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Needles of Juniperus rigida are used in Chinese traditional medicine for the treatment of brucellosis, dropsy, skin disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. This is the first study that reports anatomical structures of the J. rigida needles collected at different altitudes. The most common anatomical, phytochemical, and histochemical techniques and methods are used. The results show that anatomical structures and chemical composition change significantly at different altitudes. The main anatomical characters are significant xeromorphic structures (thick epidermis, hypodermis, and cuticle), a stomatal band, a developed vascular bundle, and a marginal resin duct. The xeromorphic structures become more pronounced with increasing altitude. The phytochemical and histochemical results demonstrate that the content of the main chemical compounds (phenols and terpenoids) basically increases at a higher elevation. Histochemical analysis localizes the phenols in epidermal cells, sponge tissue, endothelial layer cells, and stomatal bands, and the terpenoids in palisade tissue, sponge tissue, and the edge of the resin duct. This work reveals the relation between anatomy and chemistry in J. rigida needles, contributes to the quality control of its ethno-medicine, and provides the evidence to develop the commercial cultivation.
A supercapacitor electrode featured with a voltage self-stabilizing capability is demonstrated by growing indium tin oxide (ITO) nanowires on Ni foam. The ITO nanowires with a single crystal structure are prepared by using magnetron sputtering technique, and they can act as an active electrode material. Charging–discharging experiments are performed under different current densities, demonstrating a good rate capability. Using properly designing top and bottom double connection circuits, part of the electrode can be used as a resistance switch. An electrode that can function as a supercapacitor and a resistance switch is fabricated. Detailed characteristics confirm that the device not only exhibits high performance as a supercapacitor but also has good characteristics of resistance switching (RS). The specific capacitance is 956 F/g at the scanning rate of 10 mV/s, and the switching ratio as a bipolar resistance switch is as high as 102. The stabilization time of discharging voltage is nearly doubled longer than that without any RS function, revealing the potential application of our devices, which can be used as a supercapacitor with voltage self-stabilizing.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
Liquid films can be entrained when the dewetting velocity attains a threshold, and this dynamical wetting transition has been well studied in the situation of plane substrates. We investigate the forced dewetting in a capillary tube using diffuse-interface simulations and lubrication analysis, focusing on the onset of wetting transition and subsequent interface evolution. Results show that the meniscus remains stable when the displacing rate is below a threshold, beyond which film entrainment occurs and eventually leads to the formation of Taylor bubbles separated by liquid slugs, as has also been observed in the recent experiments of Zhao et al. (Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 120, 2018, 084501). We derive an analytical solution of the critical capillary number, and demonstrate that the wetting transition is accompanied by a vanishing apparent contact angle and an abrupt drop of the contact-line velocity. Both the bubble and slug lengths are found to depend on the capillary number and the wettability of the wall. A theoretical formula for the bubble length is also proposed and compares favourably with numerical and experimental results.
The present study was undertaken to investigate the antiparasitic activity of extracellular products of Streptomyces albus. Bioactivity-guided isolation of chloroform extracts affording a compound showing potent activity. The structure of the compound was elucidated as salinomycin (SAL) by EI-MS, 1H NMR and 13C NMR. In vitro test showed that SAL has potent anti-parasitic efficacy against theronts of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis with 10 min, 1, 2, 3 and 4 h (effective concentration) EC50 (95% confidence intervals) of 2.12 (2.22–2.02), 1.93 (1.98–1.88), 1.42 (1.47–1.37), 1.35 (1.41–1.31) and 1.11 (1.21–1.01) mg L−1. In vitro antiparasitic assays revealed that SAL could be 100% effective against I. multifiliis encysted tomonts at a concentration of 8.0 mg L−1. In vivo test demonstrated that the number of I. multifiliis trophonts on Erythroculter ilishaeformis treated with SAL was markedly lower than that of control group at 10 days after exposed to theronts (P < 0.05). In the control group, 80% mortality was observed owing to heavy I. multifiliis infection at 10 days. On the other hand, only 30.0% mortality was recorded in the group treated with 8.0 mg L−1 SAL. The median lethal dose (LD50) of SAL for E. ilishaeformis was 32.9 mg L−1.
The purpose of the study was to determine the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (PLWHA) in Taiwan. PLWHA were identified from the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control HIV Surveillance System between 2000 and 2014. To examine the effect of active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on CVD incidence, incidence densities and standardised incidence rates (SIRs) of CVD were calculated after stratifying PLWHA by HAART. Of 26 272 PLWHA (mean age, 32.3 years) identified, 73.4% received HAART. Compared with general population, SIRs (95% confidence interval) were higher for incident coronary artery disease (1.11 (1.04–1.19)), percutaneous coronary intervention (1.32 (1.18–1.47)), coronary artery bypass surgery (1.47 (1.29–1.66)), sudden cardiac death (3.01 (2.39–3.73)), heart failure (1.50 (1.31–1.70)) and chronic kidney disease (1.95 (1.81–2.10)), but was lower for incident atrial fibrillation (0.53 (0.37–0.73)). Considering the effect of HAART on incident CVD, the SIRs for all-cause, ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke were higher in PLWHA who did not receive HAART, but were lower in PLWHA who received HAART. PLWHA had higher risks of incident coronary artery disease, percutaneous coronary intervention, coronary artery bypass surgery, sudden cardiac death, heart failure and chronic kidney disease. HAART reduces risks of incident CVD in PLWHA.
To investigate the effects of heat stress on broiler metabolism, we assigned 144 broilers to normal control (NC), heat stress (HS) or pair-fed (PF) groups and then monitored the effects using growth performance, carcass characteristics, biochemical assays and GC-MS-based metabolomics. The up-regulation of cloacal temperature confirmed that our experiment was successful in inducing chronic heat stress. The average daily gain and average daily feed intake of the HS group were significantly lower than those of the NC group, by 28·76 and 18·42 %, respectively (P<0·001), whereas the feed:gain ratio was significantly higher, by 14·49 % (P=0·003), and heat stress also increased leg proportion (P=0·027) and intramuscular fat proportion (P<0·001) and decreased breast proportion (P=0·009). When comparing the HS and NC groups and HS and PF groups, our metabolomics approach identified seventy-eight and thirty-four metabolites, respectively, with significantly different levels (variable importance in the projection values >1 and P<0·05). The greater feed:gain ratio of the HS group was significantly positively correlated with the leg, abdominal fat, subcutaneous fat and intramuscular fat proportions and levels of some free amino acids (proline, l-cysteine, methionine and threonine) but was negatively correlated with breast proportion and levels of some NEFA (stearic acid, arachidonic acid, palmitic acid and oleic acid). These findings indicated that the heat-stressed broilers were in negative energy balance and unable to effectively mobilise fat, thereby resulting in protein decomposition, which subsequently affected growth performance and carcass characteristics.
Sedative–hypnotic medication use has been related to severe adverse events and risks. This study investigated the prevalence of and characteristics associated with the use of sedatives and hypnotics among community-dwelling elderly persons aged 65 years and over in Taiwan.
A representative sample of community-dwelling adults was recruited. Clinical and sociodemographic data were collected for assessing physical, mental, and cognitive functioning and disorders. Sedatives and hypnotics use was determined via both self-reporting and prescription records. Logistic regression modeling was used to evaluate associations between sedative–hypnotic use and demographic and health status.
Among the 3,978 participants aged 65 years and over, the rate of sedative–hypnotic use was 19.7% (n = 785). 4.5% (n = 35) of users reported sedative–hypnotic use without a doctor's prescription. Several sociodemographic characteristics were positively associated with sedative and hypnotic use, including older age, female gender, higher education level, married status, unemployment, and current alcohol consumption. Comorbid chronic and cardiovascular diseases, mental illness, depression, pain, and sleep problems also increased the likelihood of sedative–hypnotic use.
This study is one of the largest pioneer studies to date to survey sedatives–hypnotics use among community-dwelling elderly. One in five community-dwelling older adults reported sedative–hypnotic drugs use in Taiwan, and about 5% of sedative and/or hypnotics usage was without a doctor's prescription. Findings could be helpful for drug-use safety interventions to identify target geriatric patients who are in general at higher risk of downstream harm associated with sedative–hypnotic use in geriatric patients.
Evidence regarding the association between BMI and mortality in tuberculosis (TB) patients is limited and inconsistent. We investigated the impact of BMI on TB-specific and non-TB-specific mortality with respect to different timing of death. All Taiwanese adults with TB in Taipei were included in a retrospective cohort study in 2012–2014. Multinomial Cox proportional hazards regression was used to evaluate the associations between BMI, cause-specific mortality and timing of death. Of 2410 eligible patients, 86·0 % (2061) were successfully treated, and TB-specific and non-TB-specific mortality occurred for 2·2 % (54) and 13·9 % (335), respectively. After controlling for potential confounders, underweight was significantly associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) 1·57; 95 % CI 1·26, 1·95), whereas overweight was not. When cause-specific death was considered, underweight was associated with an increased risk of either TB-specific (AHR 1·85; 95 % CI 1·03, 3·33) or non-TB-specific death (AHR 1·52; 95 % CI 1·19, 1·95) during treatment. With joint consideration of cause-specific and timing of death, underweight only significantly increased the risk of TB-specific (AHR 2·23; 95 % CI 1·09, 4·59) and non-TB-specific mortality (AHR 1·81; 95 % CI 1·29, 2·55) within the first 8 weeks of treatment. This study suggests that underweight increases the risk of early death in TB patients during treatment.
A class of finite volume methods is developed for pricing either European or American options under jump-diffusion models based on a linear finite element space. An easy to implement linear interpolation technique is derived to evaluate the integral term involved, and numerical analyses show that the full discrete system matrices are M-matrices. For European option pricing, the resulting dense linear systems are solved by the generalised minimal residual (GMRES) method; while for American options the resulting linear complementarity problems (LCP) are solved using the modulus-based successive overrelaxation (MSOR) method, where the H+-matrix property of the system matrix guarantees convergence. Numerical results are presented to demonstrate the accuracy, efficiency and robustness of these methods.
This study was conducted to estimate prevalence rates and risk factors for late-life depression in a large nationwide representative sample from Taiwan.
A total of 5,664, randomly sampled individuals aged ≥55 years were enrolled. Clinically, relevant depressive symptoms were classified using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D score ≥16), and major depression was confirmed using the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders. Individuals with clinically relevant depressive symptoms, who did not meet the strict diagnostic criteria for major depression, were considered to have minor depression. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify risk factors for major and minor depression, including socio-demographic characteristics, medical conditions, lifestyle behaviors, social support network, and life events.
The prevalence rates of minor and major depression were 3.7% and 1.5%, respectively. Major depression was associated with personal vulnerability factors, such as poor social support, cognitive impairment, comorbid pain conditions, and sleep disturbance. However, minor depression was more likely to be related to adverse life events, including increased burden on families, changes in health status, or relationship problem. Approximately, 20.0% of individuals with major depression received antidepressant treatment.
Late-life depression was less prevalent among community-dwelling older adults in Taiwan than among populations in other countries. Our findings may aid the early detection and treatment of late-life depression and provide a basis for future investigations.
Polystyrene spheres were found to be an effective assisted material in the growth of indium-tin-oxide (ITO) nanowire networks, bearing low temperature, high purity, and good control of size. The temperature and time of growth were studied to achieve ITO nanowire networks with high transmission and low resistivity. When prepared by PS spheres of 670 nm dia. for 15 min at 300 °C, the transmittance is above 90% after the wave length of 400 nm, and the sheet resistance is ∼200 Ω/□. Polystyrene-assisted ITO nanowires showed the high degree of crystallinity with lattice fringes, and well coincided cubic phase of In2O3. The density of ITO nanowire networks were controlled by polystyrene spheres and the residual polystyrene was removed by thermal annealing. ITO nanowire networks open new opportunities for optoelectronic devices needing special morphology for the improvement of light extraction efficiency, and as a new type of conductive film, which have an even broad application arena.
Palaeoproterozic metasedimentary rocks, also referred to as khondalites, characterized by Al-rich minerals, are extensively exposed in the nucleus of the Yangtze craton, South China block. Samples of garnet–sillimanite gneiss in the khondalite suite were collected from the Kongling complex for Nd isotopic and elemental geochemical study. These rocks are characterized by variable SiO2 contents ranging from 35.71 to 58.07 wt%, and have low CaO (0.45–0.84 wt%) but high Al2O3 (18.56–29.04 wt%), Cr (174–334 ppm) and Ni (42.5–153 ppm) contents. They have high CIW (Chemical Index of Weathering) values (90.4–94.7), indicating intense chemical weathering of the source material. The samples display light rare earth elements (LREE) enrichment with negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu*=0.40–0.68), and have flat heavy rare earth elements (HREE) patterns. The high contents of transition elements (e.g. Cr, Ni, Sc, V) and moderately radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions suggest that the paragneisses might be those of first-cycle erosion products of predominantly mafic rocks mixing with small amounts of felsic moderately evolved Archaean crustal source. Geochemical and Nd isotopic compositions reveal that at least some of the protoliths of Kongling khondalite were sourced from local pre-existing mafic igneous rocks in a continental arc tectonic setting. Combined with documented zircon U–Pb geochronological data, we propose that the Palaeoproterozoic high-pressure granulite-facies metamorphism, rapid weathering, erosion and deposition of the khondalites in the interior of the Yangtze craton might be related to a Palaeoproterozoic collisional orogenic event during 2.1–1.9 Ga, consistent with the worldwide contemporary orogeny, implying that the Yangtze craton may have been an important component of the Palaeoprotorozoic Columbia supercontinent.
For the prevention and control of newly emergent or sudden infectious diseases, we built an on-site, modularized prevention and control system and tested the equipment by using the clustering analysis method. On the basis of this system, we propose a modular equipment allocation method and 4 applications of this method for different types of infectious disease prevention and control. This will help to improve the efficiency and productivity of anti-epidemic emergency forces and will provide strong technical support for implementing more universal and serialized equipment in China. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:375–382)
The objective of this study was to determine the protective effect of glutamate (Glu) in Cu-induced oxidative injury in fish intestine in vivo and enterocytes in vitro. The results indicated that exposure to 6 mg/l Cu for 72 h induced the production of reactive oxygen species, thereby increasing protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation in enterocytes of grass carp in vitro. Cells exposed to Cu alone resulted in a significant increase in lactate dehydrogenase release, which is accompanied by depletions of antioxidants, including total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), glutathione S-transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GR), anti-superoxide anion (ASA), anti-hydroxy radical (AHR) activities and GSH content. Pre-treatment with Glu remarkably prevented the toxic effects of Cu on the T-SOD, GST, GR, AHR, and ASA activities and GSH content in enterocytes. However, Cu induced an adaptive increase in the activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Glu supplementation further increased GPx activity in enterocytes. Interestingly, the experiment in vivo showed that Glu pre-supplementation significantly elevated SOD, GPx, GST, GR, ASA and AHR activities, as well as GSH content. Further results showed that pre-treatment with Glu could alleviate Cu-induced oxidative injury by elevating antioxidant enzyme activities through regulating the expression of NF-E2-related nuclear factor 2 (Nrf2) mRNA. Together, these results indicated that Glu could attenuate Cu-induced cellular oxidative damage in fish intestine, likely mediated through Nrf2 signalling pathways regulating mRNA expressions of antioxidant enzyme genes and synthesis of GSH.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
We investigate the entrainment of liquid films on a partially wetting plate vertically withdrawn from a reservoir of viscous liquid using a combination of diffuse-interface numerical simulation and lubrication analysis. So far available theoretical investigations were commonly conducted by focusing on separate parameter regions, and a complete description of the flow regimes with increasing plate speed is still missing. By solving the full Stokes equations, we present a complete scenario of film transition in the presence of moving contact line. With increasing plate speed, we identify numerically four successive flow regimes in terms of the interfacial morphologies: (1) a stationary meniscus, (2) a speed-independent thick film connected to the liquid bath through a stationary dimple, (3) coexistence of a thick film and the classical Landau–Levich–Derjaguin (LLD) film connected by a propagating capillary shock and (4) a film with a monotonically varying thickness. The characteristics of the film profiles in different regions of the interfaces are analysed with lubrication theory as applicable, and satisfactory agreements with the numerical results are obtained. In particular, we confirm that the onset of film deposition occurs at a vanishing apparent contact angle, consistent with the predictions of lubrication theory. Numerical results suggest that the critical capillary number for the onset of film deposition is smaller than that for the onset of LLD film despite the fact that it is higher than the experimentally observed one, showing that the thick film can be realized in the two-dimensional model. We also demonstrated that the LLD film is triggered by the bifurcation of the stationary dimple, which is found to admit multiple branches of stable and unstable solutions.
Nanocolloidal crystals (NCCs) have promising applications in optical and photonic devices. However, it is critical to mechanically reinforce NCCs for device reliability, since as-synthesized NCCs are fragile due to weak interparticle bonding. Thermal sintering is currently the most common reinforcement technique; however, this method could induce serious cracking and is not suitable for temperature-sensitive materials. In this study, by characterizing silica NCCs reinforced through sintering and alumina atomic layer deposition (ALD), we find that the ALD treatment is much more effective for hardening, stiffening, and more importantly toughening NCCs. Thermally sintered NCCs are prone to indentation-induced cracking due to large residual tensile stress, significantly impairing the toughness. In contrast, the ALD treatment toughens NCCs by much over 300%. Our finding provides insights for reinforcing and toughening various nanoparticle-based and nanoporous materials.