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To revise an abbreviated version of the Silhouettes subtest of the Visual Object and Space Perception (VOSP) battery in order to recognize mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and determine the optimal cutoffs to differentiate among cognitively normal controls (NC), MCI, and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in the Chinese elderly.
A cross-sectional validation study.
Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
A total of 591 participants: Individuals with MCI (n = 211), AD (n = 139) and NC (n = 241) were recruited from the Memory Clinic, Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
Baseline neuropsychological battery (including VOSP) scores were collected from firsthand data. An abbreviated version of silhouettes test (Silhouettes-A) was revised from the original English version more suitable for the elderly, including eight silhouettes of animals and seven silhouettes of inanimate objects, with a score ranging from 0 to 15.
Silhouettes-A was an effective test to screen MCI in the Chinese elderly with good sensitivity and specificity, similar to the Montreal cognitive assessment and superior to other single tests reflecting language, spatial, or executive function. However, it had no advantage in distinguishing MCI from AD. The corresponding optimal cutoff scores of Silhouettes-A were 10 for screening MCI and 8 for AD.
Silhouettes-A is a quick, simple, sensitive, and dependable cognitive test to distinguish among NC, MCI, and AD patients.
Campylobacter is a major foodborne pathogen and is commonly present in food producing animals. This pathogenic organism is highly adaptable and has become increasingly resistant to various antibiotics. Recently, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have designated antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter as a serious threat to public health. For the past decade, multiple mechanisms conferring resistance to clinically important antibiotics have been described in Campylobacter, and new resistance mechanisms constantly emerge in the pathogen. Some of the recent examples include the erm(B) gene conferring macrolide resistance, the cfr(C) genes mediating resistance to florfenicol and other antimicrobials, and a functionally enhanced variant of the multidrug resistance efflux pump, CmeABC. The continued emergence of new resistance mechanisms illustrates the extraordinary adaptability of Campylobacter to antibiotic selection pressure and demonstrate the need for innovative strategies to control antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter. In this review, we will briefly summarize the trends of antibiotic resistance in Campylobacter and discuss the mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics used for animal production and important for clinical therapy in humans. A special emphasis will be given to the newly discovered antibiotic resistance.
Babesiosis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis prevalent in large parts of the world. This study was designed to determine the rates of Babesia microti infection among small rodents in Yunnan province, where human cases of babesiosis have been reported. Currently, distribution of Babesia in its endemic regions is largely unknown. In this study, we cataloged 1672 small wild rodents, comprising 4 orders, from nine areas in western Yunnan province between 2009 and 2011. Babesia microti DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 4·3% (72/1672) of the rodents analyzed. The most frequently infected rodent species included Apodemus chevrieri and Niviventer fulvescens. Rodents from forests and shrublands had significantly higher Babesia infection rates. Genetic comparisons revealed that Babesia was most similar to the Kobe- and Otsu-type strains identified in Japan. A variety of rodent species might be involved in the enzootic maintenance and transmission of B. microti, supporting the need for further serological investigations in humans.
Polymannuronic acid (PM), one of numerous alginates isolated from brown seaweeds, is known to possess antioxidant activities. In this study, we examined its potential role in reducing body weight gain and attenuating inflammation induced by a high-fat and high-sucrose diet (HFD) as well as its effect on modulating the gut microbiome in mice. A 30-d PM treatment significantly reduced the diet-induced body weight gain and blood TAG levels (P<0·05) and improved glucose tolerance in male C57BL/6J mice. PM decreased lipopolysaccharides in blood and ameliorated local inflammation in the colon and the epididymal adipose tissue. Compared with low-fat and low-sucrose diet (LFD), HFD significantly reduced the mean number of species-level operational taxonomic units (OTU) per sample as well as species richness (P<0·05) but did not appear to affect other microbial diversity indices. Moreover, compared with LFD, HFD altered the abundance of approximately 23 % of the OTU detected (log10 linear discriminant analysis (LDA) score>2·0). PM also had a profound impact on the microbial composition in the gut microbiome and resulted in a distinct microbiome structure. For example, PM significantly increased the abundance of a probiotic bacterium, Lactobacillus reuteri (log10 LDA score>2·0). Together, our results suggest that PM may exert its immunoregulatory effects by enhancing proliferation of several species with probiotic activities while repressing the abundance of the microbial taxa that harbor potential pathogens. Our findings should facilitate mechanistic studies on PM as a potential bioactive compound to alleviate obesity and the metabolic syndrome.
Accumulating evidence suggests that altered immunity contributes to the
development of major depressive disorder (MDD).
To examine whether complement factor H (CFH), a regulator of activation
of the alternative pathway of the complement cascade, confers
susceptibility to MDD.
Expression analyses were tested in 53 unmedicated people with MDD and 55
healthy controls. A two-stage genetic association analysis was performed
in 3323 Han Chinese with or without MDD. Potential associations between
CFH single nucleotide polymorphisms and age at MDD
onset were evaluated.
CFH levels were significantly lower in the MDD group at
both protein and mRNA levels (P = 0.009 and
P = 0.014 respectively). A regulatory variant in the
CFH gene, rs1061170, showed statistically significant
genotypic and allelic differences between the MDD and control groups
(genotypic P = 0.0005, allelic P =
0.0001). Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed that age at onset of MDD
was significantly associated with the C allele of
rs1061170 (log rank statistic χ2 = 6.82, P =
0.009). The C-allele carriers had a younger age at onset
of MDD (22.2 years, s.d. = 4.0) than those without the C
allele (23.6 years, s.d. = 4.3).
CFH is likely to play an important role in the
development of MDD. rs1061170 has an important effect on age at onset of
MDD in Han Chinese and may therefore be related to early pathogenesis of
MDD, although further study is needed.
In China, more than twenty universities have astronomy education and research work. In four key universities, a complete series of educational programs of undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral levels has been formed. After four-year study at the undergraduate stage, students can be enrolled in master degree specialties. Three years later, some of them begin their three-year Ph.D. education. Only a few students enter into post-doctoral programs. Master’s and doctoral education systems are also established in the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In this paper, we give a description of the astronomy education of universities in China. After introducing the overall situation, we describe teaching materials, graduate-degree courses and facilities. We also discuss some problems and prospects for the new century.
The relationship between climate, crop growth and crop yield is complicated. This study aimed to determine the ratio of CO2–C emission to grain yield, the field treatments were initiated in 2003, but the measurements for this analysis were collected during the summer maize-growing seasons of 2011 and 2012 in the North China Plain. The experiment showed that conventional tillage with straw application significantly increased grain yield and the ratio of CO2–C emission to grain yield of summer maize. The mean soil CO2–C emission rate with no tillage was significantly lower than that when conventional tillage was used; however, straw application significantly increased the soil CO2–C emission rate, irrespective of whether tillage was performed or not. This was mainly because straw application changed the soil total porosity and organic carbon content. In conclusion, the results of this study support the hypothesis that the ratio of CO2–C emission to grain yield in the North China Plain can be increased by straw application, whereas no tillage decreases this ratio.
C3N4/Bi2WO6 heterojunction photocatalysts were successfully synthesized using consecutive hydrothermal and calcination processes. These photocatalysts were characterized using x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and photoluminescence measurements. The results of these measurements indicated that the Bi2WO6 nanoparticles were approximately 30–50 nm and uniformly distributed on the surface of C3N4 lamellar structures. The 20% C3N4/Bi2WO6 displayed enhanced visible-light absorption from 432 nm to 468 nm. Photocatalytic tests also revealed that the 20% C3N4/Bi2WO6 photocatalyst exhibited significantly enhanced photocatalytic activity compared to that of pure C3N4 and Bi2WO6 under irradiation by visible light (λ > 420 nm). Furthermore, the excellent photocatalytic efficiency of the 20% C3N4/Bi2WO6 photocatalyst was determined to be related to the formation of C3N4/Bi2WO6 heterojunctions, and their presence was found to be generally beneficial for the separation of photogenerated electron–hole pairs.
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated inconsistent associations between tea consumption and mortality of all cancers, CVD and all causes. To obtain quantitative overall estimates, we conducted a dose–response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. A literature search in PubMed and Embase up to April 2015 was conducted for all relevant papers published. Random-effects models were used to calculate pooled relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI. In eighteen prospective studies, there were 12 221, 11 306 and 55 528 deaths from all cancers, CVD and all causes, respectively. For all cancer mortality, the summary RR for the highest v. lowest category of green tea and black tea consumption were 1·06 (95 % CI 0·98, 1·15) and 0·79 (95 % CI 0·65, 0·97), respectively. For CVD mortality, the summary RR for the highest v. lowest category of green tea and black tea consumption were 0·67 (95 % CI 0·46, 0·96) and 0·88 (95 % CI 0·77, 1·01), respectively. For all-cause mortality, the summary RR for the highest v. lowest category of green tea and black tea consumption were 0·80 (95 % CI 0·68, 0·93) and 0·90 (95 % CI 0·83, 0·98), respectively. The dose–response analysis indicated that one cup per d increment of green tea consumption was associated with 5 % lower risk of CVD mortality and with 4 % lower risk of all-cause mortality. Green tea consumption was significantly inversely associated with CVD and all-cause mortality, whereas black tea consumption was significantly inversely associated with all cancer and all-cause mortality.
The aim of the present study was to determine whether early weaning-induced growth retardation could be attenuated by increased consumption of methionine as dl-methionine (DLM) or dl-2-hydroxy-4-methylthiobutyrate (HMTBA) in both lactating sows and weaned piglets. Therefore, diets containing DLM and HMTBA at 25 % of the total sulphur-containing amino acids (AA) present in the control (CON) diet were fed to lactating sows and weaned piglets and their responses were evaluated. Compared with the CON diet-fed sows, the HMTBA diet-fed sows exhibited a tendency (P< 0·10) towards higher plasma taurine concentrations and the DLM diet-fed sows had higher (P< 0·05) plasma taurine concentrations, but lower (P< 0·05) isoleucine concentrations. Suckling piglets in the HMTBA treatment group had higher (P< 0·05) intestinal reduced glutathione (GSH) content, lower (P< 0·05) oxidised glutathione (GSSG):GSH ratio, and higher (P< 0·05) plasma cysteine and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity than those in the CON and DLM treatment groups. The feed intake (P< 0·05) and body weight of piglets averaged across post-weaning (PW) days were higher (P< 0·05) in the HMTBA treatment group than in the DLM treatment group and were higher (P< 0·05) and tended (P< 0·10) to be higher, respectively, in the HMTBA treatment group than in the CON treatment group. Increased (P< 0·05) GSSG content and GSSG:GSH ratio and down-regulated (P< 0·05) expression of nutrient transport genes were observed in the jejunum of piglets on PW day 7 than on PW day 0. On PW day 14, the HMTBA diet-fed piglets had higher (P< 0·05) intestinal GSH content than the CON diet-fed piglets and higher (P< 0·05) plasma GPx activity, villus height and goblet cell numbers than the CON diet- and DLM diet-fed piglets. In conclusion, early weaning-induced growth retardation appears to be attenuated through changes in plasma AA profiles and elevation of growth performance and intestinal antioxidant capacity in piglets following increased consumption of methionine as HMTBA.
Matching boundary conditions (MBC’s) are proposed to treat scalar waves in the body-centered-cubic lattices. By matching the dispersion relation, we construct MBC’s for normal incidence and incidence with an angle α. Multiplication of MBC operators then leads to multi-directional absorbing boundary conditions. The effectiveness are illustrated by the reflection coefficient analysis and wave packet tests. In particular, the designed M1M1 treats the scalar waves in a satisfactory manner.
Nanoparticle functionalization and assembly is undergoing a period of challenging yet exciting development. Much of this research effort has been focused on the development of new functionalities that might enable strategically-directed assembly of nanoparticles into structures that can be utilized in other important applications.
In order to determine the success of such experiments, researchers often prepare a dried sample and study the assembly patterns with electron microscopy. However, these imaging techniques can be expensive and do not provide a complete illustration of what the three dimensional nanoparticle assemblies truly look like in solution. Moreover, sample preparation presents its own challenges. Most notably, sample preparation may cause alteration to the individual assemblies or unwanted aggregation of the assemblies upon removal of the solution.
To address these concerns, assemblies of anisotropic nanoparticles were tracked free-floating in solution with differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy. DIC microscopy is an optical technique based on interferometry with high lateral resolution and shallow depth of field. After functionalizing gold and silver nanoparticles for self-assembly, aliquots of the nanoparticle solutions were examined in real-time. Nanoparticle assemblies were observed undergoing rotations, internal vibrations, structural modifications, and interactions with other assemblies. Observations of the dynamic behaviors of nanoparticle assemblies serve as a complement to imaging with electron microscopy and provide new insights into the actual assembly process.
Eimeria spp. are the causative agents of coccidiosis, a major disease affecting the poultry industry. So far, only a few antigen genes of E. acervulina have been reported. In this study, a clone, named as cSZ-JN2, was identified from a cDNA expression library prepared from E. acervulina sporozoite stage with the ability to stimulate the chicken immune response. The sequence analysis showed that the open reading fragment (ORF) of cSZ-JN2 was 153 bp in size and encoded a predicted protein of 50 amino acids of Mr 5·3 kDa. BLASTN search revealed that cSZ-JN2 had no significant homology with the known genes of E. acervulina or any other organism (GenBank). The recombinant cSZ-JN2 antigen expressed in E. coli was recognized strongly by serum from chickens experimentally infected with E. acervulina. Immunofluorescence analysis using antibody against recombinant cSZ-JN2 indicated that this protein was expressed in sporozoite and merozoite developmental stages. Animal challenge experiments demonstrated that the recombinant protein of cSZ-JN2 and DNA vaccine carrying cSZ-JN2 could significantly increase the average body weight gains, decrease the mean lesion scores and the oocyst outputs of the immunized chickens and presented anti-coccidial indices of more than 165. All the above results suggested that the cSZ-JN2 was a novel E. acervulina antigen and could be an effective candidate for the development of a new vaccine against E. acervulina infection.
The significant time older people typically spend at home affects both their level of physical activity and quality of life. This prospective cohort study was designed to identify the effects that living in a high-rise residence retirement community has on physical activity and quality of life in older people with leprosy. The relocation group was comprised of study participants who had relocated voluntarily to a high-rise apartment building. The comparison group was comprised of study participants who had chosen not to relocate to that building. Data were collected using a personal information survey, Modified Baecke's Questionnaire, and the brief version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life assessment (WHOQOL-BREF). The groups were significantly similar in terms of household activities, leisure time activities, total physical activity score, and quality of life physical and social aspects, and significantly different in terms of quality of life overall (F=7.864, p=0.006), psychological (F=5.403, p=0.021) and environmental (F=23.099, p=0.000) aspects. This study indicates that living in a high-rise apartment environment does not decrease physical activity and may promote overall quality of life, and psychological and environmental aspects, in retirement community residents. The findings enhance understanding of the effect of different living environments on physical activity and quality of life. Greater health professional participation in retirement community design to ensure such designs facilitate residents’ health and quality of life is recommended.
Many of portable devices such as smart phones, portable multimedia players (PMP), and digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras are capable of capturing high-resolution images (e.g. 10 mega-pixel in DSLR) or even video. The limited battery power supply in the portable devices often prevents these systems to use high-power large liquid crystal display (LCD). Instead, the portable devices often have a LCD screen with small physical size (e.g. 3 cm × 2 cm for Smartphone or DSLR) and with much lower pixel resolution (e.g. 0.15 mega-pixel for 480 × 320 display) than actual image/video resolution. Thus, the high-resolution image and video are down-sampled before being displayed. Unfortunately, the anti-aliasing filter often leads to rather severe blurring. Although the blurring may be minor when the viewing distance is large, it can be rather disturbing in portable applications due to the short viewing distance. To cope with the blurring problem, one possible solution is to use an LCD screen with higher resolution. But such hardware solution tends to be expensive and often not welcomed by the consumer electronic companies. Another possible solution is to continue to use the low-resolution LCD screen, but use some software technique to enhance the apparent image/video resolution. In this paper, we discuss a novel way to improve the apparent resolution of down-sampled image/video using a technique called subpixel rendering, which controls subpixel that is smaller than a pixel in a high-precision manner.
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the impact of a lifestyle intervention programme, combined with a daily low-glycaemic index meal replacement, on body-weight and glycaemic control in subjects with impaired glucose regulation (IGR). Subjects with IGR were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n 46) and a control group (n 42). Both groups received health counselling at baseline. The intervention group also received a daily meal replacement and intensive lifestyle intervention to promote healthy eating habits during the first 3 months of the study, and follow-up visits performed monthly until the end of the 1-year study. Outcome measurements included changes in plasma glucose, glycated Hb (HbA1c), plasma lipids, body weight, blood pressure and body composition (such as body fat mass and visceral fat area). The results showed that body-weight loss after 1 year was significant in the intervention group compared with the control group ( − 1·8 (sem 0·35) v.− 0·6 (sem 0·40) 2·5 kg, P< 0·05). The 2 h plasma glucose concentration decreased 1·24 mmol/l in the intervention group and increased 0·85 mmol/l in the control group (P< 0·05) compared with their baseline, respectively. A 5 kg body-weight loss at 1 year was associated with a decrease of 1·49 mmol/l in 2 h plasma glucose (P< 0·01). The incidence of normal glucose regulation (NGR) in the two groups was significantly different (P= 0·001). In conclusion, the combination of regular contact, lifestyle advice and meal replacement is beneficial in promoting IGR to NGR.
Ultrashort electron bunch trains can be used for plasma wake field acceleration (PWFA) to overcome the limit of transformer ratio of a single electron bunch, or high-power terahertz (Thz) radiation production by various radiation mechanisms. Basic facility for high-power THz radiation development based on ultrashort electron beam has been set up at accelerator lab of TUB. Using birefringent crystal serials, ultraviolet (UV) pulse shaping for photocathode radio frequency gun to produce THz-repetition-rate pulse train was realized. Driven by such pulses, ultrashort electron bunch train with picosecond (ps) spacing was obtained for THz production. Measurement of the stacked UV pulse trains was done by difference frequency generation (DFG), and the measured group velocity mismatch of α-BBO crystal at 266.7-nm wavelength was 0.8 ps/mm. This method may also be applied to form ramped electron bunch trains for PWFA.
Three-dimensional atomic magnetometry scheme is proposed and experimented. The scheme uses only one laser beam and can measure three components of the magnetic field independently. Spin-exchange-relaxation-free regime is verified by magnetic resonance measurement. The open loop scale factors of −2.722 mV/nT, −1.452 mV/nT and 0.076 mV/nT for the three axes are characterized. The model considering the frequency response and linewidth variation can fit the measurement data well. As only one laser beam is required, the magnetometry is easy to be realized on chip scale and is particularly attractive for applications requiring low power, low cost and high precision at the same time.
Studies of the wafer edge uniformity step by step, from hard mask deposition, reactive ion etch, electroplating to post Cu CMP had been done using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) measurements, showed that the major wafer non-uniformity comes from the Cu CMP step. Improvement of Cu CMP edge uniformity had been achieved through engineering of platen 1 using real time profile control as well as CMP head zone pressure adjustment and platen 3 slurry optimizations
The crystallinity of the hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) film was known to influence the solar cell efficiency greatly. Also hydrogen was found to play a critical role in controlling the crystallinity. Instead of employing conventional plasma deposition techniques, this work focused on using catalytic chemical vapor deposition (Cat-CVD) to study the effect of hydrogen dilution and the filament-to-substrate distance on the crystallinity, deposition rate, microstructure factor and electrical property of the μc-Si:H film. We found that the substrate material and structure can affect the crystallinity of the μc-Si:H film and the incubation effect. Comparing bare glass, TCO-coated glass, a-Si:H-coated glass and μc-Si:H-coated glass, the microcrystalline phase grows the fastest onto μc-Si:H surface, but the slowest onto a-Si:H surface. Surprisingly, the template effect lasted for more than a thousand atomic layers of silicon.