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A study was conducted to identify whether composted manure and straw amendments (replacement of a portion of chemical fertilizer [50% of the total nitrogen application] with composted pig manure, and straw return [all straw from the previous rice crop] combined with chemical fertilizer) compared with no fertilization and chemical fertilizer only would change the dominant species of wheat-associated weeds as well as influence their growth and seed yield in a rice (Oryza sativa L.)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system. The study was initiated in 2010, and the treatment effects on the species, density, plant height, shoot biomass, seed yield of dominant weeds, and wheat yields were assessed in 2017 and 2018. Fertilization significantly increased the height, density, and yield of wheat, as well as the shoot biomass of wheat-associated weeds, but decreased the weed species number. A total of 17 and 14 weed species were recorded in the experimental wheat fields in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The most dominant weed species were American sloughgrass [Beckmannia syzigachne (Steud.) Fernald] and catchweed bedstraw (Galium aparine L.), which made up more than 64% of the weed community in all treatments. When the chemical fertilizer application was amended with pig manure compost and straw return, the relative abundance of B. syzigachne significantly decreased, while the relative abundance of G. aparine significantly increased. The application of the chemical fertilizer-only treatment resulted in increases in the density, shoot biomass, and seed yield of B. syzigachne, while the composted manure and straw amendments applied together with chemical fertilizer led to significant increases in the density, shoot biomass, and seed yield of G. aparine. Consequently, further research on ways to promote greater cropping system diversity will be needed to prevent the selection of weed species that are adapted to a limited suite of crop management practices.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REMs) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off this mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimensional particle-in-cell (2D-PIC) simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapidly expanding. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and the corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selectively adjusting of the corresponding spectra.
The FNDC5 gene encodes the fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 that is a membrane protein mainly expressed in skeletal muscle, and the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism may be associated with liver disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the influence of the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the relationship between sarcopenia and the histological severity of NAFLD. A total of 370 adult individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD were studied. The association between the key exposure sarcopenia and the outcome liver histological severity was investigated by binary logistic regression. Stratified analyses were undertaken to examine the impact of FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the association between sarcopenia and the severity of NAFLD histology. Patients with sarcopenia had more severe histological grades of steatosis and a higher prevalence of significant fibrosis and definite non-alcoholic steatohepatitis than those without sarcopenia. There was a significant association between sarcopenia and significant fibrosis (adjusted OR 2·79, 95 % CI 1·31, 5·95, P = 0·008), independent of established risk factors and potential confounders. Among patients with sarcopenia, significant fibrosis occurred more frequently in the rs3480 AA genotype carriers than in those carrying the FNDC5 rs3480 G genotype (43·8 v. 17·2 %, P = 0·031). In the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis, there was a significant interaction between the FNDC5 genotype and sarcopenia status (P value for interaction = 0·006). Sarcopenia is independently associated with significant liver fibrosis, and the FNDC5 rs3480 G variant influences the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
To explore if there is association between vitamin D supplementation through cod liver oil ingestion around the periconceptional period and the risk of developing severe CHD in offspring. Furthermore, we would examine the interaction between vitamin D and folic acid supplementation in the association.
A case–control study was conducted in Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, in which, a total of 262 severe CHD cases versus 262 controls were recruited through June 2016 to December 2017. All children were younger than 2 years. To reduce potential selection bias and to minimise confounding effects, propensity score matching was applied.
After propensity score matching, vitamin D supplementation seemed to be associated with decreased odds ratio of severe CHD (odds ratio = 0.666; 95% confidence intervals: 0.449–0.990) in the multivariable conditional logistic analysis. Furthermore, we found an additive interaction between vitamin D and folic acid supplementation (relative excess risk due to interaction = 0.810, 95% confidence intervals: 0.386–1.235) in the association.
The results suggested that maternal vitamin D supplementation could decrease the risk of offspring severe CHD; moreover, it could strengthen the protective effect of folic acid. The significance of this study lies in providing epidemiological evidence that vitamin D supplementation around the periconceptional period could be a potential nutritional intervention strategy to meet the challenge of increasing CHD.
Primary liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Most patients are diagnosed at late stages with poor prognosis; thus, identification of modifiable risk factors for primary prevention of liver cancer is urgently needed. The well-established risk factors of liver cancer include chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), heavy alcohol consumption, metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and aflatoxin exposure. However, a large proportion of cancer cases worldwide cannot be explained by current known risk factors. Dietary factors have been suspected as important, but dietary aetiology of liver cancer remains poorly understood. In this review, we summarised and evaluated the observational studies of diet including single nutrients, food and food groups, as well as dietary patterns with the risk of developing liver cancer. Although there are large knowledge gaps between diet and liver cancer risk, current epidemiological evidence supports an important role of diet in liver cancer development. For example, exposure to aflatoxin, heavy alcohol drinking and possibly dairy product (not including yogurt) intake increase, while intake of coffee, fish and tea, light-to-moderate alcohol drinking and several healthy dietary patterns (e.g. Alternative Healthy Eating Index) may decrease liver cancer risk. Future studies with large sample size and accurate diet measurement are warranted and need to consider issues such as the possible aetiological heterogeneity between liver cancer subtypes, the influence of chronic HBV or HCV infection, the high-risk populations (e.g. cirrhosis) and a potential interplay with host gut microbiota or genetic variations.
A compact dual-wideband (DWB) bandpass filter utilizing open-shorted coupled lines (OSCL) is proposed in this paper. The introduction of the folded structure not only reduces the overall size but also contribute to the split of the transmission zero (TZ), which improves the selectivity effectively. Six transmission poles and five TZs are realized utilizing the shorted-circuit stub and OSCL. The characteristic of the flexible adjustment method of TZs guarantees an independently wide adjustable range of the bandwidth. For demonstration, a DWB filter (3 dB bandwidth 120 and 28%, respectively) is designed and fabricated. The filter is compact and has the characteristics of extraordinary wide bandwidth, low insertion loss, as well as high selectivity.
We report the utility of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) conducted in a clinically relevant time frame (ie, sufficient for guiding management decision), in managing a Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak, and present a comparison of its performance with emm typing.
A 2,000-bed tertiary-care psychiatric hospital.
Active surveillance was conducted to identify new cases of S. pyogenes. WGS guided targeted epidemiological investigations, and infection control measures were implemented. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)–based genome phylogeny, emm typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were performed. We compared the ability of WGS and emm typing to correctly identify person-to-person transmission and to guide the management of the outbreak.
The study included 204 patients and 152 staff. We identified 35 patients and 2 staff members with S. pyogenes. WGS revealed polyclonal S. pyogenes infections with 3 genetically distinct phylogenetic clusters (C1–C3). Cluster C1 isolates were all emm type 4, sequence type 915 and had pairwise SNP differences of 0–5, which suggested recent person-to-person transmissions. Epidemiological investigation revealed that cluster C1 was mediated by dermal colonization and transmission of S. pyogenes in a male residential ward. Clusters C2 and C3 were genomically diverse, with pairwise SNP differences of 21–45 and 26–58, and emm 11 and mostly emm120, respectively. Clusters C2 and C3, which may have been considered person-to-person transmissions by emm typing, were shown by WGS to be unlikely by integrating pairwise SNP differences with epidemiology.
WGS had higher resolution than emm typing in identifying clusters with recent and ongoing person-to-person transmissions, which allowed implementation of targeted intervention to control the outbreak.
A stalagmite with high 238U content from Yangkou Cave, China, revealed the evolution of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) between 49.1 and 59.5 ka, and the δ18O values recorded Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) events 13–17. The Yangkou record shows a relatively gradual transition into the D/O 14 and 16 events. The discrepancy between the abrupt and gradual transitions of D/O 14 in the records from northern and southern China, respectively, suggests different responses of the ASM to climate changes in the high northern latitudes. The higher resolution δ18O record and more precise 230Th dating indicate that the timing of D/O 14 and 17 in the Hulu records at 53 and 58 ka should be shifted to 54.3 and 59 ka, respectively. The gradual strengthening of the ASM at the onsets of D/O 16 and 14 in our record is different from the abrupt temperature rise in the northern high latitudes. Some other factors must contribute to this relatively gradual ASM change in southern China, but the actual reason is still unknown.
To investigate the potential influence of dietary Se intake on mortality among Chinese populations.
We prospectively evaluated all-cause, CVD and cancer mortality risks associated with dietary Se intake in participants of the Shanghai Women’s Health Study (SWHS) and the Shanghai Men’s Health study (SMHS). Dietary Se intake was assessed by validated FFQ during in-person interviews. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI.
Urban city in China.
Chinese adults (n 133 957).
During an average follow-up of 13·90 years in the SWHS and 8·37 years in the SMHS, 5749 women and 4217 men died. The mean estimated dietary Se intake was 45·48 μg/d for women and 51·34 μg/d for men, respectively. Dietary Se intake was inversely associated with all-cause mortality and CVD mortality in both women and men, with respective HR for the highest compared with the lowest quintile being 0·79 (95 % CI 0·71, 0·88; Ptrend<0·0001) and 0·80 (95 % CI 0·66, 0·98; Ptrend=0·0268) for women, and 0·79 (95 % CI 0·70, 0·89; Ptrend=0·0001) and 0·66 (95 % CI 0·54, 0·82; Ptrend=0·0002) for men. No significant associations were observed for cancer mortality in both women and men. Results were similar in subgroup and sensitivity analyses.
Dietary Se intake was inversely associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in both sexes, but not cancer mortality.
In this study, the effects of HA combined with NPK fertilizer (HANPK) on root growth and leaf quality of tobacco plants were investigated in tobacco fields. Results indicated that the application of HA alone did not enhance the growth of tobacco obviously, while HANPK increased tobacco biomass by 36.9% and stimulated the growth of lateral roots significantly. The number of the second-order lateral roots was increased by 89.3% compared with the control. Furthermore, HANPK raised the ratio of root biomass in 0–20 cm soil layer over the whole soil layer and increased the proportion of fine roots over the total roots. Tobacco leaf yield, output value, and benefit of HANPK were 12.2%, 29.4% and 35.5% higher than those of the control, respectively. The above results suggest that the combined application of HA and NPK chemical fertilizer is an economical pattern for improving tobacco growth.
The scaled boundary finite element method (SBFEM) is a semi-analytical computational method initially developed in the 1990s. It has been widely applied in the fields of solid mechanics, oceanic, geotechnical, hydraulic, electromagnetic and acoustic engineering problems. Most of the published work on SBFEM has focused on its theoretical development and practical applications, but, so far, no explicit discussion on the numerical stability and accuracy of its solution has been systematically documented. However, for a reliable engineering application, the inherent numerical problems associated with SBFEM solution procedures require thorough analysis in terms of its causes and the corresponding remedies. This study investigates the numerical performance of SBFEM with respect to matrix manipulation techniques and their properties. Some illustrative examples are given to identify reasons for possible numerical difficulties, and corresponding solution schemes are proposed to overcome these problems.
This study aimed to explore whether the presence of a Y chromosome azoospermia factor (AZF) microdeletion confers any adverse effect on embryonic development and clinical outcomes after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment. Fifty-seven patients with AZF microdeletion were included in the present study and 114 oligozoospermia and azoospermia patients without AZF microdeletion were recruited as controls. Both AZF and control groups were further divided into subgroups based upon the methods of semen collection: the AZF-testicular sperm extraction subgroup (AZF-TESE, n = 14), the AZF-ejaculation subgroup (AZF-EJA, n = 43), the control-TESE subgroup (n = 28) and the control-EJA subgroup (n = 86). Clinical data were analyzed in the two groups and four subgroups respectively. A retrospective case–control study was performed. A significantly lower fertilization rate (69.27 versus 75.70%, P = 0.000) and cleavage rate (89.55 versus 94.39%, P = 0.000) was found in AZF group compared with the control group. Furthermore, in AZF-TESE subgroup, the fertilization rate (67.54 versus 74.25%, P = 0.037) and cleavage rate (88.96 versus 94.79%, P = 0.022) were significantly lower than in the control-TESE subgroup; similarly, the fertilization rate (69.85 versus 75.85%, P = 0.004) and cleavage rate (89.36 versus 94.26%, P = 0.002) in AZF-EJA subgroup were significantly lower than in the control-EJA subgroup; however, the fertilization rate and cleavage rate in AZF-TESE (control-TESE) subgroup was similar to that in the AZF-EJA (control-EJA) subgroup. The other clinical outcomes were comparable between four subgroups (P > 0.05). Therefore, sperm from patients with AZF microdeletion, obtained either by ejaculation or TESE, may have lower fertilization and cleavage rates, but seem to have comparable clinical outcomes to those from patients without AZF microdeletion.
Autonomous docking is a focus of research in the field of self-assembly robots. Navigation is a significant stage in the process of autonomous docking between two robotic modules; it determines the efficiency of docking and even the success and failure of the docking task. In most cases, it is too difficult to simultaneously satisfy both linear and angular displacement constraints in a single dynamic numerical computation process. In the present paper, the navigation process is divided into two stages: first, the angular displacement constraint is satisfied, and then the linear displacement condition is fulfilled. In this way, the constraints are loosened and the difficulty of numerical computation is thereby effectively reduced. This two-stage docking navigation model is the main contribution of the present work. By taking the non-holonomic nature of the navigation behavior into consideration, both kinematic and dynamic analyses are performed, and the voltage data of the DC motors required by the two-stage docking navigation are obtained. Finally, docking navigation experiments are completed on a self-assembly modular robot named Sambot. It is verified that the present two-stage strategy is effective in controlling the docking navigation process.
This paper presents a compact microstrip tri-band bandpass filter (BPF) using two multimode stepped-impedance resonators (SIRs) with a 0° feed structure. The fundamental odd-mode and even-mode resonant frequencies and the third resonant frequency are utilized to determine the center frequencies of the tri-band filter. The mode-splitting technique is used by combining two SIRs with electrical coupling. Therefore, two modes generate one passband and the bandwidths can be controlled by the electrical coupling strength. The 0° feed network is applied to create one pair of transmission zeros at each side of all the triple passbands, resulting in high selectivity. Finally, a tri-band BPF with the central frequencies of 1.8, 2.4, and 5.8 GHz, and respective fractional bandwidths of 8.9, 12.5, and 5.3% are designed and fabricated. The simulated and measured results show a good agreement.
To assess correlations between cruciferous vegetable intake and urinary isothiocyanate (ITC) level, in addition to glutathione S-transferase (GST) genotypes and other individual factors.
The study included cohort participants whose urinary ITC levels had been previously ascertained. Urinary ITC was assessed using HPLC. Usual dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables was assessed using a validated FFQ and total dietary ITC intake was calculated. Recent cruciferous vegetable intake was determined. GST genotypes were assessed using duplex real-time quantitative PCR assays. Spearman correlations were calculated between the covariates and urinary ITC levels and linear regression analyses were used to calculate the mean urinary ITC excretion according to GST genotype.
Urban city in China.
The study included 3589 women and 1015 men from the Shanghai Women’s and Men’s Health Studies.
Median urinary ITC level was 1·61 nmol/mg creatinine. Self-reported usual cruciferous vegetable intake was weakly correlated with urinary ITC level (rs=0·1149; P<0·0001), while self-reported recent intake was more strongly correlated with urinary ITC (rs=0·2591; P<0·0001). Overall, the GST genotypes were not associated with urinary ITC level, but significant differences according to genotype were observed among current smokers and participants who provided an afternoon urine sample. Other factors, including previous gastrectomy or gastritis, were also related to urinary ITC level.
The study suggests that urinary secretion of ITC may provide additional information on cruciferous vegetable intake and that GST genotypes are related to urinary ITC level only in some subgroups.
Early identification of patients with bipolar disorder during their first depressive episode is beneficial to the outcome of the disorder and treatment, but traditionally this has been a great challenge to clinicians. Recently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD), but it is not clear whether BDNF levels can be used to predict bipolar disorder among patients in their first major depressive episode.
To explore whether BDNF levels can differentiate between MDD and bipolar disorder in the first depressive episode.
A total of 203 patients with a first major depressive episode as well as 167 healthy controls were recruited. After 3 years of bi-annual follow-up, 164 patients with a major depressive episode completed the study, and of these, 21 were identified as having bipolar disorder and 143 patients were diagnosed as having MDD. BDNF gene expression and plasma levels at baseline were compared among the bipolar disorder, MDD and healthy control groups. Logistic regression and decision tree methods were applied to determine the best model for predicting bipolar disorder at the first depressive episode.
At baseline, patients in the bipolar disorder and MDD groups showed lower BDNF mRNA levels (P<0.001 and P = 0.02 respectively) and plasma levels (P = 0.002 and P = 0.01 respectively) compared with healthy controls. Similarly, BDNF levels in the bipolar disorder group were lower than those in the MDD group. These results showed that the best model for predicting bipolar disorder during a first depressive episode was a combination of BDNF mRNA levels with plasma BDNF levels (receiver operating characteristics (ROC) = 0.80, logistic regression; ROC = 0.84, decision tree).
Our findings suggest that BDNF levels may serve as a potential differential diagnostic biomarker for bipolar disorder in a patient's first depressive episode.
Deposition of extracellular amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide is one of the pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Accumulation of Aβ is thought to associate with cognition deficits, neuroinflammation and apoptosis observed in AD. However, effective neuroprotective approaches against Aβ neurotoxicity are unavailable. In the present study, we analysed the effects of pranlukast, a selective cysteinyl leukotriene receptor 1 (CysLT1R) antagonist, on the impairment of learning and memory formation induced by Aβ and the probable underlying electrophysiological and molecular mechanisms. We found that bilateral intrahippocampal injection of Aβ1–42 resulted in a significant decline of spatial learning and memory of mice in the Morris water maze (MWM) and Y-maze tests, together with a serious depression of in vivo hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region of the mice. Importantly, this treatment caused significant increases in CysLT1R expression and subsequent NF-κB signaling, caspase-3 activation and Bcl-2 downregulation in the hippocampus or prefrontal cortex. Oral administration of pranlukast at 0.4 or 0.8 mg/kg for 4 wk significantly reversed Aβ1–42-induced impairments of cognitive function and hippocampal LTP in mice. Furthermore, pranlukast reversed Aβ1–42-induced CysLT1R upregulation, and markedly suppressed the Aβ1–42-triggered NF-κB pathway, caspase-3 activation and Bcl-2 downregulation in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in mice. Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) assay confirmed its presence in the brain after oral administration of pranlukast in mice. These data disclose novel findings about the therapeutic potential of pranlukast, revealing a previously unknown therapeutic possibility to treat memory deficits associated with AD.
The Lower Yangtze foreland basin is situated to the northwest of the early Palaeozoic Wuyi–Yunkai orogen in South China. To demonstrate its provenance history and the denudation of the orogen, seven sandstone samples were collected from the upper Ordovician to Silurian strata for U–Pb dating. The zircons show a broad range of ages that can be linked with the ages of specific units in the Wuyi–Yunkai orogen. The zircon spectra in the late Ordovician samples are similar to those in the pre-orogenic strata, suggesting a recycled source. The dominant age population of 880–740 Ma in the early Llandovery samples indicates that the middle Neoproterozoic volcanic rocks were the primary source. A significant age population of 460–425 Ma in the late Llandovery to Wenlock samples reflects the fact that the synorogenic magmatic and metamorphic rocks were exposed to provide detritus. The youngest zircons from the uppermost Silurian strata yield an age of 425 Ma, which approximates the inferred depositional age. This age, together with available biostratigraphic data, indicates that the foreland basin was formed 448–425 Ma ago. We surmise a possible link between the Wuyi–Yunkai orogen and the Appalachian–Caledonian orogen based on the geological constraints and palaeomagnetic data.
To date, there has been little improvement in cryopreservation of bull sperm due to lack of understanding of the freezing mechanisms. Therefore, this study set out to investigate expression levels of fertility-associated proteins in bull sperm, and in particular the relationship between the 90 kDa heat-shock protein (HSP90) and the sperm characteristics after freezing–thawing. Semen was collected from eight Holstein bulls by artificial vagina. Characteristics of these fresh semen, including sperm motility, morphology, viability and concentration, were evaluated. Sperm quality was also assessed after freezing–thawing. Eight ejaculates were divided into two groups based on freezing resistance and sperm motility. Sperm proteins were extracted and sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis and western blotting were performed. SDS-PAGE results showed that there was substantial diversity in 90 kDa proteins in the frozen–thawed sperm and HSP90 was confirmed as one of the 90 kDa proteins by western blot. This study indicated that HSP90 expression correlated positively with sperm quality. The amount of expressed 90 kDa proteins in the high freezing resistance (HFR) group was significantly higher than that in the low freezing resistance (LFR) group (P < 0.05). Thus, higher expression of HSP90 could probably lead to the higher motility and freezing resistance of sperm found after freezing–thawing. Therefore, we concluded that level of HSP90 expression could be used to predict reliably and simply the freezing resistance of bull sperm.