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More than 80% of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases are mild or moderate. In this study, a risk model was developed for predicting rehabilitation duration (the time from hospital admission to discharge) of the mild-moderate COVID-19 cases and was used to conduct refined risk management for different risk populations.
A total of 90 consecutive patients with mild-moderate COVID-19 were enrolled. Large-scale datasets were extracted from clinical practices. Through the multivariable linear regression analysis, the model was based on significant risk factors and was developed for predicting the rehabilitation duration of mild-moderate cases of COVID-19. To assess the local epidemic situation, risk management was conducted by weighing the risk of populations at different risk.
Ten risk factors from 44 high-dimensional clinical datasets were significantly correlated to rehabilitation duration (P < 0.05). Among these factors, 5 risk predictors were incorporated into a risk model. Individual rehabilitation durations were effectively calculated. Weighing the local epidemic situation, threshold probability was classified for low risk, intermediate risk, and high risk. Using this classification, risk management was based on a treatment flowchart tailored for clinical decision-making.
The proposed novel model is a useful tool for individualized risk management of mild-moderate COVID-19 cases, and it may readily facilitate dynamic clinical decision-making for different risk populations.
Connexin 43 (CX43) is a component of gap junctions. The lack of functional CX43 induces oxidative stress, autophagy, and apoptosis in somatic cells. However, the role of CX43 in the early development of porcine embryos is still unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of CX43, and its underlying molecular mechanisms, on the developmental competence of early porcine embryos. We performed CX43 knockdown by microinjecting dsRNA into parthenogenetically activated porcine parthenotes. The blastocyst development rate and the total number of cells in the blastocysts were significantly reduced by CX43 knockdown. Results from FITC-dextran assays showed that CX43 knockdown significantly increased membrane permeability. ZO-1 protein was obliterated in CX43 knockdown blastocysts. Mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP production were significantly reduced following CX43 knockdown. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were significantly increased in the CX43 knockdown group compared to those in control embryos. Moreover, CX43 knockdown induced autophagy and apoptosis. Our findings indicate that CX43 is essential for the development and preimplantation of porcine embryos and maintains mitochondrial function, cell junction structure, and cell homeostasis by regulating membrane permeability, ROS generation, autophagy, and apoptosis in early embryos.
A scalable battery recycling strategy to recover and regenerate solid electrolytes and cathode materials in spent all solid-state batteries, reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gases.
With the rapidly increasing ubiquity of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), sustainable battery recycling is a matter of growing urgency. The major challenge faced in LIB sustainability lies with the fact that the current LIBs are not designed for recycling, making it difficult to engineer recycling approaches that avoid breaking batteries down into their raw materials. Thus, it is prudent to explore new approaches to both fabricate and recycle next-generation batteries before they enter the market. Here, we developed a sustainable design and scalable recycling strategy for next-generation all solid-state batteries (ASSBs). We use the EverBatt model to analyze the relative energy consumption and environmental impact compared to conventional recycling methods. We demonstrate efficient separation and recovery of spent solid electrolytes and electrodes from a lithium metal ASSB and directly regenerate them into usable formats without damaging their core chemical structure. The recycled materials are then reconstituted to fabricate new batteries, achieving similar performance as pristine ASSBs, completing the cycle. This work demonstrates the first fully recycled ASSB and provides critical design consideration for future sustainable batteries.
Evaluation of Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se in humans is challenged by the potentially high within-individual variability of these elements in biological specimens, which are poorly characterised. This study aimed to evaluate their within-day, between-day and between-month variability in spot samples, first-morning voids and 24-h collections. A total of 529 spot urine samples (including eighty-eight first-morning voids and 24-h collections) were collected from eleven Chinese adult men on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 30, 60 and 90 and analysed for these five elements using inductively coupled plasma-MS. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were utilised to characterise the reproducibility, and their sensitivity and specificity were analysed to assess how well a single measurement classified individuals’ 3-month average exposures. Serial measurements of Zn in spot samples exhibited fair to good reproducibility (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·47) over five consecutive days, which became poor when the samples were gathered months apart (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·33). The reproducibility of Cr, Mn, Fe and Se in spot samples was poor over periods ranging from days to months (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·01–0·12). Two spot samples were sufficient for classifying 60 % of the men who truly had the highest (top 33 %) 3-month average Zn concentrations; for Cr, Mn, Fe and Se, however, at least three specimens were required to achieve similar sensitivities. In conclusion, urinary Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se concentrations showed a strong within-individual variability, and a single measurement is not enough to efficiently characterise individuals’ long-term exposures.
Previous studies have analyzed brain functional connectivity to reveal the neural physiopathology of bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) based on the triple-network model [involving the salience network, default mode network (DMN), and central executive network (CEN)]. However, most studies assumed that the brain intrinsic fluctuations throughout the entire scan are static. Thus, we aimed to reveal the dynamic functional network connectivity (dFNC) in the triple networks of BD and MDD.
We collected resting state fMRI data from 51 unmedicated depressed BD II patients, 51 unmedicated depressed MDD patients, and 52 healthy controls. We analyzed the dFNC by using an independent component analysis, sliding window correlation and k-means clustering, and used the parameters of dFNC state properties and dFNC variability for group comparisons.
The dFNC within the triple networks could be clustered into four configuration states, three of them showing dense connections (States 1, 2, and 4) and the other one showing sparse connections (State 3). Both BD and MDD patients spent more time in State 3 and showed decreased dFNC variability between posterior DMN and right CEN (rCEN) compared with controls. The MDD patients showed specific decreased dFNC variability between anterior DMN and rCEN compared with controls.
This study revealed more common but less specific dFNC alterations within the triple networks in unmedicated depressed BD II and MDD patients, which indicated their decreased information processing and communication ability and may help us to understand their abnormal affective and cognitive functions clinically.
In this work, carbon nanotubes (CNTs)-templated binuclear metallophthalocyanines (MTAPcCF3)2C (M = Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn) assemblies (MTAPcCF3)2C–COOH–CNTs are designed and obtained. Whereafter, the structure and morphology of target products are analyzed by many means such as infrared, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The electrocatalytic performances of lithium-thionyl chloride battery catalyzed by (MTAPcCF3)2C–COOH–CNTs were carried out. The result shows that all catalysts can improve the battery performance including the discharge time and the initial voltage. The catalytic performance of (MTAPcCF3)2C–COOH–CNTs is ordered following the central metal: Mn > Fe > Ni > Co > Cu > Zn. The cell capacity catalyzed by optimal catalyst (MnTAPcCF3)2C–COOH–CNTs can expand to 28.08 mAˑh, with increase by 142.07%, and the (MnTAPcCF3)2C–COOH–CNTs can extend the discharge time to 551.6 s. Besides, the reaction mechanism is presented on the basis of cyclic voltammetry measurements.
This paper presents a complete two-step phase-shifting (TSPS) spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction (SPIDER) to improve the reconstruction of ultrafast optical fields. Here, complete TSPS acts as a balanced detection that can not only remove the effect of the dc term of the interferogram, but also reduce measurement noises, and thereby improve the capability of SPIDER to measure the pulses with narrow spectra or complex spectral structures. Some prisms are chosen to replace some environment-sensitive optical components, especially reflective optics to improve operating stability and improve signal-to-noise ratio further. Our experiments show that the available shear can be decreased to 1.5% of the spectral width, which is only about
compared with traditional SPIDER.
This research paper addresses the hypothesis that RagD is a key signalling factor that regulates amino acid (AA) mediated-casein synthesis and cell proliferation in cow mammary epithelial cells (CMECs). The expression of RagD was analysed at different times during pregnancy and lactation in bovine mammary tissue from dairy cows. We showed that expression of RagD at lactation period was higher (P < 0·05) than that at pregnancy period. When CMECs were treated with methionine (Met) or lysine (Lys), expression of RagD, β-casein (CSN2), mTOR and p-mTOR, and cell proliferation were increased. Further, when CMECs were treated to overexpress RagD, expression of CSN2, mTOR and p-mTOR, and cell proliferation were up-regulated. Furthermore, the increase in expression of CSN2, mTOR and p-mTOR, and cell proliferation in response to Met or Lys supply was inhibited by inhibiting RagD, and those effects were reversed in the overexpression model. When CMECs were treated with RagD overexpression together with mTOR inhibition or conversely with RagD inhibition together with mTOR overexpression, results showed that the increase in expression of CSN2 and cell proliferation in response to RagD overexpression was prevented by inhibiting mTOR, and those effects were reversed by overexpressing mTOR. The interaction of RagD with subunit proteins of mTORC1 was analysed, and the result showed that RagD interacted with Raptor. CMECs were treated with Raptor inhibition, and the result showed that the increase in expression of mTOR and p-mTOR in response to RagD overexpression was inhibited by inhibiting Raptor.
In conclusion, our study showed that RagD is an important activation factor of mTORC1 in CMECs, activating AA-mediated casein synthesis and cell proliferation, potentially acting via Raptor.
MicroRNA (miR)-29b plays a crucial role during somatic cell reprogramming. The aim of the current study was to explore the effects of miR-29b on the developmental competence of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos, as well as the underlying mechanisms of action. The expression level of miR-29b was lower in bovine SCNT embryos at the pronuclear, 8-cell, and blastocyst stages compared with in vitro fertilized embryos. In addition, miR-29b regulates the expression of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmt3a/3b and Dnmt1) in bovine SCNT embryos. We further investigated SCNT embryo developmental competence and found that miR-29b overexpression during bovine SCNT embryonic development does not improve developmental potency and downregulation inhibits developmental potency. Nevertheless, the quality of bovine SCNT embryos at the blastocyst stage improved significantly. The expression of pluripotency factors and cellular proliferation were significantly higher in blastocysts from the miR-29b overexpression group than the control and downregulation groups. In addition, outgrowth potential in blastocysts after miR-29b overexpression was also significantly greater in the miR-29b overexpression group than in the control and downregulation groups. Taken together, these results demonstrated that miR-29b plays an important role in bovine SCNT embryo development.
The study investigated whether dietary methionine (Met) affects egg weight and antioxidant status through regulating gene expression of ovalbumin (OVAL), nuclear factor erythroid 2 like 2 (Nrf2) and haem oxygenase 1 (HO-1) in laying duck breeders. Longyan duck breeders (n 540, 19 weeks) were randomly assigned to six treatments with six replicates of fifteen birds each. Breeders were fed diets with six Met levels (2·00, 2·75, 3·50, 4·25, 5·00 and 5·75 g/kg) for 24 weeks. The egg weight (g), egg mass (g/d), feed conversion ratio, hatchability, 1-d duckling weight, albumen weight, albumen proportion and OVAL mRNA level improved with dietary Met levels, whereas yolk proportion decreased (P<0·05). The weight of total large yellow follicles increased linearly (P<0·001) and quadratically (P<0·05) with dietary Met concentration, and their weight relative to ovarian weight showed a linear (P<0·05) effect. Dietary Met level had a linear (P<0·05) and quadratic (P<0·001) effect on the gene expression of glutathione peroxidase (GPX1), HO-1 and Nrf2, and quadratically (P<0·05) increased contents of GPX and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) in liver of duck breeders. In addition, maternal dietary Met enhanced gene expression of GPX1, HO-1 and Nrf2, increased contents of GPX and T-AOC and reduced carbonylated protein in the brains of hatchlings. Overall, dietary Met concentration affected egg weight and albumen weight in laying duck breeders, which was partly due to gene expression of OVAL in oviduct magnum. A diet containing 4·0 g Met/kg would achieve optimal hepatic GPX1 and Nrf2 expression, maximise the activity of GPX and minimise lipid peroxidation.
Tissue engineering has been recognized as a translational approach to replace damaged tissue or whole organs. Engineering tissue, however, faces an outstanding knowledge gap in the challenge to fully recapitulate complex organ-specific features. Major components, such as cells, matrix, and architecture, must each be carefully controlled to engineer tissue-specific structure and function that mimics what is found in vivo. Here we review different methods to engineer tissue, and discuss critical challenges in recapitulating the unique features and functional units in four major organs—the kidney, liver, heart, and lung, which are also the top four candidates for organ transplantation in the USA. We highlight advances in tissue engineering approaches to enable the regeneration of complex tissue and organ substitutes, and provide tissue-specific models for drug testing and disease modeling. We discuss the current challenges and future perspectives toward engineering human tissue models.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
The prevalence of CHD has been well described worldwide except in Tibet. This study aimed to illustrate the prevalence and composition of CHD in Tibetan children according to altitude.
Methods and results
In the first part, we prospectively recruited 7088 unselected Tibetan children (4–17 years) from south-west Tibet. The total prevalence of CHD increased from 4.6/1000 below 4200 m to 13.4/1000 above 4700 m, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.3:3.1. The total prevalence and female prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus increased more than 10-fold. Females living above 4700 m had exceptionally high prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (14.9/1000). The prevalence of atrial septal defect was comparable among different altitudes (3.3–3.8/1000). The prevalence of ventricular septal defect was 1.3/1000 below 4700 m, and no cases were found above this altitude. In the second part, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 383 CHD children in Tibet and 73 children at lower altitudes. The percentage of isolated ventricular septal defect decreased from 54.8 to 3.1%, and the percentage of isolated patent ductus arteriosus increased from 8.2 to 68.4% with elevation. Children living below 4200 m (10.4–13.7%) had a larger proportion of complex CHD than those above this altitude (2.0–3.1%). Of the 20 Tibetan children with complex CHD, 14 (70.0%) lived below 4200 m.
A wide variation in CHD prevalence and composition existed in Tibetan children among different altitudes.
The drainage of a viscous gravity current into a deep porous medium driven by both the gravitational and capillary forces is considered in two steps. We first study the one-dimensional case where a layer of fluid drains vertically into an infinitely deep porous medium. We determine a transition from the capillary-driven regime to the gravity-driven regime as time proceeds. Second, we solve the coupled spreading and drainage problem. There are no self-similar solutions of the problem for the entire time period, so asymptotic analyses are developed for the height, depth and front location in both the early-time and the late-time periods. In addition, we present numerical results of the governing partial differential equations, which agree well with the self-similar solutions in the appropriate asymptotic limits.
Based on 15 diffusion couples located in face centered cubic single-phase region of ternary Ni–Al–Mo system, high-throughput determination of composition-dependent interdiffusivity matrices at 1273, 1373, and 1473 K was performed by using the recently developed numerical inverse method. The determined main interdiffusivities over the investigated composition and temperature ranges are all positive, and
is generally larger than
generally increases with concentration of Al, while
increases with concentrations of both Al and Mo. In contrast, the cross interdiffusivities can be either positive or negative. Average relative errors of
were evaluated to be 2.4, 5.1, 16.1, and 1.7% using error propagation. Furthermore, our prediction of composition profiles and interdiffusion fluxes based on evaluated interdiffusivity matrices agrees quite well with measured data. Traditional Matano–Kirkaldy method was also applied to further verify the reliability of obtained interdiffusivities. Besides, three-dimensional planes of activation energies of main interdiffusivities were also evaluated using the Arrhenius equation.
To fully understand the sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption status among Chinese young children and to explore its association with weight gain.
In this cross-sectional study, data on sociodemographic characteristics, SSB intake and weight/height were collected by means of face-to-face interviews. The intake of SSB among young Chinese children in relation to their age, different characteristics and types of SSB consumed is described, and the association between SSB intake and BMI-for-age Z-score and overweight is explored.
Seven large cities and two villages in China.
Nine hundred and forty-six healthy children, aged 3–7 years.
The proportion of SSB intake among Chinese young children was 80·5 %; 3·4 % were daily consumers, 34·0 % (31·4 %) consumed at least once per week (month). The per capita and per consumer SSB intake was 63·1 9 (sd 100·8) and 78·4 (sd 106·9) ml/d. Children from rural areas consumed twice, or even triple, the amount of SSB as those from urban areas (P<0·001) and great disparities existed between the types of SSB consumed by urban and rural children. An association was found between increased SSB intake and higher BMI-for-age Z-score (P<0·05) after adjusting for potential confounders; there was also an association between SSB intake and increased risk of being overweight or obese.
The consumption status of SSB in Chinese young children is of concern. There was a positive association between SSB intake and weight gain. Measures should be taken to improve the present situation of SSB consumption among Chinese young children.
In this work, fluorescent Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) cells were developed as probes for imaging applications and to explore behaviorial interaction between B. subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). A novel biological strategy of coupling intracellular biochemical reactions for controllable biosynthesis of CdSe quantum dots by living B. subtilis cells was demonstrated, through which highly luminant and photostable fluorescent B. subtilis cells were achieved with good uniformity. With the help of the obtained fluorescent B. subtilis cells probes, S. aureus cells responded to co-cultured B. subtilis and to aggregate. The degree of aggregation was calculated and nonlinearly fitted to a polynomial model. Systematic investigations of their interactions implied that B. subtilis cells inhibit the growth of neighboring S. aureus cells, and this inhibition was affected by both the growth stage and the amount of surrounding B. subtilis cells. Compared to traditional methods of studying bacterial interaction between two species, such as solid culture medium colony observation and imaging mass spectrometry detection, the procedures were more simple, vivid, and photostable due to the efficient fluorescence intralabeling with less influence on the cells’ surface, which might provide a new paradigm for future visualization of microbial behavior.
With a large number of quantitative trait loci being identified in genome-wide association studies, researchers have become more interested in detecting interactions among genes or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In this research, we carried out a two-stage model selection procedure to detect interacting gene pairs or SNP pairs associated with four important traits of outbred mice, including glucose, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, diastolic blood pressure and triglyceride. In the first stage, a variance heterogeneity test was used to screen for candidate SNPs. In the second stage, the Lasso method and single pair analysis were used to select two-way interactions. Moreover, the shared Gene Ontology information about the selected interacting gene pairs was considered to study the interactions auxiliarily. Based on this method, we not only replicated the identification of important SNPs associated with each trait of outbred mice, but also found some SNP pairs and gene pairs with significant interaction effects on each trait. Simulation studies were also conducted to evaluate the performance of the two-stage method in different situations.
Thermal stress can induce birefringence in a laser medium, which can cause depolarization of the laser. The depolarization effect will be very severe in a high-average-power laser. Because the depolarization will make the frequency doubling efficiency decline, it should be compensated. In this paper, the thermal characteristics of two kinds of materials are analyzed in respect of temperature, thermal deformation and thermal stress. The depolarization result from thermal stress was simulated. Depolarization on non-uniform pumping was also simulated, and the compensation method is discussed.
In situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has become an
increasingly important tool for materials characterization. It provides key
information on the structural dynamics of a material during transformations and
the ability to correlate a material’s structure and properties. With
the recent advances in instrumentation, including aberration-corrected optics,
sample environment control, the sample stage, and fast and sensitive data
acquisition, in situ TEM characterization has become more
powerful. In this article, a brief review of the current status and future
opportunities of in situ TEM is provided. The article also
introduces the six articles in this issue of MRS Bulletin
exploring the frontiers of in situ electron microscopy,
including liquid and gas environmental TEM, dynamic four-dimensional TEM,
studies on nanomechanics and ferroelectric domain switching, and
state-of-the-art atomic imaging of light elements (i.e., carbon atoms) and