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Little is known about the joint mental health effects of air pollution and tobacco smoking in low- and middle-income countries.
To investigate the effects of exposure to ambient fine particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) and smoking and their combined (interactive) effects on depression.
Multilevel logistic regression analysis of baseline data of a prospective cohort study (n=41785). The 3-year average concentrations of PM2.5 were estimated using US National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellite data, and depression was diagnosed using a standardised questionnaire. Three-level logistic regression models were applied to examine the associations with depression.
The odds ratio (OR) for depression was 1.09 (95% CI 1.01–1.17) per 10 μg/m3 increase in ambient PM2.5, and the association remained after adjusting for potential confounding factors (adjusted OR = 1.10, 95% CI 1.02–1.19). Tobacco smoking (smoking status, frequency, duration and amount) was also significantly associated with depression. There appeared to be a synergistic interaction between ambient PM2.5 and smoking on depression in the additive model, but the interaction was not statistically significant in the multiplicative model.
Our study suggests that exposure to ambient PM2.5 may increase the risk of depression, and smoking may enhance this effect.
We investigated the first presence of qnrA among Shigella sonnei clinical isolates in Jiangsu Province, China. The qnrA-positive isolates coexisted with the mutation in gyrA at codon 83, these isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid and 22·2% (2 of 9) of them were resistant to norfloxacin.
The E2F transcription factor family is distributed widely in eukaryotes and has been well studied among mammals. In the present study, the E2F transcription factor 4 (E2F4) gene was isolated from fat bodies of Antheraea pernyi and sequenced. E2F4 comprised a 795 bp open reading frame encoding a deduced amino acid sequence of 264 amino acid residues. The recombinant protein was expressed in Escherichia coli (Transetta DE3), and anti-E2F4 antibodies were prepared. The deduced amino acid sequence displayed significant homology to an E2F4-like protein from Bombyx mori L. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that E2F4 expression was highest in the integument, followed by the fat body, silk glands, and haemocytes. The expression of E2F4 was upregulated in larvae challenged by bacterial (Escherichia coli, Micrococcus luteus), viral (nuclear polyhedrosis virus), and fungal (Beauveria bassiana) pathogens. These observations indicated that E2F4 is an inducible protein in the immune response of A. pernyi and probably in other insects.
A series of catalytic reactions has been performed in our laboratory using olivine-type silicates (OTS) and SiC as catalysts for the conversion of carbon-containing molecules (such as acetylene, CO and methanol) to small organic molecules (C2H4, C3H3, CH3O) and also polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Experimentally, small-to-medium-sized gas-phase compounds such as PAHs, reaction intermediates and hydrocarbon compounds were detected in situ using the time-of-light mass-spectrometry technique. Solid deposition on the catalyst surface was examined by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and thermo-gravimetric analysis techniques. Our laboratory results show that the conversion of acetylene to PAHs, the CO disproportionation reaction for producing CO2 and carbon deposition (graphitic and carbon nanostructures), and also the transformation of methanol to hydrocarbon compounds can easily be achieved with OTS as a catalyst. Furthermore, the conversion of acetylene to PAHs could also be achieved by SiC as the catalyst. It is proposed that these catalytic reactions mimic similar chemical processes in circumstellar envelopes (CSEs).
Lipases are ubiquitous enzymes in nature, which play a crucial role in fat metabolism by catalyzing the hydrolysis of triacylglycerol to free fatty acids and glycerol. However, reports concerning insect lipase are rare. In this study, we studied the expression and activity of a lipase-related protein from Antheraea pernyi (ApLRP). Recombinant ApLRP was expressed in Escherichia coli cells and used to raise rabbit anti-ApLRP polyclonal antibodies. ApLRP mRNA and protein expression were abundant in the midgut and malpighian tubules, respectively. After challenge with four different microorganisms (E. coli, Beauveria bassiana, Micrococcus luteus and nuclear polyhedrosis virus), the expression levels of ApLRP mRNA in midgut were inducted significantly compared with the control. The different pathogens induced different ApLRP gene expression patterns. The optimum temperature and pH for the enzyme's activity were 35°C and 7.0, respectively. ApLRP activity was stimulated in the presence of Mg2+, Na+, Ca2+ and b-mercaptoethanol; while Zn2+, Cu2+ and Fe3+ inhibited its activity. Detergents such as SDS, glycerol and Tween-20 increased the lipase activity by 20–30%. Our results indicated that ApLRP might play an important role in the innate immunity of insects.
Maize in Canada is grown mainly in the south-eastern part of the country. No comprehensive studies on Canadian maize yield levels have been done so far to analyse the barriers of obtaining optimal yields associated with cultivar, environmental stress and agronomic management practices. The objective of the current study was to use a modelling approach to analyse the gaps between actual and potential (determined by cultivar, solar radiation and temperature without any other stresses) maize yields in Eastern Canada. The CSM–CERES–Maize model in DSSAT v4·6 was calibrated and evaluated with measured data of seven cultivars under different nitrogen (N) rates across four sites. The model was then used to simulate grain yield levels defined as: yield potential (YP), water-limited (YW, rainfed), and water- and N-limited yields with N rates 80 kg/ha (YW, N-80N) and 160 kg/ha (YW, N-160N). The options were assessed to further increase grain yield by analysing the yield gaps related to water and N deficiencies. The CSM–CERES–Maize model simulated the grain yields in the experiments well with normalized root-mean-squared errors <0·20. The model was able to capture yield variations associated with varying N rates, cultivar, soil type and inter-annual climate variability. The seven calibrated cultivars used in the experiments were divided into three grades according to their simulated YP: low, medium and high. The simulation results for the 30-year period from 1981 to 2010 showed that the average YP was 15 000 kg/ha for cultivars with high yield potential. The YP is generally about 6000 kg/ha greater than the actual yield (YA) at each experimental site in Eastern Canada. Two-thirds of this gap between YP and YA is probably associated with water stress, as a gap of approximately 4000 kg/ha between the YW and the YP was simulated. This gap may be reduced through crop management, such as introducing irrigation to improve the distribution of available water during the growing season. The simulated yields indicated a gap of about 3000 and 1000 kg/ha between YW and YW,N-80N for cultivars with high YP and low YP, respectively. The gap between YW and YW,N-160N decreased to <2000 kg/ha for high Yp cultivars with little difference for the low Yp cultivars. The different yield gaps among cultivars suggest that cultivars with high YP require high N rates but cultivars with low YP may need only low N rates.
The study of a possible connection between magnetic activity and orbital period variation in close binaries is a very interesting work. Recently, the orbital periods of four chromospherically active binaries, ER Vul, UV Psc, AR Lac and BH Vir, are analyzed. It is discovered that the orbital periods of UV Psc and BH Vir oscillate with periods of 61 and 9.12 years, and the orbital periods of ER Vul and AR Lac show periodic variations with periods of 31 and 47 years respectively while they undergo secular decrease. The mechanisms that could explain the changes in the orbital periods of the four systems have been studied. The period variation of UV Psc may be caused by the cyclical magnetic activity in the primary component, and the magnetic activity in secondary component of AR Lac can explain its periodic component in the orbital period changes. For the other two systems, BH Vir and ER Vul, the cyclical magnetic activity in one or both of the components can explain the cyclical orbital period changes of BH Vir and the periodic component in the changes of the orbital period of ER Vul. These results suggest that the periods of the orbital period oscillations in the four systems may be the magnetic activity cycles.
We present three epochs of VSOP observations of the BL Lac object 2007+777 at 5 GHz. Compared with the ground-based VLBA data, the space baselines with HALCA clearly reveal a more detailed and finer source structure. Mainly based on the quite uniform and circular UV-coverages of the VLBA, and using a new cross-selfcalibration method, we have found evidence for weak structural changes on a timescale of two weeks in the core region of this intraday variable source. The physical causes for these variations are discussed.
In-depth analysis of eclipsing binary (EB) observational data collected for several decades can inform us about a lot of astrophysically interesting processes taking place in the systems. We have developed a wide-ranging method for the phenomenological modelling of eclipsing binary phase curves that enables us to combine even very disparate sources of phase information. This approach is appropriate for the processing of both standard photometric series of eclipses and data from photometric surveys of all kind. We conclude that mid-eclipse times, determined using the latest version of our “hi-fi” phenomenological light curve models, as well as their accuracy, are nearly the same as the values obtained using much more complex standard physical EB models.
Orbital-period variations of the neglected W UMa-type binary star, NY Lyr, were analyzed based on two newly determined eclipse times together with the others compiled from the literature. A cyclic oscillation with a period of 82.1 yr and an amplitude of 0.0247 d was discovered to be superimposed on a continuous period increase (dP/dt = +1.33 × 10−7 d yr−1). After the long-term period increase and the large-amplitude cyclic oscillation were removed from the O–C diagram, the residuals suggest that there is another small-amplitude period oscillation (A4 = 0.0053 d, P4 = 19.4 years) in the orbital period changes. As in the cases of AH Cnc and AD Cnc, both the continuous period increase and the two cyclic period oscillations make NY Lyr an interesting system to study in the future. In order to understand the evolutionary state of the binary system, new photometric and spectroscopic observations and a careful investigation on those data are needed.
There is new evidence which identifies seasonal changes of the variability time scale in intraday variable (IDV) sources with refractive interstellar scintillation effects. Such a RISS model takes the annual change of the Earth's velocity relative to the scattering medium into account. In September 1998 we found a remarkable prolongation of the variability time scale in the IDV source 0917+624 with only small variations in flux density during a period of 5 days. This was explained as a seasonal effect, in which the velocity vector of the Earth and the interstellar medium nearly cancelled. In order to further investigate the applicability of the model for 0917+624, we performed an Effelsberg 6 cm-flux monitoring program over the course of one year. Since September 2000, the source appears to be remarkably inactive and yet (May 2001) no return to its normal, faster and stronger variability pattern is observed. Here, our observational results and a possible explanation for the current quiescence are presented.
Transoral rigid laryngoscopy with videostroboscopy is the most practical method to visualise the vocal folds. The optimal topical anaesthesia regimen for transoral rigid laryngoscopy has not yet been established.
To compare patient comfort and compliance with various topical anaesthetics for transoral rigid laryngoscopy.
Each of 10 patients received a random topical administration of either 2 per cent lidocaine gel, 1 per cent tetracaine gel or 1 per cent tetracaine solution, 10 minutes before undergoing rigid laryngoscopy with videostroboscopy. During follow-up laryngoscopies, the agent with the lowest mean visual analogue scale score for discomfort was then used to study the timing of topical anaesthetic application: the agent was given to the patient 5, 10 or 15 minutes before laryngoscopy (with the timing randomly selected).
Compared with lidocaine gel or tetracaine gel, laryngoscopy with topical tetracaine solution was more comfortable. There was a statistically significant difference in discomfort score between the 5 and 10 minute application groups, but not between the 10 and 15 minute groups.
Nanoclusters of Ag metal in MgO(100) single crystals was formed by implantation of 1.5 MeV silver ions at fluences of 6 x 1016 ion/cm2 and at 1.2 x 1017 ion/cm2, and subsequent annealing at temperatures between 600°C to 1100°C. The formation of the Ag metallic clusters was confirmed using optical absorption spectrophotometry by the absorption band at 430 nm. This is in agreement with the theoretical prediction using Mie's theory, with calculated average nanocluster size about 3 nm. Using ion channeling we confirmed that the orientation of the Ag nanoclusters was in the same direction of the host crystal. Using Z-scan we found the nonlinear refractive index of Ag implanted MgO to be 4.9 x 10-8 esu.
The roles of hydrogen plasma radicals on passivation of several kinds of crystallized poly-Si thin films were investigated using optical emission spectroscopy (OES) combined with Hall mobility, Raman spectra, and absorption coefficient spectra. It was found that different kinds of hydrogen plasma radicals are responsible for passivation of dissimilar poly-Si crystallized by different method. Radicals Hα with lower energy are mainly responsible for passivating the poly-Si crystallized by solid phase crystallization (SPC) whose crystallization precursor was made by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). Higher energy radicals H* are more effective in passivating defects left over by Ni in poly-Si crystallized by Metal Induced Crystallization (MIC). The highest energy radicals Hβ and Hγ are needed to passivate the defects in poly-Si crystallized by SPC but whose precursor was made by low pressure CVD (LPCVD).
A technique to improve and accelerate aluminum induced crystallization (AIC) by hydrogen plasma is proposed in this paper. Raman spectroscopy and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry of crystallized poly-Si thin films show that hydrogen plasma radicals reduce the crystallization time of AIC. This technique shortens the annealing time from 10 hours to 4 hours and increases the Hall mobility from 22.1 cm2/V·s to 42.5 cm2/V·s. The possible mechanism of AIC assisted by hydrogen radicals will also be discussed.
Silver phenylacetylide prepared by one-step process was characterized as a linear coordinated polymeric compound by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectroscopy. Its prominent third-order optical nonlinearity was detected by heterodyned ultrafast optical Kerr effect (OHD-OKE) measurement. The second-order hyperpolarizability was enhanced by 2 orders of magnitude by means of incorporation of proper electron-pushing groups. The structure status was further investigated by quantum chemical calculation and molecular modeling.
Graphene, two-dimensional layers of sp2-bonded carbon, has many unique properties. In this paper, graphene is decorated with flower-like MnO2 nanostructures for the application in energy storage devices. The as-prepared graphene and MnO2 nano-flowers, which were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), were assembled into an asymmetric supercapacitor. The specific capacitance of the graphene electrode reached 245 F/g at a charging current of 1 mA. The MnO2 nano-flowers which consisted of tiny rods with a diameter of less than 10 nm were coated onto the graphene electrodes by electrodeposition. The specific capacitance after the MnO2 deposition is 328 F/g at the charging current of 1 mA with an energy density of 11.4Wh/kg and power density of 25.8 kW/kg. This work suggests that our graphene-based electrodes can be a promising candidate for high-performance energy storage devices.