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This study aimed to investigate the association between long-term survival and different management of major aortopulmonary collateral arteries in patients with pulmonary atresia, ventricular septal defect, and major aortopulmonary collateral arteries.
From November, 2009 to October, 2018, a total of 98 consecutive patients with pulmonary atresia, ventricular septal defect, major aortopulmonary collateral arteries, and hypoplastic pulmonary arteries treated with modified Blalock–Taussig shunt or right ventricle–pulmonary artery connection were included. Fifty-five patients who received occlusion or ligation of major aortopulmonary collateral arteries during or after palliative procedure were occlusion group, and the other 43 patients were no occlusion group. The early and late outcomes were compared.
The mean duration of follow-up was 30.9 months in no occlusion group and 49.8 months in the occlusion group (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that only no occlusion of major aortopulmonary collateral arteries was predictive of total mortality (Hazard Ratio: 4.42, 95% CI: 1.27 to 15.42, p = 0.02). The Kaplan–Meier survival curves confirmed that patients without occlusion of major aortopulmonary collateral arteries demonstrated worse survival as compared with the occlusion group (p = 0.013). The Kaplan–Meier survival curves of patients who underwent different palliative procedures showed no differences.
For patients with pulmonary atresia, ventricular septal defect and major aortopulmonary collateral arteries when a primary repair is not feasible, those without occlusion of major aortopulmonary collateral arteries have a higher risk of death following an initial palliative procedure compared with patients who underwent occlusion of major aortopulmonary collateral arteries. The occlusion of major aortopulmonary collateral arteries is not associated with a higher rate of complete repair or better improvement of pulmonary artery growth.
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.
In recent years, intracranial thrombectomy stent has been an important method to treat ischemic stroke caused by acute thrombosis. In this paper, a new intracranial thrombectomy stent with a fish scale-like structure was designed and its mechanical properties were studied by a finite element method. The porosity of all stents was more than 80%. The space occupation ratio (SOR) of the stents increased linearly with the increase of strut thickness, while the strut width had little effect on SOR. The maximum equivalent stress and strain, the directional deformation and overall radial load of the stent decreased with the increase of strut thickness, however, the strut width has little impact on these parameters. The stents with 0.2 mm strut width and the thickness of 0.15 and 0.20 mm had better radial load performance, and the stent with 0.2 mm strut width and 0.15 mm strut thickness had better contact performance with the vessel wall and displayed better flexibility. Therefore, the present study provides a theoretical basis for the design of new intracranial thrombectomy stent.
To improve speech emotion recognition, a U-acoustic words emotion dictionary (AWED) features model is proposed based on an AWED. The method models emotional information from acoustic words level in different emotion classes. The top-list words in each emotion are selected to generate the AWED vector. Then, the U-AWED model is constructed by combining utterance-level acoustic features with the AWED features. Support vector machine and convolutional neural network are employed as the classifiers in our experiment. The results show that our proposed method in four tasks of emotion classification all provides significant improvement in unweighted average recall.
Ta–W co-alloying was realized by double glow plasma surface metallurgy technology, and their effects on high-temperature oxidation behavior of γ-TiAl were studied. Ta–W co-alloying coating was composed of a deposited layer and interdiffusion layer. The results of isothermal oxidation experiment indicated that a compact mixed oxide film of Ta and W was formed on the sample. The interdiffusion layer reduced the oxygen intrusion that improved the high-temperature oxidation resistance of γ-TiAl. The effects of Ta–W co-alloying on oxygen adsorption energy and electronic structure of γ-TiAl(111) were analyzed by first-principle calculation. The results showed that the optimal adsorption sites of O atoms changed from fcc-Al to hcp-Ti and hcp-Al, indicating that Ta–W co-alloying inhibited the diffusion of O. The electronic structure analysis of γ-TiAl(111) after Ta–W alloying indicated the affinity of Ti and O was inhibited, which resulted in decreased TiO2 in the oxide film.
The passive oscillations of inverted flags are investigated both experimentally and theoretically in this paper. First, the force and energy distributions of inverted flags, which contain elastic and inertia components, are analysed based on the experimental data. Two main differences between inverted and conventional flags are found: (1) the elastic energy of a conventional flag is concentrated near the free end, while the fixed end of an inverted flag presents the largest elastic energy; and (2) the elastic component is several orders of magnitude greater than the inertia component for an inverted flag, while they are of the same magnitude for a conventional flag. Second, a linear analysis shows that the critical flow velocities obtained from the experiments at small mass ratios are scattered around the theoretical curve of wavenumber
, which is in contrast with
of a conventional flag. For large mass ratios, the mass ratio has a certain influence on the critical velocity rather than being irrelevant. For two parallel inverted flags, both the experimental and theoretical results indicate that the range of the in-phase flapping mode becomes smaller with an increase in the separation distance, and a multiple flapping state may occur. For
parallel inverted flags, the theoretical results show that two of all coupled flapping modes are dominant with most parameters. These findings could contribute to a better understanding of the passive oscillations of inverted flags.
The present study investigated the effects of condensed tannins (CT) on intestinal immune function in on-growing grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). A total of 540 healthy grass carp were fed six diets containing different levels of CT (0, 10·00, 20·00, 30·00, 40·00 and 50·00 g/kg diet) for 70 d and then challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 d. The results showed that, compared with the control group, dietary CT (1) induced intestinal histopathological lesions and aggravated enteritis; (2) decreased lysozyme and acid phosphatase activities, complement 3 (C3), C4 and IgM contents and down-regulated the Hepcidin, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide (LEAP)-2A, LEAP-2B, Mucin2 and β-defensin-1 mRNA levels in the proximal intestine (PI), mid intestine (MI) and distal intestine (DI) (P < 0·05); (3) down-regulated the mRNA levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2 (not in MI and DI), IL-4/13A (not IL-4/13B), IL-10 and IL-11 partly correlated with target of rapamycin (TOR) signalling; and (4) up-regulated the mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines interferon-γ2, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 (not in PI), IL-12p35, IL-12p40, IL-15 and IL-17D partly related to NF-κB signalling in the intestine of on-growing grass carp. Overall, the results indicated that CT could impair the intestinal immune function, and its potential regulation mechanisms were partly associated with the TOR and NF-κB signalling pathways. Finally, based on the percentage weight gain and enteritis morbidity, the maximum allowable levels of CT for on-growing grass carp (232·22–890·11 g) were estimated to be 18·6 and 17·4 g/kg diet, respectively.
Although numerous studies have investigated the individual effects of salinity, irrigation and fertilization on soil microbial communities, relatively less attention has been paid to their combined influences, especially using molecular techniques. Based on the field of orthogonal designed test and deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing technology, the effects of saline water irrigation amount, salinity level of irrigation water and nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate on soil bacterial community structure were investigated. The results showed that the irrigation amount was the most dominant factor in determining the bacterial richness and diversity, followed by the irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The values of Chao1 estimator, abundance-based coverage estimator and Shannon indices decreased with an increase in irrigation amount while increased and then decreased with an increase in irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The highest soil bacterial richness and diversity were obtained under the least irrigation amount (25 mm), medium irrigation water salinity (4.75 dS/m) and medium N fertilizer rate (350 kg/ha). However, different bacterial phyla were found to respond distinctively to these three factors: irrigation amount significantly affected the relative abundances of Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi; irrigation water salinity mostly affected the members of Actinobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes and Acidobacteria; and N fertilizer rate mainly influenced the Bacteroidetes' abundance. The results presented here revealed that the assessment of soil microbial processes under combined irrigation and fertilization treatments needed to be more careful as more variable consequences would be established by comparing with the influences based on an individual factor, such as irrigation amount or N fertilizer rate.
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.
Pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, a pine parasitic nematode, poses a serious threat to its host pine forests globally. When dispersal-stage larvae 4 (dauer, DL4) of B. xylophilus enters the new pine, it moults into propagative adult (dauer recovery) and reproduces quickly to kill the host pine. Here, we found pine chemical volatiles, rather than the common dauer recovery factors of nematodes (e.g. suitable temperatures, nutrient availability or density), promote B. xylophilus dauer recovery. The results showed that volatilization of chemicals in host pines could attract DL4 and promote DL4 recovery. To identify which chemicals promote this process, we determined the stimulated activity of the main volatiles of pines including six monoterpenes and two sesquiterpenes. Results showed that all the six monoterpenes promoted dauer recovery, especially β-pinene and β-myrcene, but the two sesquiterpenes have no effect on the transformation. Furthermore, β-pinene performed gradient effects on dauer recovery. We hypothesized that when DL4 infect pine trees, the pine volatiles released from the feeding wounds are used as chemical signals for DL4 transformation to adult to reproduce and rapidly kill the pines. Our study identified the B. xylophilus dauer recovery chemical signal and may contribute to preventing pine wilt disease.
Geochronological, major and trace element, and Sr–Nd–Hf isotopic data are reported for the monzonitic rocks of the Fushan pluton in the Taihang Mountains, central North China Craton, in order to investigate their sources, petrogenesis and tectonic implications. Zircon U–Pb dating results reveal that the Fushan pluton was emplaced during the Early Cretaceous (∼126–124 Ma). The monzonites and quartz monzonites are mainly characterized by calc-alkaline and magnesian features and display light rare earth element (LREE) enrichment and flat heavy REE (HREE) patterns with slightly positive Eu anomalies. They have similar whole-rock initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70653–0.70819), εNd(t) values (−13.6 to −18.6) and zircon εHf(t) values (−21.8 to −17.3). The primary magma of the Fushan pluton was derived from the partial melting of a spinel-facies amphibole-bearing ancient enriched lithospheric mantle. The monzonitic rocks also have high Ba–Sr and low Y and Yb contents, with high Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios. These geochemical features of monzonitic rocks are not only inherited from the magma source but also significantly enhanced by crystal fractionation during magmatic evolution; e.g. hornblende fractionation increased the Ba–Sr concentrations and Sr/Y ratios. During the Early Cretaceous, the slab sinking and roll-back of the Palaeo-Pacific Plate could have created an ancient big mantle wedge beneath East Asia and induced a lithospheric extensional process in the central North China Craton within an intracontinental setting.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
Maternal one-carbon metabolism during pregnancy is crucial for fetal development and programming by DNA methylation. However, evidence on one-carbon biomarkers other than folate is lacking. We, therefore, investigated whether maternal plasma methyl donors, that is, choline, betaine and methionine, are associated with birth outcomes. Blood samples were obtained from 115 women during gestation (median 26·3 weeks, 90 % range 22·7–33·0 weeks). Plasma choline, betaine, methionine and dimethylglycine were measured using HPLC-tandem MS. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between plasma biomarkers and birth weight, birth length, the risk of small-for-gestational-age and large-for-gestational-age (LGA). Higher level of maternal betaine was associated with lower birth weight (–130·3 (95 % CI –244·8, –15·9) per 1 sd increment for log-transformed betaine). Higher maternal methionine was associated with lower risk of LGA, and adjusted OR, with 95 % CI for 1 sd increase in methionine concentration was 0·44 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·89). Stratified analyses according to infant sex or maternal plasma homocysteine status showed that reduction in birth weight in relation to maternal betaine was only limited to male infants or to who had higher maternal homocysteine status (≥5·1 µmol/l). Higher maternal betaine status was associated with reduced birth weight. Maternal methionine was inversely associated with LGA risk. These findings are needed to be replicated in future larger studies.
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.
In inertial confinement fusion experiments that involve short-laser pulses such as fast ignition (FI), diagnosis of neutrons is usually very challenging because high-intensity γ rays generated by short-laser pulses would mask the much weaker neutron signal. In this paper, fast-response scintillators with low afterglow and gated microchannel plate photomultiplier tubes are combined to build neutron time-of-flight (nTOF) spectrometers for such experiments. Direct-drive implosion experiments of deuterium-gas-filled capsules were performed at the Shenguang-II Upgrade (SG-II-UP) laser facility to study the compressed fuel areal density (〈ρR〉) and evaluate the performance of such nTOF diagnostics. Two newly developed quenched liquid scintillator detectors and a gated ultrafast plastic scintillator detector were used to measure the secondary DT neutrons and primary DD neutrons, respectively. The secondary neutron signals were clearly discriminated from the γ rays from (n, γ) reactions, and the compressed fuel areal density obtained with the yield-ratio method agrees well with the simulations. Additionally, a small scintillator decay tail and a clear DD neutron signal were observed in an integrated FI experiment as a result of the low afterglow of the oxygen-quenched liquid scintillator.
We document that a firm’s culture, specifically, its religiosity, affects its cost of debt. Firms in higher-religiosity counties have higher credit ratings and lower debt costs. The impact of religiosity is stronger for firms with greater information asymmetry and during recessions. Further, religiosity has additional explanatory power for the cost of bank loans (but not the cost of public bonds) beyond its impact through ratings. This supports the argument that banks have superior abilities in pricing soft information, such as corporate culture. Finally, the impact of religiosity is stronger when the lender is a small bank.
Apathy is a condition characterized by a lack of motivation that manifests in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains. Although previous studies have indicated that apathy is associated with frontal lesions, few studies have focused on the different subdomains of apathy, and no in vivo human biochemical data have been obtained to examine the neurochemical changes related to apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, we investigated the frontal neurochemical alterations related to apathy among patients with AD using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS).
Apathy was assessed through the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). 1H MRS was performed to measure neurochemical metabolite levels in the anterior cingulate region and right orbitofrontal region. Associations between neurochemical metabolites and the total score and subscores of each domain of the AES were analyzed.
Altogether, 36 patients completed the study. Patients with lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the anterior cingulate region demonstrated higher total apathy scores (β = −0.56, p = 0.003) with adjustments for age, gender, educational level, dementia severity, and depression severity. In a further analysis, a lower NAA/Cr in the anterior cingulate region was associated with all subdomains of apathy, including cognition (β = −0.43, p = 0.028), behavior (β = −0.55, p = 0.002), and emotion (β = −0.50, p = 0.005). No statistically significant associations were discovered in the right orbitofrontal region.
Our results suggest that apathy, in each of its cognitive, behavioral, or emotional subdomains is associated with brain neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate region. Abnormal neuronal integrity over the anterior cingulate cortex may exhibit a central role in causing all aspects of apathy in patients with AD.
The present study investigated the effects of dietary vitamin A on immune function in the proximal intestine (PI), mid intestine (MI) and distal intestine (DI) of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). Fish were fed graded levels of dietary vitamin A for 10 weeks, and then a challenge test using an injection of Aeromonas hydrophila was conducted for 14 d. The results showed that, compared with the optimum vitamin A level, vitamin A deficiency significantly decreased fish growth performance, increased enteritis morbidity, decreased intestinal innate humoral immune response and aggravated intestinal inflammation. However, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2A/B mRNA in the DI and IL-6, IL-17D, IL-10, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and TGF-β2 mRNA in the PI were not affected by vitamin A levels. Meanwhile, vitamin A deficiency disturbed inflammatory cytokines in the PI, MI and DI, which might be partly linked to p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) signalling and NF-κB canonical signalling pathway (IκB kinase β (IKKβ), IKKγ, inhibitor of κBα, NF-κB p65 and c-Rel) rather than NF-κB non-canonical signalling pathway (NF-κB p52 and IKKα). However, the signalling molecules NF-κB p65 and p38MAPK did not participate in regulating cytokines in the PI. These results suggested that vitamin A deficiency decreased fish growth and impaired intestinal immune function, and that different immune responses in the PI, MI and DI were mediated partly by NF-κB canonical signalling and p38MAPK signalling pathways. On the basis of percentage of weight gain, to protect fish against enteritis morbidity and acid phosphatase activity, the optimum dietary vitamin A levels were estimated to be 0·664, 0·707 and 0·722 mg /kg, respectively.
Muons produced by a short pulse laser can serve as a new type of muon source having potential advantages of high intensity, small source emittance, short pulse duration and low cost. To validate it in experiments, a suitable muon diagnostics system is needed since high muon flux generated by a short pulse laser shot is always accompanied by high radiation background, which is quite different from cases in general muon researches. A detection system is proposed to distinguish muon signals from radiation background by measuring the muon lifetime. It is based on the scintillator detector with water and lead shields, in which water is used to adjust energies of muons stopped in the scintillator and lead to against radiation background. A Geant4 simulation on the performance of the detection system shows that efficiency up to 52% could be arrived for low-energy muons around 200 MeV and this efficiency decreases to 14% for high-energy muons above 1000 MeV. The simulation also shows that the muon lifetime can be derived properly by measuring attenuation of the scintilla light of electrons from muon decays inside the scintillator detector.