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Temporal constraints on the closure of the eastern segment of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean along the northern margin of the North China Craton (NCC) remain unclear. As a part of the NCC, the sedimentation and tectonic evolution of the Late Palaeozoic Ordos Basin were closely related to the opening and closing of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean. We use petrology, quantitative mineralogical analysis, U–Pb geochronology and trace element signatures of detrital zircons of the Lower Shihezi Formation from two sections in the eastern north Ordos Basin and two sections in the western north Ordos Basin to reconstruct the sedimentary provenance and tectonic background of the northern Ordos Basin. The results show that the sediments of the western sections were mainly derived from the Yinshan orogenic belt and Alxa block, and that those in the eastern sections only came from the Yinshan orogenic belt. The trace element ratios in detrital zircons from the Late Palaeozoic sandstones indicate that the source areas were mainly subduction-related continental arcs, closely related to the continued subduction of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean in the Late Palaeozoic. Since the main Late Palaeozoic magmatic periods vary on the east and west sides of the northern margin of the Ordos Basin, two main collisions related to Palaeo-Asian Ocean closure are recorded. The collision on the west side occurred significantly earlier than that in the east. This study implies that the Palaeo-Asian Ocean began to subduct beneath the NCC in the Carboniferous and gradually closed from west to east thereafter.
Hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF) is a severe and life-threatening complication, characterised by multi-organ failure and high short-term mortality. However, there is limited information on the impact of various comorbidities on HBV-ACLF in a large population. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between comorbidities, complications and mortality. In this retrospective observational study, we identified 2166 cases of HBV-ACLF hospitalised from January 2010 to March 2018. Demographic data from the patients, medical history, treatment, laboratory indices, comorbidities and complications were collected. The mortality rate in our study group was 47.37%. Type 2 diabetes mellitus was the most common comorbidity, followed by alcoholic liver disease. Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, pneumonia and hepatic encephalopathy (HE) were common in these patients. Diabetes mellitus and hyperthyroidism are risk factors for death within 90 days, together with gastrointestinal bleeding and HE at admission, HE and hepatorenal syndrome during hospitalisation. Knowledge of risk factors can help identify HBV-ACLF patients with a poor prognosis for HBV-ACLF with comorbidities and complications.
The role of neurological proteins in the development of bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) remains elusive now. The current study aims to explore the potential genetic correlations of plasma neurological proteins with BD and SCZ.
By using the latest genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary data of BD and SCZ (including 41,917 BD cases, 11,260 SCZ cases, and 396,091 controls) derived from the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium website (PGC) and a recently released GWAS of neurological proteins (including 750 individuals), we performed a linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC) analysis to detect the potential genetic correlations between the two common psychiatric disorders and each of the 92 neurological proteins. Two-sample Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis was then applied to assess the bidirectional causal relationship between the neurological proteins identified by LDSC, BD and SCZ.
LDSC analysis identified one neurological protein, NEP, which shows suggestive genetic correlation signals for both BD (coefficient = −0.165, p value = 0.035) and SCZ (coefficient = −0.235, p value = 0.020). However, those association did not remain significant after strict Bonferroni correction. Two sample MR analysis found that there was an association between genetically predicted level of NEP protein, BD (odd ratio [OR] = 0.87, p value = 1.61 × 10−6) and SCZ (OR = 0.90, p value = 4.04 × 10−6). However, in the opposite direction, there is no genetically predicted association between BD, SCZ, and NEP protein level.
This study provided novel clues for understanding the genetic effects of neurological proteins on BD and SCZ.
Microtubule-severing protein (MTSP) is critical for the survival of both mitotic and postmitotic cells. However, the study of MTSP during meiosis of mammalian oocytes has not been reported. We found that spastin, a member of the MTSP family, was highly expressed in oocytes and aggregated in spindle microtubules. After knocking down spastin by specific siRNA, the spindle microtubule density of meiotic oocytes decreased significantly. When the oocytes were cultured in vitro, the oocytes lacking spastin showed an obvious maturation disorder. Considering the microtubule-severing activity of spastin, we speculate that spastin on spindles may increase the number of microtubule broken ends by severing the microtubules, therefore playing a nucleating role, promoting spindle assembly and ensuring normal meiosis. In addition, we found the colocalization and interaction of collapsin response mediator protein 5 (CRMP5) and spastin in oocytes. CRMP5 can provide structural support and promote microtubule aggregation, creating transportation routes, and can interact with spastin in the microtubule activity of nerve cells (30). Knocking down CRMP5 may lead to spindle abnormalities and developmental disorders in oocytes. Overexpression of spastin may reverse the abnormal phenotype caused by the deletion of CRMP5. In summary, our data support a model in which the interaction between spastin and CRMP5 promotes the assembly of spindle microtubules in oocytes by controlling microtubule dynamics, therefore ensuring normal meiosis.
Anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery is associated with high mortality if not timely surgery. We reviewed our experience with anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery to assess the preoperative variables predictive of outcome and post-operative recovery of left ventricular function.
A retrospective review was conducted and collected data from patients who underwent anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery repair at our institute from April 2005 to December 2019. Left ventricular function was assessed by ejection fraction and the left ventricular end-diastolic dimension index. The outcomes of reimplantation repair were analysed.
A total of 30 consecutive patients underwent anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery repair, with a median age of 14.7 months (range, 1.5–59.6 months), including 14 females (46.67%). Surgery was performed with direct coronary reimplantation in 12 patients (40%) and the coronary lengthening technique in 18 (60%). Twelve patients had concomitant mitral annuloplasty. There were two in-hospital deaths (6.67%), no patients required mechanical support, and no late deaths occurred. Follow-up echocardiograms demonstrated significant improvement between the post-operative time point and the last follow-up in ejection fraction (49.43%±19.92% vs 60.21%±8.27%, p < 0.01) and in moderate or more severe mitral regurgitation (19/30 vs 5/28, p < 0.01). The left ventricular end-diastolic dimension index decreased from 101.91 ± 23.07 to 65.06 ± 12.82 (p < 0.01).
Surgical repair of anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery has good mid-term results with low mortality and reintervention rates. The coronary lengthening technique has good operability and leads to excellent cardiac recovery. The decision to concomitantly correct mitral regurgitation should be flexible and be based on the pathological changes of the mitral valve and the degree of mitral regurgitation.
This study aimed to explore the impacts of COVID-19 outbreak on mental health status in general population in different affected areas in China.
This was a comparative study including two groups of participants: (1) general population in an online survey in Ya'an and Jingzhou cities during the COVID-19 outbreak from 10–20 February 2020; and (2) matching general population selected from the mental health survey in Ya'an in 2019 (from January to May 2019). General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) were used.
There were 1775 participants (Ya'an in 2019 and 2020: 537 respectively; Jingzhou in 2020: 701). Participants in Ya'an had a significantly higher rate of general health problems (GHQ scores ⩾3) in 2020 (14.7%) than in 2019 (5.2%) (p < 0.001). Compared with Ya'an (8.0%), participants in Jingzhou in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of anxiety (SAS scores ⩾50, 24.1%) (p < 0.001). Participants in Ya'an in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of depression (SDS scores ⩾53, 55.3%) than in Jingzhou (16.3%) (p < 0.001). The risk factors of anxiety symptoms included female, number of family members (⩾6 persons), and frequent outdoor activities. The risk factors of depression symptoms included participants in Ya'an and uptake self-protective measures.
The prevalence of psychological symptoms has increased sharply in general population during the COVID-19 outbreak. People in COVID-19 severely affected areas may have higher scores of GHQ and anxiety symptoms. Culture-specific and individual-based psychosocial interventions should be developed for those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The flow topology and leading-edge vortex (LEV) formation and detachment mechanism of a pitching and plunging flat plate are experimentally investigated in this study. Focus is placed on three novel aspects. First, to examine the differences between start-up and cyclic motions, the flow fields of one-shot experiments are compared to cyclic cases. The results show that the start cycle has very limited effect on the cyclic LEV development and flow topology evolution. Next, the influence of the maximum effective angle of attack on the LEV development in cyclic motion is introduced. Different secondary structures that lead to the detachment of LEV are found with variation of maximum effective angle of attack. Depending on the leading-edge shear-layer angle, three different flow topologies develop on the plate: quasi-steady development, boundary-layer eruption and secondary vortex formation. Which of these three topological scenarios occurs depends entirely on the maximum effective angle of attack. A vortex Reynolds number based on the transition time of the leading-edge shear-layer angle is defined to quantitatively assess which of the flow topologies will appear. Finally, a simplified model to describe the observed LEV growth is proposed, based on the assumptions that the velocity is constant at the outer vortex boundary and that the vortex boundary is a circular arc starting from the leading edge. The LEV circulation growth is found to increase linearly with the combination of the effective inflow velocity and the effective angle of attack.
This paper presents a soft robot which can imitate the crawling locomotion of an earthworm. Locomotion of the robot can be achieved by expanding and contracting the body that is made of flexible material. A link of the earthworm-like robot is combined with three modules, and a multi-cavity earthworm-like soft robot is combined with multiple links. The multiple links of the earthworm-like soft robot are fabricated by silicone in the three-dimensional printed customized molds. Experiments on a single module, two-links, and three-links show that the soft robot can move and bend on condition of modules extension and contraction in a specified gait. The development of the earthworm-like soft robot shows a great prospect in many complicated environments such as pipeline detection.
We present a long-term seasonal tree ring cellulose oxygen isotope (δ18Oc) time series created by analyzing four segments (S1, S2, S3, and S4) per year during the period of 1951–2009 from southeastern Tibetan Plateau. This intraseasonal δ18Oc reveals the onset and mature phase of the summer monsoon precipitation in this region. Analysis indicates that the δ18Oc of S1 has the strongest correlation with precipitation during the regional monsoon onset (29–33 pentads, May 21–June 10, r = −0.69), and the δ18Oc values for S2, S3, and S4 correlate strongly with June, July, and August precipitation, respectively. Combined δ18Oc of S2, S3, and S4 shows the most robust correlation (r = −0.82) with the mature-phase monsoon precipitation (June-July-August, JJA), passing rigorous statistical tests for calibration and verification in dendroclimatology. These results demonstrate the feasibility in using long-term intraseasonal δ18Oc to reconstruct the Asian summer monsoon's intraseasonal variations.
Synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) is an abundant and important presynaptic vesicle protein that binds Ca2+ for the regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Our previous study reported its localization and function on spindle assembly in mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. The present study was designed to investigate the function of Syt1 during mouse oocyte activation and subsequent cortical granule exocytosis (CGE) using confocal microscopy, morpholinol-based knockdown and time-lapse live cell imaging. By employing live cell imaging, we first studied the dynamic process of CGE and calculated the time interval between [Ca2+]i rise and CGE after oocyte activation. We further showed that Syt1 was co-localized to cortical granules (CGs) at the oocyte cortex. After oocyte activation with SrCl2, the Syt1 distribution pattern was altered significantly, similar to the changes seen for the CGs. Knockdown of Syt1 inhibited [Ca2+]i oscillations, disrupted the F-actin distribution pattern and delayed the time of cortical reaction. In summary, as a synaptic vesicle protein and calcium sensor for exocytosis, Syt1 acts as an essential regulator in mouse oocyte activation events including the generation of Ca2+ signals and CGE.
Indentation and scratch models are proposed to numerically investigate effects of compressive prestress on film's mechanical responses. In indentation, normal stress distributions are strongly dependent on film thickness; the applied force and the maximum normal stresses with a prestress are much larger than without prestress. For various film thicknesses the change in the normal force in scratch between the non-prestressed and prestressed films is 4%–23%. The scratch friction coefficient is larger with prestress than without prestress. With biaxial or uniaxial prestress the material becomes more difficult to deform or to slide at the contact surface compared with cases without prestress.
Robots often need to accomplish some complex tasks such as surveillance, response and obstacle avoidance. In this paper, a dynamic search method is proposed to generate optimal robot trajectories satisfying complex task requirement in uncertain environment. The LTL-A* algorithm is presented to generate a global optimal path and the A* algorithm is provided to modify the global optimal path. The task is specified by a linear temporal logic (LTL) formula, and a weighted transition system according to the known information in uncertain environment is modeled to describe the robot motion. Subsequently, a product automaton is constructed by combining the transition system with the task requirement. Based on the product automaton, the LTL-A* algorithm is proposed to generate a global optimal path. The local path planning based on the A* algorithm is employed to deal with the environment change during the process of tracking the global optimal path for the robot. The results of the simulation and experiments show that the proposed method can not only meet the complex task requirement in uncertain environment but also improve the search efficiency.
Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum has useful traits for bread wheat improvement. The synthesis of Triticum turgidum–T. monococcum amphiploids is an essential step for transferring genes from T. monococcum into bread wheat. In this study, 264 wide hybridization combinations were done by crossing 60 T. turgidum lines belonging to five subspecies with 83 T. monococcum accessions. Without embryo rescue and hormone treatment, from the 10,810 florets pollinated, 1983 seeds were obtained, with a mean crossability of 18.34% (range 0–89.29%). Many hybrid seeds (90.73%, 923/1017) could germinate and produce plants. A total of 56 new amphiploids (AABBAmAm) were produced by colchicine treatment of T. turgidum × T. monococcum F1 hybrids. The chromosome constitution of amphiploids was characterized by fluorescence in situ hybridization using oligonucleotides probes with different chromosome and sub-chromosome specificities. Sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis indicated that the Glu-A1m-b, Glu-A1m-c, Glu-A1m-d and Glu-A1m-h proteins of T. monococcum were expressed in some amphiploids. Despite resistance reduction in several cases, 45 out of 56 amphiploids exhibited resistance to the current predominant Chinese stripe rust races at both the seedling and adult plant stage. These novel amphiploids provide new germplasm for the potential improvement of bread wheat quality and stripe rust resistance.
The Cu–S compounds have been reported as promising thermoelectric materials with abundant element composition, low price, and low toxicity. In this work, SnxCu1.8−xS samples with different Sn contents (x = 0.005, 0.01, 0.03, and 0.05) were fabricated by mechanical alloying combined with spark plasma sintering. The phase structure and microstructure of all the bulk samples were checked by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and field emission scanning electron microscopy respectively. The thermoelectric transport properties, such as electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, carrier concentration, carrier mobility, and thermal conductivity, were measured. The effect of second phase introduced by Sn addition on the thermoelectric properties of Cu–S system was investigated. The thermoelectric properties of samples were improved by the precipitations of two different second phases (Cu2SnS3 and Cu4SnS4). The second phase species depend on the Sn contents. Finally, the Sn0.01Cu1.79S bulk sample obtained the highest ZT value of 0.81 at 773 K, which is 1.6-fold higher than that of the pristine Cu1.8S sample due to the significantly reduced thermal conductivity by second phase and nanopores scattering.
We study the existence of the invariant region for the equations of nonisentropic gas dynamics. We obtain the mean-integral of the conserved quantity after making an intensive study of the Riemann problem. Using the extremum principle and the Lagrangian multiplier method, we prove that the one-dimensional equations of nonisentropic gas dynamics for an ideal gas possess a unique invariant region. However, the invariant region is not bounded.
An effective multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the simultaneous detection of three major pathogens, Nosema bombycis Nägeli (Microsporidia: Nosematidae), Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (Baculoviridae: genus Alphabaculovirus) (NPV), and Bombyx mori densovirus (Parvoviridae: genus Iteravirus) (DNV), in silkworms (Bombyx mori (Linnaeus); Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) was developed in this study. Polymerase chain reaction and real-time PCR tests and basic local alignment search tool searches revealed that the primers and probes used in this study had high specificities for their target species. The ability of each primer/probe set to detect pure pathogen DNA was determined using a plasmid dilution panel, in which under optimal conditions the multiplex real-time PCR assay showed high efficiency in the detection of three mixed target plasmids with a detection limit of 8.5×103 copies for N. bombycis and Bombyx mori NPV (BmNPV) and 8.5×104 copies for Bombyx mori DNV (BmDNV). When the ability to detect these three pathogens was examined in artificially inoculated silkworms, our method presented a number of advantages over traditional microscopy, including specificity, sensitivity, and high-throughput capabilities. Under the optimal volume ratio for the three primer/probe sets (3:2:2=N. bombycis:BmNPV:BmDNV), the multiplex real-time PCR assay showed early detection of BmNPV and BmDNV by day 1 post inoculation using DNA templates of the three pathogens in various combinations from individually infected silkworms; the early detection of N. bombycis was possible by day 3 post inoculation using the DNA isolated from the midgut of N. bombycis-infected silkworms.
Choline and betaine are essential nutrients involved in one-carbon metabolism and have been hypothesised to affect breast cancer risk. Functional polymorphisms in genes encoding choline-related one-carbon metabolism enzymes, including phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT), choline dehydrogenase (CHDH) and betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT), have important roles in choline metabolism and may thus interact with dietary choline and betaine intake to modify breast cancer risk. This study aimed to investigate the interactive effect of polymorphisms in PEMT, BHMT and CHDH genes with choline/betaine intake on breast cancer risk among Chinese women. This hospital-based case–control study consecutively recruited 570 cases with histologically confirmed breast cancer and 576 age-matched (5-year interval) controls. Choline and betaine intakes were assessed by a validated FFQ, and genotyping was conducted for PEMT rs7946, CHDH rs9001 and BHMT rs3733890. OR and 95 % CI were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. Compared with the highest quartile of choline intake, the lowest intake quartile showed a significant increased risk of breast cancer. The SNP PEMT rs7946, CHDH rs9001 and BHMT rs3733890 had no overall association with breast cancer, but a significant risk reduction was observed among postmenopausal women with AA genotype of BHMT rs3733890 (OR 0·49; 95 % CI 0·25, 0·98). Significant interactions were observed between choline intake and SNP PEMT rs7946 (Pinteraction=0·029) and BHMT rs3733890 (Pinteraction=0·006) in relation to breast cancer risk. Our results suggest that SNP PEMT rs7946 and BHMT rs3733890 may interact with choline intake on breast cancer risk.
On April 25, 2015, a massive 8.1-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal at 2:11 pm (Beijing time). The 68-member-strong China International Search & Rescue Team (CISAR) left for Nepal at 6 am, April 26, to help with relief work. The CISAR was the first foreign team to rescue a survivor who was trapped beneath the rubble in the Gongabu area after the earthquake. On May 8, the team fulfilled the search-and-rescue mission and returned to Beijing. During the 2 weeks of rescue work, the team treated more than 3700 victims and cleared approximately 430 buildings. In this rescue mission, 10 experienced medical officers (including nine doctors and a nurse) from the General Hospital of Chinese People’s Armed Police Force (PAP) comprised the medical team of CISAR. In this report, we focus on the medical rescues by CISAR and discuss the characteristics of the medical rescue in Nepal. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:536–538)
The exact mechanism of ethanol's effects on glucose tolerance has not been well determined. The present study focuses for the first time on hypoxia and low-grade inflammation in adipose tissue (AT). In the in vivo experiments, twenty-four male Wistar rats were randomly allocated into control and ethanol feeding groups. Ethanol-treated rats received edible ethanol once a day at a total dosage of 5 g/kg per d, and the controls received distilled water. Ethanol volumes were adjusted every week. At the end of 8 weeks, we carried out an oral glucose tolerance test. Blood and AT were collected for measuring hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), GLUT1, TNF-α, IL-6, leptin and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In the in vitro experiments, differentiated OP9 adipocytes were incubated with 100 mm of ethanol for 48 h; the media and cells were then collected for measuring HIF-1α, GLUT1, TNF-α and IL-6. The results showed that long-term ethanol consumption impaired glucose tolerance in rats. Ethanol consumption had little influence on body weight, but both epididymal and perirenal AT were markedly enlarged in the ethanol-treated rats as compared to the controls. Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) had accumulated, and the protein levels of HIF-1α and GLUT1, the indicators of hypoxia in rat epididymal AT and OP9 adipocytes, were elevated. Secondary to the AT hypoxia, the levels of inflammation-related adipokines, such as TNF-α, IL-6, leptin and VEGF, were increased. Based on these findings, we conclude that VAT hypoxia and low-grade inflammation might be a new mechanism in the treatment of ethanol-related diabetes.
We investigated the boron isotopic composition in loess–paleosol sequences in five different profiles in the Chinese Loess Plateau. Three possible boron sources are identified: atmospheric input, carbonates, and weathered silicate rocks. Variations of [Sr], [B], δ11B and the magnetic susceptibility correlate well with the pedogenetic intensity in three out of the five studied profiles, where pedogenesis under a cold–dry climate indicates lower δ11B, lower [B], lower magnetic susceptibility and higher [Sr] values. Exceptions to the variations between the δ11B and other known proxies were observed in arenaceous soils and the Red Clay sequence: the former suggested that vertical redistribution probably occurred with the boron migration, and the latter indicated an unknown mechanism of susceptibility enhancement. A better correlation between the δ11B and magnetic susceptibility and the quantitative estimation of boron budget from each source confirms the influence of paleoenvironmental changes on boron geochemical cycle. Significant positive correlations in Sr/Ca vs. B/Ca and Mg/Ca vs. B/Ca reflect consistent enrichment behavior of those mobile elements into calcium carbonate. The preliminary results imply that boron isotopic compositions in soils can be a potential geochemical proxy to reconstruct the paleoenvironmental changes in loess–paleosol sequences.