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We aimed to investigate the association between plasma retinol and incident cancer among Chinese hypertensive adults. We conducted a nested case–control study, including 231 patients with incident cancer and 231 matched controls during a median 4·5-year follow-up of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. There was a significant, inverse association between retinol levels and digestive system cancer (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91). When compared with participants in the first quartile of retinol (< 52·3 μg/dl), a significantly lower cancer risk was found in participants in quartile 2–4 ( ≥ 52·3 μg/dl: OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·71). However, there was a U-shaped association between retinol levels and non-digestive system cancers where the risk of cancers decreased (although not significantly) with each increment of plasma retinol (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·89; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·31) in participants with retinol < 68·2 μg/dl, and then increased significantly with retinol (per 10 μg/dl increase: OR 1·65; 95 % CI 1·12, 2·44) in participants with retinol ≥ 68·2 μg/dl. In conclusion, there was a significant inverse dose–response association between plasma retinol and the risk of digestive system cancers. However, a U-shaped association was observed between plasma retinol and the risk of non-digestive cancers (with a turning point approximately 68·2 μg/dl).
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Information systems (IS) have facilitated workflow in the health care system for years. However, the utilization of IS in disaster medical assistance teams (DMATs) has been less studied.
In Taiwan, we started a program in 2008 to build up an information system, MEDical Assistance and Information Dashboard (MED-AID), to improve the capability and increase the efficiency of our national DMAT.
Method: The mission of our national DMAT was to provide acute trauma care and subacute outpatient care in the field after an emergency event (e.g., earthquakes). We built the IS through a user-oriented process to fit the need of the DMAT. We first analyzed the response work in the DMAT missions and reviewed the current paperwork. We evaluated the eligibility and effectiveness of the core functions of DMATs by experts in Taiwan and then developed the IS. The IS was then tested and revised each year in two table-top exercises and one regional full-scale exercise by the DMAT staffs who came from different hospitals in Taiwan.
During the past 10 years, we identified several core concepts of IS of DMAT: patient tracking, medical record, continuity of care, integration of referral resources, disease surveillance, patient information reporting, and medical resources management. The application of the IS facilitate the DMAT in providing safe patient care with continuous recording and integrate patient referral resources based on geographic information. The IS also help the planning in real-time disease surveillance and logistic function in the medical resources monitoring.
Information systems could facilitate patient care and relieve the workload on information analysis and resources management for DMATs.
To revise an abbreviated version of the Silhouettes subtest of the Visual Object and Space Perception (VOSP) battery in order to recognize mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and determine the optimal cutoffs to differentiate among cognitively normal controls (NC), MCI, and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in the Chinese elderly.
A cross-sectional validation study.
Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
A total of 591 participants: Individuals with MCI (n = 211), AD (n = 139) and NC (n = 241) were recruited from the Memory Clinic, Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
Baseline neuropsychological battery (including VOSP) scores were collected from firsthand data. An abbreviated version of silhouettes test (Silhouettes-A) was revised from the original English version more suitable for the elderly, including eight silhouettes of animals and seven silhouettes of inanimate objects, with a score ranging from 0 to 15.
Silhouettes-A was an effective test to screen MCI in the Chinese elderly with good sensitivity and specificity, similar to the Montreal cognitive assessment and superior to other single tests reflecting language, spatial, or executive function. However, it had no advantage in distinguishing MCI from AD. The corresponding optimal cutoff scores of Silhouettes-A were 10 for screening MCI and 8 for AD.
Silhouettes-A is a quick, simple, sensitive, and dependable cognitive test to distinguish among NC, MCI, and AD patients.
Trained features of a convolution neural network (CNN) at different convolution layers is analyzed using two quantitative metrics in this work. We first show mathematically that the Gaussian confusion measure (GCM) can be used to identify the discriminative ability of an individual feature. Next, we generalize this idea, introduce another measure called the cluster purity measure (CPM), and use it to analyze the discriminative ability of multiple features jointly. The discriminative ability of trained CNN features is validated by experimental results. Research on CNNs utilizing GCM and CPM tools offers important insights into its operational mechanism, including the behavior of trained CNN features and good detection performance of some object classes that were considered difficult in the past. Finally, the trained feature representation is compared between different CNN structures to explain the superiority of deeper networks.
The piezophotonic effect is the coupling between piezoelectric properties and photoexcitation, where strain-induced piezopotential modulates and controls the relevant optical process. Specifically, metal ions as activators are capable of responding to photoexcitation and subsequent emission of light, also called mechanoluminescence, in general, and piezoluminescence specifically for piezoelectrics. These phenomena are helpful for understanding the materials fundamentals and conceiving widespread device applications. In this article, we briefly introduce the physical mechanisms of piezophotonics, including piezoluminescence. Selected host materials and metal-ion activators are described for demonstrating the piezophotonic effect. We provide a unified profile and recent prototypical demonstrations of light emission triggered by mechanical stimuli. The devices based on these materials offer the advantages of remote detection, nondestructive analysis, and repeatability, hence they are promising candidates for applications in stress sensing, structural health diagnosis, three-dimensional handwriting, magnetic-optical sensing, energy harvesting, biomedicine, novel light sources, and displays.
Harnessing the nonvolatility of magnetism and the power of electric control, magnetoelectric devices that control magnetism electrically promise to deliver next-generation electronics systems that can store and compute large amounts of information with minimal power consumption and ultrafast processing speed. We highlight progress in magnetoelectric memory and logic prototypes using the voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy (VCMA) effect. First, important performance metrics of VCMA-based magnetoelectric random access memory (MeRAM) are benchmarked against embedded complementary metal oxide semiconductor and other emerging embedded nonvolatile memories. We then discuss scaling of MeRAM from the physics and materials perspectives of the VCMA effect, as well as the use of magnetoelectric logic devices and circuits to realize new computing paradigms with VCMA. Finally, challenges to realize the full potential of VCMA-based memory and logic are presented: VCMA coefficient of 1000 fJ/V-m for energy-efficient write with low errors and tunneling magnetoresistance of 1000% for high density and low noise margin readout. New approaches for deterministic switching based on VCMA are needed. We share perspectives to address these challenges using new materials and device operation schemes.
Findings from observational studies on the associations between vitamin E intake and stroke risk remain controversial, and the dose–response relationship between vitamin E intake and risk of stroke remains to be determined. We conducted a meta-analysis of prospective studies aiming to clarify the relationships between vitamin E intake and risk of stroke. Relevant studies were identified by searching online databases through to June 2018. We computed summary relative risks (RR) with corresponding 95 % CI. Among 3156 articles retrieved from online databases and relevant bibliographies, nine studies involving 3284 events and 220 371 participants were included in the final analyses. High dietary vitamin E intake was inversely associated with the risk of overall stroke (RR=0·83, 95 % CI 0·73, 0·94), and with the risk of stroke for individuals who were followed-up for <10 (RR=0·84, 95 % CI 0·72, 0·91). There was a non-linear association between dietary vitamin E intake and stroke risk (P=0·0249). Omission of any single study did not alter the summary result. In conclusion, this meta-analysis suggests that there is a significant inverse relationship between dietary vitamin E intake and stroke risk. This meta-analysis provides evidence that a higher dietary vitamin E intake is associated with a lower stroke risk.
Environmental characteristics (for example, temperature, photoperiod) as seasonal cues can affect the offspring sex ratio and reproductive tactics of many hymenopteran insects. Leptocybe invasa Fisher & La Salle is the most critical invasive insect pest of Eucalyptus spp. in the world and displays thelytokous reproduction. In the current study, we studied the effects of temperature and photoperiod on offspring sex ratio and reproductive tactics in L. invasa. Results show that sex ratio (female: male) of L. invasa was under 15, 25 and 35 °C with both L 12: D 12 and L 16: D 8, and cold and thermal acclimation were 74.5:1, 71.0:1, 59.0:0, 17.3:1, 53.0:0, 64.0:0, 47.0:1 and 56.0:0, respectively, which was highly significantly female biased and with no significant difference due to temperature or photoperiod. Offspring virgin females oviposited and induced the bump-shaped galls on plants under the same conditions as described above. Constant temperature, photoperiod and their interaction, and cold and thermal acclimation had no significant effect on the infestation rates of Eucalyptus branches induced by offspring virgin females. Thus, temperature, photoperiod and cold and thermal acclimation did not influence female-biased sex ratio and tactics with thelytokous reproduction of offspring females in L. invasa.
Sulphur isotopes can be used as a powerful tool to trace fluid evolution and explore the formation of chimneys. To clarify the in situ S isotopic variations of sulphides at the micro-scale, we analyzed a sulphide chimney collected from the hydrothermal field in the East Pacific Rise 1–2° S using a sensitive high-mass-resolution ion micro-probe for stable isotopes (SHRIMP SI). Three mineral zones can be identified in the chimney: an external outer wall of porous anhydrite and colloform pyrite, an internal middle zone of sub-euhedral pyrite and massive chalcopyrite, and an inner zone of massive pyrite. The δ34SV-CDT values of the sulphides fall within the range 1.83–7.51 ‰ (avg. 4.05 ‰, n = 16), and S isotopic values increase from the core (3.09 ‰, n = 3) to the middle (3.78 ‰, n = 11) to the edge (6.99 ‰, n = 2). These results illustrate mineral crystallization processes and the mixing between seawater-derived S and magmatic–hydrothermal fluids during the growth of the chimney. The zones from the edge to the core are characterized by crystal morphologies of colloform/anhedral pyrite to massive pyrite with decreasing δ34S values, revealing multi-stage mineral deposition and sulphur isotopic fractionation. In contrast to the increase in δ34S values from the core to the edge in one profile (profile A), anomalously low δ34S values in fine-grained pyrite relative to chalcopyrite in another profile (profile B) in the middle zone result from S isotopic exchange between seawater SO42− and fluid H2S due to different fluid–seawater mixing, possibly caused by variations in permeability and porosity across the chimney.
Whether there are distinct subtypes of schizophrenia is an important issue to advance understanding and treatment of schizophrenia.
To understand and treat individuals with schizophrenia, the aim was to advance understanding of differences between individuals, whether there are discrete subtypes, and how fist-episode patients (FEP) may differ from multiple episode patients (MEP).
These issues were analysed in 687 FEP and 1880 MEP with schizophrenia using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale for (PANSS) schizophrenia before and after antipsychotic medication for 6 weeks.
The seven Negative Symptoms were correlated with each other and with P2 (conceptual disorganisation), G13 (disturbance of volition), and G7 (motor retardation). The main difference between individuals was in the cluster of seven negative symptoms, which had a continuous unimodal distribution. Medication decreased the PANSS scores for all the symptoms, which were similar in the FEP and MEP groups.
The negative symptoms are a major source of individual differences, and there are potential implications for treatment.
Replacing precious and nondurable platinum-based catalysts by economical and commercially available materials is a key issue addressed in contemporary fuel cell technology. Carbon-based nanomaterials display great potential to improve fuel tolerance and reduce the cost and stress on metal scalability. However, their relatively low catalytic activity limits the development and application of these catalysts. In this study, we have synthesized a nitrogen-doped carbon electrocatalyst from metal–organic frameworks and carbon nanotube composites, taking advantage of the existing N in the organic linker in the MOFs with more N added through ammonia treatment. The morphology and composition of synthesized catalysts were characterized by SEM, TEM, XPS, and Raman. The derived catalyst exhibited superior catalytic activity than that of commercial Pt-based catalysts. The N enriched carbon catalyst with high surface area, a graphitic carbon skeleton, and a hierarchical porous structure facilitated the mass and charge transfer during electrolysis.
The hydrobaric effect on photoactivity of titanium dioxide (TiO2) fabricated by cathodic deposition in an aqueous solution was evaluated in this study. When the applied pressure was increased to 35 MPa, the water-splitting performance was improved by almost fourfold of the performance of the TiO2 prepared at atmospheric pressure. The surface states effect was significant in the deposited TiO2, which was exploited to affect the charges recombination of TiO2, and thereby enhance the resultant photoelectrochemical water-splitting performance. The hydrobaric cathodic deposition could be extended to fabrication of other metal oxides to eliminate the negative influence from the high-temperature process.
A robust state estimation technique based on the Huber-based Cubature Kalman Filter (HCKF) is proposed for Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation processing. The Cubature Kalman Filter (CKF) employs a third-degree spherical-radial cubature rule to compute the Gaussian weighted integration, such that the numerical instability induced by round-off errors can be avoided. In GPS navigation, the filter-based estimation of the position and velocity states can be severely degraded due to contaminated measurements caused by outliers or deviation from a Gaussian distribution assumption. For the signals contaminated with non-Gaussian noise or outliers, a robust scheme combining the Huber M-estimation methodology and the CKF framework is beneficial where the Huber M-estimation methodology is used to reformulate the measurement information of the CKF. GPS navigation processing using the HCKF algorithm has been carried out and the performance has been compared to those based on the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF), Unscented Kalman Filter (UKF) and CKF approaches. Simulation and experimental results presented in this paper confirm the effectiveness of the method.
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.
ζ Tau is a well-known V/R-variable shell star. It is a single-lined spectroscopic binary with an orbital period of 133 days (Harmanec 1984, and Jarad 1987). Delplace (1970) found that the long-term radial velocity variations of the Balmer shell absorption lines are cyclic in 1960–67. Subsequently, similar behaviour has been observed and studied by several authors (Delplace and Chambon 1976, Hubert-Delplace et al 1983, Harmanec 1984, and Guo and Cao 1987). Mon et al (1992) showed that the cyclic variation had terminated and the star seems to have entered a new quiet phase around 1982.
We investigated the effect of focused ion beam (FIB) imaging on the crystallinity of InAs using Raman scattering. A spatial correlation model was used to fit the broad band induced by FIB imaging. The fitting gives a correlation length of ~42 Å for the noisiest image condition (with an ion fluence of 7.4×1010 cm−2), implying severe damage in the surface layer of InAs. However, further increasing the fluence by several orders of magnitude only decreases the correlation length from 42 to 35 Å. We attribute the severe damage to the high beam current density and the low scanning speed of the FIB imaging process. These process conditions, along with low InAs thermal conductivity, also leads to a high local temperature in the exposed region that largely annihilated the defects and resulted in the nearly fluence-independent behavior.
The aim of the present study was to determine whether increased consumption of methionine as dl-methionine (DLM) or its hydroxy analogue dl-2-hydroxy-4-methylthiobutanoic acid (HMTBA) could benefit milk synthesis and neonatal growth. For this purpose, eighteen cross-bred (Landrace × Yorkshire) primiparous sows were fed a control (CON), DLM or HMTBA diet (n 6 per diet) from 0 to 14 d post-partum. At postnatal day 14, piglets in the HMTBA group had higher body weight (P= 0·02) than those in the CON group, tended (P= 0·07) to be higher than those in the DLM group, and had higher (P< 0·05) mRNA abundance of jejunal fatty acid-binding protein 2, intestinal than those in the CON and DLM groups. Compared with the CON diet-fed sows, milk protein, non-fat solid, and lysine, histidine and ornithine concentrations decreased in the DLM diet-fed sows (P< 0·05), and milk fat, lactose, and cysteine and taurine concentrations increased in the HMTBA diet-fed sows (P< 0·05). Plasma homocysteine and urea N concentrations that averaged across time were increased (P< 0·05) in sows fed the DLM diet compared with those fed the CON diet. Metabolomic results based on 1H NMR spectroscopy revealed that consumption of the HMTBA and DLM diets increased (P< 0·05) both sow plasma methionine and valine levels; however, consumption of the DLM diet led to lower (P< 0·05) plasma levels of lysine, tyrosine, glucose and acetate and higher (P< 0·05) plasma levels of citrate, lactate, formate, glycerol, myo-inositol and N-acetyl glycoprotein in sows. Collectively, neonatal growth and milk synthesis were regulated by dietary methionine levels and sources, which resulted in marked alterations in amino acid, lipid and glycogen metabolism.