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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.
Meiosis is a highly conserved process, and is responsible for the production of haploid gametes and generation of genetic diversity. We previously identified the transferrin receptor (TFRC) in the proteome profile of mice neonatal testes, indicating the involvement of the TFRC in meiosis. However, the exact molecular role of the TFRC in meiosis remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to determine the function of the TFRC in neonatal testicular development by TFRC knockdown using the testis culture platform. Our results showed high TFRC expression in 2-week testes, corresponding to the first meiotic division. Targeting TFRC using morpholino oligonucleotides resulted in clear spermatocyte apoptosis. In addition, we used the chromosomal spread technique to show that a deficiency of TFRC caused the accumulation of leptotene and zygotene spermatocytes, and a decrease of pachytene spermatocytes, indicating early meiotic arrest. Moreover, the chromosomes of TFRC-deficient pachytene spermatocytes displayed sustained γH2AX association, as well as SYCP1/SYCP3 dissociation beyond the sex body. Therefore, our results demonstrated that the TFRC is essential for the progression of spermatocyte meiosis, particularly for DNA double-stranded break repair and chromosomal synapsis.
Panonychus citri (McGregor) is the most common pest in citrus-producing regions. Special low-toxicity acaricides, such as spirocyclic tetronic acids and mite growth inhibitors, have been used for a long time in China. However, pesticide resistance in mites is a growing problem due to the lack of new acaricide development. Wide-spectrum insecticides, such as amitraz have gained acceptance among fruit growers. An amitraz-resistant strain of P. citri was obtained by indoor screening to examine field resistance monitoring of mites to acaricides and to explore the resistant mechanism of mites against amitraz. The amitraz-resistant strain of P. citri had an LC50 value of 2361.45 mg l−1. The resistance ratio was 81.35 times higher in the resistant strain of P. citri compared with the sensitive strain. Crossing experiments between the sensitive and resistant strains of P. citri were conducted, resulting in a D value of 0.11 for F1 SS♀×RS♂ and 0.06 for F1 RS♀×SS♂. Reciprocal cross experiments showed that the dose–mortality curves for the F1 generations coincided, indicating that the resistance trait was not affected by cytoplasmic inheritance. The dose–expected response relationship was evaluated in the backcross generation and a significant difference was observed compared with the actual value. The above results indicate that the inheritance of resistance trait was incompletely dominant, governed by polygenes on the chromosome. Synergism studies demonstrated that cytochrome P450s and esterase may play important roles in the detoxification of amitraz. Based on differential gene analysis, 23 metabolism-related genes of P. citri were identified, consistent with the results of synergism studies. Real-time PCR verification implied that P450s, ABC transporters, and acetylcholinesterase might influence the detoxification of amitraz by P. citri. These results provide the genetic and molecular foundation for the management of pest mite resistance.
Findings for the roles of dairy products, Ca and vitamin D on ovarian cancer risk remain controversial. We aimed to assess these associations by using an updated meta-analysis. Five electronic databases (e.g. PubMed and Embase) were searched from inception to 24 December 2019. Pooled relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI were calculated. A total of twenty-nine case–control or cohort studies were included. For comparisons of the highest v. lowest intakes, higher whole milk intake was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk (RR 1·35; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·59), whereas decreased risks were observed for higher intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·73, 0·96), dietary Ca (RR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·60, 0·84) and dietary vitamin D (RR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·67, 0·95). Additionally, for every 100 g/d increment, increased ovarian cancer risks were found for total dairy products (RR 1·03; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) and for whole milk (RR 1·07; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·11); however, decreased risks were found for 100 g/d increased intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·95; 95 % CI 0·91, 0·99), cheese (RR 0·87; 95 % CI 0·76, 0·98), dietary Ca (RR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·98), total Ca (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99), dietary vitamin D (RR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·97) and increased levels of circulating vitamin D (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·72, 0·97). These results show that whole milk intake might contribute to a higher ovarian cancer risk, whereas low-fat milk, dietary Ca and dietary vitamin D might reduce the risk.
This paper uses an unexpected trade disruption due to World War I to study how a temporary reduction of imports affects the entry of industrial firms. I construct a new transportation network to capture counties’ exposure to this trade shock and compile panel data to examine the impact on China’s manufactured textile industry. I find that counties with greater prewar exposure to international trade experienced more firm entry after the war. The effect was delayed because the war simultaneously hindered machinery imports. Better access to finance also contributed to firm entry after the trade shock.
The euarthropod Luohuilinella deletres sp. nov. is described from rare material from the Chengjiang biota, Cambrian Series 2, Stage 3, of Yunnan Province, China. Phylogenetic analysis recovers a xandarellid affinity for L. deletres, representing only the fifth described species of this clade. L. deletres possesses a head shield that is about one-fifth of the total body length and a trunk with 30 tergites, the reduced anterior-most tergite and terminal three tergites lacking pleural elongations. Anteriorly situated notches in the head shield are associated with stalked eyes, in contrast to the more posterior, enclosed eye slits present in Xandarella. Posterior to the antennae there are at least 11 pairs of biramous appendages preserved, including three pairs in the head. The morphology of the midline gut of L. deletres, in which lateral, unbranched diverticula are wider towards the front of the body, is a characteristic also found in various trilobites. The dorsoventrally flattened exoskeleton suggests a benthic or nektobenthic mode of life for L. deletres, as for other trilobitomorphs, and it likely used its well-developed anteriorly positioned eyes for searching out food, either to scavenge or to find prey.
A stable reference gene is a key prerequisite for accurate assessment of gene expression. At present, the real-time reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction has been widely used in the analysis of gene expression in a variety of organisms. Neoseiulus barkeri Hughes (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is a major predator of mites on many important economically crops. Until now, however, there are no reports evaluating the stability of reference genes in this species. In view of this, we used GeNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder software tools to evaluate the expression stability of 11 candidate reference genes in developmental stages and under various abiotic stresses. According to our results, β-ACT and Hsp40 were the top two stable reference genes in developmental stages. The Hsp60 and Hsp90 were the most stable reference genes in various acaricides stress. For alterations in temperature, Hsp40 and α-TUB were the most suitable reference genes. About UV stress, EF1α and α-TUB were the best choice, and for the different prey stress, β-ACT and α-TUB were best suited. In normal conditions, the β-ACT and α-TUB were the two of the highest stable reference genes to respond to all kinds of stresses. The current study provided a valuable foundation for the further analysis of gene expression in N. barkeri.
Previous studies have demonstrated that language switching in bilinguals can be affected by a number of variables, including the processing context. Here, we used a modified language-switching task combined with a Stroop paradigm, which manipulated the context of the task, to examine the impact of processing context on switch costs. The results of both Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 showed that the switch costs and the level of asymmetry in the switch costs are larger in the conflicting context than in the non-conflicting context, suggesting that the processing context affects the switch costs. In addition, the results of Experiment 2 revealed that individual variances in cognitive control capacity also play a role in the overall magnitude of the switch costs. Critically, processing context effects can be modulated by individual variance in cognitive control capacities. The results of this study are discussed within the framework of classic models of bilingual language control (e.g., the inhibitory control model).
Neoseiulus barkeri (HUGHES) is the natural enemy of spider mites, whiteflies and thrips. Screening for chemically-resistant predatory mites is a practical way to balance the contradiction between the pesticide using and biological control. In this study, the number of eggs laid by fenpropathrin-susceptible and resistant strains of N. barkeri was compared. Additionally, we cloned three N. barkeri vitellogenin (Vg) genes and used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to quantify Vg expression in susceptible and resistant strains. The total number of eggs significantly increased in the fenpropathrin-resistant strain. The full-length cDNA cloning of three N. barkeri Vg genes (NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3) revealed that the open reading frames of NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3 were 5571, 5532 and 4728 bp, encoding 1856, 1843 and 1575 amino acids, respectively. The three N. barkeri Vg possessed the Vitellogenin-N domain (or lipoprotein N-terminal domain (LPD_N)), von Willebrand factor type D domain (VWD) and the domain with unknown function 1943 (DUF1943). The NbVg1 and NbVg2 expression levels were significantly higher in the resistant strain than in the susceptible strain, while the NbVg3 expression level was lower in the resistant strain. Thus, we speculate that the increased number of eggs laid by the fenpropathrin-resistant strain of N. barkeri may be a consequence of changes in Vg gene expression.
Supercapacitor has received intense interest due to its high-charge/discharge rate and high-power density. C/Fe2O3 layer with different C/Fe ratios were synthesized by a solution-based approach for supercapacitor application. The influence of synthesis conditions on their electrochemical performances was investigated. Cobalt was added into C/Fe2O3 and significant improved its performance. The optimal C/Fe2O3 sample gives a high specific capacitance of 85.3 F/g and the addition of Co3O4 further increase the capacitance of obtained C/Fe2O3/Co3O4 to 144.4 F/g at 5 A/g. This work demonstrates an efficient supercapacitor application of low-cost metal oxides and facile solution-based synthesis approach.
In this paper, a 2.45-GHz wideband harmonic rejection rectenna for wireless power transfer is proposed. The rectenna comprises a microstrip-fed circular ring slot antenna (CRSA) and a series-parallel rectifier (SPR). A compact micro strip resonant cell is inserted into the CRSA so that the harmonic suppression over a wide bandwidth (3–8 GHz) can be obtained. The radio-frequency (RF)–DC conversion efficiency of the SPR is improved effectively by loading a proper compensating inductance, especially under the low input power levels. Furthermore, the proposed rectenna can easily achieve large-scale rectenna arrays using its simple structure. The adopted rectenna fabricated on a low cost Taconic RF-35 substrate has been measured. By up to 3rd-order harmonic rejection, the efficiency of the rectenna can achieve 70.2% with the optimum load resistance 1 kΩ. Good agreement among the calculated, simulated, and measured rectenna is observed.
There is a growing interest in the role of kynurenine pathway and tryptophan metabolites in the pathophysiology of depression. In the present study, the metabolism of tryptophan along the kynurenine pathway was analysed in a rat model of depression.
Kynurenic acid (KYNA) and 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK) were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and frontal cortex (FC) in a rat model of depression, the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) and their controls, the Flinders Resistant Line (FRL) rats. In addition, KYNA was also measured in hippocampus, striatum and cerebellum.
KYNA levels were reduced in the PFC of FSL rats compared with FRL rats, but did not differ with regard to the FC, hippocampus, striatum or cerebellum. 3-HK levels in PFC and FC, representing the activity of the microglial branch of the kynurenine pathway, did not differ between the FSL and FRL strains.
Our results suggest an imbalanced metabolism of the kynurenine pathway in the PFC of FSL rats.
Vertical Integrative Analysis (Methods Specialized to Particular Data Types)
Cong Li, Yale University, New Haven, CT,
Can Yang, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China,
Greg Hather, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co., Cambridge, MA,
Ray Liu, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co., Cambridge, MA,
Hongyu Zhao, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Traditional drug discovery practices usually adopt the “one drug – one target” approach, which ignore the fact the disease occurrence is usually the result of an extremely complex combination of molecular events. Pathway-based approaches address this limitation by considering biological pathways as potential drug targets. A first step of pathwaybased drug discovery is to identify associations between drug candidates and biological pathways. This has been made possible by the availability of high-dimensional transcriptional and drug sensitivity profile data. In this chapter, we describe two statistical methods, “iFad” and “iPad”, which perform drug-pathway association analysis by integrating these two types high-dimensional data. We also demonstrate their utilities by applying them to the NCI-60 data set.
Drug discovery is the process of identifying new candidate medications for diseases of interest. The common practice adopted by the pharmaceutical industry is to design maximally selective drug molecules to act on individual drug targets , which is usually referred to as the “one drug – one target” approach. This paradigm has indeed enjoyed some successes . Yet, the last 15 years have witnessed a significant increase in the attrition rate of new candidate drugs due to their low efficacy and serious side effects [17, 29]. One fundamental reason for the decline in the productivity of the pharmaceutical industry may lie in the core philosophy of the “one drug – one target” approach . Specifically, this philosophy ignores the fact that disease occurrence is usually the result of an extremely complex combination of molecular events  among certain sets of functionally related genes, usually referred to as “pathways”. Targeting an individual drug target may not provide sufficient interference to the whole disease-related pathway and therefore usually results in unsatisfactory efficacy. Moreover, it fails to consider the mechanism of a candidate drug at a systems level, making it extremely difficult to evaluate drug safety and toxicity in the early developmental stages . Due to these limitations of the “one drug – one target” approach, a new concept of drug discovery – polypharmacology  – is emerging as a promising alternative for drug developments. Instead of targeting individual drug targets, polypharmacology seeks to design or find candidate drugs that interfere multiple molecular targets. For example, pathway-based drug discovery, which pursues candidate drugs that interfere the activity of a whole biological pathway, has become increasingly appealing.
This study examined the genetic and environmental effects on variances in weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) under 18 years in a population-based sample from China. We selected 6,644 monozygotic and 5,969 dizygotic twin pairs from the Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR) aged under 18 years (n = 12,613). Classic twin analyses with sex limitation were used to estimate the genetic and environmental components of weight, height, and BMI in six age groups. Sex-limitation of genetic and shared environmental effects was observed, especially when puberty begins. Heritability for weight, height, and BMI was low at 0–2 years old (less than 20% for both sexes) but increased over time, accounting for half or more of the variance in the 15–17 year age group for boys. For girls, heritabilities for weight, height and BMI was maintained at approximately 30% after puberty. Common environmental effects on all body measures were high for girls (59–87%) and presented a small peak during puberty. Genetics appear to play an increasingly important role in explaining the variation in weight, height, and BMI from early childhood to late adolescence, particularly in boys. Common environmental factors exert their strongest and most independent influence specifically in the pre-adolescent period and more significantly in girls. These findings emphasize the need to target family and social environmental interventions in early childhood years, especially for females. Further studies about puberty-related genes and social environment are needed to clarify the mechanism of sex differences.
The current meta-analysis evaluated the association between vitamin B12 intake and blood vitamin B12 level and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk.
The PubMed and EMBASE databases were searched. A dose–response analysis was performed with generalized least squares regression, with the relative risk (RR) and 95 % CI as effect values.
The meta-analysis included seventeen studies.
A total of 10 601 patients.
The non-linear dose–response relationship between total vitamin B12 intake and CRC risk was insignificant (P=0·690), but the relationship between dietary vitamin B12 intake and CRC risk was significant (P<0·001). Every 4·5 μg/d increment in total and dietary vitamin B12 intake was inversely associated with CRC risk (total intake: RR=0·963; 95 % CI 0·928, 0·999; dietary intake: RR=0·914; 95 % CI 0·856, 0·977). The inverse association between vitamin B12 intake and CRC risk was also significant when vitamin B12 intake was over a dosage threshold, enhancing the non-linear relationship. The non-linear dose–response relationship between blood vitamin B12 level and CRC risk was insignificant (P=0·219). There was an insignificant association between every 150 pmol/l increment in blood vitamin B12 level and CRC risk (RR=1·023; 95 % CI 0·881, 1·187).
Our meta-analysis indicates that evidence supports the use of vitamin B12 for cancer prevention, especially among populations with high-dose vitamin B12 intake, and that the association between CRC risk and total vitamin B12 intake is stronger than between CRC risk and dietary vitamin B12 intake only.
Morphogenesis and identification of embryonic differentiation in porcine embryos are crucial issues for developmental biology and laboratory animal science. The current paper presents a study on the asynchronous development of hatched porcine embryos from days 7 to 13 post-insemination. Examination of semi-thin sections of the hypoblast showed that it had characteristics similar to those of the mouse anterior visceral endoderm during embryonic disc formation. Also, a cavity appeared in the epiblast, which was similar to a mouse proamniotic cavity. With the gradual disappearance of Rauber's layer, the cavity opened and contacted the external environment directly, all of which formed the embryonic disc. To confirm the differentiation characteristics, we performed immunohistochemical analyses and showed that GATA6 was detected clearly in parietal endoderm cells during embryonic disc establishment. OCT4 was expressed in the inner cell mass (ICM) and trophoblast of hatched blastocysts and in the epiblast during formation of the embryonic disc. However, OCT4 showed comparatively decreased expression in the posterior embryonic disc, primitive streak and migrating cells. SOX2 was present in the ICM and epiblast. Therefore, both SOX2 and OCT4 can be used as markers of pluripotent cells in the porcine embryonic disc. At the start of gastrulation, staining revealed VIMENTIN in the posterior of the embryonic disc, primitive streak and in migrating cells that underlay the embryonic disc and was also expressed in epiblast cells located in the anterior primitive streak. Together with serial sections of embryos stained by whole mount immunohistochemistry, the mesoderm differentiation pattern was shown as an ingression movement that took place at the posterior of the embryonic disc and with bilateral migration along the embryonic disc borders.
Studies in Western countries have repeatedly shown that women with a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) are at increased risk for developing major depression (MD). Would this relationship be found in China?
Three levels of CSA (non-genital, genital, and intercourse) were assessed by self-report in two groups of Han Chinese women: 1970 clinically ascertained with recurrent MD and 2597 matched controls. Diagnostic and other risk factor information was assessed at personal interview. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by logistic regression and regression coefficients by linear or Poisson regression.
Any form of CSA was significantly associated with recurrent MD [OR 3.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.95–5.45]. This association strengthened with increasing CSA severity: non-genital (OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.17–5.23), genital (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.32–5.83) and intercourse (OR 13.35, 95% CI 1.83–97.42). The association between any form of CSA and MD remained significant after accounting for parental history of depression, childhood emotional neglect (CEN), childhood physical abuse (CPA) and parent–child relationship. Among the depressed women, those with CSA had an earlier age of onset, longer depressive episodes and an increased risk for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.39–2.66) and dysthymia (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.52–3.09).
In Chinese women CSA is strongly associated with MD and this association increases with greater severity of CSA. Depressed women with CSA have an earlier age of onset, longer depressive episodes and increased co-morbidity with GAD and dysthymia. Although reporting biases cannot be ruled out, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that, as in Western countries, CSA substantially increases the risk for MD in China.