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The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of curcumin on insulin resistance (IR) and hepatic lipid accumulation in intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR). Rats with a normal birth weight (NBW) or IUGR were fed basic diets (NBW and IUGR groups) or basic diets supplemented with curcumin (NBW-C and IUGR-C groups) from 6 to 12 weeks. Rats in the IUGR group showed higher levels of glucose and homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) (P < 0·05) than in the NBW group. The livers of IUGR rats exhibited higher (P < 0·05) concentration of TAG and lower (P < 0·05) activities of lipolysis enzymes compared with the normal rats. In response to dietary curcumin supplementation, concentrations of serum insulin, glucose and HOMA-IR, pyruvate, TAG, total cholesterol and NEFA in the liver were decreased (P < 0·05). The concentrations of glycogen and activities of lipolysis enzymes in the liver were increased (P < 0·05) in the IUGR-C group compared with the IUGR group. These results were associated with lower (P < 0·05) phosphorylated insulin receptor substrate 1, protein kinase B or Akt, glycogen synthase kinase 3β and expressions of sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 and fatty acid synthase (FASN); decreased expressions for Cd36, sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c (Srebf1) and Fasn; increased (P < 0·05) expression of PPARα; and expressions for Ppara and hormone-sensitive lipase in the liver of IUGR-C rats than the IUGR rats. Maternal malnutrition caused IR and lipid accumulation in the liver. Curcumin supplementation prevented IR by regulating insulin signalling pathways and attenuated hepatic lipid accumulation.
Maternal exposure to major stressors during pregnancy has been found to increase the risk of neurodevelopmental, cognitive and psychiatric disorders in the offspring. However, the association between prenatal exposure to earthquake and the risk of adult schizophrenia has yet to be examined.
To explore the potential long-term effects of prenatal exposure to maternal stress on the risk of schizophrenia in adulthood, using the Great Tangshan Earthquake in 1976 as a natural experiment.
We obtained data from the Second China National Sample Survey on Disability, and analysed 94 410 Chinese individuals born between 1975 and 1979. We obtained difference-in-differences estimates of the earthquake effects on schizophrenia by exploiting temporal variation in the timing of earthquake exposure across four birth cohorts born between 1975 and 1979, along with geographical variation in earthquake severity at the prefecture level. Schizophrenia was ascertained by psychiatrists using the ICD-10 classification. Earthquake severity was measured by seismic intensity.
Earthquake cohort who experienced prenatal exposure to felt earthquake had higher risk of schizophrenia (odds ratio, 3.38; 95% CI 1.43–8.00) compared with the unexposed reference cohort. After specifying the timing of exposure by the trimester of pregnancy, prenatal exposure to felt earthquake during the first trimester of pregnancy increased the risk of adulthood schizophrenia significantly (odds ratio, 7.45; 95% CI 2.83–19.59).
Prenatal (particularly early pregnancy) exposure to maternal stress after a major disaster substantially affects the mental health of Chinese adults.
In inertial confinement fusion experiments that involve short-laser pulses such as fast ignition (FI), diagnosis of neutrons is usually very challenging because high-intensity γ rays generated by short-laser pulses would mask the much weaker neutron signal. In this paper, fast-response scintillators with low afterglow and gated microchannel plate photomultiplier tubes are combined to build neutron time-of-flight (nTOF) spectrometers for such experiments. Direct-drive implosion experiments of deuterium-gas-filled capsules were performed at the Shenguang-II Upgrade (SG-II-UP) laser facility to study the compressed fuel areal density (〈ρR〉) and evaluate the performance of such nTOF diagnostics. Two newly developed quenched liquid scintillator detectors and a gated ultrafast plastic scintillator detector were used to measure the secondary DT neutrons and primary DD neutrons, respectively. The secondary neutron signals were clearly discriminated from the γ rays from (n, γ) reactions, and the compressed fuel areal density obtained with the yield-ratio method agrees well with the simulations. Additionally, a small scintillator decay tail and a clear DD neutron signal were observed in an integrated FI experiment as a result of the low afterglow of the oxygen-quenched liquid scintillator.
Kaolinite can be used for many applications, including the underground storage of gases. Density functional theory was employed to investigate the adsorption of hydrogen molecules on the kaolinite (001) surface. The coverage dependence of the adsorption sites and energetics was studied systematically for a wide range of coverage, Θ (from 1/16 to 1 monolayer). The three-fold hollow site is the most stable, followed by the bridge, top-z and top sites. The adsorption energy of H2 decreased with increasing coverage, thus indicating the lower stability of surface adsorption due to the repulsion of neighbouring H2 molecules. The coverage has obvious effects on hydrogen adsorption. Other properties of the H2/kaolinite (001) system, including the lattice relaxation and changes of electronic density of states, were also studied and are discussed in detail.
Rats with a normal birth weight (NBW) or intra-uterine growth retardation (IUGR) were fed basic diets (NBW and IUGR groups) or basic diets supplemented with curcumin (NC and IC groups) from 6 to 12 weeks. The body weight of IUGR rats was lower (P<0·05) than that of the controls. Rats with IUGR showed higher (P<0·05) concentrations of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6; higher (P<0·05) activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in their serum; and increased (P<0·05) concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonyl (PC) and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHDG) in the liver compared with the NBW rats. The livers of IUGR rats exhibited a lower (P<0·05) superoxide dismutase activity and decreased (P<0·05) metabolic efficiency of the hepatic glutathione redox cycle compared with those of the NBW rats. In response to dietary curcumin supplementation, concentrations of inflammatory cytokines and activities of AST and ALT in the serum and MDA, PC and 8-OHDG in the liver were lower (P<0·05), and the hepatic glutathione redox cycle in the liver was improved (P<0·05) in the IC group than in the IUGR group. These results were associated with lower (P<0·05) phosphorylated levels of the NF-κB pathway and Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and higher (P<0·05) mRNA expression of genes involved in the nuclear factor, erythroid 2-like 2 (Nfe2l2)/antioxidant response element (ARE) pathway in the liver of the IC rats than that of the IUGR rats. Maternal undernutrition decreased birth weight and led to inflammation, oxidative damage and injury in rats. Curcumin appeared to be beneficial in preventing IUGR-induced inflammation, oxidative damage and injury by activating the expression of the NF-κB, JAK/STAT and Nfe2l2/ARE pathways in the liver.
A high power laser system was used to drive the ignition of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), of which the high energy, the uniform focal spot, the accurate laser waveform, and the synchronization between the laser beams are key parameters. To accomplish this, global laser characteristics control should be assured, which was the main purpose of the injection laser system. In this paper, the key technological progress involved in the improvement of the performance of the injection laser of SG-II is reported, including frequency domain control, time domain control, near-field spatial shaping, pre-amplifier technology, and the optical parametric chirped pulse amplification pump source.
The current measures of cognitive functioning in adulthood do not indicate a long-term association with prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine. However, whether such association emerges in China is poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the potential effect of prenatal exposure to the 1959–1961 Chinese famine on adult cognitive impairment. We obtained data from the Second National Sample Survey on Disability implemented in thirty-one provinces in 2006, and restricted our analysis to 387 093 individuals born in 1956–1965. Cognitive impairment was defined as intelligence quotient (IQ) score under 70 and IQ of adults was evaluated by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – China Revision. Famine severity was defined as excess death rate. The famine impact on adult cognitive impairment was estimated by difference-in-difference models, established by examining the variations of famine exposure across birth cohorts. Results show that compared with adults born in 1956–1958, those who were exposed to Chinese famine during gestation (born in 1959–1961) were at greater risk of cognitive impairment in the total sample. Stratified analyses showed that this effect was evident in males and females, but only in rural, not in urban areas. In conclusion, prenatal exposure to famine had an enduring deleterious effect on risk of cognitive impairment in rural adults.
In this study, a mesoscale dislocation simulation method was developed to study the orthogonal cutting of titanium alloy. The evolution of surface grain structure and its effects on the surface mechanical properties were studied by using two-dimensional climb assisted dislocation dynamics technology. The motions of edge dislocations such as dislocation nucleation, junction, interaction with obstacles, and grain boundaries, and annihilation were tracked. The results indicated that the machined surface has a microstructure composed of refined grains. The fine-grains bring appreciable scale effect and a mass of dislocations are piled up in the grain boundaries and persistent slip bands. In particular, dislocation climb can induce a perfect softening effect, but this effect is significantly weakened when grain size is less than 1.65 μm. In addition, a Hall–Petch type relation was predicted according to the arrangement of grain, the range of grain sizes and the distribution of dislocations.
A series of Ni0.5Zn0.5Fe2O4 (NZO)/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) composites were prepared and studied for their potential application as magneto-dielectric antenna substrate materials. The NZO ferrite powders were synthesized by the solid-state reaction method and then annealed at different temperatures of 700, 900 and 1100 °C. The influence of the annealing treatment on the grain size, crystallinity and magneto-dielectric properties were discussed. The magnetic and dielectric properties of the composites were measured in 1 MHz–1 GHz and 100 Hz–1 GHz, respectively. With the annealing temperature increase from 700 to 1100 °C, the initial permeability of the composites increases from 3.89 to 7.93, while the static permittivity changed regularly with the growing grain size. Almost equal values of μ′ and ε′ are obtained in the composite sample with the 1100 °C annealed NZO powders. Considering the relatively low magnetic and dielectric loss tangent, this material is the promising candidate for the design of miniaturized antennas.
Some animal species are found in many environments and over wide distributions and may have adaptations to live in such different areas. The barn swallow Hirundo rustica is an example of a species that is able to thrive over a large geographic range and in many different environments. However, little is known of the breeding biology of this species in southern China. Here, we studied 18 breeding pairs of barn swallow H. r. gutturalis in Nanning, Guangxi, between April and July 2015. We studied its breeding fitness and parental investment. We found that tropical barn swallows bred from early April to early July and had from two to five fledglings per brood. We also recorded a strong seasonal decrease of breeding success and nestling condition that has also been found in temperate regions. Nevertheless, nestlings showed relatively long wings and low body masses, which may have enabled three sets of parents to raise three broods per breeding season, more than in other Chinese populations. Generally, barn swallows breeding in the tropics showed a similar ecology to their conspecifics from temperate regions, probably due to the species’ niche specificity in urban settings. Morphological differences detected in this study require further research based on larger sample sizes and on more detailed data from different climatic regions of Asia.
The present study evaluated the effects of dietary microbial phytase on the growth and gut health of hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus ♀×Oreochromis aureus ♂), focusing on the effect on intestinal histology, adhesive microbiota and expression of immune-related cytokine genes. Tilapia were fed either control diet or diet supplemented with microbial phytase (1000 U/kg). Each diet was randomly assigned to four groups of fish reared in cages (3×3×2 m). After 12 weeks of feeding, weight gain and feed conversion ratio of tilapia were not significantly improved by dietary microbial phytase supplementation. However, significantly higher level of P content in the scales, tighter and more regular intestinal mucosa folds were observed in the microbial phytase group and the microvilli density was significantly increased. The adhesive gut bacterial communities were strikingly altered by microbial phytase supplementation (0·41<similarity coefficient<0·54). Stimulated intestinal inflammation and stress status were observed in the fish fed diet supplemented with microbial phytase, as indicated by the up-regulated intestinal expressions of the cytokine genes (tnf-α and tgf-β) and hsp70. In addition, the gut microvilli height was significantly decreased in the phytase group. These results indicate that dietary microbial phytase may exert mixed effects on hybrid tilapia, and can guide our future selection of phytases as aquafeed additives – that is, eliminating those that can stimulate intestinal inflammation.
In this paper we analyze a tollbooth tandem queueing problem with an infinite number of servers. A customer starts service immediately upon arrival but cannot leave the system before all customers who arrived before him/her have left, i.e. customers depart the system in the same order as they arrive. Distributions of the total number of customers in the system, the number of departure-delayed customers in the system, and the number of customers in service at time t are obtained in closed form. Distributions of the sojourn times and departure delays of customers are also obtained explicitly. Both transient and steady state solutions are derived first for Poisson arrivals, and then extended to cases with batch Poisson and nonstationary Poisson arrival processes. Finally, we report several stochastic ordering results on how system performance measures are affected by arrival and service processes.
The crystal structure of new Tb3CuAl3Ge2 quaternary compound was studied by the Rietveld method from powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) data. The Tb3CuAl3Ge2 compound crystallized in the hexagonal Y3NiAl3Ge2-type structure with space group P-62m (no. 189) and lattice parameters a = 7.0041(2) Å, c = 4.1775(1) Å, V = 177.48 Å3. There is only one formula in each unit cell, Z = 1, and the density of Tb3CuAl3Ge2 is ρx = 7.1696 g cm−3. The reliability factors characterizing the Rietveld refinement results are Rp = 6.43%, Rwp = 8.65%, RB = 4.81%, and RF = 4.09%, respectively. The powder XRD data of Tb3CuAl3Ge2 were presented and the reliability of indexation is F30 = 120.9(0.0073, 34).
The corrosion behavior of 2099 Al–Li alloy in NaCl aqueous solutions with different concentrations (1.5, 3.5, and 5.0% in mass fraction) was investigated. Its corrosion resistance was evaluated using electrochemical measurements together with full immersion tests. The results showed that the 2099 Al–Li alloy possessed good corrosion resistance in NaCl aqueous solutions. Its corrosion rate increased with increasing chloride ion concentration. The main form of corrosion failure was pitting corrosion. The impurity containing sulfur leads to surface pitting. The oxide films that formed during the manufacturing process offer a good resistance to corrosion. They are likely to suffer separation, cracking, and drop-off when immersed in aggressive NaCl aqueous solution. The good corrosion susceptibility of the alloy may be attributed to homogeneous coherent nanoscale precipitates.
Integrating the visual navigation mechanism of flying insects with a nonlinear Kalman filter, this paper proposes a novel navigation algorithm. New concepts of entropic map and entropy flow are presented, which can characterize topographic features and measure changes of the image respectively. Meanwhile, an auto-selecting algorithm of assessment threshold is proposed to improve computational accuracy and efficiency of global motion estimation. The simulation results suggest that the navigation algorithm can perform real-time rectification of the missile's trajectory well, and can reduce the cost of the missile's hardware.
The estimation of dietary intake in population-based studies is often assessed by the FFQ. The objective of our study is to evaluate the validity of an FFQ used to assess dietary fatty acid intake among middle-aged Chinese adults in Southern China.
The method of triads was applied to obtain the validity coefficients (VC) of the FFQ for specific fatty acids. A subsample was randomly selected from an earlier cross-sectional study. The FFQ and 3d dietary records were used for dietary assessment, and the fatty acid composition of erythrocyte membranes was determined as the biomarker.
The Spearman correlation coefficients between the FFQ and 3d dietary records were moderate to good (r = 0·28–0·66). The VC of the FFQ estimated by the method of triads were 0·72, 0·61, 0·65, 0·75 and 0·67 for MUFA, total n-6 fatty acids, α-linolenic acid, EPA and DHA, respectively. The VC could not be calculated for SFA, PUFA and total n-3 fatty acids because of negative correlations among the three measurements. But, the correlations between the FFQ and the dietary records were moderate for these fatty acids.
Our FFQ applied in Southern Chinese adults was valid to estimate their dietary fatty acid intake and was thus suitable for use in a large cohort study.
This study is concerned with the investigation of the structural evolution occurring during isothermal annealing of an Mn-89.7 wt%Sb alloy in a high magnetic field in the semisolid state. The alloy specimens were isothermally annealed without and with an 11.5-T magnetic field for various annealing times. With the application of the magnetic field, the average characteristic radius of the primary MnSb particles increased with increasing annealing time. The primary MnSb particles were oriented with their c-plane parallel to the imposed field direction. Furthermore, the primary MnSb particles were found to align along the field direction and form chainlike structures eventually. These phenomena were attributed to the attraction and coalescence of the particles induced by the dipole–dipole interactions among them.
Mn-90.8 wt%Sb alloys were solidified without and with high magnetic fields to investigate the effects of high magnetic fields on the structure evolution of the alloys. It was found that there were only MnSb/Sb eutectics without any primary phase in the alloy at 0 T, whereas a small amount of primary MnSb dendrites appeared in the MnSb/Sb eutectic matrix when the magnetic flux density was 4.4 T. In magnetic fields of 6.6, 8.8, and 11.5 T, both of two primary phases, i.e., MnSb and Sb, occurred in the matrix. In addition, the volume fraction of these two primary phases increased with increasing magnetic flux density. In magnetic fields of 8.8 and 11.5 T, primary MnSb dendrites aligned parallel to the magnetic field direction and gathered at the edge of the specimens. In contrast, primary Sb dendrites gathered in the center region of the specimens.
Much previous writing on Sunzi and his book, the Art of war, has focused on strategies and tactics of disguise, deception, and maneuvering for the purpose of winning. In this chapter, however, we study the Art of war from a leadership perspective, namely, how, in the view of Sunzi, military commanders exercise strategic situationalism, namely, situation-making (zhao shi) to lead an army to victory. Based on the analysis of the Art of war, we delve into Sunzi's philosophical views of humaneness, holism, and dialecticism. We then identify the positive and negative attributes of a leader in relation to strategic leadership. Furthermore, we elaborate Sunzi's strategic situationalism into (a) creating positional advantage in the environment, (b) creating organizational advantage within the organization, (c) building morale within the troops, and (d) leveraging and adapting to situations. Finally we discuss theoretical and practical implications of Sunzi's strategic leadership theory in a global environment.
Historical background and philosophical foundations
The exact period of Sunzi's life is the subject of debate. Giles believed (Garvin, 2003) that Sunzi was a contemporary of Confucius in the Spring and Autumn Period in Chinese history (771–481 BCE) whereas Griffith (1971), who wrote his doctoral dissertation on the Art of war, concluded that Sunzi was born a generation after Confucius and that the Art of war was written during the chaotic and turbulent period of the Warring States (453–221 BCE) that followed the Spring and Autumn Period.