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Sarcopenic obesity is regarded as a risk factor for the progression and development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Since male sex is a risk factor for NAFLD and skeletal muscle mass markedly varies between the sexes, we examined whether sex influences the association between appendicular skeletal muscle mass to visceral fat area ratio (SVR), that is, an index of skeletal muscle mass combined with abdominal obesity, and the histological severity of NAFLD. The SVR was measured by bioelectrical impedance in a cohort of 613 (M/F = 443/170) Chinese middle-aged individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD. Multivariable logistic regression and subgroup analyses were used to test the association between SVR and the severity of NAFLD (i.e. non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or NASH with the presence of any stage of liver fibrosis). NASH was identified by a NAFLD activity score ≥5, with a minimum score of 1 for each of its categories. The presence of fibrosis was classified as having a histological stage ≥1. The SVR was inversely associated with NASH in men (adjusted OR 0·62; 95 % CI 0·42, 0·92, P = 0·017 for NASH, adjusted OR 0·65; 95 % CI 0·43, 0·99, P = 0·043 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis), but not in women (1·47 (95 % CI 0·76, 2·83), P = 0·25 for NASH, and 1·45 (95 % CI 0·74, 2·83), P = 0·28 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis). There was a significant interaction for sex and SVR (Pinteraction = 0·017 for NASH and Pinteraction = 0·033 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis). Our findings show that lower skeletal muscle mass combined with abdominal obesity is strongly associated with the presence of NASH only in men.
The FNDC5 gene encodes the fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 that is a membrane protein mainly expressed in skeletal muscle, and the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism may be associated with liver disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the influence of the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the relationship between sarcopenia and the histological severity of NAFLD. A total of 370 adult individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD were studied. The association between the key exposure sarcopenia and the outcome liver histological severity was investigated by binary logistic regression. Stratified analyses were undertaken to examine the impact of FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the association between sarcopenia and the severity of NAFLD histology. Patients with sarcopenia had more severe histological grades of steatosis and a higher prevalence of significant fibrosis and definite non-alcoholic steatohepatitis than those without sarcopenia. There was a significant association between sarcopenia and significant fibrosis (adjusted OR 2·79, 95 % CI 1·31, 5·95, P = 0·008), independent of established risk factors and potential confounders. Among patients with sarcopenia, significant fibrosis occurred more frequently in the rs3480 AA genotype carriers than in those carrying the FNDC5 rs3480 G genotype (43·8 v. 17·2 %, P = 0·031). In the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis, there was a significant interaction between the FNDC5 genotype and sarcopenia status (P value for interaction = 0·006). Sarcopenia is independently associated with significant liver fibrosis, and the FNDC5 rs3480 G variant influences the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
Oracle bone script developed into a sophisticated writing system in Shang Dynasty of China more than 3000 years ago. The systematic scientific dating of oracle bones had not been previously reported. Here we present radiocarbon (14C) dates measured from the sequential samples of oracle bones that pertain to the Shang kings. The results indicate that King Wu Ding (who is called Wu Ting in some literature) reigned during 1254 BC to 1197 BC, and the Shang Dynasty terminated around 1041 BC. It also points that the Li group in the sequence of oracle bones is most probably related to the time of King Wu Ding and Zu Geng.
In March 2020, China had periodically controlled the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) epidemic. We reported the results of health screening for COVID-19 among returned staff of a hospital and conducted a summary analysis to provide valuable experience for curbing the COVID-19 epidemic and rebound. In total, 4729 returned staff from Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China were examined for COVID-19, and the basic information, radiology and laboratory test results were obtained and systematically analysed. Among the 4729 employees, medical staff (62.93%) and rear-service personnel (30.73%) were the majority. The results of the first physical examination showed that 4557 (96.36%) were normal, 172 (3.64%) had abnormal radiological or laboratory test results. After reexamination and evaluation, four were at high risk (asymptomatic infections) and were scheduled to transfer to a designated hospital, and three were at low risk (infectivity could not be determined) and were scheduled for home isolation observation. Close contacts were tracked and managed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in China. Asymptomatic infections are a major risk factor for returning to work. Extensive health screening combined with multiple detection methods helps to identify asymptomatic infections early, which is an important guarantee in the process of returning to work.
The lane-level map, which contains the lane-level information severely lacking in widely used commercial navigation maps, has become an essential data source for autonomous driving systems. The linking relations between lane-level map and commercial navigation map can facilitate an autonomous driving system mapping information between different applications using different maps. In this paper, an approach is proposed to build the linking relations automatically. The different topology networks are first reconstructed into similar structures. Then, to build the linking relations automatically, the adaptive multi-filter algorithm and forward path exploring algorithm are proposed to detect corresponding junctions and paths, respectively. The approach is validated by two real data sets of more than 150 km of roads, mainly highway. The linking relations for nearly 94% of the total road length have been built successfully.
This study aimed to examine the efficacy of combining paroxetine and mirtazapine v. switching to mirtazapine, for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have had an insufficient response to SSRI monotherapy (paroxetine) after the first 2 weeks of treatment.
This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, three-arm study recruited participants from five hospitals in China. Eligible participants were aged 18–60 years with MDD of at least moderate severity. Participants received paroxetine during a 2-week open-label phase and patients who had not achieved early improvement were randomized to paroxetine, mirtazapine or paroxetine combined with mirtazapine for 6 weeks. The primary outcome was improvement on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression 17-item (HAMD-17) scores 6 weeks after randomization.
A total of 204 patients who showed early non-response to paroxetine monotherapy were randomly assigned to receive either mirtazapine and placebo (n = 68), paroxetine and placebo (n = 68) or mirtazapine and paroxetine (n = 68), with 164 patients completing the outcome assessment. At week 8, the least squares (LS) mean change of HAMD-17 scores did not significantly differ among the three groups, (12.98 points) in the mirtazapine group, (12.50 points) in the paroxetine group and (13.27 points) in the mirtazapine plus paroxetine combination group. Participants in the paroxetine monotherapy group were least likely to experience adverse effects.
After 8 weeks follow-up, paroxetine monotherapy, mirtazapine monotherapy and paroxetine/mirtazapine combination therapy were equally effective in non-improvers at 2 weeks. The results of this trial do not support a recommendation to routinely offer additional treatment or a switch in treatment strategies for MDD patients who do not show early improvement after 2 weeks of antidepressant treatment.
Feathers play a critical role in thermoregulation and directly influence poultry production. Poor feathering adversely affects living appearance and carcass quality, thus reducing profits. However, producers tend to ignore the importance of feather development and do not know the laws of feather growth and development. The objective of this study was to fit growth curves to describe the growth and development of feathers in yellow-feathered broilers during the embryonic and posthatching periods using different nonlinear functions (Gompertz, logistic and Bertalanffy). Feather mass and length were determined during the embryonic development and posthatching stages to identify which growth model most accurately described the feather growth pattern. The results showed that chick embryos began to grow feathers at approximately embryonic (E) day 10, and the feathers grew rapidly from E13 to E17. There was little change from E17 to the day of hatching (DOH). During the embryonic period, the Gompertz function (Y = 798.48e−203 431exp(−0.87t), Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) = −0.950 × 103, Bayesian information criterion (BIC) = −0.711 × 103 and mean square error (MSE) = 559.308) provided the best fit for the feather growth curve compared with the other two functions. After hatching, feather mass and length changed little from the DOH to day (D) 14, increased rapidly from D21 to D91 and then grew slowly after D91. The first stage of feather molting occurred from 2 to 3 weeks of age when the down feathers were mostly shed and replaced with juvenile feathers, and the second stage occurred at approximately 13 to 15 weeks of age. The three nonlinear functions could overall fit the feather growth curve well, but the Bertalanffy model (Y = 116.88 × (1−0.86e−0.02t)3, AIC = 1.065 × 105, BIC = 1.077 × 105 and MSE = 11.308) showed the highest degree of fit among the models. Therefore, the Gompertz model exhibited the best goodness of fit for the feather growth curve during the embryonic development, while the Bertalanffy model was the most suitable model due to its accurate ability to predict the growth and development of feathers during the growth period, which is an important commercial characteristic of yellow-feathered chickens.
Conceptual design is a key stage of product design and has received increasing attention in recent years. However, this stage is characterized by limited information, large uncertainty, and multidisciplinary aspects. Thus, increased workload and time cost are associated with conceptual design information acquisition; sometimes, it is difficult to develop novel solutions and the feasibility of the solutions obtained according to these limited and uncertain information is difficult to guarantee. Genetics-based design (GBD) is an effective approach to develop novel solutions and improve the reuse of knowledge, which is consistent with the goal of the conceptual design process. Product-gene acquisition is the premise and basis of GBD. At present, there are few reported studies in this area; most of the existing works are constrained by the structural aspects of the acquisition process, and there are limited studies on specific implementation techniques. To explore the specific implementation technologies of product-gene acquisition, an intelligent acquisition method based on K-means clustering and mutual information-based feature selection algorithm is proposed in this paper. The product genes defined in this paper are key product information that determines the nature of the product and influences the conceptual design process. Thus, solutions obtained according to them are more feasible than that based on limited and uncertain information. An illustrative example is presented. The results show that the proposed method can achieve intelligent acquisition of product genes to a certain extent. Further, the proposed method will allow designers to quickly search for the corresponding product genes when performing similar functional design tasks.