To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) differs between countries and regions. This study aimed to clarify the clinical characteristics of imported and second-generation cases in Shaanxi. This study included 134 COVID-19 cases in Shaanxi outside Wuhan. Clinical data were compared between severe and non-severe cases. We further profiled the dynamic laboratory findings of some patients. In total, 34.3% of the 134 patients were severe cases, 11.2% had complications. As of 7 March 2020, 91.8% patients were discharged and one patient (0.7%) died. Age, lymphocyte count, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, direct bilirubin, lactate dehydrogenase and hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase showed difference between severe and no-severe cases (all P < 0.05). Baseline lymphocyte count was higher in survived patients than in non-survivor case, and it increased as the condition improved, but declined sharply when death occurred. The interleukin-6 (IL-6) level displayed a downtrend in survivors, but rose very high in the death case. Pulmonary fibrosis was found on later chest computed tomography images in 51.5% of the pneumonia cases. Imported and second-generation cases outside Wuhan had a better prognosis than initial cases in Wuhan. Lymphocyte count and IL-6 level could be used for evaluating prognosis. Pulmonary fibrosis as the sequelae of COVID-19 should be taken into account.
Early life stress has been associated with emotional dysregulations and altered architecture of limbic-prefrontal brain systems engaged in emotional processing. Serotonin regulates both, developmental and experience-dependent neuroplasticity in these circuits. Central serotonergic biosynthesis rates are regulated by Tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) and transgenic animal models suggest that TPH2-gene associated differences in serotonergic signaling mediate the impact of aversive early life experiences on a phenotype characterized by anxious avoidance.
The present study employed an imaging genetics approach that capitalized on individual differences in a TPH2 polymorphism (703G/T; rs4570625) to determine whether differences in serotonergic signaling modulate the effects of early life stress on brain structure and function and punishment sensitivity in humans (n = 252).
Higher maltreatment exposure before the age of 16 was associated with increased gray matter volumes in a circuitry spanning thalamic-limbic-prefrontal regions and decreased intrinsic communication in limbic-prefrontal circuits selectively in TT carriers. In an independent replication sample, associations between higher early life stress and increased frontal volumes in TT carriers were confirmed. On the phenotype level, the genotype moderated the association between higher early life stress exposure and higher punishment sensitivity. In TT carriers, the association between higher early life stress exposure and punishment sensitivity was critically mediated by increased thalamic-limbic-prefrontal volumes.
The present findings suggest that early life stress shapes the neural organization of the limbic-prefrontal circuits in interaction with individual variations in the TPH2 gene to promote a phenotype characterized by facilitated threat avoidance, thus promoting early adaptation to an adverse environment.
Previous nutritional studies have shown that insulin regulation is different between DT and A strains of gibel carp. As leptin plays a pivotal role in the effects of insulin, we hypothesized that leptin regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism would differ between the two strains. To test our hypothesis, recombinant human leptin was injected into two strains. The results showed that leptin activated PI3K-AKT, AMPK-ACC, and JAK2-STAT signaling pathways in both strains. Hypoglycemia induced by leptin might be due to higher glucose uptake by the liver and muscles together with enhanced glycolytic potential and reduced gluconeogenic potential. Decreased lipogenesis and up-regulated fatty acid oxidation were induced by leptin. In terms of genotype, the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway was more strongly activated by leptin in the muscle tissue of the A strain, as reflected by the heightened phosphorylation of AKT. Furthermore, glycogen content, glycolytic enzyme activity, and gluconeogenic capability were higher in the A strain than the DT strain. Strain A had higher levels of fatty acid synthesis and lipolytic capacity in the liver than the DT strain, but the opposite was true in white muscle. Regarding leptin-genotype interactions, the DT strain displayed stronger regulation of glucose metabolism in the liver by leptin as compared to the A strain. Moreover, a more active JAK2-STAT signaling pathway accompanied by enhanced inhibition of fatty acid synthesis by leptin was observed in the DT strain. Overall, the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism by leptin differed between the two strains, as expected.
Fullerene dimers have attracted extensive attention due to their unique structures and fascinating properties. Here, fullerene dimer derivatives with four to six carbon atoms in the esters are designed and synthesized. The property differences that caused by the carbon number in the esters of the fullerene dimers are investigated by performing their electrochemical, optical, and photoelectric measurements. As the carbon atom numbers in the esters increase from four to five and six, the absorption intensities increase to 1.6- and 4.4-folds. The intensities of the fluorescence spectra increase to 1.8- and 5.2-folds. Their photocurrent increases to 2- and 7-folds under the irradiation of a 405-nm laser. The LUMO energy levels move downward slightly from −3.89 to −3.90 and −3.92 eV, respectively. Our results indicate that as the carbon number increases, the carbon chain lengths in the ester structures increase, very slight effects produced on the energy levels of the fullerene dimers, but strongly contribute to their chemical activities and thus the photoelectronic efficiencies.
The search space of the path planning problem can greatly affect the running time and memory consumption, for example, the concave obstacle in grid-based map usually leads to the invalid search space. In this paper, the filling container algorithm is proposed to alleviate the concave area problem in 2D map space, which is inspired from the scenario of pouring water into a cup. With this method, concave areas can be largely excluded by scanning the map repeatedly. And the effectiveness has been proved in our experiments.
In order to understand rice blast resistance gene patterns in rice landraces from Myanmar and Laos, we analysed the Pita, Pib, Pikh, Pi9 and Pi5 genes in 80 landraces through the use of functional molecular markers and functional fragment sequencing. These landraces were separated into four haplotypes (H1–H4) based upon three mutations identified in the Pita sequence. All four haplotypes were detected among landraces from Myanmar, whereas only the H1 and H2 haplotypes were detected among landraces from Laos. We additionally grouped landraces carrying 0–4 resistance genes into 18 genotypes based upon their resistance-susceptibility patterns and found that 16 of these genotypes were detected among Myanmar landraces at relative frequencies ranging from 2.50–12.50%, while 10 were detected among landraces from Laos at relative frequencies of 2.50–42.50%. The ‘Pib( + ) pikh(−) pi9(−) pi5(−) pita(−)’ genotype was found to be dominant, accounting for 12.5 and 42.5% of landraces from Myanmar and Laos, respectively. The Pib, Pikh, Pi5 and Pita genes were detected in 52.50, 32.50, 37.50 and 30.00% of landraces from Myanmar respectively, whereas they were detected in 52.50, 12.50, 30.00 and 17.50% of landraces from Laos, respectively. The Pi9 gene was rarely detected among analysed landraces and was particularly rare in those from Laos. These findings suggest that rice landraces from Myanmar are more genetically diverse than those from Laos, with clear differences in blast resistance gene patterns between landraces from these two countries.
Fat-soluble vitamins during pregnancy are of vital importance for fetal growth and development. The present study aimed at exploring the association between vitamin A, E and D status during pregnancy and birth weight. A total of 19,640 women with singleton deliveries from a retrospective study were included. Data were collected by the hospital electronic information system. Maternal serum vitamin A, E and D concentrations were measured during pregnancy. Logistic regression was performed to estimate the association between the vitamins status and low birth weight (LBW) or macrosomia. Women with excessive vitamin E were more likely to have macrosomia (OR: 1.30, 95% CI: 1.07-1.59) compared with adequate concentration. When focusing on Z scores, there was a positive association between vitamin E and macrosomia in the 1st (OR: 1.07, 95% CI: 1.00-1.14), 2nd (OR: 1.27, 95% CI: 1.11-1.46) and 3rd (OR: 1.28, 95% CI: 1.06-1.54) trimesters; vitamin A was positively associated with LBW in the 1st (OR: 1.14, 95% CI: 1.01-1.29), 2nd (OR: 1.31, 95% CI: 1.05-1.63) and 3rd (OR: 2.00, 95% CI: 1.45-2.74) trimesters, and negatively associated with macrosomia in the 2nd (OR: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.70-0.89) and 3rd (OR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.62-0.95) trimesters. The study identified that high concentrations of vitamin E are associated with macrosomia. Maintaining a moderate concentration of vitamin A during pregnancy might be beneficial to achieve optimal birth weight. Further studies to explore the mechanism of associations above are warranted.
The present study aimed to investigate the association of early-life exposure to famine with abdominal fat accumulation and function and further evaluate the influence of first-degree family history of diabetes and physical activity on this association. The present work analysed parts of the REACTION study. A total of 3033 women were enrolled. Central obesity was defined as waist circumferences (W) ≥ 85 cm. Chinese visceral adiposity index (CVAI) was used to evaluate visceral adipose distribution and function. Partial correlation analysis showed BMI, W, glycated Hb and CVAI were associated with early-life exposure to famine (both P < 0·05). Logistic regression showed that the risks of overall overweight/obesity and central obesity in fetal, early-childhood, mid-childhood and late-childhood exposed subgroups were increased significantly (all P < 0·05). Compared with the non-exposed group, the BMI, W and CVAI of fetal, early- to late-childhood exposed subgroups were significantly increased both in those with or without first-degree family history of diabetes and in those classified as physically active or inactive, respectively (all P < 0·05). The associations of BMI, W and CVAI with early-life exposure to famine were independent of their associations with first-degree family history of diabetes (all P < 0·01) or physical activity status (all P < 0·001). Early-life exposure to famine contributed to abdominal fat accumulation and dysfunction, which was independent of the influence of genetic background and exercise habits. Physical activity could serve as a supplementary intervention for women with high risk of central obesity.
Southern China is affected by multi-stage tectonic activities, with strong fold deformation, complex fault systems and poor shale gas preservation conditions. Here, we used shale samples from the lower Silurian Longmaxi shale in the complex tectonic area of Southern China, to study the relationship between differential structural deformation, and pore structure and adsorption capacity. According to the deformation mechanism of the shale, it is further divided into brittle-slip rheological deformation (BD) and ductile-slip rheological deformation (DD). The results show that all micro-fractures can be observed under scanning electron microscopy in deformed shale samples, but in shale samples with different types of rheological deformation, the micro-fractures have large differences in scale, fracture length and lateral connectivity. The micro-fractures developed in DD shales are small in scale and short in fracture length, but have strong local connectivity. In contrast, brittle minerals are more developed in BD shales, and interlayer shearing has formed micro-fractures with large fracture length and good lateral connectivity, which is beneficial for later fracturing. In these two types of deformed shales, pores in organic matter are rare, and sporadic organic pores have small pore size and poor connectivity. The total pore volume (1.8–2.4 × 10−2 cm3 g–1) of BD shale samples is higher than that of DD shale samples (0.8–1.6 × 10−2 cm3 g–1). There is a positive correlation between total pore volume and quartz content. In addition, the specific surface area (12–18 m2 g–1) of DD shale samples is larger than that of BD shale samples (6–12 m2 g–1).
Renal fibrosis is common especially in the elderly population. Recently, we found that vitamin D deficiency caused prostatic hyperplasia. This study aimed to investigate whether vitamin D deficiency promotes renal fibrosis and functional impairment. All mice except controls were fed with vitamin D-deficient (VDD) diets, beginning from their early life. The absolute and relative kidney weights on postnatal week 20 were decreased in VDD diet-fed male pups but not in female pups. A mild pathological damage was observed in VDD diet-fed male pups but not in females. Further analysis showed that VDD-induced pathological damage was aggravated, accompanied by renal dysfunction in 40-week-old male pups. An obvious collagen deposition was observed in VDD diet-fed 40-week-old male pups. Moreover, renal α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), a marker of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), and Tgf-β mRNA were up-regulated. The in vitro experiment showed that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 alleviated transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)-mediated down-regulation of E-cadherin and inhibited TGF-β1-evoked up-regulation of N-cadherin, vimentin and α-SMA in renal epithelial HK-2 cells. Moreover, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 suppressed TGF-β1-evoked Smad2/3 phosphorylation in HK-2 cells. These results provide experimental evidence that long-term vitamin D deficiency promotes renal fibrosis and functional impairment, at least partially, through aggravating TGF-β/Smad2/3-mediated EMT in middle-aged male mice.
This Research Reflection short review presents an overview of the effects of heat stress on dairy cattle udder health and discusses existing heat stress mitigation strategies for a better understanding and identification of appropriate abatement plans for future stress management. Due to high ambient temperatures with high relative humidity in summer, dairy cows respond by changes of physical, biochemical and biological pathways to neutralize heat stress resulting in decreased production performance and poorer immunity resulting in an increased incidence of intramammary infections (IMI) and a higher somatic cell count (SCC). In vitro studies on bovine polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) suggested that heat stress reduces the phagocytosis capacity and oxidative burst of PMN and alters the expression of apoptotic genes and miRNA which, together with having a negative effect on the immune system, may explain the increased susceptibility to IMI. Although there are limited data regarding the incidence rate of clinical mastitis in many countries or regions, knowledge of SCC at the cow or bulk tank level helps encourage farmers to improve herd health and to develop strategies for infection prevention and cure. Therefore, more research into bulk tank SCC and clinical mastitis rates is needed to explain the effect of heat stress on dairy cow udder health and functions that could be influenced by abatement plans.
Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has presented an unprecedented challenge to the health-care system across the world. The current study aims to identify the determinants of illness severity of COVID-19 based on ordinal responses. A retrospective cohort of COVID-19 patients from four hospitals in three provinces in China was established, and 598 patients were included from 1 January to 8 March 2020, and divided into moderate, severe and critical illness group. Relative variables were retrieved from electronic medical records. The univariate and multivariate ordinal logistic regression models were fitted to identify the independent predictors of illness severity. The cohort included 400 (66.89%) moderate cases, 85 (14.21%) severe and 113 (18.90%) critical cases, of whom 79 died during hospitalisation as of 28 April. Patients in the age group of 70+ years (OR = 3.419, 95% CI: 1.596–7.323), age of 40–69 years (OR = 1.586, 95% CI: 0.824–3.053), hypertension (OR = 3.372, 95% CI: 2.185–5.202), ALT >50 μ/l (OR = 3.304, 95% CI: 2.107–5.180), cTnI >0.04 ng/ml (OR = 7.464, 95% CI: 4.292–12.980), myohaemoglobin>48.8 ng/ml (OR = 2.214, 95% CI: 1.42–3.453) had greater risk of developing worse severity of illness. The interval between illness onset and diagnosis (OR = 1.056, 95% CI: 1.012–1.101) and interval between illness onset and admission (OR = 1.048, 95% CI: 1.009–1.087) were independent significant predictors of illness severity. Patients of critical illness suffered from inferior survival, as compared with patients in the severe group (HR = 14.309, 95% CI: 5.585–36.659) and in the moderate group (HR = 41.021, 95% CI: 17.588–95.678). Our findings highlight that the identified determinants may help to predict the risk of developing more severe illness among COVID-19 patients and contribute to optimising arrangement of health resources.
To investigate the effects of dietary fibre on follicular atresia in pigs fed a high-fat diet, we fed thirty-two prepubescent gilts a basal diet (CON) or a CON diet supplemented with 300 g/d dietary fibre (fibre), 240 g/d soya oil (SO) or both (fibre + SO). At the 19th day of the 4th oestrus cycle, gilts fed the SO diet showed 112 % more atretic follicles and greater expression of the apoptotic markers, Bax and caspase-3, and these effects were reversed by the fibre diet. The abundance of SCFA-producing microbes was decreased by the SO diet, but this effect was reversed by fibre treatment. Concentrations of serotonin and melatonin in the serum and follicular fluid were increased by the fibre diet. Overall, dietary fibre protected against high fat feeding-induced follicular atresia at least partly via gut microbiota-related serotonin–melatonin synthesis. These results provide insight into preventing negative effects on fertility in humans consuming a high-energy diet.
Dysregulation in hepatic lipid synthesis by excess dietary carbohydrate intake is often relevant with the occurrence of fatty liver; therefore, the thorough understanding of the regulation of lipid deposition and metabolism seems crucial to search for potential regulatory targets. In the present study, we examined TAG accumulation, lipid metabolism-related gene expression, the enzyme activities of lipogenesis-related enzymes, the protein levels of transcription factors or genes involving lipogenesis in the livers of yellow catfish fed five dietary carbohydrate sources, such as glucose, maize starch, sucrose, potato starch and dextrin, respectively. Generally speaking, compared with other carbohydrate sources, dietary glucose promoted TAG accumulation, up-regulated lipogenic enzyme activities and gene expressions, and down-regulated mRNA expression of genes involved in lipolysis and small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) modification pathways. Further studies found that sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1), a key transcriptional factor relevant to lipogenic regulation, was modified by SUMO1. Mutational analyses found two important sites for SUMOylation modification (K254R and K264R) in SREBP1. Mutant SREBP lacking lysine 264 up-regulated the transactivation capacity on an SREBP-responsive promoter. Glucose reduced the SUMOylation level of SREBP1 and promoted the protein expression of SREBP1 and its target gene stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), indicating that SUMOylation of SREBP1 mediated glucose-induced hepatic lipid metabolism. Our study elucidated the molecular mechanism of dietary glucose increasing hepatic lipid deposition and found that the SREBP-dependent transactivation was regulated by SUMO1 modification, which served as a new target for the transcriptional programmes governing lipid metabolism.
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.
This paper examines ethnic differences in fuelwood consumption in rural households, using an original survey dataset from two western Chinese provinces with large ethnic minority populations. We use a Heckman two-stage selection model to explain the quantity of fuelwood consumed conditional on a decision to use fuelwood. We find that ethnic minority families are more likely than majority Han Chinese families to use fuelwood. We also find that a household's off-farm income has a stronger negative effect on the quantity of fuelwood consumed for the ethnic minority families than for the Han Chinese families. In addition, families owning a larger area of forestland are more likely to use fuelwood. Yet the quantity of fuelwood consumed, especially in ethnic minority families, does not increase with owned forestland. Finally, we find that coal, rather than electricity, is a substitute for fuelwood for residential cooking and heating.