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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.
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.
As city residents eat out more frequently, it is unknown that if iodised salt is still required in home cooking. We analysed the relationship of household salt and eating out on urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in pregnant women. A household condiment weighing method was implemented to collect salt data for a week. A household salt sample was collected. A urine sample was taken at the end of the week. Totally, 4640 participants were investigated. The median UIC was 139·1 μg/l in pregnant women and 148·7, 140·0 and 122·9 μg/l in the first, second and third trimesters. Median UIC in the third trimester was lower than in the other trimesters (P < 0·001). The usage rates of iodised (an iodine content ≥ 5·0 mg/kg) and qualified-iodised (an iodine content ≥ 21·0 mg/kg) salt were 73·9 and 59·3 %. The median UIC in the qualified-iodised salt group was higher than in the non-iodised group (P = 0·037). The median UIC in the non-iodised group who did not eat out was lower than in qualified-salt groups who both did and did not eat out (P = 0·007, <0·001). The proportion of qualified-iodised salt used in home cooking is low, but foods eaten out have universal salt iodisation according to the national compulsory policy. Household iodised salt did not play a decisive role in the iodine status of pregnant women. Pregnant women in their third trimester who are not eating out and using non-iodised salt at home require extra iodine.
Due to the drastic surge of COVID-19 patients, many countries are considering or already graduating health professional students early to aid professional resources. We aimed to assess outbreak-related psychological distress and symptoms of acute stress reaction (ASR) in health professional students and to characterize individuals with potential need for interventions.
We conducted a prospective cohort study of 1442 health professional students at Sichuan University, China. At baseline (October 2019), participants were assessed for childhood adversity, stressful life events, internet addiction, and family functioning. Using multivariable logistic regression, we examined associations of the above exposures with subsequent psychological distress and ASR in response to the outbreak.
Three hundred and eighty-four (26.63%) participants demonstrated clinically significant psychological distress, while 160 (11.10%) met the criterion for a probable ASR. Individuals who scored high on both childhood adversity and stressful life event experiences during the past year were at increased risks of both distress (ORs 2.00–2.66) and probable ASR (ORs 2.23–3.10), respectively. Moreover, internet addiction was associated with elevated risks of distress (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.60–2.64) and probable ASR (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.50–3.10). By contrast, good family functioning was associated with decreased risks of distress (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.33–0.55) and probable ASR (OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.33–0.69). All associations were independent of baseline psychological distress.
Our findings suggest that COVID-19 related psychological distress and high symptoms burden of ASR are common among health professional students. Extended family and professional support should be considered for vulnerable individuals during these unprecedented times.
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.
We report on mode-locked thulium-doped fiber lasers with high-energy nanosecond pulses, relying on the transmission in a semiconductor saturable absorber (SESA) and a carbon nanotube (CNTs-PVA) film separately. A section of an SMF–MMF–SMF structure multimode interferometer with a transmission peak wavelength of ∼2003 nm was used as a wavelength selector to fix the laser wavelength. When the SESA acted as a saturable absorber (SA), the mode-locked fiber laser had a maximum output power of ∼461 mW with a pulse energy of ∼0.14 μJ and a pulse duration of ∼9.14 ns. In a CNT-film-based mode-locked fiber laser, stable mode-locked pulses with the maximum output power of ∼46 mW, pulse energy of ∼26.8 nJ and pulse duration of ∼9.3 ns were obtained. To the best of our knowledge, our experiments demonstrated the first 2 μm region ‘real’ SA-based dissipative soliton resonance with the highest mode-locked pulse energy from a ‘real’ SA-based all-fiberized resonator.
This study aimed to evaluate the clinical characteristics, risk factors and outcomes of adult patients with candidaemia caused by C. albicans vs. non-albicans Candida spp. (NAC). All adult hospitalised cases of candidaemia (2012–2017) at a tertiary hospital in Shenyang were included in the retrospective study, and a total of 180 episodes were analysed. C. parapsilosis was the most frequently isolated species (38.3%), followed by C. albicans (35.6%), C. glabrata (13.9%), C. tropicalis (10%) and others (2.2%). As initial antifungal therapy, 75.0%, 3.9%, 5.6% and 2.2% of patients received fluconazole, caspofungin, micafungin and voriconazole, respectively. Multivariate analyses revealed that total parenteral nutrition was associated with an increased risk of NAC bloodstream infections (BSI) (OR 2.535, 95% CI (1.066–6.026)) vs. C. albicans BSI. Additionally, the presence of a urinary catheter was associated with an increased risk of C. albicans BSI (OR 2.295 (1.129–4.666)) vs. NAC BSI. Moreover, ICU stay (OR 4.013 (1.476–10.906)), renal failure (OR 3.24 (1.084–9.683)), thrombocytopaenia (OR 7.171 (2.152–23.892)) and C. albicans (OR 3.629 (1.352–9.743)) were independent risk factors for candidaemia-related 30-day mortality, while recent cancer surgery was associated with reduced mortality risk (OR 26.479 (2.550–274.918)). All these factors may provide useful information to select initial empirical antifungal agents.
Findings of epidemiological studies regarding the association between carrot consumption and lung cancer risk remain inconsistent. The present study aimed to summarise the current epidemiological evidence concerning carrot intake and lung cancer risk with a meta-analysis. We conducted a meta-analysis of case–control and prospective cohort studies, and searched PubMed and Embase databases from their inception to April 2018 without restriction by language. We also reviewed reference lists from included articles. Prospective cohort or case–control studies reporting OR or relative risk with the corresponding 95 % CI of the risk lung cancer for the highest compared with the lowest category of carrot intake. A total of eighteen eligible studies (seventeen case–control studies and one prospective cohort study) were included, involving 202 969 individuals and 5517 patients with lung cancer. The pooled OR of eighteen studies for lung cancer was 0·58 (95 % CI 0·45, 0·74) by comparing the highest category with the lowest category of carrot consumption. Based on subgroup analyses for the types of lung cancer, we pooled that squamous cell carcinoma (OR 0·52, 95 % CI 0·19, 1·45), small-cell carcinoma (OR 0·43, 95 % CI 0·12, 1·59), adenocarcinoma (OR 0·34, 95 % CI 0·15, 0·79), large-cell carcinoma (OR 0·40, 95 % CI 0·10, 1·57), squamous and small-cell carcinoma (OR 0·85, 95 % CI 0·45, 1·62), adenocarcinoma and large-cell carcinoma (OR 0·20, 95 % CI 0·02, 1·70) and mixed types (OR 0·61, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·81). Exclusion of any single study did not materially alter the pooled OR. Integrated epidemiological evidence from observational studies supported the hypothesis that carrot consumption may decrease the risk of lung cancer, especially for adenocarcinoma.
High-current switching performance of ovonic threshold switching (OTS) selectors have successfully enabled the commercialization of high-density three-dimensional (3D) stackable phase-change memory in Intel’s 3D Xpoint technology. This bridges the huge performance gap between dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and Flash. Similar to phase-change memory, OTS uses chalcogenide-based materials, but whereas phase-change memory reversibly switches between a high-resistance amorphous phase and a low-resistance crystalline phase, OTS freezes in the amorphous phase. In this article, we review recent developments in OTS materials and their performance in devices, especially current density and selectivity. Advantages and challenges of OTS devices in the integration with the phase-change memory are discussed. We introduce the evolution of theoretical models for explaining the OTS behavior, including thermal runaway, field-induced nucleation, and generation/recombination of charge carriers.
Annexin A2 (ANXA2) is reported to be associated with cancer development. To investigate the roles ANXA2 plays during the development of cancer, the RNAi method was used to inhibit the ANXA2 expression in caco2 (human colorectal cancer cell line) and SMMC7721 (human hepatocarcinoma cell line) cells. The results showed that when the expression of ANXA2 was efficiently inhibited, the growth and motility of both cell lines were significantly decreased, and the development of the motility relevant microstructures, such as pseudopodia, filopodia, and the polymerization of microfilaments and microtubules were obviously inhibited. The cancer cell apoptosis was enhanced without obvious significance. The possible regulating pathway in the process was also predicted and discussed. Our results suggested that ANXA2 plays important roles in maintaining the malignancy of colorectal and hepatic cancer by enhancing the cell proliferation, motility, and development of the motility associated microstructures of cancer cells based on a possible complicated signal pathway.
AlMgB14–TiB2 ceramic was successfully brazed to TC4 alloy with inactive AgCu filler alloy. X-ray diffractometer, SEM, and energy-dispersive spectrometer were used to study interfacial microstructure and shear strength of the joints under different brazing temperatures. The results indicated that the typical microstructure of the TC4/AlMgB14–TiB2 joint was TC4/Ti(s.s) + Ti2Cu/Ti2Cu/TiCu/TiCu2Al/Ag(s.s) + Cu(s.s)/TiB whiskers/TiB2 reaction layer/AMBT. By increasing the brazing temperature, the thickness of the TC4 diffusion layer was improved, whereas that of the brazing seam decreased remarkably. When the brazing temperature was increased to 880 °C, the brazing seam was composed of Ti–Cu intermetallic Ag(s.s) with a few Cu(s.s), TiCu2Al distributed. Meanwhile, the formation of a continuous TiB2 reaction layer at the interface of the AMBT and brazing filler facilitated the improvement of joint shear strength. The joint with the maximum shear strength of 46.7 MPa was obtained while brazing at 880 °C for 10 min.
Latrophilin (LPH) is known as an adhesion G-protein-coupled receptor which involved in multiple physiological processes in organisms. Previous studies showed that lph not only involved the susceptibility to anticholinesterase insecticides but also affected fecundity in Tribolium castaneum. However, its regulatory mechanisms in these biological processes are still not clear. Here, we identified two potential downstream carboxylesterase (cce) genes of Tclph, esterase4 and esterase6, and further characterized their interactions with Tclph. After treatment of T. castaneum larvae with carbofuran or dichlorvos insecticides, the transcript levels of Tcest4 and Tcest6 were significantly induced from 12 to 72 h. RNAi against Tcest4 or Tcest6 led to the higher mortality compared with the controls after the insecticides treatment, suggesting that these two genes play a vital role in detoxification of insecticides in T. castaneum. Furthermore, with insecticides exposure to Tclph knockdown beetles, the expression of Tcest4 was upregulated but Tcest6 was downregulated, indicating that beetles existed a compensatory response against the insecticides. Additionally, RNAi of Tcest6 resulted in 43% reductions in female egg laying and completely inhibited egg hatching, which showed the similar phenotype as that of Tclph knockdown. These results indicated that Tclph affected fecundity by positively regulating Tcest6 expression. Our findings will provide a new insight into the molecular mechanisms of Tclph involved in physiological functions in T. castaneum.
The study of the relationship among the manufacturing process, the structure and the property of materials can help to develop the new materials. The material images contain the microstructures of materials, therefore, the quantitative analysis for the material images is the important means to study the characteristics of material structures. Generally, the quantitative analysis for the material microstructures is based on the exact segmentation of the materials images. However, most material microstructures are shown with various shapes and complex textures in images, and they seriously hinder the exact segmentation of the component elements. In this research, machine learning method and complex networks method are adopted to the challenge of automatic material image segmentation. Two segmentation tasks are completed: on the one hand, the images of the titanium alloy are segmented based on the pixel-level classification through feature extraction and machine learning algorithm; on the other hand, the ceramic images are segmented with the complex networks theory. In the first task, texture and shape features near each pixel in titanium alloy image are calculated, such as Gabor filters, Hu moments and GLCM (Gray-Level Co-occurrence Matrix) etc.. The feature vector for the pixel can be obtained by arraying these features. Then, classification is performed with the random forest model. Once each pixel is classified, the image segmentation is completed. In the second task, a complex network structure is built for the ceramic image. Then, a clustering algorithm of complex network is used to obtain network connection area. Finally, the clustered network structure is mapped back to the image and getting the contours among the component elements. The experimental results demonstrate that these methods can accurately segment material images.
High-entropy ceramic (HEC) films refer to the carbide, boride, oxide, or nitride films of the high-entropy alloy, which have potential applications under high temperatures. In this study, we fabricated the HEC NbTiAlSiZrNx films using magnetron sputtering under various deposition atmospheres. The phase structure evolution and the mechanical properties of three HEC films under high temperatures were investigated. The HEC films demonstrated good thermal stability as well as high hardness. After annealing for 24 h at 700 °C, the films remained in an amorphous phase without obvious crystallization, and the hardness of the films declined. Nanocrystallizations occurred in films deposited at a nitrogen flow rate of 4 sccm and 8 sccm after annealing for 30 min at 900 °C and exhibited an face-centered cubic structure. HEC NbTiAlSiZrNx films have potential applications as protective coatings under high temperatures.
The U genome of Aegilops umbellulata is an important basic genome of genus Aegilops. Direct gene transfer from Ae. umbellulata into wheat is feasible but not easy. Triticum turgidum–Ae. umbellulata amphidiploids can act as bridges to circumvent obstacles involving direct gene transfer. Seven T. turgidum–Ae. umbellulata amphidiploids were produced via unreduced gametes for spontaneous doubling of chromosomes of triploid T. turgidum–Ae. umbellulata F1 hybrid plants. Seven pairs of U chromosomes of Ae. umbellulata were distinguished by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes pSc119.2/(AAC)5 and pTa71. Polymorphic FISH signals were detected in three (1U, 6U and 7U) of seven U chromosomes of four Ae. umbellulata accessions. The chromosomes of the tetraploid wheat parents could be differentiated by probes pSc119.2 and pTa535, and identical FISH signals were observed among the three accessions. All the parental chromosomes of the amphidiploids could be precisely identified by probe combinations pSc119.2/pTa535 and pTa71/(AAC)5. The T. turgidum–Ae. umbellulata amphidiploids possess valuable traits for wheat improvement, such as strong tillering ability, stripe rust resistance and seed size-related traits. These materials can be used as media in gene transfers from Ae. umbellulata into wheat.