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Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Novel NiMoO4-integrated electrode materials were successfully prepared by solvothermal method using Na2MoO4·2H2O and NiSO4·6H2O as main raw materials, water, and ethanol as solvents. The morphology, phase, and structure of the as-prepared materials were characterized by SEM, XRD, Raman, and FT-IR. The electrochemical properties of the materials in supercapacitors were investigated by cyclic voltammetry, constant current charge–discharge, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques. The effects of volume ratio of water to ethanol (W/E) in solvent on the properties of the product were studied. The results show that the pure phase monoclinic crystal NiMoO4 product can be obtained when the W/E is 2:1. The diameter and length are 0.1–0.3 µm and approximately 3 µm, respectively. As an active material for supercapacitor, the NiMoO4 nanorods material delivered a discharge specific capacitance of 672, 498, and 396 F/g at a current density of 4, 7, and 10 A/g, respectively. The discharge specific capacitance slightly decreased from 815 to 588 F/g with a retention of 72% after 1000 cycles at a current density of 1 A/g. With these superior capacitance properties, the novel NiMoO4 integrated electrode materials could be considered as promising material for supercapacitors.
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.
Soil moisture is a key issue for eco-hydrological research in arid and semi-arid regions, and is primarily concerned with water availability for vegetation. Shallow and deep soil moisture occurs according to the maximum infiltration depth. Soil moisture has three-dimensional characteristics: inter-layer variability, horizontal heterogeneity and temporal variability. Soil moisture is affected by various factors including terrain, soil characteristics, climate and vegetation, and the effects of these change with time (e.g., rainfall patterns) and space (e.g., soil depth). In arid and semi-arid regions, deep soil moisture is of particular importance to vegetation restoration and the evaluation of vegetation sustainability; however, accurate prediction of the spatial distribution of deep soil moisture in the Loess Plateau of China still faces numerous challenges. Therefore, future research should focus on the mechanisms, models and scale effects of soil moisture, particularly for deep soil moisture.
Introduction: To investigate the effects of paroxetine (PAR) on motor and cognitive function recovery in patients with non-depressed ischemic stroke (nD-AIS).
Methods: One hundred sixty-seven patients hospitalized for non-depressed acute ischemic stroke were selected and divided into treatment (T) and control (C) groups using a random number table. All patients received conventional secondary ischemic stroke prevention and rehabilitation training; patients in Group T additionally received treatment with PAR (10 mg/day during week 1 and 20 mg/day thereafter) for 3 months. The follow-up observation lasted 6 months. The Fugl–Meyer motor scale (FMMS), Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA), and Hamilton depression scale (HAMD) were used on D0, D15, D90, and D180 (T0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively; D180 = 90 days after treatment cessation) after study initiation, and scores were compared between the groups.
Results: The FMMS and MoCA scores differed significantly between Groups T and C at T2 and T3 (p < .05); by contrast, these scores did not differ significantly between the groups at T1 (p > .05). Furthermore, the HAMD scores differed significantly between the two groups at T3 (p < .05), but not at T1 and T2 (p > .05).
Conclusions: PAR treatment may improve motor and cognitive function recovery in patients with nD-AIS. Moreover, PAR may reduce the occurrence of depression after stroke.
A new genus and species of the Elcanidae (Orthoptera, Elcanoidea), Cascadelcana virginiana n. gen. n. sp., is described based on a forewing specimen from the Upper Triassic (Norian) Cow Branch Formation in the Solite Quarry Lagerstätte near the North Carolina-Virginia boundary, USA. It is distinguished from other elcanid species by its RP+MA1 with six branches, M with two branches before stem MA1 fused with RP, and short CuA almost vertical against the posterior margin. This fossil represents the earliest definitive record of the family Elcanidae and the first orthopteran described from the Triassic of North America. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analyses show that the veins and a pterostigma-like structure on the wing of C. virginiana n. gen. n. sp. are preserved as carbonaceous compressions. The presence of a pterostigma-like structure in elcanids indicates that they may have evolved a particular flight mechanism distinct from those of other orthopterans.
Kawasaki disease, which is characterised by systemic vasculitides accompanied by acute fever, is regularly treated by intravenous immunoglobulin to avoid lesion formation in the coronary artery; however, the mechanism of intravenous immunoglobulin therapy is unclear. Hence, we aimed to analyse the global expression profile of serum exosomal proteins before and after administering intravenous immunoglobulin.
Two-dimensional electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry analysis was used to identify the differentially expressed proteome of serum exosomes in patients with Kawasaki disease before and after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy.
Our analysis revealed 69 differential protein spots in the Kawasaki disease group with changes larger than 1.5-fold and 59 differential ones in patients after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy compared with the control group. Gene ontology analysis revealed that the acute-phase response disappeared, the functions of the complement system and innate immune response were enhanced, and the antibacterial humoral response pathway of corticosteroids and cardioprotection emerged after administration of intravenous immunoglobulin. Further, we showed that complement C3 and apolipoprotein A-IV levels increased before and decreased after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy and that the insulin-like growth factor-binding protein complex acid labile subunit displayed reverse alteration before and after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. These observations might be potential indicators of intravenous immunoglobulin function.
Our results show the differential proteomic profile of serum exosomes of patients with Kawasaki disease before and after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy, such as complement C3, apolipoprotein A-IV, and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein complex acid labile subunit. These results may be useful in the identification of markers for monitoring intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in patients with Kawasaki disease.
Blue-ice areas (BIAs) and their geographical distribution in Antarctica were mapped using Landsat-7 ETM+ images with 15 m spatial resolution obtained during the 1999–2003 austral summers and covering the area north of 82.5° S, and a snow grain-size image of the MODIS-based Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA) dataset with 125 m grid spacing acquired during the 2003/04 austral summer from 82.5°S to the South Pole. A map of BIAs was created with algorithms of thresholds based on band ratio and reflectance for ETM+ data and thresholds based on snow grain size for the MOA dataset. The underlying principle is that blue ice can be separated from snow or rock by their spectral discrepancies and by different grain sizes of snow and ice. We estimate the total area of BIAs in Antarctica during the data acquisition period is 234 549 km2, or 1.67% of the area of the continent. Blue ice is scattered widely over the continent but is generally located in coastal or mountainous regions. The BIA dataset presented in this study is the first map covering the entire Antarctic continent sourced solely from ETM+ and MODIS data. This dataset can potentially benefit other studies in glaciology, meteorology, climatology and paleoclimate, meteorite collection and airstrip site selection.
In this paper, the recent studies of laboratory astrophysics with strong magnetic fields in China have been reviewed. On the Shenguang-II laser facility of the National Laboratory on High-Power Lasers and Physics, a laser-driven strong magnetic field up to 200 T has been achieved. The experiment was performed to model the interaction of solar wind with dayside magnetosphere. Also the low beta plasma magnetic reconnection (MR) has been studied. Theoretically, the model has been developed to deal with the atomic structures and processes in strong magnetic field. Also the study of shock wave generation in the magnetized counter-streaming plasmas is introduced.
The present study aimed to explore the associations between food away-from-home (FAFH) consumption and body weight outcomes among Chinese adults.
FAFH was defined as food prepared at restaurants and the percentage of energy from FAFH was calculated. Measured BMI and waist circumference (WC) were used as body weight outcomes. Quantile regression models for BMI and WC were performed separately by gender.
Information on demographic, socio-economic, diet and health parameters at individual, household and community levels was collected in twelve provinces of China.
A cross-sectional sample of 7738 non-pregnant individuals aged 18–60 years from the China Health and Nutrition Survey 2011 was analysed.
For males, quantile regression models showed that percentage of energy from FAFH was associated with an increase in BMI of 0·01, 0·01, 0·01, 0·02, 0·02 and 0·03 kg/m2 at the 5th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th and 95th quantile, and an increase in WC of 0·04, 0·06, 0·06, 0·04, 0·06, 0·05 and 0·07 cm at the 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th and 95th quantile. For females, percentage of energy from FAFH was associated with 0·01, 0·01, 0·01 and 0·02 kg/m2 increase in BMI at the 10th, 25th, 90th and 95th quantile, and with 0·05, 0·04, 0·03 and 0·03 cm increase in WC at the 5th, 10th, 25th and 75th quantile.
Our findings suggest that FAFH consumption is relatively more important for BMI and WC among males rather than females in China. Public health initiatives are needed to encourage Chinese adults to make healthy food choices when eating out.
A planet centroid is an important observable object in autonomous optical navigation. A high-accuracy algorithm is presented to extract the planet centroid from its raw image. First, we proposed a planet segmentation algorithm to segment the planet image block to eliminate noise and to reduce the computation load. Second, we developed an effective algorithm based on Prewitt-Zernike moments to detect sub-pixel real edges by determining possible edges with the Prewitt operator, removing pseudo-edges in backlit shady areas, and relocating real edges to a sub-pixel accuracy in the Zernike moments. Third, we proposed an elliptical model to fit sub-pixel edge points. Finally, we verified the performance of this algorithm against real images from the Cassini-Huygens mission and against synthetic simulated images. Simulation results showed that the accuracy of the planet centroid is up to 0·3 pixels and that of the line-of-sight vector is at 2·1 × 10−5 rad.
This is a case-control study to investigate the prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors of pain in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD).
A total of 200 PD patients from eastern China were enrolled in our study. Accordingly, 200 healthy elderly adults were recruited as controls. The characteristics of pain were collected by using the Visual Analog Scale, Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), SF-36 Bodily Pain Scale, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, Hoehn–Yahr Scale (H-Y), Hamilton Depression Scale, and Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs.
Of the 200 PD patients, pain was complained by 106 patients (53%). According to the SF-36 Bodily Pain Scale, pain morbidity in PD patients was significantly higher than in the control group. The average pain during last 24 h measured by the BPI was 2.67. About 76% of PD patients were found to have one pain type, 21.7% were having two pain types, and 1.9% had three pain types. Further, 69.8% of these patients were presented with musculoskeletal pain, 4.7% with dystonic pain, 22.6% with radicular-neuropathic pain, 20.8% with central neuropathic pain, and 9.4% with akathisia pain. The onset age and depression were the most significant predictors of pain in PD patients (p < 0.05). However, there was no significant association between pain and gender, age, disease duration, or severity of the disease. Only 5.7% of PD patients with pain received treatment in this study.
Pain is frequent and disabling, independent of demographic and clinical variables, and is significantly more common in PD patients.
Introduction: The mortality of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and its associated risk factors among clinically definite PD patients in China has been rarely investigated. Our study aimed to identify the mortality rates and predictors of death in PD patients in China. Methods: 157 consecutive, clinically definite PD patients from the urban area of Shanghai were recruited from a central hospital based movement disorder clinic in 2006. All patients were regularly followed up at the clinic until December 31, 2011, or death. Mortality and associations with baseline demographics, health and medical factors were then determined within the cohort. Results: After 5 years, 11(7%) patients had died. The standardised mortality ratio was 0.62 (95% CI 0.32 to 1.07, P=0.104). The main causes of death were pneumonia (54.5%, 6/11) and digestive disorders (18.2%, 2/11), respectively. Age at onset, independent living, the mini mental state examination score, the Parkinson’s disease sleep scale score and the Epworth sleepiness scale score at baseline were statistically significantly different between the survival group and the deceased group (P<0.05). Across all participants, risk factors for death included low mini mental state examination score, and high Epworth sleepiness scale score according to a binary variable logistic regression analysis. Conclusions: This study confirms the similar survival of patients with PD to the control population up to a follow-up of 5 years. Interventions tailored to potential risk factors associated with death may offer further benefits.
The function of airport gate assignment is to assign appropriate gates for arrival and departure flights and to ensure the flights are on schedule. A key task of airport ground operations is assigning the airport gate with high efficiency and a reasonable arrangement. In this paper we establish an optimised model based on the characteristics of both the flights (the flight type, flight down time and the number of passengers) and the airport gates (the ease of access of the airport gate). We give a representation of the solution space and a direct graph model of the airport gate configuration based on dynamic scheduling parallel machines. We design a method for solving the airport gate configuration based on an immune genetic algorithm. The simulation results show the effectiveness of this model and algorithm.
Human milk provides infants with various immune molecules. The objective of the present study was to measure human β-defensin-1 (hBD-1) and human β-defensin-2 (hBD-2) levels in the colostrum and mature milk of healthy Han Chinese, to identify factors regulating milk hBD-1 and hBD-2 expression and to explore the potential protective effect of milk hBD-1 and hBD-2 on infants. A total of 100 mothers and their babies were recruited into the study. Sociodemographic characteristics and other factors were obtained by a questionnaire. Babies were followed up for a period of 6 months. Colostrum samples (n 100) and mature milk samples (n 82) were collected by hand expression. The hBD-1 and hBD-2 concentrations were measured by ELISA. The hBD-1 and hBD-2 levels differed in the colostrum and mature milk. In the colostrum, the concentration ranges of hBD-1 and hBD-2 were 1·04–12·81 μg/ml and 0·31–19·12 ng/ml, respectively. In mature milk, the hBD-1 and hBD-2 levels were 1·03–31·76 ng/ml and 52·65–182·29 pg/ml, respectively. Several independent factors influence their production. The multivariable analysis showed a strong association between pre-pregnancy BMI and hBD-1 levels in the colostrum (P= 0·001), mode of delivery was significantly associated with hBD-2 levels in the colostrum (P= 0·006) and gestational age was significantly associated with hBD-1 levels in mature milk (P= 0·010). During the first 6 months of life, the incidence rate of upper respiratory infection was found to be less in the high-colostrum hBD-1 group than in the low-colostrum hBD-1 group (χ2= 4·995, P= 0·025). The present study suggested that the abundance of hBD-1 in the colostrum may have a protective function against upper respiratory infection for infants younger than 6 months.
To assess the reliability, validity, and diagnostic utility of the Chinese version of General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG-C). The GPCOG, which is specifically designed for use in primary care to screen for cognitive impairment, consists of a patient section testing cognition, and an informant section asking about decline in cognitive and functional abilities.
The English version of GPCOG was translated, back-translated, and subsequently revised to determine the final GPCOG-C. Our sample comprised 253 community-dwelling volunteers with memory concerns aged 50 years and over and 103 outpatients of a psychogeriatric clinic with memory complaints. Participants were assessed by one of the four general practitioners or six psychogeriatricians. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Hasegawa's Dementia Scale (HDS), and the GPCOG-C were compared against the DSM-IV-defined dementia diagnosis.
The internal consistency (Cronbach's α) was 0.68 for the GPCOG patient section. The test–retest was 0.98 for the GPCOG-C total. The sequential administration of both components of GPCOG-C had a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 89%, with a positive predictive value of 72% and a negative predictive value of 99%. Both the GPCOG-C total and sequential two-stage scoring methods performed at least well as the MMSE and HDS in detecting dementia. The administration time for the two-stage approach was 4.3 ± 2.4 min.
The GPCOG-C is a valid, time efficient instrument for dementia screening in China.
To diagnose the implosion of a laser-driven-fusion target such as the symmetry, the hydrodynamic instability at the interface, a high-resolution, large field-of-view kilo-electron-volt X-ray imaging is required. A Kirkpatrick-Baez (K-B) microscope is commonly used, but its field of view is limited to a few hundred microns as the resolution decreases rapidly with the increase of the field of view. A higher resolution could be realized by using a Fresnel zone plate (FZP) for imaging. Presented in this work is a numerical study on the imaging properties of an FZP at Ti-Kα wavelength of 0.275 nm, and a comparison to a K-B imager. It is found that the FZP can realize not only a resolution better than 1 µm, but also a field-of-view larger than 20 mm when the FZP is illuminated by X-rays of spectral bandwidth less than 1.75%. These results indicate the feasibility of applying the FZP in high-resolution, large field-of-view X-ray imaging.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of Bifidobacterium adolescentis (Bif) supplementation on visceral fat accumulation and insulin sensitivity of the metabolic syndrome in HF-diet-fed rats. Adult male Wistar rats (n 10 per group) were fed four different experimental diets for 12 weeks as follows: standard diet; high-fat (HF) diet; a mix of HF diet and Bif; a mix of standard diet and Bif. Liver, mesenteric fat, epididymal fat, retroperitoneal fat, and inguinal fat, pancreas and triceps surae in all four groups of the rats were weighed, while liver steatosis and insulin sensitivity were evaluated at the end point of the study. As the number of intestinal Bifidobacterium species decreased obviously, fat pad weight and body weight increased significantly in the HF group compared with in the other three groups (P <0·05). Addition of Bif led to a reduction in body weight and fat pad weight (P <0·05). With an increase in liver weight, more severe steatosis of hepatocytes was observed in the HF group compared with in the other three groups. A significant decrease of the glucose infusion rate and pancreas weight was found in the HF group (P <0·05). This deleterious effect was alleviated when Bif was added to the diets. Bifidobacterium supplementation ameliorated visceral fat accumulation and insulin sensitivity of the metabolic syndrome in HF-diet-fed rats.