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This study aimed to analyze the clinical effects of microdissection testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE) surgery combined with an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) regimen in the treatment of non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) patients with different etiologies. In total, 128 NOA patients participated in this study, in which they received infertility treatment by micro-TESE surgery combined with an ICSI regimen, and all patients were divided into three groups [the Klinefelter syndrome (KS), the idiopathic and the secondary NOA groups]. In addition, the sperm retrieval rate (SRR), fertilization rate, embryo development status and clinical treatment effects were analyzed. Among the 128 NOA patients, the SRR of KS NOA patients was 48.65%, those of idiopathic and the secondary patients were 33.82% and 73.91%, respectively. Regardless of etiologies, there was no correlation with age, hormone value or testicular volume. Further analysis showed that the SRR of the KS group was positively related with testosterone (T) values, and the SRR of the secondary group had a positive relationship with follicle-stimulating hormone or luteinizing hormone values. In the subsequent clinical treatment, the retrieved sperm was subjected to ICSI and achieved good treatment effects, especially in the secondary group, and the implantation rate (55.56%) and clinical pregnancy rate (68.42%) were both higher than those of the idiopathic group (28.75% and 40.00%) and KS group (22.05% and 30.77%). Micro-TESE surgery combined with ICSI insemination is the most effective treatment regimen for NOA patients. The SRR of NOA patients with different etiologies are related to certain specific factors, and micro-TESE surgery seems to be the ideal and only way to have biological children.
The codling moth Cydia pomonella is a major pest of global significance impacting pome fruits and walnuts. It threatens the apple industry in the Loess Plateau and Bohai Bay in China. Sterile insect technique (SIT) could overcome the limitations set by environmentally compatible area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) approaches such as mating disruption and attract-kill that are difficult to suppress in a high-density pest population, as well as the development of insecticide resistance. In this study, we investigated the effects of X-ray irradiation (183, 366, 549 Gy) on the fecundity and fertility of a laboratory strain of C. pomonella, using a newly developed irradiator, to evaluate the possibility of X-rays as a replacement for Cobalt60 (60Co-γ) and the expanded future role of this approach in codling moth control. Results show that the 8th-day is the optimal age for irradiation of male pupae. The fecundity decreased significantly as the dosage of radiation increased. The mating ratio and mating number were not influenced. However, treated females were sub-sterile at a radiation dose of 183 Gy (20.93%), and were almost 100% sterile at a radiation dose of 366 Gy or higher. Although exposure to a radiation dose of 366 Gy resulted in a significant reduction in the mating competitiveness of male moths, our radiation biology results suggest that this new generation of X-ray irradiator has potential applications in SIT programs for future codling moth control.
The horse played a crucial role in China through the first millennium BC, used both for military advantage and, through incorporation into elite burials, to express social status. Details of how horses were integrated into mortuary contexts during the Qin Empire, however, are poorly understood. Here, the authors present new zooarchaeological data for 24 horses from an accessory pit in Qin Shihuang's mausoleum, indicating that the horses chosen were tall, adult males. These findings provide insights into the selection criteria for animals to be included in the emperor's tomb and invite consideration of questions concerning horse breeds, husbandry practices, and the military and symbolic importance of horses in early imperial China.
Due to the lack of research between the inner layers in the structure of colonic mucous and the metabolism of fatty acid in the constipation model, we aim to determine the changes in the mucous phenotype of the colonic glycocalyx and the microbial community structure following treatment with Rhubarb extract in our research. The constipation and treatment models are generated using adult male C57BL/6N mice. We perform light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to detect a Muc2-rich inner mucus layer attached to mice colon under different conditions. In addition, 16S rDNA sequencing is performed to examine the intestinal flora. According to TEM images, we demonstrate that Rhubarb can promote mucin secretion and find direct evidence of dendritic structure-linked mucus structures with its assembly into a lamellar network in a pore size distribution in the isolated colon section. Moreover, the diversity of intestinal flora has noticeable changes in constipated mice. The present study characterizes a dendritic structure and persistent cross-links have significant changes accompanied by the alteration of intestinal flora in feces in models of constipation and pretreatment with Rhubarb extract.
Nicotine 2,6-dihydroxybenzoate is a nicotine salt that can be used as the nicotine source in tobacco products. X-ray powder diffraction data, unit-cell parameters, and space group for nicotine 2,6-dihydroxybenzoate, C10H15N2⋅C7H5O4, are reported [a = 7.726(8) Å, b = 11.724(3) Å, c = 9.437(1) Å, α = 90°, β = 109.081(3)°, γ = 90°, unit-cell volume V = 802.902 Å3, Z = 2, ρcal = 1.309 g cm−3, and space group P21] at room temperature. All measured lines were indexed and were consistent with the P21 space group.
The significance of spiritual care competence among nurses has been emphasized across countries and cultures in many studies. However, there were few studies on correlations among spiritual care competence, spiritual care perceptions, and spiritual health of nurses in China.
To investigate spiritual care competence, spiritual care perceptions, and spiritual health, and examine the correlations among spiritual care competence, spiritual care perceptions and spiritual health, and the mediating role of spiritual health between other two variables of Chinese nurses.
A cross-sectional and correlational design was implemented, and the STROBE Checklist was used to report the study. A convenience sample of 2,181 nurses were selected from 17 hospitals in 3 provinces, China. Participants provided data on sociodemographic by completing the Chinese Version of the Spiritual Care Competence Scale, the Chinese Version of the Spiritual Care-Giving Scale, and the Spiritual Health Scale Short Form. Descriptive statistics, univariate, multiple linear regression, and Pearson correlation analysis were used to analyze data.
The total scores of spiritual care competence, spiritual care perceptions, and spiritual health were 58.25 ± 16.21, 144.49 ± 16.87, and 84.88 ± 10.57, respectively, which both were moderate. Spiritual care competence was positively correlated with spiritual care perceptions (r = 0.653, p < 0.01) and spiritual health (r = 0.587, p < 0.01). And spiritual health played a mediating role between the other two variables (accounting for 35.6%).
Significance of results
The spiritual care competence, spiritual care perceptions, and spiritual health of Chinese nurses need to be improved. It is recommended that nursing managers should pay attention to spiritual care education of nurses, and improve spiritual care perceptions and spiritual health in multiple ways, so as to improve their spiritual care competence and to maximize the satisfy spiritual care needs of patients in China.
Schizotypy refers to schizophrenia-like traits below the clinical threshold in the general population. The pathological development of schizophrenia has been postulated to evolve from the initial coexistence of ‘brain disconnection’ and ‘brain connectivity compensation’ to ‘brain connectivity decompensation’.
In this study, we examined the brain connectivity changes associated with schizotypy by combining brain white matter structural connectivity, static and dynamic functional connectivity analysis of diffusion tensor imaging data and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. A total of 87 participants with a high level of schizotypal traits and 122 control participants completed the experiment. Group differences in whole-brain white matter structural connectivity probability, static mean functional connectivity strength, dynamic functional connectivity variability and stability among 264 brain sub-regions of interests were investigated.
We found that individuals with high schizotypy exhibited increased structural connectivity probability within the task control network and within the default mode network; increased variability and decreased stability of functional connectivity within the default mode network and between the auditory network and the subcortical network; and decreased static mean functional connectivity strength mainly associated with the sensorimotor network, the default mode network and the task control network.
These findings highlight the specific changes in brain connectivity associated with schizotypy and indicate that both decompensatory and compensatory changes in structural connectivity within the default mode network and the task control network in the context of whole-brain functional disconnection may be an important neurobiological correlate in individuals with high schizotypy.
The clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 were analysed to determine the factors influencing the prognosis and virus shedding time to facilitate early detection of disease progression. Logistic regression analysis was used to explore the relationships among prognosis, clinical characteristics and laboratory indexes. The predictive value of this model was assessed with receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, calibration and internal validation. The viral shedding duration was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method, and the prognostic factors were analysed by univariate log-rank analysis and the Cox proportional hazards model. A retrospective study was carried out with patients with COVID-19 in Tianjin, China. A total of 185 patients were included, 27 (14.59%) of whom were severely ill at the time of discharge and three (1.6%) of whom died. Our findings demonstrate that patients with an advanced age, diabetes, a low PaO2/FiO2 value and delayed treatment should be carefully monitored for disease progression to reduce the incidence of severe disease. Hypoproteinaemia and the fever duration warrant special attention. Timely interventions in symptomatic patients and a time from symptom onset to treatment <4 days can shorten the duration of viral shedding.
To gain more comprehensive understanding of metabolic syndrome (Mets) among in general Chinese population.
Cross-sectional study. Mets was defined by three widely accepted definitions including modified Adults Treatment Panel (ATP) III criteria, International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria and harmonized definition. Risk factors were evaluated by using multivariate logistic regression.
Nineteen rural villages in northeast China.
The survey was conducted in September 2017 and May 2018 on 10 926 individuals.
According to modified ATP III criteria, IDF criteria and harmonised definition, the overall prevalence of Mets was 41·3 % (95 % CI 40·3, 42·2), 34·2 % (95 % CI 33·2, 35·1) and 44·1 % (95 % CI 43·1, 45·1), respectively. Females had a higher prevalence, and elevated blood pressure was the most frequent. Age, female sex, non-peasant worker, higher BMI and lower-annual income were independent risk factors of Mets in all three definitions (all ps < 0·05). Based on modified ATP III criteria and harmonised definition, heavy drinking was positively correlated with Mets. In contrast, former drinking was inversely associated with Mets.
Mets is highly prevalent in rural areas of northeast China. Its independent risk factors include higher age, female sex, non-peasantry worker, higher BMI and lower-annual income. Modified ATP III criteria and harmonised definition may be superior definitions of Mets.
Studies have indicated that psychological stress impairs human fertility and that various stressors can induce apoptosis of testicular cells. However, the mechanisms by which psychological stress on males reduces semen quality and stressors induce apoptosis in testicular cells are largely unclear. Using a psychological (restraint) stress mouse model, we tested whether male psychological stress triggers apoptosis of spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α signalling. Wild-type or TNF-α−/− male mice were restrained for 48 h before examination for apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) in spermatozoa, epididymis, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. The results showed that male restraint significantly decreased fertilization rate and mitochondrial membrane potential, while increasing levels of malondialdehyde, active caspase-3, TNF-α and TNFR1 in spermatozoa. Male restraint also increased apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNFR1 in caudae epididymides, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. Sperm quality was also significantly impaired when spermatozoa were recovered 35 days after male restraint. The restraint-induced damage to spermatozoa, epididymis and seminiferous tubules was significantly ameliorated in TNF-α−/− mice. Furthermore, incubation with soluble TNF-α significantly reduced sperm motility and fertilizing potential. Taken together, the results demonstrated that male psychological stress induces apoptosis in spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating the TNF-α system and that the stress-induced apoptosis in spermatogenic cells can be translated into impaired quality in future spermatozoa.
A compact ultra-wideband (UWB) monopole antenna with reconfigurable band-notch characteristics is demonstrated in this paper. It is comprised of a modified rectangular patch and a defected ground plane. The band-notch property in the WiMAX and WLAN bands is achieved by etching an open-ended slot on the radiating patch and an inverted U-shaped slot on the ground plane, respectively. To obtain the reconfigurable band-notch performance, two PIN diodes are inserted in the slots, and then the notch-band can be switched by changing the states of the PIN diodes. The antenna has a compact size of 0.47 λ1 × 0.27 λ1. The simulated and measured results indicate that the antenna can operate at a UWB mode, two single band-notch modes, and a dual band-notch mode. Moreover, stable radiation patterns are obtained.
The plerocercoid (sparganum) of Spirometra erinaceieuropaei is the main aetiological agent of human sparganosis. To improve the current knowledge on S. erinaceieuropaei evolution, we performed multi-locus microsatellite typing of sparganum isolates from China for the first time. All available expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences for the Spirometra were downloaded from the GenBank. The identification and localization of microsatellites in ESTs was accomplished by MISA. Based on the selected microsatellites, the genetic structure of 64 sparganum isolates collected from 11 geographical locations in southwest China were investigated through principal component analysis, STRUCTURE analysis and neighbour-joining clustering. A total of 522 non-redundant ESTs containing 915 simple sequence repeats were identified from 12 481 ESTs screened. Five primer pairs were finally selected. Using these loci, a total of 12 alleles were detected in 64 sparganum isolates. Little variability was observed within each of geographical population, especially among isolates derived from Kunming of Yunnan (YN-KM) province. Both STRUCTURE analysis and the clustering analysis supported that two genotypes existed among the sparganum isolates from southwest China. In conclusion, five microsatellite markers were successfully developed, and sparganum population was observed to harbour low genetic variation, further investigation with deeper sampling was needed to elucidate the population structure.
To assess correlations between cruciferous vegetable intake and urinary isothiocyanate (ITC) level, in addition to glutathione S-transferase (GST) genotypes and other individual factors.
The study included cohort participants whose urinary ITC levels had been previously ascertained. Urinary ITC was assessed using HPLC. Usual dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables was assessed using a validated FFQ and total dietary ITC intake was calculated. Recent cruciferous vegetable intake was determined. GST genotypes were assessed using duplex real-time quantitative PCR assays. Spearman correlations were calculated between the covariates and urinary ITC levels and linear regression analyses were used to calculate the mean urinary ITC excretion according to GST genotype.
Urban city in China.
The study included 3589 women and 1015 men from the Shanghai Women’s and Men’s Health Studies.
Median urinary ITC level was 1·61 nmol/mg creatinine. Self-reported usual cruciferous vegetable intake was weakly correlated with urinary ITC level (rs=0·1149; P<0·0001), while self-reported recent intake was more strongly correlated with urinary ITC (rs=0·2591; P<0·0001). Overall, the GST genotypes were not associated with urinary ITC level, but significant differences according to genotype were observed among current smokers and participants who provided an afternoon urine sample. Other factors, including previous gastrectomy or gastritis, were also related to urinary ITC level.
The study suggests that urinary secretion of ITC may provide additional information on cruciferous vegetable intake and that GST genotypes are related to urinary ITC level only in some subgroups.
Fusion of nucleoli or nucleolus precursor bodies (NPBs) has been observed during somatic cell interphase and pronuclear development of human zygotes; however, the underlying mechanism is unknown. NPB fusion and its regulation by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and maturation-promoting factor (MPF) were studied in activated mouse oocytes. Small NPBs appeared about 4 h after ethanol activation, and took about 1.5 h to fuse into a large NPB, which persisted for about 10 h before disappearance. Analysis of the temporal windows for kinase action indicated that a high MAPK activity during the first 2 h and a low MPF activity during the first 3–4 h after activation were essential for subsequent NPB fusion. A preactivation decline in MAPK activity was associated with decreased NPB fusion following activation of aged oocytes. While MAPK inactivation by regulator U0126 prevented NPB fusion in oocytes activated by ethanol or 5 min Sr2+ treatments, it had no effect on oocytes fertilized or activated by 6 h Sr2+ treatment. In most cases, while rates of pronuclear formation did not differ, rates of NPB fusion differed significantly between different treatments. Our results suggest that: (i) the MAPK and MPF activities at the initial stage of activation regulate NPB fusion after pronuclear formation; (ii) pronuclear assembly and NPB fusion are two separable events that might be controlled by different mechanisms; and (iii) high MAPK activity and low MPF activity at the initial stage of activation is essential for NPB fusion when only one calcium rise is induced by ethanol, while inhibition of MAPK activity does not affect NPB fusion when the repetitive intracellular Ca2+ rises are induced after fertilization.
Large amounts of bronze weapons have been unearthed from the pits of the Terracotta Warriors. Though they are of the same period, their condition is quite different; some are slightly corroded; some have almost no corrosion with a gray-black or green-gray surface; some are badly corroded. ICP, XRD, SEM, EDX, XRF, AES and Metalloscope were employed on seven bronze weapons to investigate their composition, structure and differences between the surfaces and bulk metals. Results showed that all these bronze weapons are high-tin bronzes. The three bronze swords contain a higher tin content than the others and have undergone heat treatment, which gives them the necessary tenacity of weapons. The surface layers of the weapons are rich in tin in various degrees because of selective corrosion and the migration of copper ions during corrosion. Some objects are more corrosion-resistant by a quenching treatment and the formation of compact tin oxides.
Prevention of retinoic acid-induced craniofacial abnormalities by folinic acid, and endothelin-1 (ET-1)/dHAND protein and mRNA expression were investigated in mouse embryos using the whole embryo culture, streptavidin–biotin peroxidase complex method, and whole-mount in situ hybridization. In the whole embryo culture, 1·0 and 0·1mm-folinic acid dose dependently prevented branchial region malformations and decreased defects by 93% and 77%, respectively. Folinic acid at concentrations of 1·0 and 0·1mm significantly increased ET-1 and dHAND protein expression levels compared to retinoic acid-exposed values in embryonic branchial areas. Folinic acid also increased ET-1 and dHAND mRNA levels in the same region. The present results suggest that folinic acid may prevent retinoic acid-induced craniofacial abnormalities via increasing ET-1 and dHAND levels in the branchial region during the organogenic period.
The Tarim river basin, a river system formed by the convergence of nine tributaries, is the most heavily glacierized watershed in arid northwest China. In the basin, there are 11 665 glaciers with a total area of 19 878 km2 and a volume of 2313 km3. Glaciers in the basin play a significant role in the water resource system. It is estimated that they provide about 133 x 108 m3 of meltwater annually, contributing 39% of the total river runoff. Under the influence of global warming, northwest China has experienced a generally warmer and drier climate since the mid-19th century. However, a so-called ‘warm and wet transition’ has occurred since the late 1980s, evidenced by an increase in both precipitation and stream discharge in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region and neighboring regions. This paper describes how glaciers in the Tarim river basin have responded to such warming and increased precipitation, and the impact of these glacier changes. We analyzed the variations of more than 3000 glaciers since the 1960s using topographical maps, high-resolution satellite images and aerial photographs of the river basin. Our results indicate that glaciers in the basin have been mostly in retreat in the past 40 years, and ice wastage has significantly influenced water resources in the Tarim river basin. Estimation by a degree-day meltwater model shows the positive anomaly in stream runoff of the Tailan river can be partly attributed to the increase in glacier runoff (amounting to one-third of the stream discharge), and a rough estimation using observed average ablation on the termini of 15 glaciers in China verifies that the mass loss calculated by a glacier area-volume relation is reasonable.
The present research focuses on glacier changes in the southeast of the Qinghai–Xizang (Tibetan) Plateau, where most of the temperate glaciers in China are located. Our results show that the 102 measured glaciers in the region have all retreated between 1915 and 1980, with total area and volume decreases of 47.9 km2 and 6.95 km3, respectively. The extrapolated mass loss of all glaciers in the Gangrigabu mountains amounted to 27 km3, 9.8% of the ice mass in 1915. Between 1980 and 2001, glaciers in the region have also experienced a general retreat; however, up to 40% of the glaciers were advancing. Our analysis demonstrates that precipitation in the studied area has increased substantially since the mid-1980s. This precipitation increase is likely to bring about a positive mass balance for glaciers in the region, so that the retreat of retreating glaciers might slow down or even turn into advance. Considering the sensitivity of the temperate glaciers in the region and the uncertainty in climate projections, more attention must be paid to glacier changes in the southeast Tibetan Plateau region.
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