Latest Research

Article  |  2021-02-26

Lactobacillus plantarum CCFM8610 Alleviates Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Prevents Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Pilot Clinical Trial

Irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) is chronic intestinal dysfunction with diarrhea and other complicated clinical symptoms, and it has a great impact on the daily life and mental state of patients. Some studies have reported that ingestion of probiotics can significantly alleviate a variety of intestinal diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate the IBS-D-alleviating effects of a probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum CCFM8610, with multiple health-promoting effects. The study was a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot clinical trial. Seventy-five patients were randomly assigned to receive the placebo, oligosaccharides, or L. plantarum CCFM8610 (1 × 1010 colony-forming units (CFU) per day), with a 2-week run-in period, an 8-week intervention period, and a 2-week follow-up observation period. The patients' clinical symptoms and quality of life were examined by the IBS symptom severity scale (IBS-SSS) and the IBS quality of life scale (IBS-QOL). Changes in gut microbiota composition and diversity were measured at the end of the intervention period. The oral administration of L. plantarum CCFM8610 significantly decreased the IBS-SSS and IBS-QOL scores, reduced IBS-D symptom severity, recovered gut microbiota diversity, decreased the relative abundance of bloating-related genus Methanobrevibacter, and increased the relative abundance of butyric acid-producing genera, including Anaerostipes, Anaerotruncus, Bifidobacterium, Butyricimonas, and Odoribacter. These findings suggest that ingestion of L. plantarum CCFM8610 can significantly alleviate clinical symptoms and gut microbiota dysbiosis in IBS-D patients. The IBS-D-alleviating effect of L. plantarum CCFM8610 may be related to the increase in the relative abundance of butyric acid-producing genera in the intestine.

Yang Liu ,   Xinjie Yu   et al.

Article  |  2021-02-26

Development of a Novel Feedforward Neural Network Model Based on Controllable Parameters for Predicting Effluent Total Nitrogen

The problem of effluent total nitrogen (TN) at most of the wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in China is important for meeting the related water quality standards, even under the condition of high energy consumption. To achieve better prediction and control of effluent TN concentration, an efficient prediction model, based on controllable operation parameters, was constructed in a sequencing batch reactor process. Compared with previous models, this model has two main characteristics: ① Superficial gas velocity and anoxic time are controllable operation parameters and are selected as the main input parameters instead of dissolved oxygen to improve the model controllability, and ② the model prediction accuracy is improved on the basis of a feedforward neural network (FFNN) with algorithm optimization. The results demonstrated that the FFNN model was efficiently optimized by scaled conjugate gradient, and the performance was excellent compared with other models in terms of the correlation coefficient (R). The optimized FFNN model could provide an accurate prediction of effluent TN based on influent water parameters and key control parameters. This study revealed the possible application of the optimized FFNN model for the efficient removal of pollutants and lower energy consumption at most of the WWTPs.

Zihao Zhao ,   Zihao Wang   et al.

Article  |  2021-01-26

Future Development of Natural Villages in Rural China Based on the Analysis of Dissipative Structure Theory

Recently, urbanization, economic development, and industrial structure adjustment are decreasing the number of permanent residents in rural areas in China on a yearly basis; the rural population is aging and the natural villages are gradually declining or even dying out. Considering the overall situation of rural natural villages in China, we selected a typical village in Shandong province as the object for field research. This study analyzes the idle situation of rural houses and the population distribution in the rural areas and summarizes the specific characteristics that indicate the decline of natural villages. Subsequently, it also analyzes the underlying reasons for the decline using the dissipative structure theory, and proposes that a new dissipative structure should be established by opening and activating conventional villages, protecting featured villages, and integrating declined villages. Furthermore, the internal management of the updated villages should be improved to increase the cohesion and self-organizing ability of the new system.

Shan Ming ,   Liu Yanqing   et al.

Article  |  2021-01-26

Strategic Path for Energy Revolution in Northwest China in the New Era

Both energy security and climate change are key challenges for China in the New Era. Northwest China, especially the Energy Golden Triangle area and Xinjiang, is playing a significant role in China’s energy supply owing to its rich energy resources. However, protecting the vulnerable ecosystems in this region becomes increasingly challenging; therefore, developing a performance improvement plan for energy revolution becomes urgent in this region. In this article, we first analyze the unique competencies and challenges regarding resource, industry, and location; considering the requirements of energy revolution, we propose that the Northwest China should be established as a national multi-energy integration technology demonstration base, a national coal-to-fuel strategic reserve base, and a national comprehensive energy supply base. As a strategic path for promoting energy revolution in Northwest China, multi-energy integration consists of three main themes and six demonstration measures. The three main themes are the clean and efficient use of fossil resources and coupling substitution, multi-energy complementarity and large-scale application of renewable energy, and the low-carbon and intelligent multi-energy integration. Adopting these measures, a Northwest China approach to energy revolution can be formed that is characterized by multi-power integration and led by energy technology revolution.

Zhu Hanxiong ,   Geng Xiaoying   et al.

Article  |  2021-01-26

Promoting the Construction of Xiongan New Area Through Energy Revolution: General Idea and Implementation Route

Based on the strategic background, positioning, and objectives of the planning and construction of the Xiongan New Area, an analysis model framework is established for the requirements for energy revolution during the planning and construction of this area. We conclude that energy revolution can actively promote the construction of the Xiongan New Area. Specifically, energy technology revolution can aid the Xiongan New Area to become a global energy innovation center; the energy operation mode of this area can be reformed through energy system revolution; the planning and construction requirements of the Xiongan New Area can be satisfied through energy consumption revolution; and a safe and efficient energy supply system can be ensured through energy supply revolution. Furthermore, an urban energy supply system that is green, safe, efficient, smart-friendly, and future-leading can be created in the Xiongan New Area through the energy revolution, particularly through key projects regarding energy integrated operation systems, energy Internet, green and smart transportation systems, ultra-low-energy buildings, and energy saving and emission reduction.

Ma Lianxiang ,   Jiang Ming   et al.

Article  |  2021-01-26

Thoughts and Countermeasures on Promoting Energy Revolution in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Region

 Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei coordinated development is a major national strategy of China. This study first analyzes the evolution process of energy production, consumption, and structure proportion in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, indicating that the overall energy supply in this region is less than consumption; although the region is rich in renewable energy resources, its energy consumption is mainly fossil energies and the overall energy efficiency requires further improvement. Since the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei coordinated development strategy was proposed six years ago, the ecological environment in this region has continuously improved, but the situation remains grim. As energy is the power source and blood of economic and social development and it is also closely related to the environment, the promotion of energy revolution becomes imperative. To promote energy revolution within the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region, energy efficiency should be further improved to control the total amount of energy consumption; the energy supply structure should be optimized to provide a solid material foundation for the coordinated development; the energy technology revolution should be promoted to create a new driving force for economic growth; the existing energy system should be revolutionized to improve the market environment for economic and social development; and the rural energy revolution should be accelerated to strengthen the prevention of point source pollution in rural areas.

Yan Xiaohui ,   Gao Dan   et al.