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Childhood is a crucial neurodevelopmental period. We investigated whether childhood reading for pleasure (RfP) was related to young adolescent assessments of cognition, mental health, and brain structure.
We conducted a cross-sectional and longitudinal study in a large-scale US national cohort (10 000 + young adolescents), using the well-established linear mixed model and structural equation methods for twin study, longitudinal and mediation analyses. A 2-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis for potential causal inference was also performed. Important factors including socio-economic status were controlled.
Early-initiated long-standing childhood RfP (early RfP) was highly positively correlated with performance on cognitive tests and significantly negatively correlated with mental health problem scores of young adolescents. These participants with higher early RfP scores exhibited moderately larger total brain cortical areas and volumes, with increased regions including the temporal, frontal, insula, supramarginal; left angular, para-hippocampal; right middle-occipital, anterior-cingulate, orbital areas; and subcortical ventral-diencephalon and thalamus. These brain structures were significantly related to their cognitive and mental health scores, and displayed significant mediation effects. Early RfP was longitudinally associated with higher crystallized cognition and lower attention symptoms at follow-up. Approximately 12 h/week of youth regular RfP was cognitively optimal. We further observed a moderately significant heritability of early RfP, with considerable contribution from environments. MR analysis revealed beneficial causal associations of early RfP with adult cognitive performance and left superior temporal structure.
These findings, for the first time, revealed the important relationships of early RfP with subsequent brain and cognitive development and mental well-being.
Although ethanol treatment is widely used to activate oocytes, the underlying mechanisms are largely unclear. Roles of intracellular calcium stores and extracellular calcium in ethanol-induced activation (EIA) of oocytes remain to be verified, and whether calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) is involved in EIA is unknown. This study showed that calcium-free ageing (CFA) in vitro significantly decreased intracellular stored calcium (sCa) and CaSR expression, and impaired EIA, spindle/chromosome morphology and developmental potential of mouse oocytes. Although EIA in oocytes with full sCa after ageing with calcium does not require calcium influx, calcium influx is essential for EIA of oocytes with reduced sCa after CFA. Furthermore, the extremely low EIA rate in oocytes with CFA-downregulated CaSR expression and the fact that inhibiting CaSR significantly decreased the EIA of oocytes with a full complement of CaSR suggest that CaSR played a significant role in the EIA of ageing oocytes. In conclusion, CFA impaired EIA and the developmental potential of mouse oocytes by decreasing sCa and downregulating CaSR expression. Because mouse oocytes routinely treated for activation (18 h post hCG) are equipped with a full sCa complement and CaSR, the present results suggest that, while calcium influx is not essential, CaSR is required for the EIA of oocytes.
Trematodes of the genus Ogmocotyle are intestinal flukes that can infect a variety of definitive hosts, resulting in significant economic losses worldwide. However, there are few studies on molecular data of these trematodes. In this study, the mitochondrial (mt) genome of Ogmocotyle ailuri isolated from red panda (Ailurus fulgens) was determined and compared with those from Pronocephalata to investigate the mt genome content, genetic distance, gene rearrangements and phylogeny. The complete mt genome of O. ailuri is a typical closed circular molecule of 14 642 base pairs, comprising 12 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 2 non-coding regions. All genes are transcribed in the same direction. In addition, 23 intergenic spacers and 2 locations with gene overlaps were determined. Sequence identities and sliding window analysis indicated that cox1 is the most conserved gene among 12 PCGs in O. ailuri mt genome. The sequenced mt genomes of the 48 Plagiorchiida trematodes showed 5 types of gene arrangement based on all mt genome genes, with the gene arrangement of O. ailuri being type I. Phylogenetic analysis using concatenated amino acid sequences of 12 PCGs revealed that O. ailuri was closer to Ogmocotyle sikae than to Notocotylus intestinalis. These data enhance the Ogmocotyle mt genome database and provide molecular resources for further studies of Pronocephalata taxonomy, population genetics and systematics.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection led to 66% liver deaths world-wide in year 2015. Thirty-seven per cent of these deaths were the result of chronic hepatitis B (CHB)-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Although early diagnosis of HCC improves survival, early detection is rare. Methylation of HBV DNA including covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) is more often encountered in HCC cases than those in CHB and cirrhosis. Three typical CpG islands within the HBV genome are the common sites for methylation. The HBV cccDNA methylation affects the viral replication and protein expression in the course of infection and may associate with the disease pathogenesis and HCC development. We review the current findings in HBV DNA methylation that provide insights into its role in HCC diagnosis.
Despite increasing knowledge on the neuroimaging patterns of eating disorder (ED) symptoms in non-clinical populations, studies using whole-brain machine learning to identify connectome-based neuromarkers of ED symptomatology are absent. This study examined the association of connectivity within and between large-scale functional networks with specific symptomatic behaviors and cognitions using connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM).
CPM with ten-fold cross-validation was carried out to probe functional networks that were predictive of ED-associated symptomatology, including body image concerns, binge eating, and compensatory behaviors, within the discovery sample of 660 participants. The predictive ability of the identified networks was validated using an independent sample of 821 participants.
The connectivity predictive of body image concerns was identified within and between networks implicated in cognitive control (frontoparietal and medial frontal), reward sensitivity (subcortical), and visual perception (visual). Crucially, the set of connections in the positive network related to body image concerns identified in one sample was generalized to predict body image concerns in an independent sample, suggesting the replicability of this effect.
These findings point to the feasibility of using the functional connectome to predict ED symptomatology in the general population and provide the first evidence that functional interplay among distributed networks predicts body shape/weight concerns.
Since embryonic stem cells (ESCs) were first identified, significant progress has been achieved. However, the establishment of buffalo ESCs (bESCs) is still unclear. This study was undertaken to explore the effect of the blastocyst stage on the isolation of bESCs. Firstly, our results indicated that the pluripotent genes were mainly expressed at the early stages of blastocyst, and the attachment and colony formation rates of bESCs derived from expanded blastocyst and hatched blastocyst were significantly higher than early blastocyst and blastocyst. In the meantime, bESCs showed positive alkaline phosphatase activity and expressed genes like OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, c-MYC, CDH1, KLF4, and TBX3. Immunofluorescence also confirmed the expression of OCT4, SOX2. Embryoid bodies expressing three marker genes were generated from the differentiation experiment, and fibroblast, epithelial, and neuron-like cells were induced. Moreover, naive-related genes KLF4, TBX3, primed-related genes FGF5, ACTA2 were expressed in the cells, but not REX-1. Immunofluorescence and western blot confirmed the FGF5 expression. Furthermore, bESCs could maintain pluripotency with the signal of LIF and bFGF. In summary, our results indicated that expanded blastocyst and hatched blastocyst are more suitable for bESCs isolation.
Widely distributed Mid-Neoproterozoic mafic rocks of the Qilian – Qaidam – East Kunlun region record the tectonic evolution of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. This study presents whole-rock geochemistry, zircon U–Pb geochronology and Hf isotopes for the Xialanuoer gabbros of the central South Qilian Belt (SQB). Zircon laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) U–Pb dating indicates that the gabbros were emplaced at ca. 738 Ma, indicating they are contemporaneous with mafic magmatism elsewhere in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. The gabbros have low SiO2, Cr and Ni contents and Mg# values, are relatively enriched in light rare-earth elements (LREEs) and depleted in high-field-strength elements (HFSEs; e.g. Nb and Ta), have no positive Zr or Hf anomalies and have relatively high Nb/Ta but low Nb/La ratios. These data indicate that the Xialanuoer gabbros formed from calc-alkaline basaltic magmas that were originally generated by the partial melting of an enriched mantle of type-I (EMI-type) enriched region of the lithospheric mantle, underwent little to no crustal contamination prior to their emplacement, and have within-plate basalt geochemical affinities. Combining these data with the presence of widespread contemporaneous continental rift-related magmatism and sedimentation in the North Qilian, Central Qilian, South Qilian, Quanji, North Qaidam and East Kunlun regions suggests that the northeastern Tibetan Plateau underwent Mid-Neoproterozoic continental rifting, which also affected other Rodinian blocks (e.g. Tarim, South China, Australia, North America and Southern Africa).
Resistant starch (RS) has received increased attention due to its potential health benefits. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of dietary corn RS on immunological characteristics of broilers. A total of 320 broiler chicks were randomly allocated to five dietary treatments: normal corn–soyabean (NC) diet group, corn starch diet group, 4 %, 8 % and 12 % RS diet groups. This trial lasted for 42 d. The relative weights of spleen, thymus and bursa, the concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) and IL-4 in plasma at 21 d of age, as well as the activities of total nitric oxide synthase (TNOS) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in plasma at 21 and 42 d of age showed positive linear responses (P < 0·05) to the increasing dietary RS level. Meanwhile, compared with the birds from the NC group at 21 d of age, birds fed 4 % RS, 8 % RS and 12 % RS diets exhibited higher (P < 0·05) relative weight of bursa and concentrations of NO and interferon-γ in plasma. Birds fed 4 % RS and 8 % RS diets showed higher (P < 0·05) number of IgA-producing cells in the jejunum. While compared with birds from the NC group at 42 d of age, birds fed 12 % RS diet showed higher (P < 0·05) relative weight of spleen and activities of TNOS and iNOS in plasma. These findings suggested that dietary corn RS supplementation can improve immune function in broilers.
The present study evaluated effects of dietary supplementation with tryptophan (Trp) on muscle growth, protein synthesis and antioxidant capacity in hybrid catfish Pelteobagrus vachelli♀ × Leiocassis longirostris♂. Fish were fed six different diets containing 2·6 (control), 3·1, 3·7, 4·2, 4·7 and 5·6 g Trp/kg diet for 56 d, respectively. Results showed that dietary Trp significantly (1) improved muscle protein content, fibre density and frequency of fibre diameter; (2) up-regulated the mRNA levels of PCNA, myf5, MyoD1, MyoG, MRF4, IGF-I, IGF-II, IGF-IR, PIK3Ca, TOR, 4EBP1 and S6K1; (3) increased phosphorylation levels of AKT, TOR and S6K1; (4) decreased contents of MDA and PC, and increased activities of CAT, GST, GR, ASA and AHR; (5) up-regulated mRNA levels of CuZnSOD, CAT, GST, GPx, GCLC and Nrf2, and decreased Keap1 mRNA level; (6) increased nuclear Nrf2 protein level and the intranuclear antioxidant response element-binding ability, and reduced Keap1 protein level. These results indicated that dietary Trp improved muscle growth, protein synthesis as well as antioxidant capacity, which might be partly related to myogenic regulatory factors, IGF/PIK3Ca/AKT/TOR and Keap1/Nrf2 signalling pathways. Finally, based on the quadratic regression analysis of muscle protein and MDA contents, the optimal Trp requirements of hybrid catfish (21·82–39·64 g) were estimated to be 3·94 and 3·93 g Trp/kg diet (9·57 and 9·54 g/kg of dietary protein), respectively.
To estimate the risks of depressive symptoms for developing frailty, accounting for baseline robust or pre-frailty status.
An incident cohort study design.
Community dwellers aged 55 years and above from urban and rural areas in seven regions in Taiwan.
A total of 2,717 participants from the Healthy Aging Longitudinal Study in Taiwan (HALST) were included. Subjects with frailty at baseline were excluded. The average follow-up period was 5.9 years.
Depressive symptoms were measured by the 20-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale. Frailty was assessed using the Fried frailty measurement. Participants were stratified by baseline robust or pre-frailty status to reduce the confounding effects of the shared criteria between depressive symptoms and frailty. Overall and stratified survival analyses were conducted to assess risks of developing frailty as a result of baseline depressive symptoms.
One hundred individuals (3.7%) had depressive symptoms at baseline. Twenty-seven individuals (27.0%) with depressive symptoms developed frailty, whereas only 305 out of the 2,617 participants (11.7%) without depressive symptoms developed frailty during the follow-up period. After adjusting for covariates, depressive symptoms were associated with a 2.6-fold (95% CI 1.6, 4.2) increased hazard of incident frailty. The patterns of increased hazard were also observed when further stratified by baseline robust or pre-frailty status.
Depressive symptoms increased the risk of developing frailty among the older Asian population. The impact of late-life depressive symptoms on physical health was notable. These findings also replicated results from Western populations. Future policies on geriatric public health need to focus more on treatment and intervention against geriatric depressive symptoms to prevent incident frailty among older population.
Previous studies have reported inverse associations between certain healthy lifestyle factors and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but limited evidence showed the synergistic effect of those lifestyles. This study examined the relationship of a combination of lifestyles, expressed as Healthy Lifestyle Score (HLS), with NAFLD.
A community-based cross-sectional study. Questionnaires and body assessments were used to collect data on the six-item HLS (ranging from 0 to 6, where higher scores indicate better health). The HLS consists of non-smoking (no active or passive smoking), normal BMI (18·5–23·9 kg/m2), physical activity (moderate or vigorous physical activity ≥ 150 min/week), healthy diet pattern, good sleep (no insomnia or <6 months) and no anxiety (Self-rating Anxiety Scale < 50), one point each. NAFLD was diagnosed by ultrasonography.
Two thousand nine hundred and eighty-one participants aged 40–75 years.
The overall prevalence of NAFLD was 50·8 %. After adjusting for potential covariates, HLS was associated with lower presence of NAFLD. The OR of NAFLD for subjects with higher HLS (3, 4, 5–6 v. 0–1 points) were 0·68 (95 % CI 0·51, 0·91), 0·58 (95 % CI 0·43, 0·78) and 0·35 (95 % CI 0·25, 0·51), respectively (P-values < 0·05). Among the six items, BMI and physical activity were the strongest contributors. Sensitivity analyses showed that the association was more significant after weighting the HLS. The beneficial association remained after excluding any one of the six components or replacing BMI with waist circumference.
Higher HLS was associated with lower presence of NAFLD, suggesting that a healthy lifestyle pattern might be beneficial to liver health.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) holds vast potential in agriculture. However, its applications are still limited by its low efficiency. Histone 3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) was identified as an epigenetic barrier for this. Histone demethylase KDM4D could regulate the level of H3K9me3. However, its effects on buffalo SCNT embryos are still unclear. Thus, we performed this study to explore the effects and underlying mechanism of KDM4D on buffalo SCNT embryos. The results revealed that compared with the IVF embryos, the expression level of KDM4D in SCNT embryos was significantly lower at 8- and 16-cell stage, while the level of H3K9me3 in SCNT embryos was significantly higher at 2-cell, 8-cell, and blastocyst stage. Microinjection of KDM4D mRNA could promote the developmental ability of buffalo SCNT embryos. Furthermore, the expression level of ZGA-related genes such as ZSCAN5B, SNAI1, eIF-3a, and TRC at the 8-cell stage was significantly increased. Meanwhile, the pluripotency-related genes like POU5F1, SOX2, and NANOG were also significantly promoted at the blastocyst stage. The results were reversed after KDM4D was inhibited. Altogether, these results revealed that KDM4D could correct the H3K9me3 level, increase the expression level of ZGA and pluripotency-related genes, and finally, promote the developmental competence of buffalo SCNT embryos.
The prognostic factor for in-hospital mortality in tuberculosis (TB) patients requiring intensive care unit (ICU) care remains unclear. Therefore, a retrospective study was conducted aiming to estimate the in-hospital mortality rate and the risk factors for mortality in a high-burden setting. All patients with culture-confirmed TB that were admitted to the ICU of the hospital between March 2012 and April 2019 were identified retrospectively. Data, such as demographic characteristics, comorbidities, laboratory measures and mortality, were obtained from medical records. The Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to identify prognostic factors that influence in-hospital mortality. A total of 82 ICU patients with confirmed TB were included in the analysis, and 22 deaths were observed during the hospital stay, 21 patients died in the ICU. In the multivariable model adjusted for sex and age, the levels of serum albumin and white blood cell (WBC) count were significantly associated with mortality in TB patients requiring ICU care (all P < 0.01), the hazard ratios were 0.8 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.7–0.9) per 1 g/l and 1.1 (95% CI: 1.0–1.2) per 1 × 109/l, respectively. In conclusion, in-hospital mortality remains high in TB patients requiring ICU care. Low serum albumin level and high WBC count significantly impact the risk of mortality in these TB patients in China.
Continuous hBN films have been grown by means of a radio-frequency-sputtering technology, and their material properties have been investigated. The prepared hBN films can achieve good smoothness in a large area. The surface morphologies and compositions of the hBN films on Si substrate and Al film have been characterized, indicating that there is no difference. The 101-phase peak of hBN film is the strongest, and the optical band gap of the fabricated film is 5.84 eV. An attempt on the fabrication of the hBN based resistive switching (RS) device has been made by using an Ag/hBN/Al structure, leading to the observation of a clear and stable RS behavior. The device exhibits a resistance window (high-resistivity state/low-resistivity state) of around 102, and the RS behaviors of hBN film prepared by sputtering were first observed. It has been found that the opening voltage for the device is changed when a different cycle voltage is applied because of the built-in electric field increasing with the increase of applied cycle voltage. The mechanism of the RS behavior has been analyzed, which lay a foundation for the application of hBN as RS material in resistive random access memory to improve the storage density.
Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
Needles of Juniperus rigida are used in Chinese traditional medicine for the treatment of brucellosis, dropsy, skin disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. This is the first study that reports anatomical structures of the J. rigida needles collected at different altitudes. The most common anatomical, phytochemical, and histochemical techniques and methods are used. The results show that anatomical structures and chemical composition change significantly at different altitudes. The main anatomical characters are significant xeromorphic structures (thick epidermis, hypodermis, and cuticle), a stomatal band, a developed vascular bundle, and a marginal resin duct. The xeromorphic structures become more pronounced with increasing altitude. The phytochemical and histochemical results demonstrate that the content of the main chemical compounds (phenols and terpenoids) basically increases at a higher elevation. Histochemical analysis localizes the phenols in epidermal cells, sponge tissue, endothelial layer cells, and stomatal bands, and the terpenoids in palisade tissue, sponge tissue, and the edge of the resin duct. This work reveals the relation between anatomy and chemistry in J. rigida needles, contributes to the quality control of its ethno-medicine, and provides the evidence to develop the commercial cultivation.
A supercapacitor electrode featured with a voltage self-stabilizing capability is demonstrated by growing indium tin oxide (ITO) nanowires on Ni foam. The ITO nanowires with a single crystal structure are prepared by using magnetron sputtering technique, and they can act as an active electrode material. Charging–discharging experiments are performed under different current densities, demonstrating a good rate capability. Using properly designing top and bottom double connection circuits, part of the electrode can be used as a resistance switch. An electrode that can function as a supercapacitor and a resistance switch is fabricated. Detailed characteristics confirm that the device not only exhibits high performance as a supercapacitor but also has good characteristics of resistance switching (RS). The specific capacitance is 956 F/g at the scanning rate of 10 mV/s, and the switching ratio as a bipolar resistance switch is as high as 102. The stabilization time of discharging voltage is nearly doubled longer than that without any RS function, revealing the potential application of our devices, which can be used as a supercapacitor with voltage self-stabilizing.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
Liquid films can be entrained when the dewetting velocity attains a threshold, and this dynamical wetting transition has been well studied in the situation of plane substrates. We investigate the forced dewetting in a capillary tube using diffuse-interface simulations and lubrication analysis, focusing on the onset of wetting transition and subsequent interface evolution. Results show that the meniscus remains stable when the displacing rate is below a threshold, beyond which film entrainment occurs and eventually leads to the formation of Taylor bubbles separated by liquid slugs, as has also been observed in the recent experiments of Zhao et al. (Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 120, 2018, 084501). We derive an analytical solution of the critical capillary number, and demonstrate that the wetting transition is accompanied by a vanishing apparent contact angle and an abrupt drop of the contact-line velocity. Both the bubble and slug lengths are found to depend on the capillary number and the wettability of the wall. A theoretical formula for the bubble length is also proposed and compares favourably with numerical and experimental results.