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Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has presented an unprecedented challenge to the health-care system across the world. The current study aims to identify the determinants of illness severity of COVID-19 based on ordinal responses. A retrospective cohort of COVID-19 patients from four hospitals in three provinces in China was established, and 598 patients were included from 1 January to 8 March 2020, and divided into moderate, severe and critical illness group. Relative variables were retrieved from electronic medical records. The univariate and multivariate ordinal logistic regression models were fitted to identify the independent predictors of illness severity. The cohort included 400 (66.89%) moderate cases, 85 (14.21%) severe and 113 (18.90%) critical cases, of whom 79 died during hospitalisation as of 28 April. Patients in the age group of 70+ years (OR = 3.419, 95% CI: 1.596–7.323), age of 40–69 years (OR = 1.586, 95% CI: 0.824–3.053), hypertension (OR = 3.372, 95% CI: 2.185–5.202), ALT >50 μ/l (OR = 3.304, 95% CI: 2.107–5.180), cTnI >0.04 ng/ml (OR = 7.464, 95% CI: 4.292–12.980), myohaemoglobin>48.8 ng/ml (OR = 2.214, 95% CI: 1.42–3.453) had greater risk of developing worse severity of illness. The interval between illness onset and diagnosis (OR = 1.056, 95% CI: 1.012–1.101) and interval between illness onset and admission (OR = 1.048, 95% CI: 1.009–1.087) were independent significant predictors of illness severity. Patients of critical illness suffered from inferior survival, as compared with patients in the severe group (HR = 14.309, 95% CI: 5.585–36.659) and in the moderate group (HR = 41.021, 95% CI: 17.588–95.678). Our findings highlight that the identified determinants may help to predict the risk of developing more severe illness among COVID-19 patients and contribute to optimising arrangement of health resources.
Dysregulation in hepatic lipid synthesis by excess dietary carbohydrate intake is often relevant with the occurrence of fatty liver; therefore, the thorough understanding of the regulation of lipid deposition and metabolism seems crucial to search for potential regulatory targets. In the present study, we examined TAG accumulation, lipid metabolism-related gene expression, the enzyme activities of lipogenesis-related enzymes, the protein levels of transcription factors or genes involving lipogenesis in the livers of yellow catfish fed five dietary carbohydrate sources, such as glucose, maize starch, sucrose, potato starch and dextrin, respectively. Generally speaking, compared with other carbohydrate sources, dietary glucose promoted TAG accumulation, up-regulated lipogenic enzyme activities and gene expressions, and down-regulated mRNA expression of genes involved in lipolysis and small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) modification pathways. Further studies found that sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1), a key transcriptional factor relevant to lipogenic regulation, was modified by SUMO1. Mutational analyses found two important sites for SUMOylation modification (K254R and K264R) in SREBP1. Mutant SREBP lacking lysine 264 up-regulated the transactivation capacity on an SREBP-responsive promoter. Glucose reduced the SUMOylation level of SREBP1 and promoted the protein expression of SREBP1 and its target gene stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), indicating that SUMOylation of SREBP1 mediated glucose-induced hepatic lipid metabolism. Our study elucidated the molecular mechanism of dietary glucose increasing hepatic lipid deposition and found that the SREBP-dependent transactivation was regulated by SUMO1 modification, which served as a new target for the transcriptional programmes governing lipid metabolism.
Data on average iodine requirements for the Chinese population are limited following implementation of long-term universal salt iodisation. We explored the minimum iodine requirements of young adults in China using a balance experiment and the ‘iodine overflow’ hypothesis proposed by our team. Sixty healthy young adults were enrolled to consume a sequential experimental diet containing low, medium and high levels of iodine (about 20, 40 and 60 μg/d, respectively). Each dose was consumed for 4 d, and daily iodine intake, excretion and retention were assessed. All participants were in negative iodine balance throughout the study. Iodine intake, excretion and retention differed among the three iodine levels (P < 0·01 for all groups). The zero-iodine balance derived from a random effect model indicated a mean iodine intake of 102 μg/d, but poor correlation coefficients between observed and predicted iodine excretion (r 0·538 for μg/d data) and retention (r 0·304 for μg/d data). As iodine intake increased from medium to high, all of the increased iodine was excreted (‘overflow’) through urine and faeces by males, and 89·5 % was excreted by females. Although the high iodine level (63·4 μg/d) might be adequate in males, the corresponding level of 61·6 μg/d in females did not meet optimal requirements. Our findings indicate that a daily iodine intake of approximately half the current recommended nutrient intake (120 μg/d) may satisfy the minimum iodine requirements of young male adults in China, while a similar level is insufficient for females based on the ‘iodine overflow’ hypothesis.
Using a novel statistical method, we estimate the vote counts of the secret elections held by the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party from 1945 to 2017. We also construct a metric for voter preference diversity based on a standard index of legislative party fractionalization. We find that both the number of dissenting votes and the voter preference diversity index plummeted to the bottom in 2017, which is an unprecedented phenomenon in the party's history. Applying the same method to provincial party congress elections from 2006–2017, we find that provincial dissenting votes also declined around the same time, though the magnitude is relatively smaller and there is a wide range of provincial variations. We suggest that President Xi's suppression of formal party institutions is complete at the national level but not yet at the provincial level.
The Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) gene has been identified as a top risk gene for schizophrenia in several large-scale genome-wide association studies. A variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) of this gene is the most significant expression quantitative trait locus, but its role in brain activity in vivo is still unknown.
We first performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan of 101 healthy subjects during a memory span task, trained all subjects on an adaptive memory span task for 1 month, and finally performed another fMRI scan after the training. After excluding subjects with excessive head movements for one or more scanning sessions, data from 93 subjects were included in the final analyses.
The VNTR was significantly associated with both baseline brain activation and training-induced changes in multiple regions including the prefrontal cortex and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Additionally, it was associated with baseline brain activation in the striatum and the parietal cortex. All these results were corrected based on the family-wise error rate method across the whole brain at the peak level.
This study sheds light on the role of AS3MT gene variants in neural plasticity related to memory span training.
Previous studies have shown conflicting findings regarding the relationship between maternal vitamin D deficiency (VDD) and fetal growth restriction (FGR). We hypothesised that parathyroid hormone (PTH) may be an underlying factor relevant to this potential association. In a prospective birth cohort study, descriptive statistics were evaluated for the demographic characteristics of 3407 pregnancies in the second trimester from three antenatal clinics in Hefei, China. The association of the combined status of vitamin D and PTH with birth weight and the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) was assessed by a multivariate linear and binary logistic regression. We found that declined status of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with lower birth weight (for moderate VDD: adjusted β = −49·4 g, 95 % CI −91·1, −7·8, P < 0·05; for severe VDD: adjusted β = −79·8 g, 95 % CI −127·2, −32·5, P < 0·01), as well as ascended levels of PTH (for elevated PTH: adjusted β = −44·5 g, 95 % CI −82·6, −6·4, P < 0·05). Compared with the non-VDD group with non-elevated PTH, pregnancies with severe VDD and elevated PTH had the lowest neonatal birth weight (adjusted β = −124·7 g, 95 % CI −194·6, −54·8, P < 0·001) and the highest risk of SGA (adjusted risk ratio (RR) = 3·36, 95 % CI 1·41, 8·03, P < 0·01). Notably, the highest risk of less Ca supplementation was founded in severe VDD group with elevated PTH (adjusted RR = 4·67, 95 % CI 2·78, 7·85, P < 0·001). In conclusion, elevated PTH induced by less Ca supplementation would further aggravate the risk of FGR in pregnancies with severe VDD through impaired maternal Ca metabolism homoeostasis.
The Kuqa Depression in the northern Tarim Basin, NW China, is characterized by fault-controlled anticlines where natural fractures may influence production. Natural fractures in the Lower Cretaceous tight sandstones in the depression have been studied using seismic profiles, borehole images, cores and thin-sections. Results show that thrust faults, two types of opening-mode macrofractures and two types of microfractures are present. Thrust faults were generated during Cenozoic N–S-directed tectonic shortening and have hydraulically linked Jurassic source rocks and Cretaceous sandstones. Opening-mode fractures can be subdivided on the basis of sizes, filling characteristics and distribution patterns. Type 1 macrofractures are barren or mainly calcite-lined. They have straight traces with widths (opening displacements) that are of the order of magnitude of 10 μm, suggesting that their primary role is that of migration channels. Type 2 macrofractures are calcite-filled opening-mode fractures. They have an elliptical or tabular shape with sharply tapering tips. Transgranular microfractures are lens-shaped and open or filled mostly by calcite; maximum widths range between 0.01 mm and 0.1 mm. Intragranular microfractures are the most common microfracture type. They are filled by calcite, feldspar or quartz. The macrofractures and transgranular microfractures have regular distributions, while most intragranular microfractures are irregularly distributed owing to their inherited origin. The results imply that natural fractures in the tight sandstones were formed as tectonic, diagenetic and natural hydraulic origins. In situ stress and cementation analyses suggest that Type 1 macrofractures and their genesis-related microfractures have controlled the present flow system of the tight sandstones.
As high-dynamic range (HDR) and wide-color gamut (WCG) contents become more and more popular in multimedia markets, color mapping of the distributed contents to different rendering devices plays a pivotal role in HDR distribution eco-systems. The widely used and economic gamut-clipping (GC)-based techniques perform poorly in mapping WCG contents to narrow gamut devices; and high-performance color-appearance model (CAM)-based techniques are computationally expensive to commercial applications. In this paper, we propose a novel color gamut mapping (CGM) algorithm to solve the problem. By introducing a color transition/protection zone (TPZ) and a set of perceptual hue fidelity constraints into the CIE-1931 space, the proposed algorithm directly carries out CGM in the perceptually non-uniform space, thus greatly decreases the computational complexity. The proposed TPZ effectively achieves a reasonable compromise between saturation preserving and details protection in out-of-gamut colors. The proposed hue fidelity constraints reference the measurements of human subjects' visual responses, thus effectively preserve the perceptual hue of the original colors. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm clearly outperforms the GC-CGM, and performs similarly or better than the expensive CAM-CGM. The proposed algorithm is real-time and hardware friendly. It is an important supplement of the SMPTE ST.2094-40 standard.
Archaeolinguistics, a field which combines language reconstruction and archaeology as a source of information on human prehistory, has much to offer to deepen our understanding of the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Northeast Asia. So far, integrated comparative analyses of words and tools for textile production are completely lacking for the Northeast Asian Neolithic and Bronze Age. To remedy this situation, here we integrate linguistic and archaeological evidence of textile production, with the aim of shedding light on ancient population movements in Northeast China, the Russian Far East, Korea and Japan. We show that the transition to more sophisticated textile technology in these regions can be associated not only with the adoption of millet agriculture but also with the spread of the languages of the so-called ‘Transeurasian’ family. In this way, our research provides indirect support for the Language/Farming Dispersal Hypothesis, which posits that language expansion from the Neolithic onwards was often associated with agricultural colonization.
The Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR), initiated in 2001, has now become the largest twin registry in Asia. From 2015 to 2018, the CNTR continued to receive Chinese government funding and had recruited 61,566 twin-pairs by 2019 to study twins discordant for specific exposures such as environmental factors, and twins discordant for disease outcomes or measures of morbidity. Omic data, including genetics, genomics, metabolomics, and proteomics, and gut microbiome will be tested. The integration of omics and digital technologies in public health will advance our understanding of precision public health. This review introduces the updates of the CNTR, including study design, sample size, biobank, zygosity assessment, advances in research and future systems epidemiologic research.
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.
Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
The Sichuan–Yunnan–Guizhou (SYG) Pb–Zn metallogenic province is one of the most productive areas of Pb–Zn resources in China. The Fule deposit occurs in Permian carbonate and contains Pb–Zn reserves exceeding 1 Mt. To investigate the sulphur source, in situ S isotopic analysis of sphalerite and pyrite was carried out using nanoscale secondary-ion mass spectrometry. The results show that the δ34S values of the sulphide minerals range from +16.1‰ to +23.0‰, higher than that of marine sulphates hosted in Permian carbonate rocks (+11‰), but similar to that of sulphates over a broader area (+12.9‰ to +25.9‰). The sulphates in the regional rocks could therefore represent an important source of S for the Fule deposit via thermochemical sulphate reduction. The S source of the Fule deposit is different from those of most other Pb–Zn deposits in the SYG Pb–Zn mineralization province, which were mainly derived from the ore-bearing strata. The δ34S values of the early to late generations and some single sulphide crystals from the cores to rims show a slight increasing trend, implying that partial Rayleigh fractionation took place in the Fule deposit. It is suggested that the Fule sulphide precipitation resulted from the mixing of a metalliferous fluid with a H2S-rich fluid derived from the regional strata. Combining the geology, mineralogy and S isotope results with previous Pb isotope studies, it is suggested that the Fule deposit should be attributed to a Mississippi Valley type deposit.
Episodic memory starts to decline very early in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Subtle impairments in memory binding may be detected in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This study aims to examine the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the memory binding test (MBT).
One hundred and sixty-four subjects (26 individuals with AD, 67 individuals with amnestic MCI (aMCI), 30 individuals with subjective cognitive impairment (SCI), and 41 cognitively normal elderly individuals (NC)) participated in the study. Twenty-two subjects repeated the assessment of the MBT within 6 weeks (± 2 weeks). Pearson correlation was used to calculate the convergent validity. The test––retest reliability was determined by the calculation of the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Discriminative validity was calculated to evaluate the receiver–operating characteristic curves. The optimal index was chosen by comparing the area under the curve for specificity and sensitivity ≥ 0.80. The optimal cutoff score of the index was chosen to maximize the sum of sensitivity and specificity.
The absolute value of the convergent validity of the direct indexes of MBT ranged from 0.443 to 0.684. The ICC for each of direct indexes was 0.887–0.958. Total delayed paired recall (TDPR) was the optimal index for discriminating aMCI from NC. The cutoff score for TDPR was ≤25 to distinguish aMCI from NC (sensitivity = 0.896, specificity = 0.707).
The Chinese version of MBT is a valid and reliable instrument to detect MCI.