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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 multicenter 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; body mass index, 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; P-interaction =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; P-interaction =0.049). According to this study, TSF might be a good anthropometric measurement for predicting 1-year survival in patients with cancer cachexia.
The thermal conductivity of a molecular gas consists of the translational and internal parts. Although in continuum flows the total thermal conductivity itself is adequate to describe the heat transfer, in rarefied gas flows they need to be modelled separately, according to the relaxation rates of translational and internal heat fluxes in an homogeneous system. This paper is dedicated to quantifying how these relaxation rates affect rarefied gas dynamics. The kinetic model of Wu et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 763, 2015, pp. 24–50) is adapted to recover the relaxation of heat fluxes, which is validated by the direct simulation Monte Carlo method. Then the model of Wu et al., which has the freedom to adjust the relaxation rates, is used to investigate the rate effects of thermal relaxation in problems such as the normal shock wave, creep flow driven by Maxwell's demon and thermal transpiration. It is found that the relaxation rates of heat flux affect rarefied gas flows significantly, even when the total thermal conductivity is fixed.
N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) regulates oocyte-to-embryo transition and the reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. However, the role of m6A methylation in porcine early embryonic development and its reprogramming characteristics in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos are yet to be known. Here, we showed that m6A methylation was essential for normal early embryonic development and its aberrant reprogramming in SCNT embryos. We identified a persistent occurrence of m6A methylation in embryos between 1-cell to blastocyst stages and m6A levels abruptly increased during the morula-to-blastocyst transition. Cycloleucine (methylation inhibitor, 20 mM) treatment efficiently reduced m6A levels, significantly decreased the rates of 4-cell embryos and blastocysts, and disrupted normal lineage allocation. Moreover, cycloleucine treatment also led to higher levels in both apoptosis and autophagy in blastocysts. Furthermore, m6A levels in SCNT embryos at the 4-cell and 8-cell stages were significantly lower than that in parthenogenetic activation (PA) embryos, suggesting an abnormal reprogramming of m6A methylation in SCNT embryos. Correspondingly, expression levels of m6A writers (METTL3 and METTL14) and eraser (FTO) were apparently higher in SCNT 8-cell embryos compared with their PA counterparts. Taken together, these results indicated that aberrant nuclear transfer-mediated reprogramming of m6A methylation was involved in regulating porcine early embryonic development.
There have been calls for the expansion of protected areas (PAs) to tackle the ongoing biodiversity loss, yet it is unclear where future PAs might help to protect biodiversity in degraded landscapes under the conservation planning principles of complementarity, connectivity and cost-effectiveness. Our conservation goal is to increase the PA network coverage to up to 30% of the landscape of the Zhangjiang River Basin for target species in the karst area of southwest China, a global biodiversity hotspot. Zonation 4GUI was used to evaluate the adequacy of current PAs and to strategically expand PAs while maximizing the coverage of target species and considering ecological integrity and socioeconomic activities. The results show that significant habitat degradation has occurred across 77.9% of the basin. The current PAs cover 6.3% of the site and represent 8.7% of the total distribution of key species. With regards to the threshold of protection of 30% of the area, protecting an additional 27.2% of the site under an ecological integrity prioritization scenario and a scenario of the socioeconomic costs involved in iteration would cover 93.5% and 80.4% of the ranges of the key species, respectively. Our results can be used to inform the upcoming actions associated with karst area conservation-related policies.
Mode distortion induced by stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) has become a new obstacle for the further development of high-power fiber lasers with high beam quality. Here, an approach for effective suppression of the SRS-induced mode distortion in high-power fiber amplifiers has been demonstrated experimentally by adjusting the seed power (output power of seed source) and forward feedback coefficient of the rear port in the seed source. It is shown that the threshold power of the SRS-induced mode distortion can be increased significantly by reducing the seed power or the forward feedback coefficient. Moreover, it has also been found that the threshold power is extremely sensitive to the forward feedback power value from the rear port. The influence of the seed power on the threshold power can be attributed to the fact that the seed power plays an important role in the effective length of the gain fiber in the amplifier. The influence of the forward feedback coefficient on the threshold power can be attributed to the enhanced SRS configuration because the end surface of the rear port together with the fiber in the amplifier constitutes a half-opening cavity. This suppression approach will be very helpful to further develop the high-power fiber amplifiers with high beam quality.
Biological materials represent a major source of inspiration to engineer protein-based polymers that can replicate the properties of living systems. Combined with our ability to control the molecular structure of proteins at the single amino acid level, this results in a vast array of attractive possibilities for materials science, an interest that is undeniably related to simplified procedures in gene synthesis, cloning, and biotechnological production. In parallel, it has been increasingly appreciated that living organisms exploit liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) to fabricate extracellular structures. In this article, we discuss the central role of protein LLPS in the fabrication of selected biological structures, including biological adhesives and hard biomolecular composites, and how physicochemical lessons from these systems are being replicated in synthetic analogs. Recent translational applications of protein LLPS are highlighted, notably aqueous-resistant adhesives, stimuli-responsive therapeutics carriers, and matrix materials for green structural composites.
Understanding the patterns of treatment response is critical for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia; one way to achieve this is through using a longitudinal dynamic process study design.
This study aims to explore the response trajectory of antipsychotics and compare the treatment responses of seven different antipsychotics over 6 weeks in patients with schizoprenia (trial registration: Chinese Clinical Trials Registry Identifier: ChiCTR-TRC-10000934).
Data were collected from a multicentre, randomised open-label clinical trial. Patients were evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline and follow-up at weeks 2, 4 and 6. Trajectory groups were classified by the method of k-means cluster modelling for longitudinal data. Trajectory analyses were also employed for the seven antipsychotic groups.
The early treatment response trajectories were classified into a high-trajectory group of better responders and a low-trajectory group of worse responders. The results of trajectory analysis showed differences compared with the classification method characterised by a 50% reduction in PANSS scores at week 6. A total of 349 patients were inconsistently grouped by the two methods, with a significant difference in the composition ratio of treatment response groups using these two methods (χ2 = 43.37, P < 0.001). There was no differential contribution of high- and low trajectories to different drugs (χ2 = 12.52, P = 0.051); olanzapine and risperidone, which had a larger proportion in the >50% reduction at week 6, performed better than aripiprazole, quetiapine, ziprasidone and perphenazine.
The trajectory analysis of treatment response to schizophrenia revealed two distinct trajectories. Comparing the treatment responses to different antipsychotics through longitudinal analysis may offer a new perspective for evaluating antipsychotics.
The construction of halloysite spherical capsules (halloysite aerogels) was reported for the first time in our previous work. The excellent performance of the microcapsule in functional carrying was also found in our further research. In this work, the anti-icing surface was fabricated by using halloysite nanotubes and halloysite spherical microcapsules. The fabrication of the anti-icing coating was investigated, and the ice nucleation behavior of droplet on the coating surface was studied. The modified halloysite nanotubes (F-HNTs) and the modified halloysite microcapsules (F-HAs) were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, thermal gravimetric, and pore size distribution. The results show that the introduction of F-HNTs and F-HAs have successfully formed a micro-nano structure on the coating surface with superhydrophobicity performance. The icing temperature of the coating has decreased 2.3 °C compared with bare glass, and the ice adhesion strength has decreased 82%. According to the ice dynamic mechanics, the ice nucleation rate on the coating is significantly reduced, thus the halloysite microcapsule coating has good icephobic performance.
In this study, direct numerical simulation of the dispersion and motion of inertial particles in a spatially developing compressible turbulent boundary layer at a Mach number of 2 is performed with the Eulerian–Lagrangian point particle method. Two cases are simulated with different particle diameters (Stokes number) but identical inflow particle numbers. Statistical characteristics and preferential accumulation of particles in the very-near-wall and wake regions are systematically investigated through conditional sampling and mechanism analysis. The results reveal that particle streaks are formed in low-speed regions near the wall because of the influence of dominating ejection events. After normalization with the local minimum particle number density, the particle number density profile reveals a self-similar feature at different streamwise positions. Compared with small particles, large particles are more significantly influenced by turbophoresis and demonstrate stronger preferential accumulation; thus, more large particles are clustered in the near-wall regions and the deviation between the mean velocities of the particle and the fluid increases. With the wall effect, both large and small particles are selectively accumulated in high-vorticity regions in the buffer layer in contrast to turbulence without walls. In comparison with incompressible wall-bounded turbulence, a new mechanism for particle preferential accumulation based on local fluid density is discovered. Large particles are located in low-density regions in the inner zones and high-density regions in the outer zones. Nevertheless, small particles remain located in regions with low fluid density, as illustrated by the mechanism analysis of particle dilatation.
As city residents eat out more frequently, it is unknown that if iodised salt is still required in home cooking. We analysed the relationship of household salt and eating out on urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in pregnant women. A household condiment weighing method was implemented to collect salt data for a week. A household salt sample was collected. A urine sample was taken at the end of the week. Totally, 4640 participants were investigated. The median UIC was 139·1 μg/l in pregnant women and 148·7, 140·0 and 122·9 μg/l in the first, second and third trimesters. Median UIC in the third trimester was lower than in the other trimesters (P < 0·001). The usage rates of iodised (an iodine content ≥ 5·0 mg/kg) and qualified-iodised (an iodine content ≥ 21·0 mg/kg) salt were 73·9 and 59·3 %. The median UIC in the qualified-iodised salt group was higher than in the non-iodised group (P = 0·037). The median UIC in the non-iodised group who did not eat out was lower than in qualified-salt groups who both did and did not eat out (P = 0·007, <0·001). The proportion of qualified-iodised salt used in home cooking is low, but foods eaten out have universal salt iodisation according to the national compulsory policy. Household iodised salt did not play a decisive role in the iodine status of pregnant women. Pregnant women in their third trimester who are not eating out and using non-iodised salt at home require extra iodine.
The X chromosome is known to play an important role in many sex-specific diseases. However, only a few single-nucleotide polymorphisms on the X chromosome have been found to be associated with diseases. Compared to the autosomes, conducting association tests on the X chromosome is more intractable due to the difference in the number of X chromosomes between females and males. On the other hand, X-chromosome inactivation takes place in female mammals, which is a phenomenon in which the expression of one copy of two X chromosomes in females is silenced in order to achieve the same gene expression level as that in males. In addition, imprinting effects may be related to certain diseases. Currently, there are some existing approaches taking X-chromosome inactivation into account when testing for associations on the X chromosome. However, none of them allows for imprinting effects. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a robust test, ZXCII, which accounts for both X-chromosome inactivation and imprinting effects without requiring specifying the genetic models in advance. Simulation studies are conducted in order to investigate the validity and performance of ZXCII under various scenarios of different parameter values. The simulation results show that ZXCII controls the type I error rate well when there is no association. Furthermore, with regards to power, ZXCII is robust in all of the situations considered and generally outperforms most of the existing methods in the presence of imprinting effects, especially under complete imprinting effects.
To detect the abnormal behaviour of ships in the waters of any jurisdiction and to improve the safety of maritime navigation, the meshing-based method is adopted to obtain discrete trajectory data and a probabilistic directed graph model is established to obtain historical data from ships' AIS (automatic identification systems). The state statistical characteristics of each node in the ship probability map are obtained to detect the navigation state of the ship in real time. By predicting the normal navigation trajectory of the ship, it can be judged whether the ship has the potential to behave abnormally at some moment in the future. Simulation experiments were designed based on a maritime simulator platform. The experimental results indicate that the model can correctly predict abnormal behaviour by ships, including excessive speed and deviation from the channel or normal sailing mode.
The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effect of n-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, at an EPA:DHA ratio of 150:500) and phytosterol esters (PS) on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients. We conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ninety-six NAFLD subjects were randomly assigned to the following groups: the PS group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS); the FO group (receiving 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d); the PS + FO combination group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS and 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d) and the PO group (a placebo group). The baseline clinical characteristics of the four groups were similar. The primary outcome was liver:spleen attenuation ratio (L:S ratio). The percentage increase in liver–spleen attenuation (≤1) in the PS + FO group was 36 % (P = 0·083), higher than those in the other three groups (PS group, 11 %, P = 0·519; FO group, 18 %, P = 0·071; PO group, 15 %, P = 0·436). Compared with baseline, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) was significantly decreased in the three study groups at the end of the trial (PS, P = 0·000; FO, P = 0·002; PS + FO, P = 0·001) and TNF-α was significantly decreased in the FO group (P = 0·036), PS + FO group (P = 0·005) and PO group (P = 0·032) at the end of the intervention. Notably, TGF-β was reduced significantly more in the PS + FO group than in the PO group (P = 0·032). The TAG and total cholesterol levels of the PS + FO group were reduced by 11·57 and 9·55 %, respectively. In conclusion, co-supplementation of PS and EPA + DHA could increase the effectiveness of treatment for hepatic steatosis.
In recent years, there have been a significant influenza activity and emerging influenza strains in China, resulting in an increasing number of influenza virus infections and leading to public health concerns. The aims of this study were to identify the epidemiological and aetiological characteristics of influenza and establish seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) models for forecasting the percentage of visits for influenza-like illness (ILI%) in urban and rural areas of Shenyang. Influenza surveillance data were obtained for ILI cases and influenza virus positivity from 18 sentinel hospitals. The SARIMA models were constructed to predict ILI% for January–December 2019. During 2010–2018, the influenza activity was higher in urban than in rural areas. The age distribution of ILI cases showed the highest rate in young children aged 0–4 years. Seasonal A/H3N2, influenza B virus and pandemic A/H1N1 continuously co-circulated in winter and spring seasons. In addition, the SARIMA (0, 1, 0) (0, 1, 2)12 model for the urban area and the SARIMA (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 0)12 model for the rural area were appropriate for predicting influenza incidence. Our findings suggested that there were regional and seasonal distinctions of ILI activity in Shenyang. A co-epidemic pattern of influenza strains was evident in terms of seasonal influenza activity. Young children were more susceptible to influenza virus infection than adults. These results provide a reference for future influenza prevention and control strategies in the study area.
The development of GaN-on-diamond devices offers bright prospects for the creation of high-power density electronics. This article presents a process of fabricating GaN-on-diamond structure by depositing diamond films on dual sides, including heat dissipation diamond film and sacrificial carrier diamond film. Prior to heat dissipation diamond film layer preparation, aluminum nitride (AlN) is chosen as a dielectric layer and pretreated by nanodiamond (ND) particles, to enhance the nucleation density. Zeta potential measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy are used to analyze the AlN surface after each treatment. The results show that oxygen-terminated ND particles tend to adhere to an AlN surface because the oxygen-terminated NDs have –COOH and –OH groups, and hold a negative potential. On the contrary, fluorine-terminated AlN prefers to attract the hydrogen-terminated ND seeds, which resulted in higher diamond nucleation density. Based on this preliminary study, a dense high-quality GaN-on-diamond wafer is successfully produced by using AlN as the dielectric layer and a diamond film as the sacrificial carrier.
The sense of bitter taste is critical for chickens to acquire and select feeds. It is important to understand the roles and mechanisms of bitter taste transduction in chickens. Denatonium is extensively used as a bitter taste receptor agonist to activate bitter taste receptors in recent studies. The objective of this study was to investigate the physiological effects and the potential molecular mechanisms of dietary exposure to a strong bitter taste receptor agonist on the jejunal epithelial cells of yellow-feathered chickens. A total of 240 yellow-feathered chickens were divided into four treatments receiving a normal diet (Control), a low-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 5 mg/kg denatonium), a middle-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 20 mg/kg denatonium) and a high-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 100 mg/kg denatonium) for 56 days, respectively. The results showed that dietary denatonium reduced (P < 0.05) the growth performance of chickens. High-dose denatonium damaged the morphology of the jejunal epithelium and decreased (P < 0.05) the activities of Ca2+-ATPase, sucrase and maltase after 56 days of exposure. Meanwhile, high-dose denatonium increased (P < 0.05) mRNA expressions of bitter taste receptors, which resulted in enhanced apoptosis in jejunal epithelial cells after 56 days of exposure. Furthermore, middle-dose and high-dose denatonium exhibited increased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of claudin 2 and decreased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of occludin after 28 days of exposure. Only high-dose denatonium decreased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of occludin after 56 days of exposure. In conclusion, denatonium manifested deleterious effects on the jejunum of chickens in a dose–effect manner via damaging the morphology of the jejunal epithelium, and inducing apoptosis associated with bitter taste receptors. Our data suggest that bitter-tasting feed additives may have side effects on the growth and development of intestines in chickens.
The microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.
The jungles of Linyun and Longlin Autonomous Prefecture, located in the heart of the southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, are home to the oldest tea trees (Camellia sinensis) in the world. In the absence of regular annual rings, radiocarbon (14C) dating is one of the most powerful tools that can assist in the determination of the ages and growth rates of these plants. In this work, cores were extracted from large ancient tea trees in a central Longlin rain forest; extraction of carbon was performed with an automated sample preparation system. The 14C levels in the tree cores were measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the University of Tsukuba. These measurements indicated that contrary to conventional views, the ages of trees in these forests range up to ~700 years, and the growth rate of this species is notably slow, exhibiting a long-term radial growth rate of 0.039±0.006 cm/yr. It was demonstrated that 14C analyses provide accurate determination of ages and growth rates for subtropical wild tea trees.