To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
In multilevel modeling of clustered survival data, to account for the differences among different clusters, a commonly used approach is to introduce cluster effects, either random or fixed, into the model. Modeling with random effects may lead to difficulties in the implementation of the estimation procedure for the unknown parameters of interest because the numerical computation of multiple integrals may become unavoidable when the cluster effects are not scalars. On the other hand, if fixed effects are used, there is a danger of having estimators with large variances because there are too many nuisance parameters involved in the model. In this article, using the idea of the homogeneity pursuit, we propose a new multilevel modeling approach for clustered survival data. The proposed modeling approach does not have the potential computational problem as modeling with random effects, and it also involves far fewer unknown parameters than modeling with fixed effects. We also establish asymptotic properties to show the advantages of the proposed model and conduct intensive simulation studies to demonstrate the performance of the proposed method. Finally, the proposed method is applied to analyze a dataset on the second-birth interval in Bangladesh. The most interesting finding is the impact of some important factors on the length of the second-birth interval variation over clusters and its homogeneous structure.
Few studies have investigated the association between maternal dietary patterns (DP) during pregnancy, derived from reduced-rank regression (RRR), and fetal growth. This study aims to identify DP during pregnancy associated with macro- and micronutrient intakes, using the RRR method, and to examine their relationship with birth weight (BW). We used data of 7194 women from a large-scale cross-sectional survey in Northwest China. Dietary protein, carbohydrate, haem Fe density and the ratio of PUFA and MUFA:SFA were used as the intermediate variables in the RRR model to extract DP. Generalised estimating equation models were applied to evaluate the associations between DP and BW and related outcomes (including BW z-score, low birth weight (LBW) and small for gestational age (SGA)). Four DP during pregnancy were identified. Socio-demographically disadvantaged pregnant women were more likely to have lower BW and lower adherence to DP1 (high legumes, soyabean products, vegetables and animal-source foods, with relative low wheat and oils). Women with medium and high adherence to DP1 had significantly increased BW (medium 28·6 (95 % CI 7·1, 50·1); high 25·2 (95 % CI 2·7, 47·6)) and BW z-score and had significantly reduced risks of LBW and SGA. The associations were stronger among women with babies <3100 g. There is no association between other DP and outcomes. Higher adherence to the DP that was high in legumes, soyabean products, vegetables and animal-source foods was associated with improved BW in the Chinese pregnant women, particularly among those with disadvantageous socio-demographic conditions.
Identifying risk factors and mortality of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could have important implications for the clinical management of AD.
This pilot study aimed to examine the overall mortality of AD patients over a 10-year surveillance period in Shanghai, China. This study is an extension of our previous investigation on mortality of neurodegenerative diseases.
One hundred and thirty-two AD patients recruited from the memory clinics of two hospitals in Shanghai in 2007 were followed up until December 31, 2017 or death, representing a follow-up period of up to 10 years. Overall standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated, and predictors for survival at recruitment were estimated.
Sixty-seven patients had died by December 31, 2017, and the SMR at 10 years of follow-up was 1.225 (95% confidence interval 0.944–1.563). Employing Cox’s proportional hazard modeling, lower Mini-Mental State Examination score, and comorbid diabetes predicted poor survival in this cohort.
This pilot study suggests a similar survival trend of patients with AD compared to the general population in Shanghai urban region. Poor cognitive status and comorbid diabetes had a negative impact on the survival of AD patients.
The seminiferous tubule (ST) is the location of spermatogenesis, where mature spermatozoa are produced with the assistance of Sertoli cells. The role of extracellular vesicles in the direct communication between Sertoli-germ cells in the ST is still not fully understood. In this study, we reported multivesicular bodies (MVBs) and their source of CD63-enriched exosomes by light and ultrastructure microscopy during the reproductive phases of turtles. Strong CD63 immunopositivity was detected at the basal region in the early and luminal regions of the ST during late spermatogenesis by immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence (IF), and western blot (WB) analysis. Labeling of CD63 was detected in the Sertoli cell cytoplasmic processes that surround the developing germ cells during early spermatogenesis and in the lumen of the ST with elongated spermatids during late spermatogenesis. Furthermore, ultrastructure analysis confirmed the existence of numerous MVBs in the Sertoli cell prolongations that surround the round and primary spermatogonia during acrosome biogenesis and with the embedded heads of spermatids in the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. Additionally, in spermatids, Chrysanthemum flower centers (CFCs) generated isolated membranes involved in MVBs and autophagosome formation, and their fusion to form amphiosomes was also observed. Additionally, autophagy inhibition by 3-methyladenine (after 24 h) increased CD63 protein signals during late spermatogenesis, as detected by IF and WB. Collectively, our study found MVBs and CD63 rich exosomes within the Sertoli cells and their response to autophagy inhibition in the ST during the spermatogenesis in the turtle.
Resistant starch (RS) was recently approved to exert a powerful influence on gut health, but the effect of RS on the caecal barrier function in meat ducks has not been well defined. Thus, the effect of raw potato starch (RPS), a widely adopted RS material, on microbial composition and barrier function of caecum for meat ducks was determined. A total of 360 Cherry Valley male ducks of 1-d-old were randomly divided and fed diets with 0 (control), 12, or 24 % RPS for 35 d. Diets supplemented with RPS significantly elevated villus height and villus height:crypt depth ratio in the caecum. The 16S rRNA sequence analysis indicated that the diet with 12 % RPS had a higher relative abundance of Firmicutes and the butyrate-producing bacteria Faecalibacterium, Subdoligranulum, and Erysipelatoclostridium were enriched in all diets. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were significantly increased in the 24 % RPS diet v. the control diet. When compared with the control diet, the diet with 12 % RPS was also found to notably increase acetate, propionate and butyrate contents and up-regulated barrier-related genes including claudin-1, zonula occludens-1, mucin-2 and proglucagon in the caecum. Furthermore, the addition of 12 % RPS significantly reduced plasma TNF-α, IL-1β and endotoxin concentrations. These data revealed that diets supplemented with 12 % RPS partially improved caecal barrier function in meat ducks by enhancing intestinal morphology and barrier markers expression, modulating the microbiota composition and attenuating inflammatory markers.
Prior data on long-term association between legume consumption and hypertension risk are sparse. We aimed to evaluate whether total legume and subtype intakes prospectively associate with hypertension incidence among 8758 participants (≥30 years) from the China Health and Nutrition Survey 2004–2011. Diet was assessed by interviews combining 3-d 24-h food recalls and household food inventory weighing at each survey round. Incident hypertension was identified by self-reports or blood pressure measurements. We applied multivariable Cox regressions to estimate hazard ratios (HR) with corresponding 95 % CI for hypertension across increasing categories of cumulatively averaged legume intakes. For 35 990 person-years (median 6·0 years apiece), we documented 944 hypertension cases. After covariate adjustment, higher total legume intakes were significantly associated with lower hypertension risks, with HR comparing extreme categories being 0·56 (95 % CI 0·43, 0·71; Ptrend < 0·001). Then we found that intakes of dried legumes (HR 0·53 (95 % CI 0·43, 0·65); Ptrend < 0·001) and fresh legumes (HR 0·67 (95 % CI 0·55, 0·81); Ptrend < 0·001) were both related to decreased hypertension hazards. However, further dried legume classification revealed that negative association with hypertension substantially held for soyabean (HR 0·51 (95 % CI 0·41, 0·62); Ptrend < 0·001) but not non-soyabean intakes. In stratified analyses, the association of interest remained similar within strata by sex, BMI, physical activity, smoking and drinking status; rather, significant heterogeneity showed across age strata (Pinteraction = 0·02). Total legume consumption among the over-65s was related to a more markedly reduced hypertension risk (HR 0·47 (95 % CI 0·30, 0·73); Ptrend < 0·001). Our findings suggest an inverse association of all kinds of legume (except non-soyabean) intakes with hypertension risks.
The present study was designed to investigate the in vivo biological processes of multivesicular bodies (MVBs) and exosomes in mitochondria-rich cells (MRCs), goblet cells (GCs), and absorptive cells (ACs) in turtle intestines during hibernation. The exosome markers, cluster of differentiation 63 (CD63) and tumor susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101), were positively expressed in intestinal villi during turtle hibernation. The distribution and formation processes of MVBs and exosomes in turtle MRCs, GCs, and ACs were further confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. During hibernation, abundantly secreted early endosomes (ees) were localized in the luminal and basal cytoplasm of the MRCs and ACs, and late endosomes (les) were dispersed with the supranuclear parts of the MRCs and ACs. Many “heterogeneous” MVBs were identified throughout the cytoplasm of the MRCs and ACs. Interestingly, the ees, les, and MVBs were detected in the cytoplasm of the GCs during hibernation; however, they were absent during nonhibernation. Furthermore, the exocytosis pathways of exosomes and autophagic vacuoles were observed in the MRCs, GCs, and ACs during hibernation. In addition, the number of different MVBs with intraluminal vesicles (ILVs) and heterogeneous endosome–MVB–exosome complexes was significantly increased in the MRCs, GCs, and ACs during hibernation. All these findings indicate that intestinal epithelial cells potentially perform a role in the secretion of MVBs and exosomes, which are essential for mucosal immunity, during hibernation.
The LiCoO2 films were directly deposited on stainless steel (SS) using medium-frequency magnetron sputtering, and the effects of annealing parameters, such as ambiences, temperatures, holding times, and heating rates, were systematically compared based on surface morphologies, crystal structures, and electrochemical properties. The results demonstrate that an aerobic atmosphere with 3.5 Pa is the most important parameter to maintain the performance of LiCoO2 films. The influence of the annealing temperature (>550 °C) ranks second because the formed (101) or (104) planes of LiCoO2 facilitate Li+ migration. A short holding time of 20 min and a moderate heating rate of 3 °C/min are selected to reduce the oxidation or inter-diffusion between the LiCoO2 films and the SS substrate. Finally, the optimal annealing process is confirmed and corresponds to the initial discharge capacity of 37.56 μA h/(cm2 μm) and the capacity retention of 83.81% at the 50th cycle.
Muscle fiber characteristics comprise a set of complex traits that influence the meat quality and lean meat production of livestock. However, the genetic and biological mechanisms regulating muscle fiber characteristics are largely unknown in pigs. Based on a genome-wide association study (GWAS) performed on 421 Large White × Min pig F2 individuals presenting well-characterized phenotypes, this work aimed to detect genome variations and candidate genes for five muscle fiber characteristics: percentage of type I fibers (FIB1P), percentage of type IIA fibers (FIB2AP), percentage of type IIB fibers (FIB2BP), diameter of muscle fibers (DIAMF) and number of muscle fibers per unit area (NUMMF). The GWAS used the Illumina Porcine SNP60K genotypic data, which were analyzed by a mixed model. Seven and 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were significantly associated with DIAMF and NUMMF, respectively (P < 1.10E-06); no SNP was significantly associated with FIB1P, FIB2AP or FIB2B. For DIAMF, the significant SNPs on chromosome 4 were located in the previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) interval. Because the significant SNPs on chromosome 6 were not mapped in the previously reported QTL interval, a putative novel QTL was suggested for this locus. None of the previously reported QTL intervals on chromosomes 6 and 14 harbored significant SNPs for NUMMF; thus, new potential QTLs on these two chromosomes are suggested in the present work. The most significant SNPs associated with DIAMF (ALGA0025682) and NUMMF (MARC0046984) explained 12.02% and 11.59% of the phenotypic variation of these traits, respectively. In addition, both SNPs were validated as associated with DIAMF and NUMMF in Beijing Black pigs (P < 0.01). Some candidate genes or non-coding RNAs, such as solute carrier family 44 member 5 and miR-124a-1 for DIAMF, and coiled-coil serine rich protein 2 for NUMMF, were identified based on their close location to the significant SNPs. This study revealed some genome-wide association variants for muscle fiber characteristics, and it provides valuable information to discover the genetic mechanisms controlling these traits in pigs.
Mineral particles in bone are interlaced with collagen fibrils, hindering the investigation of bioapatite crystallites (BAp). This study utilized a special whale rostrum (the most highly mineralized bone ever recorded) to measure the crystallites of bone BAp via long-term dissolution in water. The BAp in the rostrum has a low solubility (6.7 ppm Ca and 3.8 ppm P after 150 days dissolution) as well as in normal bones, which leads to its Ksp value of ~10−53. Atomic force microscopy results show tightly compacted mineral crystallites and confirm the low amount of collagen in the rostrum. Additionally, the mineral crystallites demonstrate irregular plate-like shapes with variable sizes. The small crystallites (~11 × 24 nm) are easily detached from BAp prisms, compared with the large crystallites (~50 nm). Moreover, various orientations of crystallites are observed on the edge of the prisms, which suggest a random direction of mineral growth. Furthermore, these plate-like crystallites prefer to be stacked layer by layer under weak regulation from collagen. The morphology of rostrum after dissolution provides new insights into the actual morphology of BAp crystallites.
Cinnamomum chago is a woody species of the family Lauraceae endemic to Yunnan province, China, previously known from only one location, and categorized as a Plant Species with Extremely Small Population. We surveyed to determine the distribution and population size of C. chago, characterize its habitat, identify any threats, assess its conservation status, and provide guidelines for its management and conservation. During 2014–2017 we found only 64 mature C. chago, in five locations. These small, fragmented populations occur along Lancang River in Dali Prefecture at altitudes of 2,200–2,400 m. The species' extent of occurrence is c. 923 km2, with an area of occupancy of c. 60 km2. The habitat of the species has been degraded by expansion of pastoral activities and deforestation. We recommend categorization of C. chago as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, prevention of the collection of seeds and wood of the species, protection and monitoring, and ex situ propagation for future reintroductions.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was frequent in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients in Yunnan province. We studied the epidemic characteristics of HCV in HIV/HCV co-infected patients. Serum from 894 HIV-1 patients was collected, together with basic information and biochemical features. All samples were infected with HIV through injecting drug users (IDUs) and sexual transmission (ST). The NS5B gene was amplified and sequenced to affirm HCV genotype. In total, 202 HIV patients were co-infected with HCV, and most (81.19%) of co-infected patients were IDUs. Genotype 3b was predominant (37.62%) in these samples, and its frequency was similar in patients with IDU and ST. The frequencies of genotypes 1a, 1b, 3a, 6a, 6n, 2a and 6u were 3.96%, 16.34%, 23.76%, 6.93%, 10.40%, 0.50% and 0.50%, respectively. However, genotype 3a showed significantly different frequency in HCV patients with IDU and ST (P = 0.019). When HCV patients were divided into subgroups, the haemoglobin (HGB) level was significantly higher in patients with genotype 3a than in patients with 3b (P = 0.033), 6a (P = 0.006) and 6n (P = 0.007), respectively. Although no difference existed among HCV subgroups, HIV-viral load was identified to be positively correlated with the HGB level and CD4+ cells when dividing HCV/HIV co-infected persons into male and female groups. In conclusion, genotype 3b was the predominant HCV genotype in Yunnan HIV/HCV co-infected persons. The HGB level was higher in patients with genotype 3a than others. HIV-viral load was positively correlated with the HGB level and CD4+ cells in the male or female HCV-infected group.
Endometrial injury is an important cause of intrauterine adhesion (IUA), amenorrhea and infertility in women, with limited effective therapies. Recently, stem cells have been used in animal experiments to repair and improve injured endometrium. To date, our understanding of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) in endometrial injury repair and their further therapeutic mechanisms is incomplete. Here, we examined the benefit of ADSCs in restoration of injured endometrium by applying a rat endometrial injury model. The results revealed by immunofluorescence showed that green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labelled ADSCs can differentiate into endometrial epithelial cells in vivo. At 30 days after ADSCs transplantation, injured endometrium was significantly improved, with increased microvessel density, endometrial thickness and glands when compared with the model group. Furthermore, the fertility of rats with injured endometrium in ADSCs group was improved and had a higher conception rate (60% vs 20%, P = 0.014) compared with the control phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) group. However, there was no difference in the control group compared with the sham group. In addition, expression levels of the oestrogen receptor Eα/β (ERα, ERβ) and progesterone receptor (PR) detected by western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were higher in the ADSCs group than in the PBS group. Taken together, these results suggested that ADSC transplantation could improve endometrial injury as a novel therapy for IUA.
l-Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial β-oxidation and has been used as a lipid-lowering feed additive in humans and farmed animals. d-Carnitine is an optical isomer of l-carnitine and dl-carnitine has been widely used in animal feeds. However, the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine are difficult to study because of the endogenous l-carnitine background. In the present study, we developed a low-carnitine Nile tilapia model by treating fish with a carnitine synthesis inhibitor, and used this model to investigate the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine in nutrient metabolism in fish. l- or d-carnitine (0·4 g/kg diet) was fed to the low-carnitine tilapia for 6 weeks. l-Carnitine feeding increased the acyl-carnitine concentration from 3522 to 10 822 ng/g and alleviated the lipid deposition from 15·89 to 11·97 % in the liver of low-carnitine tilapia. However, as compared with l-carnitine group, d-carnitine feeding reduced the acyl-carnitine concentration from 10 822 to 5482 ng/g, and increased lipid deposition from 11·97 to 20·21 % and the mRNA expression of the genes involved in β-oxidation and detoxification in the liver. d-Carnitine feeding also induced hepatic inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis. A metabolomic investigation further showed that d-carnitine feeding increased glycolysis, protein metabolism and activity of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, l-carnitine can be physiologically utilised in fish, whereas d-carnitine is metabolised as a xenobiotic and induces lipotoxicity. d-Carnitine-fed fish demonstrates increases in peroxisomal β-oxidation, glycolysis and amino acid degradation to maintain energy homeostasis. Therefore, d-carnitine is not recommended for use in farmed animals.
The crystal plastic theory was used to examine the effect of film-cooling hole arrangements on mechanical properties of cooled turbine blade. The finite element method was used to analyze the maximum von Mises stress and resolved shear stress of an octahedral slip system considering the number of rows, diameter, spacing, and tangential-to-longitudinal hole spacing (h/l) ratio. The different arrangements were found to have a significant influence on the maximum von Mises stress and resolved shear stress. For the triangular arrangement, the von Mises stress and resolved shear stress were highest with double rows, followed by a single row and then triple rows. For the quadrilateral arrangement, the stresses were highest with double rows, followed by triple rows and then a single row. Increasing the spacing or decreasing the diameter reduced the maximum von Mises stress and weakened the multi-hole interference effect. Both the maximum von Mises stress and resolved shear stress decreased with the h/l ratio.
The effect of maternal folate intake on small-for-gestational-age (SGA) births remains inconclusive. The present study aimed to investigate the associations of maternal folate intake from diet and supplements with the risk of SGA births using data from a cross-sectional study in Shaanxi Province of Northwest China. A total of 7307 women who were within 12 months (median 3; 10th–90th percentile 0–7) after delivery were included. Two-level models were adopted to examine the associations of folate (dietary folate, supplemental folic acid and total folate) intake with the risk of SGA births and birth weight Z score, controlling for a minimum set of confounders that were identified in a directed acyclic graph. Results showed that a higher supplemental folic acid intake during the first trimester was negatively associated with the risk of SGA births (≤60 d v. non-use: OR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·96; >60 d v. non-use: OR 0·78; 95 % CI 0·65, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per 10-d increase: OR 0·97; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·99). A higher total folate intake during pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of SGA births (highest tertile v. lowest tertile: OR 0·77; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per one-unit increase in the log-transformed value: OR 0·81; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·95). A similar pattern was observed for the birth weight Z score. Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation during the first trimester and a higher total folate intake during pregnancy were associated with a reduced risk of SGA births.
No risk assessment tools for the efficacy of folic acid treatment for hyperhomocysteinaemia (HHcy) have been developed. We aimed to use two common genetic risk score (GRS) methods to construct prediction models for the efficacy of folic acid therapy on HHcy, and the best gene–environment prediction model was screened out. A prospective cohort study enrolling 638 HHcy patients was performed. We used a logistic regression model to estimate the associations of two GRS methods with the efficacy. Performances were compared using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). The simple count genetic risk score (SC-GRS) and weighted genetic risk score (wGRS) were found to be independently associated with the efficacy of folic acid treatment for HHcy. Using the SC-GRS, per risk allele increased with a 1·46-fold increased failure risk (P < 0·001) after adjustment for traditional risk factors, including age, sex, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption, history of diabetes, history of hypertension, history of hyperlipidaemia, history of stroke and history of CHD. When used the wGRS, the association was strengthened (OR = 2·08, P < 0·001). Addition of the SC-GRS and wGRS to the traditional risk model significantly improved the predictive ability by AUC (0·859). A precise gene–environment predictive model with good performance was developed for predicting the treatment failure rate of folic acid therapy for HHcy.
We assessed inheritance of resistance to sugarcane brown rust (Puccinia melanocephala) in selfing F1 populations of wild sugarcane germplasm Erianthus rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’. We tested parent and selfing F1 individuals for the brown rust resistance gene, Bru1, that has been shown to confer resistance to brown rust in sugarcane. The Bru1 gene was not detected in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’, E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ or their selfing F1 individuals, and we found there was segregation of resistance in the two selfing F1 populations (segregation ratio: 3:1). The results confirmed resistance in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ to sugarcane brown rust is controlled by a novel, single dominant gene.
The physicochemical properties and broad applications of graphene have been extensively studied, but its preparation method is still a bottleneck, and it cannot simultaneously meet the requirements of low process cost and high quality of products in the time being. In this article, the redox potential was employed to control the quality of graphene prepared from graphene oxide by chemical reduction. The effects of the initial redox potential on the productivity, microscopic morphology, and structural and intrinsic properties of graphene were investigated. Results showed that there was an optimum initial redox potential range between −1200 and −1180 mV. In such a range could the graphene with a high yield be obtained, and layers of graphene products could be stabilized at 1 or 2 layers. Therefore, the redox potential could be used as an effective parameter instead of trying to design orthogonal tests to determine the optimal conditions and control the synthesis of graphene.