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Aggressive behaviour is common in animals and typically has lifetime consequences. As younger males have higher residual reproductive value than older males and lose more from injuries than older males do, the propensity for fighting tends to increase with age in many empirical reports and species. However, fighting patterns in those empirical reports cannot confirm the hypothesis that individuals cannot readily inflict injuries on their opponents. To address this shortcoming, a parasitoid wasp species, Anastatus disparis (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae), was used as an experimental model to explore the characteristics of aggression from a life-history perspective; this wasp exhibits extreme fighting, resulting in contestants experiencing injury and death. Results showed that the energetic costs of fighting to injury significantly shortened life and caused the loss of most mating ability. Inconsistent with general predictions, the frequency and intensity of fighting in A. disparis significantly decreased with male age. Further study results showed significantly more young males were received by and successfully mated with virgin females, and most genes related to energy metabolism were downregulated in aged males. Our study provided supporting evidence that young A. disparis males show more aggression likely because of their resource holding potential and sexual attractiveness decline with age.
With the popularization of carbon and nitrogen stable-isotope analysis methods used on archaeological samples from Xinjiang, the ancient paleodiet there has been revealed. However, research about isotopic analysis combined with environmental factors is rare, especially in such a variable and complex climate as that of the Tianshan region. We systematically analyzed the δ13C and δ15N results from animals and humans for dietary reconstruction of nomadic pastoralists from the Tianshan region during 3900–1200 cal BP. The δ13C and δ15N values for animals (sheep/goat, horse and cattle; n = 57) have a wide range from –20.8‰ to –14.7‰ for δ13C (–19.2 ± 1.0‰) and 3.2‰ to 9.9‰ for δ15N (7.0 ± 1.2‰). The δ13C and δ15N values from humans range from –19.6 to –12.3‰ (–16.0 ± 1.5‰) and 7.1 to 16.7‰ (–13.6 ± 1.5‰), respectively. The animal δ15N results indicate that the dry environment in the Tianshan region may result in elevated δ15N values. Synthesizing animal and human isotope results suggests that the inhabitants engaged in mobile herding economies subsidized with crops and wild animal meat from the Tianshan Mountains. In conclusion, we found that the regional environment closely relates to crop types, and temporal climate change has an effect on human dietary structure. Therefore, climate condition cannot be ignored when studying human paleodiet.
Diet has direct and indirect effects on health through inflammation and the gut microbiome. We investigated total dietary inflammatory potential via the literature-derived index (Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII®)) with gut microbiota diversity, composition and function. In cancer-free patient volunteers initially approached at colonoscopy and healthy volunteers recruited from the medical centre community, we assessed 16S ribosomal DNA in all subjects who provided dietary assessments and stool samples (n 101) and the gut metagenome in a subset of patients with residual fasting blood samples (n 34). Associations of energy-adjusted DII scores with microbial diversity and composition were examined using linear regression, permutational multivariate ANOVA and linear discriminant analysis. Spearman correlation was used to evaluate associations of species and pathways with DII and circulating inflammatory markers. Across DII levels, α- and β-diversity did not significantly differ; however, Ruminococcus torques, Eubacterium nodatum, Acidaminococcus intestini and Clostridium leptum were more abundant in the most pro-inflammatory diet group, while Akkermansia muciniphila was enriched in the most anti-inflammatory diet group. With adjustment for age and BMI, R. torques, E. nodatum and A. intestini remained significantly associated with a more pro-inflammatory diet. In the metagenomic and fasting blood subset, A. intestini was correlated with circulating plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, a pro-inflammatory marker (rho = 0·40), but no associations remained significant upon correction for multiple testing. An index reflecting overall inflammatory potential of the diet was associated with specific microbes, but not overall diversity of the gut microbiome in our study. Findings from this preliminary study warrant further research in larger samples and prospective cohorts.
The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effect of n-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, at an EPA:DHA ratio of 150:500) and phytosterol esters (PS) on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients. We conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ninety-six NAFLD subjects were randomly assigned to the following groups: the PS group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS); the FO group (receiving 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d); the PS + FO combination group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS and 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d) and the PO group (a placebo group). The baseline clinical characteristics of the four groups were similar. The primary outcome was liver:spleen attenuation ratio (L:S ratio). The percentage increase in liver–spleen attenuation (≤1) in the PS + FO group was 36 % (P = 0·083), higher than those in the other three groups (PS group, 11 %, P = 0·519; FO group, 18 %, P = 0·071; PO group, 15 %, P = 0·436). Compared with baseline, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) was significantly decreased in the three study groups at the end of the trial (PS, P = 0·000; FO, P = 0·002; PS + FO, P = 0·001) and TNF-α was significantly decreased in the FO group (P = 0·036), PS + FO group (P = 0·005) and PO group (P = 0·032) at the end of the intervention. Notably, TGF-β was reduced significantly more in the PS + FO group than in the PO group (P = 0·032). The TAG and total cholesterol levels of the PS + FO group were reduced by 11·57 and 9·55 %, respectively. In conclusion, co-supplementation of PS and EPA + DHA could increase the effectiveness of treatment for hepatic steatosis.
Most deep latent factor models choose simple priors for simplicity, tractability, or not knowing what prior to use. Recent studies show that the choice of the prior may have a profound effect on the expressiveness of the model, especially when its generative network has limited capacity. In this paper, we propose to learn a proper prior from data for adversarial autoencoders (AAEs). We introduce the notion of code generators to transform manually selected simple priors into ones that can better characterize the data distribution. Experimental results show that the proposed model can generate better image quality and learn better disentangled representations than AAEs in both supervised and unsupervised settings. Lastly, we present its ability to do cross-domain translation in a text-to-image synthesis task.
Chinese men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk for depression, anxiety and suicide. The estimated prevalence of these problems is essential to guide public health policy, but published results vary. This meta-analysis aimed to estimate the prevalence of depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms and suicide among Chinese MSM.
Systematic searches of EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed, CNKI and Wanfang databases with languages restricted to Chinese and English for studies published before 10 September 2019 on the prevalence of depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, suicidal ideation, suicide plans and suicide attempts among Chinese MSM. Studies that were published in the peer-reviewed journals and used validated instruments to assess depression and anxiety were included. The characteristics of studies and the prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms, suicidal ideation, suicide plans and suicide attempts were independently extracted by authors. Random-effects modelling was used to estimate the pooled rates. Subgroup analysis and univariate meta-regression were conducted to explore potential sources of heterogeneity. This study followed the PRISMA and MOOSE.
Sixty-seven studies were included. Fifty-two studies reported the prevalence of depressive symptoms, with a combined sample of 37 376 people, of whom 12 887 [43.2%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 38.9–47.5] reported depressive symptoms. Twenty-seven studies reported the prevalence of anxiety symptoms, with a combined sample of 10 531 people, of whom 3187 (32.2%; 95% CI, 28.3–36.6) reported anxiety symptoms. Twenty-three studies reported the prevalence of suicidal ideation, with a combined sample of 15 034 people, of whom 3416 (21.2%; 95% CI, 18.3–24.5) had suicidal ideation. Nine studies reported the prevalence of suicide plans, with a combined sample of 5271 people, of whom 401 (6.2%; 95% CI, 3.9–8.6) had suicide plans. Finally, 19 studies reported the prevalence of suicide attempts, with a combined sample of 27 936 people, of whom 1829 (7.3%; 95% CI, 5.6–9.0) had attempted suicide.
The mental health of Chinese MSM is poor compared with the general population. Efforts are warranted to develop interventions to prevent and alleviate mental health problems among this vulnerable population.
Triptorelin (TRI), a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist allowing ovulation synchronization in pigs, is indispensable for fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) protocols. However, the effect of FTAI using TRI (FTAI-TRI) on the reproductive performance is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to determine whether FTAI-TRI affects reproductive performance of pigs, including pregnancy rate (PR), number of pigs born alive per litter (NBA), farrowing rate (FR) and total number of pigs born per litter (TNB). A total of 37 trials from 15 studies were extracted and analysed in Stata. A weighted mean difference (WMD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated for NBA and TNB, and risk ratio (RR) with 95% CI was calculated for PR and FR. Pregnancy rate, TNB and NBA data were applied to a fixed-effect protocol, and FR data were applied to a random-effect protocol. We found that for weaned sows, the FTAI-TRI group had comparable reproductive performance to the artificial insemination (AI) following oestrus detection (EDAI) group. Fixed-time AI has many advantages, including the elimination of the need to heat-check twice daily, so that FTAI-TRI is a good substitute for EDAI. Subgroup analysis indicated that the optimal timing of triptorelin treatment was 96 h after weaning, which gave significant positive effects on PR (RR = 1.08, P = 0.000) and non-significant positive effects on TNB (WMD = 0.12, P = 0.452). Triptorelin at a dose of 100 μg showed better effects than 200 μg, with significant positive effects on PR (RR = 1.09, P = 0.005) and FR (RR = 1.06, P = 0.036). So a single dose of 100 μg was recommended. The optimal protocol was insemination at 24 h and again at 48 h after triptorelin administration if they remained in standing oestrus, and this provided a significantly higher NBA (WMD = 0.59, P = 0.013) that increased by 0.59. For gilts, the FTAI-TRI group showed decreased (not significant) PR (RR = 0.96, P = 0.127) and significantly decreased FR (RR = 0.93, P = 0.013), TNB (WMD = −0.85, P = 0.006) and NBA (WMD = −0.98, P = 0.000), which were inferior to those in the EDAI group. In conclusion, the effects of FTAI-TRI on the reproductive performance of pigs were parity-, treatment timing-, insemination timing-, and dosage-dependent. Fixed-time AI using triptorelin could effectively replace the EDAI protocol for sows, but not for gilts.
We present details of on-wafer-level 16-term error model calibration kits used for the characterization of W-band circuits based on a grounded coplanar waveguide (GCPW). These circuits were fabricated on a thin gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrate, and via holes, were utilized to ensure single mode propagation (i.e., eliminating the parallel-plate mode or surface mode). To ensure the accuracy of the definition for the calibration kits, multi-line thru-reflect-line (MTRL) assistant standards were also fabricated on the same wafer and measured. The same wafer also contained passive and active devices, which were measured subject to both 16-term and conventional line-reflect-reflect-match calibrations. Measurement results show that 16-term calibration kits are capable of determining the cross-talk more accurately. Other typical calibration techniques were also implemented using the standards on the GCPW calibration kits, and were compared with the MTRL calibration using a passive device under test. This revealed that the proposed GCPW GaAs calibration substrate could be a feasible alternative to conventional CPW impedance standard substrates, for on-wafer measurements at W-band and above.
While assessing the environmental impact of nuclear power plants, researchers have focused their attention on radiocarbon (14C) owing to its high mobility in the environment and important radiological impact on human beings. The 10 MW high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR-10) is the first pebble-bed gas-cooled test reactor in China that adopted helium as primary coolant and graphite spheres containing tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) coated particles as fuel elements. A series of experiments on the 14C source terms in HTR-10 was conducted: (1) measurement of the specific activity and distribution of typical nuclides in the irradiated graphite spheres from the core, (2) measurement of the activity concentration of 14C in the primary coolant, and (3) measurement of the amount of 14C discharged in the effluent from the stack. All experimental data on 14C available for HTR-10 were summarized and analyzed using theoretical calculations. A sensitivity study on the total porosity, open porosity, and percentage of closed pores that became open after irradiating the matrix graphite was performed to illustrate their effects on the activity concentration of 14C in the primary coolant and activity amount of 14C in various deduction routes.
The very high temperature reactor (VHTR) is a development of the high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) and one of the six proposed Generation IV reactor concept candidates. The 10 MW high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR-10) is the first pebble-bed gas-cooled test reactor in China. A sampling system for the measurement of carbon-14 (14C) was established in the helium purification system of the HTR-10 primary loop, which could sample 14C from the coolant at three locations. The results showed that activity concentration of 14C in the HTR-10 primary coolant was 1.2(1) × 102 Bq/m3 (STP). The production mechanisms, distribution characteristics, reduction routes, and release types of 14C in HTR-10 were analyzed and discussed. A theoretical model was built to calculate the amount of 14C in the core of HTR-10 and its concentration in the primary coolant. The activation reaction of 13C has been identified to be the dominant 14C source in the core, whereas in the primary coolant, it is the activation of 14N. These results can supplement important information for the source term analysis of 14C in HTR-10 and promote the study of 14C in HTGRs.
Melatonin plays a critical role in several types of cells as an antioxidant to protect intracellular molecules from oxidative stress. The anti-oxidation effect of melatonin in yak embryos is largely unknown. We report that melatonin can protect the development of yak preimplantation embryos against oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Therefore, the quality of blastocysts developed from zygotes exposed to H2O2 was promoted. In addition, we observed that melatonin reduced H2O2-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and prevented mitochondrial dysfunction in zygotes. These phenomena revealed the effective antioxidant activity of melatonin to prevent oxidative stress in yak embryos. To determine the underlying mechanism, we further demonstrated that melatonin protected preimplantation embryos from oxidative damage by preserving antioxidative enzymes. Collectively, these results confirmed the anti-oxidation effect of melatonin in yak embryos that significantly improved the quantity and quality of blastocysts in the in vitro production of embryos in yaks.
Composite materials include various components with different structures, which cooperatively increase their properties and extend their application. In this study, the graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) guest material was assembled into the porous of the SiO2 aerogel, which was prepared during the gel process. By this way, the g-C3N4 could be absolutely encapsulated into the porous of the disordered porous SiO2 aerogel. The prepared g-C3N4/SiO2 composite had a loose porous structure and exhibited the much higher photocatalytic activity to the photodegradation of rhodamine B (RhB) under visible light. The disordered porous structure enhanced photocatalytic activity, and the degradation rate reached to 96.42% in 90 min under the irradiation of visible light, which could be attributed to its high surface area and effective electron–hole separation rate. The catalyst had the much higher stability and could be easily recycled utilization. The prepared composites could be applied to degrade organic pollutants in wastewater.
Although it is crucial to improve the treatment status of people with severe mental illness (SMI), it is still unknown whether and how socioeconomic development influences their treatment status.
To explore the change in treatment status in people with SMI from 1994 to 2015 in rural China and to examine the factors influencing treatment status in those with SMI.
Two mental health surveys using identical methods and ICD-10 were conducted in 1994 and 2015 (population ≥15 years old, n = 152 776) in the same six townships of Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
Compared with 1994, individuals with SMI in 2015 had significantly higher rates of poor family economic status, fewer family caregivers, longer duration of illness, later age at first onset and poor mental status. Participants in 2015 had significantly higher rates of never being treated, taking antipsychotic drugs and ever being admitted to hospital, and lower rates of using traditional Chinese medicine or being treated by traditional/spiritual healers. The factors strongly associated with never being treated included worse mental status (symptoms/social functioning), older age, having no family caregivers and poor family economic status.
Socioeconomic development influences the treatment status of people with SMI in contemporary rural China. Relative poverty, having no family caregivers and older age are important factors associated with a worse treatment status. Culture-specific, community-based interventions and targeted poverty-alleviation programmes should be developed to improve the early identification, treatment and recovery of individuals with SMI in rural China.
Imaging studies have shown that the subcallosal region (SCR) volume was decreased in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, whether the volumetric reductions in the SCR are due to thinning of the cortex or a loss of surface area (SA) remains unclear. In addition, the relationship between cortical measurements of the SCR and age through the adult life span in MDD remains unclear.
We used a cross-sectional design from 114 individuals with MDD and 112 matched healthy control (HC) individuals across the adult life span (range: 18–74 years). The mean cortical volume (CV), SA and cortical thickness (CT) of the SCR were computed using cortical parcellation based on FreeSurfer software. Multivariate analyses of covariance models were performed to compare differences between the MDD and HC groups on cortical measurements of the SCR. Multiple linear regression models were used to test age-by-group interaction effects on these cortical measurements of the SCR.
The MDD had significant reductions in the CV and SA of the left SCR compared with HC individuals after controlling of other variables. The left SCR CV and SA reductions compared with matched controls were observed only in early adulthood patients. We also found a significant age-related CT reduction in the SCR both in the MDD and HC participants.
The SCR volume reduction was mainly driven by SA in MDD. The different trajectories between the CT and SA of the SCR with age may provide valuable information to distinguish pathological processes and normal ageing in MDD.
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.
Numerous studies have reported that amyloid-beta 42 (Aβ-42) protein is a high-profile risk factor associated with the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Accumulation of extracellular senile plaques, synaptic degeneration, and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles were recorded as essential features that facilitate the onset of Aβ-42, resulting in AD. Hence, we attempted a new screening technique to discover potential inhibitors against Aβ-42 using an in silico deep neural network approach. We screened PubChem compounds library and found wgx-50 as a potential inhibitor of Aβ-42. Also, synergistic effects of wgx-50–gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) complex induced significant inhibition of Aβ-42, compared with those of wgx-50 alone. Further, molecular docking analysis, systems biology approach, and time course simulation confirmed that synergistic effects of wgx-50–AuNPs complex have potential application in the treatment for AD. Additionally, we proposed the biological circuit for AD induced by Aβ-42 that can be used to monitor the effect of drugs on AD.
Self-shrinkers are an important class of solutions to the mean curvature flow and their generalization is λ-hypersurfaces. In this paper, we study λ-hypersurfaces and give a rigidity result about complete λ-hypersurfaces.
There is emerging evidence that glycaemic variability (GV) plays an important role in the development of diabetic complications. The current study aimed to compare the effects of lifestyle intervention (LI) with and without partial meal replacement (MR) on GV. A total of 123 patients with newly diagnosed and untreated type 2 diabetes (T2D) were randomised to receive either LI together with breakfast replacement with a liquid formula (LI+MR) (n 62) or LI alone (n 61) for 4 weeks and completed the study. Each participant was instructed to have three main meals per d and underwent 72-h continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) both before and after intervention. Measures of GV assessed by CGM included the incremental AUC of postprandial blood glucose (AUCpp), standard deviation of blood glucose (SDBG), glucose CV and mean amplitude of glycaemic excursions (MAGE). After a 4-week intervention, the improvements in systolic blood pressure (P=0·046) and time in range (P=0·033) were more pronounced in the LI+MR group than in the LI group. Furthermore, LI+MR caused significantly greater improvements in all GV metrics including SDBG (P=0·005), CV (P=0·002), MAGE (P=0·016) and AUCpp (P<0·001) than did LI. LI+MR (v. LI) was independently associated with improvements in GV after adjustment of covariates (all P<0·05). Our study showed that LI+MR led to significantly greater improvements in GV compared with LI, suggesting that LI+MR could be an effective treatment to alleviate glucose excursions.
Light trapping is one of the key challenges for next generation thin film solar cells. In this work, we have identified the distinct light trapping effects for short and long wavelength solar spectrum range, by investigating lighting trapping structures on both sides of Si thin film solar cells. The sub-wavelength photonic front surface by wet etching and multi-layer photonic crystal reflector on the bottom surface are studied in detail for its solar energy absorption characteristics. Our study reveals the drastic difference of the light trapping effects within the solar spectrum wavelength. This work may provide guidance for the efficiency enhancementfor next generation thin film photovoltaic cells.