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This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
We present a high-resolution transmission electron microscopy study, on the unit-cell scale, of the degree of tetragonality and the displacements of cations away from the centrosymmetry positions in an ultra-thin epitaxial PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3 film on a SrRuO3 electrode layer deposited on a SrTiO3 substrate. TEM results show that the lattice is highly tetragonal at the centre of the film with a c/a ratio of about 1.08, while it shows a reduced degree of tetragonality in the regions close to the interfaces. Most strikingly, we find that the maximum off-centre displacements for the central area of the film do not scale with the tetragonality in comparison with the bulk materials. The calculated switched polarization from the measured cationic displacement is 80 ìC/cm2 , and thus only half of the nominal bulk value. It is in very good agreement with electrical measurements of the switched polarization obtained via the PUND method. Furthermore, a systematic reduction of the atomic displacements is measured at the interfaces. This suggests that interface-induced suppression of the ferroelectric polarization plays a critical role in the size effect of nanoscale ferroelectrics. These issues will be discussed further in this presentation. This work was partially supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grants DMR-0132918, NSF-MRSEC DMR-0080008, and an NSF US-Europe program DMR-0244288. V.N also acknowledges the support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for his stay in Germany and the financial support of an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant 0666231.
The water and energy sectors of an economy are inextricably linked. Energy is required in water production, distribution, and recycling, while water is often used for energy generation. In many geographical locations, the energy-water nexus is exacerbated by the shortage of both fresh water resources and energy generation infrastructure. New materials, including metamaterials, are now emerging to address the challenges of providing renewable energy and fresh water, especially to off-the-grid communities struggling with water shortages. Novel nanomaterials have fueled recent technology breakthroughs in solar water desalination, fog and dew collection, and cloud seeding. Materials for passive thermal management of buildings and individuals offer promising strategies to reduce the use of energy and water for heating and cooling. While many challenges remain, emerging materials and technologies improve sustainable management of water and energy resources.
Using a family systems perspective, we examined the trajectories of father-child and mother-child closeness and conflict across Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and their associations with child depressive symptoms across middle childhood among 685 families in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD). Father-child and mother-child relationship conflict increased, whereas relationship closeness decreased from Grades 1 to 6. Girls with more slowly increasing father-child conflict, and more slowly decreasing father-child closeness, were at lower risk for depressive symptoms. Boys with more slowly increasing mother-child conflict were at lower risk for depressive symptoms. These findings highlight the important roles of both father-child and mother-child relationships in children's emotional adjustment during middle childhood.
Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating disease that typically affects formula-fed premature infants, suggesting that dietary components may influence disease pathogenesis. TAG are the major fat components of infant formula, and their digestion requires pancreatic lipases, which may be naturally deficient in premature neonates. We hypothesise that NEC develops partly from the accumulation of incompletely digested long-chain TAG-containing unsaturated fatty acids within the intestinal epithelial cells, leading to oxidative stress and enterocyte damage. We further hypothesise that the administration of a formula that contains reduced TAG (‘pre-digested fat’) that do not require lipase action may reduce NEC severity. To test these hypotheses, we induced NEC in neonatal mice using three different fat formulations, namely ‘standard fat’, ‘pre-digested fat’ or ‘very low fat’, and determined that mice fed ‘standard fat’ developed severe NEC, which was significantly reduced in mice fed ‘pre-digested fat’ or ‘very low fat’. The expression level of the critical fat-digesting enzyme carboxyl ester lipase was significantly lower in the newborn compared with older pups, leading to impaired fat digestion. The accumulation of mal-digested fat resulted in the significant accumulation of fat droplets within the intestinal epithelium of the distal ileum, resulting in the generation of reactive oxygen species and intestinal inflammation. Strikingly, these changes were prevented in pups fed ‘pre-digested fat’ or ‘very low fat’ formulas. These findings suggest that nutritional formula containing a pre-digested fat system may overcome the natural lipase deficiency of the premature gut, and serve as a novel approach to prevent NEC.
The influence of different inclusion levels of a biologically active peptide derived from soybeans by enzymatic hydrolysis, on growth performance, foot pad lesions and carcass characteristics in broilers were examined in this study. Starter (1 to 21 d) and finisher (22 to 42 d) diets, based on maize and soybean meal, were subjected to seven inclusion levels of a commercial soybean bioactive peptide (SBP) product (Fortide, Chengdu Mytech Biotech Co. Ltd., Chengdu, Sichuan, China) at 0.0, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0 g/kg of diet. All diets were equivalent in respect of energy density, digestible amino acids and other nutrients. A total of 840, one-day-old male broilers (Ross 308) were allocated to 42 pens (20 birds/pen), which were randomly assigned to seven dietary treatments. During the starter period, there was no significant effect of SBP on weight gain and feed intake of the birds. However, a significant (P < 0.05) effect of SBP was observed for the feed conversion ratio (FCR), with SBP inclusion at 3.0 g/kg and above showing lower (P < 0.05) FCR values compared to the diet with no SBP. No effect of SBP was observed for weight gain and feed intake over the whole trial period. However, SBP inclusion tended (P = 0.06) to influence the FCR of birds. Increasing SBP inclusion level resulted in gradual decrease in FCR values, with SBP inclusion at 5.0 and 6.0 g/kg showing lower FCR values compared to the diet with no SBP. Overall, the present study suggests that dietary supplementation of SBP in broiler diets has the potential to improve FCR and to be used as a novel functional protein in poultry diets.
Multiple human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genotypes in China were first discovered in Yunnan Province before disseminating throughout the country. As the HIV-1 epidemic continues to expand in Yunnan, genetic characteristics and transmitted drug resistance (TDR) should be further investigated among the recently infected population. Among 2828 HIV-positive samples newly reported in the first quarter of 2014, 347 were identified as recent infections with BED-captured enzyme immunoassay (CEIA). Of them, 291 were successfully genotyped and identified as circulating recombinant form (CRF)08_BC (47.4%), unique recombinant forms (URFs) (18.2%), CRF01_AE (15.8%), CRF07_BC (14.4%), subtype C (2.7%), CRF55_01B (0.7%), subtype B (0.3%) and CRF64_BC (0.3%). CRF08_BC and CRF01_AE were the predominant genotypes among heterosexual and homosexual infections, respectively. CRF08_BC, URFs, CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC expanded with higher prevalence in central and eastern Yunnan. The recent common ancestor of CRF01_AE, CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC dated back to 1983.1, 1992.1 and 1989.5, respectively. The effective population sizes (EPS) for CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC increased exponentially during 1991–1999 and 1994–1999, respectively. The EPS for CRF08_BC underwent two exponential growth phases in 1994–1998 and 2001–2002. Lastly, TDR-associated mutations were identified in 1.8% of individuals. These findings not only enhance our understanding of HIV-1 evolution in Yunnan but also have implications for vaccine design and patient management strategies.
To assess antimicrobial prescriber knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding antimicrobial stewardship (AS) and associated barriers to optimal prescribing.
A convenience sample of 2,900 US antimicrobial prescribers at 5 acute-care hospitals within a hospital network.
The following characteristics were assessed with an anonymous, online survey in February 2015: attitudes and practices related to antimicrobial resistance, AS programs, and institutional AS resources; antimicrobial prescribing and AS knowledge; and practices and confidence related to antimicrobial prescribing.
In total, 402 respondents completed the survey. Knowledge gaps were identified through case-based questions. Some respondents sometimes selected overly broad therapy for the susceptibilities given (29%) and some “usually” or “always” preferred using the most broad-spectrum empiric antimicrobials possible (32%). Nearly all (99%) reported reviewing antimicrobial appropriateness at 48–72 hours, but only 55% reported “always” doing so. Furthermore, 45% of respondents felt that they had not received adequate training regarding antimicrobial prescribing. Some respondents lacked confidence selecting empiric therapy using antibiograms (30%), interpreting susceptibility results (24%), de-escalating therapy (18%), and determining duration of therapy (31%). Postprescription review and feedback (PPRF) was the most commonly cited AS intervention (79%) with potential to improve patient care.
Barriers to appropriate antimicrobial selection and de-escalation of antimicrobial therapy were identified among front-line prescribers in acute-care hospitals. Prescribers desired more AS-related education and identified PPRF as the most helpful AS intervention to improve patient care. Educational interventions should be preceded by and tailored to local assessment of educational needs.
Previous studies showed that spermine could protect the organism from oxidative damage in vivo. However, in vivo information on the antioxidant-related underlying molecular mechanism of spermine is limited. In this experiment, we further evaluated the effects of spermine supplementation and extended spermine administration on the antioxidant status and antioxidant-related signaling molecules gene expression in the liver and longissimus dorsi of piglets. A total of 80 piglets were randomly distributed to two groups, that is, those with adequate nutrient intake administrated with spermine (0.4 mmol/kg BW) or those with restricted nutrient intake supplemented by saline. The piglets were fed in pairs for 7 h or 3, 6, or 9 days. The results are as follows: (1) spermine can promote the antioxidant capacity by increasing enzymatic antioxidant capacity, glutathione content and clearance of oxygen radicals; (2) spermine significantly increased the mRNA levels of enzymatic antioxidant substances, NF-E2-related nuclear factor 2, Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1, and the mammalian target of rapamycin but decreased the mRNA levels of ribosomal p70 S6 kinase in the liver and longissimus dorsi of the piglets.
Suicidal behaviour is prevalent among adolescents and is a significant predictor of future suicide attempts (SAs) and suicide death. Data on the prevalence and epidemiological characteristics of suicidal behaviour in Chinese adolescents are limited. This study was aimed to examine the prevalence, characteristics and risk factors of suicidal behaviour, including suicidal thought (ST), suicide plan (SP) and SA, in a large sample of Chinese adolescents.
This report represents the first wave data of an ongoing longitudinal study, Shandong Adolescent Behavior and Health Cohort. Participants included 11 831 adolescent students from three counties of Shandong, China. The mean age of participants was 15.0 (s.d. = 1.5) and 51% were boys. In November–December 2015, participants completed a structured adolescent health questionnaire, including ST, SP and SA, characteristics of most recent SA, demographics, substance use, hopelessness, impulsivity and internalising and externalising behavioural problems.
The lifetime and last-year prevalence rates were 17.6 and 10.7% for ST in males, 23.5 and 14.7% for ST in females, 8.9 and 2.9% for SP in males, 10.7 and 3.8% for SP in females, 3.4 and 1.3% for SA in males, and 4.6 and 1.8% for SA in females, respectively. The mean age of first SA was 12–13 years. Stabbing/cutting was the most common method to attempt suicide. Approximately 24% of male attempters and 16% of female attempters were medically treated. More than 70% of attempters had no preparatory action. Female gender, smoking, drinking, internalising and externalising problems, hopelessness, suicidal history of friends and acquaintances, poor family economic status and poor parental relationship were all significantly associated with increased risk of suicidal behaviour.
Suicidal behaviour in Chinese adolescents is prevalent but less than that previously reported in Western peers. While females are more likely to attempt suicide, males are more likely to use lethal methods. Multiple child and family factors are associated with suicidal behaviour. These findings highlight the importance of early screening and intervention of suicidal behaviour in Chinese adolescents.
Based on biophysical ice-core data collected in the landfast ice off Barrow, Alaska, USA, in 2002 and 2003, a one-dimensional ice–ocean ecosystem model was developed to determine the factors controlling the bottom-ice algal community. The data and model results revealed a three-stage ice-algal bloom: (1) onset and early slow growth stage before mid-March, when growth is limited by light; (2) fast growth stage with increased light and sufficient nutrients; and (3) decline stage after late May as ice algae are flushed out of the ice bottom. Stages 2 and 3 are either separated by a transition period as in 2002 or directly connected by ice melting as in 2003, when in situ light and nutrient enrichment experiments showed only light limitations. The modeled net primary production of ice algae (NPPAi) from March to June is 1.2 and 1.7 g Cm–2 for 2002 and 2003, respectively, within the range of previous observations. Model sensitivity studies found that overall NPPAi increased almost proportionally to the initial nutrient concentrations in the water column. A phytoplankton bloom (if it occurs as in 2002) would compete with ice algae for nutrients and lead to reduced NPPAi. About 45% of the NPPAi was exported to the shallow benthos.
A biologically active peptide derived from soybeans by enzymatic hydrolysis was evaluated for its potential benefits on chicken growth performance, apparent ileal nutrient digestibility and intestinal histology in young broilers. Seven broiler starter diets, based on maize and soybean meal, were formulated to contain 0.0, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0 g/kg of a commercial soybean bioactive peptide (SBP) product (Fortide, Chengdu Mytech Biotech Co. Ltd., Chengdu, Sichuan, China). All diets were equivalent in respect of energy density, and digestible protein, amino acids, and other nutrients. A total of 336, one-day-old male broilers (Ross 308) were allocated to 42 cages (eight birds/cage), which were randomly assigned to the six dietary treatments. There was no significant effect of SBP on weight gain and feed intake of the birds. A significant (P < 0.01) effect of SBP was observed for FCR. Inclusion of 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 g SBP/kg of feed resulted in similar FCR values to the diet with no SBP, addition of SBP to the diets at 5.0 and 6.0 g/kg of feed resulted in lower (P < 0.05) FCR compared to the diet with no SBP. Inclusion of SBP had no effect (P > 0.05) on apparent ileal digestibility of nutrients and energy utilisation. Though not statistically significant, SBP inclusion, regardless of level, resulted in 5.7% and 6.3% increases in digestibility of dry matter and nitrogen, respectively. Birds receiving no SBP had the shortest villi and those fed SBP at 3.0 and 6.0 g/kg of feed tended (P = 0.075) to have the greatest villus height. The current findings suggested that including SBP in broiler diets may benefit production through improving feed efficiency, and, to some extent, nutrient digestion and intestinal histology parameters.
Faster eating rates are associated with increased energy intake, but little is known about the relationship between children’s eating rate, food intake and adiposity. We examined whether children who eat faster consume more energy and whether this is associated with higher weight status and adiposity. We hypothesised that eating rate mediates the relationship between child weight and ad libitum energy intake. Children (n 386) from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes cohort participated in a video-recorded ad libitum lunch at 4·5 years to measure acute energy intake. Videos were coded for three eating-behaviours (bites, chews and swallows) to derive a measure of eating rate (g/min). BMI and anthropometric indices of adiposity were measured. A subset of children underwent MRI scanning (n 153) to measure abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adiposity. Children above/below the median eating rate were categorised as slower and faster eaters, and compared across body composition measures. There was a strong positive relationship between eating rate and energy intake (r 0·61, P<0·001) and a positive linear relationship between eating rate and children’s BMI status. Faster eaters consumed 75 % more energy content than slower eating children (Δ548 kJ (Δ131 kcal); 95 % CI 107·6, 154·4, P<0·001), and had higher whole-body (P<0·05) and subcutaneous abdominal adiposity (Δ118·3 cc; 95 % CI 24·0, 212·7, P=0·014). Mediation analysis showed that eating rate mediates the link between child weight and energy intake during a meal (b 13·59; 95 % CI 7·48, 21·83). Children who ate faster had higher energy intake, and this was associated with increased BMI z-score and adiposity.
In this paper, we perform an absolute equation of state (EOS) measurement on the principal Hugoniot of aluminum using a near-symmetric impact method. The flyer plates are accelerated to high velocities using the laser-ramp-driven method. An aluminum flyer plate of ~25 µm is accelerated to the velocity range from 4 to 12 km/s. Then the aluminum flyer plate propagates across a vacuum gap and impacts with an aluminum step target. A line-imaging optical recording velocity interferometer for any reflector (ORVIS) is used to measure the aluminum flyer plate and the shock velocity simultaneously. Aluminum EOS data were measured with pressures range from 50 to 200 GPa. This absolute EOS measurement method may be used for studying a variety of materials.
HBsAg reappearance may constitute not only a risk for liver disease but also an infectious source. We aimed to determine whether HBsAg may reappear after spontaneous HBsAg seroclearance. A cohort of 2999 HBsAg-positive subjects aged 30–55 years was recruited in Guangxi, China in 2004. HBsAg was tested every 6 months from July 2004 to June 2007, then, one more time in December 2013. The results showed that spontaneous HBsAg seroclearance occurred in 41 subjects in the first 3 years, giving a 0·54% annual seroclearance rate. Thirteen of the 41 subjects were randomly tested for HBsAg in 2013. Four subjects became HBsAg positive. S gene sequences of HBV were analysed from serum collected before seroclearance and after reappearance, respectively, for subject QS840 (11 and 12 clones), subject TN98 (13 and 13 clones) and subject WX227 (10 and 8 clones). Serotype, subgenotype and amino-acid substitution pattern in each sample collected after reappearance was observed in the sample collected before HBsAg seroclearance. Nucleotide similarity between the two sequences from each subject was >99% and five sequences from subject TN98 were the same. In conclusion, following reactivation, HBsAg may reappear in individuals with spontaneous HBsAg seroclearance many years previously.
Proper monitor planning is a vital component of structural health monitoring (SHM) project. An extremely important part of the monitor planning is the placement of sensors, usually in the form of acceleration sensors. For the placement of three-dimensional acceleration sensors, the state of practice is to select the sensor configuration by previous experiences. However, this results in a waste of many sensors. A novel method called siege ant colony algorithm (SAC) is proposed in this paper. This method is built on the previous ant colony optimization (ACO) in the direction of improving efficiency and accuracy when applied to optimal sensor placement (OSP) problems in large-scale structure monitoring. This method is applied and compared with standard approaches using the Hanjiang transmission tower.
Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a common disease in premature infants characterised by intestinal ischaemia and necrosis. The only effective preventative strategy against NEC is the administration of breast milk, although the protective mechanisms remain unknown. We hypothesise that an abundant human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) in breast milk, 2′-fucosyllactose (2′FL), protects against NEC by enhancing intestinal mucosal blood flow, and we sought to determine the mechanisms underlying this protection. Administration of HMO-2′FL protected against NEC in neonatal wild-type mice, resulted in a decrease in pro-inflammatory markers and preserved the small intestinal mucosal architecture. These protective effects occurred via restoration of intestinal perfusion through up-regulation of the vasodilatory molecule endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), as administration of HMO-2′FL to eNOS-deficient mice or to mice that received eNOS inhibitors did not protect against NEC, and by 16S analysis HMO-2′FL affected the microbiota of the neonatal mouse gut, although these changes do not seem to be the primary mechanism of protection. Induction of eNOS by HMO-2′FL was also observed in cultured endothelial cells, providing a link between eNOS and HMO in the endothelium. These data demonstrate that HMO-2′FL protects against NEC in part through maintaining mesenteric perfusion via increased eNOS expression, and suggest that the 2′FL found in human milk may be mediating some of the protective benefits of breast milk in the clinical setting against NEC.
Public health bodies in many countries are attempting to increase population-wide habitual consumption of whole grains. Limited data on dietary habits exist in Singaporean children. The present study therefore aimed to assess whole grain consumption patterns in Singaporean children and compare these with dietary intake, physical activity and health parameters. Dietary intake (assessed by duplicate, multipass, 24-h food recalls), physical activity (by questionnaire) and anthropometric measurements were collected from a cross-section of 561 Singaporean children aged 6–12 years. Intake of whole grains was evaluated using estimates of portion size and international food composition data. Only 38·3 % of participants reported consuming whole grains during the dietary data collection days. Median intake of whole grains in consumers was 15·3 (interquartile range 5·4–34·8) g/d. The most commonly consumed whole-grain food groups were rice (29·5 %), wholemeal bread (28·9 %) and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals (18·8 %). A significantly lower proportion of Malay children (seven out of fifty-eight; P < 0·0001) consumed whole grains than children of other ethnicities. Only 6 % of all children consumed the amount of whole grains most commonly associated with improved health outcomes (48 g/d). There was no relationship between whole grain consumption patterns and BMI, waist circumference or physical activity but higher whole grain intake was associated with increased fruit, vegetable and dairy product consumption (P < 0·001). These findings demonstrate that consumption of whole grain foods is low at a population level and infrequent in Singaporean children. Future drives to increase whole-grain food consumption in this population are likely to require input from multiple stakeholders.