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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.
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.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
We report the utility of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) conducted in a clinically relevant time frame (ie, sufficient for guiding management decision), in managing a Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak, and present a comparison of its performance with emm typing.
A 2,000-bed tertiary-care psychiatric hospital.
Active surveillance was conducted to identify new cases of S. pyogenes. WGS guided targeted epidemiological investigations, and infection control measures were implemented. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)–based genome phylogeny, emm typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were performed. We compared the ability of WGS and emm typing to correctly identify person-to-person transmission and to guide the management of the outbreak.
The study included 204 patients and 152 staff. We identified 35 patients and 2 staff members with S. pyogenes. WGS revealed polyclonal S. pyogenes infections with 3 genetically distinct phylogenetic clusters (C1–C3). Cluster C1 isolates were all emm type 4, sequence type 915 and had pairwise SNP differences of 0–5, which suggested recent person-to-person transmissions. Epidemiological investigation revealed that cluster C1 was mediated by dermal colonization and transmission of S. pyogenes in a male residential ward. Clusters C2 and C3 were genomically diverse, with pairwise SNP differences of 21–45 and 26–58, and emm 11 and mostly emm120, respectively. Clusters C2 and C3, which may have been considered person-to-person transmissions by emm typing, were shown by WGS to be unlikely by integrating pairwise SNP differences with epidemiology.
WGS had higher resolution than emm typing in identifying clusters with recent and ongoing person-to-person transmissions, which allowed implementation of targeted intervention to control the outbreak.
Previous studies have thoroughly investigated the prevalence and risk factors for completed suicide. In marked contrast is the lack of a better understanding of attempted suicide in the elderly. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly and examine the associated factors.
Using a multi-stage cluster sampling approach, a cross-sectional survey of 8,399 elderly house-dwelling residents was conducted in Shanghai, China.
The two-week prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly was 0.75%. In the bivariate analysis, having no caregivers, depressive, anxiety, sad, fear, obsessive-compulsive and anger symptom, and lower scores on the Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living and the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale were significantly associated with an increased risk of attempted suicide in the elderly. In the multivariate analysis, sad and fear symptoms were significantly and independently associated with a higher risk of attempted suicide in the elderly.
The two-week prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly is relatively high when compared with the annualized or lifetime prevalence reported in China and foreign settings. Elderly individuals with certain mental symptoms should be targeted for suicide prevention and provided with timely mental health support.
NRGN is one of the most promising candidate genes for schizophrenia based on function and position. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the genetic association of this polymorphism with schizophrenia in the Zhuang and Han populations of south China.
Subjects and methods
A total of 282 patients (188 Han and 94 Zhuang) and 282 healthy subjects (188 Han and 94 Zhuang) were recruited. Of these, 246 schizophrenia patients underwent an assessment of psychotic symptoms using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). A TaqMan genotyping assay method was used to determine the genotypes.
We did not find a significant association of rs12807809 polymorphism with schizophrenia in the total pooled samples, or in the separate ethnic groups. However, in Han schizophrenia patients, quantitative data analyses showed that the CC genotype of the rs12807809 polymorphism was associated with PANSS aggression subscale score and activation subscale score. Furthermore, carriers of the C allele of rs12807809 polymorphism among Han schizophrenia patients had higher scores of general, activation, depression, aggression, and global symptoms than the T allele carriers.
In conclusion rs12807809 polymorphism may not contribute to the risk of schizophrenia but influence the clinical symptoms of schizophrenia in the Han population.
Titanium oxide photoelectrodes have been used for water splitting for a few decades, but have low solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies. Perovskite halides (e.g., CH3NH3PbI3) have recently emerged as an efficient light absorber system. We try to combine the two materials to create new photoelectrodes to achieve a higher efficiency for hydrogen production. The photoelectrodes are investigated for water-splitting hydrogen production under Xe light irradiation by photoelectrochemical (PEC) reaction. Since perovskite halides are favorable light harvesters under UV and visible light irradiation, the composite films of titania and perovskite halide would achieve efficient water splitting. The hydrogen production rate using the composite films is higher than that using anatase TiO2 electrode. However, the composite films are not stable in water under light irradiation and the perovskite halide gradually decomposes into lead halide.
Schizophrenia (SZ) is a common severe psychiatric disorder and a complex polygenic inherited disease that has not yet been fully interpreted. Heredity was proven to play an important role in the development of SZ. The association between the NOTCH4 gene rs3131296 polymorphism and SZ was reported to reach significance at the genome-wide level; therefore, it is necessary to replicate this association in other different populations.
To evaluate the association of the NOTCH4 gene rs3131296 polymorphism with the risk for SZ, and to explore whether a significant association could be replicated in different ethnic groups of China, we conducted this case–control study on 282 SZ cases (188 Han and 94 Zhuang) and 282 controls (188 Han and 94 Zhuang) among the Chinese Zhuang and Han populations.
The results showed no statistically significant difference in the genotype or allele frequencies of the NOTCH4 gene variant rs3131296 between SZ patients and healthy controls in either the Zhuang or Han samples (p > 0.05). In addition, no significant difference was found in genotype or allele frequencies of the NOTCH4 gene variant rs3131296 between cases and controls in the combined samples including Zhuang and Han samples.
Our study failed to replicate the significant association between the NOTCH4 gene rs3131296 polymorphism and the risk for SZ.
Catalyst-free vapor phase transport was applied for the growth of ZnO nanoemitters. A single-crystalline ZnO:Al seed layer was deposited and used as a pseudo-catalyst. The desired morphology of nanostructures can be achieved by means of modifying the growth rates of crystal planes via adjustment in the growth conditions. The field emission characteristics of ZnO nanoemitters satisfied the Fowler-Nordheim relationship. The high aspect ratio of nanoemitters had a low turn-on electric field of 0.18 MV/m at emission current density of 0.1 μA/cm2. A stable electron emission with a variation of less than 14% was measured.
Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites play a significant role in the space segment of the Chinese Area Navigation System. The C-Band transfer ranging method developed by the National Time Service Center (NTSC) has been widely used in the Chinese Area Positioning System (CAPS), with its advantages of separating satellite ranging from time synchronization and being unaffected by weather. The explicit ranging correction models for the C-Band transfer ranging method are introduced in detail in this article for the first time. Precise Orbit Determination (POD) using C-Band pseudo-range observation of GEO satellite 2010-001A in July 2012 has been conducted. The residual Root Mean Square (RMS) of each site and POD are analysed with orbit difference over overlaps of adjacent orbit arcs. Moreover, the orbit of the GEO satellite has been evaluated by Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) data from both domestic and foreign SLR sites for the first time. The residual RMS of POD using C-Band observation is better than 0·1 m, and the orbit difference over overlaps of adjacent orbit arcs is better than 3 m. In addition, the residual RMS in line-of-sight for a SLR site in China are better than 1 m, while the RMS for the Yarragadee site in Australia is about 3·4 m. It has been shown that the GEO satellite orbit accords very well with the C-Band observation. Also, the distribution of CAPS stations affects the orbit precision. All sites in CAPS are now located in China with low and medium latitudes. The residual RMS of the SLR site in the southern hemisphere is larger than that of the site in China.
How prebiotic metabolic pathways could have formed is an essential question for the origins of life on early Earth. From the abiogenetic point of view, the emergence of primordial metabolism may be postulated as a continuum from Earth's geochemical processes to chemoautotrophic biochemical procedures on mineral surfaces. In the present study, we examined in detail the reversible amination of α-ketoglutarate on UV-irradiated ZnS particles under variable reaction conditions such as pH, temperature, hole scavenger species and concentrations, and different amino acids. It was observed that the reductive amination of α-ketoglutarate and the oxidative amination of glutamate were both effectively performed on ZnS surfaces in the presence and absence of a hole scavenger, respectively. Accordingly, a photocatalytic mechanism was proposed. The reversible photochemical reaction was more efficient under basic conditions but independent of temperature in the range of 30–60 °C. SO32− was more effective than S2− as the hole scavenger. Finally, we extended the glutamate dehydrogenase-like chemistry to a set of other α-amino acids and their corresponding α-oxo acids and found that hydrophobic amino acid side chains were more conducive to the reversible redox reactions. Since the experimental conditions are believed to have been prevalent in shallow water hydrothermal vent systems of early Earth, the results of this work not only suggest that the ZnS-assisted photochemical reaction can regulate the redox equilibrium between α-amino acids and α-oxo acids, but also provide a model of how prebiotic metabolic homoeostasis could have been developed and regulated. These findings can advance our understanding of the establishment of archaic non-enzymatic metabolic systems and the origins of autotrophy.
Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) are widely used in diets for patients with obesity. To develop a delivery system for suppressing dietary fat accumulation into adipose tissue, MCFA were encapsulated in nanoliposomes (NL), which can overcome the drawbacks of MCFA and keep their properties unchanged. In the present study, crude liposomes were first produced by the thin-layer dispersion method, and then dynamic high-pressure microfluidisation (DHPM) and DHPM combined with freeze–thawing methods were used to prepare MCFA NL (NL-1 and NL-2, respectively). NL-1 exhibited smaller average size (77·6 (sd 4·3) nm), higher zeta potential ( − 40·8 (sd 1·7) mV) and entrapment efficiency (73·3 (sd 16·1) %) and better stability, while NL-2 showed narrower distribution (polydispersion index 0·193 (sd 0·016)). The body fat reduction property of NL-1 and NL-2 were evaluated by short-term (2 weeks) and long-term (6 weeks) experiments of mice. In contrast to the MCFA group, the NL groups had overcome the poor palatability of MCFA because the normal diet of mice was maintained. The body fat and total cholesterol (TCH) of NL-1 (1·54 (sd 0·30) g, P = 0·039 and 2·33 (sd 0·44) mmol/l, P = 0·021, respectively) and NL-2 (1·58 (sd 0·69) g, P = 0·041 and 2·29 (sd 0·38) mmol/l, P = 0·015, respectively) significantly decreased when compared with the control group (2·11 (sd 0·82) g and 2·99 (sd 0·48) mmol/l, respectively). The TAG concentration of the NL-1 group (0·55 (sd 0·14) mmol/l) was remarkably lower (P = 0·045) than the control group (0·94 (sd 0·37) mmol/l). No significant difference in weight and fat gain, TCH and TAG was detected between the MCFA NL and MCFA groups. Therefore, MCFA NL could be potential nutritional candidates for obesity to suppress body fat accumulation.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans. Baicalein is a flavonoid originally isolated from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. In this study we evaluated the efficacy of the combination of albendazole and baicalein for treating eosinophilic meningitis in BALB/c mice. Therapeutic efficacy included the survival time, body weight, neurological function, leucocyte and eosinophil counts, eotaxin concentration, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity, larval recovery and histopathological examination. The results showed that the combination of albendazole and baicalein was more effective than either drug administered singly. Combination therapy increased the survival time, decreased body weight loss, neurological dysfunction, leucocyte response, eotaxin concentration and MMP-9 activity. Our results suggest that the combination of albendazole and baicalein may exhibit synergistic beneficial effects in the treatment of eosinophilic meningitis induced by A. cantonensis.
We have fabricated La0.6Ca0.4MnO3 periodic arrays exhibiting tunable optical properties and magnetic properties using nontoxic and environmentally friendly electron beam resist made from La0.6Ca0.4MnO3 sol-gel precursor. We studied their unique optical properties by using the spectral microreflectometer and their magnetic properties using the superconducting quantum interference device and magnetic force microscopy. Additionally, the resist has the ability to demonstrate both positive and negative resist behaviors depending on the electron beam dosage. With these special characteristics, we can fabricate periodic structure on a thin film possessing controlled optical reflectance properties with one fixed design electron beam pattern without changing the structural parameters but changing the electron beam dosage only. Our approach provides an uncomplicated route for the fabrication of nanometer scale magnetic patterns, which serve as the building blocks in the search for novel properties of periodic magnetic arrays.
HbUEP, an ubiquitin extension protein gene from latex of the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) was cloned and sequenced using a differentially ethphon-induced expressed cDNA subtraction library. The cDNA had 771 bp nucleotides, comprising a 226 bp 3′ untranslated region (UTR), 77 bp 5′UTR and a 468 bp open reading frame encoding a 156 amino acid peptide. Southern blotting analysis showed that this gene was a low copy number gene in the H. brasiliensis genome. Within 24 h after application of ethphon, the gene was expressed weakly in both control and latex sampled at 6 h, and strongly in latex sampled at 12 h, showing that this gene expression could be regulated by ethphon. Ethphon could increase the latex yield in H. brasiliensis. It is suggested that the HbUEP gene may be involved in the regulation of ethphon-induced high latex yield in H. brasiliensis.
To increase our understanding of the relationships of trunk fat mass (FMtrunk) and four anthropometric indices in Chinese males, 1090 males aged 20–40 years were randomly recruited from the city of Changsha, China. Waist circumference (WC) and hip circumference (HC) were measured using standardized equipment, and three other anthropometric indices of BMI, waist:hip ratio (WHR) and conicity index (CoI) were calculated using weight, height, HC and WC. FMtrunk (in kg) was measured using a Hologic QDR 4500 W dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanner. There was an increasing trend of FMtrunk, %FMtrunk (percentage of FMtrunk) and BMI, WC, WHR, CoI in successively older age groups (e.g. the mean FMtrunk values were 4·63 (sd 2·58), 5·39 (sd 2·74), 5·93 (sd 2·82), 6·57 (sd 2·94) in four 5-year age groups, respectively). FMtrunk and %FMtrunk were significantly correlated with four anthropometric indices with the Pearson's correlation coefficients ranging from 0·25 to 0·86. Principal component analysis was performed to form three principal components that interpreted over 99·5% of the total variation of four related anthropometric indices in all age groups, with over 65% of the total variation accounted by principal component 1. Multiple regression analyses showed that three principal components explained a greater variance (R2 70·0–80·1%) in FMtrunk than did BMI or WC alone (R2 57·8–74·1%). The present results suggest that there is an increasing trend of FMtrunk and four anthropometric indices in successively older age groups; that age has important effects on the relationships of FMtrunk and studied anthropometric indices; and that the accuracy of predicting FMtrunk using four anthropometric indices is higher than using BMI or WC alone.
Schwannoma arising from the tympanic membrane is a rare neoplasm. This report describes an external ear canal mass obscuring the tympanic membrane. A transcanal approach identified a tumour adhered to the tympanic membrane. The tumour was excised without myringoplasty. Pathology confirmed the diagnosis of schwannoma. Clinical examination revealed no evidence of recurrence during a follow-up period of one year. The possible origins of schwannoma of the tympanic membrane and lesion management are also discussed.
Recently, it was reported that adding Zn to solder was an effective way for reducing the formation of both Cu3Sn and Cu6Sn5 and inhibiting Kirkendall voids formation. The objective of this study is to investigate this Zn effect in detail. Three Sn-xZn solders (x = 0.5, 0.7, and 2 wt. %) were reacted with Cu substrates at 250°J for 2-10 mins. A slight variation in the Zn concentration changed the reaction product formed at the interface. When the Zn concentration was low (x = 0.5 wt. %), the reaction product was Cu6Sn5. At high Zn concentration (x = 2 wt. %), the reaction product became Cu5Zn8. When Zn concentration was in-between (x = 0.7 wt. %), Cu6Sn5 and CuZn co-existed. The above findings are explained using the Cu–Sn–Zn phase diagram. The implication is that the type of compound forms at the interface can be controlled by adjusting the Zn concentration of the Sn-based solders.
Spalling of intermetallic compounds in a massive scale has been reported in the literature for several solder/substrate systems, including SnAgCu soldered on Ni substrate, SnZn on Cu, high-Pb PbSn on Cu, and high-Pb PbSn on Ni. In this work, a common mechanism based on thermodynamic arguments is proposed to explain this rather peculiar phenomenon that occurs across several systems. According to this mechanism, two necessary conditions must be met. This first is that the most reactive element must be present in a limited amount, and the second is that the soldering reaction must be very sensitive to the concentration of this element. With the growth of intermetallic, more and more of the most reactive elements are extracted out of the solder and incorporated into intermetallic. As the concentration of this element decreases, the local equilibrium phase at the interface changes. This changing of the equilibrium phases caused the non-equilibrium phase to spall.
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