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In clinical environments, orthopedic implants are associated with a risk of infection during implantation. However, the growth paths of bacteria on metal, which is nontransparent, are difficult to observe. In this study, we visualized the DH5-alpha Escherichia coli bacterial growth path on the surface of magnesium by using scanning electron microscope (SEM) images and constructed a convolutional neural network-based artificial intelligence (AI) system to identify metal surfaces, bacteria, and its generated products to grade the growth stage of the bacteria implanted on the magnesium. The detection result of the E. coli growth stage by the AI system was close to that manually marked by experts, and it may greatly accelerate the investigation of the bacterial growth process in various types of metallic material.
Environmental hypoxia exposure causes fertility problems in human and animals. Compelling evidence suggests that chronic hypoxia impairs spermatogenesis and reduces sperm motility. However, it is unclear whether paternal hypoxic exposure affects fertilization and early embryo development. In the present study, we exposed male mice to high altitude (3200 m above sea level) for 7 or 60 days to evaluate the effects of hypoxia on sperm quality, zygotic DNA methylation and blastocyst formation. Compared with age-matched controls, hypoxia-treated males exhibited reduced fertility after mating with normoxic females as a result of defects in sperm motility and function. Results of in vitro fertilization (IVF) experiments revealed that 60 days’ exposure significantly reduced cleavage and blastocyst rates by 30% and 70%, respectively. Immunohistochemical staining of pronuclear formation indicated that the pronuclear formation process was disturbed and expression of imprinted genes was reduced in early embryos after paternal hypoxia. Overall, the findings of this study suggested that exposing male mice to hypoxia impaired sperm function and affected key events during early embryo development in mammals.
To explore the effect of manno-oligosaccharide (MOS) on intestinal health in weaned pigs upon enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC) challenge, thirty-two male weaned pigs were randomly assigned into four groups. Pigs fed with a basal diet or basal diet containing MOS (0·6 g/kg) were orally infused with ETEC or culture medium. Results showed that MOS significantly elevated the digestibility of crude protein and gross energy in both ETEC-challenged and non-challenged pigs (P < 0·05). MOS also elevated serum concentrations of IgA and IgM (P < 0·05), but decreased serum concentrations of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 (P < 0·05) in ETEC-challenged pigs. Interestingly, MOS increased villus height and the ratio of villus height:crypt depth in duodenum and ileum (P < 0·05). MOS also increased duodenal sucrase and ileal lactase activity in ETEC-challenged pigs (P < 0·05). MOS decreased the abundance of E. coli, but increased the abundance of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Bacillus in caecum (P < 0·05). Importantly, MOS not only elevated the expression levels of zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), claudin-1 and GLUT-2 in duodenum (P < 0·05) but also elevated the expression levels of ZO-1, GLUT-2 and L-type amino acid transporter-1 in ileum (P < 0·05) upon ETEC challenge. These results suggested that MOS can alleviate inflammation and intestinal injury in weaned pigs upon ETEC challenge, which was associated with suppressed secretion of inflammatory cytokines and elevated serum Ig, as well as improved intestinal epithelium functions and microbiota.
Health system reform is considered a tough issue worldwide. Great efforts have been made toward health system building and strengthening. However, it is still unclear which health system is appropriate for different countries. This study aimed to systematically compare the characteristics of the establishment periods between eighty-eight counties of National Health Service (NHS) and Social Health Insurance (SHI).
Forty-eight NHS countries and forty SHI countries with data availability were selected. The establishment years of current health systems and other eighteen indicators in economics, society, population and health during establishment periods were collected. Comparison between NHS and SHI was conducted by descriptive analysis of every indicator.
Most NHS countries were established during the cold war, while SHI had been set up since the cold war ended. The median of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, urbanization rate and aging rate of SHI were USD 1535 in current dollars, 58.2 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively; compared with USD 1387, 41.2 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively of NHS. NHS countries had a smaller total population, lower mortality rate and elderly dependency ratio, while the birth rate and children's dependency ratio were higher. SHI countries showed a higher life expectancy and lower mortality rate in infants and children. NHS countries spent less in total health expenditure and a lower proportion of GDP. The median health expenditure per capita of SHI and NHS were USD 188 and USD 131 in current dollars, respectively. There was little difference among maternal mortality rates, and public and private health expenditure proportions.
NHS and SHI countries had different characteristics during the health system establishment periods. NHS was established earlier than SHI overall, so that SHI revealed higher levels in economic and social development. Health outcomes of NHS countries were slightly lower than SHI ones, while health expenditure was more in SHI countries. Specific social, economic, demographic and health conditions should be considered when countries are building their own health systems.
The radioactive contaminant plume in groundwater at the Karachai Lake site has been examined further. The source of pollution is the Karachai Lake which was used as a reservoir for liquid radioactive waste (LRW) from the Radiochemical Production Association “Mayak” (South Urals, Russia). Taking into account that colloid-facilitated transport of radionuclides can substantially increase the contaminant migration velocity, the composition and structure of colloid particles from the groundwater within the contaminant plume were studied. Sampling of groundwater was carried out in the observation well within the contaminant plume. Different fractions of colloid particles were extracted from the groundwater samples by sequential filtration through membranes with decreasing pore size. Chemical and mineralogical compositions of the colloid particles were determined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in combination with ion etching of the particle surfaces. The host rocks were studied using characteristic samples from the surface outcrop nearest to the observation well. The analysis showed that the colloid particles consisted of an inorganic core with a discontinuous organic cover. The inorganic core was close in composition to the host rocks along the flow path with a predominance of layered hydrosilicates.
We demonstrate direct electron beam writing of a nano-scale Cu pattern on a surface with a thin aqueous layer of CuSO4 solution. Electron beams are highly maneuverable down to nano-scales. Aqueous solutions facilitate a plentiful metal ion supply for practical industrial applications, which may require continued reliable writing of sophisticated patterns. A thin aqueous layer on a surface helps to confine the writing on the surface. For this demonstration, liquid sample holder (K-kit) for transmission electron microscope (TEM) was employed to form a sealed space in a TEM. The aqueous CuSO4 solution inside the sample holder was allowed to partially dry until a uniform thin layer was left on the surface. The electron beam thus reduced Cu ions in the solution to form the desired patterns. Furthermore, the influence of e-beam exposure time and CuSO4(aq) concentration on the Cu reduction was studied in this work. Two growth stages of Cu were shown in the plot of Cu thickness versus e-beam exposure time. The measured Cu reduction rate was found to be proportional to the CuSO4(aq) concentration.
The localization of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and HSP70 mRNA in the heart, liver, lung, kidney, spleen, thymus and cloacal bursa in broilers that were heat stressed for 6 h was conducted using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization techniques. Positive HSP70 mRNA signals were detected in the liver and lung, especially in the vessel walls. A weak presence was found in the myocardial cells. No significant signals were observed in spleen, thymus and cloacal bursa. HSP70 was observed in the vessel walls of all investigated broiler tissues. Localizations of HSP70 and HSP70 mRNA suggest that HSP70 could be correlated with cardiovascular function.
Objective: To develop an instrument that measures observable problematic behaviors in patients with dementia.
Methodology: We used focus group interviews to identify the problematic behaviors of patients with dementia. Eighty-two behaviors grouped into 12 domains were generated from the data collected from five different focus groups. After conducting a content validation process, a 72-item Dementia Behavior Disturbance Inventory (DBDI) rated by a frequency and a disturbance scale was formed. The DBDI was administered to 200 institutionalized elderly patients with dementia by formal caregivers for psychometric evaluation.
Results: Inter-item correlation of items in each domain was performed for item reduction. Forty-eight items remained after this procedure. Exploratory factor analysis obtained nine factors that explained 59.2% and 59.6% of the total variance in the frequency and disturbance scales, respectively. Cronbach's α of the entire 48-item frequency and disturbance scales was 0.88 and 0.91, respectively. Most of the factors had acceptable internal consistency reliability. Test–re-test reliability coefficients of the frequency and disturbance scales were 0.78 and 0.64, respectively. The DBDI was weakly but positively related to functions of daily activities and ambulation.
Conclusion: The DBDI demonstrates promising psychometrical properties as an instrument to assess problematic behaviors in elderly people with dementia.
The molecular evolution of cultivated rice Oryza sativa L. has long been a subject of rice evolutionists. To investigate genetic diversity within and differentiation between the indica and japonica subspecies, 22 accessions of indica and 35 of japonica rice were examined by five microsatellite loci from each chromosome totalling 60 loci. Mean gene diversity value in the indica rice (H=0·678) was 1·18 times larger than in the japonica rice (H=0·574). Taking the sampling effect into consideration, average allele number in the indica rice was 1·40 times higher than that in the japonica rice (14·6 vs 10·4 per variety). Chromosome-based comparisons revealed that nine chromosomes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 and 11) harboured higher levels of genetic diversity within the indica rice than the japonica rice. An overall estimate of FST was 0·084–0·158, indicating that the differentiation is moderate and 8·4–15·8% of the total genetic variation resided between the indica and japonica groups. Our chromosome-based comparisons further suggested that the extent of the indica–japonica differentiation varied substantially, ranging from 7·62% in chromosome 3 to 28·72% in chromosome 1. Cluster analyses found that most varieties formed merely two clusters for the indica and japonica varieties, in which two japonica varieties and five indica varieties were included in the counterpart clusters, respectively. The 12 chromosome-based trees further showed that 57 rice varieties cannot be clearly clustered together into either the indica or japonica groups, but displayed relatively different clustering patterns. The results suggest that the process of indica–japonica differentiation may have proceeded through an extensive contribution by the alleles of the majority in the rice genome.
Electroluminescence (EL) of InGaN/GaN multiquantum wells (MQW) in blue light-emitting diodes (LED) with multiquantum barriers (MQB) has been investigated. It was found that a device with an MQB structure exhibited better performance in carrier confinement, as well as higher temperature insensitivity, compared with the conventional MQW LEDs. The total cross sections ware obtained for those devices with and without MQBs, by fitting to the measurement of the spectral intensity. Not only the cross sections, but also the carrier lifetimes depending on temperature can therefore be mainly attributed to changes in Boltzmann population. All the detailed calculations are also agreement with the observations.
A pair of mutant mice with a first sparse coat appeared spontaneously in the production stock of
BALB/c mice with a normal coat. After being sib-mated, they produced three phenotypes in their
progeny: mice with normal hair, mice with a first sparse coat and then a fuzzy coat, and
uncovered mice. Genetic studies revealed the mutants had inherited an autosomal monogene that
was semi-dominant. By using 11 biochemical loci – Idh, Car2,
Mup1, Pgm1, Hbb, Es1, Es10, Gdc,
Ce2, Mod1 and Es3 – as genetic markers, two-point linkage tests were made. The results showed
the gene was assigned to chromosome 11. The result of a three-point test with Es3 and D11Mit8
(microsatellite DNA) as markers showed that the mutation was linked to Es3 with the
recombination fraction 7·89±2·19%, and linked to D11Mit8 with the recombination fraction
26·30±3·57%. The recombination fraction between Es3 and D11Mit8 was 32·90±3·81%. It is
suggested that the mutation is a new genetic locus that affected the skin and hair structure of the
mouse. The mutation was named uncovered, with the symbol Uncv. Further studies showed the
mutation affected not only the histology of skin and hair but also the growth and reproductive
performance of the mice. The molecular characterization of the Uncv locus needs to be further
This paper reviews recent developments of plasma immersion ion implantation (PHI) for semiconductor applications: ultra-shallow junction formation, microscopic conformai doping, metallization, and impurities gettering. We also discuss semiconductor processing issues with PHI: reactor design, wafer charging, surface deposition/etching., and secondary electron emission.
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