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The role of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the pathogenesis of liver disease has recently gained much interest. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in patients with liver disease from three cities in Shandong and Henan provinces, China. A case–control study was conducted from December 2014 to November 2015 and included 1142 patients with liver disease and 1142 healthy controls. Serum samples were collected from all individuals and were examined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies. Information on the demographics, clinical, and lifestyle characteristics of the participants was collected from the medical records and by the use of a questionnaire. The prevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG was 19·7% in patients with liver disease compared with 12·17% in the controls. Only 13 patients had anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies compared with 12 control individuals (1·14% vs. 1·05%, respectively). The highest seroprevalence was detected in patients with liver cancer (22·13%), followed by hepatitis patients (20·86%), liver cirrhosis patients (20·42%), and steatosis patients (20%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that consumption of raw meat (odds ratio (OR) = 1·32; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·01–1·71; P = 0·03) and source of drinking water from wells (OR = 1·56; 95% CI 1·08–2·27; P = 0·01) were independent risk factors for T. gondii infection in liver disease patients. These findings indicate that T. gondii infection is more likely to be present in patients with liver disease. Therefore, efforts should be directed toward health education of populations at high risk of T. gondii infection and measures should be taken to protect vulnerable patients with liver disease.
We report on the progress of our on-going work to search for low-mass black holes (LMBHs) in active galactic nuclei. The masses of black holes are estimated using the broad line width and luminosity obtained from one-epoch optical spectra. As the first step, we fitted the spectra of 1263 objects in the quasar catalog of the SDSS DR10 and obtained accurate measurement of the emission lines. Two AGNs are found to have MBH ~ 106 M⊙. The next step is to analyze the spectra of the DR10 galaxy sample, from which a much larger sample of low-mass AGNs is expected to be obtained.
Recent studies of active galactic nuclei (AGN) found a statistical inverse scaling between the X-ray normalized excess variance σrms2 (variability amplitude) and the black hole mass spanning over MBH = 106 − 109M⊙. We present a study of this relation by including AGN with MBH = 105 − 106M⊙. It is found that the relation is no longer a simple extrapolation of the known inverse proportion, but starts to flatten around 106M⊙. This behavior can be understood by the shape of the power spectrum density of AGN and its dependence on the black hole mass.
Eating raw pork and/or liver is a custom of the Bai ethnic group in China. Most people living in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, southwestern China are of Bai ethnicity. Little is known of the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in Bai and Han ethnic populations in this region. In the present survey, a total of 555 and 595 blood samples were obtained from Bai and Han ethnic groups in Dali urban and rural areas, respectively. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was performed to examine T. gondii IgG antibodies. Total positive rate of anti-T. gondii IgG in Bai and Han groups in this region was 21·6% (248/1150). The total seroprevalence of T. gondii was significantly higher in the Bai ethnic group (32·3%, 179/555) than in the Han ethnic group (11·6%, 69/595) (P < 0·01). The results of statistical analysis indicated that there was no significant difference between cat feeding/non-cat feeding groups in the Bai ethnic group, the most important risk factor was consumption of raw pork and/or liver for the Bai group, but feeding a cat may be the main route of T. gondii infection for the Han group. Therefore, it is essential to implement integrated strategies to prevent and control T. gondii infection in this unique region of the world.
The transmission of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is deeply influenced by the reservoir and hantavirus prevalence rate. In this study, a surveillance on human HFRS cases, relative rodent abundance, and hantavirus infection prevalence was conducted in Shaanxi province, China, during 1984–2012. A generalized linear model with Poisson-distributed residuals and a log link was used to quantify the relationship between reservoir, virus and HFRS cases. The result indicated that there was a significant association of HFRS incidence with relative rodent density and the prevalence rate. This research provides evidence that the changes of infection prevalence in the reservoir could lead directly to the emergence of a new epidemic. It was concluded that the measurement of a number of these variables could be used in disease surveillance to give useful advance warning of potential disease epidemics.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
The symptoms of major depression (MD) are clinically diverse. Do they form coherent factors that might clarify the underlying nature of this important psychiatric syndrome?
Symptoms at lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatoryfactor analysis (CFA) were performed in Mplus in random split-half samples.
The preliminary EFA results were consistently supported by the findings from CFA. Analyses of the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria revealed two factors loading on: (i) general depressive symptoms; and (ii) guilt/suicidal ideation. Examining 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria revealed three factors reflecting: (i) weight/appetite disturbance; (ii) general depressive symptoms; and (iii) sleep disturbance. Using all symptoms (n = 27), we identified five factors that reflected: (i) weight/appetite symptoms; (ii) general retarded depressive symptoms; (iii) atypical vegetative symptoms; (iv) suicidality/hopelessness; and (v) symptoms of agitation and anxiety.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several underlying correlated symptom dimensions. In addition to a general depressive symptom factor, a complete picture must include factors reflecting typical/atypical vegetative symptoms, cognitive symptoms (hopelessness/suicidal ideation), and an agitated symptom factor characterized by anxiety, guilt, helplessness and irritability. Prior cross-cultural studies, factor analyses of MD in Western populations and empirical findings in this sample showing risk factor profiles similar to those seen in Western populations suggest that our results are likely to be broadly representative of the human depressive syndrome.
Cotton plant architecture is an important agronomic trait affecting yield and quality. In the present study, two F2:3 upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) populations were developed from Baimian2/TM-1 and Baimian2/CIR12 to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for cotton plant architecture traits using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. A total of 73 QTL (37 significant and 36 suggestive) affecting plant architecture traits were detected in both populations. Four common QTL, qTFN-17 for total fruit nodes, qFBN-17 for fruit branch nodes, qFBL-17 for fruit branch length and qTFB-17a/qTFB-17b (qTFB-17) for total fruit branches, were found across the two populations. These common QTL should have high reliability and could be used for marker-assisted selection (MAS) to facilitate cotton plant architecture. The two common QTL, qTFN-17 and qFBL-17, were especially significant in both populations, and moreover, they explained >0·100 of the phenotypic variation in at least one population. These two QTL should be considered preferentially for MAS. The synergistic alleles and the negative alleles could be utilized in cotton plant architecture breeding programmes according to specific breeding objectives.
Previous studies support Beck's cognitive model of vulnerability to depression. However, the relationship between his cognitive triad and other clinical features and risk factors among those with major depression (MD) has rarely been systematically studied.
The three key cognitive symptoms of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness were assessed during their lifetime worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent MD. Diagnostic and other risk factor information was assessed at personal interview. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by logistic regression.
Compared to patients who did not endorse the cognitive trio, those who did had a greater number of DSM-IV A criteria, more individual depressive symptoms, an earlier age at onset, a greater number of episodes, and were more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for melancholia, postnatal depression, dysthymia and anxiety disorders. Hopelessness was highly related to all the suicidal symptomatology, with ORs ranging from 5.92 to 6.51. Neuroticism, stressful life events (SLEs) and a protective parental rearing style were associated with these cognitive symptoms.
During the worst episode of MD in Han Chinese women, the endorsement of the cognitive trio was associated with a worse course of depression and an increased risk of suicide. Individuals with high levels of neuroticism, many SLEs and high parental protectiveness were at increased risk for these cognitive depressive symptoms. As in Western populations, symptoms of the cognitive trio appear to play a central role in the psychopathology of MD in Chinese women.
We investigated the presence of Mycobacterium spp. in livestock in northern China. Of the 163 clinical samples selected for this study, 20 were from throat swabs of dairy cows, and 143 were tissue samples (including lung tissue from one reindeer, hilar lymph node tissue from 55 cows, and liver tissue from 87 sheep). A total of 41 mycobacterial isolates were identified including two isolates of M. caprae and 39 non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) isolates. Multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) profiles of the two M. caprae isolates proved to be unique. This is the first report of M. caprae isolates from livestock in China. This study also confirms previous reports that NTM is common in livestock in northern China.
The magnetic reconnection (MR) configuration was constructed by using two approaching laser-produced plasma bubbles. The characteristics of the MR current sheet were investigated. The driving energy of the laser pulse affects the type of the current sheet. The experiments present “Y-type” and “X-type” current sheets for larger and smaller driving energy, respectively. The energetic electrons were found to be well-collimated. The formation and ejection of plasmoid from the “Y-type” current sheet was expected to enhance the number of accelerated electrons.
Excitation of the geodesic acoustic mode continuum by drift wave turbulence is studied using the wave kinetic approach. For a model profile of weak non-uniform ion temperature, the forms of growth rate and radial structure of geodesic acoustic modes are obtained analytically. The growth rate is analyzed for several conditions for present-day tokamaks and compared with that for uniform ion temperature, as well as that given by the coherent mode approach for non-uniform ion temperature.
The effects of laser incidence angle on lateral fast electron transport at front target surface, when a plasma is preformed, irradiated by intense (>1018 W/cm2) laser pulses, are studied by Kα imaging technique and electron spectrometer. A horizontally asymmetric Kα halo, resulting from directional lateral electron transport and energy deposition, is observed for a large incidence angle (70°). Moreover, a group of MeV high energy electrons is emitted along target surface. It is believed that the deformed preplasma and the asymmetrical distribution of self-generated magnetic field, at large incidence angle, play an important role in the directional lateral electron transport.
A novel polymer dispersant, poly(oxyethylene)-segment imide (POEM) in the structure was incorporated in the nanocrystalline TiO2 film as the electrode. The uses of the dispersants could disperse TiO2 by decreasing the van der waals force among the nanoparticles, observed by TEM. The resultant TiO2/POEM film as the photoanode rendered the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) with enhanced performance. By comparing to the traditional photoanode composing of polyethylene glycol (PEG) dispersed TiO2, the POEM dispersed TiO2 provided large surface area and high roughness in the dye adsorbed film. Furthermore, the fabricated TiO2/POEM photoanode has a better light-scattering property which contributes to the improvement for the short-circuit current density (Jsc) and the power-conversion efficiency (_) of the DSSC to be 19.1 mA cm-2 and 8.7%, respectively. The performance is superior to 13.2 mA cm-2 and 7.34% for a DSSC with the photoanode containing TiO2/PEG.
Metastasis to regional lymph nodes via lymphatic microvessels plays a key role in cancer progression, and is an important prognostic factor in many cancers. Recent evidence suggests that tumour lymphangiogenesis promotes lymphatic metastasis.
To investigate whether tumour lymphatic microvessel density correlates with clinicopathological factors and serves as a prognostic indicator of supraglottic laryngeal carcinoma progression.
The lymphatics of 84 supraglottic laryngeal carcinoma cases were investigated by immunohistochemical staining for podoplanin (also termed D2-40). The relationships between (intra- and peritumoural) lymphatic microvessel density, clinicopathological parameters and clinical prognosis were analysed.
There was a significant relationship between high intratumoural lymphatic microvessel density and aggressive tumour node stage (p < 0.0001), distant metastasis (p = 0.037) and poor prognosis (p = 0.011), and between high peritumoural lymphatic microvessel density and node stage (p = 0.004) and poor prognosis (p = 0.029). Patients with high lymphatic microvessel density also had significantly worse disease-free survival (p = 0.003) and overall survival (p = 0.005). Intratumoural lymphatic microvessel density was found to be an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (p = 0.008) and disease-free survival (p = 0.005) (multivariate analysis).
Lymphatic microvessel density (detected by podoplanin immunohistochemistry), especially intratumoural density, may be an independent predictor of lymphatic tumour spread and survival in supraglottic laryngeal carcinoma patients, and may be useful to guide decisions regarding additional surgery.
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.
In this paper, titanium doped (2 wt. %) indium oxide (TIO) thin films deposited on quartz substrates by DC sputtering were presented. Dealt with different temperatures from 420°C to 620°C of post-annealing in vacuum for 40 minuets, the samples display different optical and electric properties. The deposited films exhibited polycrystalline in the preferred (222) and (440) orientation, with higher mobility (up to 48.6 cm2/VS) and lower resistivity (1.26 ×10-4Ω·cm) at the post-annealing temperature of 520°C. The average optical transmittance of the films is over 92% in a wavelength range from 300 to 1100 nm and the transmittance has only around 1.8% change with different post-annealing temperatures.
The subtotal laryngectomy procedure enables the patient to avoid some of the serious consequences of total laryngectomy without having to relinquish oncological effectiveness. However, the important complication of aspiration may still seriously affect some patients. Many methods of reconstruction have been described in an attempt to avoid or minimise this complication.
Thirty-nine patients (15 with supraglottic laryngeal cancer and 24 with hypopharyngeal cancer) who had undergone subtotal laryngectomy between 2000 and 2006 were included in this study. In all patients, a sternohyoid muscle flap has been used for primary, one-stage reconstruction of laryngopharyngeal defects, following resection of advanced stage lesions. Patients' times to oral intake and decannulation, their speech function and their post-operative complications were reviewed.
The patients' three-year overall survival rate was 46.1 per cent. Their mean time to oral intake was 14 days. Twenty-six patients were decannulated (66.7 per cent). Almost all patients regained their speech function post-operatively, although their voice quality was not as good as before surgery.
Sternohyoid muscle fascia reconstruction leads to optimal repair of subtotal laryngectomy defects and restored laryngeal function.
Bulk metallic glass (BMG) formations in Co- and Fe-based alloy systems are investigated by using our cluster line approach in combination with minor alloying principle. Basic ternary alloy compositions in Co–B–Si, Fe–B–Y, and Fe–B–Si systems are first determined by cluster lines defined by linking special binary clusters to third elements. Then the basic ternary alloys are further minor alloyed with 3 to 5 at.% Nb to improve glass-forming abilities (GFAs) and ϕ3 mm BMGs are formed in (Co8B3–Si)–Nb and (Fe8B3–Y)–Nb but not in (Fe8B3–Si)–Nb, TM8B3 (TM = Fe, Co) being the most compact binary cluster. The BMGs are expressed approximately with a unified simple composition formula: (TM8B3)1M1, M = (Si, Nb) or (Y, Nb). Finally, mutual Fe and Co substitutions further improve the GFAs as well as the soft magnetic properties, e.g., Is reaching 0.98 T and Hc < 6 A/m for the Co–Fe–B–Si–Nb BMGs. Using the (cluster)1(glue atom)1 model, a new ternary BMG Fe8B3Nb1 is obtained.