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Aging plays a crucial role in the mechanisms of the impacts of genetic and environmental factors on blood pressure and serum lipids. However, to our knowledge, how the influence of genetic and environmental factors on the correlation between blood pressure and serum lipids changes with age remains to be determined. In this study, data from the Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR) were used. Resting blood pressure, including systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP), and fasting serum lipids, including total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides (TGs) were measured in 2378 participants (1189 twin pairs). Univariate and bivariate structural equation models examined the genetic and environmental influences on blood pressure and serum lipids among three age groups. All phenotypes showed moderate to high heritability (0.37–0.59) and moderate unique environmental variance (0.30–0.44). The heritability of all phenotypes showed a decreasing trend with age. Among all phenotypes, SBP and DBP showed a significant monotonic decreasing trend. For phenotype-phenotype pairs, the phenotypic correlation (Rph) of each pair ranged from −0.04 to 0.23, and the additive genetic correlation (Ra) ranged from 0.00 to 0.36. For TC&SBP, TC&DBP, TG&SBP and TGs&DBP, both the Rph and Ra declined with age, and the Ra difference between the young group and the older adult group is statistically significant (p < .05). The unique environmental correlation (Re) of each pair did not follow any pattern with age and remained relatively stable with age. In summary, we observed that the heritability of blood pressure was affected by age. Moreover, blood pressure and serum lipids shared common genetic backgrounds, and age had an impact on the phenotypic correlation and genetic correlations.
Breast cancer is a high-risk disease with a high mortality rate among women. Chemotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of breast cancer. However, chemotherapy eventually results in tumours that are resistant to drugs. In recent years, many studies have revealed that the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling is crucial for the emergence and growth of breast tumours as well as the development of drug resistance. Additionally, drugs that target this pathway can reverse drug resistance in breast cancer therapy. Traditional Chinese medicine has the properties of multi-target and tenderness. Therefore, integrating traditional Chinese medicine and modern medicine into chemotherapy provides a new strategy for reversing the drug resistance of breast tumours. This paper mainly reviews the possible mechanism of Wnt/β-catenin in promoting the process of breast tumour drug resistance, and the progress of alkaloids extracted from traditional Chinese medicine in the targeting of this pathway in order to reverse the drug resistance of breast cancer.
It is crucial to understand the genetic mechanisms and biological pathways underlying the relationship between obesity and serum lipid levels. Structural equation models (SEMs) were constructed to calculate heritability for body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and the genetic connections between BMI and the four classes of lipids using 1197 pairs of twins from the Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR). Bivariate genomewide association studies (GWAS) were performed to identify genetic variants associated with BMI and lipids using the records of 457 individuals, and the results were further validated in 289 individuals. The genetic background affecting BMI may differ by gender, and the heritability of males and females was 71% (95% CI [.66, .75]) and 39% (95% CI [.15, .71]) respectively. BMI was positively correlated with TC, TG and LDL-C in phenotypic and genetic correlation, while negatively correlated with HDL-C. There were gender differences in the correlation between BMI and lipids. Bivariate GWAS analysis and validation stage found 7 genes (LOC105378740, LINC02506, CSMD1, MELK, FAM81A, ERAL1 and MIR144) that were possibly related to BMI and lipid levels. The significant biological pathways were the regulation of cholesterol reverse transport and the regulation of high-density lipoprotein particle clearance (p < .001). BMI and blood lipid levels were affected by genetic factors, and they were genetically correlated. There might be gender differences in their genetic correlation. Bivariate GWAS analysis found MIR144 gene and its related biological pathways may influence obesity and lipid levels.
Previous analyses of grey and white matter volumes have reported that schizophrenia is associated with structural changes. Deep learning is a data-driven approach that can capture highly compact hierarchical non-linear relationships among high-dimensional features, and therefore can facilitate the development of clinical tools for making a more accurate and earlier diagnosis of schizophrenia.
To identify consistent grey matter abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, 662 people with schizophrenia and 613 healthy controls were recruited from eight centres across China, and the data from these independent sites were used to validate deep-learning classifiers.
We used a prospective image-based meta-analysis of whole-brain voxel-based morphometry. We also automatically differentiated patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls using combined grey matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid volumetric features, incorporated a deep neural network approach on an individual basis, and tested the generalisability of the classification models using independent validation sites.
We found that statistically reliable schizophrenia-related grey matter abnormalities primarily occurred in regions that included the superior temporal gyrus extending to the temporal pole, insular cortex, orbital and middle frontal cortices, middle cingulum and thalamus. Evaluated using leave-one-site-out cross-validation, the performance of the classification of schizophrenia achieved by our findings from eight independent research sites were: accuracy, 77.19–85.74%; sensitivity, 75.31–89.29% and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.797–0.909.
These results suggest that, by using deep-learning techniques, multidimensional neuroanatomical changes in schizophrenia are capable of robustly discriminating patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls, findings which could facilitate clinical diagnosis and treatment in schizophrenia.
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.
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.
A recently developed pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 has quickly spread across the world. Unfortunately, a simplified risk score that could easily be used in primary care or general practice settings has not been developed. The objective of this study is to identify a simplified risk score that could easily be used to quickly triage severe COVID-19 patients. All severe and critical adult patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 on the West campus of Union Hospital, Wuhan, China, from 28 January 2020 to 29 February 2020 were included in this study. Clinical data and laboratory results were obtained. CURB-65 pneumonia score was calculated. Univariate logistic regressions were applied to explore risk factors associated with in-hospital death. We used the receiver operating characteristic curve and multivariate COX-PH model to analyse risk factors for in-hospital death. A total of 74 patients (31 died, 43 survived) were finally included in the study. We observed that compared with survivors, non-survivors were older and illustrated higher respiratory rate, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, D-dimer and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), but lower SpO2 as well as impaired liver function, especially synthesis function. CURB-65 showed good performance for predicting in-hospital death (area under curve 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.71–0.91). CURB-65 ⩾ 2 may serve as a cut-off value for prediction of in-hospital death in severe patients with COVID-19 (sensitivity 68%, specificity 81%, F1 score 0.7). CURB-65 (hazard ratio (HR) 1.61; 95% CI 1.05–2.46), LDH (HR 1.003; 95% CI 1.001–1.004) and albumin (HR 0.9; 95% CI 0.81–1) were risk factors for in-hospital death in severe patients with COVID-19. Our study indicates CURB-65 may serve as a useful prognostic marker in COVID-19 patients, which could be used to quickly triage severe patients in primary care or general practice settings.
The present study was conducted to evaluate the impact of dietary fully oxidised β-carotene (OxBC, C40H60O15) supplementation during the perinatal period on immune status and productivity in a sow model. At day 85 of pregnancy, 150 sows were allocated to one of three dietary treatments with fifty sows per treatment. The three experimental diets were supplemented with 0, 4 or 8 mg/kg OxBC in the basal diet. The feeding trial was conducted from gestation day 85 until day 21 of lactation. Dietary OxBC supplementation greatly enhanced colostrum IgM, IgA and IgG levels, and the IgM and IgG content of 14-d milk. Dietary OxBC supplementation decreased the TNF-α and IL-8 levels in colostrum, as well as the TNF-α and IL-18 levels in 14-d milk. There was also a tendency towards an increase in the soluble CD14 level in 14-d milk. Although dietary treatments did not affect average daily feed intake nor backfat thickness loss during lactation, dietary OxBC supplementation tended to enhance litter weight and individual piglet weight at weaning. There was a trend towards increased lactose concentration in 14-d milk with increasing dietary OxBC. It is concluded that dietary supplementation with OxBC during the perinatal period enhances the lactose concentration of sow milk and the immune status of sows, which is reflected by improved cytokine status and immunoglobulin concentrations in colostrum and milk, and thus tending to increase litter weight and individual piglet weight at weaning. The results also provide a scientific nutritional reference for perinatal mothers due to the biological similarity between pigs and humans.
Cardiac fibroma is a rare benign primary tumour of the heart. In the paediatric population, it has been reported as the second most common benign cardiac tumour following rhabdomyoma. However, the prevalence of cardiac fibroma is rarely reported in the adult population. Signs and symptoms are nonspecific, including palpitations, cardiac murmur, arrhythmias, dyspnoea, cyanosis, chest pain, and sudden mortality, whereas, a number of patients with cardiac fibroma are asymptomatic. Surgical resection should be considered as the best option in symptomatic patients. This study reported four surgical cases of adults with cardiac fibroma arising from the left ventricle and a literature review regarding the clinical and pathological features, diagnostic modalities, therapeutic aspects, and prognosis of this rare entity.
In this work, we propose a broadband, polarization-insensitive and wide incident angle stable metamaterial absorber (MA) based on the resistive film. The absorber consists of a three-layer structure with each layer of dielectric substrate printed with different shapes of resistive film. The multilayer structure not only extends the absorption bandwidth but also maintains high absorption under large wave incident angles. Numerical simulation shows that the absorptivity of a normal incident wave is above 90% in the frequency range 2.34–18.95 GHz, corresponding to a relative absorption bandwidth of 156%. Moreover, the whole MA structure has a total thickness of 11.3 mm, corresponding to 0.09 λ0 at its lowest absorption frequency. Due to the high symmetry of the structure, the absorber has good polarization insensitivity. In addition, for both transverse electric and transverse magnetic incidence, the proposed absorber achieves an absorptivity of more than 80% at incident angles of up to 45° and thus has good stability for wide incident angles. The absorption principle of the absorber is analyzed by the surface current and power loss density distribution. Parameter analysis is also performed for bandwidth optimization. Due to its advantages of wideband absorption with high efficiency, the proposed absorber has the potential to be applied to the energy-harvesting and electromagnetic stealth fields.
Research on the biogenic-specific polymorphism and morphology of carbonate has been gaining momentum in the fields of biomineralization and industrial engineering in recent years. We report the nucleation of carbonate particles on bacterial cell templates to produce a novel dumbbell-like morphology which was assembled by needle-like crystals of magnesium calcite or aragonite radiating out from both ends of the template bacterium. Mature dumbbell-like structures had a tendency to break apart in the central template region, which was made up mostly of weak amorphous carbonate. Further crystal growth, especially at the template region, transformed the broken pieces into spherulites. Rod-like cell templates were essential for the formation of dumbbell-like morphologies, and we propose a possible formation mechanism of the dumbbell-like morphology. Our findings provide new perspectives on the morphological formation mechanism in biomineralization systems and may have a potential significance in assembling composite materials suitable for industrial applications.
The Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR), initiated in 2001, has now become the largest twin registry in Asia. From 2015 to 2018, the CNTR continued to receive Chinese government funding and had recruited 61,566 twin-pairs by 2019 to study twins discordant for specific exposures such as environmental factors, and twins discordant for disease outcomes or measures of morbidity. Omic data, including genetics, genomics, metabolomics, and proteomics, and gut microbiome will be tested. The integration of omics and digital technologies in public health will advance our understanding of precision public health. This review introduces the updates of the CNTR, including study design, sample size, biobank, zygosity assessment, advances in research and future systems epidemiologic research.
The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of glucose, soya oil or glutamine on jejunal morphology, protein metabolism and protein expression of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signalling pathway in jejunal villus or crypt compartment of piglets. Forty-two 21 d-weaned piglets were randomly allotted to one of the three isoenergetic diets formulated with glucose, soya oil or glutamine for 28 d. On day 14 or 28, the proteins in crypt enterocytes were analysed with isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification and proteins involved in mTORC1 signalling pathway in villus or crypt compartment cells were determined by Western blotting. Our results showed no significant differences (P > 0·05) in jejunal morphology among the three treatments on day 14 or 28. The differentially expressed proteins mainly took part in a few network pathways, including antimicrobial or inflammatory response, cell death and survival, digestive system development and function and carbohydrate metabolism. On day 14 or 28, there were higher protein expression of eukaryotic initiation factor-4E binding protein-1 in jejunal crypt compartment of piglets supplemented with glucose or glutamine compared with soya oil. On day 28, higher protein expression of phosphor-mTOR in crypt compartment was observed in piglets supplemented with glucose compared with the soya oil. In conclusion, the isoenergetic glucose, soya oil or glutamine did not affect the jejunal morphology of piglets; however, they had different effects on the protein metabolism in crypt compartment. Compared with soya oil, glucose or glutamine may be better energy supplies for enterocytes in jejunal crypt compartment.
Graphite nitride carbon nanosheets have received more and more attention toward the photocatalytic research and applications. Ultrathin g-CN nanosheets with porous structure were synthesized successfully by thermal calcination of melamine supramolecular complexes, which was obtained by pre-treating melamine in nitric acid solution at different concentrations (0.5–2 mol/L). Effects of HNO3 pre-treatment on the microstructure of supramolecular complexes were studied. The characteristics of g-CN nanosheets were investigated by X-ray diffractometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The degradation performance for RhB and water splitting hydrogen production performance were used to evaluate the photocatalytic performances of g-CN nanosheets. The morphology and microstructure of HNO3/melamine supramolecular complexes are different from those of melamine precursor due to the better arrangement of the melamine units. Ultrathin porous g-CN nanosheets which possess a thickness of less than 2 nm were successfully prepared by calcination of melamine pre-treated with 1.0 mol/L nitric acid. The g-CN(1.0) nanosheets possess the highest photocatalytic degradation performance and water splitting hydrogen production performance due to the effective separation of photogenerated carriers and high specific surface area providing a large number of active sites.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Nutrition therapy is considered an important treatment of burn patients. The aim of the study was to delineate the nutritional support in severe burn patients and to investigate association between nutritional practice and clinical outcomes. Severe burn patients were enrolled (n 100). In 90 % of the cases, the burn injury covered above 70 % of the total body surface area. Mean interval from injury to nutrition start was 2·4 (sd 1·1) d. Sixty-seven patients were initiated with enteral nutrition (EN) with a median time of 1 d from injury to first feed. Twenty-two patients began with parenteral nutrition (PN). During the study, thirty-two patients developed EN intolerance. Patients received an average of about 70 % of prescribed energy and protein. Patients with EN providing <30 % energy had significantly higher 28- d and in-hospital mortality than patients with EN providing more than 30 % of energy. Mortality at 28 d was 11 % and in-hospital mortality was 45 %. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that EN providing <30 % energy and septic shock were independent risk factors for 28- d prognosis. EN could be initiated early in severe burn patients. Majority patients needed PN supplementation for energy requirement and EN feeding intolerance. Post-pyloric feeding is more efficient than gastric feeding in EN tolerance and energy supplement. It is difficult for severe burn patients to obtain enough feeding, especially in the early stage of the disease. More than 2 weeks of underfeeding is harmful to recovery.
Chickenpox is a common acute and highly contagious disease in childhood; moreover, there is currently no targeted treatment. Carrying out an early warning on chickenpox plays an important role in taking targeted measures in advance as well as preventing the outbreak of the disease. In recent years, the infectious disease dynamic model has been widely used in the research of various infectious diseases. The logistic differential equation model can well demonstrate the epidemic characteristics of epidemic outbreaks, gives the point at which the early epidemic rate changes from slow to fast. Therefore, our study aims to use the logistic differential equation model to explore the epidemic characteristics and early-warning time of varicella. Meanwhile, the data of varicella cases were collected from first week of 2008 to 52nd week of 2017 in Changsha. Finally, our study found that the logistic model can be well fitted with varicella data, besides the model illustrated that there are two peaks of varicella at each year in Changsha City. One is the peak in summer–autumn corresponding to the 8th–38th week; the other is in winter–spring corresponding to the time from the 38th to the seventh week next year. The ‘epidemic acceleration week’ average value of summer–autumn and winter–spring are about the 16th week (ranging from the 15th to 17th week) and 45th week (ranging from the 44th to 47th week), respectively. What is more, taking warning measures during the acceleration week, the preventive effect will be delayed; thus, we recommend intervene during recommended warning weeks which are the 15th and 44th weeks instead.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity is growing rapidly in many countries. Socioeconomic inequalities might be important for this increase. The aim of this study was to determine associations of body mass index (BMI), overweight and obesity with educational level and marital status in Chinese twins. Participants were adult twins recruited through the Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR), aged 18 to 79 years, and the sample comprised 10,448 same-sex twin pairs. Current height, weight, educational attainment, and marital status were self-reported. Regression analyses and structural equation models were conducted to evaluate BMI, overweight, and obesity associated with educational level and marital status in both sexes. At an individual level, both educational level and marital status were associated with higher BMI and higher risk of being overweight and obesity in men, while in women the effects of educational level on BMI were in the opposite direction. In within-Monozygotic (MZ) twin-pair analyses, the effects of educational level on BMI disappeared in females. Bivariate structural equation models showed that genetic factors and shared environmental confounded the relationship between education and BMI in females, whereas marital status was associated with BMI on account of significant positive unique environmental correlation apart in both sexes. The present data suggested that marital status and BMI were associated, independent of familiar factors, for both sexes of this study population, while common genetic and shared environmental factors contributed to education-associated disparities in BMI in females.
Obesity is associated with blood pressure (BP), but the associations between different obesity indicators and BP have not reached agreement. Besides, both obesity and BP are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Whether they share the same genetic or environmental etiology has not been fully understood. We therefore analyzed the relationship between different obesity indicators and BP components as well as the genetic and environmental contributions to these relationships in a Chinese adult twin sample. Twins aged 18–79 years (n = 941) were included in this study. Body mass index (BMI) was used as the index of general obesity, whereas waist circumference (WC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were used as the indicators of central obesity. BP components included systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Linear regression models and bivariate structural equation models were used to examine the relation of various obesity indicators with BP components, and genetic or environmental influences on these associations, respectively. A strong association of BP components with BMI—and a somewhat weaker association with WC, WHtR, and WHR—was found in both sexes, independent of familial factors. Of these phenotypic correlations between obesity indicators and BP components, 60–76% were attributed to genetic factors, whereas 24–40% were attributed to unique environmental factors. General obesity was most strongly associated with high BP in Chinese adult twins. There were common genetic backgrounds for obesity and BP, and unique environmental factors also played a role.
Human adenovirus type 55 (HAdV-55) has recently caused multiple outbreaks. This study examined polymorphisms in CD46 to determine their involvement in HAdV-55 infection.
A total of 214 study subjects infected with HAdV-55 were included in our study. The study subjects were divided into those with silent infections (n=91), minor infections (n=85), and severe infections (n=38). Ten single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from CD46 were examined.
Compared with the AA genotype, the TT genotype at rs2724385 (CD46, A/T) was associated with a protective effect against disease occurrence, with an odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 0.20 (0.04-0.97) (P=0.038). There were no significant differences between the patients with minor and severe infection and those who had silent HAdV-55 infection in the other CD46 SNPs. We next compared the polymorphisms of these genes according to disease severity in HAdV-55-infected patients with clinical symptoms. The results showed that there were no significant differences between minor infections and severe infections.
Our results suggested that the CD46 SNP at rs2724385 is associated with the occurrence of disease in HAdV-55-infected patients. A much larger number of samples is required to understand the role of CD46 polymorphisms in the occurrence and progression of infection by HAdV-55. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:427–430)