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.
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.
Disc cutter consumption is a critical problem that influences work performance during shield tunneling processes and directly affects the cutter change decision. This study proposes a new model to estimate the disc cutter life (Hf) by integrating a group method of data handling (GMDH)-type neural network (NN) with a genetic algorithm (GA). The efficiency and effectiveness of the GMDH network structure are optimized by the GA, which enables each neuron to search for its optimum connections set from the previous layer. With the proposed model, monitoring data including the shield performance database, disc cutter consumption, geological conditions, and operational parameters can be analyzed. To verify the performance of the proposed model, a case study in China is presented and a database is adopted to illustrate the excellence of the hybrid model. The results indicate that the hybrid model predicts disc cutter life with high accuracy. The sensitivity analysis reveals that the penetration rate (PR) has a significant influence on disc cutter life. The results of this study can be beneficial in both the planning and construction stages of shield tunneling.
The paper briefly discusses the relationship between chronic diseases and gut health, and points out that an imbalance of intestinal microflora and an inadequate intake of dietary fiber are two important causes of chronic diseases. This paper also summarizes the research status of probiotic fermented fruit and vegetables, and discusses the main achievements of our group in this field and future developments of the related industry. The application of fermentation technology to fruit and vegetable processing and the development of a series of probiotic fermented fruit and vegetable products not only increase the added value of fruit and vegetables, but also organically combine probiotics and their active metabolites with prebiotics (dietary fiber, etc.), thereby promoting intestinal health as well as preventing and relieving chronic diseases. Fermentation technology provides a new approach to the study of the effect of probiotics on human health, and will have a revolutionary influence on probiotic application and on the fruit and vegetable processing industry. Thus, fruit and vegetable fermentation technology has excellent market potential.