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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.
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.
In this paper, zircon U–Pb geochronology, major and trace elements, and Sr–Nd isotope geochemistry of the Baiyanghe dolerites in northern West Junggar of NW China are presented. The U–Pb dating of zircons from the dolerites yielded ages of 272.2±4 Ma and 276.7±6.2 Ma, which indicate the emplacement times. The dolerites are characterized by minor variations in SiO2 (46.89 to 49.07 wt%), high contents of Al2O3 (13.60 to 13.92 wt%) and total Fe2O3 (11.14 to 11.70 wt%), and low contents of MgO (2.67 to 3.64 wt%) and total alkalis (Na2O+K2O, 5.1 to 5.97 wt%, K2O/Na2O = 0.37–0.94), which indicate affinities to metaluminous tholeiite basalt. The REE pattern ((La/Sm)N = 2.25–2.34, (La/Yb)N = 7.42–8.36), V–Ti/1000 and 50*Zr–Ti/50–Sm discrimination diagrams show that these rocks are OIB-type. The high contents of Zr and Ti indicate a within-plate tectonic setting, and samples plot in the ‘plume source’ field shown on the Dy/Yb(N) versus Ce/Yb(N) diagram. The positive εNd(t) values (+7.09 to +7.48), high initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70442 to 0.70682) and depletions of Nb and Ta elements in the samples can be explained by the involvement of subducted sediments. In summary, it is possible that the Baiyanghe dolerites were derived from an OIB-like mantle source and associated with a mantle plume tectonic setting. Therefore, our samples provide the youngest evidence for the existence of a mantle plume, which may provide new insights into the Late Palaeozoic tectonic setting of West Junggar.
Stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) effect is currently the major limitation for the power scaling of single-frequency/narrow linewidth fiber laser systems. A single-mode linearly polarized all-fiber amplifier system is set up to investigate SBS effect in triple-frequency high-power amplifiers. With this amplifier, up to 302 W output power with 83% slope efficiency is achieved and the SBS threshold is scaled up to 12 dB. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest output power of multifrequency laser from a single-mode polarization maintaining fiber. Good spectral properties and high brightness make this laser source available for the application of second harmonic generation, coherent beam combining.
Epidemiological data show that osteoarthritis (OA) is significantly associated with lower birth weight, and that OA may be a type of fetal-originated adult disease. The present study aimed to investigate the prenatal food-restriction (PFR) effect on the quality of articular cartilage in female offspring to explore the underlying mechanisms of fetal-originated OA. Maternal rats were fed a restricted diet from gestational day (GD) 11 to 20 to induce intra-uterine growth retardation. Female fetuses and female adult offspring fed a post-weaning high-fat diet were killed at GD20 and postnatal week 24, respectively. Serum and knee cartilage samples from fetuses and adult female offspring were collected and examined for cholesterol metabolism and histology. Fetal serum corticosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in the PFR group were lower than those of the control, but the serum cholesterol level was not changed. The lower expression of IGF-1 in the PFR group lasted into adulthood. The expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) genes, including type II collagen, aggrecan and cholesterol efflux genes including liver X receptor, were significantly induced, but the ATP-binding-cassette transporter A1 was unchanged. PFR could induce a reduction in ECM synthesis and impaired cholesterol efflux in female offspring, and eventually led to poor quality of articular cartilage and OA.
Environmental filtering and competitive interactions are important ecological processes in community assembly. The contribution of the two processes to community assembly can be evaluated by shifts in functional diversity patterns. We examined the correlations between functional diversity of six traits (leaf chlorophyll concentration, dry matter content, size, specific leaf area, thickness and wood density) and environmental gradients (topography and soil) for 92 species in the 20-ha Dinghushan forest plot in China. A partial Mantel test showed that most of the community-weighted mean trait values changed with terrain convexity and soil fertility, which implied that environmental filtering was occurring. Functional diversity of many traits significantly increased with increasing terrain convexity and soil fertility, which was associated with increased light and below-ground resources respectively. These results suggest that co-occurring species are functionally convergent in regions of strong abiotic stress under the environmental filtering, but functionally divergent in more benign environments due to resource partitioning and competitive interactions. Single-trait diversity and multivariate functional diversity had different relationships with environmental factors, indicating that traits were related to different niche axes, and associated with different ecological processes, which demonstrated the importance of focusing niche axes in traits selection. Between 9% and 41% of variation in functional diversity of different traits was explained by environmental factors in stepwise multiple regression models. Terrain convexity and soil fertility were the best predictors of functional diversity, which contributed 30.5% and 29.0% of total R2 to the model. These provided essential evidence that different environmental factors had distinguishing impacts on regulating diversity of traits.
Sgr A∗, the enigmatic compact nonthermal radio source located at the center of the Galaxy for many years has been considered as the signpost of a massive black hole (Rees 1982; Lo 1986; Falcke et al. 1997). Its properties are unique in the Galaxy, but it resembles other nuclear radio sources (Lo 1993). Efforts to delineate the source structure of Sgr A∗, in order to constraint the nature of the underlying energy source, have been ongoing since 1975 (Lo et al. 1975).
Two kinds of Ag/ZnO electrical contact materials were fabricated by powder metallurgy method. The electrical life testing was done to investigate the arc erosion behavior of the prepared contact materials. Their properties and morphologies were characterized and discussed in detail. Results showed that Ag/ZnO(c) with coprecipitated ZnO as the second phase had better mechanical and electrical properties compared with Ag/ZnO(a) with ZnO purchased from Aladdin Industrial, Inc. Besides, some typical morphologies, such as holes, Ag or ZnO enrichment zone, Ag skeletons and bubbling area, occurred on the surface of the contacts. Especially for Ag/ZnO(c), vertically aligned ZnO nanorod arrays were detected after the life testing without any other supporting equipment. The existence of a solid solution Zn1−xAgxO and different energy generated during arcing process were possible reasons resulting in this phenomenon. A solid–vapor–solid mechanism was put forward to analyze the phenomenon mentioned above. These evidences could also offer some valuable information desired for reducing the splashing of Ag droplet under arcing.
Objective: To study the relationship of Nε-(carboxymethyl)-lysine level (CML) with microstructure changes of white matter (WM), and cognitive impairment in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and to discuss the potential mechanism underlying T2DM-associated cognitive impairment. Methods: The study was performed in T2DM patients (n=22) with disease course ≥5 years and age ranging from 65 to 75 years old. A control group consisted of 25 sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers. Fractional anisotropy (FA) of several WM regions was analyzed by diffusion tensor imaging scan. Plasma CML levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cognitive function was assessed by Mini-Mental State Examination and Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA). Results: The total Mini-Mental State Examination score in the patient group (25.72±3.13) was significantly lower than the control group (28.16±2.45) (p<0.05). In addition, the total MoCA score in the patient group (22.15±3.56) was significantly lower than the control group 25.63±4.12) (p<0.01). In the patient group, FA values were significantly decreased in the corpus callosum, cingulate fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, parietal WM, hippocampus, and temporal lobes relative to corresponding regions of healthy controls (p<0.05). Plasma CML level was negatively correlated with average FA values in the global brain (r=−0.58, p<0.01) and MoCA scores (r=−0.47, p<0.05). Conclusions: In T2DM, WM microstructure changes occur in older patients, and elevations in CML may play a role in the development of cognitive impairment.
Most long QT syndrome patients are associated with genetic mutations. We aimed to investigate the clinical and biochemical characteristics and look for genotype-based preventive implications in Chinese long QT syndrome patients.
Methods and results
We identified two missense mutations of the KCNQ1 gene in two independent Chinese families, including a previously reported mutation R380S in the C-terminus and a novel mutation W305L in the P-loop domain of the Kv7.1 channel, respectively. The proband with R380S was an 11-year-old girl who suffered a prolonged corrected QT interval of 660 ms, recurrent syncope, and sudden cardiac death, whose father was an asymptomatic carrier. The mutation W305L was detected in a 36-year-old woman with long QT syndrome and her immediate family members including the proband’s younger sister with an unexplained syncope, her son, and her elder daughter without symptoms. Metoprolol appeared to be effective in preventing arrhythmias and syncope in long QT syndrome patients with mutation W305L. Both R380S and W305L mutations led to “loss-of-function” of the Kv7.1 channel accounting for the clinical phenotypes.
We first show two missense KCNQ1 mutations – R380S and W305L – in Chinese long QT syndrome patients, resulting in the loss of protein function. Mutation W305L in the P-loop domain of the Kv7.1 may derive a pronounced benefit from β-blocker therapy in symptomatic long QT syndrome patients, whereas mutation R380S located in the C-terminus may be associated with a high risk of sudden cardiac death.
Obesity and hyperlipidaemia increase the risk of CVD. Some strains of probiotics have been suggested to have potential applications in cardiovascular health by lowering serum LDL-cholesterol. In this work, high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidaemia in hamsters was treated with different doses (5×108 and 2·5×109 cells/kg per d) of heat-killed Lactobacillus reuteri GMNL-263 (Lr263) by oral gavage for 8 weeks. The serum lipid profile analysis showed that LDL-cholesterol and plasma malondialdehyde (P-MDA) were reduced in the GMNL-263 5×108 cells/kg per d treatment group. Total cholesterol and P-MDA were reduced in the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatment group. In terms of heart function, the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatments improved the ejection fraction from 85·71 to 91·81 % and fractional shortening from 46·93 to 57·92 % in the high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts. Moreover, the GMNL-263-treated, high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts exhibited reduced Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis and a reactivated IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway. Interestingly, the GMNL-263 treatments also enhanced the heat-shock protein 27 expression in a dose-dependent manner, but the mechanism for this increase remains unclear. In conclusion, supplementary heat-killed L. reuteri GMNL-263 can slightly reduce serum cholesterol. The anti-hyperlipidaemia effects of GMNL-263 may reactivate the IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway and reduce Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis in high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts.
Recent progress on rare-earth doped polycrystalline YAG transparent ceramics has made them an alternative novel solid-state laser gain material. In this paper we present results of our research on polycrystalline RE:YAG transparent ceramics. High optical quality YAG ceramics doped with various rare-earth (RE) ions such as
have been successfully fabricated using the solid-state reactive sintering method. Highly efficient laser oscillations of the fabricated ceramics are demonstrated.
The structural properties, the formation enthalpies, and the mechanical properties of Co–Al compounds (CoAl, CoAl3, Co3Al, Co2Al5, Co2Al9, and Co4Al13) are studied by using Chen's lattice inversion embedded-atom method. The potential is transferable and therefore does well for studying different Co–Al compounds. The calculated lattice parameters and cohesive energies are consistent with the experimental and theoretical results. The formation enthalpies of all the Co–Al compounds are negative; therefore, the chemical bonding between Co and Al atoms increases the stability of compounds. According to elastic constant restrictions, all the six Co–Al compounds are mechanically stable. CoAl alloy with the larger moduli and lower Poisson's ratio is the hard or brittle phase. Moreover, CoAl3, Co3Al, Co2Al5, and Co2Al9 alloys are considered to be ductile materials, which have lower ratio of shear modulus to bulk modulus.
Structure and demographics in many tropical forests is changing, but the causes of these changes remain unclear. We studied 5 y (2005–2010) of species turnover, recruitment, mortality and population change data from a 20-ha subtropical forest plot in Dinghushan, China, to identify trends in forest change, and to test whether tree mortality is associated with intraspecific or interspecific competition. We found the Dinghushan forest to be more dynamic than one temperate and two tropical forests in a comparison of large, long-term forest dynamics plots. Within Dinghushan, size-class distributions were bell-shaped only for the three most dominant species and reverse J-shaped for other species. Bell-shaped population distributions can indicate a population in decline, but our data suggest that these large and long-lived species are not in decline because the pattern is driven by increasing probabilities of transition to larger size class with increasing size and fast growth in saplings. Spatially aggregated tree species distributions were common for surviving and dead individuals. Competitive associations were more frequently intraspecific than interspecific. The competition that induced tree mortality was more associated with intraspecific than interspecific interactions. Intraspecific competitive exclusion and density-dependence appear to play important roles in tree mortality in this subtropical forest.
Graphitic carbon (GC) is prepared using an ion-exchange resin as carbon source at 600 °C. A Co salt is selected as the graphitization catalyst and is pre-exchanged onto the resin during the ion-exchange process. The GC is characterized by transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and thermogravimetry. Analysis of the crystallization shows that graphitization can occur at a temperature of as low as 600 °C, compared to the usual temperature of above 2000 °C in industry and above 1000 °C in literature. Different carbon structures have been found for different pretreatments of the resin and different heat treatment temperatures. This energy-saving method is an important breakthrough for the economic mass production of GC.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a technique commonly used in clinical and research settings. In mouse oocytes, conventional ICSI has a poor survival rate caused by a high level of lysis. Cytochalasin B (CB) is a toxic microfilament-inhibiting agent that is known to relax the cytoskeleton and enhance the flexibility of oocytes. CB has been used widely in nuclear transfer experiments to improve the success rate of the micromanipulation, however information describing the use of CB in ICSI is limited. Here, we demonstrated that the addition of 5 μg/ml CB to the manipulation medium of ICSI procedure significantly improved the survival rate of the ICSI embryos (80.74% vs. 89.50%, p < 0.05), and that there was no harm for the in vitro or in vivo development. The birth rates and birth weights were not significantly different between the CB-treated and -untreated groups. Interestingly, the microfilaments of the ICSI embryos were almost undetectable immediately after CB treatment; however, they gradually re-appeared and had fully recovered to the normal level 2 h later. Moreover, CB did not disturb spindle rotation, second polar body formation or pronuclei migration, and had no effect on the microtubules. We thus conclude that ICSI manipulation in CB-containing medium results in significantly improved survival rate of mouse ICSI embryos, and that short-term treatment with CB during ICSI manipulation does not have adverse effects on the development of ICSI embryos.
In this work, two- and three-parameter Weibull statistics were used for analyzing the variability of fracture strength for Zr55Ti2Co28Al15 bulk metallic glass (BMG), both in compression and in tension testing. In contrast to the compression in which the specimens fail via the massive shear-off, however, failure mode in tension for the as-cast BMG is flaw-controlled crack opening (mode I or mixed mode) due to the presence of cast defects such as porosity. As a result, dispersion of compressive fracture strength is rather uniform. For the BMG rods of 6 mm in diameter, the three-parameter Weibull modulus m3p and threshold stress σμ (below which no failure occurs) are 3.4 and 1780 MPa, respectively. However, tensile fracture strength of the BMGs manifests a large variability, in a range of 310–1690 MPa. In terms of fracture surface morphology, the specimen failure at different stress is associated with two types of defects: large pores on/near the surface of specimens and small internal pores. Using bimodal and three-parameter Weibull analysis, the Weibull modulus m1 and threshold σμ1 at lower strength level are 1.8 and 250 MPa, respectively, suggesting a modest reliability. One should exercise caution, therefore, in interpreting the reliability of as-cast BMG materials only simply in terms of the compression tests, small-sized samples, and tow-parameter Weibull analysis. Like the conventional metal castings, controlling the processing conditions to minimize the cast defects is critical issue to ensure the reliability of BMG materials.
For evaluating the effects of ultrafine nanograins (UFNGs) on the fracture toughness of conventional nanocrystalline (nc) materials, we developed a composite model composed of UFNGs (with a grain size d between 2 and 4 nm) evenly distributed in the conventional nc matrix (20 nm ≤ d ≤ 100 nm). The UFNGs could be treated as a part of triple junctions, denoted as super triple junctions. In the framework of our model, stress concentration near crack tip initiates intergrain sliding that leads to the generation of edge dislocations at super triple junctions. The dependence of critical crack intensity factors on grain size was calculated. It was demonstrated that the existence of the UFNGs approximately doubles the critical crack intensity factors.
This paper addresses the problem of how to restore degraded images where the pixels have been partly lost during transmission or damaged by impulsive noise. A wide range of image restoration tasks is covered in the mathematical model considered in this paper - e.g. image deblurring, image inpainting and super-resolution imaging. Based on the assumption that natural images are likely to have a sparse representation in a wavelet tight frame domain, we propose a regularization-based approach to recover degraded images, by enforcing the analysis-based sparsity prior of images in a tight frame domain. The resulting minimization problem can be solved efficiently by the split Bregman method. Numerical experiments on various image restoration tasks - simultaneously image deblurring and inpainting, super-resolution imaging and image deblurring under impulsive noise - demonstrated the effectiveness of our proposed algorithm. It proved robust to mis-detection errors of missing or damaged pixels, and compared favorably to existing algorithms.