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This article overviews the ultrasonic welding process, a solid-state joining method, using the example of welding of a magnesium alloy as well as the joining of magnesium alloys in general. In situ high-speed imaging and infrared thermography were utilized to study interfacial relative motion and heat generation during ultrasonic spot welding of AZ31B magnesium (Mg) alloys. A postweld ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation was performed to study the evolution of local bond formation at the faying interface (contact surface of the joint between the top and bottom Mg sheets) at different stages of the welding process. Two distinct stages were observed as the welding process progresses. In the early stage, localized reciprocating sliding occurred at the contact faying interface between the two Mg sheets, resulting in localized rapid temperature rise from the localized frictional heating. Microscale (submillimeter) bonded regions at the Mg–Mg faying surface started to form, but the overall joint strength was low. The early-stage localized bonds were broken during the subsequent vibrations. In the later stage, no relative motion occurred at any points of the faying interface. Localized bonded regions coalesced into a macroscale joint that was strong enough to prevent the Mg–Mg interface from further breakage and sliding. With increasing welding time, the bonded area continued to increase.
Although fluency is an important subconstruct of language proficiency, it has not received as much attention in L2 writing research as complexity and accuracy have, in part due to the lack of methodological approaches for the analysis of large datasets of writing-process data. This article presents a method of time-aligned keystroke logging and eye-tracking and reports an empirical study investigating L2 writing fluency through this method. Twenty-four undergraduate students at a private university in Turkey performed two writing tasks delivered through a web text editor with embedded keystroke logging and eye-tracking capabilities. Linear mixed-effects models were fit to predict indices of pausing and reading behaviors based on language status (L1 vs. L2) and linguistic context factors. Findings revealed differences between pausing and eye-fixation behavior in L1 and L2 writing processes. The article concludes by discussing the affordances of the proposed method from the theoretical and practical standpoints.
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.
Maternal one-carbon metabolism during pregnancy is crucial for fetal development and programming by DNA methylation. However, evidence on one-carbon biomarkers other than folate is lacking. We, therefore, investigated whether maternal plasma methyl donors, that is, choline, betaine and methionine, are associated with birth outcomes. Blood samples were obtained from 115 women during gestation (median 26·3 weeks, 90 % range 22·7–33·0 weeks). Plasma choline, betaine, methionine and dimethylglycine were measured using HPLC-tandem MS. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between plasma biomarkers and birth weight, birth length, the risk of small-for-gestational-age and large-for-gestational-age (LGA). Higher level of maternal betaine was associated with lower birth weight (–130·3 (95 % CI –244·8, –15·9) per 1 sd increment for log-transformed betaine). Higher maternal methionine was associated with lower risk of LGA, and adjusted OR, with 95 % CI for 1 sd increase in methionine concentration was 0·44 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·89). Stratified analyses according to infant sex or maternal plasma homocysteine status showed that reduction in birth weight in relation to maternal betaine was only limited to male infants or to who had higher maternal homocysteine status (≥5·1 µmol/l). Higher maternal betaine status was associated with reduced birth weight. Maternal methionine was inversely associated with LGA risk. These findings are needed to be replicated in future larger studies.
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.
This study investigated the effect of pre-exercise α-lactalbumin ingestion on subsequent endurance exercise performance, muscle pain and mood states. In a two-stage cross-over counterbalance design, eleven male endurance runners (age: 31 (se 2) years, height: 169·5 (se 4·4) cm, weight: 63·6 (se 5·1) kg, V̇O2max: 58·8 (se 6·3) ml/kg per min) consumed two solutions (carbohydrate+α-lactalbumin, CA; carbohydrate+whey protein isolate, CW) 2 h before a self-paced 21-km run. Creatine kinase, IL-6, muscle pain, pressure pain threshold (PPT) and mood states were assessed 2 h before exercise, immediately before exercise (Pre-ex0) and immediately after exercise (Post-ex0). No difference was found in 21-km running performance between two trials (CA v. CW: 115·85 (se 5·20) v. 118·85 (se 5·51) min, P=0·48). Compared with CW, CA led to higher PPT at Pre-ex0 (41·77 (se 2·27) v. 35·56 (se 2·10) N/cm2, P<0·01) and Post-ex0 (38·76 (se 3·23) v. 35·30 (se 3·55) N/cm2, P=0·047). Compared with CW, CA reduced the feeling of fatigue at Post-ex0 (P<0·01); CA also reduced salivary cortisol levels at Post-ex0 (0·72 (se 0·07) v. 0·83 (se 0·13) ng/ml, P<0·01). In conclusion, the ingestion of α-lactalbumin did not improve the 21-km time-trial performance. However, compared with the pre-exercise ingestion of whey protein, that of α-lactalbumin led to superior results during similar levels of endurance exercise: it elevated PPT and reduced the feeling of fatigue and the cortisol levels.
The control of cutoffs is of great interest in designs of circular waveguides. In this paper, this topic is investigated for pure transverse-electric (TE) and transverse-magnetic (TM) modes by taking advantage of anisotropic reactance lining loadings. It is found that the cutoffs of TE and TM modes are determined by the reactance in the azimuthal and axial directions, respectively. When the reactance values are positive, the cutoff frequencies are lower than those of a normal conducting waveguide with the same cross-section. However, in contrast to the claim made in the previous literature that the negative reactance values caused the same reducing effect on the cutoffs as the positive values did, the cutoffs are found to be increased by the negative reactances. The theoretical results are validated by the simulations using commercial software, where a delicate model with an approximate curved anisotropic impedance boundary is proposed for the first time. By lowering the TE cutoffs and raising the TM ones, some intriguing applications, such as single-mode bandwidth extension and degenerate mode avoidance, are predicted, which would pave a way for designs of novel waveguide devices.
Combining density functional theory calculations and temperature programmed desorption (TPD) experiments, the adsorption behavior of various sulfur containing compounds, including C2H5SH, CH3SCH3, tetrahydrothiophene, thiophene, benzothiophene, dibenzothiophene, and their derivatives on the coordinately unsaturated sites of Mo27Sx model nanoparticles, are studied systematically. Sulfur molecules with aromaticity prefer flat adsorption than perpendicular adsorption. The adsorption of nonaromatic molecules is stronger than the perpendicular adsorption of aromatic molecules, but weaker than the flat adsorption of them. With gradual hydrogenation (HYD), the binding affinity in the perpendicular adsorption modes increases, while in flat adsorption modes it increases first, then decreases. Significant steric effects on the adsorption of dimethyldibenzothiophene were revealed in perpendicular adsorption modes. The steric effect, besides weakening adsorption, could also activate the S–C bonds through a compensation effect. Finally, by comparing the theoretical adsorption energies with the TPD results, we suggest that HYD and direct-desulfurization path may happen simultaneously, but on different active sites.
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.
We previously reported four heterozygous missense mutations of MYH7, KCNQ1, MYLK2, and TMEM70 in a single three-generation Chinese family with dual Long QT and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy phenotypes for the first time. However, the clinical course among the family members was various, and the potential myocardial dysfunction has not been investigated.
The objective of this study was to investigate the echocardiographic and electrocardiographic characteristics in a genetic positive Chinese family with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and further to explore the association between myocardial dysfunction and electric activity, and the identified mutations.
A comprehensive echocardiogram – standard two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography and three-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography – and electrocardiogram were obtained for members in this family.
As previously reported, four missense mutations – MYH7-H1717Q, KCNQ1-R190W, MYLK2-K324E, and TMEM70-I147T – were identified in this family. The MYH7-H1717Q mutation carriers had significantly increased left ventricular mass indices, elevated E/e’ ratio, deteriorated global longitudinal stain, but enhanced global circumferential and radial strain compared with those in non-mutation patients (all p<0.05). The KCNQ1-R190W carriers showed significantly prolonged QTc intervals, and the MYLK2-K324E mutation carriers showed inverted T-waves (both p<0.05). However, the TMEM70-I147T mutation carriers had similar echocardiography and electrocardiographic data as non-mutation patients.
Three of the identified four mutations had potential pathogenic effects in this family: MYH7-H1717Q was associated with increased left ventricular thickness, elevated left ventricular filling pressure, and altered myocardial deformation; KCNQ1-R190W and MYLK2-K324E mutations were correlated with electrocardiographic abnormalities reflected in long QT phenotype and inverted T-waves, respectively.
Previous cross-lagged studies on depression and memory impairment among the elderly have revealed conflicting findings relating to the direction of influence between depression and memory impairment. The current study aims to clarify this direction of influence by examining the cross-lagged relationships between memory impairment and depression in an Asian sample of elderly community dwellers, as well as synthesizing previous relevant cross-lagged findings via a meta-analysis.
A total of 160 participants (Mage = 68.14, s.d. = 5.34) were assessed across two time points (average of 1.9 years apart) on measures of memory and depressive symptoms. The data were then fitted to a structural equation model to examine two cross-lagged effects (i.e. depressive symptoms→memory; memory→depressive symptoms). A total of 14 effect-sizes for each of the two cross-lagged directions were extracted from six studies (including the present; total N = 8324). These effects were then meta-analyzed using a three-level mixed effects model.
In the current sample, lower memory ability at baseline was associated with worse depressive symptoms levels at follow-up, after controlling for baseline depressive symptoms. However, the reverse effect was not significant; baseline depressive symptoms did not predict subsequent memory ability after controlling for baseline memory. The results of the meta-analysis revealed the same pattern of relationship between memory and depressive symptoms.
These results provide robust evidence that the relationship between memory impairment and depressive symptoms is unidirectional; memory impairment predicts subsequent depressive symptoms but not vice-versa. The implications of these findings are discussed
We present the case of a 2-year-old boy with progressive left-sided weakness and a cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan showing a lesion with a cystic component in the right thalamus and basal ganglia. The lesion was subtotally resected and diagnosed as a pilocytic astrocytoma by histopathology. Tumor seeding along the surgical tract was seen on MRI 16 days and 10 weeks after surgery. The patient received vincristine and carboplatin, and MRI performed 4 months after chemotherapy revealed no additional or residual lesions. This case illustrated that a World Health Organization grade I astrocytoma could disseminate along the surgical tract.
This article outlines the evolution of a rescue team in responding to adenovirus prevention with a deployable field hospital. The local governments mobilized a shelter hospital and a rescue team consisting of 59 members to assist with rescue and response efforts after an epidemic outbreak of adenovirus. We describe and evaluate the challenges of preparing for deployment, field hospital maintenance, treatment mode, and primary treatment methods. The field hospital established at the rescue scene consisted of a medical command vehicle, a computed tomography shelter, an X-ray shelter, a special laboratory shelter, an oxygen and electricity supply vehicle, and epidemic prevention and protection equipment. The rescue team comprised paramedics, physicians, X-ray technicians, respiratory therapists, and logistical personnel. In 22 days, more than 3000 patients with suspected adenovirus infection underwent initial examinations. All patients were properly treated, and no deaths occurred. After emergency measures were implemented, the spread of adenovirus was eventually controlled. An emergency involving infectious diseases in less-developed regions demands the rapid development of a field facility with specialized medical personnel when local hospital facilities are either unavailable or unusable. An appropriate and detailed prearranged action plan is important for infectious diseases prevention. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:109–114)
The push–pull fatigue characteristics of the peak-aged Mg–0.2Zn–0.5Zr alloys with different addition levels of neodymium (Nd) have been investigated. The fatigue strength (σf) of the Mg–xNd–0.2Zn–0.5Zr (NZx0K) alloy increases proportionally with the increase of the Nd content (CNd) as follows: σf (T6) ≈ (13.8–14.0) CNd + 46 (for x between 0 and 3.0 wt%). The cyclic stress amplitude also increases but the plastic strain value decreases with the increase of the Nd content. The studied alloys exhibit the strain hardening followed by cyclic softening during fatigue test. During the low-cycle fatigue (LCF) test, the cracks originate from the cyclic deformation and cumulative damage. In high-cycle fatigue (HCF), the failure is due to the cyclic deformation and damage irreversibly caused by environment-assisted cyclic slip. The LCF lives of the alloys fitted well with the Coffin–Manson relation and Basquin laws, the three-parameter equation, and the energy-based concepts. The developed multi-scale fatigue (MSF) life models can be used to predict the LCF and HCF lives of the alloys. Among these models, the MSF life can well capture the influence of Nd addition on fatigue.
An effective multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the simultaneous detection of three major pathogens, Nosema bombycis Nägeli (Microsporidia: Nosematidae), Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (Baculoviridae: genus Alphabaculovirus) (NPV), and Bombyx mori densovirus (Parvoviridae: genus Iteravirus) (DNV), in silkworms (Bombyx mori (Linnaeus); Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) was developed in this study. Polymerase chain reaction and real-time PCR tests and basic local alignment search tool searches revealed that the primers and probes used in this study had high specificities for their target species. The ability of each primer/probe set to detect pure pathogen DNA was determined using a plasmid dilution panel, in which under optimal conditions the multiplex real-time PCR assay showed high efficiency in the detection of three mixed target plasmids with a detection limit of 8.5×103 copies for N. bombycis and Bombyx mori NPV (BmNPV) and 8.5×104 copies for Bombyx mori DNV (BmDNV). When the ability to detect these three pathogens was examined in artificially inoculated silkworms, our method presented a number of advantages over traditional microscopy, including specificity, sensitivity, and high-throughput capabilities. Under the optimal volume ratio for the three primer/probe sets (3:2:2=N. bombycis:BmNPV:BmDNV), the multiplex real-time PCR assay showed early detection of BmNPV and BmDNV by day 1 post inoculation using DNA templates of the three pathogens in various combinations from individually infected silkworms; the early detection of N. bombycis was possible by day 3 post inoculation using the DNA isolated from the midgut of N. bombycis-infected silkworms.
We aimed to clarify whether invasive dental treatment is associated with increased risk of prosthetic joint infection (PJI) and whether prophylactic antibiotics may lower the infection risk remain unclear.
Retrospective cohort study.
All Taiwanese residents (N=255,568) who underwent total knee or hip arthroplasty between January 1, 1997, and November 30, 2009, were screened.
The dental cohort consisted of 57,066 patients who received dental treatment and were individually matched 1:1 with the nondental cohort by age, sex, propensity score, and index date. The dental cohort was further divided by the use or nonuse of prophylactic antibiotics. The antibiotic and nonantibiotic subcohorts comprised 6,513 matched pairs.
PJI occurred in 328 patients (0.57%) in the dental subcohort and 348 patients (0.61%) in the nondental subcohort, with no between-cohort difference in the 1-year cumulative incidence (0.6% in both, P=.3). Multivariate-adjusted Cox regression revealed no association between dental procedures and PJI. Furthermore, PJI occurred in 13 patients (0.2%) in the antibiotic subcohort and 12 patients (0.18%) in the nonantibiotic subcohorts (P=.8). Multivariate-adjusted analyses confirmed that there was no association between the incidence of PJI and prophylactic antibiotics.
The risk of PJI is not increased following dental procedure in patients with hip or knee replacement and is unaffected by antibiotic prophylaxis.
Beginning in 2007, all newly diagnosed cancer patients at the Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center (KF–SYSCC) were screened for psychosocial distress. Our social workers, as part of the psychosocial care team (PCT), have engaged in proactive outreach with patients identified as distressed. The goal of the present study was to assess the prevalence of psychosocial distress and the extent of contact between the PCT and distressed patients.
Newly diagnosed patients who were treated at KF–SYSCC between 2007 and 2010 for cancer were eligible if there were at least 100 patients with the same type of cancer. Before treatment began, they were screened with the Pain Scale and the Distress Thermometer (DT) and had the option to specify a desire for help. The rates of distress were analyzed by cancer type and by probable related factors. Information regarding contact with the PCT was retrieved from computerized databases.
Overall, some 5,335 cancer patients representing 12 major cancer types were included in our study. Of these, 1,771 (33.20%) were significantly distressed. By multivariate logistic regression, younger age, female gender, higher pain score, and disease stage, but not cancer type, were found to be associated with higher rates of distress. Among these distressed patients, 628 (36%) had some contact with the PCT.
Significance of results:
This Taiwanese study with a large sample size revealed a prevalence rate of psychosocial distress similar to rates found in Western countries. Contact with the PCT was established in only 36% of significantly distressed patients, despite a proactive outreach program. It is very important to have screening results made available in a timely fashion to the psycho-oncology team so that appropriate care can be offered promptly.
Cancer patients with depression or anxiety have poor survival, and the interaction between mental and physical problems in older patients may exacerbate this problem. K-ras oncogene (KRAS) mutation may play a role in the development of psychosocial distress and may be associated with poor survival of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients. This study investigated the association between KRAS gene mutations and psychosocial morbidity to explore the possible cancer/psychosis relationship in older mCRC patients.
In this study, 62 newly diagnosed mCRC patients were recruited and completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Demographic data were also collected, and clinicopathological data were retrieved from medical records. KRAS mutations were assessed via PCR analysis of tissue specimens from the patients.
The results showed that 28 of the 62 participants (45.2%) had positive screens for possible depression, and 45 of the 62 participants (72.6%) had positive screens for anxiety. The KRAS mutation rate was 40.3% (25/62), and 19 of the 25 patients with KRAS mutations (76.0%) had probable depression, whereas only 24.3% of the patients with wild-type KRAS were probably depressed (p < 0.05). The KRAS mutation was associated with higher HADS depression scores, independent of gender and performance status (p < 0.05), but not with higher HADS anxiety or total scores.
KRAS mutations were associated with depression severity and higher rates of probable depression in older mCRC patients. Depression should be assessed and treated as early as possible in older mCRC patients with the KRAS mutation. Further studies are needed to verify our current findings using a larger sample size.