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Identifying the relative importance of urban and non-urban land-use types for potential denitrification derived N2O at a regional scale is critical for quantifying the impacts of human activities on nitrous oxide (N2O) emission under changing environments. In this study we used a regional dataset from China including 197 soil samples and six land-use types to evaluate the main predictors (land use, heavy metals, soil pH, soil moisture, substrate availability, functional and broad microbial abundances) of potential denitrification using multivariate and pathway analysis. Our results provide empirical evidence that soils on farms have the greatest potential denitrifying ability (PDA) (10.92±6.08ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1) followed by urban soil (6.80±5.35ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1). Our models indicate that land use (low vs. high human activity), followed by total nitrogen (TN) and heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd) was the most important driver of PDA. In addition, our path analysis suggests that at least part of the impacts of land use on potential denitrification were mediated via microbial abundance, soil pH and substrates including TN, dissolved organic carbon and nitrate. This study identifies the main predictors of denitrification at a regional scale which is needed to quantify the impact of human activities on ecosystem functionality under changing conditions.
Study of the residues of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) can assist with the assessment of the contamination level, distribution, sources, transportation and trends in these selected OCPs. We investigated the concentration levels of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), chlordane, which is currently used, and the never-used aldrin and dieldrin in the Ningbo region – a heavily industrialised and urbanised area in East China. OCPs were found in all soil samples and were predominantly composed of HCHs, DDT and its metabolites. The concentration of DDTs in the soil ranged from 2.2 to 566.6ngg–1, with a mean value of 55.6±94.8ngg–1, while the concentration of HCHs ranged from 2.7 to 28.2ngg–1, with an average of 4.6±2.9ngg–1. Aldrin, dieldrin, endrin and heptachlor were detected at much lower concentrations. The wide distribution of these never-used OCPs indicates that they have been input via long-range atmospheric processes. The results from analysis suggest that HCHs and DDTs were mainly derived from use in historical times.
In inertial confinement fusion experiments that involve short-laser pulses such as fast ignition (FI), diagnosis of neutrons is usually very challenging because high-intensity γ rays generated by short-laser pulses would mask the much weaker neutron signal. In this paper, fast-response scintillators with low afterglow and gated microchannel plate photomultiplier tubes are combined to build neutron time-of-flight (nTOF) spectrometers for such experiments. Direct-drive implosion experiments of deuterium-gas-filled capsules were performed at the Shenguang-II Upgrade (SG-II-UP) laser facility to study the compressed fuel areal density (〈ρR〉) and evaluate the performance of such nTOF diagnostics. Two newly developed quenched liquid scintillator detectors and a gated ultrafast plastic scintillator detector were used to measure the secondary DT neutrons and primary DD neutrons, respectively. The secondary neutron signals were clearly discriminated from the γ rays from (n, γ) reactions, and the compressed fuel areal density obtained with the yield-ratio method agrees well with the simulations. Additionally, a small scintillator decay tail and a clear DD neutron signal were observed in an integrated FI experiment as a result of the low afterglow of the oxygen-quenched liquid scintillator.
In this paper, the kinematic accuracy problem caused by geometric errors of a 2(3HUS+S) parallel manipulator is described. The kinematic equation of the manipulator is obtained by establishing a D–H (Denavit–Hartenberg) coordinate system. A D–H transformation matrix is used as the error-modeling tool, and the kinematic error model of the manipulator integrating manufacturing and assembly errors is established based on the perturbation theory. The iterative Levenberg–Marquardt algorithm is used to identify the geometric errors in the error model. According to the experimentally measured attitudes, the kinematic calibration process is simulated using MATLAB software. The simulation and experiment results show that the attitude errors of the moving platforms after calibration are reduced compared with before the calibration, and the kinematic accuracy of the manipulator is significantly improved. The correctness and effectiveness of the error model and the kinematic calibration method of the 2(3HUS+S) parallel manipulator for simulation of hip joint motion are verified.
Mammalian neonates undergo rapid transitions from a sterile uterine environment with a continuous intravenous supply of nutrients to a microbe-rich environment with intermittent ingesting of colostrum/milk via the gut. Currently, little is known about the colostrum-induced alterations of intestinal mucosal proteins in piglets with intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR). In this study, we sought to investigate the innate differences and effects of colostrum on alterations in small-intestinal proteomes of IUGR piglets. Two IUGR (approximately 0·9 kg) and two normal-birth weight (NBW; approximately 1·3 kg) piglets were obtained from each of six sows at birth. One half (n 12; 6 IUGR v. 6 NBW) of the selected newborn piglets were killed to obtain jejunum samples, and the other half (n 12; 6 IUGR v. 6 NBW) of the newborn piglets were allowed to suckle colostrum from their own mothers for 24 h before jejunum sample collection. On the basis of proteomic analysis, we identified thirty-one differentially expressed proteins in the jejunal mucosa between IUGR and normal neonates before or after colostrum consumption. The intestinal proteins altered by colostrum feeding play important roles in the following: (1) increasing intestinal integrity, transport of nutrients, energy metabolism, protein synthesis, immune response and, therefore, cell proliferation; and (2) decreasing oxidative stress, and therefore cell apoptosis, in IUGR neonates. However, colostrum only partially ameliorated the inferior status of the jejunal mucosa in IUGR neonates. These findings provide the first evidence in intestinal protein alterations of IUGR neonates in response to colostrum ingestion, and thus render new insights into the mechanisms responsible for impaired growth in IUGR neonates and into new nutritional intervention strategies.
Low-field magnetic stimulation (LFMS) has mood-elevating effect, and the increase of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is associated with antidepressant treatment. We evaluated the effects and association with BDNF of rhythmic LFMS in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).
A total of 22 MDD patients were randomized to rhythmic alpha stimulation (RAS) or rhythmic delta stimulation (RDS), with 5 sessions per week, lasting for 6 weeks. Outcomes assessments included the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD–17), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA), and the Clinical Global Impressions–Severity scale (CGI–S) at baseline and at weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Serum BDNF level was measured at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, and 6.
HAMD–17, HAMA, and CGI–S scores were significantly reduced with both RAS and RDS. RAS patients had numerically greater reductions in HAMD–17 scores than RDS patients (8.9 ± 7.4 vs. 6.2 ± 6.2, effect size [ES]=0.40), while RDS patients had greater improvement in HAMA scores (8.2 ± 8.0 vs. 5.3 ± 5.8, ES=0.42). RAS was associated with clinically relevant advantages in response (54.5% vs. 18.2%, number-needed-to-treat [NNT]=3) and remission (36.4% vs. 9.1%, NNT=4). BDNF increased significantly during the 6-week study period (p<0.05), with greater increases in RAS at weeks 4 and 6 (ES=0.66—0.76) and statistical superiority at week 2 (p=0.034, ES=1.23). Baseline BDNF in the 8 responders (24.8±9.0 ng/ml) was lower than in the 14 nonresponders (31.1±7.3 ng/ml, p=0.083, ES=–0.79), and BDNF increased more in responders (8.9±7.8 ng/ml) than in nonresponders (1.8±3.5 ng/ml, p=0.044). The change in BDNF at week 2 was the most strongly predicted response (p=0.016).
Rhythmic LFMS was effective for MDD. BDNF may moderate/mediate the efficacy of LFMS.
The prevalence of CHD has been well described worldwide except in Tibet. This study aimed to illustrate the prevalence and composition of CHD in Tibetan children according to altitude.
Methods and results
In the first part, we prospectively recruited 7088 unselected Tibetan children (4–17 years) from south-west Tibet. The total prevalence of CHD increased from 4.6/1000 below 4200 m to 13.4/1000 above 4700 m, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.3:3.1. The total prevalence and female prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus increased more than 10-fold. Females living above 4700 m had exceptionally high prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (14.9/1000). The prevalence of atrial septal defect was comparable among different altitudes (3.3–3.8/1000). The prevalence of ventricular septal defect was 1.3/1000 below 4700 m, and no cases were found above this altitude. In the second part, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 383 CHD children in Tibet and 73 children at lower altitudes. The percentage of isolated ventricular septal defect decreased from 54.8 to 3.1%, and the percentage of isolated patent ductus arteriosus increased from 8.2 to 68.4% with elevation. Children living below 4200 m (10.4–13.7%) had a larger proportion of complex CHD than those above this altitude (2.0–3.1%). Of the 20 Tibetan children with complex CHD, 14 (70.0%) lived below 4200 m.
A wide variation in CHD prevalence and composition existed in Tibetan children among different altitudes.
This paper gives analysis of a semi-discrete scheme using equal order interpolation to solve unsteady Navier-Stokes equations. A unified pressure stabilized term is added to our scheme. We proved the uniform error estimates with respect to the Reynolds number, provided the exact solution is smooth.
The present study was performed to identify the genotype of a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy family and investigate the clinicopathogenic characteristics and prognostic features of relevant genetic abnormalities. Target sequence capture sequencing was performed to screen for pathogenic alleles in a 32-year-old female patient (proband). Sanger sequencing was carried out to verify the results. Sanger sequencing was also performed on other family members to identify allele carriers. A survival analysis was carried out using published literature and our findings. We found that the proband and her son harboured a Gly716Arg sequence variant of the β-myosin heavy chain. Neither the proband’s father nor the mother were carriers of this sequence variant; thus, the mutation was classified as “de novo”. Further survival analysis revealed that female patients appear to have a longer life expectancy compared with males. Our study may provide an effective approach for the genetic diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
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.
The microstructural evolution of spray-formed high speed steel during hot deformation was investigated as well as the effects of spray forming parameters on the porosity formation. Four distinct zones are identified in the as-deposited material, and interstitial porosity is present in the bottom and peripheral zones, while gas-related porosity is mainly found in the central zone. It can keep the porosity at a minimum value by using the optimum parameters, e.g., the average porosity of central zone is 3.7% for a superheat of 170 °C and a gas-to-metal flow rate of 0.7. During hot deformation at 1150 °C, the amount of porosity can be obviously decreased by increasing the height reduction which also plays a key role in breaking up eutectic carbides. The critical height reduction for the breakdown of the eutectic carbides is 50%, the dominant mechanism being mechanical fragmentation.
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.
Crack propagation behaviors in a precracked single crystal Ag under mode I loading at different temperatures are studied by molecular dynamics simulation. The simulation results show that the crack propagation behaviors are sensitive to external temperature. At 0 K, the crack propagates in a brittle manner. Crack tip blunting and void generation are first observed followed by void growth and linkage with the main crack, which lead to the propagation of the main crack and brittle failure immediately without any microstructure evolution. As the temperature gets higher, more void nucleations and dislocation emissions occur in the crack propagation process. The deformation of the single crystal Ag can be considered as plastic deformation due to dislocation emissions. The crack propagation dynamics characterizing the microstructure evolution of atoms around the crack tip is also shown. Finally, it is shown that the stress of the single crystal Ag changes with the crack length synchronously.
Most idiopathic right ventricular tachycardias originate from the outflow tract. We present a case series of idiopathic incessant ventricular tachycardia arising from unusual sites of the right ventricle in children, which were well resolved by catheter ablation.
A retrospective review was performed of all three patients who underwent ablation of idiopathic ventricular tachycardia below the level of the right ventricular outflow tract using three-dimensional mapping in our institute.
All three patients presented with tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy due to incessant ventricular tachycardia on first admission. The sites of successful ablation were at the proximal right bundle branch, distal right bundle branch, and apex of the right ventricle, respectively. No complications occurred, and there has been no recurrence of ventricular tachycardia after the final ablation at an average follow-up period of 9 months. All three patients have achieved normalisation of left ventricular size and systolic function.
Incessant idiopathic ventricular tachycardia originating from unusual sites of the right ventricle in children, resulting in significant symptoms and impaired ventricular function, can be successfully treated with catheter ablation.
A defect in the intestinal barrier is one of the characteristics of Crohn's disease (CD). The tight junction (TJ) changes and death of epithelial cells caused by intestinal inflammation play an important role in the development of CD. DHA, a long-chain PUFA, has been shown to be helpful in treating inflammatory bowel disease in experimental models by inhibiting the NF-κB pathway. The present study aimed at investigating the specific effect of DHA on the intestinal barrier function in IL-10-deficient mice. IL-10-deficient mice (IL-10− / −) at 16 weeks of age with established colitis were treated with DHA (i.g. 35·5 mg/kg per d) for 2 weeks. The severity of their colitis, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, epithelial gene expression, the distributions of TJ proteins (occludin and zona occludens (ZO)-1), and epithelial apoptosis in the proximal colon were measured at the end of the experiment. DHA treatment attenuated the established colitis and was associated with reduced infiltration of inflammatory cells in the colonic mucosa, lower mean histological scores and decreased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-17, TNF-α and interferon-γ). Moreover, enhanced barrier function was observed in the DHA-treated mice that resulted from attenuated colonic permeability, rescued expression and corrected distributions of occludin and ZO-1. The results of the present study indicate that DHA therapy may ameliorate experimental colitis in IL-10− / − mice by improving the intestinal epithelial barrier function.
The shift-and-invert Arnoldi method is a most effective approach to compute a few eigenpairs of a large non-Hermitian Toeplitz matrix pencil, where the Gohberg-Semencul formula can be used to obtain the Toeplitz inverse. However, two large non-Hermitian Toeplitz systems must be solved in the first step of this method, and the cost becomes prohibitive if the desired accuracy for this step is high — especially for some ill-conditioned problems. To overcome this difficulty, we establish a relationship between the errors in solving these systems and the residual of the Toeplitz eigenproblem. We consequently present a practical stopping criterion for their numerical solution, and propose an inexact shift-and-invert Arnoldi algorithm for the generalised Toeplitz eigenproblem. Numerical experiments illustrate our theoretical results and demonstrate the efficiency of the new algorithm.
The high repetition rate 10 J/10 ns Yb:YAG laser system and its key techniques are reported. The amplifiers in this system have a multi-pass V-shape structure and the heat in the amplifiers is removed by means of laminar water flow. In the main amplifier, the laser is four-pass, and an approximately 8.5 J/1 Hz/10 ns output is achieved in the primary test. The far-field of the output beam is approximately 10 times the diffraction limit. Because of the higher levels of amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) in the main amplifier, the output energy is lower than expected. At the end we discuss some measures that can improve the properties of the laser system.
Nanowires have attracted tremendous research interests due to their potential applications. Their mechanical properties are critical for the reliability and durability of the nanowire-based devices. Compared to many other characterization techniques, the lateral probing of a nanowire using nanoindentation has the advantage of relatively simple sample preparation. However, the data analysis is difficult due to the complex contact mechanics. In all previous studies, some questionable approximations have been made to proceed with data analysis. In this study, a quantitative physical picture of nanowire lateral probing is proposed, which we believe is the first time in the literature. Three-dimensional finite element analysis (FEA) is performed and compared to a double-contact analytical model in which the two contacts, namely contact 1 (indenter/nanowire) and contact 2 (nanowire/substrate), are considered. Both the FEA and analytical models are for a specific case: an elastic spherical indention of a GaN nanowire on a Si substrate. We find that contact 1 cannot be well approximated by a Hertzian elliptical contact as assumed in many studies. We also find a large contact deformation at contact 2, which has been ignored in almost all previous studies. Finally, the adhesion condition and nanowire-receding at contact 2 are found to have insignificant effects on the data analysis.
Interoperability of GNSS Open Services is a significant trend in the development of all the satellite navigation systems, and its performance will directly affect the users' security and reliability. Therefore, the monitoring and assessment of GNSS Open Services has become a focus of attention for all providers and users of GNSS. In this paper the elements and methods for the monitoring and assessment of GNSS Open Services are investigated first. Then the schemes designed for an international GNSS Monitoring and Assessment System (iGMAS) are proposed. The schemes are based on omni-directional antennas, multi-beam antennas and a high-gain paraboloid antenna to achieve Quadruple-overlap and Single-overlap coverage and sophisticated analysis respectively. Moreover, the scheme for the deployment of world-wide monitoring stations is also proposed. Finally, some related works that have been conducted to monitor and assess Beidou Open Services are introduced, which verifies the feasibility of the proposed system.
Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells are vital for retinal health. However, they are susceptible to injury with ageing and exposure to excessive light, including UV (100–380 nm) and visible (380–760 nm) radiation. To evaluate the protective effect of blueberry anthocyanins on RPE cells, in vitro cell models of replicative senescent and light-induced damage were established in the present study. After purification and fractionation, blueberry anthocyanin extracts (BAE) were yielded with total anthocyanin contents of 31·0 (sd 0·5) % and were used in this study. Replicative senescence of RPE cells was induced by repeatedly passaging cells from the fourth passage to the tenth. From the fifth passage, cultured RPE cells began to enter a replicative senescence, exhibiting reduced cell proliferation along with an increase in the number of β-galactosidase-positive cells. RPE cells maintained high cell viability (P < 0·01) and a low (P < 0·01) percentage of β-galactosidase-positive cells when treated with 0·1 μg/ml BAE. In contrast, after exposure to 2500 (sd 500) lx light (420–800 nm) for 12 h, RPE cells in the positive control (light exposure, no BAE treatment) exhibited premature senescence, low (P < 0·01) cell viability and increased (P < 0·01) vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) release compared with negative control cells, which were not subjected to light irradiation and BAE exposure. Correspondingly, BAE is beneficial to RPE cells by protecting these cells against light-induced damage through the suppression of ageing and apoptosis as well as the down-regulation of the over-expressed VEGF to normal level. These results demonstrate that BAE is efficacious against senescence and light-induced damage of RPE cells.