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To understand why P. przewalskii does not show the same white myopathy as sheep in Se-deficient regions, and to provide reference for feeding nutrition level of artificial population and selection of wild reintroduction areas in the later period, a Se-deficient model was established. The mineral elements content, physiological and biochemical parameters in blood, and serum metabonomics were determined. In the Se-deficient group compared with the control group, the Se content was highly significantly lower (P<0.01), and the Cu content was significantly higher (P<0.05). The activity of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) was significantly lower (P<0.05), but total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) was significantly higher (P<0.05). Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed significant differences in serum metabolic profiling between the Se-deficient group and control group, orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) indicated significant differences in metabolite distribution in the serum between the two groups (P<0.05, variable importance in projection VIP>1). By matching the mass spectrum data of compounds with the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG database), identified 86 types of differential metabolites in the serum. The main metabolic pathways included secondary bile acid biosynthesis, biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids and pyrimidine metabolism. Further analysis showed that there were 7 different metabolites in pyrimidine metabolism pathway between the Se-deficient and control group. And there was no significant difference in red blood cell (RBC), hemoglobin (Hb) and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) between the two groups (P>0.05). The above results showed that the differential metabolism of substances exhibited complementary functions, thus alleviating some adverse effects and resulting normal activities of P. przewalskii can be carried out under the condition of dietary Se content lower than 0.05mg/kg.
Almost all hospitals are equipped with air-conditioning systems to provide a comfortable environment for patients and staff. However, the accumulation of dust and moisture within these systems increases the risk of transmission of microbes and have on occasion been associated with outbreaks of infection. Nevertheless, the impact of air-conditioning on the transmission of microorganisms leading to infection remains largely uncertain. We conducted a scoping review to screen systematically the evidence for such an association in the face of the coronavirus disease 2019 epidemic. PubMed, Embase and Web of Science databases were explored for relevant studies addressing microbial contamination of the air, their transmission and association with infectious diseases. The review process yielded 21 publications, 17 of which were cross-sectional studies, three were cohort studies and one case−control study. Our analysis showed that, compared with naturally ventilated areas, microbial loads were significantly lower in air-conditioned areas, but the incidence of infections increased if not properly managed. The use of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration not only decreased transmission of airborne bioaerosols and various microorganisms, but also reduced the risk of infections. By contrast, contaminated air-conditioning systems in hospital rooms were associated with a higher risk of patient infection. Cleaning and maintenance of such systems to recommended standards should be performed regularly and where appropriate, the installation of HEPA filters can effectively mitigate microbial contamination in the public areas of hospitals.
Frozen embryo transfer (FET) has been adopted by growing number of reproductive medicine centers due to the improved outcome compared with fresh embryo transfer. However, few studies have focused on the impact of embryo cryopreservation duration on pregnancy-related complications and neonatal birthweight. Thus, a retrospective cohort study including all FET cycles with livebirth deliveries in a university affiliated hospital from May 2010 to September 2017 was conducted. These deliveries were grouped by the cryopreservation duration of the transferred embryo (≤3 months, 4–6 months, 7–12 months, and >12 months). The associations between embryo cryopreservation duration and pregnancy-related complications were evaluated among the groups using multinomial logistic regression. Neonatal birthweight was compared according to the stratification of singletons and multiples using multinomial and multilevel logistic regression, respectively. Among all 12,158 FET cycles, a total of 3864 livebirth deliveries comprising 2995 singletons and 1739 multiples were included. Compared with those within 3 months, women undergoing FET after a cryopreservation time longer than 3 months did not show any increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, meconium staining of the amniotic fluid, or preterm birth. Furthermore, the risk of lower birthweight, macrosomia, small-for-gestational-age, or large-for-gestational-age for either singletons or multiples was not affected by long-term cryopreservation. In summary, embryo cryopreservation duration does not have negative effects on pregnancy-related complications or birthweight after FET.
The objective of this study was to analyze differences in birth weight and overweight/obesity in a Shanghai twin cohort. We also wanted to study their association and explore possible risk factors for the discordance of overweight/obesity within twins. This was an internal case–control study designed for twins. The 2012 Shanghai Twin Registration System baseline survey data of a total of 3417 twin pairs were statistically analyzed using SPSS22 software. Results show that the body mass index (BMI) of the Shanghai twin population increased with age. Twins with a high birth weight had a higher BMI and a higher rate of overweight and obesity; 0- to 6-year-old twins, male twins and dizygotic (DZ) twins had higher rates of overweight/obesity than other groups. The greater the discordant birth weight rate of twins, the more obvious the difference in BMI (p < .05). There was a significant difference in overweight/obesity between twins with a relative difference of birth weight ≥15% in DZ twins (p < .05). DZ twins, male twins and 0- to 6-year-old twins were more likely to be discordant in overweight/obese than others. The discordant birth weight within twins was not a risk factor for discordant overweight/obesity. However, attention should be paid to childhood obesity, and appropriate interventions should be made at the appropriate time. Genetics may play an important role in the occurrence and development of overweight/obesity. In conclusion, discordant growth and development in the uterus early in life may not lead to discordant weight development in the future.
Carotenoids are increasingly being implicated to have an important role in brain and eye development. This study aimed to quantify the content and profile of carotenoids in human breast milk, maternal plasma and neonatal umbilical cord plasma in Chengdu, an urban area in Southwest China. In this study, fifty-four healthy mothers were enrolled. Maternal blood, umbilical cord blood, colostrum, transitional milk and mature milk were collected. Concentrations of carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, β-carotene and lycopene) were analysed by HPLC. We found that carotenoid concentrations decreased from colostrum to mature milk. Hydrocarbon carotenoids with weaker polarity decreased more than the polar carotenoids. Lycopene concentrations dropped by 99 %, β-carotene by 92 %, β-cryptoxanthin by 83 %, lutein by 32 % and zeaxanthin by 22 %. Lycopene and β-carotene accounted for 70 % of the total carotenoids in colostrum, and lutein predominated amongst carotenoids in transitional milk and mature milk (51–55 %). Carotenoid concentrations in maternal plasma were much higher than that in cord plasma. Lutein predominated in cord plasma. The concentrations of all carotenoids in maternal plasma were correlated with those of cord plasma and human milk. These results are consistent with selective transport mechanisms in the mammary gland related to the polarity of carotenoids, and each carotenoid has its own implications, which may have different priorities in the early life development of infants. These findings may help guide dietary recommendations for carotenoid inclusion in infant formulas.
Lead-free ferroelectric electrocaloric ceramics that could convert electrical energy into heat are the promising candidate for environment-friendly cooling devices. For refrigeration devices, a large temperature change (ΔT) and good temperature stability are required, which are highly related to the phase structure and the applied electric field. In this work, a diffused ferroelectric–paraelectric (FP) phase transition is formed in (K, Na)NbO3 (KNN) by using appropriate composition engineering. The relaxor ferroelectrics in this work present both a large ΔT of 1.24 K and a high ΔT/ΔE of 0.19 K mm/kV. In addition, a wide temperature span exceeds 55 °C at the high electrocaloric effect (ECE) criterion (ΔT ≥ 0.5 K) could also be observed. This work not only opens a new strategy for obtaining high-performance ceramics for refrigeration devices but also extends the application area of the KNN-based lead-free ferroelectrics from sensors, actuators and energy harvesting to solid-state cooling applications.
The present study investigated the association between fibre degradation and the concentration of dissolved molecular hydrogen (H2) in the rumen. Napier grass (NG) silage and corn stover (CS) silage were compared as forages with contrasting structures and degradation patterns. In the first experiment, CS silage had greater 48-h DM, neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) and acid-detergent fibre degradation, and total gas and methane (CH4) volumes, and lower 48-h H2 volume than NG silage in 48-h in vitro incubations. In the second experiment, twenty-four growing beef bulls were fed diets including 55 % (DM basis) NG or CS silages. Bulls fed the CS diet had greater DM intake (DMI), average daily gain, total-tract digestibility of OM and NDF, ruminal dissolved methane (dCH4) concentration and gene copies of protozoa, methanogens, Ruminococcus albus and R. flavefaciens, and had lower ruminal dH2 concentration, and molar proportions of valerate and isovalerate, in comparison with those fed the NG diet. There was a negative correlation between dH2 concentration and NDF digestibility in bulls fed the CS diet, and a lack of relationship between dH2 concentration and NDF digestibility with the NG diet. In summary, the fibre of CS silage was more easily degraded by rumen microorganisms than that of NG silage. Increased dCH4 concentration with the CS diet presumably led to the decreased ruminal dH2 concentration, which may be helpful for fibre degradation and growth of fibrolytic micro-organisms in the rumen.
The Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover 105 mm-diameter ice cores up to 1400 m depth and 41.5 mm-diameter bedrock cores up to 2 m in length. In order to ensure safe and convenient drilling, drilling auxiliaries are designed to support fieldwork and servicing. These auxiliaries are subdivided into several systems for power supply, drill tripping in the borehole, ice core and chip processing, and drill servicing and maintenance. The required equipment also includes two generators, a drilling winch with a cable, logging winch with a cable, control desk, pipe handler with a fixed clamp, chip chamber vibrator, centrifuge, emergency devices and fitting and electrical tools. Additionally, several environmental protective measures such as a new liquid-tight casing with a thermal casing shoe and a bailing device for recovering drilling fluid from the borehole were designed. Most of the auxiliaries were tested during the summer of 2018–2019 near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica while drilling to the bedrock to a depth of 198 m.
Staff surveillance is crucial during the containment phase of a pandemic to help reduce potential healthcare-associated transmission and sustain good staff morale. During an outbreak of SARS-COV-2 with community transmission, our institution used an integrated strategy for early detection and containment of COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers (HCWs).
Our strategy comprised 3 key components: (1) enforcing reporting of HCWs with acute respiratory illness (ARI) to our institution’s staff clinic for monitoring; (2) conducting ongoing syndromic surveillance to obtain early warning of potential clusters of COVID-19; and (3) outbreak investigation and management.
Over a 16-week surveillance period, we detected 14 cases of COVID-19 among HCWs with ARI symptoms. Two of the cases were linked epidemiologically and thus constituted a COVID-19 cluster with intrahospital HCW–HCW transmission; we also detected 1 family cluster and 2 clusters among HCWs who shared accommodation. No transmission to HCWs or patients was detected after containment measures were instituted. Early detection minimized the number of HCWs requiring quarantine, hence preserving continuity of service during an ongoing pandemic.
An integrated surveillance strategy, outbreak management, and encouraging individual responsibility were successful in early detection of clusters of COVID-19 among HCWs. With ongoing local transmission, vigilance must be maintained for intrahospital spread in nonclinical areas where social mingling of HCWs occurs. Because most individuals with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, addressing presenteeism is crucial to minimize potential staff and patient exposure.
We find that corporate innovation is positively related to board diversity as measured by a multidimensional index. The benefit of board diversity is more pronounced for firms with more complex operations, more experienced boards, and stronger external governance, suggesting that diverse boards have superior advising capacity. We find evidence to suggest that firms with diverse boards engage in more exploratory innovations and develop new technology in unfamiliar areas. As a result, they create a larger number of both most-cited and uncited patents. Finally, of the six different aspects of board diversity, professional diversity matters the most for corporate innovation.
Varicella is an acute respiratory infectious diseases, with high transmissibility and quick dissemination. In this study, an SEIR (susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered) dynamic model was established to explore the optimal prevention and control measures according to the epidemiological characteristics about varicella outbreak in a school in a central city of China. Berkeley Madonna 8.3.18 and Microsoft Office Excel 2010 software were employed for the model simulation and data management, respectively. The result showed that the simulated result of SEIR model agreed well with the reported data when β (infected rate) equal to 0.067. Models showed that the cumulative number of cases was only 13 when isolation adopted when the infected individuals were identified (assuming isolation rate was up to 100%); the cumulative number of cases was only two and the TAR (total attack rate) was 0.56% when the vaccination coefficient reached 50%. The cumulative number of cases did not change significantly with the change of efficiency of ventilation and disinfection, but the peak time was delayed; when δ (vaccination coefficient) = 0.1, m (ventilation efficiency) = 0.7 or δ = 0.2, m = 0.5 or δ = 0.3, m = 0.1 or δ = 0.4 and above, the cumulative number of cases would reduce to one case and TAR would reduce to 0.28% with combined interventions. Varicella outbreak in school could be controlled through strict isolation or vaccination singly; combined interventions have been adopted when the vaccination coefficient was low.
A vocabulary acquisition learning activity was designed and a learning system featuring image-to-text recognition technology to support the activity was developed. The effectiveness of the system with regard to facilitating vocabulary acquisition was tested. The perceptions of learners toward this tool and the affordances of the system for vocabulary acquisition were also explored. To this end, we designed an experiment in which 40 native speakers of Russian learning English as a foreign language from an elementary school participated. They were assigned to either a control condition or an experimental condition. All learners learned new vocabulary in class and then applied their new knowledge to contexts with a realistic simulation of the real world by completing a learning task. The learners in the control group used a traditional approach (e.g. the learners learned vocabulary from corresponding pictures in a textbook), whereas the learners in the experimental group used the proposed learning system (e.g. the learners learned vocabulary using the system). A pre-test–post-test/delayed post-test design was employed to test the effectiveness of the treatment on vocabulary acquisition. Learner perceptions and perceived affordances of the system for vocabulary acquisition were explored through a questionnaire survey and interviews. The quantitative results showed that the learners in the experimental group outperformed their counterparts on both the vocabulary post-test and delayed post-test. The qualitative results revealed that most learners in the experimental group had positive perceptions of the system. In addition, the qualitative results showed the three main categories of affordances. Based on these results, several suggestions and implications are provided for the teaching and research community.
A statistical model is developed to reconstruct space–time energy spectra in turbulent flows from a non-extensive dataset comprising a time series of velocity fluctuations at a finite number of measurement points. This model is based on a higher approximation of energetic flow structures and developed by using local modulated waves. As a result, it can correctly predict the mean wavenumbers and spectral bandwidths. In contrast, Taylor’s frozen-flow hypothesis incorrectly predicts the spectral bandwidths to be zero, and the local wavenumber model significantly under-predicts the spectral bandwidths. An analytical example is formulated to illustrate the present model, and datasets from direct numerical simulations of turbulent channel flows are used to validate this model. The present statistical model is also discussed in terms of the dominating processes of temporal decorrelation in turbulent flows.
A simple numerical model has been proposed for laser cladding. The model does not involve complex techniques such as cell addition, moving mesh, or prescribing a clad profile with a certain polynomial function. Instead, a mass function has been introduced to register the clad mass deposition on substrate, and from which the clad-track height can be estimated. The model takes several operational parameters, laser power, laser-head speed, and clad powder feeding rate, into consideration and predicts clad-track geometry, dilution, and substrate temperature. Experiments using two different combinations of substrate and clad powder materials to lay single and multiple clad tracks were conducted to provide data for model validation. The results show that the present model returns good agreement with experimental clad profiles for single and multiple tracks.
Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
Lithium was added to the hypereutectic Mg–Ni alloy to investigate the effect of volatilization of Li on the hydrogen storage characteristics of the eutectic Mg–Ni alloy at 300 °C. After fully activated at 300 °C, Li was almost completely volatilized and the structure of Li-containing Mg82Ni18 alloy was converted to the structure of Li-free Mg82Ni18 alloy, but hydrogen absorption capacity significantly decreased. This is because volatilization of Li weakened the bonding between eutectic Mg and Mg2Ni, lowering the catalytic effect of Mg2Ni on Mg. The decrease in hydrogen absorption capacity was more obvious with increasing Li content. In addition, experimental alloy in powder form could increase surface area, causing Li to volatilize at 300 °C.
Peer-led school-based anti-smoking programs have been shown to affect the smoking behaviors of students. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a school-based peer-led live theater production advocating a smoke-free life.
This is a cross-section design study. Students from the drama club were recruited as School Health Ambassadors (SHAs). The SHAs were to involve in a theater production in advocating a smoke-free life, and were provided a health education workshop from the project team on facts relating to smoking and smoke-free life. All the students in the school were to watch the theater production as school peer audience members (SPAs). Comparison will be made between the two groups of students in their attitude and decision towards living a smoke-free life after being involved in the theater production or in watching the drama.
A total of 409 students, 21 SHAs, and 388 SPAs were included in the project. Both the SHAs and the SPAs reported confidently about their ability to resist offers or temptation to smoke, and were determined to live a smoke-free life and refrain from smoking the first cigarette.
A peer-led theater production advocating a smoke-free life shows some effects on students’ attitude and decision to resist offers and the temptation to smoke, and to come to the decision to live a smoke-free life and refrain from smoking the first cigarette.
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.
Dietary restriction (DR) is widely regarded as a viable intervention to extend lifespan and healthspan in diverse organisms. The precise molecular regulatory mechanisms are largely unknown. Epigenetic modifications are not stable upon DR and also keep changing with age. Here, we employed whole genome bisulfite sequencing to determine the DNA methylation changes upon DR in adult Drosophila. Our results indicate that although a low level of DNA methylation exists in the adult Drosophila genome, there is no significant difference in DNA methylation levels upon DR when compared to unrestricted flies. This suggests that other epigenetic components such as histone modifications might be altered by DR.
We report a novel tip-type field emission (FE) emitter by synthesizing the few-layer graphene (FLG) flakes on tip of nichrome (8020) wire (ϕ≈80 μm) by microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition(PECVD). These resultant random arrays of free-standing FLG flakes are aligned vertically to the substrate surface in a high-density and stacked to each other to form several larger “flower-like” agglomerates in spherical shapes. The FE performance of the tip-type FLG flakes emitter shows a low threshold field of 0.55 V/μm, a large field enhancement factor of 9455 ± 46, a large field emission current density of 22.18 A/cm2 at 2.70 V/μm, and an excellent field emission stability at high emission current densities (6.93 A/cm2). It can be used in variety of applications that include cathode-ray tube monitors, X-ray sources, electron microscopes, and other vacuum electronic applications.