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Parallel manipulators are increasingly utilized in extensive industrial applications due to their high accuracy, compact structure, and significant stiffness characteristics. However, most of the time, massive actuators are involved in constructing and controlling a parallel manipulator, which burdens the structure design and controller development. In this paper, a novel underactuated positioning system been built by different sets of linear motion units (defined as the positioning lines) is proposed, enabling to actuate the multiple degree-of-freedom manipulators with one motor. To achieve this, a smart shape memory alloy (SMA) clutch is presented to obtain the positioning function of each positioning line. Further, to get the decoupled motion regulation of the positioning lines, a new thermal kinematic model of the SMA clutch, which considers the heat dissipation influence on the metal components, was built and validated by the physical prototypes. The experimental results show that the constitutive model of the SMA clutch developed in this paper can be validated within the error of 5.3%. It can also be found that the heat dissipation of the metal component has a significant influence on the model accuracy of the SMA clutch (i.e., 2.6% of the model accuracy). The experiments on the underactuated positioning system produce the following results: the single positioning line can achieve high positioning (i.e., average error: 1.01%) and tracking (i.e., average error
1 mm) abilities; the underactuated positioning system can perform decoupled motions in the three positioning lines with high accuracy (i.e., ±2 mm within the stroke of 180 mm).
Little is known about how sociodemographic and clinical factors affect the caregiving burden of persons with schizophrenia (PwSs) with transition in primary caregivers.
This study aimed to examine the predictive effects of sociodemographic and clinical factors on the caregiving burden of PwSs with and without caregiver transition from 1994 to 2015 in rural China.
Using panel data, 206 dyads of PwSs and their primary caregivers were investigated in both 1994 and 2015. The generalised linear model approach was used to examine the predictive effects of sociodemographic factors, severity of symptoms and changes in social functioning on the caregiving burden with and without caregiver transition.
The percentages of families with and without caregiver transition were 38.8% and 61.2%, respectively. Among families without caregiver transition, a heavier burden was significantly related to a larger family size and more severe symptoms in PwSs. Deteriorated functioning of ‘social activities outside the household’ and improved functioning of ‘activity in the household’ were protective factors against a heavy caregiving burden. Among families with caregiver transition, younger age, improved marital functioning, deteriorated self-care functioning, and better functioning of ‘social interest or concern’ were significant risk factors for caregiving burden.
The effects of sociodemographic and clinical correlates on the caregiving burden were different among families with and without caregiver transition. It is crucial to explore the caregiver arrangement of PwSs and the risk factors for burden over time, which will facilitate culture-specific family interventions, community-based mental health services and recovery.
The purpose of this study is to further deepen our understanding of the relationship between community resilience and disaster risk perception of residents, so as to provide beneficial enlightenment for the construction of community resilience disaster prevention system and disaster risk management.
This study surveyed 327 rural households in four counties of Sichuan Province, China, that were affected by the Wenchuan and Lushan earthquakes. Community disaster resilience was divided into five dimensions: connection and caring, resources, transformative potential, disaster management, and information and communication. Residents’ disaster risk perception was divided into three dimensions: possibility, threat, and worry. This study analyzed the characteristics of community disaster resilience and residents’ disaster risk perceptions. Ordinary least squares (OLS) methods were used to explore the correlations between these factors.
The results show that (1) Residents’ overall disaster risk perception was at a moderate level, and the community’s overall disaster resilience were above the moderate level. (2) Community connection and caring has a positive significant correlation with the possibility perception of disaster occurrence; transformative potential has a negative significant correlation with the possibility perception of disaster occurrence; the overall community disaster resilience has negative significant correlations with the possibility and the overall residents’ perception of disaster risk occurrence.
The implication for the local government is that the government should appropriately increase its contact with external institutions/organizations, especially some Non-Governmental Organization, to strengthen the resilience and disaster prevention capacity of the community. Establish and improve information and communication networks to ensure the timely and effective transmission of effective disaster information, and strengthen the supervision of the dissemination of false information to reduce the losses caused by false information to residents. Attention should be paid to psychological counseling for people in disaster-hit areas to reduce the psychological trauma of the disaster.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether and when the world can reach herd immunity and return to normal life and a strategy for accelerating vaccination programmes constitute major concerns. We employed Metropolis–Hastings sampling and an epidemic model to design experiments based on the current vaccinations administered and a more equitable vaccine allocation scenario. The results show that most high-income countries can reach herd immunity in less than 1 year, whereas low-income countries should reach this state after more than 3 years. With a more equitable vaccine allocation strategy, global herd immunity can be reached in 2021. However, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants means that an additional 83 days will be needed to reach global herd immunity and that the number of cumulative cases will increase by 113.37% in 2021. With the more equitable vaccine allocation scenario, the number of cumulative cases will increase by only 5.70% without additional vaccine doses. As SARS-CoV-2 variants arise, herd immunity could be delayed to the point that a return to normal life is theoretically impossible in 2021. Nevertheless, a more equitable global vaccine allocation strategy, such as providing rapid vaccine assistance to low-income countries/regions, can improve the prevention of COVID-19 infection even though the virus could mutate.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) is a cell surface receptor, belonging to the tyrosine kinase receptor superfamily. IGF1R plays a role not only in normal cell development but also in malignant transformation, which has become a candidate therapeutic target for the treatment of human cancer. This study aimed to explore insertions and deletions (indels) in IGF1R gene and investigate their association with growth traits in four Chinese cattle breeds (Xianan cattle, Jinnan cattle, Qinchuan cattle and Nanyang cattle). The current paper identified a 28-bp indel by polymerase chain reaction within IGF1R gene. The analysis showed that there was a significant correlation between the locus and the hucklebone width of Nanyang cattle in four periods, in which it was highly correlated at 6, 12 and 18 months. At the age of 6 months, it was also significantly correlated with body height, body weight and body length. Association analysis showed that the locus in Jinnan cattle was extremely significantly correlated with body slanting length and body weight, and significantly correlated with chest circumference. There was no significant correlation between this locus and growth traits of Xianan cattle and Qinchuan cattle. The detected indel in the IGF1R gene was significantly associated with growth traits in Jinnan and Nanyang cattle, and could be used as a molecular marker for growth trait selection.
We assessed the association between the dietary inflammatory index (DII) and the development of metabolic syndrome in the elderly over 55 years in Northern China. The data of 1936 Chinese adults aged 55 years and over from a community-based neurological disease cohort study from 2018 to 2019 were analysed. Multiple logistic regression and restricted cubic splines regression were used for analysis, and social demographics, lifestyle and health-related factors were adjusted. In the fully adjusted model, the risk of metabolic syndrome increased by 1·28-fold in people with a pro-inflammatory diet. When we divide the metabolic syndrome by its components, high pro-inflammatory diet and hyperglycaemia, TAG, hypertension and abdominal obesity, we failed to observe a significant association between a high pro-inflammatory diet and HDL-cholesterol. However, these associations are moving in the expected direction. At the same time, the results of BMI subgroup analysis showed that with the increase of DII, obese people are at increased risk of metabolic syndrome, hyperglycaemia, high TAG, hypertension and abdominal obesity. Also in overweight people, the increase in DII is accompanied by an increased risk of hyperglycaemia and abdominal obesity. Higher inflammatory diet is related to metabolic syndrome, hypertension, hyperglycaemia, abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridaemia. Further research is needed to confirm the role of inflammation and diet in the development of metabolic syndrome; however, it is desirable to reduce the dietary components associated with inflammation.
Understanding factors associated with post-discharge sleep quality among COVID-19 survivors is important for intervention development.
This study investigated sleep quality and its correlates among COVID-19 patients 6 months after their most recent hospital discharge.
Healthcare providers at hospitals located in five different Chinese cities contacted adult COVID-19 patients discharged between 1 February and 30 March 2020. A total of 199 eligible patients provided verbal informed consent and completed the interview. Using score on the single-item Sleep Quality Scale as the dependent variable, multiple linear regression models were fitted.
Among all participants, 10.1% reported terrible or poor sleep quality, and 26.6% reported fair sleep quality, 26.1% reported worse sleep quality when comparing their current status with the time before COVID-19, and 33.7% were bothered by a sleeping disorder in the past 2 weeks. After adjusting for significant background characteristics, factors associated with sleep quality included witnessing the suffering (adjusted B = −1.15, 95% CI = −1.70, −0.33) or death (adjusted B = −1.55, 95% CI = −2.62, −0.49) of other COVID-19 patients during hospital stay, depressive symptoms (adjusted B = −0.26, 95% CI = −0.31, −0.20), anxiety symptoms (adjusted B = −0.25, 95% CI = −0.33, −0.17), post-traumatic stress disorders (adjusted B = −0.16, 95% CI = −0.22, −0.10) and social support (adjusted B = 0.07, 95% CI = 0.04, 0.10).
COVID-19 survivors reported poor sleep quality. Interventions and support services to improve sleep quality should be provided to COVID-19 survivors during their hospital stay and after hospital discharge.
Sarcopenic obesity is regarded as a risk factor for the progression and development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Since male sex is a risk factor for NAFLD and skeletal muscle mass markedly varies between the sexes, we examined whether sex influences the association between appendicular skeletal muscle mass to visceral fat area ratio (SVR), that is, an index of skeletal muscle mass combined with abdominal obesity, and the histological severity of NAFLD. The SVR was measured by bioelectrical impedance in a cohort of 613 (M/F = 443/170) Chinese middle-aged individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD. Multivariable logistic regression and subgroup analyses were used to test the association between SVR and the severity of NAFLD (i.e. non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or NASH with the presence of any stage of liver fibrosis). NASH was identified by a NAFLD activity score ≥5, with a minimum score of 1 for each of its categories. The presence of fibrosis was classified as having a histological stage ≥1. The SVR was inversely associated with NASH in men (adjusted OR 0·62; 95 % CI 0·42, 0·92, P = 0·017 for NASH, adjusted OR 0·65; 95 % CI 0·43, 0·99, P = 0·043 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis), but not in women (1·47 (95 % CI 0·76, 2·83), P = 0·25 for NASH, and 1·45 (95 % CI 0·74, 2·83), P = 0·28 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis). There was a significant interaction for sex and SVR (Pinteraction = 0·017 for NASH and Pinteraction = 0·033 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis). Our findings show that lower skeletal muscle mass combined with abdominal obesity is strongly associated with the presence of NASH only in men.
N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) regulates oocyte-to-embryo transition and the reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. However, the role of m6A methylation in porcine early embryonic development and its reprogramming characteristics in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos are yet to be known. Here, we showed that m6A methylation was essential for normal early embryonic development and its aberrant reprogramming in SCNT embryos. We identified a persistent occurrence of m6A methylation in embryos between 1-cell to blastocyst stages and m6A levels abruptly increased during the morula-to-blastocyst transition. Cycloleucine (methylation inhibitor, 20 mM) treatment efficiently reduced m6A levels, significantly decreased the rates of 4-cell embryos and blastocysts, and disrupted normal lineage allocation. Moreover, cycloleucine treatment also led to higher levels in both apoptosis and autophagy in blastocysts. Furthermore, m6A levels in SCNT embryos at the 4-cell and 8-cell stages were significantly lower than that in parthenogenetic activation (PA) embryos, suggesting an abnormal reprogramming of m6A methylation in SCNT embryos. Correspondingly, expression levels of m6A writers (METTL3 and METTL14) and eraser (FTO) were apparently higher in SCNT 8-cell embryos compared with their PA counterparts. Taken together, these results indicated that aberrant nuclear transfer-mediated reprogramming of m6A methylation was involved in regulating porcine early embryonic development.
Hypothermia (core temperature <36°C) during major surgeries could result in a number of adverse events such as surgical site infection, bleeding, and prolonged hospital stay. The incidence of intraoperative hypothermia was 44.3 percent in China in 2015, with only 10.7 percent of patients receiving effective hypothermia prevention measures during major surgeries. By systematically examining the adverse risks for patients using different warming measures (active and passive), our study discussed the potential of bringing the most effective one(s) into clinical guidelines.
Articles, ongoing trials and grey literatures were retrieved from PubMed, The Cochrane Library and Clinical Trials till February 2019. Bair HuggerTM (BH) was determined to be the reference group and all randomized controlled trials including BH were included. In the control group, we kept all possible warming measures. Adverse effect indicators were decided using scoping reviews and then applied in literature screening. Type (open/endoscopic) and length of surgery were included in sub-group analysis.
A total of forty-two studies were included, with twenty-seven of them passive insulation measures and fifteen active measures. Compared with passive measures, BH had significant advantages, such as in surgical site infection (risk ratio [RR] = 0.13, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.05, 0.80), chills (RR = 0.37, 95% CI: 0.25, 0.54) and hospitalization stay (mean difference [MD]=−1.27d, 95% CI: -2.05, -0.48). Compared with active insulation measures, BH had no significant advantages. Patients with open or longer surgeries (≥2 hours) experienced higher risks.
Generally, an active warming system is more effective in lowering risks (e.g., hypothermia, surgical site infection, chills, length of stay) than passive ones, especially for patients going through non-endoscopic or longer surgeries. Among the active warming systems, BH does the same job as other active insulation measures. Given that the practice of peri-operative hypothermia prevention using active warming systems is not popular in China, the use of BH and other active insulation measures during major surgeries are recommended to improve the safety and potentially reduce the cost of treating those clinical adverse events.
Nutrition in early life has a long-term influence on later health. In order to the explore effects of in ovo feeding (IOF) of vitamin C on splenic development, splenic metabolism and apoptosis were detected in embryo, adult chickens and in vitro. A total of 360 fertile eggs were selected and randomly assigned to control (CON) and vitamin C (VC) groups which were injected with saline and vitamin C on embryonic day 11, respectively. Functional enrichment of differentially expressed genes by transcriptome on embryonic day 19 suggested that purine nucleotide metabolism might be a potential pathway for the IOF of vitamin C to regulate spleen development. Additionally, the IOF of vitamin C significantly increased splenic vitamin C content on post-hatch day 21. Meanwhile, the splenic expression of adenosine deaminase, serine/threonine kinase 1 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen was down-regulated, whereas the expression of cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase 9 was up-regulated in the VC group. On post-hatch day 42, the IOF of vitamin C significantly down-regulated the splenic expression of B-cell lymphoma 2 and increased the mRNA level of cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase 9. The IOF of vitamin C could regulate the expression of genes related to adenylate metabolism and increased the apoptosis rate in vitro, which is consistent with the result in vivo. In conclusion, the IOF of vitamin C regulated splenic development and maturation by affecting purine nucleotide metabolism pathway and promoting apoptosis.
Understanding the patterns of treatment response is critical for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia; one way to achieve this is through using a longitudinal dynamic process study design.
This study aims to explore the response trajectory of antipsychotics and compare the treatment responses of seven different antipsychotics over 6 weeks in patients with schizoprenia (trial registration: Chinese Clinical Trials Registry Identifier: ChiCTR-TRC-10000934).
Data were collected from a multicentre, randomised open-label clinical trial. Patients were evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline and follow-up at weeks 2, 4 and 6. Trajectory groups were classified by the method of k-means cluster modelling for longitudinal data. Trajectory analyses were also employed for the seven antipsychotic groups.
The early treatment response trajectories were classified into a high-trajectory group of better responders and a low-trajectory group of worse responders. The results of trajectory analysis showed differences compared with the classification method characterised by a 50% reduction in PANSS scores at week 6. A total of 349 patients were inconsistently grouped by the two methods, with a significant difference in the composition ratio of treatment response groups using these two methods (χ2 = 43.37, P < 0.001). There was no differential contribution of high- and low trajectories to different drugs (χ2 = 12.52, P = 0.051); olanzapine and risperidone, which had a larger proportion in the >50% reduction at week 6, performed better than aripiprazole, quetiapine, ziprasidone and perphenazine.
The trajectory analysis of treatment response to schizophrenia revealed two distinct trajectories. Comparing the treatment responses to different antipsychotics through longitudinal analysis may offer a new perspective for evaluating antipsychotics.
Having enterprises engaged in environmentally friendly behavior is an important part of reducing negative environmental impacts. This study makes a quantitative analysis against the backdrop of China's transitional economic system. The results show that politically-connected enterprises significantly reduce environmental expenditure, but this only holds for state-owned enterprises; private enterprises with political connections spend significantly more. Analysis of the efficiency of environmental expenditure indicates that, for private enterprises, environmental spending is used as a way to maintain political connections, with rent-seeking as the likely motivation. Politically-connected private enterprises have not reduced their emissions to the same extent as state-owned enterprises, despite increased expenditure. Given the scale of environmental degradation in China during a period of massive economic and social upheaval, the results of this analysis provide a quantitative case for policy change: governments should shift focus to the results that environmental spending produces.
Birth weight influences not only brain development, but also mental health outcomes, including depression, but the underlying mechanism is unclear.
The phenotypic data of 12,872–91,009 participants (59.18–63.38% women) from UK Biobank were included to test the associations between the birth weight, depression, and brain volumes through the linear and logistic regression models. As birth weight is highly heritable, the polygenic risk scores (PRSs) of birth weight were calculated from the UK Biobank cohort (154,539 participants, 56.90% women) to estimate the effect of birth weight-related genetic variation on the development of depression and brain volumes. Finally, the mediation analyses of step approach and mediation analysis were used to estimate the role of brain volumes in the association between birth weight and depression. All analyses were conducted sex stratified to assess sex-specific role in the associations.
We observed associations between birth weight and depression (odds ratio [OR] = 0.968, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.957–0.979, p = 2.29 × 10−6). Positive associations were observed between birth weight and brain volumes, such as gray matter (B = 0.131, p = 3.51 × 10−74) and white matter (B = 0.129, p = 1.67 × 10−74). Depression was also associated with brain volume, such as left thalamus (OR = 0.891, 95% CI = 0.850–0.933, p = 4.46 × 10−5) and right thalamus (OR = 0.884, 95% CI = 0.841–0.928, p = 2.67 × 10−5). Additionally, significant mediation effects of brain volume were found for the associations between birth weight and depression through steps approach and mediation analysis, such as gray matter (B = –0.220, p = 0.020) and right thalamus (B = –0.207, p = 0.014).
Our results showed the associations among birth weight, depression, and brain volumes, and the mediation effect of brain volumes also provide evidence for the sex-specific of associations.
In this study, the quasi-static and dynamic mechanical behaviors and the energy absorption capacity of closed-cell aluminum foams with uniform and graded densities were experimentally studied. The effects of density, strain rate, and graded density on the mechanical performances of aluminum foams were quantitatively evaluated. It was shown that the density had a significant effect on the quasi-static and dynamic compressive stress of aluminum foams. Moreover, impact compression experiment results revealed that aluminum foam was sensitive to the strain rate. As the strain rate increased, the plateau stress and energy absorption capacity increased distinctly and the rate of deformation increased correspondingly. Finally, the investigation of aluminum foams with uniform and graded densities to study their deformation and failure mechanisms, mechanical characteristics, and energy absorption capacities showed that the GD 0.48-IV specimen exhibited superior impact resistance. The present work can provide a valuable reference for the optimum design of aluminum foam against impact loading.
In this paper, we construct and study a semigroup associated to an action of a countable discrete group on a compact Hausdorff space that can be regarded as a higher dimensional generalization of the type semigroup. We study when this semigroup is almost unperforated. This leads to a new characterization of dynamical comparison and thus answers a question of Kerr and Schafhauser. In addition, this paper suggests a definition of comparison for dynamical systems in which neither the acting group is necessarily amenable nor the action is minimal.
Psychiatric disorders are a group of complex psychological syndromes with high prevalence. Recent studies observed associations between altered plasma proteins and psychiatric disorders. This study aims to systematically explore the potential genetic relationships between five major psychiatric disorders and more than 3,000 plasma proteins.
The genome-wide association study (GWAS) datasets of attention deficiency/hyperactive disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), schizophrenia (SCZ) and major depressive disorder (MDD) were driven from the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium. The GWAS datasets of 3,283 human plasma proteins were derived from recently published study, including 3,301 study subjects. Linkage disequilibrium score (LDSC) regression analysis were conducted to evaluate the genetic correlations between psychiatric disorders and each of the 3,283 plasma proteins.
LDSC observed several genetic correlations between plasma proteins and psychiatric disorders, such as ADHD and lysosomal Pro-X carboxypeptidase (p value = 0.015), ASD and extracellular superoxide dismutase (Cu-Zn; p value = 0.023), BD and alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminide alpha-2,6-sialyltransferase 6 (p value = 0.007), MDD and trefoil factor 1 (p value = 0.011), and SCZ and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 6 (p value = 0.011). Additionally, we detected four common plasma proteins showing correlation evidence with both BD and SCZ, such as tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 1B (p value = 0.012 for BD, p value = 0.011 for SCZ).
This study provided an atlas of genetic correlations between psychiatric disorders and plasma proteome, providing novel clues for pathogenetic and biomarkers, therapeutic studies of psychiatric disorders.