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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.
It is generally accepted that high-oleic crops have at least 70% oleate. As compared to their normal-oleic counterparts, oil and food products made from high-oleic peanut have better keeping quality and are much healthier. Therefore, high-oleic peanut is well recognized by processors and consumers. However, owing to the limited availability of high-oleic donors, most present-day high-oleic peanut varietal releases merely have F435 type FAD2 mutations. Through screening of a mutagenized peanut population of 15L46, a high-yielding peanut line with desirable elliptical oblong large seeds, using near infrared model for predicting oleate content in individual single seeds, high-oleic peanut mutants were identified. Sequencing FAD2A and FAD2B of the mutants along with the wild type revealed that these mutants possessed G448A FAD2A (F435 type FAD2A mutation) and G558A FAD2B (non-F435 type FAD2B mutation). Expression of the wild and mutated type FAD2B in yeast verified that the functional mutation contributed to the high-oleic phenotype in these mutants. The mutants provided additional high-oleic donors to peanut quality improvement.
This study explored how bilingual code-switching habits affect cognitive shifting and inhibition. Habitual code-switching from 31 Mandarin–English bilingual adults were collected through the Language and Social Background Questionnaire (Anderson, Mak, Keyvani Chahi & Bialystok, 2018) and the Bilingual Switching Questionnaire (Rodriguez-Fornells, Krämer, Lorenzo-Seva, Festman & Münte, 2012). All participants performed verbal and nonverbal switching tasks, including the verbal fluency task, a bilingual picture-naming and colour-shape switching task. A Go/No-go task was administered to measure the inhibitory control of participants.
Frequent bilingual switchers showed higher efficiency in both English to Chinese verbal switching and nonverbal cognitive shifting. Additionally, bilinguals with intensive dense code-switching experience outperformed in the Go/No-go task. In general, the study revealed the connections between bilinguals’ intensity of single-language context experience and goal maintenance efficiency, which partially supported the Adaptive Control Hypothesis’ prediction (Green & Abutalebi, 2013). Besides, it also indicated the facilitations of bilinguals’ dense code-switching experience on their conflicts monitoring and response inhibition.
Routine Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) screening found one asymptomatic COVID-19 patient. An emergency sampling team was organized consisting of 1200 healthcare workers, and a total of 3.2228 million COVID-19 samples had been collected and detected. This study summarizes the on-site management experience in large-scale COVID-19 nucleic acid testing from various aspects: staff preparation, materials preparation, site layout, logistics support, and information system support. Suggestions are put forward for the deficiencies and parts needing improvement. Such as some sampling sites were not properly chosen, different areas were unclearly marked off from each other, and some site moving lines were confounding. How to communicate with the street service workers who had little professional knowledge on the epidemic spread or the working principles of the workflow and site layout. And the way to resolve conflicts on site.
As part of a long-term experiment to determine the impacts of composted manure and straw amendments (replacing 50% of chemical fertilizer with composted pig manure, wheat straw return combined with chemical fertilizer, and setting no fertilizer and chemical fertilizer-only as controls) on rice-associated weeds in a rice (Oryza sativa L.)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system, species richness, abundance, density, and biomass of weeds were assessed during years 8 and 9. Fertilization decreased the species richness and total density of rice-associated weeds but increased their total biomass. The species richness and densities of broadleaf and sedge weeds decreased with fertilization, while species richness of grass weeds increased only with straw return and density was not significantly affected. The shoot biomass per square meter of grass and broadleaf weeds was significantly higher with fertilization treatments than with the no-fertilizer control, while that of sedge weeds declined with fertilizer application. With fertilization, the densities of monarch redstem (Ammannia baccifera L.) and smallflower umbrella sedge (Cyperus difformis L.) decreased, that of Chinese sprangletop [Leptochloa chinensis (L.) Nees] increased, and those of barnyardgrass [Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv.] and monochoria [Monochoria vaginalis (Burm. f.) C. Presl ex Kunth] were not significantly affected. Ammannia baccifera was the most abundant weed species in all treatments. Whereas composted pig manure plus fertilizer resulted in higher density of A. baccifera and lower shoot biomass per plant than chemical fertilizer only, wheat straw return plus chemical fertilizer caused lower density and shoot biomass of A. baccifera. Therefore, it may be possible that fertilization strategies that suppress specific weeds could be used as improved weed management program components in rice production systems.
Social services in China nowadays are increasingly coproduced by both government and non-profit organizations (NPOs). However, we still know little about how NPOs perceive their government partners in social service delivery. Using a Q methodology, this study remedies this gap and identifies three profiles – namely, government as a distant facilitator, government as a hands-off collaborator, and government as a prudent principal. Also, it has been found that two conditions – namely, NPOs’ development stage and funding resources – influence their perceptions on government in social service delivery. These three profiles provide new insights into NPOs’ perceptions of their government partners in social service delivery, and they add new building blocks to existing literature, specifically on the government–NPO relationship in China.
Cancer remains the leading cause of death worldwide, and metastasis is still the major cause of treatment failure for cancer patients. Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been shown to play a critical role in the metastasis cascade of epithelium-derived carcinoma. Tumour microenvironment (TME) refers to the local tissue environment in which tumour cells produce and live, including not only tumour cells themselves, but also fibroblasts, immune and inflammatory cells, glial cells and other cells around them, as well as intercellular stroma, micro vessels and infiltrated biomolecules from the nearby areas, which has been proved to widely participate in the occurrence and progress of cancer. Emerging and accumulating studies indicate that, on one hand, mesenchymal cells in TME can establish ‘crosstalk’ with tumour cells to regulate their EMT programme; on the other, EMT-tumour cells can create a favourable environment for their own growth via educating stromal cells. Recently, our group has conducted a series of studies on the interaction between tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) and colorectal cancer (CRC) cells in TME, confirming that the interaction between TAMs and CRC cells mediated by cytokines or exosomes can jointly promote the metastasis of CRC by regulating the EMT process of tumour cells and the M2-type polarisation process of TAMs. Herein, we present an overview to describe the current knowledge about EMT in cancer, summarise the important role of TME in EMT, and provide an update on the mechanisms of TME-induced EMT in CRC, aiming to provide new ideas for understanding and resisting tumour metastasis.
As a neuroprogressive illness, depression is accompanied by brain structural abnormality that extends to many brain regions. However, the progressive structural alteration pattern remains unknown.
To elaborate the progressive structural alteration of depression according to illness duration, we recruited 195 never-treated first-episode patients with depression and 130 healthy controls (HCs) undergoing T1-weighted MRI scans. Voxel-based morphometry method was adopted to measure gray matter volume (GMV) for each participant. Patients were first divided into three stages according to the length of illness duration, then we explored stage-specific GMV alterations and the causal effect relationship between them using causal structural covariance network (CaSCN) analysis.
Overall, patients with depression presented stage-specific GMV alterations compared with HCs. Regions including the hippocampus, the thalamus and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) presented GMV alteration at onset of illness. Then as the illness advanced, others regions began to present GMV alterations. These results suggested that GMV alteration originated from the hippocampus, the thalamus and vmPFC then expanded to other brain regions. The results of CaSCN analysis revealed that the hippocampus and the vmPFC corporately exerted causal effect on regions such as nucleus accumbens, the precuneus and the cerebellum. In addition, GMV alteration in the hippocampus was also potentially causally related to that in the dorsolateral frontal gyrus.
Consistent with the neuroprogressive hypothesis, our results reveal progressive morphological alteration originating from the vmPFC and the hippocampus and further elucidate possible details about disease progression of depression.
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.
The effect of vitamin D (VD) on the risk of preeclampsia (PE) is uncertain. Few of previous studies focused on the relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk. Therefore, we conducted this 1:1 matched case–control study to explore the association of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk in Chinese pregnant women. A total of 440 pairs of participants were recruited during March 2016 to June 2019. Dietary information was obtained using a seventy-eight-item semi-quantitative FFQ. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 were measured by liquid chromatography–tandem MS. Multivariate conditional logistic regression was used to estimate OR and 95 % CI. Restricted cubic splines (RCS) were plotted to evaluate the dose–response relationship of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk. Compared with the lowest quartile, the OR of the highest quartile were 0·45 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·71, Ptrend = 0·001) for VD dietary intake and 0·26 (95 % CI 0·11, 0·60, Ptrend = 0·003) for serum levels after adjusting for confounders. In addition, the RCS analysis suggested a reverse J-shaped relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). A similar association was also found between serum concentrations of total 25(OH)D and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). In conclusion, this study provides evidence that higher dietary intake and serum levels of VD are associated with the lower risk of PE in Chinese pregnant women.
No relevant studies have yet been conducted to explore which measurement can best predict the survival time of patients with cancer cachexia. This study aimed to identify an anthropometric measurement that could predict the 1-year survival of patients with cancer cachexia. We conducted a nested case–control study using data from a multicentre clinical investigation of cancer from 2013 to 2020. Cachexia was defined using the Fearon criteria. A total of 262 patients who survived less than 1 year and 262 patients who survived more than 1 year were included in this study. Six candidate variables were selected based on clinical experience and previous studies. Five variables, BMI, mid-arm circumference, mid-arm muscle circumference, calf circumference and triceps skin fold (TSF), were selected for inclusion in the multivariable model. In the conditional logistic regression analysis, TSF (P = 0·014) was identified as a significant independent protective factor. A similar result was observed in all patients with cancer cachexia (n 3084). In addition, a significantly stronger positive association between TSF and the 1-year survival of patients with cancer cachexia was observed in participants aged > 65 years (OR: 0·94; 95 % CI 0·89, 0·99) than in those aged ≤ 65 years (OR: 0·96; 95 % CI 0·93, 0·99; Pinteraction = 0·013) and in participants with no chronic disease (OR: 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·97) than in those with chronic disease (OR: 0·97; 95 % CI 0·94, 1·00; Pinteraction = 0·049). According to this study, TSF might be a good anthropometric measurement for predicting 1-year survival in patients with cancer cachexia.
Embryos undergo chaotic division and decrease in quality on day 3 with a reduction in the rates of subsequent blastocyst formation. Disordered cleavage causes a deterioration in embryonic quality, here we assessed the relationship between an cleavage model in first mitosis and the chromosomal status of human embryos, and discuss the potential biological and clinical implications for the cleavage model as a single parameter that can be used to assess embryonic quality. Thirty-two infertile couples, with normal karyotypes and who underwent their first IVF cycle were recruited to donate one normal two-cell-stage embryo each for this study between 2019 and 2020. Twenty-eight two-cell embryos underwent preimplantation genetic testing of each blastomere, and four chaotic-division embryos were stained with Hoechst and cultured in a confocal laser-scanning microscopy incubator system. This system showed high specificity and PPV but low sensitivity and NPV using the CM in the prediction of euploidy, indicating that CM could be considered a screening method for embryo selection; additional observational studies using the CM to select transferable embryos are needed before it can be used in clinical practice.
Physical health outcomes are poor for patients with severe mental illness as demonstrated by the significant mortality gap present globally. Access to and engagement with care is a key factor underpinning this disparity. The Early Intervention in Psychosis service works with young people from 14-35 experiencing a first episode of psychosis in the community. Within the service, difficulties in engagement have been reflected in the high ‘no-show’ rates observed in the Foundation Year 2 trainee doctor-led physical health clinic. This quality improvement project aimed to reduce the ‘did not attend’ (DNA) rate in the physical health clinic by 20% in order to improve patient outcomes, particularly in the context of their physical health.
The project took place between September and November 2020, over the course of 10 weeks. A driver diagram was constructed to identify key influencing factors and subsequent change ideas. In order to implement each of these changes, three cycles within the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) ramp framework were completed. These consisted of phone reminders within 48 hours of appointments, a teaching session for staff alongside the distribution of an accompanying information leaflet and increased flexibility in clinic times with opportunistic appointments. The change ideas were cumulative with each cycle lasting a duration of seventeen days.
The baseline DNA rate was calculated based on the preceding month and found to be 55%. Following cycle one of the project, there was a significant reduction in DNA rates to 30% although this remained relatively stable at 33% after cycle two. By the end of cycle three when all interventions had been introduced, the DNA rate had dropped to 22%. As such, a total drop in DNA rate of over 30% was achieved which surpassed the initial aim of the project.
The outcomes of this project demonstrate that the introduction of even simple measures can lead to positive change. Successful implementation of these changes requires teamwork and a culture of openness and flexibility. Feedback from team members, particularly care coordinators, also indicated better resulting engagement of clients with the service overall, suggesting potential for both improved mental and physical health outcomes. Next steps for this project may involve not only continued implementation of established changes but also service user input and scope for virtual consultations particularly in light of current COVID-19 restrictions.
Understanding people’s perception of community resilience to disaster is important. This study explores the correlations of household livelihood assets, the adopted household disaster preparedness activities, and individuals’ assessment of community resilience.
The data was collected in 2018 by surveying a group of survivors affected by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China. The CART (Community Advancing Resilience Toolkit) was used to measure individuals’ perception of community resilience, while the livelihood assets included financial, physical, natural, human, and social capitals owned by the family, and the preparedness contained 13 activities. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models were used to test our hypotheses.
Social capital is consistently and positively associated with the overall individuals’ perceived community resilience, while the natural, human, and financial capitals’ effects are not significant. The awareness and participation preparedness activities are positively correlated with the perceived community resilience, but the material preparedness activities are not.
Social capital and disaster preparedness activities are critical in building community resilience. Community resilience can be achieved by making the community more connected and by providing disaster preparedness interventions.
To present an overview of how artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to regulate eating and dietary behaviours, exercise behaviours and weight loss.
A scoping review of global literature published from inception to 15 December 2020 was conducted according to Arksey and O’Malley’s five-step framework. Eight databases (CINAHL, Cochrane–Central, Embase, IEEE Xplore, PsycINFO, PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science) were searched. Included studies were independently screened for eligibility by two reviewers with good interrater reliability (k = 0·96).
Sixty-six out of 5573 potential studies were included, representing more than 2031 participants. Three tenets of self-regulation were identified – self-monitoring (n 66, 100 %), optimisation of goal setting (n 10, 15·2 %) and self-control (n 10, 15·2 %). Articles were also categorised into three AI applications, namely machine perception (n 50), predictive analytics only (n 6) and real-time analytics with personalised micro-interventions (n 10). Machine perception focused on recognising food items, eating behaviours, physical activities and estimating energy balance. Predictive analytics focused on predicting weight loss, intervention adherence, dietary lapses and emotional eating. Studies on the last theme focused on evaluating AI-assisted weight management interventions that instantaneously collected behavioural data, optimised prediction models for behavioural lapse events and enhance behavioural self-control through adaptive and personalised nudges/prompts. Only six studies reported average weight losses (2·4–4·7 %) of which two were statistically significant.
The use of AI for weight loss is still undeveloped. Based on the current study findings, we proposed a framework on the applicability of AI for weight loss but cautioned its contingency upon engagement and contextualisation.
A study was conducted to identify whether composted manure and straw amendments (replacement of a portion of chemical fertilizer [50% of the total nitrogen application] with composted pig manure, and straw return [all straw from the previous rice crop] combined with chemical fertilizer) compared with no fertilization and chemical fertilizer only would change the dominant species of wheat-associated weeds as well as influence their growth and seed yield in a rice (Oryza sativa L.)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system. The study was initiated in 2010, and the treatment effects on the species, density, plant height, shoot biomass, seed yield of dominant weeds, and wheat yields were assessed in 2017 and 2018. Fertilization significantly increased the height, density, and yield of wheat, as well as the shoot biomass of wheat-associated weeds, but decreased the weed species number. A total of 17 and 14 weed species were recorded in the experimental wheat fields in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The most dominant weed species were American sloughgrass [Beckmannia syzigachne (Steud.) Fernald] and catchweed bedstraw (Galium aparine L.), which made up more than 64% of the weed community in all treatments. When the chemical fertilizer application was amended with pig manure compost and straw return, the relative abundance of B. syzigachne significantly decreased, while the relative abundance of G. aparine significantly increased. The application of the chemical fertilizer-only treatment resulted in increases in the density, shoot biomass, and seed yield of B. syzigachne, while the composted manure and straw amendments applied together with chemical fertilizer led to significant increases in the density, shoot biomass, and seed yield of G. aparine. Consequently, further research on ways to promote greater cropping system diversity will be needed to prevent the selection of weed species that are adapted to a limited suite of crop management practices.
In this article, we discuss the backgrounds and technical details about several smart manufacturing projects in a tier-one electronics manufacturing facility. We devise a process to manage logistic forecast and inventory preparation for electronic parts using historical data and a recurrent neural network to achieve significant improvement over current methods. We present a system for automatically qualifying laptop software for mass production through computer vision and automation technology. The result is a reliable system that can save hundreds of man-years in the qualification process. Finally, we create a deep learning-based algorithm for visual inspection of product appearances, which requires significantly less defect training data compared to traditional approaches. For production needs, we design an automatic optical inspection machine suitable for our algorithm and process. We also discuss the issues for data collection and enabling smart manufacturing projects in a factory setting, where the projects operate on a delicate balance between process innovations and cost-saving measures.
The South China Block is one of the largest continental blocks located on the East Asian continent. The early Palaeozoic Wuyi–Yunkai orogen of the South China Block (known as the Caledonian orogen in Europe) is a major orogenic belt in East Asia and represents the first episode of extensive crustal reworking since Neoproterozoic time. Although this orogen is key to deciphering the formation and evolution of the South China Block, details about the orogen remain poorly defined. The Songshutang and Wushitou ultramafic–mafic units in southern Jiangxi Province, South China, have 206Pb–238U ages of c. 437 Ma, suggesting a Silurian formation age. All the Songshutang and Wushitou ultramafic–mafic rocks show relatively flat chondrite-normalized rare earth element patterns, depletions in Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf and Ti, and low ϵNd(t) values from −9.12 to −5.49 with negative zircon ϵHf(t) values from −10.84 to −2.58, resembling a typical arc magma affinity. Geochemical and isotopic data indicate that the newly identified ultramafic–mafic rocks, along with the reported Silurian mafic rocks in South China, possibly originated from the similar partial melting of an ancient subducted slab, fluid/sediment and metasomatized lithospheric mantle with varying degrees of fractional crystallization. In conjunction with other records of magmatism and metamorphism in South China, a late-orogenic extensional event led to the melting of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle in Silurian time and generated ultramafic–mafic rocks with a limited distribution along the Wuyi–Yunkai orogen and widespread late-orogenic granitic plutons in the South China Block.