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The effect of maternal folate intake on small-for-gestational-age (SGA) births remains inconclusive. The present study aimed to investigate the associations of maternal folate intake from diet and supplements with the risk of SGA births using data from a cross-sectional study in Shaanxi Province of Northwest China. A total of 7307 women who were within 12 months (median 3; 10th–90th percentile 0–7) after delivery were included. Two-level models were adopted to examine the associations of folate (dietary folate, supplemental folic acid and total folate) intake with the risk of SGA births and birth weight Z score, controlling for a minimum set of confounders that were identified in a directed acyclic graph. Results showed that a higher supplemental folic acid intake during the first trimester was negatively associated with the risk of SGA births (≤60 d v. non-use: OR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·96; >60 d v. non-use: OR 0·78; 95 % CI 0·65, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per 10-d increase: OR 0·97; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·99). A higher total folate intake during pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of SGA births (highest tertile v. lowest tertile: OR 0·77; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per one-unit increase in the log-transformed value: OR 0·81; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·95). A similar pattern was observed for the birth weight Z score. Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation during the first trimester and a higher total folate intake during pregnancy were associated with a reduced risk of SGA births.
We assessed inheritance of resistance to sugarcane brown rust (Puccinia melanocephala) in selfing F1 populations of wild sugarcane germplasm Erianthus rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’. We tested parent and selfing F1 individuals for the brown rust resistance gene, Bru1, that has been shown to confer resistance to brown rust in sugarcane. The Bru1 gene was not detected in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’, E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ or their selfing F1 individuals, and we found there was segregation of resistance in the two selfing F1 populations (segregation ratio: 3:1). The results confirmed resistance in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ to sugarcane brown rust is controlled by a novel, single dominant gene.
Few studies have examined the association of various types of Fe with colorectal cancer risk. The aim of this study was to investigate different forms and sources of Fe in relation to colorectal cancer risk in a Chinese population. A total of 2138 patients with colorectal cancer and 2144 sex- and age-matched (5-year interval) controls were recruited from July 2010 to November 2017. Dietary information was assessed by face-to-face interviews using a validated FFQ. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the OR and 95 % CI on models. Intake of Fe from plants and Fe from white meat were inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer, while haem Fe and Fe from red meat were positively associated with colorectal cancer risk. The multivariable OR for the highest quartile v. the lowest quartile were 0·72 (95 % CI 0·59, 0·87, Ptrend<0·001) for Fe from plants, 0·54 (95 % CI 0·45, 0·66, Ptrend<0·001) for Fe from white meat, 1·26 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·53, Ptrend=0·005) for haem Fe and 1·83 (95 % CI 1·49, 2·24, Ptrend<0·001) for Fe from red meat intake, respectively. However, no significant association was found between the consumption of total dietary Fe, non-haem Fe, Fe from meat and colorectal cancer risk. This study showed that lower intake of Fe from plants and white meat, as well as higher intake of haem Fe and Fe from red meat, were associated with colorectal cancer risk in a Chinese population.
Heavy metal contamination in the paddy soils of China is a serious concern because of its health risk through transfer in food chains. A field experiment was conducted in 2014–2015 to investigate the long-term effects of different biochar amendments on cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) immobilisation in a contaminated paddy field in southern China. Two types of biochar, a rice-straw-derived biochar (RB) and a coconut-by-product-derived biochar (CB), were amended separately to determine their impacts on rice yield and their efficacy in reducing Cd and As in rice. The two-year field experiment showed that biochar amendments significantly improved the rice yields and that CB is superior to RB, especially in the first growth season. Using a large amount of biochar amendment (22.5tha–1) significantly increased soil pH and total organic carbon, and concomitantly decreased the Cd content in rice grains over the four growth seasons, regardless of biochar type and application rate. Arsenic levels in rice were similar to the control, and results from this study suggest that there was a sustainable effect of biochar on Cd sequestration in soil and reduction of Cd accumulation in rice for at least two years. Biochar amendment in soil could be considered as a sustainable, reliable and cost-effective option to remediate heavy metal contamination in paddy fields for long periods.
A stalagmite with high 238U content from Yangkou Cave, China, revealed the evolution of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) between 49.1 and 59.5 ka, and the δ18O values recorded Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) events 13–17. The Yangkou record shows a relatively gradual transition into the D/O 14 and 16 events. The discrepancy between the abrupt and gradual transitions of D/O 14 in the records from northern and southern China, respectively, suggests different responses of the ASM to climate changes in the high northern latitudes. The higher resolution δ18O record and more precise 230Th dating indicate that the timing of D/O 14 and 17 in the Hulu records at 53 and 58 ka should be shifted to 54.3 and 59 ka, respectively. The gradual strengthening of the ASM at the onsets of D/O 16 and 14 in our record is different from the abrupt temperature rise in the northern high latitudes. Some other factors must contribute to this relatively gradual ASM change in southern China, but the actual reason is still unknown.
In this paper, based on observational information we proposed an opening bipolar magnetic field model and studied numerically the dynamic evolutionary processes of the magnetic fields by solving a complete set of MHD equations. The aim is to discuss one of the mechanisms of energy build up of solar flares produced in the active region Boulder 5395.
We examine the impact of managerial entrenchment on firm value using a dynamic model with firm fixed effects. To estimate the model, we employ the long-difference technique, which is shown by our simulation to deliver the least biased estimates. Based on a large sample of U.S. companies, we document a significantly negative and causal effect of managerial entrenchment on firm value after taking into account omitted variables, reverse causality, and highly persistent endogenous variables. Additional analysis suggests that the causality running from managerial entrenchment to firm value is more pronounced than that for reverse causality.
At the center of the nearest galaxy cluster, the Virgo cluster, lies the massive cD galaxy, M87 (NGC 4486). Using data from the Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey, we investigate the relationship between M87, its globular clusters (GCs), and satellite dwarf galaxies. We find that the kinematics of GCs and ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs) are different, indicating that UCDs are not simply massive GCs. We also identify a morphological sequence of envelope fraction around UCDs correlated with cluster-centric distance that suggest UCDs are the result of tidal stripping. Lastly, we find that the [α/Fe] abundance ratios of low-mass early-type galaxies in Virgo exhibit a strong negative gradient within ~ 400 kpc of M87, where the galaxies closest to M87 have the highest values. These satellite galaxies are likely the surviving counterparts of accreted dwarfs that contribute stars to the metal-poor, α-rich stellar halos of massive galaxies. Together, these results describe a dense environment that has had a strong and continuing impact on the evolution of its low-mass neighbors.
In this paper, we propose a biomechatronic design of an anthropomorphic artificial hand that is able to mimic the natural motion of human fingers. The prosthetic hand has 5 fingers and 15 joints, which are actuated by 5 embedded motors. Each finger has three phalanges that can fulfill flexion-extension movements independently. The thumb is specially designed to move along a cone surface when grasping, and the other four fingers are well developed based on the four-bar link mechanism to imitate the motion of the human finger. To accomplish the sophisticated control schemes, the fingers are equipped with numerous torque and position sensors. The mechanical parts, sensors, and motion control systems are integrated in the hand structure, and the motion of the hand can be controlled through electromyography (EMG) signals in real-time. A new concept for the sensory feedback system based on an electrical stimulator is also taken into account. The low-cost prosthetic hand is small in size (85% of the human hand), of low weight (420 g) and has a large grasp power (10 N on the fingertips), hence it has a dexterous and humanlike appearance. The performance of the prosthetic hand is validated in a clinical evaluation on transradial amputees.
The present study aims to evaluate the antiparasitic activity of active components from Costus speciosus against Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. Bioassay-guided fractionation was employed to identify active compounds from C. speciosus yielding 2 bioactive compounds: Gracillin and Zingibernsis newsaponin. In-vitro assays revealed that Gracillin and Zingibernsis newsaponin could be 100% effective against I. multifiliis at concentrations of 0·8 and 4·5 mg L−1, with median effective concentration (EC50) values of 0·53 and 3·2 mg L−1, respectively. All protomonts and encysted tomonts were killed when the concentrations of Gracillin and Zingibernsis newsaponin were 1·0 and 5·0 mg L−1. In-vivo experiments demonstrated that fish treated with Gracillin and Zingibernsis newsaponin at concentrations of 1·0 and 5·0 mg L−1 carried significantly fewer parasites than the control (P<0·05). Mortality of fish did not occur in the treatment group (Zingibernsis newsaponin at 5·0 mg L−1) during the trial, although 100% of untreated fish died. Acute toxicities (LD50) of Gracillin and Zingibernsis newsaponin for grass carp were 1·64 and 20·7 mg L−1, respectively. These results provided evidence that the 2 compounds can be selected as lead compounds for the development of new drugs against I. multifiliis.
This paper presents a compact microstrip tri-band bandpass filter (BPF) using two multimode stepped-impedance resonators (SIRs) with a 0° feed structure. The fundamental odd-mode and even-mode resonant frequencies and the third resonant frequency are utilized to determine the center frequencies of the tri-band filter. The mode-splitting technique is used by combining two SIRs with electrical coupling. Therefore, two modes generate one passband and the bandwidths can be controlled by the electrical coupling strength. The 0° feed network is applied to create one pair of transmission zeros at each side of all the triple passbands, resulting in high selectivity. Finally, a tri-band BPF with the central frequencies of 1.8, 2.4, and 5.8 GHz, and respective fractional bandwidths of 8.9, 12.5, and 5.3% are designed and fabricated. The simulated and measured results show a good agreement.
Discovery of ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs) in the past 15 years blurs the once thought clear division between classic globular clusters (GCs) and early-type galaxies. The intermediate nature of UCDs, which are larger and more massive than typical GCs but more compact than typical dwarf galaxies, has triggered hot debate on whether UCDs should be considered galactic in origin or merely the most extreme GCs. Previous studies of various scaling relations, stellar populations and internal dynamics did not give an unambiguous answer to the primary origin of UCDs. In this contribution, we present the first ever detailed study of global dynamics of 97 UCDs (rh ≳ 10 pc) associated with the central cD galaxy of the Virgo cluster, M87. We found that UCDs follow a different radial number density profile and different rotational properties from GCs. The orbital anisotropies of UCDs are tangentially-biased within ~ 40 kpc of M87 and become radially-biased with radius further out. In contrast, the blue GCs, which have similar median colors to our sample of UCDs, become more tangentially-biased at larger radii beyond ~ 40 kpc. Our analysis suggests that most UCDs in M87 are not consistent with being merely the most luminous and extended examples of otherwise normal GCs. The radially-biased orbital structure of UCDs at large radii is in general agreement with the scenario that most UCDs originated from the tidally threshed dwarf galaxies.
The basic idea of H2-C mixture reduction reflects the advantages of hydrogen
for fast reaction and low heat absorption in a smelting reduction reactor where hydrogen
is used as the main reducing agent and carbon as the main heat generator on purpose to cut
down the total energy consumption and CO2 emission. This work aimed at the
experimental investigation of the optimal carbon/hydrogen ratio, a key parameter of iron
oxide reduction with mixture reductive agents of carbon and hydrogen. Experiments were
carried out using a pure Al2O3 crucible which was placed in a
tubular furnace for high temperature. Two investigation methods were adopted: one was
injecting an acetylene/hydrogen mixture reducing gas into molten iron oxides, and the
other was blowing hydrogen into an iron bath during continuous feeding of fine ore mixing
solid carbon. Parameters such as the apparent de-oxidation rate and utilization ratio of
reductive agents were calculated from content analysis of the exhaust gas after dust
removal and drying. In the experiments the highest total de-oxidation rate and
satisfactory apparent utilization ratio of hydrogen were obtained under conditions with
temperatures of 1823 K and the carbon/hydrogen ratio in the region of 0.5:1 to 1:1.
The Blumlein pulse forming line (BPFL) consisting of an inner coaxial pulse forming line (PFL) and an outer coaxial PFL is widely used in the field of pulsed power, especially for intense electron-beam accelerators (IEBA). The output voltage waveform determines the quality and characteristics of the output beam current of the IEBA. Comparing with the conventional BPFL, an IEBA based on a strip spiral type BPFL can increase the duration of the output voltage in the same geometrical volume. However, for the spiral type BPFL, the voltage waveform on a matched load may be distorted, which influences the electron-beam quality. In this paper, the output waveform of an IEBA based on strip spiral BPFL is analyzed. It is found that there is fluctuation on the flattop of the main pulse, and the flatness is increased with the increment of the output voltage. According to the time integrated pictures of the cathode holder during the operation of the IEBA, the electron emission of the cathode holder is one of the reasons to cause the variance of the flatness. Furthermore, the distribution of the current density of spiral middle cylinder of the BPFL is calculated by using electromagnetic simulation software, and it is obtained that the current density is not uniform, and which leads to the nonuniformity of the impedance of BPFL. Meanwhile, when the nonuniformity of the BPFL is taken into account, the operation of the whole accelerator is simulated using a circuit-simulation code called PSpice. It is obtained that the nonuniformity of the BPFL influences the flatness of the output voltage waveform. In order to get an ideal square pulse voltage waveform and to improve the electron beam quality of such an accelerator, the uniformity of the spiral middle cylinder should be improved and the electron emission of the cathode holder should be avoided. The theoretical analysis and simulated output voltage waveform shows reasonable agreement with that of the experimental results.
Zhang X, Wang X, Sha W, Zhou H, Zhang Y. Val66Met polymorphism and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentration in depressed patients.
Objective: Accumulating evidence has suggested a pathophysiological role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in major depressive disorder (MDD). The present study evaluated serum levels of BDNF and explored whether Val66Met BDNF gene polymorphism is correlated with changes in circulating BDNF levels in patients with MDD and control subjects.
Methods: Subjects were 76 patients with MDD and 50 controls. Diagnosis of MDD was determined by the use of a structured clinical interview according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder-IV (DSM-IV) criteria. The concentrations of BDNF were measured by using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The Val66Met BDNF gene polymorphism was examined by the polymerase chain reaction technique.
Results: Serum BDNF was significantly lower in MDD patients than in normal control subjects (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences either in allele or genotype in the Val66Met polymorphism between the MDD and control groups. Moreover, genotype did not significantly correlate with the BDNF serum levels in the MDD or control groups.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that there is a decrease in serum BDNF levels in untreated MDD patients. However, serum BDNF levels were not associated with the Val66Met polymorphism.
The LITTLE THINGS project† has compiled multi-wavelength data (including VLA hi-line emission maps, GALEX FUV/NUV imagery, UBV, narrow-band Hα, and Spitzer images) for a representative sample of nearby dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxies. The broadband data are used to constrain the radial variations of the star formation (SF) rate (SFR) averaged over the past 0.1 Gyr, 1 Gyr and a Hubble time, with a complete library of model SF histories (SFHs). The recent SF of more than ~ 80% of the dIrrs in our sample has been concentrated in the inner disk, and the SF in the outer disk has been markedly suppressed. This outside-in shrinking of the star-forming disk leaves a down-bending (double exponential) stellar mass surface density (Σ*) distribution. Our findings in dIrrs are in contrast to the inside-out disk growth scenario suggested for luminous spiral galaxies.
We investigate aromatic polyureas which can be fabricated in the form of thin films through CVD. It was found that the polymer possesses a flat dielectric response (k∼ 4.2 and loss <1%)) to more than 200°C. The frequency-independent dielectric properties in the investigated frequency range(1kHz∼1MHz), low conductance, low dissipation factor (∼0.005), high breakdown strength (>800MV/m), high energy density (>12J/cm3) and high efficiency suggest this polymer can be a good candidate material for high temperature energy storage capacitors. Breakdown strength was analyzed with Weibull model over a broad temperature range (25°C ∼180°C). Experimental results indicate that aromatic polyurea is more like a nonpolar linear dielectric material because of its highly cross-linked structures. The experiment results further show that this polymer maintains its high performance even at high temperatures.
Including MIPS 24 μm dust emission in the multi-band stellar population analysis, we roughly constrain the star formation histories (SFHs) of MIPS 24 μm selected star-forming regions across the merging disks of the Antennae galaxies. While the overlap regions hold the highest ratios of young over intermediate populations, the western-loop regions have the highest ratios of intermediate to old populations. We find two sequential star formation (SF) paths in the overlap regions, which we interpret as the imprint of the interpenetrating process of the two merging disks following their second close encounter.
Primordial germ cells (PGCs) were isolated from the genital ridges of chicken (Gallus domesticus) embryos at the 19th stage and purified by Ficoll density-gradient centrifugation. PGCs were co-cultured with somatic cells in preliminary culture and subcultured. Identification of PGCs was carried out by histochemical methods, including alkaline phosphatase (AKP) and periodic acid–Schiff (PAS). The proliferating activity of PGCs in subculture was demonstrated by immunocytochemistry of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Meanwhile, proliferating PGCs were compared under different culture conditions of 5–20% fetal cattle serum (FCS), insulin–transferrin–selenite (ITS) medium, conditioned medium (CM), 15% FCS+ITS, 15% FCS+40% CM. The results showed that the cultured PGCs were positive for AKP and PAS staining and displayed intensive proliferating activity by PCNA. The PGCs without centrifugation grew better than those with centrifugation. The PGCs formed larger colonies in media with 5% FCS or ITS than other media, indicating that 5% FCS or ITS supplemented media could be an ideal culture system for PGC proliferation in the PGC-somatic cell co-culture, in addition to the embryonic fibroblast feeder layer.
A liquid crystal polarized light microscope (LC PolScope) was used to examine spindle dynamics in living mouse oocytes. Immature oocytes were cultured for 0–48 h and spindles were imaged with the PolScope at various time points of culture. Oocytes at metaphase I (M-I) and metaphase II (M-II) were also exposed to shifts of temperature from 25 to 41 °C to examine the effects of fluctuations of temperature on spindle dynamics. After examination with the PolScope, some oocytes were fixed and examined by immunocytochemical staining and confocal microscopy. After culturing for 6 h, 76% and 2% of the oocytes reached M-I and M-II stages and all oocytes had birefringent spindles. When the oocytes were cultured for 14–16 h, 88% and 6% of oocytes were at M-II and M-I stages respectively and all oocytes had birefringent spindles. However, when the oocytes were cultured for 22–48 h, the proportions of oocytes with birefringent spindles decreased as culture time was increased. Exposure of oocytes to 25 °C induced spindle disassembly within 10–20 min in both M-I and M-II oocytes. Most (93–100%) oocytes reassembled spindles after warming at 37 °C. Furthermore, exposure of oocytes at M-I stage but not at M-II stage, to 30 °C also induced significant microtubule disassembly. However, exposure of oocytes to 38–41 °C did not obviously change the quantity of microtubules in the spindles, which was measured by retardance. This study indicates that the PolScope can be used to examine spindle dynamics in living oocytes, and it has the advantage over the routine fluorescence microscope in that images can be obtained in the same individual oocyte and the quantity of microtubules can be measured by retardance in living oocytes. These results also indicate that the M-II spindle in mouse oocytes is sensitive to oocyte ageing and cooling, but not heating, and M-I spindle is more sensitive to temperature decline than M-II spindle.