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Findings for the roles of dairy products, Ca and vitamin D on ovarian cancer risk remain controversial. We aimed to assess these associations by using an updated meta-analysis. Five electronic databases (e.g. PubMed and Embase) were searched from inception to 24 December 2019. Pooled relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI were calculated. A total of twenty-nine case–control or cohort studies were included. For comparisons of the highest v. lowest intakes, higher whole milk intake was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk (RR 1·35; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·59), whereas decreased risks were observed for higher intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·73, 0·96), dietary Ca (RR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·60, 0·84) and dietary vitamin D (RR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·67, 0·95). Additionally, for every 100 g/d increment, increased ovarian cancer risks were found for total dairy products (RR 1·03; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) and for whole milk (RR 1·07; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·11); however, decreased risks were found for 100 g/d increased intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·95; 95 % CI 0·91, 0·99), cheese (RR 0·87; 95 % CI 0·76, 0·98), dietary Ca (RR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·98), total Ca (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99), dietary vitamin D (RR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·97) and increased levels of circulating vitamin D (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·72, 0·97). These results show that whole milk intake might contribute to a higher ovarian cancer risk, whereas low-fat milk, dietary Ca and dietary vitamin D might reduce the risk.
Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere. As the threat of terrorism develops, the China-Eurasia Expo held in Ürümqi, China is attracting fewer potential visitors. A nationwide survey of 2034 residents from 31 provinces and municipalities in China was conducted to examine the relation between the distance to respondents’ city of residence from Ürümqi and their levels of concern for safety and security concerning the Expo. The two were found to be positively related: the closer the respondents lived to Ürümqi, the less concerned they were with the safety and security of the Expo. This is consistent with the “psychological typhoon eye” effect, which states that people living closer to the center of an unfortunate event (whether natural or man-made hazards) are less concerned with the event’s negative consequences. This effect appears to hold for terrorism. There are implications of this finding for international counter-terrorism practice, tourism, and research.
In recent years, soft robotics is widely considered as the most promising field for both research and application. First of all, the actuator is fundamental for designing, modeling, and controlling of soft robots. This paper presents a new type of pneumatic trunk-like soft actuator, which contains a chamber for stiffness adjustment in addition to three chambers for driving. Thus, the salient feature of the proposed actuator is the ability of stiffness self-regulation. The structure of the proposed actuator is described in detail. Then the theoretical models for elongation and bending motion of the actuator are established. The elongation as well as single-chamber and multi-chamber driving bending of the actuator were tested to verify the mathematical models. Finally, a dual-segment soft robot based on the proposed trunk-like soft actuator was developed and tested by experiments, which implies its potential application in practice.
Maternal one-carbon metabolism during pregnancy is crucial for fetal development and programming by DNA methylation. However, evidence on one-carbon biomarkers other than folate is lacking. We, therefore, investigated whether maternal plasma methyl donors, that is, choline, betaine and methionine, are associated with birth outcomes. Blood samples were obtained from 115 women during gestation (median 26·3 weeks, 90 % range 22·7–33·0 weeks). Plasma choline, betaine, methionine and dimethylglycine were measured using HPLC-tandem MS. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between plasma biomarkers and birth weight, birth length, the risk of small-for-gestational-age and large-for-gestational-age (LGA). Higher level of maternal betaine was associated with lower birth weight (–130·3 (95 % CI –244·8, –15·9) per 1 sd increment for log-transformed betaine). Higher maternal methionine was associated with lower risk of LGA, and adjusted OR, with 95 % CI for 1 sd increase in methionine concentration was 0·44 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·89). Stratified analyses according to infant sex or maternal plasma homocysteine status showed that reduction in birth weight in relation to maternal betaine was only limited to male infants or to who had higher maternal homocysteine status (≥5·1 µmol/l). Higher maternal betaine status was associated with reduced birth weight. Maternal methionine was inversely associated with LGA risk. These findings are needed to be replicated in future larger studies.
Population-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programs that use a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) are often faced with a noncompliance issue and its subsequent waiting time (WT) for those FIT positives complying with confirmatory diagnosis. We aimed to identify factors associated with both of the correlated problems in the same model.
A total of 294,469 subjects, either with positive FIT test results or having a family history, collected from 2004 to 2013 were enrolled for analysis. We applied a hurdle Poisson regression model to accommodate the hurdle of compliance and also its related WT for undergoing colonoscopy while assessing factors responsible for the mixture of the two outcomes.
The effect on compliance and WT varied with contextual factors, such as geographic areas, type of screening units, and level of urbanization. The hurdle score, representing the risk score in association with noncompliance, and the WT score, reflecting the rate of taking colonoscopy, were used to classify subjects into each of three groups representing the degree of compliance and the level of health awareness.
Our model was not only successfully applied to evaluating factors associated with the compliance and the WT distribution, but also developed into a useful assessment model for stratifying the risk and predicting whether and when screenees comply with the procedure of receiving confirmatory diagnosis given contextual factors and individual characteristics.
Longan County is considered a highly endemic area for hepatitis B virus (HBV). The plasma-derived vaccine has been used in newborns in this area since 1987. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of this vaccine. In total, 1634 participants born during 1987–1993 and who had received a series of plasma-derived HB vaccinations at ages 0, 1, and 6 months were enrolled. Serological HBV markers were detected and compared with previous survey data. Overall the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in all participants was 3·79%; 3·47% of subjects who had received the first dose within 24 h were HBsAg positive, and 8·41% of subjects who had received a delayed first dose were also HBsAg positive. There were 1527 subjects identified who had received the first dose within 24 h and whose HBsAg and anti-HBc prevalence increased yearly after immunization, while the anti-HBs-positive rate and vaccine effectiveness declined. The geometric mean concentration of antibody in the anti-HB-positive participants was 55·13 mIU/ml and this declined after immunization. Fewer than 2·0% of participants had anti-HB levels ⩾1000 mIU/ml. The data show that the protective efficacy of the plasma-derived vaccinations declined and administration of HB vaccine within 24 h of birth was very important. To reduce the risk of HBV infection in this highly endemic area, a booster dose might be necessary if anti-HBs levels fall below 10 mIU/ml after age 18 years. Furthermore, studies on the immune memory induced by plasma-derived HB vaccine are needed.
HBsAg reappearance may constitute not only a risk for liver disease but also an infectious source. We aimed to determine whether HBsAg may reappear after spontaneous HBsAg seroclearance. A cohort of 2999 HBsAg-positive subjects aged 30–55 years was recruited in Guangxi, China in 2004. HBsAg was tested every 6 months from July 2004 to June 2007, then, one more time in December 2013. The results showed that spontaneous HBsAg seroclearance occurred in 41 subjects in the first 3 years, giving a 0·54% annual seroclearance rate. Thirteen of the 41 subjects were randomly tested for HBsAg in 2013. Four subjects became HBsAg positive. S gene sequences of HBV were analysed from serum collected before seroclearance and after reappearance, respectively, for subject QS840 (11 and 12 clones), subject TN98 (13 and 13 clones) and subject WX227 (10 and 8 clones). Serotype, subgenotype and amino-acid substitution pattern in each sample collected after reappearance was observed in the sample collected before HBsAg seroclearance. Nucleotide similarity between the two sequences from each subject was >99% and five sequences from subject TN98 were the same. In conclusion, following reactivation, HBsAg may reappear in individuals with spontaneous HBsAg seroclearance many years previously.
In this article, we report on the preparation of few-layered MoS2/graphene nanocomposite (MoS2/GNS-G) with enlarged interlayer distance as the lithium-ion battery anode via a facile hydrothermal method followed by glucose-assisted thermal annealing. During the synthesis, glucose serving as a small organic molecule can interlay into MoS2 nanosheets, which effectively hinder the aggregation and restacking of MoS2 during the process of heat treatment, retaining a sandwich structure of the composite. The enlarged interlayer distance (approximately 0.98 nm), along with the inserted amorphous carbon, could promote efficient lithium migration into active sites, buffer the volume change and stabilize the electrode structure effectively during the lithium insertion/extraction cycling. Electrochemical tests demonstrate that the MoS2/GNS-G delivers a high discharge capacity of 1583.0 mA h/g in the initial cycle at current density of 100 mA/g. The specific capacity remained at the relative high value of 673.5 mA h/g even at a current density of 1000 mA/g.
Orthocoelium streptocoelium is a common paramphistome species parasitizing the rumen and/or reticulum of small ruminants, leading to significant losses. This study first determined the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of O. streptocoelium. The complete mt genome of O. streptocoelium was amplified, sequenced, assembled, analysed and then compared with those of other digeneans. The entire mt genome of O. streptocoelium is 13,800 bp in length, which is smaller than those of other digeneans except for Opisthorchis viverrini. This mt genome contains 12 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, two ribosomal RNA genes and two non-coding regions. The arrangement of the O. streptocoelium mt genome is the same as those of other digeneans except for Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma spindale. Phylogenetic analyses based on concatenated amino acid sequences of the 12 protein-coding genes representing 16 digeneans were conducted to assess the relationship of O. streptocoelium with other digeneans. The result indicated that O. streptocoelium is closely related to Paramphistomum cervi and Fischoederius elongates, which is in accordance with their relationships by taxonomy. This complete mt genome of O. streptocoelium enriched the mitochondrial genome data of paramphistomes and provided important molecular markers for diagnostics and studies of population variation, epidemiology, ecology and evolution of O. streptocoelium and other digeneans.
Poly(lactic acid) (PLA)/graphene oxide (GO) nanocomposites were prepared by solution mixing. Differential scanning calorimetry results indicated that GO was an effective nucleating agent. The size of spherulites decreased, the density of spherulites increased with increasing GO and the crystallinity of PLA increased from 4.34 to 49.01%. For isothermal crystallization, the crystallization rates of PLA/GO nanocomposites were significantly higher than that of neat PLA, in which t0.5 reduced from 9.0 to 2.8. Spindle-like nanopores (about 100–200 nm) that arranged like spherulites were prepared by low temperature foaming. It was found that the crystallization rate increase and spherulite morphology change were insignificant when the content of GO exceeded 0.5 wt%, because the excessive GO increased the number of nucleation sites while restricting the PLA crystal growth. Thus, the arrangement of nanopores did not mimick the spherulites because of imperfect crystal morphology.
Mutations in the major hydrophilic region (MHR) of the surface antigen of hepatitis B virus (HBV) may result in vaccine escape, failure of immunotherapy and antiviral resistance. These mutants may be transmitted and constitute a public health threat. We aimed to determine the prevalence of MHR mutations of HBV in areas of high endemicity in Guangxi, China. HBV surface gene was analysed from 278 HBsAg-positive asymptomatic individuals recruited from Guangxi using cluster sampling. Three genotypes, B, C and I, were identified. The overall prevalence of MHR mutations is 17·6%. The prevalence of MHR mutations in genotype B (15·1%) is not significantly different from that in genotype C (16·4%). However, the prevalence in subgenotype C5 (31·1%) is significantly higher than in subgenotype C2 (13·0%) (χ2 = 6·997, P < 0·05). The prevalence of escape mutations and overlapping polymerase substitutions in subgenotype C5 is significantly higher than in subgenotypes B2 and C2. In total, 7·9% of MHR mutants are escape mutations and 72·1% of MHR mutations produced amino-acid changes in the overlapping polymerase, including resistance mutations to entecavir. Our results suggest that the prevalence of MHR mutations varies with subgenotype. The prevalence of escape mutations and polymerase mutations may be associated with subgenotype.
Few studies have explored the relationship between dietary patterns and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Evidence from non-Western areas is particularly lacking. In the present study, we aimed to examine the associations between dietary patterns and the risk of GDM in a Chinese population. A total of 3063 pregnant Chinese women from an ongoing prospective cohort study were included. Data on dietary intake were collected using a FFQ at 24–27 weeks of gestation. GDM was diagnosed using a 75 g, 2 h oral glucose tolerance test. Dietary patterns were determined by principal components factor analysis. A log-binomial regression model was used to examine the associations between dietary pattern and the risk of GDM. The analysis identified four dietary patterns: vegetable pattern; protein-rich pattern; prudent pattern; sweets and seafood pattern. Multivariate analysis showed that the highest tertile of the vegetable pattern was associated with a decreased risk of GDM (relative risk (RR) 0·79, 95 % CI 0·64, 0·97), compared with the lowest tertile, whereas the highest tertile of the sweets and seafood pattern was associated with an increased risk of GDM (RR 1·23, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·49). No significant association was found for either the protein-rich or the prudent pattern. The protective effect of a high vegetable pattern score was more evident among women who had a family history of diabetes (P for interaction = 0·022). These findings suggest that the vegetable pattern was associated with a decreased risk of GDM, while the sweets and seafood pattern was associated with an increased risk of GDM. These findings may be useful in dietary counselling during pregnancy.
Copula function has been widely used in insurance and finance for modeling inter-dependency between risks. Inspired by the Bernstein copula put forward by Sancetta and Satchell (2004, Econometric Theory, 20, 535–562), we introduce a new class of multivariate copulas, the composite Bernstein copula, generated from a composition of two copulas. This new class of copula functions is able to capture tail dependence, and it has a reproduction property for the three important dependency structures: comonotonicity, countermonotonicity and independence. We introduce an estimation procedure based on the empirical composite Bernstein copula which incorporates both prior information and data into the estimation. Simulation studies and an empirical study on financial data illustrate the advantages of the empirical composite Bernstein copula estimation method, especially in capturing tail dependence.
White sponge nevus (WSN) in the oral mucosa is a rare autosomal dominant genetic disease. The involved mucosa is white or greyish, thickened, folded and spongy. The genes associated with WSN include mutant cytokeratin keratin 4 (KRT4) and keratin 13 (KRT13). In recent years, new cases of WSN and associated mutations have been reported. Here, we summarise the recent progress in our understanding of WSN, including clinical reports, genetics, animal models, treatment, pathogenic mechanisms and future directions. Gene-based diagnosis and gene therapy for WSN may become available in the near future and could provide a reference and instruction for treating other KRT-associated diseases.
It has not been established which specific measures of obesity might be most appropriate for predicting CVD risk in Asians. The objectives of the present study were to determine the associations of BMI, waist circumference (WC) and waist:height ratio (WHtR) with CVD risk factors and to evaluate the optimal cut-off values to define overweight or obesity in Chinese adults. Data collected from seven nationwide health examination centres during 2008 and 2009 were analysed. The BMI, WC and WHtR of 244 266 Chinese adults aged ≥ 20 years included in the study were measured. Logistic regression models were fit to evaluate the OR of each CVD risk factor according to various anthropometric indices. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were conducted to assess the optimal cut-off values to predict the risk of diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and the metabolic syndrome. WHtR had the largest areas under the ROC curve for all CVD risk factors in both sexes, followed by WC and BMI. The optimal cut-off values were approximately 24·0 and 23·0 kg/m2 for BMI, 85·0 and 75·0 cm for WC, and 0·50 and 0·48 for WHtR for men and women, respectively. According to well-established cut-off values, BMI was found to be a more sensitive indicator of hypertension in both men and women, while WC and WHtR were found to be better indicators of diabetes and dyslipidaemia. A combination of BMI and central obesity measures was found to be associated with greater OR of CVD risk factors than either of them alone in both sexes. The present study demonstrated that WHtR and WC may be better indicators of CVD risk factors for Chinese people than BMI.
Understanding precipitation variation, drought and flood history, and their associated forcing mechanisms are important to human society. In this study, five moisture-sensitive tree-ring width chronologies are used to represent variations in precipitation over the past millennium on the Northeastern Tibetan Plateau (NETP). We find a strong coherency between chronologies in the NETP, indicating a common response to regional climate during the last millennium. The first principal component of the five chronologies (PC1) correlates significantly with regional precipitation and can thus be used as an indicator of regional precipitation variations. Dry spells, even more severe than the 1920s drought, occurred during AD 1139–1152, 1294–1309, 1446–1503 and 1708–1726. Previous studies in this area using other proxies also identified these droughts. Multi-Taper spectral analysis demonstrates significant periodicities at 205 yr and 73 yr, plus a range of ~ 2 yr cycles, suggesting possible linkage with solar variation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). PC1 also shows coherent patterns with solar irradiance variation: the precipitation tends to reach low values during the well-known solar minimum.
Recently, the translocator protein (18 kDa) (TSPO), previously called peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR) and both the starting point and an important rate-limiting step in neurosteroidogenesis, has received increased attention in the pathophysiology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because it affects the production of neurosteroids, reinforcing the hypothesis that selective TSPO ligands could potentially be used as anti-PTSD drugs. As expected, we showed that chronic treatment with YL-IPA08 [N-ethyl-N-(2-pyridinylmethyl)-2-(3,4-ichlorophenyl)-7-methylimidazo [1,2-a] pyridine-3-acetamide hydrochloride], a potent and selective TSPO ligand synthesized by our institute, caused significant suppression of enhanced anxiety and contextual fear induced in the inescapable electric foot-shock-induced mouse model of PTSD and the time-dependent sensitization (TDS) procedure. These effects were completely blocked by the TSPO antagonist PK11195. Furthermore, YL-IPA08 could increase the level of allopregnanolone in the prefrontal cortex and serum of post-TDS rats, and these effects were antagonized by PK11195. In summary, the findings from the current study showed that YL-IPA08, a potent and selective TSPO ligand, had a clear anti-PTSD-like effect, which might be partially mediated by binding to TSPO and the subsequent synthesis of allopregnanolone.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.