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Sufficient protein intake has been suggested to be important for preventing physical frailty, but studies show conflicting results which may be explained because not all studies address protein source and intake of other macronutrients and total energy. Therefore, we studied 2504 subjects with data on diet and physical frailty, participating in a large population-based prospective cohort among subjects aged 45+ years (the Rotterdam Study). Dietary intake was assessed with a FFQ. Frailty was defined according to the frailty phenotype as the presence of at least three out of the following five symptoms: weight loss, low physical activity, weakness, slowness and fatigue. We used multinomial logistic regression models to evaluate the independent association between protein intake and frailty using two methods: nutrient residual models and energy decomposition models. With every increase in 10 g total, plant or animal protein per d, the odds to be frail were 1·06 (95 % CI 0·98, 1·15), 0·87 (95 % CI 0·71, 1·07) and 1·07 (95 % CI 0·99, 1·15), respectively, using the nutrient residual method. Using the energy partition model, we observed that the odds to be frail were lower with higher vegetable protein intake (OR per 418·4 kJ (100 kcal): 0·61, 95 % CI 0·39, 0·97), however, results disappeared when adjusting for physical activity. For energy intake from any source we observed that with every 418·4 kJ (100 kcal) increase, the odds to be frail were 5 % lower (OR: 0·95, 95 % CI 0·93, 0·97). Our results suggest that energy intake, but not protein specifically, is associated with less frailty. Considering other macronutrients, physical activity and diet quality seems to be essential for future studies on protein and frailty.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
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.
Plant height and lodging resistance can affect rice yield significantly, but these traits have always conflicted in crop cultivation and breeding. The current study aimed to establish a rapid and accurate plant type evaluation mechanism to provide a basis for breeding tall but lodging-resistant super rice varieties. A comprehensive approach integrating plant anatomy and histochemistry was used to investigate variations in flexural strength (a material property, defined as the stress in a material just before it yields in a flexure test) of the rice stem and the lodging index of 15 rice accessions at different growth stages to understand trends in these parameters and the potential factors influencing them. Rice stem anatomical structure was observed and the lignin content the cell wall was determined at different developmental stages. Three rice lodging evaluation models were established using correlation analysis, multivariate regression and artificial radial basis function (RBF) neural network analysis, and the results were compared to identify the most suitable model for predicting optimal rice plant types. Among the three evaluation methods, the mean residual and relative prediction errors were lowest using the RBF network, indicating that it was highly accurate and robust and could be used to establish a mathematical model of the morphological characteristics and lodging resistance of rice to identify optimal varieties.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
Field surveys indicate that host population size, rather than density, is the most important determinant of monogenean infection dynamics. To verify this prediction, epidemic parameters were monitored for 70 days at five host population sizes held at constant density using a goldfish – Gyrodactylus kobayashii laboratory model. During the first 20 days, the rate of increase of prevalence and mean abundance was faster in small host populations. Total mean prevalence and total mean abundance throughout the experiment were not significantly affected by host population sizes. Higher transmission rates were detected in larger host populations. However, there were no significant differences in effective contact rates among the five host populations on each sampling day during the first 20 days, implying that contact rates may be saturated at a sufficiently high host density. These results demonstrate that the epidemic occurs more quickly in smaller host populations at the beginning of the experiment. However, the epidemic is independent of the host population size due to the similar effective contact rates in the five population sizes. Significant negative influence of the initial body condition (Kn) of uninfected goldfish on total mean abundance of parasites suggests that susceptibility of hosts is also a determinant of parasite transmission.
Lutein, a fat-soluble carotenoid with antioxidant properties, may have an effect on respiratory health. However, the evidence is inconsistent. We aimed to cross-sectionally investigate the association between lutein intake and lung function by measuring forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC) and FEV1/FVC% in adults (aged 45–79 years). We included 4402 participants from the Rotterdam Study, a prospective cohort study in The Netherlands. Lutein intake was assessed using a validated FFQ. Lung function was assessed using spirometry around the same time point as the dietary assessment. No independent association was found between lutein intake and FEV1 (−12·17 (95 % CI −34·21, 9·87) ml per sd increase in lutein) after adjustment for age, sex, height, cohort effect, ethnicity, education, weight, total daily energy intake, smoking status, physical activity, and intakes of fatty acids, dietary fibre, alcohol, β-carotene, β-crypotoxanthin, lycopene and zeaxanthin. There was also no association between lutein and FVC or FEV1/FVC%. However, after stratification by smoking status, lutein intake was significantly associated with lower FEV1/FVC% in current smokers (−1·69 (95 % CI −2·93, −0·45) % per sd increase of lutein) independent of other carotenoids. The present study does not support an independent association between lutein intake and lung function in adults. However, future studies should focus on the potential inverse association between high lutein intake and lung function in specific risk groups such as smokers.
The composite Li-ion battery anode material of Fe2SiO4, Fe3O4, Fe3C (Fe-Si-O) and carbon nanotubes was prepared by a simple one-step reaction between ferrocene and tetraethyl orthosilicate. When cycled at 100 mA g-1, this material exhibited ever-increasing capacities and reached 588 mAh g-1 at the 280th cycle. At 500 mA g-1, a reversible capacity of 350 mAh g-1 was retained for 600 cycles. Compared with Fe3O4 materials, the Fe-Si-O/CNT exhibited superior long-term high-rate performance, which could mainly result from its enhanced stability and conductivities by introducing silicates and CNTs during the one-step synthesis.
Trace elements in ice samples taken from Law Dome, Antarctica, were analysed using an instrumental neutron-activation analysis technique. A Jupiter multichannel analyser-computer system coupled to a Ge(Li) detector was used for the acquisition of γ-spectra and for data reduction. “Blanks” in water and in nitric acid, which were used in pre-concentration and sample transfer, were also analysed. To check the validity of this analytical procedure, a U.S. Environment Protection Agency water standard for trace elements was also analysed. The observed values agreed with the certified values.
The results (in ppb) of eight elements are:
Na 209 Mn 0.42 Mg 26 Fe 14
Sc 0.0017 Co 0.028 Al 9.6 Se 0.02
The enrichment factors for these eight elements relative to the Earth’s crust were calculated. These elements can be subdivided into three groups or sources according to their enrichment factors. The variations of elemental concentrations with depth show no positive tendency towards a systematic increase or decrease over the past 5000 years.
Trace elements in ice samples taken from Law Dome, Antarctica, were analysed, using an instrumental neutron-activation analysis technique. A Jupiter multichannel analyser-computer system coupled to a Ge(Li) detector was used for the acquisition of γ-spectra, and for data reduction. “Blanks” in water and in nitric acid, which were used in pre-concentration and sample transfer, were also analysed. To check the validity of this analytical procedure, a U.S. Environment Protection Agency water standard for trace elements was analysed. The observed values agreed with the certified values.
The results (in ppb) of eight elements are:
The enrichment factors for these eight elements relative to the Earth's crust were calculated. These elements can be subdivided into three groups or sources according to their enrichment factors. The variations in elemental concentrations with depth show no positive tendency towards a systematic increase or decrease over the past 5000 years.
Volumetric atrophy and microstructural alterations in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures of the hippocampus have been reported in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, no study to date has jointly investigated concomitant microstructural and volumetric changes of the hippocampus in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
A total of 84 subjects (23 MCI, 17 DLB, 14 AD, and 30 healthy controls) were recruited for a multi-modal imaging (3T MRI and DTI) study that included neuropsychological evaluation. Freesurfer was used to segment the total hippocampus and delineate its subfields. The hippocampal segmentations were co-registered to the mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) maps obtained from the DTI images.
Both AD and MCI groups showed significantly smaller hippocampal volumes compared to DLB and controls, predominantly in the CA1 and subiculum subfields. Compared to controls, hippocampal MD was elevated in AD, but not in MCI. DLB was characterized by both volumetric and microstructural preservation of the hippocampus. In MCI, higher hippocampal MD was associated with greater atrophy of the hippocampus and CA1 region. Hippocampal volume was a stronger predictor of memory scores compared to MD within the MCI group.
Through a multi-modal integration, we report novel evidence that the hippocampus in DLB is characterized by both macrostructural and microstructural preservation. Contrary to recent suggestions, our findings do not support the view that DTI measurements of the hippocampus are superior to volumetric changes in characterizing group differences, particularly between MCI and controls.
We studied neuroinflammation in individuals with late-life, depression, as a
risk factor for dementia, using [11C]PK11195 positron emission
tomography (PET). Five older participants with major depression and 13
controls underwent PET and multimodal 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
with blood taken to measure C-reactive protein (CRP). We found significantly
higher CRP levels in those with late-life depression and raised
[11C]PK11195 binding compared with controls in brain regions
associated with depression, including subgenual anterior cingulate cortex,
and significant hippocampal subfield atrophy in cornu ammonis 1 and
subiculum. Our findings suggest neuroinflammation requires further
investigation in late-life depression, both as a possible aetiological
factor and a potential therapeutic target.
The spoon-billed sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a Critically Endangered shorebird that breeds in the Russian arctic and winters in coastal and estuarine habitats in South-east Asia. We report the first formal estimate of its global population size, combining a mark–resighting estimate of the number of leg-flagged individuals alive in autumn 2014 with an estimate of the proportion of birds with flags from scan surveys conducted during the same period at a migration stop-over site on the Jiangsu coast of China. We estimate that the world breeding population of spoon-billed sandpipers in 2014 was 210–228 pairs and the post-breeding population of all age classes combined was 661–718 individuals. This and related methods have considerable potential for surveillance of the population size of other globally threatened species, especially widely dispersed long-distance migrants.
In this paper, the recent studies of laboratory astrophysics with strong magnetic fields in China have been reviewed. On the Shenguang-II laser facility of the National Laboratory on High-Power Lasers and Physics, a laser-driven strong magnetic field up to 200 T has been achieved. The experiment was performed to model the interaction of solar wind with dayside magnetosphere. Also the low beta plasma magnetic reconnection (MR) has been studied. Theoretically, the model has been developed to deal with the atomic structures and processes in strong magnetic field. Also the study of shock wave generation in the magnetized counter-streaming plasmas is introduced.
A numerical comparison of finite difference (FD) and finite element (FE) methods for a stochastic ordinary differential equation is made. The stochastic ordinary differential equation is turned into a set of ordinary differential equations by applying polynomial chaos, and the FD and FE methods are then implemented. The resulting numerical solutions are all non-negative. When orthogonal polynomials are used for either continuous or discrete processes, numerical experiments also show that the FE method is more accurate and efficient than the FD method.
This study aimed to explore whether the presence of a Y chromosome azoospermia factor (AZF) microdeletion confers any adverse effect on embryonic development and clinical outcomes after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment. Fifty-seven patients with AZF microdeletion were included in the present study and 114 oligozoospermia and azoospermia patients without AZF microdeletion were recruited as controls. Both AZF and control groups were further divided into subgroups based upon the methods of semen collection: the AZF-testicular sperm extraction subgroup (AZF-TESE, n = 14), the AZF-ejaculation subgroup (AZF-EJA, n = 43), the control-TESE subgroup (n = 28) and the control-EJA subgroup (n = 86). Clinical data were analyzed in the two groups and four subgroups respectively. A retrospective case–control study was performed. A significantly lower fertilization rate (69.27 versus 75.70%, P = 0.000) and cleavage rate (89.55 versus 94.39%, P = 0.000) was found in AZF group compared with the control group. Furthermore, in AZF-TESE subgroup, the fertilization rate (67.54 versus 74.25%, P = 0.037) and cleavage rate (88.96 versus 94.79%, P = 0.022) were significantly lower than in the control-TESE subgroup; similarly, the fertilization rate (69.85 versus 75.85%, P = 0.004) and cleavage rate (89.36 versus 94.26%, P = 0.002) in AZF-EJA subgroup were significantly lower than in the control-EJA subgroup; however, the fertilization rate and cleavage rate in AZF-TESE (control-TESE) subgroup was similar to that in the AZF-EJA (control-EJA) subgroup. The other clinical outcomes were comparable between four subgroups (P > 0.05). Therefore, sperm from patients with AZF microdeletion, obtained either by ejaculation or TESE, may have lower fertilization and cleavage rates, but seem to have comparable clinical outcomes to those from patients without AZF microdeletion.
While rabies is a significant public health concern in China, the epidemiology of animal rabies in the north and northwest border provinces remains unknown. From February 2013 to March 2014, seven outbreaks of domestic animal rabies caused by wild carnivores in Xinjiang (XJ) and Inner Mongolia (IM) Autonomous Regions, China were reported and diagnosed in brain samples of infected animals by the fluorescent antibody test (FAT) and RT–PCR. Ten field rabies viruses were obtained. Sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis based on the complete N gene (1353 bp) amplified directly from the original brain tissues showed that these ten strains were steppe-type viruses, closely related to strains reported in Russia and Mongolia. None had been identified previously in China. The viruses from XJ and IM clustered separately into two lineages showing their different geographical distribution. This study emphasizes the importance of wildlife surveillance and of cross-departmental cooperation in the control of transboundary rabies transmission.
This study mainly focused on the key technologies, the photon dose calculation based on the Monte Carlo Finite-Size Pencil Beam (MCFSPB) model in the Accurate Radiotherapy System (ARTS). In the MCFSPB model, the acquisition of pencil beam kernel is one of the most important technologies. In this study, by analyzing the demerits of the clinical pencil beam dose calculation methods, a new pencil beam kernel model was developed based on the Monte Carlo (MC) simulation and the technology of medical accelerator energy spectrum reconstruction. which greatly improved the accuracy of calculated result. According to the axial symmetry principle, only part of simulation results was used for the data of pencil beam kernel, which greatly reduced the data quantity of the pencil beam and reduced calculated time. Based on the above studies, the MCFSPB method was designed and implemented by the Visual C++ development tool. With several tests including the comparisons among the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) No. 55 Report sample and the ion chamber measurement of lung-simulating inhomogeneous phantom in clinical treatment plan, the results showed that the maximum error of most calculated point was less than 0.5% in the homogeneous phantom and less than 3% in the heterogeneous phantom. This method met the clinical criteria, and would be expected to be used as a fast and accurate dose engine for clinic TPS.
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.
The present study was designated to ascertain the anthelmintic activity of the rhizomes of Paris polyphylla and to isolate and characterize the active constituents. The methanol extract from rhizomes of P. polyphylla showed signiﬁcant anthelmintic activity against Dactylogyrus intermedius with the median effective concentration (EC50) 22·5 mg L−1. Based on this finding, the methanol extract was fractionated by silica gel column chromatography in a bioassay-guided fractionation yielding 2 bioactive compounds, the structures of these compounds were elucidated as formosanin C and polyphyllin VII. The in vivo tests revealed that formosanin C and polyphyllin VII were significantly effective against D. intermedius with EC50 values of 0·6 and 1·2 mg L−1, respectively. The acute toxicities (LC50) of formosanin C and polyphyllin VII for grass carp were 2·8 and 2·9 mg L−1, respectively. The overall results provide important information for the potential application of formosanin C and polyphyllin VII in the therapy of serious infection caused by D. intermedius.