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The outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) provided an opportunity to undertake an online survey to study the relationships between body weight changes with changes in physical activity and lifestyle during an unusual event of forced isolation, or quarantine.
We distributed an electronic questionnaire using the popular social application WeChat to adults from any province of China except Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak. The questionnaire asked for demographic information, body weight, physical activity, and lifestyle factors before and during the quarantine.
Of 376 questionnaires returned, 339 were valid (90.2%). During the period of semi-lockdown, both females and males with BMI <24 gained weight, males with BMI ≥24 lost weight, and females with BMI ≥24 gained weight. The average steps per day and the average moderate or vigorous-intensity exercise declined significantly for both males and females during the semi-lockdown. Changes in body weight inversely correlated with changes in steps per day and moderate or vigorous-intensity exercise during the quarantine.
Normal weight individuals, who are not normally troubled by overweight or obesity, had less awareness of weight gain than people with a BMI ≥ 24. Under the conditions of the semi-lockdown, they tended to gain weight.
The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is related to dopamine degradation and has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, how this gene affects brain function properties in MDD is still unclear.
Fifty patients with MDD and 35 cognitively normal participants underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. A voxelwise and data-drive global functional connectivity density (gFCD) analysis was used to investigate the main effects and the interactions of disease states and COMT rs4680 gene polymorphism on brain function.
We found significant group differences of the gFCD in bilateral fusiform area (FFA), post-central and pre-central cortex, left superior temporal gyrus (STG), rectal and superior temporal gyrus and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC); abnormal gFCDs in left STG were positively correlated with severity of depression in MDD group. Significant disease × COMT interaction effects were found in the bilateral calcarine gyrus, right vlPFC, hippocampus and thalamus, and left SFG and FFA. Further post-hoc tests showed a nonlinear modulation effect of COMT on gFCD in the development of MDD. Interestingly, an inverted U-shaped modulation was found in the prefrontal cortex (control system) but U-shaped modulations were found in the hippocampus, thalamus and occipital cortex (processing system).
Our study demonstrated nonlinear modulation of the interaction between COMT and depression on brain function. These findings expand our understanding of the COMT effect underlying the pathophysiology of MDD.
To investigate the hypothesis that folic acid supplementation and dietary folate intake before conception and during pregnancy reduce the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) and to examine the joint effect of folic acid supplementation and dietary folate intake on the risk of SGA.
Participants were interviewed by trained study interviewers using a standardized and structured questionnaire. Information on birth outcomes and maternal complications was abstracted from medical records and dietary information was collected via a semi-quantitative FFQ before conception and during pregnancy.
A birth cohort data analysis using the 2010–2012 Gansu Provincial Maternity and Child Care Hospital.
Women (n 8758) and their children enrolled in the study.
Folic acid supplementation was associated with a reduced risk of SGA (OR = 0·72, 95 % CI 0·60, 0·86), with the reduced risk seen mainly for SGA at ≥37 weeks of gestational age (OR = 0·70, 95 % CI 0·58, 0·85) and nulliparous SGA (OR = 0·67, 95 % CI 0·54, 0·84). There was no significant association between dietary folate intake and SGA risk.
Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation was associated with a reduced risk of SGA and the risk varied by preterm status and parity.
In this research communication we used digital gene expression (DGE) analysis to identify differences in gene expression in the mammary glands of dairy cows between early lactation and the mid-dry period. A total of 741 genes were identified as being differentially expressed by DGE analysis. Compared with their expression in dry cows, 214 genes were up-regulated and 527 genes were down-regulated in lactating cow mammary glands. Gene Ontology analysis showed that lactation was supported by increased gene expression related to metabolic processes and nutrient transport and was associated with decreased gene expression related to cell proliferation. Pathway mapping using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes showed that 579 differentially expressed genes had pathway annotations related to 204 pathways. Metabolic pathway-related genes were the most significantly enriched. Genes and pathways identified by the present study provide insights into molecular events that occur in the mammary gland between early lactation and mid-dry period, which can be used to facilitate further investigation of the mechanisms underlying lactation and mammary tissue remodeling in dairy cows.
Cultivated pastures in southern China are being used to improve forage productivity and animal performance, but studies on grazing behaviour of goats in these cultivated pastures are still rare. In the current study, the grazing behaviour of Yunling black goats under low (5 goats/ha) and high (15 goats/ha) stocking rates (SRs) was evaluated. Data showed that the proportion of time goats spent on activities was: eating (0.59–0.87), ruminating (0.05–0.35), walking (0.03–0.06) and resting (0.01–0.03). Compared with low SR, goats spent more time eating and walking, and less time ruminating and resting under high SR. Goats had similar diet preferences under both SR and preferred to eat grasses (ryegrass and cocksfoot) more than a legume (white clover). The distribution of eating time on each forage species was more uniform under high v. low SR. Bites/step, bite weight and daily intake were greater under low than high SR. Results suggest that the SR affects grazing behaviour of goats on cultivated pasture, and identifying an optimal SR is critical for increasing bite weight and intake.
Flexibility is a key parameter of device mechanical robustness. The most profound challenge for the realization of flexible electronics is associated with the relatively low flexibility of power sources. In this article, two kinds of energy applications, which have gained increasing attention in the field of flexibility in recent years, are introduced: the lithium-ion batteries and the supercapacitors. We overview the latest progresses in flexible materials and manufacturing technology. The performances of the energy devices based on flexible materials are introduced. The advantages and disadvantages of different manufacturing processes are discussed systematically. We then focus on current technical difficulties and future prospects of research in flexibility.
It remains unclear whether the topological deficits of the white matter network documented in cross-sectional studies of chronic schizophrenia patients are due to chronic illness or to other factors such as antipsychotic treatment effects. To answer this question, we evaluated the white matter network in medication-naive first-episode schizophrenia patients (FESP) before and after a course of treatment.
We performed a longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging study in 42 drug-naive FESP at baseline and then after 8 weeks of risperidone monotherapy, and compared them with 38 healthy volunteers. Graph theory was utilized to calculate the topological characteristics of brain anatomical network. Patients’ clinical state was evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) before and after treatment.
Pretreatment, patients had relatively intact overall topological organizations, and deficient nodal topological properties primarily in prefrontal gyrus and limbic system components such as the bilateral anterior and posterior cingulate. Treatment with risperidone normalized topological parameters in the limbic system, and the enhancement positively correlated with the reduction in PANSS-positive symptoms. Prefrontal topological impairments persisted following treatment and negative symptoms did not improve.
During the early phase of antipsychotic medication treatment there are region-specific alterations in white matter topological measures. Limbic white matter topological dysfunction improves with positive symptom reduction. Prefrontal deficits and negative symptoms are unresponsive to medication intervention, and prefrontal deficits are potential trait biomarkers and targets for negative symptom treatment development.
The prevalence and factors associated with delays in help seeking for people with dementia in China are unknown.
Within 1,010 consecutively registered participants in the Clinical Pathway for Alzheimer's Disease in China (CPAD) study (NCT01779310), 576 persons with dementia (PWDs) and their informants reported the estimated time from symptom onset to first medical visit seeking diagnosis. Univariate analysis of general linear model was used to examine the potential factors associated with the delayed diagnosis seeking.
The median duration from the first noticeable symptom to the first visit seeking diagnosis or treatment was 1.77 years. Individuals with a positive family history of dementia had longer duration (p = 0.05). Compared with other types of dementia, people with vascular dementia (VaD) were referred for diagnosis earliest, and the sequence for such delays was: VaD < Alzheimer's disease (AD) < frontotemporal dementia (FTD) (p < 0.001). Subtypes of dementia (p < 0.001), family history (p = 0.01), and education level (p = 0.03) were associated with the increased delay in help seeking.
In China, seeking diagnosis for PWDs is delayed for approximately 2 years, even in well-established memory clinics. Clinical features, family history, and less education may impede help seeking in dementia care.
The present study was conducted to test the hypothesis that low concentrations of coated ZnO, as a substitute for a high concentration of ZnO (2250 mg Zn/kg), could improve intestinal immunity function and regulate microbiota composition, thus alleviating the incidence of diarrhoea in weaned piglets. A total of eighty-four cross-bred piglets, weaned at an age of 28 (sem 1) d, were allocated randomly, on the basis of average initial body weight (7·72 (sem 0·65) kg), to seven treatment groups as follows: a 250 mg Zn (ZnO)/kg group (low Zn; LZ) and a 2250 mg Zn (ZnO)/kg group (high Zn; HZ) that were offered diets containing ZnO at 250 and 2250 mg Zn/kg, respectively; and five experimental groups in which coated ZnO was added at 250, 380, 570, 760 and 1140 mg Zn/kg basal diet, respectively. The trial lasted 2 weeks. The results indicated that, compared with LZ treatment, supplementation with coated ZnO at 380 or 570 mg Zn/kg reduced (P< 0·05) diarrhoea index, increased (P< 0·05) duodenal villus height and the ratio of villus height:crypt depth, up-regulated (P< 0·05) the gene expression of insulin-like growth factor 1, zonula occludens protein-1, occludin, IL-10 and transforming growth factor β1, and elevated (P< 0·05) secretory IgA concentration in the jejunal mucosa. Microbiota richness and the Shannon diversity index were also decreased (P< 0·05). Furthermore, piglets in the group fed coated ZnO at 380 or 570 mg Zn/kg did not differ from those in the HZ-fed group in relation to the aforementioned parameters. Collectively, a low concentration of coated ZnO (380 or 570 mg Zn/kg) can alleviate the incidence of diarrhoea by promoting intestinal development, protecting the intestinal mucosal barrier from damage, stimulating the mucosal immune system and regulating the microbiota composition.
Taking the advantage of nanomaterials to protect the environment and avoiding the side effect need a fundamental understanding of the growth mechanism of the nanomaterials. Here, the van der Waals interaction between a nanoparticle and a nanotube in the oriented-attachment growth of nanotubes is quantitatively evaluated for the first time. In particular, the correlation between van der Waals interaction and the growth parameters is investigated in depth. Our work opens up the opportunity of studying the important interparticle interactions in the oriented attachment growth of nanotubes.
During the quiescent phases, the spectra of cataclysmic variables are studied. We model the fluxes by means of the photoionization code CLOUDY, and in the model it is assumed that the geometry of disks is cylindrical. Using this method, we input a series of reasonable parameters and get a spectral library.
During many pathological conditions, the tryptophan concentration in blood may be reduced. However, the effects of oxidative stress on tryptophan metabolism remain unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of oxidative stress on growth performance and tryptophan metabolism in weaned pigs. A total of 24 weaned pigs were assigned to one of three treatments that included pigs fed ad libitum (control), pigs challenged with diquat at a dose of 10 mg/kg BW and fed ad libitum (oxidative stress) or pigs pair-fed to receive the same amount of feed as the diquat-challenged pigs. The trial lasted for 7 days. The growth performance and activities of antioxidant enzymes were declined in diquat-challenged pigs. The diquat challenge decreased the tryptophan concentration in serum and the 5-hydroxytryptamine concentration in the hypothalamus, and increased large neutral amino acids, kynurenine (Kyn) and malondialdehyde in serum. The 544-bp porcine partial mRNA sequence of the tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) gene was obtained according to the conserved region in the human gene sequence. In addition, the oxidative stress induced by the diquat challenge stimulated TDO-relative mRNA abundance in the liver and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase activity in intestinal mucosa, but did not affect the mRNA levels of Na+-neutral amino acid transporter B0. These results suggested that oxidative stress induced by diquat depressed growth performance and increased metabolism of tryptophan via Kyn pathway that upregulated TDO mRNA expression in weaned pigs.
Toxoplasmosis, caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, is one of the most common parasitic infections in humans. Primary infection in pregnant women can be transmitted to the fetus leading to miscarriage or congenital toxoplasmosis. Carefully designed nationwide seroprevalence surveys and case-control studies of risk factors conducted primarily in Europe and America, have shaped our view of the global status of maternal and congenital infection, directing approaches to disease prevention. However, despite encompassing 1 in 5 of the world's population, information is limited on the status of toxoplasmosis in China, partly due to the linguistic inaccessibility of the Chinese literature to the global scientific community. By selection and analysis of studies and data, reported within the last 2 decades in China, this review summarizes and renders accessible a large body of Chinese and other literature and aims to estimate the seroprevalence in Chinese pregnant women. It also reviews the prevalence trends, risk factors, and clinical manifestations. The key findings are (1) the majority of studies show that the overall seroprevalence in Chinese pregnant women is less than 10%, considerably lower than a recently published global analysis; and (2) the few available appropriate studies on maternal acute infection suggested an incidence of 0·3% which is broadly comparable to studies from other countries.
The pathogenesis of angiostrongyliasis, resulting from Angiostrongylus cantonensis invasion of the human central nervous system, remains elusive. Anthelmintics are usually used to kill worms, although dead worms in the brain may cause severe inflammation which will lead to central nervous system damage. Therefore, combination therapy with anthelmintics and anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of human angiostrongyliasis needs further study. To evaluate the efficacy of albendazole combined with a marine fungal extract (m2-9) in A. cantonensis infection, BALB/c mice infected by the third-stage larvae of A. cantonensis were divided into three groups: mice treated with albendazole or m2-9 alone or in combination from day 5 post-inoculation (PI). Several efficacy parameters were recorded, including weight change, worm recovery, neurological function, behavioural analysis, eosinophil and leucocyte counts. The results showed that combination therapy increased body weight, reduced worm burden, improved learning ability, memory and action, decreased neurological dysfunction and leucocyte response in these mice. The combination of albendazole and m2-9 treatment significantly decreased leucocyte response and increased the frequency of rearing, compared to infected mice treated with either drug alone. Therefore, m2-9 is a natural product with potentially significant therapeutic value for angiostrongyliasis and is worthy of further study.
In Western countries, a history of major depression (MD) is associated with reports of received parenting that is low in warmth and caring and high in control and authoritarianism. Does a similar pattern exist in women in China?
Received parenting was assessed by a shortened version of the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) in two groups of Han Chinese women: 1970 clinically ascertained cases with recurrent MD and 2597 matched controls. MD was assessed at personal interview.
Factor analysis of the PBI revealed three factors for both mothers and fathers: warmth, protectiveness, and authoritarianism. Lower warmth and protectiveness and higher authoritarianism from both mother and father were significantly associated with risk for recurrent MD. Parental warmth was positively correlated with parental protectiveness and negatively correlated with parental authoritarianism. When examined together, paternal warmth was more strongly associated with lowered risk for MD than maternal warmth. Furthermore, paternal protectiveness was negatively and maternal protectiveness positively associated with risk for MD.
Although the structure of received parenting is very similar in China and Western countries, the association with MD is not. High parental protectiveness is generally pathogenic in Western countries but protective in China, especially when received from the father. Our results suggest that cultural factors impact on patterns of parenting and their association with MD.
Aplastic anaemia (AA) is a disease characterised by bone marrow hypocellularity and peripheral blood pancytopenia. AA is also associated with mitochondrial aberrations. The present study was undertaken primarily to test the hypothesis that a nutrient mixture could affect the nutritional rehabilitation of mitochondrial aberrations in AA mice. BALB/c AA mice were induced by a combination of hypodermic injections of acetylphenylhydrazine (100 mg/kg), X-rays (2·0 Gy) and intraperitoneal injections of cyclophosphamide (80 mg/kg). We treated these mice with nutrient mixture-supplemented diets in a dose-dependent manner (1445·55, 963·7, 674·59 mg/kg per d), and the effects of the nutrient mixture for mitochondrial rehabilitation were analysed in AA mice. Transmission electron microscopy showed that mitochondrial ultrastructural abnormalities in bone marrow cells, splenocytes and hepatocytes of the nutrient mixture groups were restored markedly, compared with the AA group. Mitochondrial membrane potentials of the nutrient mixture groups were increased remarkably. Western blot analysis also revealed that the nutrient mixture significantly inhibited cytochrome c release of mitochondria in the AA group. Furthermore, the mitochondrial DNA content of the nutrient mixture groups was also increased. Our data suggest that the nutrient mixture may promote the rehabilitation of mitochondrial aberrations, and consequently protects against mitochondrial dysfunction in AA mice.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans. Baicalein is a flavonoid originally isolated from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. In this study we evaluated the efficacy of the combination of albendazole and baicalein for treating eosinophilic meningitis in BALB/c mice. Therapeutic efficacy included the survival time, body weight, neurological function, leucocyte and eosinophil counts, eotaxin concentration, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity, larval recovery and histopathological examination. The results showed that the combination of albendazole and baicalein was more effective than either drug administered singly. Combination therapy increased the survival time, decreased body weight loss, neurological dysfunction, leucocyte response, eotaxin concentration and MMP-9 activity. Our results suggest that the combination of albendazole and baicalein may exhibit synergistic beneficial effects in the treatment of eosinophilic meningitis induced by A. cantonensis.
Simple sequence repeats (SSR) and random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) molecular markers were used to assess the genetic diversity of 80 isolates of Phytophthora infestans in potato (Solanum tuberosum) from Fujian, Heilongjiang, Hebei and Inner Mongolia Provinces in China. Polymorphism was identified by 13 SSR primers and 14 RAPD primers in the isolates of P. infestans in potato. A total of 76 bands were amplified by SSRs, with the percentage of polymorphic bands (PPB) being 78.9% and the similarity coefficient ranging between 0.00 and 0.42. A total of 189 bands were amplified by RAPDs, with the percentage of polymorphic bands being 95.2% and the similarity coefficient ranging between 0.04 and 0.66. Analysis of genetic diversity showed that there exists higher genetic variation in the Fujian population in comparison to the populations of Heilongjiang, Hebei and Inner Mongolia. Nei's genetic identity analysis indicates that the genetic similarity between populations of Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia is the highest and that between Fujian and Hebei is the lowest. A cluster analysis revealed that isolates from Fujian, in the south of China, are distantly related to those from Heilongjiang, Hebei and Inner Mongolia in the north, and the Fujian population is distributed among more groups than the other three, exhibiting a higher genetic diversity.
Cubic boron nitride (cBN) composites starting with cBN–Al mixtures were sintered on WC-16 wt% Co substrates under static high pressure of 5.0 GPa and at temperatures of 800–1400 °C for 30 min. Vickers hardness of the sintered samples increased with increasing cBN content, and the highest hardness of 32.7 GPa was achieved for the cBN–5 wt% Al specimens sintered at 1400 °C. The reactions between cBN and Al started to occur at about 900 °C, and the reaction products strongly depended on the Al content, sintering temperature, and Co diffusion from the substrates according to the x-ray diffraction (XRD) observations. The high pressure and high temperature in situ resistance measurement indicated that the reactions between cBN and Al could be completed in about 90 s when the temperature was higher than ∼1200 °C at high pressure. The cBN composite sintered at 1200 °C from a cBN–15 wt% Al mixture showed the best cutting performance.
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