To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Probiotics and plant extracts are considered to prevent the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study explores the effects of using both probiotics and plant extracts on NAFLD. This study evaluated the effects of plant extracts on lipid droplet accumulation and the growth of probiotics in vitro. A C57BL/6 mouse model was used to examine the effects of probiotics and plant extracts on NAFLD. The body weight and food intake were measured. The levels of serum lipids, oxidative stress, and the liver injury index were determined using commercial kits. HE staining, gas chromatography and Real-Time PCR were also used for analysis. The results revealed that administration of Lactobacillus casei YRL577 and Lactobacilli paracasei X11 with resveratrol (RES) or tea polyphenols (TP) significantly reduced the levels of total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerols (TG) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and increased the level of the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). The groups of L. casei YRL577 with RES and TP also regulated the liver structure, oxidative stress, and injury. Furthermore, L. casei YRL577 with TP exhibited a more positive effect toward improving the NAFLD and increased the concentrations of the butyric acid than other three combined groups. L. casei YRL577 with TP up-regulated the mRNA levels of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and fibroblast growth factor 15 (FGF15) and decreased the mRNA levels of the apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT). These findings showed that L. casei YRL577 + TP modified genes in the intestinal bile acid pathway improved markers of NAFLD.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the main cause of end-stage liver disease. Probiotics have the potential effect of alleviating NAFLD. The aim of this study was to explore functional probiotics and their underlying mechanisms. The bile salt hydrolase (BSH) activity in thirty-four strains was determined in vitro. Then, C57BL/6 mice were used to explore the effects of probiotics on NAFLD. Body weight and food intake were measured, and serum lipid concentrations, oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokines levels were determined using commercial kits. The expressions of intestinal bile acid pathway genes were evaluated via real-time PCR. The results showed that Lactobacillus casei YRL577 and L. paracasei X11 had higher BSH activity. L. casei YRL577 significantly reduced liver weight and liver index and could regulate the levels of lipid metabolism, oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokines as compared with L. paracasei X11. Furthermore, the results indicated that L. casei YRL577 up-regulated the mRNA levels of farnesoid X receptor and fibroblast growth factor 15, whereas down-regulated the mRNA level of apical Na-dependent bile acid transporter. These findings suggested that L. casei YRL577 modified genes in the intestinal bile acid pathway which might contribute to the alleviation of NAFLD.
Clay often has severe detrimental impacts on cement-based materials. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the mechanism causing the deterioration to improve the service life of cement-based materials. Based on accurate dimensional analysis, a mechanism that influences clay is proposed: the intercalation of the side chains of superplasticizer molecules in the interlayer space of the clay. To lessen this harmful effect, a new clay-resistant admixture (CRA) possessing cationic groups of small molecular size was synthesized through a novel dimensional design. The length and width of the side chains of this superplasticizer molecule were 9.50–17.50 and 0.25–0.40 nm, respectively, with a radius of ~3.74 nm in solvent, which is larger than the interlayer spacing of montmorillonite (i.e. 1.09–2.14 nm). The longitudinal and latitudinal lengths of the CRA molecule were 0.468 and 9.456 nm, respectively, ensuring intercalation in the interlayer of montmorillonite. The increase in interlayer spacing of the clay was 0.364 nm following addition of polycarboxylate superplasticizer (PCE) plus CRA and 0.632 nm following addition of PCE, which suggests that the CRA plays the role of a ‘sacrificial agent’ that is preferentially intercalated into the interlayer space of clay to further prevent the side chains of the superplasticizer molecules from entering the interlayer. The aim of this study was to propose a suitable means of synthesizing a new CRA to address the impact of clay through dimensional design and mechanism analysis, which contributes to the theoretical study and technological improvement of cement-based materials.
In recent years, there have been a significant influenza activity and emerging influenza strains in China, resulting in an increasing number of influenza virus infections and leading to public health concerns. The aims of this study were to identify the epidemiological and aetiological characteristics of influenza and establish seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) models for forecasting the percentage of visits for influenza-like illness (ILI%) in urban and rural areas of Shenyang. Influenza surveillance data were obtained for ILI cases and influenza virus positivity from 18 sentinel hospitals. The SARIMA models were constructed to predict ILI% for January–December 2019. During 2010–2018, the influenza activity was higher in urban than in rural areas. The age distribution of ILI cases showed the highest rate in young children aged 0–4 years. Seasonal A/H3N2, influenza B virus and pandemic A/H1N1 continuously co-circulated in winter and spring seasons. In addition, the SARIMA (0, 1, 0) (0, 1, 2)12 model for the urban area and the SARIMA (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 0)12 model for the rural area were appropriate for predicting influenza incidence. Our findings suggested that there were regional and seasonal distinctions of ILI activity in Shenyang. A co-epidemic pattern of influenza strains was evident in terms of seasonal influenza activity. Young children were more susceptible to influenza virus infection than adults. These results provide a reference for future influenza prevention and control strategies in the study area.
Radiation exposure during paediatric cardiac catheterisation procedures should be minimised to “as low as reasonably achievable”. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a modified radiation safety protocol in reducing patient dose during paediatric interventional cardiac catheterisation.
Radiation dose data were retrospectively extracted from January 2014 to December 2015 (Standard group) and prospectively collected from January 2016 to December 2017 (Low-dose group) after implementation of a modified radiation safety protocol. Both groups included five most common procedures: atrial septal defect closure, patent ductus arteriosus closure, perimembranous ventricular septal defect closure, pulmonary valvuloplasty, and supraventricular tachycardia ablation.
Median air Kerma was 48.4, 50.5, 29.75, 149, 218, and 12.9 mGy for atrial septal defect closure, pulmonary valvuloplasty, patent ductus arteriosus closure <20 kg, ventricular septal defect closure <20 kg, ventricular septal defect closure ≧20 kg, and supraventricular tachycardia ablation in Standard group, respectively, which significantly decreased to 18.75, 20.7, 11.5, 41.9, 117, and 3.3 mGy in Low-dose group (p < 0.05). This represents a reduction in dose to each patient between 46 and 74%. Among five procedural types in Low-dose group, dose of ventricular septal defect closure was the highest with median air Kerma of 62.5 mGy, dose area product of 364.7 μGy.m2, and dose area product per body weight of 21.5 μGy.m2/kg, respectively, along with the longest fluoroscopy time of 9.9 minutes.
We provided a feasible radiation safety protocol with specific settings on a case-by-case basis. Increasing awareness and adequate training of a practical radiation dose reduction program are essential to improve radiation protection for children.
As the largest industrial and population centre in China, the Pearl River Delta is facing a growing threat of heavy metal pollution from local mining and power industries. This study investigates the distribution and potential health risks of copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) in paddy soils and rice at four typical sites. The Nemerow synthetic pollution index (PN) of soils from Fogang, Dabao Mountain, Shaoguan and Lechang were 8.40, 9.10, 4.64 and 10.28, respectively, indicating serious pollution at all four sampling sites. The average concentrations of Cu, Cd, Pb and Zn in rice grains were 2.23, 10.98, 29.84 and 1.62 times their corresponding maximum allowable levels, indicating potential health risks to humans. Cd has greater bioavailability because of its high mobility from soil to roots, and its subsequent transfer to grains. Pb mainly accumulates in roots because of its lower translocation rate from roots to grains. The greatest health risk index for Cd and Pb for adults and children was at the Shaoguan site, probably due to pollution from atmospheric deposition. Cd and Pb had greater health risk indices than Cu and Zn at almost all sites, indicating a major health risk to local people.
Definite discourse-new bridging reference (e.g., a school … the teacher; Clark, 1975) is a complex syntax-pragmatic component of referential movement, one that is subject to relatively opaque form-function contingency compared with forms used for discourse-old reference, and one that is especially prone to crosslinguistic influence. Research shows Asian second language (L2) learners of English struggle to produce bridging reference appropriately, yet little research has been done on the L2 production of bridging in Asian languages. We collected oral picture sequence narrative data from 80 lower-intermediate L2 Mandarin learners from first language (L1) English (+ article, n = 23) and L1 Korean and Japanese (- article, n = 57) backgrounds, alongside equivalent L1 data. Speakers of article-L1s were more likely than those from article-less L1s to use numeral + classifier noun phrases (NPs) for nonbridging referents and demonstrative + classifier NPs when introducing bridging referents, essentially (and infelicitously) using these constructions as de facto English-like indefinite/definite articles in their L2 Mandarin production. Speakers of article-less languages infelicitously marked bridging relations with nonbridging forms. These findings confirm substantial crosslinguistic difficulties for the L2 marking of this complex syntax-pragmatic phenomenon across relatively underexplored L1/L2 pairs.
In this paper, the occurrence of the stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) and its effects on stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) pulse compression in FC-40 are investigated. As the experimental medium, the characteristics of FC-40 are suitable for pulse compression. Firstly, the frequency shifts and the threshold of SRS in FC-40 are studied with a mode-locked laser system as pump source, without taking the SBS effect into account. On the basis of the experimental results, the competition between SRS and SBS as well as its effect on pulse compression is investigated. Results show that SRS gets higher gain and grows rapidly with the increase of the laser intensity by pump effect, which will result in decreasing of SBS energy reflection.
The composite Li-ion battery anode material of Fe2SiO4, Fe3O4, Fe3C (Fe-Si-O) and carbon nanotubes was prepared by a simple one-step reaction between ferrocene and tetraethyl orthosilicate. When cycled at 100 mA g-1, this material exhibited ever-increasing capacities and reached 588 mAh g-1 at the 280th cycle. At 500 mA g-1, a reversible capacity of 350 mAh g-1 was retained for 600 cycles. Compared with Fe3O4 materials, the Fe-Si-O/CNT exhibited superior long-term high-rate performance, which could mainly result from its enhanced stability and conductivities by introducing silicates and CNTs during the one-step synthesis.
We report that the tail modulation of Stokes pulses in the high-energy stimulated Brillouin scattering pulse compression can be suppressed by controlling effective pulse width of the pump. It is shown through numerical simulations and validated experimentally that the effective pulse width is an appropriate parameter, which determines the generation of tail modulation. The effective pulse width broaden as the increase of energy. This mechanism leads to the amplification of Stokes tail edge and it is the cause of tail modulation.
A 100-J-level Nd:glass laser system in nanosecond-scale pulse width has been constructed to perform as a standard source of high-fluence-laser science experiments. The laser system, operating with typical pulse durations of 3–5 ns and beam diameter 60 mm, employs a sequence of successive rod amplifiers to achieve 100-J-level energy at 1053 nm at 3 ns. The frequency conversion can provide energy of 50-J level at 351 nm. In addition to the high stability of the energy output, the most valuable of the laser system is the high spatiotemporal beam quality of the output, which contains the uniform square pulse waveform, the uniform flat-top spatial fluence distribution and the uniform flat-top wavefront.
By solving the coupled equations of the electromagnetic field and electrostatic potential, we investigate solitary waves in an asymmetric electron–positron plasma and/or electron–positron–ion plasmas with delicate features. It is found that the solutions of the coupled equations can capture multipeak structures of solitary waves in the case of cold plasma, which are left out by using the long-wavelength approximation. By considering the effect of ion motion with respect to non-relativistic and ultra-relativistic temperature plasmas, we find that the ions’ mobility can lead to larger-amplitude solitary waves; especially, this becomes more obvious for a high-temperature plasma. The effects of asymmetric temperature between electrons and positrons and the ion fraction on the solitary waves are also studied and presented. It is shown that the amplitudes of solitary waves decrease with positron temperature in asymmetric temperature electron–positron plasmas and decrease also with ion concentration.
In this study, we use implicit leadership theory to investigate how leader integrity, one of the most important traditional Chinese virtues, influences subordinates’ organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB) in the Chinese context. The results of our survey reveal that leader integrity is associated with subordinates’ OCB, and that this relationship is fully mediated by leader effectiveness. In addition, traditionality moderated the relationship between leader integrity and leader effectiveness; the relationship was significant among less traditional subordinates, but insignificant among more traditional subordinates. We conclude with a discussion of the theoretical and managerial implications for leaders in China.
In the present study, two experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of Mn source on Mn transport and the expression of a Mn transporter, divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1), in the small intestine of broilers. In Expt 1, in situ ligated duodenal loops from Mn-deficient chicks (29-d-old) were perfused with solutions containing 0–8·74 mmol Mn/l from either MnSO4, or one of two organic chelates of Mn and amino acids with moderate (OM) or strong (OS) chelation strength (Qf) up to 30 min. In Expt 2, Mn-deficient intact broilers (14-d-old) were fed a control diet (12·45 mg Mn/kg) or the control diet supplemented with 100 mg Mn/kg as one of all Mn sources for 14 d. The uptake kinetics of Mn from different Mn sources in the ligated duodenal loops followed a saturable process as determined by regression analysis of concentration-dependent uptake rates. The maximum transport rate (Jmax) and Km values, and DMT1 mRNA levels in the ligated duodenal loops were higher (P < 0·01) for OM and OS than for MnSO4. DMT1 mRNA levels were much higher (P < 0·01) in the duodenum than in the jejunum and ileum. Both DMT1 mRNA levels in the duodenum and plasma Mn contents from the hepatic portal vein of intact chicks on day 14 post-feeding increased (P < 0·05) in the following order: control < MnSO4 < OM < OS. These results indicated that organic Mn sources with stronger Qf showed higher Mn transport and absorption, and DMT1 might be involved in the regulation of organic Mn transport in the proximal small intestine of broilers.
Kashin-Beck disease (KBD) is a chronic endemic osteoarthropathy, which mainly occurs in West and Northeast China. Epidemiological studies suggest that Se deficiency is an important environmental factor for the incidence of KBD. Glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPx4) belongs to the glutathione peroxidase family, which is crucial for optimal antioxidant defences. Our purpose is to investigate the putative association between GPx4 polymorphisms and the risk of KBD. Restriction fragment length polymorphism-PCR was used to detect two SNP (rs713041, rs4807542) in 219 cases and 194 controls in Han Chinese subjects, and quantitative analysis for the GPx4 mRNA level was performed by the real-time PCR method. The results revealed that linkage disequilibrium existed in the two SNP. A significant difference was observed in the haplotype A-T (P = 0·0066) of GPx4, which was obviously lower in the KBD cases (0·006 v. 0·032 %). Correlation analysis based on a single locus showed no association between each SNP and KBD risk. Furthermore, the GPx4 mRNA level was dramatically lower in the blood of KBD patients. Overall, our finding indicated GPx4 polymorphisms and decreased mRNA level may be related to the development of KBD in the Chinese population, suggesting GPx4 as a possible candidate susceptibility gene for KBD.
A cDNA library from white alpaca (Vicugna pacos) skin was constructed using SMART technology to investigate the global gene expression profile in alpaca skin and identify genes associated with physiology of alpaca skin and pigmentation. A total of 5359 high-quality EST (expressed sequence tag) sequences were generated by sequencing random cDNA clones from the library. Clustering analysis of sequences revealed a total of 3504 unique sequences including 739 contigs (assembled from 2594 ESTs) and 2765 singletons. BLAST analysis against GenBank nr database resulted in 1287 significant hits (E-value < 10−10), of which 863 were annotated through gene ontology analysis. Transcripts for genes related to fleece quality, growth and coat color (e.g. collagen types I and III, troponin C2 and secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine) were abundantly present in the library. Other genes, such as keratin family genes known to be involved in melanosome protein production, were also identified in the library. Members (KRT10, 14 and 15) of this gene family are evolutionarily conserved as revealed by a cross-species comparative analysis. This collection of ESTs provides a valuable resource for future research to understand the network of gene expression linked to physiology of alpaca skin and development of pigmentation.
Nano-crystalline films of pure cubic ZrO2 have been produced by ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) processes which combine physical vapor deposition with the concurrent ion beam bombardment in a high vacuum environment and exhibit superior properties and strong adhesion to the substrate. Oxygen and argon gases are used as source materials to generate energetic ions to produce these coatings with differential nanoscale (7 to 70 nm grain size) characteristics that affect the wettability, roughness, mechanical and optical properties of the coating. The nanostructurally stabilized chemically pure cubic phase has been shown to possess hardness as high as 16 GPa and a bulk modulus of 235 GPa. We examine the mechanical properties and the phase stability in zirconia nanoparticles using first principle electronic structure method. The elastic constants of the bulk systems were calculated for monoclinic, tetragonal and cubic phases. We find that calculated bulk modulus of cubic phase (237GPa) agrees well with the measured values, while that of monoclinic (189GPa) or tetragonal (155GPa) are considerably lower. We observe considerable relaxation of lattice in the monoclinic phase near the surface. This effect combined with surface tension and possibly vacancies in nanostructures are sources of stability of cubic zirconia at nanoscale.
A 5′-flanking region and partial open reading frame (ORF) of the β-actin gene (GenBank accession No. EF026001) of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) was cloned by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. The segment included a 1643 bp regulatory sequence and a 90 bp partial ORF which encoded a 30-amino-acid peptide. The regulatory sequence comprised a 108 bp 5′ proximal promoter, the first untranslated exon and the first intron of the β-actin gene. The proximal promoter region contained elements that were critical for transcription activity, including a CCAAT, TATA and CArG box located at –92, –29 and –62 bp upstream of the transcription initiation site, respectively. The regulatory sequence was inserted into the promoterless pDsRed2-1 vector to construct the expressing vector pNA-DsRed. The linearized pNA-DsRed was microinjected into the fertilized eggs of Tanichthys albonubes. The expression of the DsRed2 gene in transgenic fish could be observed under the microfluoroscope and anatomical lens. The results showed that the β-actin gene promoter possessed effective transcription activity.
Control of the low-temperature sintering of nanosilver particles was attained by dispersing and stabilizing nanosilver particles into a paste form using the selected organic binder systems. As demonstrated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), with the existing binder systems, undesirable premature coalescence of nanosilver particles was prevented and the metastable structure was retained until the binder burned out at relatively higher temperatures. Enhanced densification was achieved upon the binder burnout because at the relatively higher temperatures the densification mechanisms, e.g., grain-boundary or lattice diffusion, become more dominant. We propose that the onset of sintering, extent of densification, and final grain size can be controlled by either the size of the initial nanosilver particles or the binder systems with different burnout characteristics.