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Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
The cyclic oxidation experiment of yttria-stabilized zirconia coatings deposited on NiCoCrAlYHf alloys by air plasma spraying was investigated at 1050 °C in air and in air containing water vapor. The results revealed that water vapor has a great influence on the oxidation resistance of the thermal barrier coatings (TBCs). Compared with the samples oxidized in air atmosphere, TBCs oxidized in air containing water vapor had a longer lifetime. It was also found that different atmospheres could lead to different HfO2 formation positions, which could decrease the rumpling in the oxide layer. In particular, after the coatings on Hf-doped NiCoCrAlY were first pretreated in air containing water vapor for 24 h at 1050 °C, the lifetime of the pretreated coating was doubled compared to the coating in laboratory air only. The water vapor pretreatment of the coatings could be an important method for optimizing the lifetime of TBCs.
Shot-peened CM400 maraging steel was used to study the mechanism of enhanced notch fatigue properties of ultra-high strength materials. After shot peening, the specimen surface became rougher, but the transversal machining traces were reduced. The yield strength was slightly improved while the ultimate tensile strength and hardness maintained constant; as a result, the fatigue limit was promoted by about 1.5 times. The nucleated sites of the fatigue fracture were partly changed from the surface to subsurface/interior of the specimen. To further analyze the influencing factors of fatigue properties, the fatigue damage process may be resolved to two aspects: (a) fatigue damage rate affected by shear deformation and (b) fatigue damage tolerance controlled by the dilatation fracture process. Considering the stress state near the notch tip, the hydrostatic stress and maximum shear stress are considered for better understanding these two aspects. It is observed that the fatigue damage tolerance increased while the fatigue damage rate decreased after shot peening. Therefore, the notch fatigue properties of CM400 maraging steels can effectively be improved.
In this study, a system of triple liquid phases was developed using Li2CO3, Na2CO3, and K2CO3 to improve the densification of the akermanite scaffolds fabricated by selective laser sintering (SLS). The system formed a ternary liquid phase (Li2CO3–Na2CO3–K2CO3) at 399 °C, a binary liquid phase (Na2CO3–K2CO3) at 695 °C, and a unitary liquid phase (K2CO3) at 891 °C during sintering process. The effects of the liquid phases on the sinterability and mechanical properties of the scaffolds were investigated. The fracture toughness and compressive strength is increased by 43 and 152% with liquid phases increasing from 0 to 4 wt%, respectively. This was explained that liquid phases enhanced densification via improving diffusion kinetics and inducing particle rearrangement. In addition, the scaffolds maintained favorable hydroxyapatite (HA) formation ability and cell proliferation ability, which was proved by simulated body fluid (SBF) test and microculture tetrazolium test (MTT), respectively.
Human cystic echinococcosis (CE) is known to be endemic in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), China; however, there is relatively little data from hospital records or community prevalence studies, and the situation regarding occurrence of human alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is unclear. Here we review the available reports about human echinococcosis in the seven prefectures of TAR. In addition, two pilot studies by mass screening using ultrasound (with serology) were undertaken (2006/7) in Dangxiong County of Lhasa Prefecture (north central TAR) and Dingqing County of Changdu Prefecture (eastern TAR). In Dangxiong County a prevalence of 9.9% (55/557) for human CE was obtained but no human AE cases were detected. By contrast, in Dingqing County (N= 232 persons screened), 11 CE cases (4.7%) and 12 AE cases (5.2%) (including one mixed CE and AE case) were diagnosed by ultrasound. Hospital records and published reports indicated that CE cases were recorded in all of seven prefectures in Tibet Autonomous Region, and AE cases in four prefectures. Incidence rates of human CE were estimated to range from 1.9 to 155 per 100,000 across the seven prefectures of TAR, with a regional incidence of 45.1 per 100,000. Incidence of AE was estimated to be between 0.6 and 2.8 cases per 100,000. Overall for TAR, human AE prevalence appeared relatively low; however, the pilot mass screening in Dingqing in eastern TAR indicated that human AE disease is a potential public health problem, possibly similar to that already well described in Tibetan communities bordering TAR in north-west Sichuan and south-west Qinghai provinces.
We determined the prevalence and seasonality of infections by Fasciola of goats and bovine species (cattle and water buffalo) in Hubei and Anhui provinces of China. Faecal samples were collected at 2- to 3-month intervals from 200 goats in Hubei province and from 152 bovine species in Anhui province. All faecal samples were examined for the presence of parasites. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of 39 Fasciola worms from Anhui province. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in goats ranged between 3.5 and 37.0%, with mean eggs per gram (EPG) ranging between 29.0 and 166.0. Prevalence and EPG exhibited downward trends over time with significant differences. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in cattle ranged between 13.3 and 46.2% (mean EPG, 36.4–100.0), and that of water buffalo ranged between 10.3 and 35.4% (mean EPG, 25.0–89.6), with a higher prevalence of infection and EPG from June to October compared with December to March. Analysis of ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences revealed that F. hepatica and F. gigantica were present in all bovine species of Anhui province and that F. gigantica mainly infected water buffalo. This is the first demonstration of Fasciola infection in Hubei province and detection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Anhui province. The present study of Hubei province shows that mass treatment of livestock with closantel sodium injections in April and August/September controlled Fasciola infection effectively.
We evaluated the genetic and environmental contributions to metabolic cardiovascular risk factors and their mutual associations. Eight metabolic factors (body mass index, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, total serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, and serum uric acid) were measured in 508 twin pairs aged 8–17 years from the Qingdao Twin Registry, China. Linear structural equation models were used to estimate the heritability of these traits, as well as the genetic and environmental correlations between them. Among boys, body mass index and uric acid showed consistently high heritability (0.49–0.81), whereas other traits showed moderate to high common environmental variance (0.37–0.73) in children (8–12 years) and adolescents (13–17 years) except total cholesterol. For girls, moderate to high heritability (0.39–0.75) were obtained for six metabolic traits in children, while only two traits showed high heritability and others mostly medium to large common environmental variance in adolescents. Genetic correlations between the traits were strong in both boys and girls in children (rg = 0.64–0.99 between body mass index and diastolic blood pressure; rg = 0.71–1.00 between body mass index and waist circumference), but decreased for adolescent girls (rg = 0.51 between body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio; rg = 0.55 between body mass index and uric acid; rg = 0.61 between body mass index and systolic blood pressure). The effect of genetic factors on most metabolic traits decreased from childhood to adolescence. Both common genetic and specific environmental factors influence the mutual associations among most of the metabolic traits.
Convergent studies have highlighted the dysfunction of the amygdala, prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, only a few studies have investigated the functional connectivity between brain regions in PTSD patients during the resting state, which may improve our understanding of the neuropathophysiology of PTSD. The aim of this study was to investigate patterns of whole-brain functional connectivity in treatment-naive PTSD patients without co-morbid conditions who experienced the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in the Sichuan province of China.
A total of 72 PTSD patients and 86 trauma-exposed non-PTSD controls participated in the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study. All these subjects were recruited from the disaster zone of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Functional connectivities between 90 paired brain regions in PTSD patients were compared with those in trauma-exposed non-PTSD controls. Furthermore, Pearson correlation analysis was performed between significantly abnormal connectivities in PTSD patients and their clinician-administered PTSD scale (CAPS) scores.
Compared with non-PTSD controls, PTSD patients showed weaker positive connectivities between the middle prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the amygdala, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and rectus, as well as between the inferior orbitofrontal cortex and the hippocampus. In addition, PTSD patients showed stronger negative connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and the insula. The CAPS scores in PTSD patients correlated negatively with the connectivity between the amygdala and the mPFC.
PTSD patients showed abnormalities in whole-brain functional connectivity, primarily affecting the connectivities between the mPFC and limbic system, and connectivity between the PCC and insula.
In 1998, the Qingdao Twin Registry was initiated as the main part of the Chinese National Twin Registry. By 2005, a total of 10,655 twin pairs had been recruited. Since then new twin cohorts have been sampled, with one longitudinal cohort of adolescent twins selected to explore determinants of metabolic disorders and health behaviors during puberty and young adulthood. Adult twins have been sampled for studying heritability of multiple phenotypes associated with metabolic disorders. In addition, an elderly twin cohort has been recruited with a focus on genetic studies of aging-related phenotypes using twin modeling and genome-wide association analysis. Cross-cultural collaborative studies have been carried out between China, Denmark, Finland, and US cohorts. Ongoing data collection and analysis for the Qingdao Twin Registry will be discussed in this article.
A one-dimensional (1D) position sensitive detector (PSD) with the active layer imbedded in resonant cavity is proposed. The lateral photovoltaic effect (LPE) on the surface of active layer is related to the lifetime of photo-generated carriers-electrons and holes pairs. Theoretically, by improving the transmittance of multiple layered systems, the lifetime of carriers can be lengthened. For a photodetector in near infrared, we design the multiple layered system stacked by alternating layers with MgF2 and InP. The calculated result of electric field distribution in the proposed PSD is maximized in active layer with appropriate thickness. By this means, our aim is theoretically accomplished to enhance LPE in PSD based on resonant cavity structure.
A zeroth order dendritic carbosilane structure, SiFA4H with four hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) functional groups attached via propyl ligand arms to a central silicon atom, has been developed as a model hydrogen-bond (HB) acid sorbent coating and candidate reference HB acid. The HB donor interaction, through the hydroxyl of the HFIP moiety, with a solute HB base can be monitored by observing the hydroxyl stretching frequency through measurements of SiFA4H FTIR spectra before and during vapor exposure. HFIP hydroxyl stretch shifts, upwards of 700 cm-1 have been observed depending on the HB base. For a range of HB bases, the resulting hydroxyl stretch shifts correlate directly with the solute HB basicity scale, “B”, developed by Abraham et al . A variety of techniques exist to measure solute HB basicity, however, the applicability to examine HB bases delivered as vapors or gases and the simplicity of the measurements described herein, with a reusable reference HB acid sorbent coating and standard FTIR spectrophotometer techniques is attractive for some applications including those with hazardous chemicals. Moreover, as an extension of this work we propose employing SiFA4H or related sorbents as molecular sensing coatings, where the semi-selective sorbent is examined by various infrared (IR) spectroscopic techniques to monitor and identify hazardous chemicals, taking advantage of molecular binding phenomena which occur in the sorbent .
In order to investigate the dynamics of Septin4 (Sept4) expression and its function in the formation of fibrotic livers in mice infected with Schistosoma japonicum, we constructed the mouse model of S. japonicum egg-induced liver fibrosis for 24 weeks. Immunohistochemical staining, qRT-PCR and Western blot were used to detect the expression of Sept4 and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). We found Sept4 localized in the perisinusoidal space where hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) distribute in the periphery of circumoval granulomas and the portal venule. The expression of Sept4 and α-SMA had a similar significant tendency of an up-regulation to a peak at 12 weeks post-infection (p.i.) followed by a down-regulation. At 24 weeks p.i. both were at a low level. These results suggest that Sept4 and α-SMA may interact together in HSCs. Based on this evidence, we hypothesize that Sept4 seems to be involved in the formation of inflammatory granulomata and subsequent liver fibrosis by regulating HSCs activation.
We have demonstrated and studied polymeric solid-state dye lasers (SSDLs) fabricated by three-dimensional (3D) polystyrene colloidal crystals and tert-butyl roadamine B (t-Bu RhB) doped Poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) films with different film thickness. The sandwich-typed resonator cavities with different active layer thickness display single-mode lasing oscillations in the reflection bandgap of the colloidal crystals. The lasing thresholds could be optimized by changing the thickness of t-Bu RhB doped PMMA films, which is as low as 7.43 W/cm2. Adjusting active layer thickness would provide an opportunity to accelerate the development of fabricating polymeric SSDLs with low threshold.
AlxIn1–xN films were grown on (0001) sapphire substrates by reactive radiofrequency (RF) magnetron sputtering in an ambient of Ar and N2. The XRD patterns are shown from AlxIn1–xN films grown on AlN/sapphire substrates using a wide range of magnetron power ratio settings. The wurtzite structure films have high crystal quality with full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) in the range of 0.22°–0.52°. The surface morphologies were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Raman spectra were measured on the AlxIn1–xN surfaces in a backscattering configuration at room temperature with 532 nm laser excitation and show A1(LO) bimodal behavior. Electrical resistivity and electron mobility were measured by the Hall effect method in the conventional Van der Pauw geometry at room temperature. The lowest electrical resistivity is 1 × 10−3 Ω·cm. This work suggests that reactive magnetron sputtering is a promising method for growing AlxIn1–xN films in over a large composition range.
The safety and effectiveness of intra-arterial thrombolysis (IAT) in comparison to intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) for the treatment of ischemic stroke is uncertain. Our study aims to assess and compare IAT to IVT for clinically relevant outcomes in patients with occlusion of the anterior cerebral circulation.
Patients with acute ischemic stroke were enrolled for either treatment; those whose symptoms occurred within 4.5 hrs after stroke were treated with IVT, whereas those who presented <4.5 hrs but had contraindications to IVT or presented between 4.5 and 6 hrs were treated with IAT. Evaluated endpoints included: disability at 90 days as measured by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS), incidence of mortality, and incidence of symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage.
78 patients with anterior cerebral circulation occlusion were included in the study (55 in IVT, 23 in IAT). After 90 days, 82.6% patients treated with IAT reached independence in comparison to 56.4% in the IVT group (P=0.028, RR=2.66, 95% CI: 1.10-7.04). The incidence of all intracranial haemorrhages in the IAT and IVT groups respectively were 30.4% and 12.7% (P=0.103, RR=2.391, 95% CI: 0.946-6.047); symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage occurred in 8.7% and 9.1% of patients (P=1.00, RR= 0.957, 95% CI: 0.200-4.579), and mortality in 8.7% and 16.4% (P=0.492, RR=1.882, 95% CI: 0.440-8.045).
Results suggest that IAT is more effective than IVT in allowing patients to achieve independence. While inconclusive, the safety of IAT within 6 hrs is comparable to IVT within 4.5 hrs.
This chapter presents a systematic exposition of predicate transformer semantics for quantum programs. It is divided into two parts: The first part reviews the state transformer (forward) semantics of quantum programs according to Selinger's suggestion of representing quantum programs by superoperators and elucidates D'Hondt-Panangaden's theory of quantum weakest preconditions in detail. In the second part, we develop a quite complete predicate transformer semantics of quantum programs based on Birkhoff-von Neumann quantum logic by considering only quantum predicates expressed by projection operators. In particular, the universal conjunctivity and termination law of quantum programs are proved, and Hoare's induction rule is established in the quantum setting.
In the mid-1990s Shor and Grover discovered, respectively, the famous quantum factoring and searching algorithms. Their discoveries indicated that in principle quantum computers offer a way to accomplish certain computational tasks much more efficiently than classical computers, and thus stimulated an intensive investigation in quantum computation. Since then a substantial effort has been made to develop the theory of quantum computation, to find new quantum algorithms, and to exploit the physical techniques needed in building functional quantum computers, including in particular fault tolerance techniques.
Currently, quantum algorithms are expressed mainly at the very low level of quantum circuits. In the history of classical computation, however, it was realized long time ago that programming languages provide a technique that allows us to think about a problem that we intend to solve in a high-level, conceptual way, rather than the details of implementation.
This paper deals with the optimal tracking problem for switched systems, where the control input, the switching times and the switching index are all design variables. We propose a three-stage method for solving this problem. First, we fix the switching times and switching index sequence, which leads to a linear tracking problem, except different subsystems are defined in their respective time intervals. The optimal control and the corresponding cost function obtained depend on the switching signal. This gives rise to an optimal parameter selection problem for which the switching instants and the switching index are to be chosen optimally. In the second stage, the switching index is fixed. A reverse time transformation followed by a time scaling transform are introduced to convert this subproblem into an equivalent standard optimal parameter selection problem. The gradient formula of the cost function is derived. Then the discrete filled function is used in the third stage to search for the optimal switching index. On this basis, a computational method, which combines a gradient-based method, a local search algorithm and a filled function method, is developed for solving this problem. A numerical exampleis solved, showing the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
This trial was aimed at investigating the effect of different doses of progesterone (P4) and types of vaginal bolts on new follicular wave induction, oestrus synchronization and superovulation in Holstein heifers. Results showed that the interval after prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) application and oestrus occurrence between the sponge blot (SP) group (48.3 h) and the progestin release device (PRD) group (39 h) was significantly different (P<0.05). The average number of embryos obtained in the SP group (13.2) was significantly higher than that (8.7) in the PRD group (P<0.05). The same trend was observed for the number of usable embryos (5.7 and 3.3 for SP and PRD groups, respectively). The injection of 50 and 100 mg of P4 efficiently induced a new follicular wave, whereas no significant difference (P>0.05) was recorded on oestrus synchronization and superovulation between the two groups.
A new backside reflector, textured photonic crystal, is introduced into Si thin film solar cells. Scattering matrix method is used to systematically optimize all the parameters of the two components of the backside reflector, grating and distributed Bragg reflector, to achieve the highest power conversion efficiency for a given solar cell thickness. Experimentally, Si-on-insulator solar cells are being fabricated to verify the tremendous efficiency enhancement and optimal design. It is found that while the optimal period and etch depth of the grating, the Bragg wavelength of the distributed Bragg reflector, as well as the antireflection coating thickness all decrease as the cell becomes thinner, the optimum duty cycle of the grating remains almost constant at 0.5. For a 2 μm thick cell, the relative efficiency enhancement can be as high as 52% using the optimized design.