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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.
Prior data on long-term association between legume consumption and hypertension risk are sparse. We aimed to evaluate whether total legume and subtype intakes prospectively associate with hypertension incidence among 8758 participants (≥30 years) from the China Health and Nutrition Survey 2004–2011. Diet was assessed by interviews combining 3-d 24-h food recalls and household food inventory weighing at each survey round. Incident hypertension was identified by self-reports or blood pressure measurements. We applied multivariable Cox regressions to estimate hazard ratios (HR) with corresponding 95 % CI for hypertension across increasing categories of cumulatively averaged legume intakes. For 35 990 person-years (median 6·0 years apiece), we documented 944 hypertension cases. After covariate adjustment, higher total legume intakes were significantly associated with lower hypertension risks, with HR comparing extreme categories being 0·56 (95 % CI 0·43, 0·71; Ptrend < 0·001). Then we found that intakes of dried legumes (HR 0·53 (95 % CI 0·43, 0·65); Ptrend < 0·001) and fresh legumes (HR 0·67 (95 % CI 0·55, 0·81); Ptrend < 0·001) were both related to decreased hypertension hazards. However, further dried legume classification revealed that negative association with hypertension substantially held for soyabean (HR 0·51 (95 % CI 0·41, 0·62); Ptrend < 0·001) but not non-soyabean intakes. In stratified analyses, the association of interest remained similar within strata by sex, BMI, physical activity, smoking and drinking status; rather, significant heterogeneity showed across age strata (Pinteraction = 0·02). Total legume consumption among the over-65s was related to a more markedly reduced hypertension risk (HR 0·47 (95 % CI 0·30, 0·73); Ptrend < 0·001). Our findings suggest an inverse association of all kinds of legume (except non-soyabean) intakes with hypertension risks.
The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of glucose, soya oil or glutamine on jejunal morphology, protein metabolism and protein expression of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signalling pathway in jejunal villus or crypt compartment of piglets. Forty-two 21 d-weaned piglets were randomly allotted to one of the three isoenergetic diets formulated with glucose, soya oil or glutamine for 28 d. On day 14 or 28, the proteins in crypt enterocytes were analysed with isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification and proteins involved in mTORC1 signalling pathway in villus or crypt compartment cells were determined by Western blotting. Our results showed no significant differences (P > 0·05) in jejunal morphology among the three treatments on day 14 or 28. The differentially expressed proteins mainly took part in a few network pathways, including antimicrobial or inflammatory response, cell death and survival, digestive system development and function and carbohydrate metabolism. On day 14 or 28, there were higher protein expression of eukaryotic initiation factor-4E binding protein-1 in jejunal crypt compartment of piglets supplemented with glucose or glutamine compared with soya oil. On day 28, higher protein expression of phosphor-mTOR in crypt compartment was observed in piglets supplemented with glucose compared with the soya oil. In conclusion, the isoenergetic glucose, soya oil or glutamine did not affect the jejunal morphology of piglets; however, they had different effects on the protein metabolism in crypt compartment. Compared with soya oil, glucose or glutamine may be better energy supplies for enterocytes in jejunal crypt compartment.
Previous studies have shown that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet might contribute to managing risk factors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but evidence is limited. We examined the association of DASH diet score (DASH-DS) with NAFLD, as well as the intermediary effects of serum retinol-binding protein-4 (RBP4), serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), serum TAG, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and BMI.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. Dietary data and lifestyle factors were assessed by face-to-face interviews and the DASH-DS was then calculated. We assessed serum RBP4, hs-CRP and TAG and calculated HOMA-IR. The presence and degree of NAFLD were determined by abdominal sonography.
Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study participants, aged 40–75 years at baseline (n 3051).
After adjusting for potential covariates, we found an inverse association between DASH-DS and the presence of NAFLD (Ptrend = 0·009). The OR (95 % CI) of NAFLD for quintiles 2–5 were 0·78 (0·62, 0·98), 0·74 (0·59, 0·94), 0·69 (0·55, 0·86) and 0·77 (0·61, 0·97), respectively. Path analyses indicated that a higher DASH-DS was associated with lower serum RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI, which were positively associated with the degree of NAFLD.
Adherence to the DASH diet was independently associated with a marked lower prevalence of NAFLD in Chinese adults, especially in women and those without abdominal obesity, and might be mediated by reducing RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI.
The effect of maternal folate intake on small-for-gestational-age (SGA) births remains inconclusive. The present study aimed to investigate the associations of maternal folate intake from diet and supplements with the risk of SGA births using data from a cross-sectional study in Shaanxi Province of Northwest China. A total of 7307 women who were within 12 months (median 3; 10th–90th percentile 0–7) after delivery were included. Two-level models were adopted to examine the associations of folate (dietary folate, supplemental folic acid and total folate) intake with the risk of SGA births and birth weight Z score, controlling for a minimum set of confounders that were identified in a directed acyclic graph. Results showed that a higher supplemental folic acid intake during the first trimester was negatively associated with the risk of SGA births (≤60 d v. non-use: OR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·96; >60 d v. non-use: OR 0·78; 95 % CI 0·65, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per 10-d increase: OR 0·97; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·99). A higher total folate intake during pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of SGA births (highest tertile v. lowest tertile: OR 0·77; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per one-unit increase in the log-transformed value: OR 0·81; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·95). A similar pattern was observed for the birth weight Z score. Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation during the first trimester and a higher total folate intake during pregnancy were associated with a reduced risk of SGA births.
Patient’s needs and rights are the key to delivering state-of-the-art modern nursing care. It is especially challenging to provide proper nursing care for patients who are reaching the end of life (EOL). In Chinese culture nursing practice, the perception and expectations of these EOL patients are not well known. This article explores the feelings and wishes of 16 terminally ill Chinese cancer patients who are going through the dying process. An open-ended questionnaire with eight items was used to interview 16 terminally ill Chinese cancer patients, and was then analyzed by a combined approach employing grounded theory and interpretive phenomenological analysis. Four dimensions were explored: first, patient’s attitudes towards death, such as accepting the fact calmly, striving to survive, and the desire for control; second, the care desired during the dying process, including avoiding excessive treatment and dying with dignity; third, the degree of the patient’s acceptance of death; and fourth, the consequences of death. This cognitive study offers a fundamental understanding of perceptions of death of terminally ill cancer patients from the Chinese culture. Their attitude toward death was complex. They did not prefer aggressive treatment and most of them had given a great deal of thought to their death.
Colistin, a peptide antibiotic belonging to the polymyxin family, is one of the last effective drugs for the treatment of multidrug resistant Gram-negative infections. Recent discovery of a novel mobile colistin resistance gene, mcr-1, from people and food animals has caused a significant public health concern and drawn worldwide attention. Extensive usage of colistin in food animals has been proposed as a major driving force for the emergence and transmission of mcr-1; thus, there is a worldwide trend to limit colistin usage in animal production. However, despite lack of colistin usage in food animals in the USA, mcr-1-positive Escherichia coli isolates were still isolated from swine. In this paper, we provided an overview of colistin usage and epidemiology of mcr-1 in food animals, and summarized the current status of mechanistic and evolutionary studies of the plasmid-mediated colistin resistance. Based on published information, we further discussed several non-colistin usage risk factors that may contribute to the persistence, transmission, and emergence of colistin resistance in an animal production system. Filling the knowledge gaps identified in this review is critical for risk assessment and risk management of colistin resistance, which will facilitate proactive and effective strategies to mitigate colistin resistance in future animal production systems.
Few studies have explored the relationship between dietary patterns and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Evidence from non-Western areas is particularly lacking. In the present study, we aimed to examine the associations between dietary patterns and the risk of GDM in a Chinese population. A total of 3063 pregnant Chinese women from an ongoing prospective cohort study were included. Data on dietary intake were collected using a FFQ at 24–27 weeks of gestation. GDM was diagnosed using a 75 g, 2 h oral glucose tolerance test. Dietary patterns were determined by principal components factor analysis. A log-binomial regression model was used to examine the associations between dietary pattern and the risk of GDM. The analysis identified four dietary patterns: vegetable pattern; protein-rich pattern; prudent pattern; sweets and seafood pattern. Multivariate analysis showed that the highest tertile of the vegetable pattern was associated with a decreased risk of GDM (relative risk (RR) 0·79, 95 % CI 0·64, 0·97), compared with the lowest tertile, whereas the highest tertile of the sweets and seafood pattern was associated with an increased risk of GDM (RR 1·23, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·49). No significant association was found for either the protein-rich or the prudent pattern. The protective effect of a high vegetable pattern score was more evident among women who had a family history of diabetes (P for interaction = 0·022). These findings suggest that the vegetable pattern was associated with a decreased risk of GDM, while the sweets and seafood pattern was associated with an increased risk of GDM. These findings may be useful in dietary counselling during pregnancy.
Although employees react negatively when employers hire individuals with whom the employers have personal ties, the practice is prevalent worldwide. One factor contributing to the discrepancy between reactions to the practice may be differences in cultural beliefs and institutions regarding perceptions about hiring decisions. To examine cross-national differences in perceptions about hiring personal ties, we conducted a consensus analysis on the perceived fairness, profitability, and overall evaluation of hiring decisions in China and the United States. We find cross-national differences in consensus levels as to whether people believe it is fair or unfair to hire moderately qualified candidates with employer ties (kinships or close friends with the employer) and whether people positively or negatively evaluate the hiring of unqualified candidates with stakeholder ties (ties to business associates or government officials). We also find contrasting areas of consensus about whether hiring unqualified candidates with stakeholder ties is profitable. Implications for research on cultural comparisons of perceptions of hiring practices and guanxi are discussed.
To examine the vitamin D status, SNP of the vitamin D receptor gene (VDR) and the effects of vitamin D supplementation on parathyroid hormone and insulin secretion in adult males with obesity or normal weight in a subtropical Chinese city.
An intervention trial.
Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China.
From a cross-sectional survey conducted from June to July, eighty-two normal-weight and ninety-nine obese males (18–69 years) were screened to analyse their vitamin D status and for five SNP of VDR. From these individuals, in the same season of a different year, obese and normal-weight male volunteers (twenty-one per group) were included for an intervention trial with oral vitamin D supplementation at 1250 µg/week for 8 weeks.
For the survey, there was no significant difference (P>0·05) in baseline circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations or in the percentages of participants in different categories of vitamin D status between the two groups. The VDR SNP, rs3782905, was significantly associated with obesity (P=0·043), but none of the examined SNP were correlated with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D when adjusted for age, BMI and study group. After vitamin D supplementation, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration, hypersecretions of parathyroid hormone and insulin, and insulin resistance in the obese were changed beneficially (P<0·05); however, the increase in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D was less than that of the normal-weight men.
For obese and normal-weight men of subtropical China, the summer baseline vitamin D status was similar. However, oral vitamin D supplementation revealed a decreased bioavailability of vitamin D in obese men and ameliorated their hypersecretion of parathyroid hormone and insulin resistance.
The effect of tea intake on blood pressure (BP) is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials to determine the changes in systolic and diastolic BP due to the intake of black and green tea. A systematic search was conducted in MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register up to May 2014. The weighted mean difference was calculated for net changes in systolic and diastolic BP using fixed-effects or random-effects models. Previously defined subgroup analyses were performed to explore the influence of study characteristics. A total of twenty-five eligible studies with 1476 subjects were selected. The acute intake of tea had no effects on systolic and diastolic BP. However, after long-term tea intake, the pooled mean systolic and diastolic BP were lower by − 1·8 (95 % CI − 2·4, − 1·1) and − 1·4 (95 % CI − 2·2, − 0·6) mmHg, respectively. When stratified by type of tea, green tea significantly reduced systolic BP by 2·1 (95 % CI − 2·9, − 1·2) mmHg and decreased diastolic BP by 1·7 (95 % CI − 2·9, − 0·5) mmHg, and black tea showed a reduction in systolic BP of 1·4 (95 % CI − 2·4, − 0·4) mmHg and a decrease in diastolic BP of 1·1 (95 % CI − 1·9, − 0·2) mmHg. The subgroup analyses showed that the BP-lowering effect was apparent in subjects who consumed tea more than 12 weeks (systolic BP − 2·6 (95 % CI − 3·5, − 1·7) mmHg and diastolic BP − 2·2 (95 % CI − 3·0, − 1·3) mmHg, both P< 0·001). The present findings suggest that long-term ( ≥ 12 weeks) ingestion of tea could result in a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic BP.
Neurosyphilis (NS) may present with neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive impairment, personality disorders, and confusion, among others. Very few studies have focused on neuropsychiatric disorders secondary to NS in elderly people.
A retrospective chart review was performed to characterize the psychiatric findings, clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory findings, and brain magnetic resonance imaging results of ten elderly inpatients with NS.
In these ten patients, the most common presenting symptoms included a wide variety of psychiatric manifestations. The serum rapid plasma regain (RPR) and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay (TPPA) of the ten patients were positive, with positive CSF TPPA and RPR rates of 100% and 60%, respectively. In addition, 90% of the patients demonstrated abnormal imaging, including cerebral atrophy, infarct ischemic stroke, and hydrocephalus.
Our findings support the importance of serological tests for syphilis as a routine component of the evaluation of patients with clinically evident neurological or psychiatric symptoms. If the serology is positive, all of the patients should be examined with a lumbar puncture. Moreover, psychiatric illnesses secondary to NS in the elderly also deserve medical attention.
During mitosis nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs) bind to the Arp2/3 complex and activate actin assembly. JMY and WAVE2 are two critical members of the NPFs. Previous studies have demonstrated that NPFs promote multiple processes such as cell migration and cytokinesis. However, the role of NPFs in development of mammalian embryos is still unknown. Results of the present study show that the NPFs JMY and WAVE2 are critical for cytokinesis during development of mouse embryos. Both JMY and WAVE2 are expressed in mouse embryos. After injection of JMY or WAVE2 siRNA, all embryos failed to develop to the morula or blastocyst stages. Moreover, using fluorescence intensity analysis, we found that the expression of actin decreased, and multiple nuclei were observed within a single cell indicating that NPFs-induced actin reduction caused the failure of cell division. In addition, injection of JMY and WAVE2 siRNA also caused ARP2 degradation, indicating that involvement of NPFs in development of mouse embryos is mainly through regulation of ARP2/3-induced actin assembly. Taken together, these data suggested that WAVE2 and JMY are involved in development of mouse embryos, and their regulation may be through a NPFs-Arp2/3-actin pathway.
Bionic engineering has been a focus in the field of robotic researches. Inverse dynamic analysis is significant for the determination of dynamic parameters of bionic robots. The present paper uses a newly developed robot modular named Sambot to construct a caterpillar robotic mechanism, and designs a gait of trapezoidal wave locomotion for it. Two open-link models are put forth to simulate the dynamic behavior of such a locomotion. The inverse dynamic differential equations are derived by Kane's method and are then solved numerically by the Runge–Kutta method of the fourth order. Based on the numerical solutions of these differential equations, the applied joint torques required to produce the harmonic trapezoidal wave locomotion are determined finally, providing us important information on the gait control of the caterpillar robotic mechanism. Finally, the theoretical values of the joint torques are applied onto the present caterpillar mechanism to perform a locomotion experiment, which verifies the effectiveness of the present dynamics analysis.
The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between age and risk for depression among the old and the oldest old.
MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library database were used to identify potential studies. The studies were divided into cross-sectional and longitudinal subsets. For each study, the numbers of the total participants, cases (for cross-sectional study), or incident cases (for longitudinal study) of depression in each age group were extracted and entered into Review Manager 4.2 software. Qualitative meta-analyses of cross-sectional studies and of longitudinal studies were performed. For prevalence and incidence rates of depression, odds risk (OR) and relative risk (RR) were calculated, respectively.
The qualitative meta-analyses showed that, compared with younger participants (above vs. below 65 years, above vs. below 70 years, above vs. below 75 years, and above vs. below 80 years), older age groups had a significantly higher risk for depression. (All of the ORs and RRs were significant.) Compared with participants aged 55–89, those aged above 90 years had no higher risk for depression. (Neither the OR nor the RR was significant.)
Despite the methodological limitations of this meta-analysis, older age appears to be an important risk factor for depression in the general elderly population (aged below 80 years), but not in the oldest population (aged above 85 years).
Miniature pigs are valuable for research in xenotransplantation and as models for investigating human diseases. Although many mammalian species have been cloned, the success rates have been very low, especially in the pig. In the present study, an attempt was made to optimize somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) protocols for use in the production of the Guangxi Bama mini-pig. Firstly, mini-pig fibroblast cells from a new-born Guangxi Bama piglet were isolated and cultured. Cell type was identified by fluorescence immunocytochemistry (ICC); the cells expressed cimentin, but not cytoceratin and follicular stimulation hormone receptor (FSHR). Secondly, the optimal cell cycle synchronization protocol for treating fibroblast cells from the newborn piglet's testicle was investigated by contact inhibition and serum starvation. When fibroblast cells were treated by contact inhibition, a higher fusion (66.0% vs. 58.3%, p > 0.05) and blastocyst production (20.8% vs. 15.1, p > 0.05) rates were obtained than with serum starvation. Thirdly, to examine the ability of old cells to be morphologically remodelled after activation, testicular fibroblasts (passage 10–14) were introduced into enucleated oocytes; enlarged nuclei were formed in most of the reconstructed embryos at 6 h and enlarged nuclei or distinct pseudopronuclei were formed in nearly all the reconstructed embryos at 12 h. The old donor cell could be morphologically remodelled correctly and was competent to support embryo development to the blastocyst in vitro. Fourthly, the in vitro development potential of the cloned embryos was investigated using two types of donor cell: ear fibroblasts and low or high passage testicular fibroblasts. The rate of fusion was highest using low passage testicle fibroblasts (84.5% vs. 69.8% and 80.0%, p < 0.05), as was development to the blastocyst stage (14.6% vs. 7.7% and 6.3%, p < 0.05). Finally, the effect of phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) on parthenogenetic and cloned embryo development was examined. The PHA had no significant effect on the parthenogenetic embryos, but cloned embryo development to the blastocyst stage was significantly increased by PHA (10μg/ml), (13.4% vs. 5.6% and 5.6%, p < 0.05).