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Shifts in the maternal gut microbiota have been implicated in the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Understanding the interaction between gut microbiota and host glucose metabolism will provide a new target of prediction and treatment. In this nested case-control study, we aimed to investigate the causal effects of gut microbiota from GDM patients on the glucose metabolism of germ-free (GF) mice. Stool and peripheral blood samples, as well as clinical information, were collected from 45 GDM patients and 45 healthy controls (matched by age and prepregnancy body mass index (BMI)) in the first and second trimester. Gut microbiota profiles were explored by next-generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and inflammatory factors in peripheral blood were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Fecal samples from GDM and non-GDM donors were transferred to GF mice. The gut microbiota of women with GDM showed reduced richness, specifically decreased Bacteroides and Akkermansia, as well as increased Faecalibacterium. The relative abundance of Akkermansia was negatively associated with blood glucose levels, and the relative abundance of Faecalibacterium was positively related to inflammatory factor concentrations. The transfer of fecal microbiota from GDM and non-GDM donors to GF mice resulted in different gut microbiota colonization patterns, and hyperglycemia was induced in mice that received GDM donor microbiota. These results suggested that the shifting pattern of gut microbiota in GDM patients contributed to disease pathogenesis.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a public health emergency of international concern. The current study aims to explore whether the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) are associated with the development of death in patients with COVID-19. A total of 131 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 from 13 February 2020 to 14 March 2020 in a hospital in Wuhan designated for treating COVID-19 were enrolled in the current study. These 131 patients had a median age of 64 years old (interquartile range: 56–71 years old). Furthermore, among these patients, 111 (91.8%) patients were discharged and 12 (9.2%) patients died in the hospital. The pooled analysis revealed that the NLR at admission was significantly elevated for non-survivors, when compared to survivors (P < 0.001). The NLR of 3.338 was associated with all-cause mortality, with a sensitivity of 100.0% and a specificity of 84.0% (area under the curve (AUC): 0.963, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.911–1.000; P < 0.001). In view of the small number of deaths (n = 12) in the current study, NLR of 2.306 might have potential value for helping clinicians to identify patients with severe COVID-19, with a sensitivity of 100.0% and a specificity of 56.7% (AUC: 0.729, 95% CI 0.563–0.892; P = 0.063). The NLR was significantly associated with the development of death in patients with COVID-19. Hence, NLR is a useful biomarker to predict the all-cause mortality of COVID-19.
The rhoptry kinase 18 of Toxoplasma gondii (TgROP18) has been identified as a key virulence factor that allows the parasite to escape from host immune defences and promotes its proliferation in host cells. Although much research is focused on the interaction between host cells and TgROP18, the development of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against TgROP18 has not been reported till date. To produce mAbs targeting TgROP18, two hybridomas secreting mAbs against TgROP18, designated as A1 and T2, were generated using cell fusion technology. The subtypes of the A1 and T2 mAbs were identified as IgG3 λ and IgM κ, and peptide scanning revealed that the core sequences of the antigenic epitopes were 180LRAQRRRSELVFE192 and 351NYFLLMMRAEADM363, respectively. The T2 mAb specifically reacted with both T. gondii type I and Chinese I, but not with T. gondii type II, Plasmodium falciparum or Schistosoma japonicum. Finally, the sequences of heavy chain and light chain complementarity-determining regions of T2 were amplified, cloned and characterized, making the modification of the mAb feasible in the future. The development of mAbs against TgROP18 would aid the investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the modulation of host cellular functions by TgROP18, and in the development of strategies to diagnose and treat Toxoplasmosis.
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.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.
The Ordos Basin is the largest and most important intracontinental sedimentary depression in China, and a significant amount of crude oil resources has developed within this Mesozoic formation. High-grade organic-rich shale is prevalent in the large-scale areas of the Chang 7 sedimentary stage and provides essential hydrocarbon resources for abundant oil enrichment in the Mesozoic. This research investigated the geochemical characteristics of Chang 7 shale using core samples and well logs and via laboratory tests. In addition, the microscopic components of the shale organic matter (OM), biological marker compounds, carbon isotopes, enrichment grade of trace elements, and elemental ratio were analysed systematically. Moreover, the aspects related to the shale OM source, sedimentary environment and resource potential were evaluated. Our results revealed that spherical alginate and calcium spherical alginate were predominant in the micropetrological components of the shale. Many biomarkers, including n-alkanes, steranes and terpanes, were detected in the gas chromatography – mass spectrometry spectra. An analysis of n-alkanes, regular sterane shapes (C21−/C22− and C26+C27/C28+C29), odd–even predominance index (OEP) and carbon preference index (CPI) values and carbon isotope distributions showed that OM was produced from aquatic organisms. The indicators of trace elements, such as Sr/Ba and V/V+Ni, combined with the biomarker compound in Pr/Ph and the gammacerane index showed the presence of a semi-deep – deep lake environment containing fresh–brackish water. In addition, the hydrocarbon conversion rate index and shale rock pyrolysis parameters revealed that Chang 7 has a high hydrocarbon generation ability and hydrocarbon expulsion efficiency.
Previous studies have supported the theory that there is a positive association between ferritin and carotid atherosclerosis in Western people. Diet plays an important role in determining serum ferritin concentration. Asian dietary patterns are different from Western dietary patterns, implying that there may be a difference in the association of ferritin with carotid atherosclerosis between Asian and Western people. However, few studies focus on the association between ferritin and carotid atherosclerosis among Asians. The aim of this study was to investigate how serum ferritin levels are associated with carotid atherosclerosis in an Asian adult population. A cross-sectional assessment was performed in 8302 adults in Tianjin, China. Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and plaques were assessed using ultrasonography, and serum ferritin was measured using the protein chip-chemiluminescence method. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between quartiles of serum ferritin concentration and carotid atherosclerosis. In the present study, the overall prevalence of IMT and carotid plaques in participants is 29·2 and 22·7 %, respectively. In women, after adjustments for potentially confounding factors, the OR of IMT and carotid plaques by increasing serum ferritin quartiles were 1·00, 1·39 (95 % CI 0·98–1·99), 1·39 (95 % CI 0·99–1·97), 1·81 (95 % CI 1·30–2·55) (Pfor trend<0·001) and 1·00, 1·24 (95 % CI 0·89–1·73), 1·18 (95 % CI 0·85–1·65), 1·59 (95 % CI 1·15–2·20) (Pfor trend<0·01), respectively. However, no association was found between serum ferritin and carotid atherosclerosis in men. The study demonstrated that increased serum ferritin levels are independently associated with IMT and carotid plaques in Asian women but not in Asian men.
China makes a unique and vital contribution to maintaining global and regional waterbird diversity and conservation. Despite considerable historical conservation efforts, the continued loss of waterbird diversity and abundance necessitates a contemporary review of Chinese sites of conservation significance. The Ecological Protection Red Line (EPRL) was proposed by China’s Central Government in 2013 to protect areas providing crucial ecosystem services and provides the opportunity for such a review to enhance waterbird conservation in China. By incorporating various sources of data, surveys and information, we identified a suite of sites of waterbird conservation significance in China, following the Ramsar Site Criteria/Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) Criteria. In total, we identified 422 sites, of which the existing 286 IBA sites formed the basis of the site safeguard network. Altogether, these sites of waterbird conservation significance constitute over 727,000 km2 (7.6% of China’s land surface). Over half of the area of these sites is outside China’s national nature reserves, thus confirming the importance and urgency of including them in the EPRL for the effective conservation of waterbird sites. We suggest that this assessment of sites of waterbird importance offers a useful model to apply to other taxa, such as terrestrial birds and mammals.
Increasing dietary Ca intake may prevent the excessive mobilisation of bone mineral in nursing mothers. We aimed to investigate whether higher Ca intake could positively modulate the bone mineral changes in Chinese postpartum lactating women. The study was a 12-month randomised, double-blinded, parallel group trial conducted over 12 months. A total of 150 postpartum women were randomly selected to receive either 40 g of milk powder containing 300 mg of Ca and 5 μg of vitamin D (Low-Ca group) or same milk powder additionally fortified with 300 mg of Ca (Mid-Ca group) or 600 mg of Ca (High-Ca group). Bone mineral density (BMD) for the whole body, the lumbar spine, the total left hip and its sub-regions was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. A total of 102 subjects completed the whole trial. The duration of total lactating time was 7·9 (sd 2·8) months on average. The intention-to-treat analysis yielded the following mean percentage changes in BMD for the whole body, the lumbar spine and the total left hip, respectively: −0·93 (sd 1·97), 2·11 (sd 4·90) and −1·60 (sd 2·65) % for the Low-Ca group; −0·56 (sd 1·89), 2·21 (sd 3·77) and −1·43 (sd 2·30) % for the Mid-Ca group; and −0·44 (sd 1·67), 2·32 (sd 4·66) and −0·95 (sd 4·08) % for the High-Ca group. The differences between the groups were not statistically significant (P: 0·5–0·9). The results of the complete case analysis were similar. In sum, we found no significant differences in the bone mineral changes from baseline to 12 months in postpartum lactating women consuming milk powder fortified with different levels of Ca.
On 13 December 2012, Chang'e-2 completed a successful flyby of the near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis at a closest distance of 770 meters from the asteroid's surface. The observations show that Toutatis has an irregular surface and its shape resembles a ginger-root of a smaller lobe (head) and a larger lobe (body). Such bilobate shape is indicative of a contact binary origin for Toutatis. In addition, the high-resolution images better than 3 meters provide a number of new discoveries about this asteroid, such as an 800-meter depression at the end of the large lobe, a sharply perpendicular silhouette near the neck region, boulders, indicating that Toutatis is probably a rubble-pile asteroid. Chang'e-2 observations have significantly revealed new insights into the geological features and the formation and evolution of this asteroid. In final, we brief the future Chinese asteroid mission concept.
Limited information is available on the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the general population in China. A community-based epidemiological study was conducted in three counties in eastern China. A total of 149 175 individuals were investigated in 60 communities in three counties in Jiangsu province, eastern China, of whom 1175 subjects [0·79%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·74–0·83] were HCV antibody positive. The prevalence was low in children (0·09%, 95% CI 0·04–0·17), but increased progressively from adolescents (0·20%, 95% CI 0·15–0·28) to adults aged ⩾21 years (95% CI 0·15–1·64). Women had a higher prevalence of HCV infection than men in most age groups. In a multilevel regression analysis, age, sex, education, occupation, blood transfusion [odds ratio (OR) 2·91, 95% CI 1·09–5·37], invasive testing (OR 1·28, 95% CI 1·14–1·61), and dental therapy (OR 2·27, 95% CI 1·41–3·42) were associated with HCV infection. In conclusion, although the prevalence of HCV in this population was lower than reported from national levels, the total reservoir of infection is significant and warrants public health measures, such as health education to limit the magnitude of the problem.
Titanium oxide photoelectrodes have been used for water splitting for a few decades, but have low solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies. Perovskite halides (e.g., CH3NH3PbI3) have recently emerged as an efficient light absorber system. We try to combine the two materials to create new photoelectrodes to achieve a higher efficiency for hydrogen production. The photoelectrodes are investigated for water-splitting hydrogen production under Xe light irradiation by photoelectrochemical (PEC) reaction. Since perovskite halides are favorable light harvesters under UV and visible light irradiation, the composite films of titania and perovskite halide would achieve efficient water splitting. The hydrogen production rate using the composite films is higher than that using anatase TiO2 electrode. However, the composite films are not stable in water under light irradiation and the perovskite halide gradually decomposes into lead halide.
Early identification of patients with bipolar disorder during their first depressive episode is beneficial to the outcome of the disorder and treatment, but traditionally this has been a great challenge to clinicians. Recently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD), but it is not clear whether BDNF levels can be used to predict bipolar disorder among patients in their first major depressive episode.
To explore whether BDNF levels can differentiate between MDD and bipolar disorder in the first depressive episode.
A total of 203 patients with a first major depressive episode as well as 167 healthy controls were recruited. After 3 years of bi-annual follow-up, 164 patients with a major depressive episode completed the study, and of these, 21 were identified as having bipolar disorder and 143 patients were diagnosed as having MDD. BDNF gene expression and plasma levels at baseline were compared among the bipolar disorder, MDD and healthy control groups. Logistic regression and decision tree methods were applied to determine the best model for predicting bipolar disorder at the first depressive episode.
At baseline, patients in the bipolar disorder and MDD groups showed lower BDNF mRNA levels (P<0.001 and P = 0.02 respectively) and plasma levels (P = 0.002 and P = 0.01 respectively) compared with healthy controls. Similarly, BDNF levels in the bipolar disorder group were lower than those in the MDD group. These results showed that the best model for predicting bipolar disorder during a first depressive episode was a combination of BDNF mRNA levels with plasma BDNF levels (receiver operating characteristics (ROC) = 0.80, logistic regression; ROC = 0.84, decision tree).
Our findings suggest that BDNF levels may serve as a potential differential diagnostic biomarker for bipolar disorder in a patient's first depressive episode.
To prevent spinning of the upper non-rotated part of the electromechanical drill, an ‘anti-torque system’ has to be included in the downhole unit. At the same time, the anti-torque must allow the drill to move up and down the borehole during drilling and tripping operations. Usually the anti-torque system has a blade form of various designs that engages with the borehole wall and counteracts the torque from the stator of the driving motor. This paper presents a review of the different anti-torque systems and test results with selected designs (leaf spring, skate and U-shaped anti-torque systems). Experiments showed that the skate anti-torque system can provide the maximal holding torque between 67 and 267 Nm−1 depending on the skates’ outer diameter and ice temperature, while the leaf spring anti-torque system can provide only 2.5–40 N m−1 (in case of straight contact between the ice and the leaf springs). The total resistance force to axial movement of the skate anti-torque system lies in the range 209–454N if the system is vibrating. For the leaf spring anti-torque system, the total axial resistance force is far less (19–243 N).
Most knowledge regarding the effects of antidepressant drugs is at the receptor level, distal from the nervous system effects that mediate their clinical efficacy. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), this study investigated the effects of escitalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), on resting-state brain function in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Fourteen first-episode drug-naive MDD patients completed two fMRI scans before and after 8 weeks of escitalopram therapy. Scans were also acquired in 14 matched healthy subjects. Data were analyzed using the regional homogeneity (ReHo) approach.
Compared to controls, MDD patients before treatment demonstrated decreased ReHo in the frontal (right superior frontal gyrus), temporal (left middle and right inferior temporal gyri), parietal (right precuneus) and occipital (left superior occipital gyrus and right cuneus) cortices, and increased ReHo in the left dorsal medial prefrontal gyrus and left anterior lobe of the cerebellum. Compared to the unmedicated state, ReHo in the patients after treatment was decreased in the left dorsal medial prefrontal gyrus, the right insula and the bilateral thalamus, and increased in the right superior frontal gyrus. Compared to controls, patients after treatment displayed a ReHo decrease in the right precuneus and a ReHo increase in the left anterior lobe of the cerebellum.
Successful treatment with escitalopram may be associated with modulation of resting-state brain activity in regions within the fronto-limbic circuit. This study provides new insight into the effects of antidepressants on functional brain systems in MDD.
The Chinese Astronomical Data Center (CAsDC) is a member of World Data System, hosted at National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences(NAOC). The CAsDC keeps close collaboration with IVOA, WDS and CODATA. The whole set of LAMOST data, including raw data and data products, are hosted at the CAsDC. Data resources and services of the CAsDC are introduced.