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Shifts in the maternal gut microbiota have been implicated in the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Understanding the interaction between gut microbiota and host glucose metabolism will provide a new target of prediction and treatment. In this nested case-control study, we aimed to investigate the causal effects of gut microbiota from GDM patients on the glucose metabolism of germ-free (GF) mice. Stool and peripheral blood samples, as well as clinical information, were collected from 45 GDM patients and 45 healthy controls (matched by age and prepregnancy body mass index (BMI)) in the first and second trimester. Gut microbiota profiles were explored by next-generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and inflammatory factors in peripheral blood were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Fecal samples from GDM and non-GDM donors were transferred to GF mice. The gut microbiota of women with GDM showed reduced richness, specifically decreased Bacteroides and Akkermansia, as well as increased Faecalibacterium. The relative abundance of Akkermansia was negatively associated with blood glucose levels, and the relative abundance of Faecalibacterium was positively related to inflammatory factor concentrations. The transfer of fecal microbiota from GDM and non-GDM donors to GF mice resulted in different gut microbiota colonization patterns, and hyperglycemia was induced in mice that received GDM donor microbiota. These results suggested that the shifting pattern of gut microbiota in GDM patients contributed to disease pathogenesis.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a public health emergency of international concern. The current study aims to explore whether the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) are associated with the development of death in patients with COVID-19. A total of 131 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 from 13 February 2020 to 14 March 2020 in a hospital in Wuhan designated for treating COVID-19 were enrolled in the current study. These 131 patients had a median age of 64 years old (interquartile range: 56–71 years old). Furthermore, among these patients, 111 (91.8%) patients were discharged and 12 (9.2%) patients died in the hospital. The pooled analysis revealed that the NLR at admission was significantly elevated for non-survivors, when compared to survivors (P < 0.001). The NLR of 3.338 was associated with all-cause mortality, with a sensitivity of 100.0% and a specificity of 84.0% (area under the curve (AUC): 0.963, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.911–1.000; P < 0.001). In view of the small number of deaths (n = 12) in the current study, NLR of 2.306 might have potential value for helping clinicians to identify patients with severe COVID-19, with a sensitivity of 100.0% and a specificity of 56.7% (AUC: 0.729, 95% CI 0.563–0.892; P = 0.063). The NLR was significantly associated with the development of death in patients with COVID-19. Hence, NLR is a useful biomarker to predict the all-cause mortality of COVID-19.
The North Qilian orogenic belt in North China has been defined as a subduction–collision zone between the Alxa Block and the Qilian Block. We present petrography, zircon U–Pb geochronology, major- and trace-element geochemistry, and Sr–Nd–Pb–Hf isotope analysis for the Yushigou diabase from the Longshoushan area, which is located SW of the Alxa Block, aiming to understand its petrogenetic link to subduction processes. The Yushigou diabase belongs to the tholeiite series, and shows enrichment in light rare earth and large-ion lithophile elements, and a depletion in heavy rare earth and high-field-strength elements. Laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry U–Pb zircon dating yielded an emplacement age of 414 ± 9 Ma, with an ϵHf(t) value in the range of −10.3 to 1.8. The whole-rock initial 206Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/204Pb and 208Pb/204Pb ratios of the diabase range over 16.811–17.157, 15.331–15.422 and 37.768–37.895, respectively. The (87Sr/86Sr)i ratios vary between 0.7086 and 0.7106, and ϵNd(t) values vary between −14.4 and −13.4, which are significantly higher than the ϵHf(t) value (Nd–Hf decoupling). An interpretation of the elemental and isotopic data suggests that the Yushigou diabase was derived from partial melting of an enriched mantle I (EM-I) -type lithospheric mantle in the spinel–garnet transitional zone. Based on the geochemical features and previous regional geological data, we propose that the Silurian magmatism was most likely triggered by slab break-off after the closure of the North Qilian Ocean, and ancient continental materials from the subduction slab metasomatized the overlying lithospheric mantle during exhumation.
Nucleotide plays an important role in the regulation of cellular energy and protein homeostasis. The objective of the current study was to investigate the cumulative effects of maternal supplementation with nucleotides in the form of uridine (UR) on fatty acids and amino acids constituents of neonatal piglets. A total of 52 pregnant sows with similar parity were assigned randomly and equally into the control (CON) group (fed a basal diet) or UR group (fed a basal diet with 150g/t UR). The experiment started on d 85 of gestation and ended on the day of delivery. The reproductive performance was recorded, and placenta, blood and liver samples of neonatal piglets were collected before consuming colostrum during farrowing. Results showed that supplementing with UR in sow’ diet significantly decreased the birth mortality of pigs (P = 0.05). In addition, maternal dietary UR supplementation increased serum total cholesterol (CHOL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) of neonatal piglets (P < 0.05). Moreover, the amino acid profile of serum and liver of neonatal piglets was affected by the addition of UR in sows’ diets (P<0.05). Furthermore, an up-regulation of mRNA expression of energy metabolism-related genes, including fatty acid elongase 5 (ELOVL5), fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1), hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) and cholesterol- 7a-hydroxylase (CYP7a1), was observed in the liver of neonates from the UR group. Additionally, a decrease in placental gene expression of excitatory amino acid transporters 2 (EAAT2), excitatory amino acid transporters 3 (EAAT3), neutral AA transporter 1(LAT1) in UR group was concurrently observed (P<0.05), and higher protein expression of phosphorylated protein kinase B (P-AKT), raptor, peroxisome proliferator activated receptor α (PPARα) and PPARγ in placenta from UR group was also observed, (P<0.05). Together, these results showed that maternal UR supplementation could regulate the nutrients transport of placenta, largely in response to an alteration of mTORC1-PPARs signaling, thus regulating the nutrition metabolism of neonatal piglets, and improving reproductive performance.
Schizotypy refers to schizophrenia-like traits below the clinical threshold in the general population. The pathological development of schizophrenia has been postulated to evolve from the initial coexistence of ‘brain disconnection’ and ‘brain connectivity compensation’ to ‘brain connectivity decompensation’.
In this study, we examined the brain connectivity changes associated with schizotypy by combining brain white matter structural connectivity, static and dynamic functional connectivity analysis of diffusion tensor imaging data and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. A total of 87 participants with a high level of schizotypal traits and 122 control participants completed the experiment. Group differences in whole-brain white matter structural connectivity probability, static mean functional connectivity strength, dynamic functional connectivity variability and stability among 264 brain sub-regions of interests were investigated.
We found that individuals with high schizotypy exhibited increased structural connectivity probability within the task control network and within the default mode network; increased variability and decreased stability of functional connectivity within the default mode network and between the auditory network and the subcortical network; and decreased static mean functional connectivity strength mainly associated with the sensorimotor network, the default mode network and the task control network.
These findings highlight the specific changes in brain connectivity associated with schizotypy and indicate that both decompensatory and compensatory changes in structural connectivity within the default mode network and the task control network in the context of whole-brain functional disconnection may be an important neurobiological correlate in individuals with high schizotypy.
The synthesis of antibacterial biomaterial with specific functions responsive to specific bacterial growth environments is of significant importance to achieve effective sterilization and reduce the resistant bacteria. Herein, inspired by biomineralization, we develop a one-pot, threonine (Thr)-mediated biomineralization method using a CO2 bubbling procedure to green, simply and quickly prepare vaterite CaCO3 microspheres as a platform for antibacterial Sanguinarine (SAN) delivery. The loading capacity of vaterite CaCO3 microspheres for SAN drugs reached 159.8 mg/g, corresponding to the loading efficiency of 83.7%. And for the first time, a novel Sanguinarine@calcium carbonate (SAN@CaCO3) organic–inorganic hybrid antibacterial biofilm was constructed by using vaterite CaCO3 microspheres with pH-responsive and high SAN drug-loading. Importantly, the film showed bacteria-triggered, pH-responsive SAN release properties and strong bactericidal ability (96.19%) for Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Meanwhile, it also had antibacterial capabilities in real environments. In 7 days, it can significantly inhibit the adhesion and growth of bacteria in the air. The biomineralized synthetic vaterite CaCO3 microspheres and the application in the construction of pH-responsive antibacterial biofilm have bright future in resisting bacterial infections and reducing the production of resistant bacteria.
From 21 January 2020 to 9 February 2020, three family clusters involving 31 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 were identified in Wenzhou, China. The epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the family cluster patients were analysed and compared with those of 43 contemporaneous sporadic cases. The three index cases transmitted the infection to 28 family members 2–10 days before illness onset. Overall, 28 of the 41 sporadic cases and three of 31 patients in the family clusters came back from Wuhan (65.12 vs. 9.68%, P< 0.001). In terms of epidemiological characters and clinical symptoms, no significant differences were observed between the family cluster and sporadic cases. However, the lymphocyte counts of sporadic cases were significantly lower than those of family cluster cases ((1.32 ± 0.55) × 109/l vs. (1.63 ± 0.70) × 109/l, P = 0.037), and the proportion of hypoalbuminaemia was higher in sporadic cases (18/43, 41.86%) than in the family clusters (6/31, 19.35%) (P < 0.05). Within the family cluster, the second- and third-generation cases had milder clinical manifestations, without severe conditions, compared with the index and first-generation cases, indicating that the virulence gradually decreased following passage through generations within the family clusters. Close surveillance, timely recognition and isolation of the suspected or latent patient is crucial in preventing family cluster infection.
To overcome the steric effect of norbornene (NB), first-generation Grubbs’ catalyst (GC1) was used as the catalyst to graft NB onto the polypropylene (PP) chain by reactive extrusion. Instead of harsh reaction conditions, such as anhydrous, which was the general method to synthesize NB polymers, this convenient method would be easier to industrialize. The mechanism of grafting was studied by using Fourier Transform InfraRed spectra and differential scanning calorimetry. It was found that GC1 could initiate the ring-opening metathesis polymerization of NB to obtain short NB chain-grafted PP-g-NB. The rheological behavior showed that the grafted NB short chains on PP-g-NB increase the shear thinning of the polymers and decrease the system viscosity.
Data on average iodine requirements for the Chinese population are limited following implementation of long-term universal salt iodisation. We explored the minimum iodine requirements of young adults in China using a balance experiment and the ‘iodine overflow’ hypothesis proposed by our team. Sixty healthy young adults were enrolled to consume a sequential experimental diet containing low, medium and high levels of iodine (about 20, 40 and 60 μg/d, respectively). Each dose was consumed for 4 d, and daily iodine intake, excretion and retention were assessed. All participants were in negative iodine balance throughout the study. Iodine intake, excretion and retention differed among the three iodine levels (P < 0·01 for all groups). The zero-iodine balance derived from a random effect model indicated a mean iodine intake of 102 μg/d, but poor correlation coefficients between observed and predicted iodine excretion (r 0·538 for μg/d data) and retention (r 0·304 for μg/d data). As iodine intake increased from medium to high, all of the increased iodine was excreted (‘overflow’) through urine and faeces by males, and 89·5 % was excreted by females. Although the high iodine level (63·4 μg/d) might be adequate in males, the corresponding level of 61·6 μg/d in females did not meet optimal requirements. Our findings indicate that a daily iodine intake of approximately half the current recommended nutrient intake (120 μg/d) may satisfy the minimum iodine requirements of young male adults in China, while a similar level is insufficient for females based on the ‘iodine overflow’ hypothesis.
An artificial intelligence (AI) control system is developed to maximize the mixing rate of a turbulent jet. This system comprises of six independently operated unsteady minijet actuators, two hot-wire sensors placed in the jet and genetic programming for the unsupervised learning of a near-optimal control law. The ansatz of this law includes multi-frequency open-loop forcing, sensor feedback and nonlinear combinations thereof. Mixing performance is quantified by the decay rate of the centreline mean velocity of the jet. Intriguingly, the learning process of AI control discovers the classical forcings, i.e. axisymmetric, helical and flapping achievable from conventional control techniques, one by one in the order of increased performance, and finally converges to a hitherto unexplored forcing. Careful examination of the control landscape unveils typical control laws, generated in the learning process, and their evolutions. The best AI forcing produces a complex turbulent flow structure that is characterized by periodically generated mushroom structures, helical motion and an oscillating jet column, all enhancing the mixing rate and vastly outperforming others. Being never reported before, this flow structure is examined in various aspects, including the velocity spectra, mean and fluctuating velocity fields and their downstream evolution, and flow visualization images in three orthogonal planes, all compared with other classical flow structures. Along with the knowledge of the minijet-produced flow and its effect on the initial condition of the main jet, these aspects cast valuable insight into the physics behind the highly effective mixing of this newly found flow structure. The results point to the great potential of AI in conquering the vast opportunity space of control laws for many actuators and sensors and in optimizing turbulence.
Laboratory-based characterization and traceback of Clostridium butyricum isolates linked to outbreak cases of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in a hospital in China.
In total, 37 samples were collected during the NEC outbreak. Classical bacteriological methods were applied to isolate and identify Clostridium spp. Meanwhile, 24 samples collected after an outbreak were similarly tested. All Clostridium isolates were identified to species level as either C. butyricum or C. sporogenes. These isolates were subsequently subtyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Genomic DNA was purified from 2 representative C. butyricum isolates and sequenced to completion.
Of 37 samples collected during the NEC outbreak, 17 (45.95%) were positive for Clostridium spp. One species, C. butyricum, was cultured from 10 samples. Another species cultured from 2 other samples was identified as C. sporogenes. Both of these species were cocultured from 5 samples. Pulsotyping showed that the 15 C. butyricum and the 7 C. sporogenes isolates produced indistinguishable DNA profiles. No NEC cases were reported after disinfection following the outbreak, and all samples collected after the outbreak were negative for Clostridium spp. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) indicated that sialidase, hemolysin, and enterotoxin virulence factors were located on the chromosomes of 2 C. butyricum isolates.
The outbreak of NEC was epidemiologically linked to C. butyricum contamination within the hospital. This is the first report of an NEC outbreak associated with C. butyricum infection in China.
In many cases, the efficiency and safety of a drilling project depend on the reliability of the electrical and electronic control system, as the process progresses without visual access of the operator. The electrical and electronic system provides and regulates the power supply for the drill, collects and monitors the drill data during the whole operating process, and sends and receives the control instructions and feedback signals. The entire system is composed of the surface, borehole and software subsystems. The surface subsystem serves for operating the drilling process, transmitting the drilling and environmental data, and supplying power for the drill motor and downhole control system. The borehole subsystem is generally intended for borehole data acquisition, drill motor control, power regulation and communication. The software subsystem is designed for human–computer interaction, data processing and storage, and programming of signal acquisition and transmission of data. The control system of Antarctic subglacial drilling rig was tested during the 2018–2019 summer season near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, in the course of drilling to the bedrock at a depth of 198 m. It exhibited a steady and efficient performance without significant system failures.
To determine which set of BMI cut-offs is the most appropriate to define child and adolescent obesity in urban China.
A cross-sectional study was carried out between 1 November and 31 December in 2017.
Community Healthcare Center in Minhang District, Shanghai, China.
A total of 12 426 children and adolescents aged 7–17 years were selected by cluster random sampling. Bioelectrical impedance analysis was the gold standard to measure body composition.
Comparisons of three sets of BMI cut-offs by sensitivity and κ value revealed that the Working Group on Obesity in China (WGOC) (sensitivity 39·9–84·0 %; κ 0·51–0·79) and WHO (sensitivity 25·5–74·5 %; κ 0·35–0·78) cut-offs were not superior to the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) (sensitivity 47·9–92·4 %; κ 0·58–0·85) cut-offs across all subgroups. The WGOC and WHO cut-offs yielded higher misclassification rates, in the worst case, categorising 11·2 % of girls with high adiposity as normal and 44·4 % of them as overweight, while the IOTF cut-offs categorised 2·3 % as normal and 30·7 % as overweight. Individuals who were classified by the IOTF cut-offs as overweight had the lowest ratios of high adiposity (4·2–41·6 %) than by the BMI cut-offs for each subgroup. Among pubertal girls, none of the BMI-based cut-offs indicated excellent agreement with body fat percentage, and κ value of the WHO cut-offs (0·35 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·41)) was lower than the other two sets of BMI cut-offs (all P < 0·001).
The IOTF cut-offs for Asian should be recommended for child obesity screening in urban China. Pubertal individuals need a more accurate indicator of obesity screening.
Yushu Prefecture in Qinghai Province provides some of the largest known stretches of habitat for the Vulnerable snow leopard Panthera uncia in China. People living in these areas are dependent on agropastoralism. Support from local communities is necessary for effective long-term conservation action for snow leopards, but loss of livestock to snow leopards can create financial burdens that induce negative attitudes and encourage retaliatory killing. We assessed factors driving herders' attitudes towards snow leopards and their conservation. We found that herders had higher agreement with positive than with negative statements about snow leopards despite nearly half reporting livestock loss to snow leopards within the last 5 years. No retaliatory killing was reported. Herders with more years of formal education and fewer livestock losses were more likely to have positive attitudes whereas those with lower importance of snow leopards to their religion, fewer livestock losses, and fewer years of education were more likely to have negative attitudes. Understanding the multifaceted mechanisms responsible for positive views towards species is imperative for reaching conservation goals. Our findings ascribe to the importance of increased education and adherence to Tibetan beliefs in promoting conservation tolerance towards snow leopards in Qinghai Province, but also indicate a need for further research into the impact of livestock loss.