPI-distress (the sum of NPI caregiver distress scale across the 12 domains of the NPI) was positively correlated with NPI-sum (the total score across the 12 domains of the NPI) (r = 0.787, p < 0.001), CDR (r = 0.403, p < 0.001), UPRDS (r = 0.276, p = 0.004), and disease duration (r = 0.246, p = 0.002), but negatively correlated with CASI (r = −0.237, p = 0.043) and MMSE (r = −0.281, p < 0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that only NPI-sum and disease duration were independently correlated with NPI-distress.
The disease duration and NPI-sum are independent predictors of caregiver distress in Taiwanese populations with PD. Early detection and reduction of neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with PD can help decrease caregiver distress.
Previous studies have shown that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet might contribute to managing risk factors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but evidence is limited. We examined the association of DASH diet score (DASH-DS) with NAFLD, as well as the intermediary effects of serum retinol-binding protein-4 (RBP4), serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), serum TAG, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and BMI.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. Dietary data and lifestyle factors were assessed by face-to-face interviews and the DASH-DS was then calculated. We assessed serum RBP4, hs-CRP and TAG and calculated HOMA-IR. The presence and degree of NAFLD were determined by abdominal sonography.
Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study participants, aged 40–75 years at baseline (n 3051).
After adjusting for potential covariates, we found an inverse association between DASH-DS and the presence of NAFLD (Ptrend = 0·009). The OR (95 % CI) of NAFLD for quintiles 2–5 were 0·78 (0·62, 0·98), 0·74 (0·59, 0·94), 0·69 (0·55, 0·86) and 0·77 (0·61, 0·97), respectively. Path analyses indicated that a higher DASH-DS was associated with lower serum RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI, which were positively associated with the degree of NAFLD.
Adherence to the DASH diet was independently associated with a marked lower prevalence of NAFLD in Chinese adults, especially in women and those without abdominal obesity, and might be mediated by reducing RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI.
Iron sulfides have attracted much interests for their potential as anode materials in energy storage devices in view of their low costs, and environmentally benign and high theoretical capacities. Among them, Fe1−xS is relatively rarely investigated. In this work, Fe1−xS@rGO has been synthesized using a facile in situ hydrothermal method. After wrapped by rGO, the morphology of Fe1−xS particles changes from hexagonal flakes to irregular particles with much smaller sizes. As the anode material for lithium ion batteries, Fe1−xS@rGO exhibits excellent lithium storage ability. It can deliver an initial discharge capacity of 1575.5 mA h/g in the potential window of 0.005–3 V, and a reversible capacity of 907.8 mA h/g can be maintained after 200 cycles at 100 mA/g. Its improved electrochemical performance can be attributed to the effect of enhanced contact area and shortened Li+ ion transport distance because of rGO’s contribution.
Although topographic mapping missions and geological surveys carried out by Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are becoming increasingly prevalent, the lack of precise navigation in these scenarios still limits their application. This paper deals with the problems of long-term underwater navigation for AUVs and provides new mapping techniques by developing a Bathymetric Simultaneous Localisation And Mapping (BSLAM) method based on graph SLAM technology. To considerably reduce the calculation cost, the trajectory of the AUV is divided into various submaps based on Differences of Normals (DoN). Loop closures between submaps are obtained by terrain matching; meanwhile, maximum likelihood terrain estimation is also introduced to build weak data association within the submap. Assisted by one weight voting method for loop closures, the global and local trajectory corrections work together to provide an accurate navigation solution for AUVs with weak data association and inaccurate loop closures. The viability, accuracy and real-time performance of the proposed algorithm are verified with data collected onboard, including an 8 km planned track recorded at a speed of 4 knots in Qingdao, China.
Geochronological, major and trace element, and Sr–Nd–Hf isotopic data are reported for the monzonitic rocks of the Fushan pluton in the Taihang Mountains, central North China Craton, in order to investigate their sources, petrogenesis and tectonic implications. Zircon U–Pb dating results reveal that the Fushan pluton was emplaced during the Early Cretaceous (∼126–124 Ma). The monzonites and quartz monzonites are mainly characterized by calc-alkaline and magnesian features and display light rare earth element (LREE) enrichment and flat heavy REE (HREE) patterns with slightly positive Eu anomalies. They have similar whole-rock initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70653–0.70819), εNd(t) values (−13.6 to −18.6) and zircon εHf(t) values (−21.8 to −17.3). The primary magma of the Fushan pluton was derived from the partial melting of a spinel-facies amphibole-bearing ancient enriched lithospheric mantle. The monzonitic rocks also have high Ba–Sr and low Y and Yb contents, with high Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios. These geochemical features of monzonitic rocks are not only inherited from the magma source but also significantly enhanced by crystal fractionation during magmatic evolution; e.g. hornblende fractionation increased the Ba–Sr concentrations and Sr/Y ratios. During the Early Cretaceous, the slab sinking and roll-back of the Palaeo-Pacific Plate could have created an ancient big mantle wedge beneath East Asia and induced a lithospheric extensional process in the central North China Craton within an intracontinental setting.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
Highly dense zirconia dental ceramic coatings were fabricated by aqueous electrophoretic deposition (EPD) and subsequently sintered between 1250 and 1450 °C. Microstructural examination revealed that aqueous EPDZrO2 coatings possessed a tetragonal phase structure and the grain size increased with increasing sintering temperature. Nanoindentation study proved that the aqueous EPDZrO2 coating also had excellent mechanical properties. The effect of different applied loads on hardness and elastic modulus of the 1350 °C-sintered sample at room temperature was investigated by the method of progressive multicycle measurement nanoindentation. The simulative experiment proved that hardness of aqueous EPDZrO2 exhibited reverse indentation size effect (ISE) behavior and then displayed the normal ISE response. The analysis indicates that the reverse ISE is attributed to the relaxation of surface stresses resulting from indentation cracks at small loads and normal ISE is caused by geometrically necessary dislocations. The tetragonal–monoclinic stress-induced phase transformation during nanoindentation is the primary cause of dental zirconia failures.
In situ U–Pb and Hf analyses were used for crustal zircon xenocrysts from Triassic kimberlites exposed in the Rangnim Massif of North Korea to identify components of the basement hidden in the deep crust of the Rangnim Massif and to clarify the crustal evolution of the massif. The U–Pb age spectrum of the zircons has a prominent population at 1.9–1.8 Ga and a lack of Archaean ages. The data indicate that the deep crust and basement beneath the Rangnim Massif are predominantly of Palaeoproterozoic age, consistent with the ages of widely exposed Palaeoproterozoic granitic rocks. In situ zircon Hf isotope data show that most of the Palaeoproterozoic zircon xenocrysts have negative ϵHf(t) values (−9.7 to +0.7) with an average Hf model age of 2.86 ± 0.02 Ga (2σ), which suggests that the Palaeoproterozoic basement was not juvenile but derived from the reworking of Archaean rocks. Considering the existence of Archaean remanent material in the Rangnim Massif and their juvenile features, a strong crustal reworking event is indicated at 1.9–1.8 Ga, during which time the pre-existing Archaean basement was exhausted and replaced by a newly formed Palaeoproterozoic basement. These features suggest that the Rangnim Massif constitutes the eastern extension of the Palaeoproterozoic Liao–Ji Belt of the North China Craton instead of the Archaean Liaonan Block as previously thought. A huge Palaeoproterozoic orogen may exist in the eastern margin of the Sino-Korean Craton.
Population-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programs that use a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) are often faced with a noncompliance issue and its subsequent waiting time (WT) for those FIT positives complying with confirmatory diagnosis. We aimed to identify factors associated with both of the correlated problems in the same model.
A total of 294,469 subjects, either with positive FIT test results or having a family history, collected from 2004 to 2013 were enrolled for analysis. We applied a hurdle Poisson regression model to accommodate the hurdle of compliance and also its related WT for undergoing colonoscopy while assessing factors responsible for the mixture of the two outcomes.
The effect on compliance and WT varied with contextual factors, such as geographic areas, type of screening units, and level of urbanization. The hurdle score, representing the risk score in association with noncompliance, and the WT score, reflecting the rate of taking colonoscopy, were used to classify subjects into each of three groups representing the degree of compliance and the level of health awareness.
Our model was not only successfully applied to evaluating factors associated with the compliance and the WT distribution, but also developed into a useful assessment model for stratifying the risk and predicting whether and when screenees comply with the procedure of receiving confirmatory diagnosis given contextual factors and individual characteristics.
To assess the effect of famine exposure during early life on dietary patterns, chronic diseases, and the interaction effect between famine exposure and dietary patterns on chronic diseases in adulthood.
Cross-sectional study. Dietary patterns were derived by factor analysis. Multivariate quantile regression and log-binomial regression were used to evaluate the impact of famine exposure on dietary patterns, chronic diseases and the interaction effect between famine exposure and dietary patterns on chronic diseases, respectively.
Adults aged 45–60 years (n 939).
‘Healthy’, ‘high-fat and high-salt’, ‘Western’ and ‘traditional Chinese’ dietary patterns were identified. Early-childhood and mid-childhood famine exposure were remarkably correlated with high intake of the traditional Chinese dietary pattern. Compared with the non-exposed group (prevalence ratio (PR); 95 % CI), early-childhood (3·13; 1·43, 6·84) and mid-childhood (2·37; 1·05, 5·36) exposed groups showed an increased PR for diabetes, and the early-childhood (2·07; 1·01, 4·25) exposed group showed an increased PR for hypercholesterolaemia. Additionally, relative to the combination of non-exposed group and low-dichotomous high-fat and high-salt dietary pattern, the combination of famine exposure in early life and high-dichotomous high-fat and high-salt dietary pattern in adulthood had higher PR for diabetes (4·95; 1·66, 9·05) and hypercholesterolaemia (3·71; 1·73, 7·60), and significant additive interactions were observed.
Having suffered the Chinese famine in childhood might affect an individual’s dietary habits and health status, and the joint effect between famine and harmful dietary pattern could have serious consequences on later-life health outcomes.
Improvement of environmental cleaning in hospitals has been shown to decrease in-hospital cross transmission of pathogens. Several objective methods, including aerobic colony counts (ACCs), the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay, and the fluorescent marker method have been developed to assess cleanliness. However, the standard interpretation of cleanliness using the fluorescent marker method remains uncertain.
To assess the fluorescent marker method as a tool for determining the effectiveness of hospital cleaning.
A prospective survey study.
An academic medical center.
The same 10 high-touch surfaces were tested after each terminal cleaning using (1) the fluorescent marker method, (2) the ATP assay, and (3) the ACC method. Using the fluorescent marker method under study, surfaces were classified as totally clean, partially clean, or not clean. The ACC method was used as the standard for comparison.
According to the fluorescent marker method, of the 830 high-touch surfaces, 321 surfaces (38.7%) were totally clean (TC group), 84 surfaces (10.1%) were partially clean (PC group), and 425 surfaces (51.2%) were not clean (NC group). The TC group had significantly lower ATP and ACC values (mean ± SD, 428.7 ± 1,180.0 relative light units [RLU] and 15.6 ± 77.3 colony forming units [CFU]/100 cm2) than the PC group (1,386.8 ± 2,434.0 RLU and 34.9 ± 87.2 CFU/100 cm2) and the NC group (1,132.9 ± 2,976.1 RLU and 46.8 ± 119.2 CFU/100 cm2).
The fluorescent marker method provided a simple, reliable, and real-time assessment of environmental cleaning in hospitals. Our results indicate that only a surface determined to be totally clean using the fluorescent marker method could be considered clean.