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Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is the first staple crop in Taiwan, and it can be grown twice a year. Japonica is the prevalent sub-species grown in Taiwan; a transplanting system is used for rice production. Although the transplanting system is known for efficient weed control at seedling stage, weedy O. sativa f. spontanea (WRR) infestation is progressively being reported. Field work and previous studies have suggested that WRR infestation in Taiwan is probably related to growers’ operation practices and their perception of WRR. However, no data are available for a detailed investigation. The present study aimed to collect data on rice growers’ backgrounds, farming practices, and perception of WRR to quantify and characterize the patterns of farming operations for rice growers in Taiwan and to investigate factors contributing to WRR infestation. We collected 408 questionnaires completed by rice growers from 17 counties covering the whole rice production regions in Taiwan. The median age was 51 to 60 years, and 75% of respondents had paddies from 0.25 to 2.75 ha in size, which corresponded to the nationwide farmers’ background. In general, growers applied similar farming practices for both crop seasons. Most of the respondents did not notice or consider WRR infestation a problem: only 9.8% noticed a moderate to severe infestation of WRR in their fields. The major perceived cause of WRR infestation was seedling impurity (55.1%) or cultivar degeneration (18.6%). Correlation analysis and farming patterns estimated with the nonnegative matrix factorization algorithm showed that WRR contamination rate was due to the use of dry or wet tillage. The present study provides the first quantified and qualified evidence of rice production practices and growers’ perceptions of WRR infestation in Taiwan.
Fullerene dimers have attracted extensive attention due to their unique structures and fascinating properties. Here, fullerene dimer derivatives with four to six carbon atoms in the esters are designed and synthesized. The property differences that caused by the carbon number in the esters of the fullerene dimers are investigated by performing their electrochemical, optical, and photoelectric measurements. As the carbon atom numbers in the esters increase from four to five and six, the absorption intensities increase to 1.6- and 4.4-folds. The intensities of the fluorescence spectra increase to 1.8- and 5.2-folds. Their photocurrent increases to 2- and 7-folds under the irradiation of a 405-nm laser. The LUMO energy levels move downward slightly from −3.89 to −3.90 and −3.92 eV, respectively. Our results indicate that as the carbon number increases, the carbon chain lengths in the ester structures increase, very slight effects produced on the energy levels of the fullerene dimers, but strongly contribute to their chemical activities and thus the photoelectronic efficiencies.
Toxoplasma gondii rhoptry protein TgROP18 is a polymorphic virulence effector that targets immunity-related GTPases (IRGs) in rodents. Given that IRGs are uniquely diversified in rodents and not in other T. gondii intermediate hosts, the role of TgROP18 in manipulating non-rodent cells is unclear. Here we show that in human cells TgROP18I interacts with the interferon-gamma-inducible protein N-myc and STAT interactor (NMI) and that this is a property that is unique to the type I TgROP18 allele. Specifically, when expressed ectopically in mammalian cells only TgROP18I co-immunoprecipitates with NMI in IFN-γ-treated cells, while TgROP18II does not. In parasites expressing TgROP18I or TgROP18II, NMI only co-immunoprecipitates with TgROP18I and this is associated with allele-specific immunolocalization of NMI on the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM). We also found that TgROP18I reduces NMI association with IFN-γ-activated sequences (GAS) in the IRF1 gene promoter. Finally, we determined that polymorphisms in the C-terminal kinase domain of TgROP18I are required for allele-specific effects on NMI. Together, these data further define new host pathway targeted by TgROP18I and provide the first function driven by allelic differences in the highly polymorphic ROP18 locus.
Despite high altitude was implicated in adverse birth outcomes, there remained a paucity of evidence on low-to-medium altitude effect. This study aimed to explore the association of low-to-medium altitude with birth outcomes. A population-based cross-sectional survey was performed using a stratified multistage random sampling method among women with their infants born during 2010–2013 in Northwestern China. Altitude was determined in meters based on the village or community of the mother’s living areas. Birth outcomes involved birth weight, gestational age, and small for gestational age (SGA). Generalized linear models were fitted to investigate the association of altitude with birth outcomes. Moreover, the dose–response relationship between altitude and birth outcomes was evaluated with a restricted cubic spline function. A total of 27 801 women with their infants were included. After adjusting for potential confounders, every 100-m increase in the altitude was associated with reduced birth weight by 6.4 (95% CI −8.1, −4.6) g, the slight increase of gestational age by 0.015 (95% CI 0.010, 0.020) week, and an increased risk of SGA birth (odds ratio 1.03, 95% CI 1.02, 1.04). Moreover, there was an inversely linear relationship between altitude and birth weight (P for overall < 0.001 and P for nonlinear = 0.312), and a positive linear relationship between altitude and SGA (P for overall < 0.001 and P for nonlinear = 0.194). However, a nonlinear relationship was observed between altitude and gestational age (P for overall < 0.001 and P for nonlinear = 0.010). The present results suggest that low-to-medium altitude is possibly associated with adverse birth outcomes.
The Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover 105 mm-diameter ice cores up to 1400 m depth and 41.5 mm-diameter bedrock cores up to 2 m in length. In order to ensure safe and convenient drilling, drilling auxiliaries are designed to support fieldwork and servicing. These auxiliaries are subdivided into several systems for power supply, drill tripping in the borehole, ice core and chip processing, and drill servicing and maintenance. The required equipment also includes two generators, a drilling winch with a cable, logging winch with a cable, control desk, pipe handler with a fixed clamp, chip chamber vibrator, centrifuge, emergency devices and fitting and electrical tools. Additionally, several environmental protective measures such as a new liquid-tight casing with a thermal casing shoe and a bailing device for recovering drilling fluid from the borehole were designed. Most of the auxiliaries were tested during the summer of 2018–2019 near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica while drilling to the bedrock to a depth of 198 m.
A new, modified version of the cable-suspended Ice and Bedrock Electromechanical Drill (IBED) was designed for drilling in firn, ice, debris-rich ice and rock. The upper part of the drill is almost the same for all drill variants and comprises four sections: cable termination, a slip-ring section, an antitorque system and an electronic pressure chamber. The lower part of the IBED comprises an auger core barrel, reamers, a core barrel for ice/debris-ice drilling and a conventional geological single-tube core barrel or custom-made double-tube core barrel. First, the short and full-scale field versions of the IBED were tested at an outdoor testing stand and a testing facility with a 12.5 m-deep ice well. Then, in the 2018–2019 summer season, the IBED was tested in the field at a site ~12 km south of Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, and a ~6 cm bedrock core was recovered from a 198 m-deep borehole. A total of 18 d was required to penetrate the ice sheet. The retrieved core samples of blue ice, basal ice and bedrock provided valuable information regarding the Earth's paleo-environment.
In many cases, the efficiency and safety of a drilling project depend on the reliability of the electrical and electronic control system, as the process progresses without visual access of the operator. The electrical and electronic system provides and regulates the power supply for the drill, collects and monitors the drill data during the whole operating process, and sends and receives the control instructions and feedback signals. The entire system is composed of the surface, borehole and software subsystems. The surface subsystem serves for operating the drilling process, transmitting the drilling and environmental data, and supplying power for the drill motor and downhole control system. The borehole subsystem is generally intended for borehole data acquisition, drill motor control, power regulation and communication. The software subsystem is designed for human–computer interaction, data processing and storage, and programming of signal acquisition and transmission of data. The control system of Antarctic subglacial drilling rig was tested during the 2018–2019 summer season near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, in the course of drilling to the bedrock at a depth of 198 m. It exhibited a steady and efficient performance without significant system failures.
Hypertension is a common comorbidity in COVID-19 patients. However, the association of hypertension with the severity and fatality of COVID-19 remain unclear. In the present meta-analysis, relevant studies reported the impacts of hypertension on SARS-CoV-2 infection were identified by searching PubMed, Elsevier Science Direct, Web of Science, Wiley Online Library, Embase and CNKI up to 20 March 2020. As the results shown, 12 publications with 2389 COVID-19 patients (674 severe cases) were included for the analysis of disease severity. The severity rate of COVID-19 in hypertensive patients was much higher than in non-hypertensive cases (37.58% vs 19.73%, pooled OR: 2.27, 95% CI: 1.80–2.86). Moreover, the pooled ORs of COVID-19 severity for hypertension vs. non-hypertension was 2.21 (95% CI: 1.58–3.10) and 2.32 (95% CI: 1.70–3.17) in age <50 years and ⩾50 years patients, respectively. Additionally, six studies with 151 deaths of 2116 COVID-19 cases were included for the analysis of disease fatality. The results showed that hypertensive patients carried a nearly 3.48-fold higher risk of dying from COVID-19 (95% CI: 1.72–7.08). Meanwhile, the pooled ORs of COVID-19 fatality for hypertension vs. non-hypertension was 6.43 (95% CI: 3.40–12.17) and 2.66 (95% CI: 1.27–5.57) in age <50 years and ⩾50 years patients, respectively. Neither considerable heterogeneity nor publication bias was observed in the present analysis. Therefore, our present results provided further evidence that hypertension could significantly increase the risks of severity and fatality of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The antidepressant effect of low-dose ketamine infusion on Taiwanese patients with anxious vs nonanxious treatment-resistant depression (ANX-TRD vs NANX-TRD) has remained unknown.
In total, 71 patients with TRD were randomized to three groups. Each group had participants who received saline infusions mixed with 0 (a normal saline infusion), 0.2, and 0.5 mg/kg of ketamine. Participants were followed up for 2 weeks. Anxious depression was defined as major depressive disorder with a total score of 7 or more on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale Anxiety-Somatization factor. Generalized estimating equation models were used to investigate the effects of treatment (ketamine vs placebo) and depression type (ANX-TRD vs NANX-TRD) in the reduction of depressive symptoms during the follow-up period.
Patients with ANX-TRD were less likely to respond to a single low-dose ketamine infusion than those with NANX-TRD. Among patients with NANX-TRD, low-dose ketamine infusion was significantly superior to placebo for reducing depressive symptoms. However, among patients with ANX-TRD, ketamine was not superior to placebo; nonetheless, approximately 30% of the patients responded to ketamine infusion compared to 13% who responded to the placebo.
Low-dose ketamine infusion was effective for Taiwanese patients with NANX-TRD but not so effective for those with ANX-TRD. A higher level of anxiety severity accompanying depression was related to greater depression severity. This may confound and reduce the antidepressant effect of ketamine infusion.
The South Altyn Orogenic Belt (SAOB) is one of the most important orogenic belts in NW China, consisting of the South Altyn Continental Block and the Apa–Mangya Ophiolitic Mélange Belt. However, its Palaeozoic tectonic evolution is still controversial. Here, we present petrological, geochemical, zircon U–Pb and Lu–Hf isotopic data for the Mangya plutons with the aim of establishing the Palaeozoic tectonic evolution. We divide the Early Palaeozoic magmatism in the Apa–Mangya Ophiolitic Mélange Belt into four episodes and propose a plate tectonic model for the formation of these rocks. During 511–494 Ma, the South Altyn Ocean (SAO) was in a spreading stage, and some shoshonite series, I-type granitic rocks were generated. From 484 to 458 Ma, the oceanic crust of the SAO subducted northward, accompanied by large-scale magmatic events resulting in the generation of vast high-K calc-alkaline series, I-type granitic rocks. During 450–433 Ma, the SAO closed, and break-off of the subducted oceanic slab occurred, with the generation of some high-K calc-alkaline series, I–S transitional type granites. The SAOB was in post-orogenic extensional environment from 419 to 404 Ma, and many A-type granites were generated.
Multiple neurotrophic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2, nerve growth factor (NGF) and insulin-like growth factor(IGF)-1, have been shown to play important roles in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. However, insufficient clinical data supporting the importance of these neurotrophic factors in mood disorders, especially manic episode, have made inconclusive to make a connection between these factors and the disorder.
This study intended to investigate possible peripheral biomarkers in serum of manic episode of bipolar disorder.
We aimed to investigate whether or not serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 varied in manic state.
Serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were examined in 70 drug-naïve patients with manic episode of bipolar disorder (BM) as well as 50 healthy controls, using an ELISA method.
The mean serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were 168.13±225.61pg/ml, 279.09±378.62pg/ml, 61.38±171.67pg/ml and 162.01±72.00ng/ml in BM patients, and 140.80±143.71pg/ml, 275.46±235.29pg/ml, 36.34±15.14pg/ml and 138.90±80.11ng/ml in healthy controls, respectively. Serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in patients were significantly higher than those in healthy controls (Z=−2.896, P=0.004; Z=− 2.050, P=0.040; Z=−2.188, P=0.029; respectively), although there was no statistical difference in the serum levels of VEGF between two groups (Z=-0.468, P=0.639). Moreover, serum levels of NGF in patients correlated with the duration of disorder (rs=−0.241, P=0.044).
The increase in serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in manic state may reflect a neuroprotective role for these factors, and these factors may be considered biological markers for manic episode.
Bioinformatic investigations indicate that has-mir-206 (microRNA-206, miRNA-206) could regulate BDNF protein synthesis by interfering with BDNF mRNA translation, which is disrupted in bipolar disorder (BPD).
This study is to investigate whether miRNA-206 gene variants were associated with BPD susceptibility in a Han Chinese population.
342 patients who met DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder type I (BPD-I) or type II (BPD-II) and 386 matched health controls were enrolled into this study. the miRNA-206 gene and +/-500bp were selected for gene sequencing. for the case-control genetic comparisons, differences in the genotype and allele distributions between patients and controls were examined using Pearson's χ2 test.
Gene sequencing showed that there are two polymorphisms rs16882131(C/T) and rs62408583 (A/C) located at the upstream of miRNA-206 gene, which are complete linkage disequilibrium. the association analysis showed that there was no significant difference for genotype frequencies (χ2 = 2.075, df = 2, P = 0.354) or for allele frequencies (χ2 = 0.041, df = 1, P = 0.839) between BPD patients and controls. Similarly, no significant difference was found between BPD-I patients and controls (genotype χ2 = 1.411, df = 2, P = 0.494; allele χ2 = 0.380, df = 1, P = 0.538). However, there was significant difference between BPD-II patients and controls (genotype χ2 = 7.933, df = 2, P = 0.019; allele χ2 = 5.403, df = 1, P = 0.020).
Our findings do not support that BPD susceptibility was associated with miRNA-206 gene polymorphisms in the studied Han Chinese population. the association between miRNA-206 gene polymorphisms and bipolar disorder type II is needed to be carefully interpreted. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the involvement miRNA-206 in the pathophysiology of BPD.
Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatry disorder with high heritability. Schizophrenic patients with early age at onset trend to have more genetic component and thus may be an attractive subpopulation for genetic studies. Brain-derived neurotrophimc factor (BDNF) is considered as candidate gene for schizophrenia. A single nucleotide polymorphism (BDNF Val66Met) was reported to be associated with schizophrenia, although discrepancy remains. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and schizophrenia using an early onset sample in Chinese Han population. Our sample consisted of 353 schizophrenic patients with onset before age 18 and 394 healthy age and sex matched controls. All subjects were ethnically homogenous Han Chinese origin. No significant differences of genotype or allele distribution were identified between the patients and controls. However, the Met allele was significantly associated with an earlier age at onset in male schizophrenic patients (Kaplan-Meier log-rank test P = 0.005), but not in females (P = 0.289). The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism has an important effect on the age at onset of schizophrenia in a gender-specific manner, and this may provided a significant genetic clue for the etiology of schizophrenia. Therefore, further studies are required to uncover the exact role of BDNF in the development of schizophrenia.
To explore the factors associated with occurrence of suicidal risk after treatment of SSRI in bipolar disorder with their first depressive episode.
One hundred and seventy seven bipolar patients were enrolled in this retrospective study. One hundred fifty four patients were included in non-occurrence of suicidal risk group, while twenty three were included in occurrence of suicidal risk group. To compare the demographic and clinic features between these two groups. Stepwise Logistic regression model was used to identify the associated factors. Concordance statistics (i.e. the area under the ROC curve) was used to compute the discrimination of the associated factors, and Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit statistic was used to measure the goodness-of-fit.
Clinical features associated with occurrence of suicidal risk after treatment of SSRI in bipolar disorder were as follows: psychotic symptom and symptom of irritability. The odd ratio was 6.23 and 4.04 separately.
This study demonstrated indicated that psychotic symptom and symptom of irritability were associated with occurrence of suicidal risk after treatment of SSRI in bipolar disorder, and it suggested that these two symptoms might be potential to be the predictors of occurrence of suicidal risk after treatment of SSRI in bipolar disorder.
To study the relationship between insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R)and subsyndromal symptomatic depression (SSD).
In this case-control study, real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) with TaqMan MGB was used to analyzing the differences of IGF1R gene mRNA expression in peripheral leukocytes between subsyndromal symptomatic depression group(n = 47) and healthy controls(n = 52). At the same time Hamilton Depression Rating Scale -17(HAMD17) were assessed.
IGF1R gene mRNA expression was 0.21 ± 0.11 in SSD group, 0.56 ± 0.37 in healthy group, and there was significant difference between both groups on IGF1R expression(z = 39.54, P < 0.001). the expression levels of IGF1R in SSD patients was not correlated with Hamilton score(r = −0.292, p = 0.275).
This study suggested that the decreased expression of IGF1R were related with the pathophysiology of SSD.
Varicella is an acute respiratory infectious diseases, with high transmissibility and quick dissemination. In this study, an SEIR (susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered) dynamic model was established to explore the optimal prevention and control measures according to the epidemiological characteristics about varicella outbreak in a school in a central city of China. Berkeley Madonna 8.3.18 and Microsoft Office Excel 2010 software were employed for the model simulation and data management, respectively. The result showed that the simulated result of SEIR model agreed well with the reported data when β (infected rate) equal to 0.067. Models showed that the cumulative number of cases was only 13 when isolation adopted when the infected individuals were identified (assuming isolation rate was up to 100%); the cumulative number of cases was only two and the TAR (total attack rate) was 0.56% when the vaccination coefficient reached 50%. The cumulative number of cases did not change significantly with the change of efficiency of ventilation and disinfection, but the peak time was delayed; when δ (vaccination coefficient) = 0.1, m (ventilation efficiency) = 0.7 or δ = 0.2, m = 0.5 or δ = 0.3, m = 0.1 or δ = 0.4 and above, the cumulative number of cases would reduce to one case and TAR would reduce to 0.28% with combined interventions. Varicella outbreak in school could be controlled through strict isolation or vaccination singly; combined interventions have been adopted when the vaccination coefficient was low.
Few studies have investigated the association between maternal dietary patterns (DP) during pregnancy, derived from reduced-rank regression (RRR), and fetal growth. This study aims to identify DP during pregnancy associated with macro- and micronutrient intakes, using the RRR method, and to examine their relationship with birth weight (BW). We used data of 7194 women from a large-scale cross-sectional survey in Northwest China. Dietary protein, carbohydrate, haem Fe density and the ratio of PUFA and MUFA:SFA were used as the intermediate variables in the RRR model to extract DP. Generalised estimating equation models were applied to evaluate the associations between DP and BW and related outcomes (including BW z-score, low birth weight (LBW) and small for gestational age (SGA)). Four DP during pregnancy were identified. Socio-demographically disadvantaged pregnant women were more likely to have lower BW and lower adherence to DP1 (high legumes, soyabean products, vegetables and animal-source foods, with relative low wheat and oils). Women with medium and high adherence to DP1 had significantly increased BW (medium 28·6 (95 % CI 7·1, 50·1); high 25·2 (95 % CI 2·7, 47·6)) and BW z-score and had significantly reduced risks of LBW and SGA. The associations were stronger among women with babies <3100 g. There is no association between other DP and outcomes. Higher adherence to the DP that was high in legumes, soyabean products, vegetables and animal-source foods was associated with improved BW in the Chinese pregnant women, particularly among those with disadvantageous socio-demographic conditions.
Several studies suggested a potential role of viral infection in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the association between herpes zoster and PD was not investigated well till now.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 13 083 patients aged ≥45 years with herpes zoster and 52 332 (1:4) age-/sex-matched controls were enrolled between 1998 and 2008 and followed to the end of 2011. Those who developed PD during the follow-up period were identified.
The Cox regression analysis with adjustment of demographic characteristics, health system utilization, and comorbidities demonstrated that patients with herpes zoster had an increased risk (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.80, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.43-2.28) of developing PD in later life compared to the control group. Sensitivity tests after excluding the first year (HR: 1.50, 95% CI: 1.16-1.93) and first 2-year (HR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.10-1.88) observation periods showed consistent results.
Patients with herpes zoster were more likely to develop PD in later life compared to the controls. Additional studies are necessary for validating our results and to clarify the underlying pathophysiology between herpes zoster and PD.