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The aim of the present study was to compare the rate of preterm birth (PTB) and growth from birth to 18 years between twins conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and twins conceived by spontaneous conception (SC) in mainland China. The retrospective cohort study included 1164 twins resulting from IVF and 25,654 twins conceived spontaneously, of which 494 from IVF and 6338 from SC were opposite-sex twins. PTB and low birth weight (LBW), and growth, including length/height and weight, were compared between the two groups at five stages: infancy (0 year), toddler period (1–2 years), preschool (3–5 years), primary or elementary school (6–11 years), and adolescence (10–18 years). Few statistically significant differences were found for LBW and growth between the two groups after adjusting for PTB and other confounders. Twins born by IVF faced an increased risk of PTB compared with those born by SC (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 8.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] [3.19, 21.13], p < .001 in all twins and aOR 10.12, 95% CI [2.32, 44.04], p = .002 in opposite-sex twins). Twins born by IVF experienced a similar growth at five stages (0–18 years old) when compared with those born by SC. PTB risk, however, is significantly higher for twins conceived by IVF than those conceived by SC.
Prognostic heterogeneity in early psychosis patients yields significant difficulties in determining the degree and duration of early intervention; this heterogeneity highlights the need for prognostic biomarkers. Although mismatch negativity (MMN) has been widely studied across early phases of psychotic disorders, its potential as a common prognostic biomarker in early periods, such as clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis and first-episode psychosis (FEP), has not been fully studied.
A total of 104 FEP patients, 102 CHR individuals, and 107 healthy controls (HCs) participated in baseline MMN recording. Clinical outcomes were assessed; 17 FEP patients were treatment resistant, 73 FEP patients were nonresistant, 56 CHR individuals were nonremitters (15 transitioned to a psychotic disorder), and 22 CHR subjects were remitters. Baseline MMN amplitudes were compared across clinical outcome groups and tested for utility prognostic biomarkers using binary logistic regression.
MMN amplitudes were greatest in HCs, intermediate in CHR subjects, and smallest in FEP patients. In the clinical outcome groups, MMN amplitudes were reduced from the baseline in both FEP and CHR patients with poor prognostic trajectories. Reduced baseline MMN amplitudes were a significant predictor of later treatment resistance in FEP patients [Exp(β) = 2.100, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.104–3.993, p = 0.024] and nonremission in CHR individuals [Exp(β) = 1.898, 95% CI 1.065–3.374, p = 0.030].
These findings suggest that MMN could be used as a common prognostic biomarker across early psychosis periods, which will aid clinical decisions for early intervention.
The relationship between SFA consumption and the risk of overweight/obesity remains unclear. Epidemiological evidence is lacking among Chinese population. This study aimed to investigate the association between individual dietary SFA intake and the risk of overweight/obesity in Chinese adults. Data from 8465 adults with BMI < 24 kg/m2 at entry in the China Health and Nutrition Survey (1989–2011) were analysed. Three-day 24-h dietary records were used to collect dietary data. Cox proportional hazards regression models were constructed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for the risk of developing overweight or obesity. A total of 3171 incident cases of overweight/obesity were identified (1649 for women and 1522 for men) during a median of 11 years of follow-up. Compared with the lowest category, the intake of total SFA (TSFA) showed no significant association with the risk of overweight/obesity. However, an increased risk of overweight/obesity was observed with a higher intake of medium chain SFA (MCSFA) (Ptrend = 0·004), especially decanoic acid (10:0) (HR was 1·25 (95 % CI 1·10, 1·42) comparing the highest category with the reference group; Ptrend < 0·001), whereas an inverse relationship was observed for hexanoic acid (6:0) consumption; compared with non-consumers, 6:0 intake was associated with 32 % lower risk of overweight/obesity (HR: 0·68 (95 % CI 0·56, 0·84); Ptrend < 0·001). Overall, the intake of subtypes of MCSFA but not TSFA was associated with the risk of overweight/obesity. Increasing hexanoic acid (6:0) and limiting decanoic acid (10:0) consumption may be protective for overweight/obesity among Chinese population.
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.
The oriental armyworm Mythimna separata (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a major migratory pest of cereal crops in East Asia, South Asia and Australia. To comprehensively understand the ecological tolerance of M. separata, we collected life table data of individuals from four consecutive generations reared under outdoor natural fluctuating temperatures from 15 April to 17 October 2018 in Yangling, Shaanxi, China. The results showed that the immature stage in early summer and summer were shorter than in spring and autumn. High mortality in late larval instar and pupal stages was observed in the summer generation. The adult pre-oviposition period in autumn was longer than the other seasons. The population in the earlier two seasons had heavier pupae and higher fecundity than the population in the latter two seasons. The intrinsic rate of increase and the finite rate of increase was the highest in early summer (r = 0.1292 day−1, λ = 1.1391 day−1), followed by spring (r = 0.1102 day−1, λ = 1.1165 day−1), and was the lowest in summer (r = 0.0281 day−1, λ = 1.0293 day−1). The results of this study would be useful to predict the population dynamics of M. separata and deepen our standing of the adaptiveness of this migratory pest in natural fluctuating ambient environments.
This paper deals with the multi-objective optimal design of a novel 6-degree of freedom (DOF) hybrid spray-painting robot. Its kinematic model is obtained by dividing it into serial and parallel parts. The dynamic equation is formulated by virtual work principle. A performance index for evaluating the compactness of robot is presented. Taking compactness, motion/force transmissibility, and energy consumption as performance indices, the optimal geometric parameters of the robot are selected in the Pareto-optimal set by constructing a comprehensive performance index. This paper is very useful for the development of the spray-painting robot.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato has complex defence mechanisms that protect it from the anti-parasitic immune response for long periods. Echinococcus granulosus cyst fluid (EgCF) is involved in the immune escape. Nevertheless, whether and how EgCF modulates the inflammatory response in macrophages remains poorly understood. Here, real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay revealed that EgCF could markedly attenuate the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced production of pro-inflammatory factors including tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-6 but increase the expression of IL-10 at mRNA and protein levels in mouse peritoneal macrophages and RAW 264.7 cells. Mechanically, western blotting and immunofluorescence assay showed that EgCF abolished the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB p65, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and ERK1/2 signalling pathways by LPS stimulation in mouse macrophages. EgCF's anti-inflammatory role was at least partly contributed by promoting proteasomal degradation of the critical adaptor TRAF6. Moreover, the EgCF-promoted anti-inflammatory response and TRAF6 proteasomal degradation were conserved in human THP-1 macrophages. These findings collectively reveal a novel mechanism by which EgCF suppresses inflammatory responses by inhibiting TRAF6 and the downstream activation of NF-κB and MAPK signalling in both human and mouse macrophages, providing new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the E. granulosus-induced immune evasion.
We investigated the effects of botulinum toxin on gait in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients with foot dystonia. Six patients underwent onabotulinum toxin A injection and were assessed by Burke–Fahn–Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS), visual analog scale (VAS) of pain, Timed Up and Go (TUG), Berg Balance Test (BBT), and 3D gait analysis at baseline, 1 month, and 3 months. BFMDRS (p = 0.002), VAS (p = 0.024), TUG (p = 0.028), and BBT (p = 0.034) were improved. Foot pressures at Toe 1 (p = 0.028) and Midfoot (p = 0.018) were reduced, indicating botulinum toxin’s effects in alleviating the dystonia severity and pain and improving foot pressures during walking in PD.
The TanDEM-X DEM is a valuable data source for estimating glacier mass balance. However, the accuracy of TanDEM-X elevation over glaciers can be affected by microwave penetration and phase decorrelation. To investigate the bias of TanDEM-X DEMs of glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, these DEMs were subtracted from SPOT-6 DEMs obtained around the same time at two study sites. The average bias over the studied glacier areas in West Kunlun (175.0 km2) was 2.106 ± 0.012 m in April 2014, and it was 1.523 ± 0.011 m in Geladandong (228.8 km2) in October 2013. By combining backscatter coefficients and interferometric coherence maps, we found surface decorrelation and baseline decorrelation can cause obvious bias in addition to microwave penetration. If the optical/laser data and winter TanDEM-X data were used as new and historic elevation sources for mass-balance measurements over an arbitrary observation period of 10 years, the glacier mass loss rates in West Kunlun and Geladandong would be potentially underestimated by 0.218 ± 0.016 and 0.158 ± 0.011 m w.e. a−1, respectively. The impact is therefore significant, and users should carefully treat the bias of TanDEM-X DEMs when retrieving a geodetic glacier mass balance.
This study aimed to evaluate to what extent the different interval times between trophectoderm (TE) biopsy and vitrification influence the clinical outcomes in preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) cycles. Patients who underwent frozen embryo transfer (FET) after PGT between 2015 and 2019 were recruited. In total, 297 cycles with single day 5 euploid blastocyst transfer were included. These cycles were divided into three groups according to the interval times: <1 h group, 1–2 h group, and ≥2 h group. Blastocyst survival, clinical pregnancy, miscarriage, and ongoing pregnancy rates were compared. The results showed that, in PGT-SR cycles, survival rate in the ≥2 h group (96.72%) was significantly lower than in the <1 h group (100%, P = 0.047). The clinical pregnancy rate in the ≥2 h group was 55.93%, significantly lower than in the <1 h group (74.26%, P = 0.017). The ongoing pregnancy rates in the 1–2 h group and the ≥2 h group were 48.28% and 47.46%, respectively, significantly lower than that in the <1 h group (67.33%, P < 0.05). The miscarriage rate in the 1–2 h group was 18.42%, significantly higher than that in the <1 h group (5.33%, P = 0.027). In PGT-A cycles, the clinical pregnancy and ongoing pregnancy rates in the <1 h group were 67.44% and 53.49%, respectively, higher than that in the 1–2 h group (52.94%, 47.06%, P > 0.05) and the ≥2 h group (52.63%, 36.84%, P > 0.05). In conclusion, vitrification of blastocysts beyond 1 h after biopsy significantly influences embryo survival and clinical outcomes and is therefore not recommended.
A southern population (S) from Xiushui County (29°1′N, 114°4′E) and a northern population (N) from Shenyang city (41°48′N, 123°23′E) of the cabbage beetle, Colaphellus bowringi vary greatly in their life-history traits, and may serve as an excellent model with which to study the inheritance of life-history traits. In the present study, we performed intraspecific hybridization using the two populations, comparing the key life-history traits (fecundity, development time, body weight, growth rate, and sexual size dimorphism (SDD)) between the two populations (S♀ × S♂ and N♀ × N♂) and their two hybrid populations (S♀ × N♂ and N♀ × S♂ populations) at 19, 22, 25, and 28°C. Our results showed that there were significant differences in life-history traits between the two parental populations, with the S population having a significantly higher fecundity, shorter larval development time, larger body weight, higher growth rate, and greater weight loss during metamorphosis than the N population at almost all temperatures. However, these life-history traits in the two hybrid populations were intermediate between those of their parents. The life-history traits in the S × N and N × S populations more closely resembled those of the maternal S population and N population, respectively, showing maternal effects. Weight loss for both sexes was highest in the S population, followed by the S × N, N × S, and N populations at all temperatures, suggesting that larger pupae lost more weight during metamorphosis. The changes in SSD with temperature were similar between the S and the S × N populations and between the N and the N × S populations, also suggesting a maternal effect. Overall, our results showed no drastic effect of hybridization on C. bowringi, being neither negative (hybrid inferiority) nor positive (heterosis). Rather, the phenotypes of hybrids were intermediate between the phenotypes of their parents.
This study adopts a configurational perspective to examine how business model designs and contextual factors in transforming economies combine to create value. We investigate configurations of efficiency-centered and novelty-centered business model designs, corporate ownership, development stage, and external regulatory volatility associated with high growth in a transforming economy. Using a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis of Chinese firms, we find five solutions associated with superior growth, suggesting that the effective configurations of business model designs vary in different contexts. Our study offers a holistic understanding of the relationship between business model designs and firm growth, and yields useful insights for business model designs for practitioners.
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) occurs in the intermediate host's liver, assuming a bladder-like structure surrounded by the host-derived collagen capsule mainly derived from activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). However, the effect of CE on liver natural killer (NK) cells and the potential of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signalling inhibition on alleviating CE-related liver damage remain to be explored. Here, by using the CE-mouse model, we revealed that the inhibitory receptors on the surface of liver NK cells were up-regulated, whereas the activating receptors were down-regulated over time. TGF-β1 secretion was elevated in liver tissues and mainly derived from macrophages. A combination of TGF-β signalling inhibitors SB525334 and pirfenidone could reduce the expression of TGF-β1 signalling pathway-related proteins and collagen production. Based on the secretion of TGF-β1, only the pirfenidone group showed a depressing effect. Also, the combination of SB525334 and pirfenidone exhibited a higher potential in effectively alleviating the senescence of the hepatocytes and restoring liver function. Together, TGF-β1 may be a potential target for the treatment of CE-associated liver fibrosis.
The objective of this study was to investigate how different obesity measures link to circulating metabolites, and whether the connections are due to genetic or environmental factors. A cross-sectional analysis was performed on follow-up survey data at the Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR), which was conducted in four areas of China (Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Sichuan) in 2013. The survey collected detailed questionnaire information and conducted physical examinations, fasting blood sampling and untargeted metabolomic measurements among 439 adult twins. Linear regression models and bioinformatics analysis were used to examine the relation of obesity measures, including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) with serum metabolite levels and related pathways. A co-twin control study was additionally conducted among 15 obesity-discordant monozygotic (MZ) pairs (intrapair BMI difference >3 kg/m2) to examine any differences in metabolites controlling for genetic factors. Eleven metabolites were associated with BMI, WC and WHR after controlling for genetic and shared environmental factors. Pathway analysis identified pathways such as phenylalanine metabolism, purine metabolism, valine, leucine and isoleucine biosynthesis that were associated with obesity. A wide range of unfavorable alterations in the serum metabolome was associated with obesity. Obesity-discordant twin analysis suggests that these associations are independent of genetic liability.
The East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) is one of the most dynamic components of the global climate system. Although poorly understood, knowledge of long-term spatial differences in EAWM variability during the glacial–interglacial cycles is important for understanding the dynamic processes of the EAWM. We reconstructed the spatiotemporal characteristics of the EAWM since the last glacial maximum (LGM) using a comparison of proxy records and long-term transient simulations. A loess grain-size record from northern China (a sensitive EAWM proxy) and the sea surface temperature gradient of an EAWM index in sediments of the southern South China Sea were compared. The data–model comparison indicates pronounced spatial differences in EAWM evolution, with a weakened EAWM since the LGM in northern China but a strengthened EAWM from the LGM to the early Holocene, followed by a weakening trend, in southern China. The model results suggest that variations in the EAWM in northern China were driven mainly by changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, whereas orbital insolation and ice sheets were important drivers in southern China. We propose that the relative importance of insolation, ice sheets, and atmospheric CO2 for EAWM evolution varied spatially within East Asia.
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.
Ebselen is a well-known synthetic compound mimicking glutathione peroxidase (GPx), which catalyses some vital reactions that protect against oxidative damage. Based on a large number of in vivo and in vitro studies, various mechanisms have been proposed to explain its actions on multiple targets. It targets thiol-related compounds, including cysteine, glutathione, and thiol proteins (e.g., thioredoxin and thioredoxin reductase). Owing to this, ebselen is a unique multifunctional agent with important effects on inflammation, apoptosis, oxidative stress, cell differentiation, immune regulation and neurodegenerative disease, with anti-microbial, detoxifying and anti-tumour activity. This review summarises the current understanding of the multiple biological processes and molecules targeted by ebselen, and its pharmacological applications.
Over the past two decades, early detection and early intervention in psychosis have become essential goals of psychiatry. However, clinical impressions are insufficient for predicting psychosis outcomes in clinical high-risk (CHR) individuals; a more rigorous and objective model is needed. This study aims to develop and internally validate a model for predicting the transition to psychosis within 10 years.
Two hundred and eight help-seeking individuals who fulfilled the CHR criteria were enrolled from the prospective, naturalistic cohort program for CHR at the Seoul Youth Clinic (SYC). The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO)-penalized Cox regression was used to develop a predictive model for a psychotic transition. We performed k-means clustering and survival analysis to stratify the risk of psychosis.
The predictive model, which includes clinical and cognitive variables, identified the following six baseline variables as important predictors: 1-year percentage decrease in the Global Assessment of Functioning score, IQ, California Verbal Learning Test score, Strange Stories test score, and scores in two domains of the Social Functioning Scale. The predictive model showed a cross-validated Harrell's C-index of 0.78 and identified three subclusters with significantly different risk levels.
Overall, our predictive model showed a predictive ability and could facilitate a personalized therapeutic approach to different risks in high-risk individuals.
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) could induce milk fat depression via regulating the body and blood fat metabolism. However, it is not completely clear how LPS might regulate triglyceride synthesis in dairy cow mammary epithelial cells (DCMECs). DCMECs were isolated and purified from dairy cow mammary tissue and treated with LPS. The level of triglyceride synthesis, the expression and activity of the liver X receptor α (LXRα), enzymes related to de novo fatty acid synthesis, and the expression of the fatty acid transporters were investigated. We found that LPS decreased the level of triglyceride synthesis via a down-regulation of the transcription, translation, and nuclear translocation level of the LXRα. The results also indicated that the transcription level of the LXRα target genes, sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1), fatty acid synthetase (FAS), acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 (ACC1), were significantly down-regulated in DCMECs after LPS treatment. Our data may provide new insight into the mechanisms of milk fat depression caused by LPS.
The mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) differs between countries and regions. This study aimed to clarify the clinical characteristics of imported and second-generation cases in Shaanxi. This study included 134 COVID-19 cases in Shaanxi outside Wuhan. Clinical data were compared between severe and non-severe cases. We further profiled the dynamic laboratory findings of some patients. In total, 34.3% of the 134 patients were severe cases, 11.2% had complications. As of 7 March 2020, 91.8% patients were discharged and one patient (0.7%) died. Age, lymphocyte count, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, direct bilirubin, lactate dehydrogenase and hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase showed difference between severe and no-severe cases (all P < 0.05). Baseline lymphocyte count was higher in survived patients than in non-survivor case, and it increased as the condition improved, but declined sharply when death occurred. The interleukin-6 (IL-6) level displayed a downtrend in survivors, but rose very high in the death case. Pulmonary fibrosis was found on later chest computed tomography images in 51.5% of the pneumonia cases. Imported and second-generation cases outside Wuhan had a better prognosis than initial cases in Wuhan. Lymphocyte count and IL-6 level could be used for evaluating prognosis. Pulmonary fibrosis as the sequelae of COVID-19 should be taken into account.