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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 purpose of this study was to construct a glycyrrhetinic acid (GA)-mediated, breakable, intracellular, nanoscale drug-delivery carrier via amide and esterification reactions. The structures were identified by Fourier-transformed infrared (FTIR) and 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectrophotometry. The compatibility and safety of the carrier were evaluated using hemolysis and cytotoxicity tests. The GA-copolymer micelle was prepared using the solvent evaporation method. FTIR and 1H-NMR detection demonstrated the successful construction of the polymer. No hemolysis occurred in any concentration of polymer within 3 h, and the hemolysis rate was less than 5%. 3-(4,5-dimethyl-thiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) experimental results showed that the novel polymer reduced the cell survival rate and had significant cytotoxic effects. The blank nanoparticles were liquid with light blue opalescence. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the empty micelles were uniform spheres, with an average size of 62 nm and a zeta potential of −13 mV. The novel GA-mediated polymeric carrier material developed here has the potential to effectively kill human SMMC-7721 cancer cells within 3 days when the dose is above 500 ug/mL.
Outbreaks of norovirus-associated gastroenteritis have been reported in schools in recent decades in China. For early warning and response to infectious disease outbreaks, the Shanghai Infectious Diseases Bud Event Surveillance System (IDBESS) was established in 2016. Bud event is a term used for the early sign of a potential infectious disease outbreak in public settings when the first few cases appear. This study aimed to describe the epidemiological characteristics of Norovirus-associated gastroenteritis bud events from June 2016 to December 2017 and to understand factors influencing the severity of events. Data were extracted from the IDBESS, supplemented by field investigations and school absence surveillance. In total, 189 bud events of Norovirus-associated gastroenteritis were reported in schools and kindergartens, affecting 3827 individuals and 52.38% happened in primary schools. The attack rate of Norovirus-associated gastroenteritis was 3.82% on average in students in the affected schools. In each event, case numbers varied between 5 and 148, with a median of 16. The duration of bud events lasted for 2 days on average. School absence happened in 47.93% (1797/3749) of affected students and the average duration of absence was 3.07 days. It was found that a longer delay before reporting was associated with a longer-lasting duration of bud event (OR = 2.25, 95% CI: 1.65, 3.07). In conclusion, ascribed to the sensitive threshold for alerting and the timely field investigation, the surveillance of bud events of Norovirus-associated gastroenteritis is effective in the control of Norovirus infection among preschool children and students in Shanghai.
The study investigated novel wear and corrosion resistance of stainless steel and 316 stainless steel samples which were successfully prepared by laser melting deposition. Phase composition, microstructure, microhardness, wear resistance, and electrochemical corrosion resistance were studied. The experimental results showed that novel stainless steel was mainly composed of α-Fe and a few carbide phase (Cr, Fe)7C3. The microhardness of novel stainless steel was about 2.7 times greater than 316 stainless steel. Meanwhile, the specific wear rate of novel stainless steel and 316 stainless steel was 2.63 × 10−5 mm3/N m and 1.63 × 10−4 mm3/N m, respectively. The wear volume of 316 stainless steel was 6.19 times greater than novel stainless steel. The corrosion current and the corrosion potential of novel stainless steel and 316 stainless steel were 1.02 × 10−7 A/cm2 and 1.5 × 10−7 A/cm2, and −138.8 mV, −135.9 mV, respectively, in 3.5 wt% NaCl solution. Therefore, both microhardness and wear resistance of novel stainless steel were greatly improved, with high corrosion resistance.
Reduced graphene oxide supported titanium dioxide (GO/TiO2) heterojunction composites as highly active photocatalysts were synthesized via simple ultrasonic mixing and hydrothermal reaction using TiCl3 and GO as precursors. Their structure and morphology were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectra, UV-vis spectroscopy, and thermogravimetic analysis. The GO/TiO2 heterojunction composites were used to degrade methyl orange (MO). The adsorption and photocatalytic degradation rate of the prepared GO/TiO2 composites increased by nearly three times compared with that of pristine TiO2 or GO, which reached up 90%, to degrade MO after 4 h, which provides a simple method to obtain photocatalytic materials.
Previous studies have shown conflicting findings regarding the relationship between maternal vitamin D deficiency (VDD) and fetal growth restriction (FGR). We hypothesised that parathyroid hormone (PTH) may be an underlying factor relevant to this potential association. In a prospective birth cohort study, descriptive statistics were evaluated for the demographic characteristics of 3407 pregnancies in the second trimester from three antenatal clinics in Hefei, China. The association of the combined status of vitamin D and PTH with birth weight and the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) was assessed by a multivariate linear and binary logistic regression. We found that declined status of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with lower birth weight (for moderate VDD: adjusted β = −49·4 g, 95 % CI −91·1, −7·8, P < 0·05; for severe VDD: adjusted β = −79·8 g, 95 % CI −127·2, −32·5, P < 0·01), as well as ascended levels of PTH (for elevated PTH: adjusted β = −44·5 g, 95 % CI −82·6, −6·4, P < 0·05). Compared with the non-VDD group with non-elevated PTH, pregnancies with severe VDD and elevated PTH had the lowest neonatal birth weight (adjusted β = −124·7 g, 95 % CI −194·6, −54·8, P < 0·001) and the highest risk of SGA (adjusted risk ratio (RR) = 3·36, 95 % CI 1·41, 8·03, P < 0·01). Notably, the highest risk of less Ca supplementation was founded in severe VDD group with elevated PTH (adjusted RR = 4·67, 95 % CI 2·78, 7·85, P < 0·001). In conclusion, elevated PTH induced by less Ca supplementation would further aggravate the risk of FGR in pregnancies with severe VDD through impaired maternal Ca metabolism homoeostasis.
The association between milk consumption and the metabolic syndrome remains inconclusive, and data from Chinese populations are scarce. We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the association between milk consumption and the metabolic syndrome and its components among the residents of Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, China. A total of 5149 participants were included in the final analysis. A logistic regression model was applied to estimate the OR and 95 % CI for the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its components according to milk consumption. In addition, the results of our study were further meta-analysed with other published observational studies to quantify the association between the highest v. lowest categories of milk consumption and the metabolic syndrome and its components. There was no significant difference in the odds of having the metabolic syndrome between milk consumers and non-milk consumers (OR 0·86, 95 % CI 0·73, 1·01). However, milk consumers had lower odds of having elevated waist circumference (OR 0·78, 95 % CI 0·67, 0·92), elevated TAG (OR 0·83, 95 % CI 0·70, 0·99) and elevated blood pressure (OR 0·85, 95 % CI 0·73, 0·99). When the results were pooled together with other published studies, higher milk consumption was inversely associated with the risk of the metabolic syndrome (relative risk 0·80, 95 % CI 0·72, 0·88) and its components (except elevated fasting blood glucose); however, these results should be treated with caution as high heterogeneity was observed. In summary, the currently available evidence from observational studies suggests that higher milk consumption may be inversely associated with the metabolic syndrome.
Stem cells are an immortal cell population capable of self-renewal; they are essential for human development and ageing and are a major focus of research in regenerative medicine. Despite considerable progress in differentiation of stem cells in vitro, culture conditions require further optimization to maximize the potential for multicellular differentiation during expansion. The aim of this study was to develop a feeder-free, serum-free culture method for human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), to establish optimal conditions for hESC proliferation, and to determine the biological characteristics of the resulting hESCs. The H9 hESC line was cultured using a homemade serum-free, feeder-free culture system, and growth was observed. The expression of pluripotency proteins (OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, LIN28, SSEA-3, SSEA-4, TRA-1-60, and TRA-1-81) in hESCs was determined by immunofluorescence and western blotting. The mRNA expression levels of genes encoding nestin, brachyury and α-fetoprotein in differentiated H9 cells were determined by RT-PCR. The newly developed culture system resulted in classical hESC colonies that were round or elliptical in shape, with clear and neat boundaries. The expression of pluripotency proteins was increased, and the genes encoding nestin, brachyury, and α-fetoprotein were expressed in H9 cells, suggesting that the cells maintained in vitro differentiation capacity. Our culture system containing a unique set of components, with animal-derived substances, maintained the self-renewal potential and pluripotency of H9 cells for eight passages. Further optimization of this system may expand the clinical application of hESCs.
To explore whether different polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) concentrations affect the results of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a prospective study was conducted for 194 couples undergoing 210 ICSI therapy cycles. These cycles were divided into three groups (10, 7 and 5% groups) using the corresponding concentration of PVP for sperm immobilization. The main outcome measures were analyzed. Results indicated that, with a decrease in PVP concentrations, all of the main outcome measures increased. In particular, the high-quality cleavage embryo rate in the 7% group was significantly lower than in the 5% group (P < 0.01), and the cleavage, high-quality cleavage embryo, and high-quality blastocyst rates in the 5% group were significantly higher than those in the 10% group (all P < 0.001). For high-/intermediate-quality semen, all of the main outcome measures were significantly increased with 5% PVP. For the poor-quality semen, only the high-quality cleavage embryo and high-quality blastocyst rates were significantly higher in the 5% group. Therefore, lowering PVP concentrations greatly promoted the development of embryos in ICSI cycles, with an optimal concentration of 5% for ICSI.
A detailed electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) characterization was utilized to investigate abnormal grain growth behavior of nanocrystalline (NC) Au films constrained by a flexible substrate under cyclic loading. Abnormally grown grains (AGGs) in front of about 15 fatigue cracks were picked out to investigate the grain reorientation behavior during abnormal grain growth in the fatigue crack tip in the cyclically deformed thin films. It shows that the AGGs exhibited 〈001〉 orientation along the loading direction, whereas grains grown far away from fatigue cracks had no significant texture change. The cyclic cumulative shear strain was found to play a key role in grain reorientation. A lattice rotation model was proposed to elucidate the grain reorientation mechanism during abnormal grain growth. Such grain reorientation behavior of NC metals was found to provide an intrinsic resistance of the NC metals to fatigue damage.
This article explores information management in the Qing government, and the challenges confronted by the Qing authorities, through the prism of imperial maps of Xinjiang. To ensure that newly gathered geographical knowledge of Xinjiang was usable for the emperor and senior officials, technocrats and artisans in the Imperial Household Department collaborated with the Jesuits and border officials to produce maps that materialized it. Because of their utility in military campaigns and everyday governance, these maps were carefully maintained by the Imperial Household Department, which discreetly distributed them to a small coterie of Manchu and Mongol statesmen. Nevertheless, information leakage from the lower echelons of the bureaucracy challenged the department's monopoly and popularized knowledge of Xinjiang among the Han literati.
Protein content (PC) and oil content (OC) are important breeding traits of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping for PC and OC is important for molecular breeding in soybean; however, the negative correlation between PC and OC influences the accuracy of QTL mapping. In the current study, a four-way recombinant inbred lines (FW-RILs) population comprising 160 lines derived from the cross (Kenfeng14 × Kenfeng15) × (Heinong48 × Kenfeng19) was planted in eight different environments and PC and OC measured. Conditional and unconditional QTL analyses were carried out by interval mapping (IM) and inclusive complete IM based on linkage maps of 275 simple sequences repeat markers in a FW-RILs population. This analysis revealed 59 unconditional QTLs and 52 conditional QTLs among the FW-RILs. An analysis of additive effects indicated that the effects of 13 protein QTLs were not related to OC, whereas OC affected the expression of 13 and eight QTLs either partially or completely, respectively. Eight QTLs affecting OC were not influenced by PC, whereas six and 26 QTLs were partially and fully affected by PC, respectively. Among the QTLs detected in the current study, two protein QTLs and five oil QTLs had not been previously reported. These findings will facilitate marker-assisted selection and molecular breeding of soybean.
Atom probe tomography (APT) has emerged as an important tool in characterizing three-dimensional semiconductor devices. However, the complex structure and hybrid nature of a semiconductor device can pose serious challenges to the accurate measurement of dopants. In particular, local magnification and trajectory aberration observed when analyzing hybrid materials with different evaporation fields can cause severe distortions in reconstructed geometry and uncertainty in local chemistry measurement. To address these challenges, this study systematically investigates the effect of APT sampling directions on the measurement of n-type dopants P and As in an Si fin field-effect transistor (FinFET). We demonstrate that the APT samples made with their Z-axis perpendicular to the center axis of the fin are effective to minimize the negative effects that result from evaporation field differences between the Si fin and SiO2 on reconstruction and achieve improved measurement of dopant distributions. In addition, new insights have been gained regarding the distribution of ion-implanted P and As in the Si FinFET.
Animal studies have suggested that mushroom intake can alleviate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, the association between mushroom intake and NAFLD is unknown in humans. We aimed to investigate the association of mushroom intake with NAFLD among Chinese adults. This is a cross-sectional study of 24 236 adults (mean (standard deviation) age: 40·7 (sd 11·9) years; 11 394 men (47·0 %)). Mushroom intake was assessed via a validated FFQ. Newly diagnosed NAFLD was identified based on the results of annual health examinations, including ultrasound findings and a self-reported history of the disease. Multiple logistic models were used to examine the association between mushroom intake and NAFLD. The prevalence of newly diagnosed NAFLD was 19·0 %. Compared with those consuming mushrooms less frequently (≤1 time/week), the fully adjusted OR of newly diagnosed NAFLD were 0·95 (95 % CI 0·86, 1·05) for those consuming 2–3 times/week and 0·76 (95 % CI 0·63, 0·92) for those consuming ≥4 times/week (Pfor trend = 0·01). The inverse association was consistent in subgroups defined by age, sex and BMI. In conclusion, higher mushroom intake was significantly associated with lower prevalence of NAFLD among Chinese adults. Future research is required to understand the causal association between mushroom intake and NAFLD.
A magnetic dipole quasi-Yagi antenna based on a dielectric resonator (DR) is proposed in this letter. The dominate TE1δ1 mode of the rectangular DR is used as a magnetic dipole which can be differentially fed by the coplanar strip line (CPS). Thanks to the DR employment, the proposed antenna has several advantages such as compact size and flexible design which means the 3-D dimensions of the DR can be easily adjusted to cater for various applications. Meanwhile, the gain of the proposed DR quasi-Yagi antenna is higher than that of traditional electric dipole counterparts. Furthermore, since the DR driver is horizontally polarized, both the metal strip and DR can be used as a director for enhancing the end-fire gain. To verify the design concept, a prototype operating at the X-band is fabricated and measured. Good agreement between the simulated and measured results can be observed.
Cinnamomum chago is a woody species of the family Lauraceae endemic to Yunnan province, China, previously known from only one location, and categorized as a Plant Species with Extremely Small Population. We surveyed to determine the distribution and population size of C. chago, characterize its habitat, identify any threats, assess its conservation status, and provide guidelines for its management and conservation. During 2014–2017 we found only 64 mature C. chago, in five locations. These small, fragmented populations occur along Lancang River in Dali Prefecture at altitudes of 2,200–2,400 m. The species' extent of occurrence is c. 923 km2, with an area of occupancy of c. 60 km2. The habitat of the species has been degraded by expansion of pastoral activities and deforestation. We recommend categorization of C. chago as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, prevention of the collection of seeds and wood of the species, protection and monitoring, and ex situ propagation for future reintroductions.
To explore whether and how group cognitive-behavioural therapy (GCBT) plus medication differs from medication alone for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
Hundred and seventy patients were randomly assigned to the GCBT plus duloxetine (n=89) or duloxetine group (n=81). The primary outcomes were Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) response and remission rates. The explorative secondary measures included score reductions from baseline in the HAMA total, psychic, and somatic anxiety subscales (HAMA-PA, HAMA-SA), the Hamilton Depression Scale, the Severity Subscale of Clinical Global Impression Scale, Global Assessment of Functioning, and the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 4-week, 8-week, and 3-month follow-up.
At 4 weeks, HAMA response (GCBT group 57.0% vs. control group 24.4%, p=0.000, Cohen’s d=0.90) and remission rates (GCBT group 21.5% vs. control group 6.2%, p=0.004; d=0.51), and most secondary outcomes (all p<0.05, d=0.36−0.77) showed that the combined therapy was superior. At 8 weeks, all the primary and secondary significant differences found at 4 weeks were maintained with smaller effect sizes (p<0.05, d=0.32−0.48). At 3-month follow-up, the combined therapy was only significantly superior in the HAMA total (p<0.045, d=0.43) and HAMA-PA score reductions (p<0.001, d=0.77). Logistic regression showed superiority of the combined therapy for HAMA response rates [odds ratio (OR)=2.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02−4.42, p=0.04] and remission rates (OR=2.80, 95% CI 1.27−6.16, p=0.01).
Compared with duloxetine alone, GCBT plus duloxetine showed significant treatment response for GAD over a shorter period of time, particularly for psychic anxiety symptoms, which may suggest that GCBT was effective in changing cognitive style.
l-Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial β-oxidation and has been used as a lipid-lowering feed additive in humans and farmed animals. d-Carnitine is an optical isomer of l-carnitine and dl-carnitine has been widely used in animal feeds. However, the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine are difficult to study because of the endogenous l-carnitine background. In the present study, we developed a low-carnitine Nile tilapia model by treating fish with a carnitine synthesis inhibitor, and used this model to investigate the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine in nutrient metabolism in fish. l- or d-carnitine (0·4 g/kg diet) was fed to the low-carnitine tilapia for 6 weeks. l-Carnitine feeding increased the acyl-carnitine concentration from 3522 to 10 822 ng/g and alleviated the lipid deposition from 15·89 to 11·97 % in the liver of low-carnitine tilapia. However, as compared with l-carnitine group, d-carnitine feeding reduced the acyl-carnitine concentration from 10 822 to 5482 ng/g, and increased lipid deposition from 11·97 to 20·21 % and the mRNA expression of the genes involved in β-oxidation and detoxification in the liver. d-Carnitine feeding also induced hepatic inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis. A metabolomic investigation further showed that d-carnitine feeding increased glycolysis, protein metabolism and activity of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, l-carnitine can be physiologically utilised in fish, whereas d-carnitine is metabolised as a xenobiotic and induces lipotoxicity. d-Carnitine-fed fish demonstrates increases in peroxisomal β-oxidation, glycolysis and amino acid degradation to maintain energy homeostasis. Therefore, d-carnitine is not recommended for use in farmed animals.