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Climate change is a key problem of the 21st century. China, as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has committed to stabilize its current emissions and dramatically increase the share of electricity production from non-fossil fuels by 2030. However, this is only a first step: in the longer term, China needs to aggressively strive to reach a goal of zero-emissions. Through detailed discussions of electricity pricing, electric vehicle policies, nuclear energy policies, and renewable energy policies, this book reviews how near-term climate and energy policies can affect long-term decarbonization pathways beyond 2030, building the foundations for decarbonization in advance of its realization. Focusing primarily on the electricity sector in China - the main battleground for decarbonization over the next century – it provides a valuable resource for researchers and policymakers, as well as energy and climate experts.
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.
Family coaggregation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia have been presented in previous studies. The shared genetic and environmental factors among psychiatric disorders remain elusive.
This nationwide population-based study examined familial coaggregation of major psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives (FDRs) of individuals with ASD. Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database was used to identify 26 667 individuals with ASD and 67 998 FDRs of individuals with ASD. The cohort was matched in 1:4 ratio to 271 992 controls. The relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of ADHD, ASD, BD, MDD and schizophrenia were assessed among FDRs of individuals with ASD and ASD with intellectual disability (ASD-ID).
FDRs of individuals with ASD have higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders compared with controls: ASD 17.46 (CI 15.50–19.67), ADHD 3.94 (CI 3.72–4.17), schizophrenia 3.05 (CI 2.74–3.40), BD 2.22 (CI 1.98–2.48) and MDD 1.88 (CI 1.76–2.00). Higher RRs of schizophrenia (4.47, CI 3.95–5.06) and ASD (18.54, CI 16.18–21.23) were observed in FDRs of individuals with both ASD-ID, compared with ASD only.
The risk for major psychiatric disorders was consistently elevated across all types of FDRs of individuals with ASD. FDRs of individuals with ASD-ID are at further higher risk for ASD and schizophrenia. Our results provide leads for future investigation of shared etiologic pathways of ASD, ID and major psychiatric disorders and highlight the importance of mental health care delivered to at-risk families for early diagnoses and interventions.
Fullerene dimers have attracted extensive attention due to their unique structures and fascinating properties. Here, fullerene dimer derivatives with four to six carbon atoms in the esters are designed and synthesized. The property differences that caused by the carbon number in the esters of the fullerene dimers are investigated by performing their electrochemical, optical, and photoelectric measurements. As the carbon atom numbers in the esters increase from four to five and six, the absorption intensities increase to 1.6- and 4.4-folds. The intensities of the fluorescence spectra increase to 1.8- and 5.2-folds. Their photocurrent increases to 2- and 7-folds under the irradiation of a 405-nm laser. The LUMO energy levels move downward slightly from −3.89 to −3.90 and −3.92 eV, respectively. Our results indicate that as the carbon number increases, the carbon chain lengths in the ester structures increase, very slight effects produced on the energy levels of the fullerene dimers, but strongly contribute to their chemical activities and thus the photoelectronic efficiencies.
Pollen-mediated gene flow (PMGF) refers to the transfer of genetic information (alleles) from one plant to another compatible plant. With the evolution of herbicide-resistant (HR) weeds, PMGF plays an important role in the transfer of resistance alleles from HR to susceptible weeds; however, little attention is given to this topic. The objective of this paper was to review reproductive biology, PMGF studies, and interspecific hybridization as well as potential for herbicide resistance alleles to transfer in the economically important broadleaf weeds including common lambsquarters, giant ragweed, horseweed, kochia, Palmer amaranth, and waterhemp. The PMGF studies involving these species reveal that transfer of herbicide resistance alleles routinely occurs under field conditions and is influenced by several factors such as reproductive biology, environment, and production practices. Interspecific hybridization studies within Amaranthus and Ambrosia spp. show that herbicide resistance allele transfer is possible between species of the same genus, but at relatively low levels. The widespread occurrence of HR weed populations and high genetic diversity is at least partly due to PMGF, particularly in dioecious species such as Palmer amaranth and waterhemp compared with monoecious species such as common lambsquarters and horseweed. Prolific pollen production in giant ragweed contributes to PMGF. Kochia, a wind pollinated species can efficiently disseminate herbicide resistance alleles via both PMGF and tumbleweed seed dispersal, resulting in widespread occurrence of multiple HR kochia populations. The review conducted for the aforementioned species verifies that intraspecific and interspecific gene flow can occur, and even at a low rate, could contribute to the rapid spread of herbicide resistance alleles. Further research is needed to determine the role of PMGF in transferring multiple herbicide resistance alleles at the landscape level.
During the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), people are under the dual pressure of interpersonal isolation and concerns about infection. An evaluation of people’s psychological status and risk factors is needed to conduct target interventions.
This was a nationwide, multicenter, cross-sectional study using quota and snowball sampling methods during the COVID-19 epidemic in China. Participants’ characteristics and experiences were obtained by an online questionnaire and telephone review. Psychological distress and sleep problems were measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and the Insomnia Severity Index.
A total of 23,500 participants were recruited, and 19,372 valid questionnaires were received from 11 centers. Overall, 11.0–13.3% of the participants had anxiety, depression, or insomnia symptoms, and 1.9–2.7% had severe symptoms. The prevalence of psychological and sleep problems has increased. Working as frontline medical staff (Odds Ratio OR = 3.406), living in Hubei Province (OR = 2.237), close contacts with COVID-19 (OR = 1.808), and age 35–49 years (OR = 1.310) were risk factors for anxiety symptoms; no outside activity for 2 weeks (OR = 2.167) and age 35–49 years (OR = 1.198) were risk factors for depression symptoms; and living in Hubei Province (OR = 2.376), no outside activity for 2 weeks (OR = 1.927), and age 35–49 years (OR = 1.262) were risk factors for insomnia symptoms. Only 1.9% of participants received counseling during the epidemic.
Psychological and sleep problems increased during interpersonal isolation due to COVID-19. Current psychological interventions are far from sufficient.
No studies have reported on how to relieve distress or relax in medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The study aimed to establish which relaxation technique, among six, is the most feasible in first-line medical health workers wearing medical protective equipment.
This was a two-step study collecting data with online surveys. Step 1: 15 first-line medical health workers were trained to use six different relaxation techniques and reported the two most feasible techniques while wearing medical protective equipment. Step 2: the most two feasible relaxation techniques revealed by step 1 were quantitatively tested in a sample of 65 medical health workers in terms of efficacy, no space limitation, no time limitation, no body position requirement, no environment limitation to be done, easiness to learn, simplicity, convenience, practicality, and acceptance.
Kegel exercise and autogenic relaxation were the most feasible techniques according to step 1. In step 2, Kegel exercise outperformed autogenic relaxation on all the 10 dimensions among the 65 participants while wearing medical protective equipment (efficacy: 24 v. 15, no space limitation: 30 v. 4, no time limitation: 31 v. 4, no body position requirement: 26 v. 4, no environment limitation: 30 v. 11, easiness to learn: 28 v. 5, simplicity: 29 v. 7, convenience: 29 v. 4, practicality: 30 v. 14, acceptance: 32 v. 6).
Kegel exercise seems a promising self-relaxation technique for first-line medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment among COVID-19 pandemic.
Renal fibrosis is common especially in the elderly population. Recently, we found that vitamin D deficiency caused prostatic hyperplasia. This study aimed to investigate whether vitamin D deficiency promotes renal fibrosis and functional impairment. All mice except controls were fed with vitamin D deficient (VDD) diets, beginning from their early life. The absolute and relative kidney weights on postnatal week (PNW)20 were decreased in VDD diet-fed male pups but not in female pups. A mild pathological damage was observed in VDD diet-fed male pups but not in females. Further analysis showed that VDD-induced pathological damage was aggravated, accompanied by renal disfunction in 40-week-old male pups. An obvious collagen deposition was observed in VDD diet-fed 40-week-old male pups. Moreover, renal α-SMA, a marker of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and Tgf-β mRNA were upregulated. The in vitro experiment showed that 1,25(OH)2D3 alleviated TGF-β1-mediated downregulation of E-cadherin and inhibited TGF-β1-evoked upregulation of N-cadherin, vimentin and α-SMA in renal epithelial HK-2 cells. Moreover, 1,25(OH)2D3 suppressed TGF-β1-evoked Smad2/3 phosphorylation in HK-2 cells. These results provide experimental evidence that long-term vitamin D deficiency promotes renal fibrosis and functional impairment, at least partially, through aggravating TGF-β/Smad2/3-mediated EMT in middle-aged male mice.
Parabronema skrjabini is one of the most harmful nematodes to camels and is responsible for economic losses in animal husbandry industry. There is an urgent need for in-depth studies of potential vectors of the nematode due to its scant regarding information. As previous studies indicated that flies may be the vectors of P. skrjabini, we captured flies in the main camel-producing areas of Inner Mongolia. After autopsy of the specimens of two species of horn flies, we observed the morphology of the suspected nematode larvae found in them. Internal transcribed spacer ribosomal-DNA gene sequences were considered the best candidate to confirm the species of the larvae found. Our results showed that the homology compared with P. skrjabini was 99.5% in GenBank. Subsequently, we preliminarily identified two species of horn flies through morphological observation and then sequenced the mitochondrial-DNA-gene cytochrome oxidase subunit I obtained from two species of horn flies, with 100 and 99.2% similarity to sequences deposited in GenBank, respectively. Thus, we identified Haematobia titillans and Haematobia irritans and provided evidence for their potential role as vectors of parabronemosis. Our study provides reference for future research on the life history of the nematode and the vectors of parabronemosis.
Flavonoid-rich foods have shown a beneficial effect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in short-term randomised trials. It is uncertain whether the usual dietary intake of flavonoids may benefit patients with NAFLD. The present study evaluated the association between the usual intake of flavonoids and the risk of progression in NAFLD. The prospective study included 2694 adults from the Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study. Face-to-face interviews using a seventy-nine-item FFQ were administered to assess habitual dietary flavonoid intake, while abdominal ultrasonography was conducted to evaluate the presence and degree of NAFLD, with measurements conducted 3 years apart. After adjustment for potential confounders, higher flavonoid intakes were gradely associated with reduced risks of worsen NAFLD status. The relative risks of worsening (v. non-worsening) NAFLD in the highest (v. lowest) quintile were 0·71 (95 % CI 0·54, 0·93) for total flavonoids, 0·74 (95 % CI 0·57, 0·95) for flavanones, 0·74 (95 % CI 0·56, 0·96) for flavan-3-ols, 0·90 (95 % CI 0·68, 1·18) for flavonols, 0·73 (95 % CI 0·56, 0·93) for flavones, 0·79 (95 % CI 0·61, 1·02) for isoflavones and 0·74 (95 % CI 0·57, 0·96) for anthocyanins. An L-shaped relationship was observed between total flavonoid intake and the risk of NAFLD progression. Path analyses showed that the association between flavonoids and NAFLD progression was mediated by decreases in serum cholesterol and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. This prospective study showed that higher flavonoid intake was associated with a lower risk of NAFLD progression in the elderly overweight/obese Chinese population.
A 6-week growth trial was conducted to evaluate the influences of dietary valine (Val) levels on growth, protein utilisation, immunity, antioxidant status and gut micromorphology of juvenile hybrid groupers. Seven isoenergetic, isoproteic and isolipidic diets were formulated to contain graded Val levels (1·21, 1·32, 1·45, 1·58, 1·69, 1·82 and 1·94 %, DM basis). Each experimental diet was hand-fed to triplicate groups of twelve hybrid grouper juveniles. Results showed that weight gain percentage (WG%), protein productive value, protein efficiency ratio, and feed efficiency were increased as dietary Val level increased, reaching a peak value at 1·58 % dietary Val. The quadratic regression analysis of WG% against dietary Val levels indicated that the optimum dietary Val requirement for hybrid groupers was estimated to be 1·56 %. Gut micromorphology and expression of growth hormone in pituitary, insulin-like growth factor 1, target of rapamycin and S6 kinase 1 in liver were significantly affected by dietary Val levels. In serum, fish fed 1·58 % dietary Val had higher superoxide dismutase, catalase, lysozyme activities and IgM concentrations than fish fed other dietary Val levels. Fish fed 1·58 % dietary Val had higher expression of NF-E2-related factor 2 in head kidney than fish fed other dietary Val levels. Generally, the optimum dietary Val requirement for maximal growth of hybrid groupers was estimated to be 1·56 % of DM, corresponding to 3·16 % of dietary protein, and dietary Val levels affected growth, protein utilisation, immunity and antioxidant status in hybrid groupers.