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Mesanophrys sp. is a newly identified parasitic ciliate infecting farmed swimming crab. To demonstrate the correlation between parasite development and environmental conditions, this study aimed to investigate the effect of temperature, salinity, pH and frequency of passage of parasite on survival, growth and body size of Mesanophrys sp. in vitro. The results revealed that survival, population density and growth rate of the parasite were highest at 12°C and decreased with increasing temperature from 16 to 26°C. In addition, the survival, population density and growth rate of Mesanophrys sp. were high at 20‰. When salinity was adjusted to levels lower (0–10‰) and higher (40–60‰) than 20‰, the parasite's survival and growth rate gradually declined. The optimal pH for parasite survival was 8.0, whereas its survival was inhibited at <4.5 or >9.5. Our result also showed that parasite body proportions (length:width) were significantly smaller at the highest temperature compared to the lower temperature, whereas different salinities had no significant effect. Furthermore, we introduced dynamic parasite culture systems in vitro where Mesanophrys sp. was cultured in medium-containing culture plates through continually reducing and halving the old medium into fresh. Application of this optimized dilution timing technique with fresh medium and sub-cultured enabled a continuous culture of parasites. Under this optimized condition, the highest population density and exponential growth rate of the parasite were achieved than that of a control group. This study will help to understand the ciliated parasite infection dynamics and provides new possibilities for in vitro parasite-associated studies.
The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effect of n-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, at an EPA:DHA ratio of 150:500) and phytosterol esters (PS) on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients. We conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ninety-six NAFLD subjects were randomly assigned to the following groups: the PS group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS); the FO group (receiving 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d); the PS + FO combination group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS and 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d) and the PO group (a placebo group). The baseline clinical characteristics of the four groups were similar. The primary outcome was liver:spleen attenuation ratio (L:S ratio). The percentage increase in liver–spleen attenuation (≤1) in the PS + FO group was 36 % (P = 0·083), higher than those in the other three groups (PS group, 11 %, P = 0·519; FO group, 18 %, P = 0·071; PO group, 15 %, P = 0·436). Compared with baseline, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) was significantly decreased in the three study groups at the end of the trial (PS, P = 0·000; FO, P = 0·002; PS + FO, P = 0·001) and TNF-α was significantly decreased in the FO group (P = 0·036), PS + FO group (P = 0·005) and PO group (P = 0·032) at the end of the intervention. Notably, TGF-β was reduced significantly more in the PS + FO group than in the PO group (P = 0·032). The TAG and total cholesterol levels of the PS + FO group were reduced by 11·57 and 9·55 %, respectively. In conclusion, co-supplementation of PS and EPA + DHA could increase the effectiveness of treatment for hepatic steatosis.
Dietary indices are widely used in diet quality measurement, and the index-based dietary patterns are related to gastric cancer risk. To evaluate the relationship between different kinds of index-based dietary patterns and gastric cancer risk, we systematically searched four English-language databases and four Chinese-language databases. The quality of studies was assessed by the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale. Meta-analyses were performed to estimate the association between gastric cancer incidence and different types of index-based dietary patterns. The OR and hazard ratios (HR) of gastric cancer incidence were calculated by regression models in case–control studies and prospective cohort studies, respectively. The studies were pooled in the random effects model to calculate the summarised risk estimate of the highest quantile interval of dietary indices, taking the lowest as the referent. The dietary indices included different versions of Mediterranean diet score (MDS) and dietary inflammatory index (DII), healthy eating index, Chinese Food Pagoda score and food index score. The meta-analysis was carried out for studies on MDS and DII. The combined OR of gastric cancer for the highest MDS v. the referent was 0·42 (95 % CI 0·2, 0·86), and the combined HR was 0·89 (95 % CI 0·68, 1·17). The combined OR for DII was 2·11 (95 % CI 1·41, 3·15). Higher Mediterranean dietary pattern consumption might reduce gastric cancer risk, while higher inflammatory diet pattern consumption might increase gastric cancer risk.
In recent years, hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) has been increasingly recognized as a critical challenge to disease control and prevention in China. Previous studies have found that meteorological factors such as mean temperature and relative humidity were associated with HFMD. However, little is known about whether the diurnal temperature range (DTR) has any impact on HFMD. This study aimed to quantify the impact of DTR on childhood HFMD in 18 cities in Sichuan Province. A distributed lag non-linear model was adopted to explore the temporal lagged association of daily temperature with age-, gender- and pathogen-specific HFMD. A total of 290 123 HFMD cases aged 0–14 years were reported in the 18 cities in Sichuan Province. The DTR–HFMD relationships were non-linear in all subgroups. Children aged 6–14 years and male children were more vulnerable to the temperature changes. Large DTR had the higher risk estimates of HFMD incidence in cases of EV71 infection, while small DTR had the higher risk estimates of HFMD incidence in cases of CV-A16 infection. Our study suggested that DTR played an important role in the transmission of HFMD with non-linear and delayed effects.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the cellular morphology of Cryptocaryon irritans. However, details regarding the tomont stage of its life cycle remain lacking. In this study, we investigated the morphology of the tomont stage throughout encystment and cell division using light and electron microscopy. Results showed that there was no secretion of encystation-specific secretory vesicles or extrusomes during formation of the cyst wall. Instead, the synthesis and construction of the C. irritans cyst wall materials may involve molecular events at the pellicle. The somatic cilia and the cytostome were present during encystment and covered by the newly formed cyst wall. New somatic cilia were continuously created between old cilia and showed various lengths during cell division, a process that was similar to morphogenesis in many free-living ciliates. During cell division inside the tomont, dividing daughter cells formed temporary cell chains with no oral primordia before separating from each other into dissociative tomite precursors. The process of cell division may not be accompanied by stomatogenesis, and new oral primordia in offspring cells likely formed before the dividing cell chains split into dissociative spherical tomites. Mitochondrial autophagy was observed in encysting C. irritans cells. Numerous endosymbionts and Golgi structures were observed in the tomont cytoplasm. Cellular metabolic activity in the C. irritans tomont was quite high, with large amounts of materials or cellular organelles potentially being synthesized and prepared for the following infective theront stage.
Cells of Cryptocaryon irritans at different life history stages were studied using both light and electron microscopy. The characteristics of several organelles were revealed for the first time at the ultrastructural level. It was confirmed that the cytostome of trophonts, protomonts and theronts was surrounded by cilium–palp triplets rather than ciliary triplets. The nematodesmata underlying the circumoral dikinetids were single bundles, whereas these were always paired in Prorodontids. Toxicysts were present in late-stage tomonts and theronts, but were absent in trophonts and protomonts. We posited that toxicysts might play a role in infection and invasion of host-fish tissue by theronts. The adoral brosse was unlike that of any other family of the class Prostomatea based on its location and morphology. Membranous folds were present in trophonts, protomonts and theronts. These folds were longer and more highly developed in C. irritans than in exclusively free-living prostome ciliates suggesting that they might be linked to parasitism in C. irritans. Trophonts, protomonts and theronts had multiple contractile vacuoles. The basic ultrastructure of the contractile vacuole of C. irritans was similar to that of other kinetofragminophoran ciliates. They might play different roles in different stages of the life cycle since their ultrastructure varied among trophonts, protomonts and theronts.
The Nihewan Basin is a key region for studying the Palaeolithic archaeology of East Asia. However, because of the lack of suitable dating methods and representative lithic technologies in this region, the ‘Middle Palaeolithic’ sites in this basin have been designated based mainly on stratigraphic correlation, which may be unreliable. In this study, three Palaeolithic sites, Motianling, Queergou and Banjingzi, which have been assigned previously to the ‘Middle Palaeolithic’, are dated based on luminescence dating of K-feldspar grains. Our results show that the cultural layers at Motianling, Queergou and Banjingzi have ages of 315 ± 13, 268 ± 13 and 86 ± 4 ka (corresponding to Marine Isotope Stages 9, 8 and 5), respectively, suggesting that Motianling and Queergou should be assigned to the Lower Palaeolithic, while the age of Banjingzi is consistent with a Middle Palaeolithic attribution. Our results suggest that reassessing the age of ‘Middle Palaeolithic’ sites in the Nihewan Basin, and elsewhere in North China, is crucial for understanding the presence or absence of the Middle Palaeolithic phase in China. Our dating results also indicate that the Sanggan River developed sometime between about 270 and 86 ka ago.
Potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) single crystals are the only nonlinear crystals currently used for electro-optic switches and frequency converters in inertial confinement fusion research, due to their large dimension and exclusive physical properties. Based on the traditional solution-growth process, large bulk KDP crystals, usually with sizes up to 600
so as to make a frequency doubler for the facility requirement loading highly flux of power laser, can be grown in standard Holden-type crystallizers, without spontaneous nucleation and visible defects, one to two orders of magnitude faster than by conventional methods. Pure water and KDP raw material with a few ion impurities such as Fe, Cr, and Al (less than 0.1 ppm) were used. The rapid-growth method includes extreme conditions such as temperature range from 60 to 35
C, overcooling up to 5
C, growth rates exceeding 10 mm/day, and crystal size up to 600 mm. The optical parameters of KDP crystals were determined. The optical properties of crystals determined indicate that they are of favorable quality for application in the facility.
To clarify the effects of a Cryptocaryon irritans infection on the physiological functions of the marbled rockfish Sebastiscus marmoratus, this study utilized C. irritans at concentrations of 2500; 5000; 7500; 10 000; 20 000; and 30 000 theronts/fish to infect marbled rockfish weighing 45±3 g. The survival rate, food intake, respiratory rate, serum ion concentrations and gill Na+/K+-ATPase activity were determined. With the increase of the infection concentration and the passage of time, the survival rate of the rockfish gradually decreased. The groups infected with more than 5000 theronts/fish had stopped feeding within 4 days. The respiratory rates of the fish in the groups infected with 2500 and 5000 theronts/fish initially increased and then decreased. In contrast, the respiratory rate of the fish in the groups infected with more than 7500 theronts/fish was elevated to levels significantly higher than the control group after 12 h. The Na+/K+-ATPase activity and serum Na+ and Cl− concentrations increased with increasing infection concentration. In conclusion, the physiological functions of the fish infected with low concentrations of C. irritans can be effectively restored, whereas a high concentration infection induced severe stress. The declined food intake and accelerated respiratory rate could be useful for an early warning system as important indicators.
In this paper, we give a family of rational maps whose Julia sets are Cantor circles and show that every rational map whose Julia set is a Cantor set of circles must be topologically conjugate to one map in this family on their corresponding Julia sets. In particular, we give the specific expressions of some rational maps whose Julia sets are Cantor circles, but they are not topologically conjugate to any McMullen maps on their Julia sets. Moreover, some non-hyperbolic rational maps whose Julia sets are Cantor circles are also constructed.
Cardiovascular diseases in children comprise a large public health problem. The major goals of paediatric cardiologists and paediatric cardiovascular researchers are to identify the cause(s) of these diseases to improve treatment and preventive protocols. Recent studies show the involvement of microRNAs (miRs) in different aspects of heart development, function, and disease. Therefore, miR-based research in paediatric cardiovascular disorders is crucial for a better understanding of the underlying pathogenesis of the disease, and unravelling novel, efficient, preventive, and therapeutic means. The ultimate goal of such research is to secure normal cardiac development and hence decrease disabilities, improve clinical outcomes, and decrease the morbidity and mortality among children. This review focuses on the role of miRs in different paediatric cardiovascular conditions in an effort to encourage miR-based research in paediatric cardiovascular disorders.
Nanoparticles consisting of different biocompatible materials are attracting a lot of interest in the biomedical area as useful tools for drug delivery, photo-therapy and contrast enhancement agents in MRI, fluorescence and confocal microscopy. This work mainly focuses on the synthesis of polymeric/inorganic multifunctional nanoparticles (PIMN) based on biocompatible di-block copolymer poly(L,L-lactide-co-ethylene glycol) (PLLA-PEG) via an emulsion-evaporation method. Besides containing a hydrophobic drug (Indomethacin), these polymeric nanoparticles incorporate different visualization agents such as superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) and fluorescent Quantum Dots (QDs) that are used as contrast agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and fluorescence microscopy together. Gold Nanorods are also incorporated in such nanostructures to allow simultaneous visualization and photodynamic therapy. MRI studies are performed with different loading of SPION into PIMN, showing an enhancement in T2 contrast superior to commercial contrast agents. Core-shell QDs absorption and emission spectra are recorded before and after their loading into PIMN. With these polymeric/inorganic multifunctional nanoparticles, both MRI visualization and confocal fluorescence microscopy studies can be performed. Gold nanorods are also synthesized and incorporated into PIMN without changing their longitudinal absorption peak usable for lased excitation and phototherapy. In-vitro cytotoxicity studies have also been performed to confirm the low cytotoxicity of PIMN for further in-vivo studies.
To evaluate gene expression of Connexin37 (Cx37) in oocytes from in vitro follicles at different stages, mouse preantral follicles were isolated and cultured for 12 days in vitro. Compared with in vitro follicles, follicles grown in vivo were collected at day 14 (d14), d16, d18, d20, d22 and d24 with the same stages for gene expression of Cx37 in oocytes. Our results showed that Cx37 mRNA increased along with follicular development, reached the highest level at the onset of antrum cavity formation and decreased after antrum formation in both in vivo and in vitro mouse oocytes. However, Cx37 mRNA was significant higher (p < 0.01) in in vitro cultured oocytes than in vivo oocytes. Moreover, significantly higher levels of Cx37 mRNA were found in oocytes from in vitro disrupted follicles (p < 0.01) and non-grown follicles (p < 0.05) than those from normal follicles with a similar size. These data determine temporal gene expression of Cx37 in oocytes from follicules at different stages and indicate that the gene expression level of Cx37 in oocytes could be evaluated as a criterion to the regulatory mechanism of Cx37 in an in vitro model.
GP41, a major glycoprotein, identified in the occlusion-derived virions (ODV) of baculoviruses, is required for the egress of nucleocapsids from the nucleus in the pathway of budded virion (BV) synthesis. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the open reading frame (ORF) of Spodoptera litura nucleopolyhedrovirus (SpltMNPV) gp41 gene was obtained from SpltMNPV genomic DNA. The PCR product was cloned into pMD18-T vector to get the recombinant plasmid (pT-gp41). The gp41 gene was recombined in vitro with prokaryotic expression vector pQE30 and transformed into Escherichia coli M15 [pREP4]. The M15 [pREP4] strain, containing gp41 recombinant plasmid, expressed a 37.9 kDa 6×His-tag fusion protein after induction with 1 mmol/l isopropylthio-β-d-galactoside (IPTG). The fusion protein was purified with a nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid (Ni–NTA) resin column and used as the immunogen to raise GP41-specific antibody. Western blotting analysis indicated that the antibody was suitable to be used for further analysis of GP41 protein.
To explore the relationship between family average income (FAI; an index of socio-economic status) and body mass index (BMI; a widely used, inexpensive indicator of weight status) above the healthy weight range in a region of Mainland China.
Population-based cross-sectional study, conducted between October 1999 and March 2000 on a sample of regular local residents aged 35 years or older who were selected by random cluster sampling.
Forty-five administrative villages selected from three urban districts and two rural counties of Nanjing municipality, Mainland China, with a regional population of 5.6 million.
In total, 29 340 subjects participated; 67.7% from urban and 32.3% from rural areas; 49.8% male and 50.2% female. The response rate among eligible participants was 90.1%.
The proportion of participants classified as overweight was 30.5%, while 7.8% were identified as obese. After adjusting for possible confounding variables (age, gender, area of residence, educational level, occupational and leisure-time physical activity, daily vegetable consumption and frequency of red meat intake), urban participants were more likely to be overweight or obese relative to their rural counterparts, more women than men were obese, and participants in the lowest FAI tertile were the least likely to be above the healthy weight range.
The proportion of adults with BMI above the healthy weight range was positively related to having a higher socio-economic status (indexed by FAI) in a regional Chinese population.
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