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Isolated gametes can be used to investigate fertilization mechanisms, and probe distant hybridization between different species. Pollen grains of wheat and Setaria viridis are tricellular, containing sperm cells at anthesis. Sperm from these plants were isolated by breaking open pollen grains in a osmotic solution. Wheat ovules were digested in an enzyme solution for 20 min, and then transferred to an isolation solution without enzymes to separate egg cells from ovules. The fusion of wheat egg cells with wheat and S. viridis sperm was conducted using an electro-fusion apparatus. Under suitable osmotic pressure (10% mannitol), calcium concentration of 0.001% (CaCl2·2H2O), and a 30–35 V alternating electric field for 15 s, egg cells and sperm adhered to each other and became arranged in a line. Electroporation of the plasma membrane of egg cells and sperm using a 300–500 V direct-current electric field (45 µs amplitude pulse) caused them to fuse.
Employing atomic-scale simulations, the response of a high-angle grain boundary (GB), the soft/hard GB, against external loading was systematically investigated. Under tensile loading close to the hard orientation, strain-induced dynamic recrystallization was observed to initiate through direct soft-to-hard grain reorientation, which was triggered by stress mismatch, inhibited by surface tension from the soft-hard GB, and proceeded by interface ledges. Such grain reorientation corresponds with expansion and contraction of the hard grain along and perpendicular to the loading direction, respectively, accompanied by local atomic shuffling, providing relatively large normal strain of 8.3% with activation energy of 0.04 eV per atom. Tensile strain and residual dislocations on the hard/soft GB facilitate the initiation of dynamic recrystallization by lowering the energy barrier and the critical stress for grain reorientation, respectively.
be a residually finite Dedekind domain and let
be a nonzero ideal of
. We consider counting problems for the ideal chains in
. By using the Cauchy–Frobenius–Burnside lemma, we also obtain some further extensions of Menon’s identity.
To examine the relationships between objectively measured sleep patterns
(sleep duration, sleep efficiency and bedtime) and sugar-sweetened beverage
(SSB) consumption (regular soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and
fruit juice) among children from all inhabited continents of the world.
Multinational, cross-sectional study.
The International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment
Children (n 5873) 9–11 years of age.
Sleep duration was 12 min per night shorter in children who reported
consuming regular soft drinks ‘at least once a day’
compared with those who reported consuming ‘never’ or
‘less than once a week’. Children were more likely to
sleep the recommended 9–11 h/night if they reported
lower regular soft drink consumption or higher sports drinks consumption.
Children who reported consuming energy drinks ‘once a week or
more’ reported a 25-min earlier bedtime than those who reported
never consuming energy drinks. Children who reported consuming sports drinks
‘2–4 d a week or more’ also reported a
25-min earlier bedtime compared with those who reported never consuming
sports drinks. The associations between sleep efficiency and SSB consumption
were not significant. Similar associations between sleep patterns and SSB
consumption were observed across all twelve study sites.
Shorter sleep duration was associated with higher intake of regular soft
drinks, while earlier bedtimes were associated with lower intake of regular
soft drinks and higher intake of energy drinks and sports drinks in this
international study of children. Future work is needed to establish
causality and to investigate underlying mechanisms.
Low-field magnetic stimulation (LFMS) has mood-elevating effect, and the increase of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is associated with antidepressant treatment. We evaluated the effects and association with BDNF of rhythmic LFMS in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).
A total of 22 MDD patients were randomized to rhythmic alpha stimulation (RAS) or rhythmic delta stimulation (RDS), with 5 sessions per week, lasting for 6 weeks. Outcomes assessments included the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD–17), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA), and the Clinical Global Impressions–Severity scale (CGI–S) at baseline and at weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Serum BDNF level was measured at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, and 6.
HAMD–17, HAMA, and CGI–S scores were significantly reduced with both RAS and RDS. RAS patients had numerically greater reductions in HAMD–17 scores than RDS patients (8.9 ± 7.4 vs. 6.2 ± 6.2, effect size [ES]=0.40), while RDS patients had greater improvement in HAMA scores (8.2 ± 8.0 vs. 5.3 ± 5.8, ES=0.42). RAS was associated with clinically relevant advantages in response (54.5% vs. 18.2%, number-needed-to-treat [NNT]=3) and remission (36.4% vs. 9.1%, NNT=4). BDNF increased significantly during the 6-week study period (p<0.05), with greater increases in RAS at weeks 4 and 6 (ES=0.66—0.76) and statistical superiority at week 2 (p=0.034, ES=1.23). Baseline BDNF in the 8 responders (24.8±9.0 ng/ml) was lower than in the 14 nonresponders (31.1±7.3 ng/ml, p=0.083, ES=–0.79), and BDNF increased more in responders (8.9±7.8 ng/ml) than in nonresponders (1.8±3.5 ng/ml, p=0.044). The change in BDNF at week 2 was the most strongly predicted response (p=0.016).
Rhythmic LFMS was effective for MDD. BDNF may moderate/mediate the efficacy of LFMS.
Disclosing the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to a patient is controversial. There is significant stigma associated with a diagnosis of AD or dementia in China, but the attitude of the society toward disclosure of such a diagnosis had not been formally evaluated prior to our study. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the attitude toward disclosing an AD diagnosis to patients in China with cognitive impairment from their caregivers, and the factors that may affect their attitude.
We designed a 17-item questionnaire and administered this questionnaire to caregivers, who accompanied patients with cognitive impairment or dementia in three major hospitals in Shanghai, China. The caregiver's attitude toward disclosing the diagnosis of AD as evaluated by the questionnaire was compared to that of disclosing the diagnosis of terminal cancer.
A majority (95.7%) of the 175 interviewed participants (mean 14.2 years of education received) wished to know their own diagnosis if they were diagnosed with AD, and 97.6% preferred the doctor to tell their family members if they were diagnosed with AD. If a family member of the participants suffered from AD, 82.9% preferred to have the diagnosis disclosed to the patient. “Cognitive impairment” was the most accepted term by caregivers to disclose AD diagnosis in Chinese.
This study suggests most of the well-educated individuals in a Chinese urban area favored disclosing the diagnosis when they or their family members were diagnosed with AD.
Numerical oscillation of the total energy can be observed when the Kohn- Sham equation is solved by real-space methods to simulate the translational move of an electronic system. Effectively remove or reduce the unphysical oscillation is crucial not only for the optimization of the geometry of the electronic structure, but also for the study of molecular dynamics. In this paper, we study such unphysical oscillation based on the numerical framework in [G. Bao, G. H. Hu, and D. Liu, An h-adaptive finite element solver for the calculations of the electronic structures, Journal of Computational Physics, Volume 231, Issue 14, Pages 4967–4979, 2012], and deliver some numerical methods to constrain such unphysical effect for both pseudopotential and all-electron calculations, including a stabilized cubature strategy for Hamiltonian operator, and an a posteriori error estimator of the finite element methods for Kohn-Sham equation. The numerical results demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on restraining unphysical oscillation of the total energies.
Microstructural and property evolution of 1050 commercial pure aluminum subjected to high-strain-rate deformation (1.2–2.3 × 103 s−1) by split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) and subsequent annealing treatment were investigated. The as-deformed and their annealed samples at 373–523 K were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and microhardness tests. TEM observations reveal that the as-deformed sample is mainly composed of a lamellar structure, whose transverse/longitudinal average subgrain/cell sizes are 293 and 694 nm, respectively. The initial coarse grains are refined significantly. The initial lamellar grain structures are subdivided into pancake-shaped subgrains due to a gradual transition by triple junction motion at 473 K, and then a dramatic microstructural coarsening is observed at 523 K. It is suggested that annealing behavior of this dynamic loading structure is better considered as a continuous process of grain coarsening or continuous recovery.
To examine and quantify the potential dose–response relationship between red and processed meat consumption and risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality.
We searched MEDLINE, Embase, ISI Web of Knowledge, CINHAL, Scopus, the Cochrane library and reference lists of retrieved articles up to 30 November 2014 without language restrictions. We retrieved prospective cohort studies that reported risk estimates for all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality by red and/or processed meat intake levels. The dose–response relationships were estimated using data from red and processed meat intake categories in each study. Random-effects models were used to calculate pooled relative risks and 95 % confidence intervals and to incorporate between-study variations.
Nine articles with seventeen prospective cohorts were eligible in this meta-analysis, including a total of 150 328 deaths. There was evidence of a non-linear association between processed meat consumption and risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, but not for cancer mortality. For processed meat, the pooled relative risk with an increase of one serving per day was 1·15 (95 % CI 1·11, 1·19) for all-cause mortality (five studies; P<0·001 for linear trend), 1·15 (95 % CI 1·07, 1·24) for cardiovascular mortality (six studies; P<0·001) and 1·08 (95 % CI 1·06, 1·11) for cancer mortality (five studies; P<0·001). Similar associations were found with total meat intake. The association between unprocessed red meat consumption and mortality risk was found in the US populations, but not in European or Asian populations.
The present meta-analysis indicates that higher consumption of total red meat and processed meat is associated with an increased risk of total, cardiovascular and cancer mortality.
Postnatal rapid growth by excess intake of nutrients has been associated with an increased susceptibility to diseases in neonates with intra-uterine growth restricted (IUGR). The aim of the present study was to determine whether postnatal nutritional restriction could improve intestinal development and immune function of neonates with IUGR using piglets as model. A total of twelve pairs of normal-birth weight (NBW) and IUGR piglets (7 d old) were randomly assigned to receive adequate nutrient intake or restricted nutrient intake (RNI) by artificially liquid feeding for a period of 21 d. Blood samples and intestinal tissues were collected at necropsy and were analysed for morphology, digestive enzyme activities, immune cells and expression of innate immunity-related genes. The results indicated that both IUGR and postnatal nutritional restriction delayed the growth rate during the sucking period. Irrespective of nutrient intake, piglets with IUGR had a significantly lower villous height and crypt depth in the ileum than the NBW piglets. Moreover, IUGR decreased alkaline phosphatase activity while enhanced lactase activity in the jejunum and mRNA expressions of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR-9) and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) in the ileum of piglets. Irrespective of body weight, RNI significantly decreased the number and/or percentage of peripheral leucocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes of piglets, whereas the percentage of neutrophils and the ratio of CD4+ to CD8+ were increased. Furthermore, RNI markedly enhanced the mRNA expression of TLR-9 and DNMT1, but decreased the expression of NOD2 and TRAF-6 in the ileum of piglets. In summary, postnatal nutritional restriction led to abnormal cellular and innate immune response, as well as delayed the growth and intestinal development of IUGR piglets.
We make use of a large sample of transaction-level institutional trading data to test an extended version of Brennan and Hughes’ (1991) information production theory of stock splits. We compare brokerage commissions paid by institutional investors before and after a split, assess the private information held by them, and relate the informativeness of their trading to brokerage commissions paid. We show that institutions make abnormal profits net of brokerage commissions by trading in splitting stocks. We also show that the information asymmetry faced by firms goes down after stock splits. Overall, our empirical results support the information production theory.
Introduction: The mortality of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and its associated risk factors among clinically definite PD patients in China has been rarely investigated. Our study aimed to identify the mortality rates and predictors of death in PD patients in China. Methods: 157 consecutive, clinically definite PD patients from the urban area of Shanghai were recruited from a central hospital based movement disorder clinic in 2006. All patients were regularly followed up at the clinic until December 31, 2011, or death. Mortality and associations with baseline demographics, health and medical factors were then determined within the cohort. Results: After 5 years, 11(7%) patients had died. The standardised mortality ratio was 0.62 (95% CI 0.32 to 1.07, P=0.104). The main causes of death were pneumonia (54.5%, 6/11) and digestive disorders (18.2%, 2/11), respectively. Age at onset, independent living, the mini mental state examination score, the Parkinson’s disease sleep scale score and the Epworth sleepiness scale score at baseline were statistically significantly different between the survival group and the deceased group (P<0.05). Across all participants, risk factors for death included low mini mental state examination score, and high Epworth sleepiness scale score according to a binary variable logistic regression analysis. Conclusions: This study confirms the similar survival of patients with PD to the control population up to a follow-up of 5 years. Interventions tailored to potential risk factors associated with death may offer further benefits.
This study mainly focused on the key technologies, the photon dose calculation based on the Monte Carlo Finite-Size Pencil Beam (MCFSPB) model in the Accurate Radiotherapy System (ARTS). In the MCFSPB model, the acquisition of pencil beam kernel is one of the most important technologies. In this study, by analyzing the demerits of the clinical pencil beam dose calculation methods, a new pencil beam kernel model was developed based on the Monte Carlo (MC) simulation and the technology of medical accelerator energy spectrum reconstruction. which greatly improved the accuracy of calculated result. According to the axial symmetry principle, only part of simulation results was used for the data of pencil beam kernel, which greatly reduced the data quantity of the pencil beam and reduced calculated time. Based on the above studies, the MCFSPB method was designed and implemented by the Visual C++ development tool. With several tests including the comparisons among the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) No. 55 Report sample and the ion chamber measurement of lung-simulating inhomogeneous phantom in clinical treatment plan, the results showed that the maximum error of most calculated point was less than 0.5% in the homogeneous phantom and less than 3% in the heterogeneous phantom. This method met the clinical criteria, and would be expected to be used as a fast and accurate dose engine for clinic TPS.
From September 2009 to September 2010 we undertook a survey of the Endangered François’ langur Trachypithecus francoisi in south-east Chongqing to compare the species' present status with historical records from the 1990s. Based on a literature review, interviews with local people and our survey we found François’ langurs in only three isolated sites, across four counties, with a total area of occurrence of c. 57 km2. The total population was estimated to be c. 200 individuals in 27 mixed sex groups. There were 21 groups (149 individuals) within a reserve (Jinfoshan), and four groups (36) in Furongjiang and two groups (13) in Heishangu were not within any reserve. The primary threat to the langur is habitat loss caused by traditional firewood use and agricultural encroachment but there is also increasing loss of forest to hydroelectric projects and construction of tourism infrastructure and facilities such as highways, hotels and telephone lines. The three sites in southern Chongqing province are adjacent to four areas in north-east Guizhou province that contain c. 60% of the wild population of the species in China. The seven sites combined are the main stronghold of this species and the geographical proximity of the sites raises the possibility of setting up ecological corridors between some of them.
To clarify the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), we investigated whether the gene encoding transforming growth factor-beta 1(TGF-beta 1) is a risk factor for cerebral SVD as a whole, and for two different SVD subtypes.
TGF-beta 1 codon10 (T+29C) genotype was determined in 441 Chinese patients (313 male and 128 female) with cerebral SVD and 450 control subjects (326 male and 124 female). Cerebral SVD patients were retrospectively classified into two groups based on neuroimaging findings: lacunar infarction group with 112 patients and ischaemic leukoaraiosis group with 329 patients.
Subjects carrying TT homozygote were susceptible to cerebral SVD [adjusted odds ratio (OR) =1.44, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.05-1.98; P=0.026]. Further analysis of SVD subtypes revealed a moderate association with the ischaemic leukoaraiosis group [OR= 1.60, 95% CI, 1.14-2.25; P=0.007].
Codon 10 of TGF-beta 1 might be a risk factor for SVD, specifically in ischaemic leukoaraiosis phenotype.
Ferroelectric random access memory (FeRAM) is believed to be the most promising candidate for the next generation non-volatile memory due to its fast access time and low power consumption. Fabrication technologies of FeRAM can be divided into two parts: CMOS technologies for circuits which are standard and can be shared with traditional IC process line, and process relating to ferroelectric which is separated with CMOS process and defined as backend module. This paper described technologies for integrating ferroelectric capacitors into standard CMOS, mainly about modeling of ferroelectric capacitors and backend fabrication technologies. Hysteresis loop of the ferroelectric capacitor is the basis for FeRAM to store data. Models to describe this characteristic are the key for the design of FeRAM. A transient behavioral ferroelectric capacitor model based on C-V relation for circuit simulation is developed. The arc tangent function is used to describe the hysteresis loop. “Negative capacitance” phenomenon at reversing points of applied voltage is analyzed and introduced to the model to describe transient behaviors of the capacitor. Compact equivalent circuits are introduced to integrate this model into HSPICE for circuit simulation. Ferroelectric materials fabrication, electrodes integration and etching are the main technologies of FeRAM fabrication process. An metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) process is developed to fabricate high quality Pb(Zr1-xTix)O3 (PZT) films. Pt is known to cause the fatigue problems when used as electrodes with PZT. Ir is used as electrodes to improve the fatigue property of PZT based capacitors, and mechanism of the fatigue is analyzed. Hard mask is used to reduce the size of the capacitors and damage caused in etching process. In our process, Al2O3 is developed as hard mask, which simplifies the FeRAM backend integration process.
In this paper, polycrystalline CuIn(SxSe1–x)2 thin films with tunable x and Eg (band gap) values were prepared by controlling the sulfurization temperature (T) of CuInSe2 thin films. X-ray diffraction indicated the CuIn(SxSe1–x)2 films exhibited a homogeneous chalcopyrite structure. When T increases from 150 to 500 °C, x increases from 0 to 1, and Eg increases from 0.96 to 1.43 eV. The relations between x and Eg and the sulfurization process of CuIn(SxSe1–x)2 thin films have been discussed. This work provides an easy and low-cost technique for preparing large area absorber layers of solar cell with tunable Eg.
The aim of the present study was to examine the association between dietary patterns and weight change prospectively. We followed up 1231 adults aged 20 years and older (mean age 49·3 years) from 2002 to 2007. Food intake was assessed at baseline by an FFQ. Factor analysis was used to identify dietary patterns. Nutrient intake was measured by food weighing plus consecutive individual 3 d food records. Body weight and height were measured. The mean 5-year weight gain among all participants was 0·8 (sd 4·7) kg. The mean weight changes across quartiles of the ‘traditional’ pattern (rice, fresh vegetables, pork and wheat flour) were 2·0, 0·6, 0·6 and 0·0 kg. The corresponding values were 0·4, 0·5, 0·7 and 1·6 kg across quartiles of the ‘vegetable-rich’ pattern. No significant association between the ‘macho’ dietary pattern (meat and alcohol), the ‘sweet tooth’ pattern (drinks and cake) and weight gain was found. In multivariate linear regression, using the first quartile as the reference, participants in the highest quartile of the ‘traditional’ pattern had a β of − 2·18 (95 % CI − 2·91, − 1·45) for weight gain. However, the β from weight change of the highest quartile of the ‘vegetable-rich’ pattern was 1·00 (95 % CI 0·25, 1·74). In conclusion, the ‘traditional’ dietary pattern was negatively and the ‘vegetable-rich’ pattern was positively associated with weight gain in Chinese adults.