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We aimed to investigate the association between plasma retinol and incident cancer among Chinese hypertensive adults. We conducted a nested case–control study, including 231 patients with incident cancer and 231 matched controls during a median 4·5-year follow-up of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. There was a significant, inverse association between retinol levels and digestive system cancer (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91). When compared with participants in the first quartile of retinol (< 52·3 μg/dl), a significantly lower cancer risk was found in participants in quartile 2–4 ( ≥ 52·3 μg/dl: OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·71). However, there was a U-shaped association between retinol levels and non-digestive system cancers where the risk of cancers decreased (although not significantly) with each increment of plasma retinol (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·89; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·31) in participants with retinol < 68·2 μg/dl, and then increased significantly with retinol (per 10 μg/dl increase: OR 1·65; 95 % CI 1·12, 2·44) in participants with retinol ≥ 68·2 μg/dl. In conclusion, there was a significant inverse dose–response association between plasma retinol and the risk of digestive system cancers. However, a U-shaped association was observed between plasma retinol and the risk of non-digestive cancers (with a turning point approximately 68·2 μg/dl).
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally
written up for the volume.
Upconverting nanoparticles (UCNs) are modified nanometer-sized composites
which generate higher energy visible light from lower energy radiation
(usually near-infrared (NIR)) by non-radiative transfer of photons
between transition metal, lanthanide, or actinide ions doped into a
solid-state host. These nanoparticles offer several advantages as imaging
probes for live cells and tissues: high sensitivity of detection due to
absence of autofluorescence from tissues, sharp emission peaks, less
toxic components (than quantum dots (QDs)) and high depth of penetration
and low phototoxicity of NIR light. Although the use of upconverting
phosphors in nucleic acid assays, immunohistochemistry and immuno-assays
have been demonstrated, no reports exploiting the advantages of these
labels in live mammalian cell and tissue imaging have been demonstrated.
Moreover, these assays usually utilize large sized reporters (>400nm).
In this report, we present the synthesis and characterization of UCN and
explore their effectiveness as live cellular and tissue labels.
Nanoparticles with a nanocrystalline NaYF4 core doped with Yb3+ and Er3+
and coated with high molecular weight (25 kDa) PEI as surfactant was
synthesized using a simple ‘one pot’ hydrothermal method. After
characterization and biocompatibility tests, the UCN were conjugated to
folic acid and targeted to mammalian breast carcinoma cells. To
demonstrate tissue imaging, UCN were injected into live mouse and rat
tissues and excited using a simplified NIR laser set-up. The
nanoparticles obtained were spherical, about 50nm in diameter and with a
narrow size distribution. They demonstrated sharp emission peaks at 653nm
and 540nm when excited with a 980nm laser, and excellent stability when
stored in phosphate buffered saline or incubated with complete serum at
37 deg C. The particles were found to be biocompatible with different
cell types at different concentrations when incubated over varying time
periods. Upon incubation, mammalian cancer cells took up the UCN and were
imaged with high signal-to-background ratios. Continuous imaging of live
cells could be performed without cell damage or death. UCN was injected
into mouse skin and leg muscles and excited with NIR laser set at low
power to prevent tissue damage. Visible phosphorescence was recorded from
both sites. Phosphorescence could also be seen when UCN was injected in
the skin and to a small depth of penetration in some muscles of rats.We
conclude that these upconverting nanoparticles are promising labels for
use in live cell and tissue imaging.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
The absence of a regional, open water vessel collision risk assessment system endangers maritime traffic and hampers safety management. Most recent studies have analysed the risk of collision for a pair of vessels and propose micro-level risk models. This study proposes a new method that combines density complexity and a multi-vessel collision risk operator for assessing regional vessel collision risk. This regional model considers spatial and temporal features of vessel trajectory in an open water area and assesses multi-vessel near-miss collision risk through danger probabilities and possible consequences of collision risks via four types of possible relative striking positions. Finally, the clustering method of multi-vessel encountering risk, based on the proposed model, is used to identify high-risk collision areas, which allow reliable and accurate analysis to aid implementation of safety measures.
Conventional simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) has concentrated on two-dimensional (2D) map building. To adapt it to urgent search and rescue (SAR) environments, it is necessary to combine the fast and simple global 2D SLAM and three-dimensional (3D) objects of interest (OOIs) local sub-maps. The main novelty of the present work is a method for 3D OOI reconstruction based on a 2D map, thereby retaining the fast performances of the latter. A theory is established that is adapted to a SAR environment, including the object identification, exploration area coverage (AC), and loop closure detection of revisited spots. Proposed for the first is image optical flow calculation with a 2D/3D fusion method and RGB-D (red, green, blue + depth) transformation based on Joblove–Greenberg mathematics and OpenCV processing. The mathematical theories of optical flow calculation and wavelet transformation are used for the first time to solve the robotic SAR SLAM problem. The present contributions indicate two aspects: (i) mobile robots depend on planar distance estimation to build 2D maps quickly and to provide SAR exploration AC; (ii) 3D OOIs are reconstructed using the proposed innovative methods of RGB-D iterative closest points (RGB-ICPs) and 2D/3D principle of wavelet transformation. Different mobile robots are used to conduct indoor and outdoor SAR SLAM. Both the SLAM and the SAR OOIs detection are implemented by simulations and ground-truth experiments, which provide strong evidence for the proposed 2D/3D reconstruction SAR SLAM approaches adapted to post-disaster environments.
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.
Dongxiang common wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff., DXWR) is an important genetic resource for the improvement of cultivated rice. For the past three decades, great achievements have been made in the field of molecular marker development. Although structural variations (SVs) had been studied between DXWR and Nipponbare (Oryza sativa L. ssp. japonica), the development and application of SV markers in DXWR has not been reported. In this study, based on the genome-wide SV loci, we developed and synthesized a total of 195 SV markers that were evenly distributed across the 12 rice chromosomes. Then, these markers were tested for their stabilities and polymorphisms. Of these 195 markers, 147 (75.4%) were successfully amplified and displayed abundant polymorphisms between DXWR and Nipponbare. Meanwhile, through the genotyping of 20 rice varieties from 13 countries and areas, we concluded that these SV markers have a wide application prospect in the analysis of cultivated rice. Therefore, these molecular markers greatly enrich the number of markers available for DXWR, which will facilitate genomic research and molecular breeding for this important and endangered germplasm resource.
Two benzodifuran (BDF) polymers, PBDF-C and PBDF-S, with alkyl and alkylthio substituted thiophene side-chains and benzodithiophene-4,8-dione (BDD) as the acceptor were designed and synthesized. Their optical, electrochemical properties and photovoltaic performances were systematically investigated. The polymer solar cells (PSCs) with a device structure of ITO/PEDOT:PSS/polymer:PC71BM/Ca/Al were fabricated. The PBDF-C based device showed a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 3.01% after adding 1 vol% 1,8-diodooctane (DIO) as the solvent additive, and PBDF-S gave an enhanced PCE of 3.48% without any post-treatments. The enhancements were from the higher open-circuit voltage (Voc) and fill factor (FF). The thermal- and solvent-treatment-free processing is more favourable for the large area roll-to-roll manufacturing or printing technology for PSCs.
Melatonin plays a critical role in several types of cells as an antioxidant to protect intracellular molecules from oxidative stress. The anti-oxidation effect of melatonin in yak embryos is largely unknown. We report that melatonin can protect the development of yak preimplantation embryos against oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Therefore, the quality of blastocysts developed from zygotes exposed to H2O2 was promoted. In addition, we observed that melatonin reduced H2O2-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and prevented mitochondrial dysfunction in zygotes. These phenomena revealed the effective antioxidant activity of melatonin to prevent oxidative stress in yak embryos. To determine the underlying mechanism, we further demonstrated that melatonin protected preimplantation embryos from oxidative damage by preserving antioxidative enzymes. Collectively, these results confirmed the anti-oxidation effect of melatonin in yak embryos that significantly improved the quantity and quality of blastocysts in the in vitro production of embryos in yaks.
In a rice (Oryza sativa L.)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system, a study was conducted to determine the effects of different fertilization regimens (no fertilization, replacement of a portion of chemical fertilizer with composted pig manure, chemical fertilizer only, and straw return combined with chemical fertilizer) on the weed communities and wheat yields after 4 and 5 yr. The impact of the long-term recurrent fertilization regimen initiated in 2010 on the composition and diversity of weed communities and the impact of the components and total amount of fertilizer on wheat yields were assessed in 2014 and 2015. Totals of 19 and 16 weed species were identified in experimental wheat fields in 2014 and 2015, respectively, but the occurrence of weed species varied according to the fertilization regimen. American sloughgrass [Beckmannia syzigachne (Steud.) Fernald], water starwort [Myosoton aquaticum (L.) Moench], and lyrate hemistepta (Hemistepta lyrata Bunge.) were adapted to all fertilization treatments and were the dominant weed species in the experimental wheat fields. The greatest number of weed species were observed under the no-fertilization treatment, in which 40% of the weed community was composed of broadleaf weeds and the lowest wheat yields were obtained. With fertilizer application, the number of weed species was reduced, the height of weeds increased significantly, the density of broadleaf weeds was significantly reduced, the biodiversity indices of weed communities decreased significantly, and higher wheat yields were obtained. Only the chemical fertilizer plus composted pig manure treatment and the chemical fertilizer–only treatment increased the density of grassy weeds and the total weed community density. The treatment with chemical fertilizer only also resulted in the highest density of B. syzigachne. Rice straw return combined with chemical fertilizer yielded the lowest total weed density, which suggests that it inhibited occurrence of weeds. The different fertilizer regimens not only affected the weed species composition, distribution, and diversity, but also the weed density. Our study provides new information from a rice–wheat rotation system on the relationship between soil amendments and agricultural weed infestation.
Lattice structures, defect structures, and deformation mechanisms of high-entropy alloys (HEAs) have been studied using atomistic simulations to explain their remarkable mechanical properties. These atomistic simulation techniques, such as first-principles calculations and molecular dynamics allow atomistic-level resolution of structure, defect configuration, and energetics. Following the structure–property paradigm, such understandings can be useful for guiding the design of high-performance HEAs. Although there have been a number of atomistic studies on HEAs, there is no comprehensive review on the state-of-the-art techniques and results of atomistic simulations of HEAs. This article is intended to fill the gap, providing an overview of the state-of-the-art atomistic simulations on HEAs. In particular, we discuss how atomistic simulations can elucidate the nanoscale mechanisms of plasticity underlying the outstanding properties of HEAs, and further present a list of interesting problems for forthcoming atomistic simulations of HEAs.
Limited information is available on the prevalence and effect of hypertriglyceridaemic–waist (HTGW) phenotype on the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in rural populations.
In the present cross-sectional study, we investigated the prevalence of the HTGW phenotype and T2DM and the strength of their association among rural adults in China.
HTGW was defined as TAG >1·7 mmol/l and waist circumference (WC) ≥90 cm for males and ≥80 cm for females. Logistic regression analysis yielded adjusted odds ratios (aOR) relating risk of T2DM with HTGW.
Adults (n 12 345) aged 22·83–92·58 years were recruited from July to August of 2013 and July to August of 2014 from a rural area of Henan Province in China.
The prevalence of HTGW and T2DM was 23·71 % (males: 15·35 %; females: 28·88 %) and 11·79 % (males: 11·15 %; females: 12·18 %), respectively. After adjustment for sex, age, smoking, alcohol drinking, blood pressure, physical activity and diabetic family history, the risk of T2DM (aOR; 95 % CI) was increased with HTGW (v. normal TAG and WC: 3·23; CI 2·53, 4·13; males: 3·37; 2·30, 4·92; females: 3·41; 2·39, 4·85). The risk of T2DM with BMI≥28·0 kg/m2, simple enlarged WC and simple disorders of lipid metabolism showed an increasing tendency (aOR=1·31, 1·75 and 2·32).
The prevalence of HTGW and T2DM has reached an alarming level among rural Chinese people, and HTGW is a significant risk factor for T2DM.
Compared with commercial polyolefin membranes, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) membrane prepared by electrostatic spinning has higher porosity, electrolyte uptake, thermal stability, and lithium-ion conductivity, etc. However, poor mechanical performance has largely limited the application of electrospun PAN separators. In this study, PAN/polyimide (PI) composite membrane is prepared by electrostatic spinning to improve the mechanical and electrochemical performances. Scanning electron microscopy, thermal analysis method, and electrochemical methods were used for evaluation of the electrospun composite membrane. The results show that the composite membrane possesses good thermal stability and exhibits better mechanical performance than pristine PAN membrane (increasing by 1.1 times in tension strength). The addition of PI can increase porosity and fluid absorption rate obviously. In addition, the composite membrane has high ionic conductivity (18.77 × 10−4 S/cm), wide electrochemical window (about 4.0 V), and excellent cycling performance. It can retain a discharge specific capacity of 153 mA h/g even after 50 cycles at 0.5 C. The electrospun PAN/PI membrane may be a promising candidate for lithium-ion battery separators.
Deformation twinning has been frequently observed in body-centered cubic (BCC) high entropy alloys (HEAs), however, the underlying mechanism remains elusive. We perform molecular dynamics simulations on a representative BCC HEA nanopillar under high-symmetry compression, describe atomic details of deformation twinning, and propose a mechanism of twin nucleation from the surface. We find that twinned regions are formed by partial dislocations and that chemical heterogeneity can reduce local fault energy and promote stacking faults and twins. These results help to understand the propensity for stacking fault formation and twinning in HEAs and may guide the design of novel HEAs through control of active twinning mechanisms.
In order to understand the impact of nano-crystallites on current transport mechanisms in screen-printed c-Si solar cells with lowly-doped emitter, Te-glass based Ag pastes with different transition temperatures (Tg) were used. The Te-glass with lower Tg showed lower Rc than the one with higher Tg due to the formation of nano-crystallites in the glass layer. These nano-crystallites enhance the conductivity of the glass and lead to higher fill factor (FF). The nature of these nano-crystallites was first identified by the Raman spectrometry and the peaks at 76 cm-1, 119 cm-1 and 145 cm-1 were corresponding to Ag2Te and PbTe. The conductive-AFM further confirmed the high conductivity of these nano-crystallites without pyramidal Ag crystallites, which means the current transporting from Si emitter to Ag gridlines is mainly through the nano-crystallites in the glass.
We sought to examine the potential modifiers in the association between long-term low-dose folic acid supplementation and the reduction of serum total homocysteine (tHcy) among hypertensive patients, using data from the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial (CSPPT). This analysis included 16 867 participants who had complete data on tHcy measurements at both the baseline and exit visit. After a median treatment period of 4·5 years, folic acid treatment significantly reduced the tHcy levels by 1·6 μmol/l (95 % CI 1·4, 1·8). More importantly, after adjustment for baseline tHcy and other important covariates, a greater degree of tHcy reduction was observed in certain subgroups: males, the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677TT genotype, higher baseline tHcy levels (≥12·5 (median) v. <12·5 μmol/l), lower folate levels (<8·0 (median) v. ≥8·0 ng/ml), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min per 1·73 m2 (v. 60–<90 and ≥90 ml/min per 1·73 m2), ever smokers and concomitant use of diuretics (P for all interactions <0·05). The degree of tHcy reduction associated with long-term folic acid supplementation can be significantly affected by sex, MTHFR C677T genotypes, baseline folate, tHcy, eGFR levels and smoking status.
High-entropy ceramic (HEC) films refer to the carbide, boride, oxide, or nitride films of the high-entropy alloy, which have potential applications under high temperatures. In this study, we fabricated the HEC NbTiAlSiZrNx films using magnetron sputtering under various deposition atmospheres. The phase structure evolution and the mechanical properties of three HEC films under high temperatures were investigated. The HEC films demonstrated good thermal stability as well as high hardness. After annealing for 24 h at 700 °C, the films remained in an amorphous phase without obvious crystallization, and the hardness of the films declined. Nanocrystallizations occurred in films deposited at a nitrogen flow rate of 4 sccm and 8 sccm after annealing for 30 min at 900 °C and exhibited an face-centered cubic structure. HEC NbTiAlSiZrNx films have potential applications as protective coatings under high temperatures.
While most papers on high-entropy alloys (HEAs) focus on the microstructure and mechanical properties for structural materials applications, there has been growing interest in developing high-entropy functional materials. The objective of this paper is to provide a brief, timely review on select functional properties of HEAs, including soft magnetic, magnetocaloric, physical, thermoelectric, superconducting, and hydrogen storage. Comparisons of functional properties between HEAs and conventional low- and medium-entropy materials are provided, and examples are illustrated using computational modeling and tuning the composition of existing functional materials through substitutional or interstitial mixing. Extending the concept of high configurational entropy to a wide range of materials such as intermetallics, ceramics, and semiconductors through the isostructural design approach is discussed. Perspectives are offered in designing future high-performance functional materials utilizing the high-entropy concepts and high-throughput predictive computational modeling.