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Evaluation of Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se in humans is challenged by the potentially high within-individual variability of these elements in biological specimens, which are poorly characterised. This study aimed to evaluate their within-day, between-day and between-month variability in spot samples, first-morning voids and 24-h collections. A total of 529 spot urine samples (including eighty-eight first-morning voids and 24-h collections) were collected from eleven Chinese adult men on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 30, 60 and 90 and analysed for these five elements using inductively coupled plasma-MS. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were utilised to characterise the reproducibility, and their sensitivity and specificity were analysed to assess how well a single measurement classified individuals’ 3-month average exposures. Serial measurements of Zn in spot samples exhibited fair to good reproducibility (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·47) over five consecutive days, which became poor when the samples were gathered months apart (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·33). The reproducibility of Cr, Mn, Fe and Se in spot samples was poor over periods ranging from days to months (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·01–0·12). Two spot samples were sufficient for classifying 60 % of the men who truly had the highest (top 33 %) 3-month average Zn concentrations; for Cr, Mn, Fe and Se, however, at least three specimens were required to achieve similar sensitivities. In conclusion, urinary Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se concentrations showed a strong within-individual variability, and a single measurement is not enough to efficiently characterise individuals’ long-term exposures.
Recently, we introduced an epoxy group to mebendazole by a reaction with epichlorohydrin and obtained two isoforms, mebendazole C1 (M-C1) and mebendazole C2 (M-C2). The in vitro effects of mebendazole derivatives at different concentrations on Echinococcus multilocularis protoscoleces and metacestodes as well as cytotoxicity in rat hepatoma (RH) cells were examined. The results demonstrated that the solubility of the two derivatives was greatly improved compared to mebendazole. The mortality of protoscoleces in vitro reached to 70–80% after 7 days of exposure to mebendazole or M-C2, and M-C2 showed higher parasiticidal effects than mebendazole (P > 0.05). The parasiticidal effect of M-C1 was low, even at a concentration of 30 µm. The percentage of damaged metacestodes that were treated with mebendazole and M-C2 in vitro at different concentrations were similar, and M-C1 exhibited insignificant effects on metacestodes. Significant morphological changes on protoscoleces and metacestodes were observed after treatment with mebendazole and M-C2. In addition, the introduction of an epoxy group to mebendazole also reduced its cytotoxicity in RH cells. Our results demonstrate that the introduction of an epoxy group not only improved the solubility of mebendazole, but also increased its parasiticidal effects on E. multilocularis and reduced its cytotoxicity in RH cells.
The solute equilibrium partition coefficients (ki) of C, Si, Mn, P, and S in high sulfur steel during the solidification process were investigated by the thermodynamic calculation. The effect of MnS precipitation on ki was explored. The results showed that the precipitation of MnS inclusion would influence the concentrations of solutes Mn and S, leading to the changing of ki. Due to the precipitation of MnS, the kC and kS decreased first and then increased with temperature decreasing, while kSi, kMn, and kP changed monotonously. The impacts of solidification temperature on kSi and kMn were greater than that on kC, kS, and kP. With the increase of S content, kC, kSi, and kP increased while kMn and kS decreased. Whereas, an opposite effect was found with the increase of Mn content. The order of influence extent by S and Mn contents was kSi > kS > kMn > kC > kP.
Centerline segregation is one of the typical internal defects, which occurs during slab continuous casting (CC). To investigate and predict the centerline segregation encountered in a continuously cast slab, a combined 3-D and 2-D hybrid simulation model for centerline segregation was developed. The average deviation between the calculated and experimented results reaches as low as 0.5%, which demonstrates that the hybrid simulation model has relatively high reliability. The centerline segregation of the slab was predicted accurately. The results show that macrosegregation occurring during the slab CC process has heredity. In the casting direction, the concentration of solutes in the liquid pool increases gradually until the casting has solidified completely. After complete solidification, the solutes’ concentration maintains an almost constant value. On the centerline, the maximum segregation degree occurs at a position roughly 614 mm from the slab center. The maximum centerline segregation degrees of C, Si, Mn, P, and S solutes are 1.163, 1.058, 1.045, 1.111, and 1.165, respectively.
Ytterbium-doped fibers have become the optimum gain media of high-power fiber lasers thanks to a simple energy structure, which strongly reduces the excited state absorption, and a low quantum defect and a high optic–optic conversion efficiency, which means the low thermal load. In this paper, we take a review of the current state of the art in terms of
doped fibers for high-power fiber lasers, including the development of the fabrication techniques. The research work to overcome the challenges for
doped fibers, which affect the stability of output power and beam quality, will be demonstrated. Direction of further research is presented and the goal is to look for a fiber design, to boost single fiber output power, stabilize the laser power and support robust single-mode operation.
To investigate the solute transport and redistribution in the slab continuous casting processes of high sulfur steel, a three-dimensional model coupling turbulent flow, heat and solute transportation was developed. And then a thermodynamic model for MnS precipitation was established to study the MnS precipitation and distribution in strand on a macroscale and its effect on solute macrosegregation was also explored. The results showed that the temperature and solutes concentration were the main factors for the precipitation of MnS. The effect of temperature was significant when the solid fraction was greater than 0.8. Due to the precipitation of MnS, the segregation ratio of solutes Mn and S on the center line declined from 1.05–1.15 to 0.97–1.01 and from 1.2–1.45 to 1.00–1.08, respectively. And the solute concentration of Mn and S declined and distributed more uniformly in the strand, and the macrosegregation of Mn and S was also suppressed greatly.
Bullying is a common problem in school. Engagement in bullying has been known to have many adverse effects, even including suicide. Examining which factor will moderate or mediate the pathway from victimisation to suicidal ideation is needed to develop effective intervention initiatives. This study aimed to examine the mediator and moderator roles of perceived social support in the relationship between victimisation and suicidal ideation. The participants in the study were 946 Chinese adolescents (402 girls, 544 boys) who ranged in age from 11 to 16 years old. The results showed that 48.1% of these adolescents reported being bullied in school. Victimisation was positively correlated with suicidal ideation. There was evidence that perceived social support buffered, as well as partially mediated, the relationship between victimisation and suicidal ideation. Results suggest that helping students to seek more support from their parents and peers may be an effective bullying intervention program.
The current study investigated the moderating effects of gender, age, and weight status on the relationship between body dissatisfaction and depression among adolescents. Data were collected on body dissatisfaction, depression, and demographic characteristics from a convenience sample of 1,101 adolescents (505 girls, 596 boys). The relationship between body dissatisfaction and depression differed significantly by weight status (β = −0.318, p < .01), but not gender or age. In addition, their association varied across weight status only in males (βs = 0.501, 0.240, and 0.178 for underweight, normal weight, and overweight respectively, ps < .05) and the early adolescence group (βs = 0.523, 0.282, 0.297 for underweight, normal weight, and overweight respectively, ps < .01). The findings indicated that the association of body dissatisfaction with depression was significant among nearly all weight-status groups of adolescents, and varied across weight status among males and early adolescence groups. This suggests that the prevention programs that aim to reduce depression by reducing body dissatisfaction in adolescents should include all weight-status groups, and pay close attention to underweight adolescents (especially underweight boys and early adolescents who are underweight).
Neurosyphilis (NS) may present with neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive impairment, personality disorders, and confusion, among others. Very few studies have focused on neuropsychiatric disorders secondary to NS in elderly people.
A retrospective chart review was performed to characterize the psychiatric findings, clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory findings, and brain magnetic resonance imaging results of ten elderly inpatients with NS.
In these ten patients, the most common presenting symptoms included a wide variety of psychiatric manifestations. The serum rapid plasma regain (RPR) and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay (TPPA) of the ten patients were positive, with positive CSF TPPA and RPR rates of 100% and 60%, respectively. In addition, 90% of the patients demonstrated abnormal imaging, including cerebral atrophy, infarct ischemic stroke, and hydrocephalus.
Our findings support the importance of serological tests for syphilis as a routine component of the evaluation of patients with clinically evident neurological or psychiatric symptoms. If the serology is positive, all of the patients should be examined with a lumbar puncture. Moreover, psychiatric illnesses secondary to NS in the elderly also deserve medical attention.
Management scholars and practitioners emphasize the importance of the size and diversity of a knowledge worker's social network. Constraints on knowledge workers' time and energy suggest that more is not always better. Further, why and how larger networks contribute to valuable outcomes deserves further understanding. In this study, we offer hypotheses to shed insight on the question of the diminishing returns of large networks and the specific form of network diversity that may contribute to innovative performance among knowledge workers. We tested our hypotheses using data collected from 93 R&D engineers in a Sino-German automobile electronics company located in China. Study findings identified an inflection point, confirming our hypothesis that the size of the knowledge worker's egocentric network has an inverted U-shaped effect on job performance. We further demonstrate that network dispersion richness (the number of cohorts that the focal employee has connections to) rather than network dispersion evenness (equal distribution of ties across the cohorts) has more influence on the knowledge worker's job performance. Additionally, we found that the curvilinear effect of network size is fully mediated by network dispersion richness. Implications for future research on social networks in China and Western contexts are discussed.
We performed polarization sensitive VLBI observations of 6.7 GHz methanol masers toward high-mass young stellar objects with clear outflow seen from Spitzer IRAC images in the 4.5 μm band (i.e. EGOs, see Cyganowski et al. 2008) with the EVN to investigate the birthplace of the masers. By comparing direction of the major axis of methanol maser distributions with directions of higher resolution outflow and magnetic field vector, we suggest that the methanol masers toward source G28.83-0.25 may arise from surrounding disk.
The goal of this project was to determine whether the originating strain of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells affects the maintenance of their pluripotency under uniform culture conditions. ES cells from two strains of mice, E14 and C2J, were tested. Both ES cell lines were cultured in KOSR + 2i medium and then injected into C57BL/6J blastocysts. Our results demonstrate that this medium could support both E14 and C2J ES cells to keep their pluripotency, though E14 ES cells were found to have a higher chimeric rate than C2J ES cells. However, analysis by backcrossing revealed that C2J and E14 ES cells have the same ability for germline transmission. Our results demonstrate that ES cells derived from E14 and C2J cells have the same capacity for germline transmission when injected into C57BL/6J blastocysts; however, due to the limitation of mixed genetic background between E14 cells and host C57BL/6J embryos, C2J ES cells are preferable to E14 ES cells for use in gene-targeting and should become the cell line of choice for the generation of genetically engineered mutant mouse lines.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of osteopontin neutralization treatment on schistosome-induced liver injury in BALB/C mice. We randomly divided 100 BALB/C mice into groups A, B, C, D and group E. Mice in all groups except group A were abdominally infected with schistosomal cercariae to induce a schistosomal hepatopathological model. Mice in group C, D and group E were respectively administered with praziquantel, praziquantel plus colchicine and praziquantel plus neutralizing osteopontin antibody. We extracted mouse liver tissues at 3 and 9 weeks after the ‘stool-eggs-positive’ day, observed liver histopathological changes by haematoxylin-eosin and Masson trichrome staining and detected the expression of osteopontin, alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β1) by immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and Western blot. We found that praziquantel plus neutralizing osteopontin antibody treatment significantly decreased the granuloma dimension, the percentage of collagen and the expression of osteopontin, α-SMA and TGF-β1 compared to praziquantel plus colchicine treatment in both the acute and chronic stage of schistosomal liver damage (P<0·05). So we believe that the combined regimen of osteopontin immunoneutralization and anti-helminthic treatment can reduce the granulomatous response and liver fibrosis during the schistosomal hepatopathologic course.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the impacts of n-3 PUFA and lymph drainage (D) on intestinal ischaemia–reperfusion (I/R) injury in rats. A total of forty-eight Sprague–Dawley male rats were randomly divided into three groups (n 16): normal diet (N), enteral nutrition (EN) and EN plus n-3 PUFA. Each group was further divided into lymph drainage (I/R+D) and non-drainage (I/R) sub-groups (n 8). After 5 d with different nutrition regimens, the rats were subjected to 60 min ischaemia by clamping the superior mesenteric artery, followed by 120 min reperfusion. At the same time, the rats in the I/R+D sub-groups were treated with intestinal lymph drainage for 180 min. Organs were harvested and we detected the cytokine, endotoxin, and expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 mRNA and its endogenous ligand high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1). We found that the serum levels of HMGB1, inflammatory cytokine and endotoxin in the three I/R+D sub-groups were significantly lower than those in the N (I/R) and EN (I/R) sub-groups (P < 0·05). The activation of NF-κB and the expression of HMGB1 and TLR4 mRNA significantly increased in the jejunum, ileum, liver and lung after intestinal I/R injury, but notably lower in the I/R+D groups than those in I/R (P < 0·05). The injury degree and HMGB1 expression were decreased in the n-3 PUFA group than in the N and EN groups. We preliminarily concluded that nutrition with n-3 PUFA and/or intestinal lymph drainage may reduce HMGB1 and inflammatory cytokine in serum and lymph and inhibit the expression and signal transmission of TLR4 mRNA, thereby alleviating intestinal I/R injury in rats.
The shapes of the interfacial delamination crack and stress states during wedge indentation in a soft-film-on-hard-substrate system were investigated systematically using the three-dimensional (3D) finite element simulation and wedge indentation experiment. In the simulation, a traction–separation law was used to characterize the failure behaviors of the interface. The effects of the wedge indenter tip length and the film thickness on the onset and growth of interfacial delamination were analyzed. It was shown that a two-dimensional (2D) to 3D transition of stress states occurred depending on the ratio of indenter length to film thickness. Furthermore, the interfacial delamination process by wedge indentation was conducted experimentally, and comparisons between the computational and experimental results yielded quantitative good agreement. Finally, a straightforward criterion based on the curvature of the delamination crack front was proposed to indicate the transition of stress states during the interfacial delamination. A guideline was therefore proposed to classify the 2D and 3D stress states for extracting the interface adhesion properties.
In this paper we study optimal control computation based on the control parameterization method for a class of optimal control problems involving nonlinear systems with multiple time delays subject to continuous state inequality constraints. Both the state and the control are allowed to have different time delays, and they are uncorrelated in this system. The control of the dynamical system is approximated by a piecewise constant function whose heights are taken as decision vectors. The formulae for computing the gradients of the cost and constraint functions are then derived. Based on this, a computational method for finding the optimal control is developed by utilizing the Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) algorithm with an active set strategy. The computational method is applied to an industrial problem arising in the purification process of zinc hydrometallurgy. Numerical simulation shows that the amount of zinc powder that is needed can be decreased significantly, thus avoiding wastage of resources.
Research was conducted to establish a method to investigate the resistance level of flixweed to tribenuron-methyl and the evolved biochemical resistance mechanism. Four resistant biotypes were collected from wheat fields in Mazhuangcun, Jiacun, Dishangcun, and Bafangcun in the Hebei province of China where tribenuron-methyl had been continuously used for more than 10 yr. Two susceptible biotypes were collected from wheat fields where tribenuron-methyl was never applied. Different biotypes were assessed by petri-dish bioassay, whole-plant bioassay, and acetolactate synthase (ALS) assay. Comparisons of data indicated a similarity between methods and that experiments demonstrated that petri-dish bioassay was a feasible method to identify flixweed resistant to tribenuron-methyl. Data indicated differences among the flixweed biotypes when assessed by the petri-dish bioassay, whole-plant bioassay, or ALS enzyme assay, and a close association was obtained for the three bioassay methods. ALS resistance varied by biotypes with Mazhuangcun > Jiacun > Dishangcun > Bafangcun. Target-site enzyme assay data indicated that the resistant biotype's enhanced ALS activity was the biochemical mechanism that induced flixweed's evolved resistance to tribenuron-methyl. The concentrations of tribenuron-methyl causing 50% inhibition of ALS activity of the four resistant biotypes were 1,359, 513, 184, and 164 nM; in the susceptible biotypes these concentrations were 64 and 65 nM. Resistance indexes were 21, 8, 3, and 3 for Mazhuangcun, Jiacun, Dishangcun, and Bafangcun biotypes, respectively.
Photosynthetic responses of 12 species including six fern species (Neottopteris nidus, Microsorum punctatum, Pseudodrynaria coronans, Asplenium finlaysonianum, Paraleptochilus decurrens and Tectaria fauriei) and seedlings of six fig species (Ficus curtipes, F. gibbosa, F. altissima, F. auriculata, F. oligodon and F. hookeriana) in different life forms to lightfleck were investigated, to test whether epiphytes and hemiepiphytes display a slower response to lightfleck and fast induction loss after a lightfleck compared with their terrestrial counterparts, and whether ferns display a slower response to lightfleck and slower induction loss compared to figs. The measurements of functional traits and physiological parameters were determined in a screenhouse of 4% full sunlight. Epiphytic ferns and hemiepiphytic figs had thicker leaves compared with their terrestrial counterparts. Compared with figs, ferns had thicker fronds, larger stomata with a low density, and lower stomatal conductance and photosynthetic capacity; ferns had lower light compensation point and dark respiration rate, conferring a positive carbon gain under low diffuse light beneath the canopy. The induction time to reach 90% maximum net photosynthetic rate (T90) upon the exposure to a saturated light varied strongly among life forms. Epiphytic ferns had slower T90 than terrestrial ferns (19.9–26.3 vs 5.9–16.3 min, respectively), and hemiepiphytic figs had slower T90 than terrestrial figs (13.1–20.4 vs 5.2–7.8 min, respectively). Compared with figs, ferns showed a slower response to lightfleck. Across ferns and figs, the induction time was negatively correlated with initial stomatal conductance. No significant difference in induction loss was found between two life forms within ferns or figs, whereas ferns had a significantly slower induction loss compared with figs. These results showed that the inherent conservative water use strategy of the epiphytes and hemiepiphytes constrain their lightfleck utilization.