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Calcified cyanobacteria are of considerable research value for reconstructing the ecology of Paleozoic and Mesozoic benthic communities on carbonate platforms due to their ability to produce oxygen and fix nitrogen and CO2. The diversity and abundance of calcified cyanobacteria was initially suggested to have declined in the Middle and Late Ordovician, although more recent work suggests that complex and diverse assemblages persisted throughout the Ordovician. Here, calcified cyanobacteria and associated microfossil flora from the Middle and Late Ordovician of the Ordos Basin, North China Block, are systematically described for the first time based on 1330 thin sections from seven outcrop profiles and four drill cores. In total, there are 18 species belonging to 16 genera, including a new species, Proaulopora ordosia n. sp. Girvanella, Subtifloria, Acuasiphonoria, Xianella, and Oscillatoriaceae gen. indet. are assigned to Osillatoriales of cyanobacteria; Ortonella, Hedstroemia, Cayeuxia, Zonotrichites, Proaulopora, and Phacelophyton are assigned to Nostocales of cyanobacteria; and Garwoodia, Renalcis, Izhella, Rothpletzella, and Wetheredella are assigned to calcified Microproblematica. A literature survey of Ordovician microfloral assemblages shows that cyanobacteria and associated microfossils occur in reef, open platform, lagoon, and tidal facies. Most genera occur on at least two independent blocks, and many have a cosmopolitan distribution in similar sedimentary facies. Our research suggests that calcified cyanobacteria and associated microfossils formed complex ecosystems and played greater ecological roles on carbonate platforms during the late Middle and Late Ordovician than was previously thought.
Thrombocytopenia occasionally occurs following the closure of some giant patent ductus arteriosus cases. Unfortunately, there is no associated research describing the associated risk factors for thrombocytopenia post-procedure.
We reviewed all patients who received occluders with sizes ≥10/12 mm between January 2013 and June 2019. All the data and information on the characteristics of the patients and their follow-up were recorded. Univariate analysis, receiver operating characteristic curves, and linear regression were used to analyse the risk factors for thrombocytopenia and the predictors of hospitalisation stay.
Finally, 32 patients (17.5%) suffered from thrombocytopenia. Univariate analysis revealed the ratio between occluder disc size (mm) and body weight (kg) (1.71 ± 0.51 versus 1.35 ± 0.53) as an independent predictive factor for thrombocytopenia, and the area under the curve of the ratio of occluder size and body weight for predicting thrombocytopenia post-closure was 0.691 (95% confidence interval: 0.589–0.792, p = 0.001). The best cut-off value for the ratio of occluder size and weight was 1.5895, with a sensitivity and specificity of 68.8 and 66.9%, respectively. Each unit of the ratio of occluder size and body weight predicted an average hospitalisation stay of 2.856 days (95% confidence interval: 1.380–4.332). Treatment with medication did not reduce the hospitalisation stay or benefit platelet restoration.
Once the ratio of occluder size and body weight is greater than 1.6, thrombocytopenia always exists. Every unit of the ratio of occluder size and body weight represents an additional 3 days of hospitalisation. Treatment does not reduce the duration of hospitalisation.
Nanocrystalline metals possess high strength and outstanding resistance to irradiation damage. However, the high-density grain boundaries in nanocrystalline metals lead to low plasticity and poor thermal stability. In recent years, interface engineering has gradually become an important way to improve the comprehensive properties of nanocrystalline metals. In this paper, the interface structure, deformation mechanism, and physical properties of Cu–Nb nanolayered composites fabricated by physical vapor deposition and accumulative roll bonding are reviewed. Both Cu–Nb nanolayered composites possess semi-coherent interfaces. The nanolayered composites could achieve excellent resistance to irradiation damage since the interfaces are good sinks for the irradiation point defects. In addition, nanolayered metallic composites with abundant heterogeneous interfaces have better thermal stability compared to nanocrystalline metallic materials. Moreover, the interactions between dislocations and interfaces can be adjusted effectively through controlling the atomistic interface structure and alignment of slip systems across the interface, so as to achieve high strength and high plastic deformation ability simultaneously.
Solid solution 0.94Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3–6BaTiO3 (NBT–6BT) is considered to be one kind of lead-free piezoelectric materials with excellent electrical properties due to the existence of morphotropic phase boundary (MPB). However, its relatively lower depolarization temperature is a long-standing bottleneck for the application of NBT-based piezoelectric ceramics. In this work, the influence of thermal quenching on depolarization temperature and electrical properties of rare-earth Ho-doped NBT–6BT lead-free ceramics was investigated. It was shown that the relative high piezoelectric performance, as well as an improvement of depolarization temperature (Td), can be realized by thermal quenching. The results showed that the quenching process induced high concentration of oxygen vacancy, giving rise to the change of octahedra mode and enhanced lattice distortion, which is benefit to the temperature stability of piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties. Furthermore, up-conversion photoluminescence (PL) of Ho-doped NBT–6BT could be effectively tuned by the introduction of oxygen vacancy, suggesting a promising potential in optical–electrical multifunctional devices.
Early life stress has been associated with emotional dysregulations and altered architecture of limbic-prefrontal brain systems engaged in emotional processing. Serotonin regulates both, developmental and experience-dependent neuroplasticity in these circuits. Central serotonergic biosynthesis rates are regulated by Tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) and transgenic animal models suggest that TPH2-gene associated differences in serotonergic signaling mediate the impact of aversive early life experiences on a phenotype characterized by anxious avoidance.
The present study employed an imaging genetics approach that capitalized on individual differences in a TPH2 polymorphism (703G/T; rs4570625) to determine whether differences in serotonergic signaling modulate the effects of early life stress on brain structure and function and punishment sensitivity in humans (n = 252).
Higher maltreatment exposure before the age of 16 was associated with increased gray matter volumes in a circuitry spanning thalamic-limbic-prefrontal regions and decreased intrinsic communication in limbic-prefrontal circuits selectively in TT carriers. In an independent replication sample, associations between higher early life stress and increased frontal volumes in TT carriers were confirmed. On the phenotype level, the genotype moderated the association between higher early life stress exposure and higher punishment sensitivity. In TT carriers, the association between higher early life stress exposure and punishment sensitivity was critically mediated by increased thalamic-limbic-prefrontal volumes.
The present findings suggest that early life stress shapes the neural organization of the limbic-prefrontal circuits in interaction with individual variations in the TPH2 gene to promote a phenotype characterized by facilitated threat avoidance, thus promoting early adaptation to an adverse environment.
This study aimed to investigate the benefit of Bonebridge devices in patients with single-sided deafness.
Five patients with single-sided deafness who were implanted with Bonebridge devices were recruited in a single-centre study. Participants’ speech perception and horizontal sound localisation abilities were assessed at 6 and 12 months post-operatively. Speech intelligibility in noisy environments was measured in three different testing conditions (speech and noise presented from the front, speech and noise presented from the front and contralateral (normal ear) side separately, and speech presented from the ipsilateral (implanted Bonebridge) side and noise from the contralateral side). Sound localisation was evaluated in Bonebridge-aided and Bonebridge-unaided conditions at different stimuli levels (65, 70 and 75 dB SPL).
All participants showed a better capacity for speech intelligibility in quiet environments with the Bonebridge device. The speech recognition threshold with the Bonebridge device was significantly decreased at both short- and long-term follow up in the speech presented from the ipsilateral (implanted Bonebridge) side and noise from the contralateral side condition (p < 0.05). Additionally, participants maintained similar levels of sound localisation between the Bonebridge-aided and unaided conditions (p > 0.05). However, the accuracy of localisation showed some improvement at 70 dB SPL and 75 dB SPL post-operatively.
The Bonebridge device provides the benefit of improved speech perception performance in patients with single-sided deafness. Sound localisation abilities were neither improved nor worsened with Bonebridge implantation at the follow-up assessments.
Ammonia can supplement hydrogen gas as a clean fuel to combat climate change. It overcomes hindrances that currently impede the realization of the full potential of hydrogen gas, including economical storage, political commitment, and safety concerns.
No studies have reported on how to relieve distress or relax in medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The study aimed to establish which relaxation technique, among six, is the most feasible in first-line medical health workers wearing medical protective equipment.
This was a two-step study collecting data with online surveys. Step 1: 15 first-line medical health workers were trained to use six different relaxation techniques and reported the two most feasible techniques while wearing medical protective equipment. Step 2: the most two feasible relaxation techniques revealed by step 1 were quantitatively tested in a sample of 65 medical health workers in terms of efficacy, no space limitation, no time limitation, no body position requirement, no environment limitation to be done, easiness to learn, simplicity, convenience, practicality, and acceptance.
Kegel exercise and autogenic relaxation were the most feasible techniques according to step 1. In step 2, Kegel exercise outperformed autogenic relaxation on all the 10 dimensions among the 65 participants while wearing medical protective equipment (efficacy: 24 v. 15, no space limitation: 30 v. 4, no time limitation: 31 v. 4, no body position requirement: 26 v. 4, no environment limitation: 30 v. 11, easiness to learn: 28 v. 5, simplicity: 29 v. 7, convenience: 29 v. 4, practicality: 30 v. 14, acceptance: 32 v. 6).
Kegel exercise seems a promising self-relaxation technique for first-line medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment among COVID-19 pandemic.
Parabronema skrjabini is one of the most harmful nematodes to camels and is responsible for economic losses in animal husbandry industry. There is an urgent need for in-depth studies of potential vectors of the nematode due to its scant regarding information. As previous studies indicated that flies may be the vectors of P. skrjabini, we captured flies in the main camel-producing areas of Inner Mongolia. After autopsy of the specimens of two species of horn flies, we observed the morphology of the suspected nematode larvae found in them. Internal transcribed spacer ribosomal-DNA gene sequences were considered the best candidate to confirm the species of the larvae found. Our results showed that the homology compared with P. skrjabini was 99.5% in GenBank. Subsequently, we preliminarily identified two species of horn flies through morphological observation and then sequenced the mitochondrial-DNA-gene cytochrome oxidase subunit I obtained from two species of horn flies, with 100 and 99.2% similarity to sequences deposited in GenBank, respectively. Thus, we identified Haematobia titillans and Haematobia irritans and provided evidence for their potential role as vectors of parabronemosis. Our study provides reference for future research on the life history of the nematode and the vectors of parabronemosis.
The evolution of melt ponds on Arctic sea ice in summer is one of the main factors that affect sea-ice albedo and hence the polar climate system. Due to the different spectral properties of open water, melt pond and sea ice, the melt pond fraction (MPF) can be retrieved using a fully constrained least-squares algorithm, which shows a high accuracy with root mean square error ~0.06 based on the validation experiment using WorldView-2 image. In this study, the evolution of ponds on first-year and multiyear ice in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago was compared based on Sentinel-2 and Landsat 8 images. The relationships of pond coverage with air temperature and albedo were analysed. The results show that the pond coverage on first-year ice changed dramatically with seasonal maximum of 54%, whereas that on multiyear ice changed relatively flat with only 30% during the entire melting period. During the stage of pond formation, the ponds expanded rapidly when the temperature increased to over 0°C for three consecutive days. Sea-ice albedo shows a significantly negative correlation (R = −1) with the MPF in melt season and increases gradually with the refreezing of ponds and sea ice.
To describe the laboratory findings of cases of death with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to establish a scoring system for predicting death, we conducted this single-centre, retrospective, observational study including 336 adult patients (≥18 years old) with severe or critically ill COVID-19 admitted in two wards of Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, who had definite outcomes (death or discharge) between 1 February 2020 and 13 March 2020. Single variable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to identify mortality-related factors. We combined multiple factors to predict mortality, which was validated by receiver operating characteristic curves. As a result, in a total of 336 patients, 34 (10.1%) patients died during hospitalisation. Through multivariable logistic regression, we found that decreased lymphocyte ratio (Lymr, %) (odds ratio, OR 0.574, P < 0.001), elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) (OR 1.513, P = 0.009), and raised D-dimer (DD) (OR 1.334, P = 0.002) at admission were closely related to death. The combined prediction model was developed by these factors with a sensitivity of 100.0% and specificity of 97.2%. In conclusion, decreased Lymr, elevated BUN, and raised DD were found to be in association with death outcomes in critically ill patients with COVID-19. A scoring system was developed to predict the clinical outcome of these patients.
The Wulian complex is located on the northern margin of the Sulu orogenic belt, and was formed by collision between the North China Craton (NCC) to the north and South China Craton (SCC) to the south. It consists of the metasedimentary Wulian Group, gneissic granite and meta-diorite. The U–Pb analyses for the detrital zircons from the Wulian Group exhibit one predominant age population of 2600–2400 Ma with a peak at c. 2.5 Ga and several secondary age populations of > 3000, 3000–2800, 2800–2600, 2200–2000, 1900–1800, 1500–1300 and 1250–950 Ma; some metamorphic zircons have metamorphic ages of c. 2.7, 2.55–2.45, 2.1–2.0 and 1.95–1.80 Ga, which are consistent with magmatic-metamorphic events in the SCC. Additionally, the Wulian Group was intruded by the gneissic granite and meta-diorite at c. 0.76 Ga, attributed to Neoproterozoic syn-rifting bimodal magmatic activity in the SCC and derived from partial melting of Archaean continental crust and depleted mantle, respectively. The Wulian Group therefore has tectonic affinity to the SCC and was mainly sourced from the SCC. The detrital zircons have positive and negative ϵHf(t) values, indicating that their source rocks were derived from reworking of both ancient and juvenile crustal rocks. The major early Precambrian crustal growth took place during c. 3.4–2.5 Ga with a dominant peak at 2.96 Ga and several secondary peaks at 3.27, 2.74 and 2.52 Ga. The two oldest zircons with ages of 3307 and 3347 Ma record the recycling of ancient continental crust (> 3.35 Ga) and crustal growth prior to c. 3.95 Ga in the SCC.
To identify the association of the glucokinase gene (GCK) rs4607517 polymorphism with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and determine whether sweets consumption could interact with the polymorphism on GDM in Chinese women.
We conducted a case–control study at a hospital including 1015 participants (562 GDM cases and 453 controls). We collected the data of pre-pregnancy BMI, sweets consumption and performed genotyping of the GCK rs4607517 polymorphism. Logistic regression was performed to test the association between the rs4607517 polymorphism and GDM, and the stratified analyses by sweets consumption were conducted, using an additive genetic model.
A case–control study of women at a hospital in Beijing, China.
One thousand and fifteen Chinese women.
The GCK rs4607517 A allele was significantly associated with GDM (OR 1·35, 95 % CI 1·03, 1·77; P = 0·028). Furthermore, stratified analyses showed that the A allele increased the risk of GDM only in women who had a habitual consumption of sweet foods (sweets consumption ≥ once per week) (OR 1·61, 95 % CI 1·17, 2·21; P = 0·003). Significant interaction on GDM was found between the rs4607517 A allele and sweets consumption (P = 0·004).
This study for the first time reported the interaction between the GCK rs4607517 polymorphism and sweets consumption on GDM. The results provided novel evidence for risk assessment and personalised prevention of GDM.
Electrospun membranes have potential applications in the field of waterproof and breathable textile products. However, challenges still exist to improve the breathability, and waterproof and mechanical properties of these microporous membranes. In this paper, a novel hydrophobic microporous nanofiber membrane was prepared via side-by-side electrospinning of fluorosilane-modified silica nanoparticles (F–SiO2) blended with synthesized polyurethane (PU) solution and composited with the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) solution. To prepare F–SiO2, SiO2 nanoparticles were hydrophobically modified by fluorosilane. Composite nanofiber membranes with different blending ratios of PU(F–SiO2)/PAN were fabricated via side-by-side electrospinning by controlling the extruding speed of two spinnerets. Experimental results indicated that regarding F–SiO2 as hydrophobic inorganic particle can improve the hydrophobic properties of PU nanofiber membrane. The prepared PAN/(F–SiO2/PU) nanofiber microporous membranes exhibit relatively excellent waterproof and mechanical properties as that robust tensile strength (19.5 MPa), preferable water vapor permeability [10.3 kg/(m2 d)], favorable water contact angle (137.2°), and superior mechanical properties. It was believed that the reinforced PAN/(F–SiO2/PU) nanofibrous composite membranes have potential applications in chemical protective clothing, army combat uniforms, self-cleaning materials, and other medical products.
There seems to be geographical differences in decisions about breast conserving surgery (BCS) in breast cancer patients. This study was to evaluate patients’ attitude to BCS and to assess the factors affecting cancer practice in West China.
A structured questionnaire was distributed to 184 patients, eliciting information about the patients’ characteristics, occupation, education, family life, recognition of illness, knowledge about BCS, the main means of gaining surgery information, selecting surgery approaches, preferences to breast reservation.
In all, 163 patients completed the questionnaire. The results indicated that only 7.4% of patients received BCS and 23% of the remaining patients desired to have BCS and the affecting factors were significantly associated with their family life, recognition of illness and the main means of gaining surgery information (P < 0.05). No associations were between BCS selecting and the other variables studied. The most frequent reasons for selecting BCS were keeping the female shape and improving quality of life (71%), the second most were postoperative recovery, minimal influence of physical function (47%) and patients’ knowledge about BCS (42%). The most frequent reasons for not selecting BCS were uncertainty about BCS results and worry about recurrence (81%), the second most was the elderly age unnecessary for BCS (40%).
The findings indicate that breast cancer patients in West China do not take BCS as the first choice as the best treatment method. It is warranted that further study of more patients, attitude of patients’ partners and physicians to BCS.
Clay often has severe detrimental impacts on cement-based materials. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the mechanism causing the deterioration to improve the service life of cement-based materials. Based on accurate dimensional analysis, a mechanism that influences clay is proposed: the intercalation of the side chains of superplasticizer molecules in the interlayer space of the clay. To lessen this harmful effect, a new clay-resistant admixture (CRA) possessing cationic groups of small molecular size was synthesized through a novel dimensional design. The length and width of the side chains of this superplasticizer molecule were 9.50–17.50 and 0.25–0.40 nm, respectively, with a radius of ~3.74 nm in solvent, which is larger than the interlayer spacing of montmorillonite (i.e. 1.09–2.14 nm). The longitudinal and latitudinal lengths of the CRA molecule were 0.468 and 9.456 nm, respectively, ensuring intercalation in the interlayer of montmorillonite. The increase in interlayer spacing of the clay was 0.364 nm following addition of polycarboxylate superplasticizer (PCE) plus CRA and 0.632 nm following addition of PCE, which suggests that the CRA plays the role of a ‘sacrificial agent’ that is preferentially intercalated into the interlayer space of clay to further prevent the side chains of the superplasticizer molecules from entering the interlayer. The aim of this study was to propose a suitable means of synthesizing a new CRA to address the impact of clay through dimensional design and mechanism analysis, which contributes to the theoretical study and technological improvement of cement-based materials.