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Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Novel NiMoO4-integrated electrode materials were successfully prepared by solvothermal method using Na2MoO4·2H2O and NiSO4·6H2O as main raw materials, water, and ethanol as solvents. The morphology, phase, and structure of the as-prepared materials were characterized by SEM, XRD, Raman, and FT-IR. The electrochemical properties of the materials in supercapacitors were investigated by cyclic voltammetry, constant current charge–discharge, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques. The effects of volume ratio of water to ethanol (W/E) in solvent on the properties of the product were studied. The results show that the pure phase monoclinic crystal NiMoO4 product can be obtained when the W/E is 2:1. The diameter and length are 0.1–0.3 µm and approximately 3 µm, respectively. As an active material for supercapacitor, the NiMoO4 nanorods material delivered a discharge specific capacitance of 672, 498, and 396 F/g at a current density of 4, 7, and 10 A/g, respectively. The discharge specific capacitance slightly decreased from 815 to 588 F/g with a retention of 72% after 1000 cycles at a current density of 1 A/g. With these superior capacitance properties, the novel NiMoO4 integrated electrode materials could be considered as promising material for supercapacitors.
There is limited experience about transcatheter closure of doubly committed subarterial ventricular septal defects with Amplatzer ductal occluder.
Between March, 2015 and July, 2017, a total of 22 patients with doubly committed subarterial ventricular septal defects received transcatheter closure using Amplatzer ductal occluder and underwent clinical follow-up for at least 6 months.
Device implantation was finally successful in 21 (95.4%) patients despite failed occlusion in one patient and intra-procedural replacement of unsuitable occluders in four (19.0%) patients. In mean 12.3 months of follow-up, there were no major complications (death, aortic valve or sinus rupture, device dislocation or embolisation, grade 2 new-onset aortic regurgitation, etc.), resulting in clinical occlusion success of 95.4%. Mechanical haemolysis occurred in one patient and resolved with medication. Residual shunt was observed in 11 (52.4%) patients (9 mild, 2 moderate-severe) post-procedurally, 14 (66.7%) patients (12 mild, 2 moderate-severe) in hospital stay, and 2 (9.5%) patients (2 mild, 0 moderate-severe) at the last follow-up. Device-induced new-onset aortic regurgitation was found in nine (42.8%) patients (9 mild, 0 moderate-severe) post-procedurally and in hospital stay, which was resolved in two (9.5%) patients and unchanged in seven (33.3%) patients at the last follow-up. Another four (19.0%) patients newly developed mild aortic regurgitation during follow-up.
Transcatheter closure of doubly committed subarterial ventricular septal defects with Amplatzer ductal occluder is technically feasible in the selected patients. However, further study is needed to confirm its long-term clinical outcomes.
Toxigenic Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) carriers represent an important source in the transmission of C. difficile infection (CDI) during hospitalisation, but its prevalence and mode in patients with hepatic cirrhosis are not well established. We investigated longitudinal changes in carriage rates and strain types of toxigenic C. difficile from admission to discharge among hepatic cirrhosis patients. Toxigenic C. difficile was detected in 104 (19.8%) of 526 hepatic cirrhosis patients on admission, and the carriage status changed in a portion of patients during hospitalisation. Approximately 56% (58/104) of patients lost the colonisation during their hospital stay. Among the remaining 48 patients who remained positive for toxigenic C. difficile, the numbers of patients who were positive at one, two, three and four isolations were 10 (55.6%), three (16.7%), two (11.1%) and three (16.7%), respectively. Twenty-eight patients retained a particular monophyletic strain at multiple isolations. The genotype most frequently identified was the same as that frequently identified in symptomatic CDI patients. A total of 25% (26/104) of patients were diagnosed with CDI during their hospital stay. Conclusions: Colonisation with toxigenic C. difficile strains occurs frequently in cirrhosis patients and is a risk factor for CDI.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were added to carbon nanofibers (CNFs) as additives to improve their electrochemical properties. In the present work, CNFs were prepared by using pressurized gyration with polyacrylonitrile as the precursor. The microstructure and electrochemical properties of samples were investigated by scanning electron microscopy and electrochemical workstation, respectively. The results showed that the network structure formed in the fiber, and the fiber diameter decreased with the increase of working pressure. The integral area of cyclic voltammetry curve reached the maximum and the charge/discharge time of constant current charge/discharge curve reached the longest in the case of the CNT concentration is 0.50 wt% and working pressure is 0.2 MPa. At the same time, it exhibited the best electrochemical performance with a specific capacitance of 79 F/g at a current density of 100 mA/g. Compared with the specific capacitance of pure CNFs, the specific capacitance of CNFs with the concentration of CNTs 0.50 wt% increased by about 40%.
In this paper, the design of a graded honeycomb radar absorbing structure (RAS) is presented to realize both a wide bandwidth and absorption over a wide range of angles. For both transverse-electric and transverse-magnetic polarization, a fractional bandwidth of more than 118.6% is achieved for at least a 10 dB reflectivity reduction when the incident angle is <45°, an 8 dB reduction when the incident angle is <55° and a 5 dB reduction when the incident angle is <70°. Meanwhile the 10 dB reduction upper angle limit is approximately 30° for the uniform coating honeycomb RAS in the literature, which loses its absorbing ability when the incident angle is larger than 55°. Furthermore, the total thickness of our design is 10.7 mm, which is only approximately 1.29 times that of the theoretical limitation. The good agreement between the calculated, simulated, and measured results demonstrates the validity of this optimization.
This study quantified the fatty acid profile with emphasis on the stereo-specifically numbered (sn) 2 positional distribution in TAG and the composition of main phospholipids at different lactation stages. Colostrum milk (n 70), transitional milk (n 96) and mature milk (n 82) were obtained longitudinally from healthy lactating women in Shanghai. During lactation, total fatty acid content increased, with SFA dominating in fatty acid profile. A high ratio of n-6:n-3 PUFA was observed as 11:1 over lactation due to the abundance of linoleic acid in Chinese human milk. As the main SFA, palmitic acid showed absolute sn-2 selectivity, while oleic acid, linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid, the main unsaturated fatty acids, were primarily esterified at the sn-1 and sn-3 positions. Nervonic acid and C22 PUFA including DHA were more enriched in colostrum with an sn-2 positional preference. A total of three dominant phospholipids (phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylcholine (PC) and sphingomyelin (SM)) were analysed in the collected samples, and each showed a decline in amount over lactation. PC was the dominant compound followed by SM and PE. With prolonged breast-feeding time, percentage of PE in total phospholipids remained constant, but PC decreased, and SM increased. Results from this study indicated a lipid profile different from Western reports and may aid the development of future infant formula more suitable for Chinese babies.
The variation of the molecular architecture of multiblock copolymers has enabled the introduction of functional behaviour and the control of key mechanical properties. In the current study, we explore the synergistic relationship of two structural components in a shape-memory material formed of a multiblock copolymer with crystallizable poly(ε-caprolactone) and crystallizable poly[oligo(3S-iso-butylmorpholine-2,5-dione)] segments (PCL-PIBMD). The thermal and structural properties of PCL-PIBMD films were compared with PCL-PU and PIBMD-PU, investigated by means of DSC, SAXS and WAXS measurements. The shape-memory properties were quantified by cyclic, thermomechanical tensile tests, where deformation strains up to 900% were applied for programming PCL-PIBMD films at 50 °C. Toluene vapor treatment experiments demonstrated that the temporary shape was fixed mainly by glassy PIBMD domains at strains lower than 600%, with the PCL contribution to fixation increasing to 42±2% at programming strains of 900%. This study into the shape-memory mechanism of PCL-PIBMD provides insight into the structure-function relation in multiblock copolymers with both crystallizable and glassy switching segments.
Solid-state batteries are promising candidates for energy storage due to their potential advantages in safety, working temperature range, and energy density compared to traditional liquid-electrolyte-based batteries. Rational battery architecture design and a scalable fabrication approach are critical to realize solid-state batteries. In this article, we present the architecture, fabrication procedure, and related challenges of sulfide and oxide electrolyte-based solid-state batteries. Approaches toward intimate solid−solid contact, thin solid-electrolyte fabrication, and scale-up production are discussed. Finally, we discuss the future research directions of solid-state batteries.
Two phases of diabase-sill-forming magmatism are recorded within the Badu anticline where magmas were emplaced into upper Palaeozoic carbonates and clastic rocks of the Youjiang fold-and-thrust belt in the SW South China Block, China. Zircons from these diabase units yield weighted mean U–Pb ages of 249.2±2.0 Ma and 187.1±3.3 Ma, and magmatic oxygen fugacity values from ‒20 to ‒6 (average of ‒12, equating to FMQ +5) and ‒20 to ‒10 (average of ‒15, equating to FMQ +2), respectively. These data indicate that the sills were emplaced during Early Triassic and Early Jurassic times. The discovery of c. 250 Ma mafic magmatism in this area was probably related to post-flood-basalt extension associated with the Emeishan mantle plume or rollback of the subducting Palaeo-Tethys slab. The c. 190 Ma diabase sills indicate that the southwestern South China Block records Early Jurassic mafic magmatism and lithospheric extension that was likely associated with a transition from post-collisional to within-plate tectonic regimes. The emplacement of diabase intrusions at depth may have driven hydrothermal systems, enabling the mobilization of elements from sedimentary rocks and causing the formation of a giant epigenetic metallogenic domain. The results indicate that high-oxygen-fugacity materials within basement rocks caused crustal contamination of the magmas, contributing to the wide range of oxygen fugacity conditions recorded by the Au-bearing Badu diabase. In addition, data from inherited xenocrystic zircons within the Badu diabase and detrital zircons from basement rocks suggest that the Neoproterozoic Jiangshao suture extends to the south of the Badu anticline.
A new genus and species of the Elcanidae (Orthoptera, Elcanoidea), Cascadelcana virginiana n. gen. n. sp., is described based on a forewing specimen from the Upper Triassic (Norian) Cow Branch Formation in the Solite Quarry Lagerstätte near the North Carolina-Virginia boundary, USA. It is distinguished from other elcanid species by its RP+MA1 with six branches, M with two branches before stem MA1 fused with RP, and short CuA almost vertical against the posterior margin. This fossil represents the earliest definitive record of the family Elcanidae and the first orthopteran described from the Triassic of North America. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analyses show that the veins and a pterostigma-like structure on the wing of C. virginiana n. gen. n. sp. are preserved as carbonaceous compressions. The presence of a pterostigma-like structure in elcanids indicates that they may have evolved a particular flight mechanism distinct from those of other orthopterans.
AZ91 magnesium plates with a thickness of 6 mm were subjected to one- and two-pass friction stir processing (FSP). Microstructures and mechanical properties of the experimental materials were investigated. The results show that FSP can significantly refine the microstructures of magnesium alloys, and two-pass FSP can prepare slightly finer grains in comparison with one-pass FSP. Some coarse β-Mg17Al12 phases existed in the first pass FSP break and dissolve into the matrix under the action of the second pass FSP. Microhardness distribution of the two-pass FSP AZ91 alloy exhibits no too much difference with that of the one-pass FSP AZ91 alloy. Due to further finer microstructures, the tensile properties of the two-pass FSP alloy are slightly higher than those of the one-pass FSP alloy. Both FSP AZ91 alloys show typical ductile fracture characteristics, while the dimples on the two-pass FSP specimen are much deeper and increase in quantity.
In this study, we investigated a psychological mechanism underlying the corruption of government officials, based on cultural factors in China. The proposed psychological kidnapping model describes how some bribers set up relations (guanxi, 关系) with bribees to conceal the intention of bribery and gradually lead them into corruption. Through text analysis, classification, and encoding of corruption cases, we defined the term psychological kidnapping, as well as its fundamental characteristics and the corresponding interaction process model (study 1). Using qualitative analysis, we confirmed the three stages of the process of corruption (attraction and acceptance, trust and integration, and collusion or fracture). In a further step, we unveiled three characteristics of psychological kidnapping, known as concealed resource delivery, imbalanced perceptions of corruption risk and cost for government officials, and soft menace from bribers. Then we explored the essential role of renqing (人情) in study 2 as a key enabler of psychological kidnapping. We hope that this work can provide a theoretical base for the prevention of corruption in the public service sector in China.
Five orthopteran specimens from the uppermost Middle–lowermost Upper Jurassic of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China are described and attributed to the genus Sigmaboilus Fang, Zhang & Wang, 2007 (Prophalangopsidae); and a new species, S. calophlebius sp. nov., is established herein. The diagnostic characters for Sigmaboilus are revised and a key to species of Sigmaboilus, based on male forewings, is provided. Intraspecific variation in forewings of this genus is also discussed.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary live yeast (LY) supplementation on growth, intestinal permeability and immunological parameters of piglets challenged with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC). Piglets weaned at 21 d were allocated into three treatments with six pens and six piglets per pen, receiving the control diet (CON), diets supplemented with antibiotics plus zinc oxide (ANT–ZnO) and LY (Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain CNCM I-4407), respectively, for a period of 2 weeks. On day 8, thirty-six piglets were selected as control without ETEC (CON), CON–ETEC, ANT–ZnO–ETEC and LY–ETEC groups challenged with ETEC until day 10 for sample collections. Piglets fed ANT–ZnO diet had the highest average daily gain and average daily feed intake (P<0·05) during the 1st week, but ADG of piglets fed the ANT–ZnO diet was similar as piglets fed LY diet during the second week. Piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC had markedly lower diarrhoea score (P<0·05) than piglets with CON–ETEC during the 24 h after ETEC challenge. Relative to piglets with CON, the counts of E. coli, urinary ratio of lactulose to mannitol, plasma IL-6 concentration, mRNA abundances of innate immunity-related genes in ileum and mesenteric lymph node tissues were increased (P<0·05), whereas the villous height of jejunum and relative protein expression of ileum claudin-1 were decreased (P<0·05) in piglets with CON–ETEC; however, these parameters did not markedly change in piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC. In summary, dietary LY supplementation could alleviate the severity of diarrhoea in piglets with ETEC, which may be associated with the improved permeability, innate immunity and bacterial profile.
The sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus is a deposit-feeder and vital for marine benthic ecosystems. Hypoxia can influence the behaviour and even lead to massive mortality in A. japonicus in the wild. It is important to understand the molecular responses of A. japonicus when exposed to acute changes in dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration. In this study, RNA-seq provided a general overview of the gene expression profiles of the respiratory tree of A. japonicus exposed to DO of 8 mg l−1 (DO8), 4 mg l−1 (DO4) and 2 mg l−1 (DO2) conditions. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) screening with the NOISeq method identified 51, 59 and 61 DEGs according to the criteria of fold change ≥2 and divergence probability ≥0.8 in the comparisons of DO2 vs DO4, DO2 vs DO8 and DO4 vs DO8, respectively. Gene ontology analysis showed that ‘cellular process’ and ‘binding’ had the most enriched DEGs in the categories of ‘biological process’ and ‘molecular function’, respectively (catalytic activity also had the most enriched DEGs in the category of ‘molecular function’ based on the comparison of DO2 vs DO8), while ‘cell’ and ‘cell part’ had the most enriched DEGs in the category of ‘cellular component’. The DEGs were mapped to 79, 81 and 104 pathways in the KEGG database, and 8, 29 and 16 pathways were significantly enriched, respectively. The DO-specific DEGs identified in this study of the respiratory tree are important targets for further research into the biochemical mechanisms involved in the response of the sea cucumber to changes in the DO concentration.
The codeposition characteristics of Si–B–N ceramics from the SiCl4–NH3–BCl3–H2–Ar system at lower temperatures and phase transformation of as-prepared Si–B–N ceramics at temperatures from 1200 to 1800 °C were investigated. Thermodynamic analysis results indicated that the BN + Si3N4 dual phase region existed from 800 to 1200 °C and that 800 °C was an optimum deposition temperature to deposit Si–B–N ceramic coating. Deposition efficiencies at equilibrium for Si3N4 and BN were high, particularly at temperatures below 1000 °C. Pressure and dilution ratio of H2 had little influence on deposition efficiencies of BN and Si3N4 at 800 °C. The amorphous Si–B–N ceramic coatings were successfully deposited at 800 °C from the same precursor system and contained N–B and N–Si bonds by XPS analysis. It kept amorphous below 1600 °C in N2 and partly transformed to α/β-Si3N4 when heat treated at 1600 °C in N2 for 2 h. These results demonstrated that the composite Si–B–N ceramics could be fabricated at 800 °C and used below 1600 °C.
Blue-ice areas (BIAs) and their geographical distribution in Antarctica were mapped using Landsat-7 ETM+ images with 15 m spatial resolution obtained during the 1999–2003 austral summers and covering the area north of 82.5° S, and a snow grain-size image of the MODIS-based Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA) dataset with 125 m grid spacing acquired during the 2003/04 austral summer from 82.5°S to the South Pole. A map of BIAs was created with algorithms of thresholds based on band ratio and reflectance for ETM+ data and thresholds based on snow grain size for the MOA dataset. The underlying principle is that blue ice can be separated from snow or rock by their spectral discrepancies and by different grain sizes of snow and ice. We estimate the total area of BIAs in Antarctica during the data acquisition period is 234 549 km2, or 1.67% of the area of the continent. Blue ice is scattered widely over the continent but is generally located in coastal or mountainous regions. The BIA dataset presented in this study is the first map covering the entire Antarctic continent sourced solely from ETM+ and MODIS data. This dataset can potentially benefit other studies in glaciology, meteorology, climatology and paleoclimate, meteorite collection and airstrip site selection.
Pricing variance swaps have become a popular subject recently, and most research of this type come under Heston’s two-factor model. This paper is an extension of some recent research which used the dimension-reduction technique based on the Heston model. A new closed-form pricing formula focusing on a log-return variance swap is presented here, under the assumption that the underlying asset prices can be described by a mean-reverting Gaussian volatility model (Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process). Numerical tests in two respects using the Monte Carlo (MC) simulation are included. Moreover, we discuss a procedure of solving a quadratic differential equation with one variable. Our method can avoid the previously encountered limitations, but requires more time for calculation than other recent analytical discrete models.