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The present study investigated the effect of hydrothermic maize processing and supplementation of amino acids (AA) in two experiments. In total, 60 barrows and 384 broilers were fed four diets including either unprocessed (T1), or hydrothermically processed maize, that is short- (T2), or long-term conditioned (LC) (T3), and subsequently expanded maize of the same batch. Assuming a higher metabolizable energy (ME) content after processing, the fourth diet (T4) contains maize processed as treatment T3, but AA were supplemented to maintain the ideal protein value. Performance, digestibility and product quality in both species were assessed. Results show that in pigs receiving T4 the average daily feed intake was lower compared with the other treatments, whereas no difference was observed in broilers. The T3 improved the feed conversion rate compared with T1 (P<0.10) for both species. In contrast, average daily gain (ADG) (1277 g/day for T2 and 1267 g/day for T3 v. 971 g/day for T1) was only altered in pigs. The hydrothermic maize processing increased the apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of dry matter, starch and ether extract after acid hydrolysis. This may be a consequence of higher ATTD of gross energy in the finishing phase for both animal species, suggesting a higher ME content in diets with processed maize. The higher ME content of diets with processed maize is supported also by measurements of product quality. Supplementation of AA in T4 enhanced the loin depth in pigs as well as the amount of breast meat in broilers. Further effects of processing maize on meat quality were the reduced yellowness and antioxidative capacity (P<0.10) for broilers, likely due to the heat damage of xanthophylls and tocopherols. Processing also increased springiness and chewiness (P<0.10) of the broilers breast meat, whereas the loin meat of pigs showed a decreased lightness and yellowness (P<0.10) in meat when hydrothermic processed maize was used (for T2, T3 and T4). LC processed maize (T3) showed the lowest springiness in pork, however the supplementation of AA in T4 did not show differences between the treatments. Shown results demonstrated positive effects of hydrothermic processing of maize on animal performance and digestibility in both species. However, effects on carcass characteristics and product quality differed. The negative effects on product quality could be partly compensated with the AA supplementation, whereas a change in meat colour and reduced antioxidative capacity was observed in all groups fed hydrothermic maize processing.
To effectively shape mental healthcare policy in modern-day China, up-to-date epidemiological data on mental disorders is needed. The objective was to estimate the prevalence, age-of-onset (AOO) and sociodemographic correlates of mental disorders in a representative household sample of the general population (age ⩾ 18) in the Tianjin Municipality in China.
Data came from the Tianjin Mental health Survey (TJMHS), which was conducted between July 2011 and March 2012 using a two-phase design. 11 748 individuals were screened with an expanded version of the General Health Questionnaire and 4438 subjects were selected for a diagnostic interview by a psychiatrist, using the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – fourth edition (SCID).
The lifetime and 1-month prevalence of any mental disorder were 23.6% and 12.8%, respectively. Mood disorders (lifetime: 9.3%; 1-month: 3.9%), anxiety disorders (lifetime: 4.5% 1-month: 3.1%) and substance-use disorders (lifetime: 8.8%; 1-month: 3.5%) were most prevalent. The median AOO ranged from 25 years [interquartile range (IQR): 23–32] for substance-use disorders to 36 years (IQR: 24–50) for mood disorders. Not being married, non-immigrant status (i.e. local ‘Hukou’), being a farmer, having <6 years of education and male gender were associated with a higher lifetime prevalence of any mental disorder.
Results from the current survey indicate that mental disorders are steadily reported more commonly in rapidly-developing urban China. Several interesting sociodemographic correlates were observed (e.g. male gender and non-immigrant status) that warrant further investigation and could be used to profile persons in need of preventive intervention.
Australia's National Immunisation Program (NIP) provides free influenza vaccination for children at high risk of severe influenza; a pilot-funded programme for vaccine in all children aged 6 months to <5 years in one of eight states, has seen poor vaccine impact, related to recent vaccine safety concerns. This retrospective review examined influenza hospitalizations in children aged <16 years from three seasons (2011–2013) at two paediatric hospitals on opposite sides of the country. Comparisons of this cohort were made with state-based data on influenza-coded hospitalizations and national immunization register data on population-level immunization coverage. Of 740 hospitalizations, the majority were aged <5 years (476/740, 64%), and a substantial proportion (57%) involved healthy children, not currently funded for influenza vaccine. Intensive care unit admission occurred in 8·5%, and 1·5% of all children developed encephalitis. Use of antiviral therapy was uncommon (20·5%) and decreasing. Of those hospitalized, only 5·0% of at-risk children, who are currently eligible for free vaccine, and 0·7% of healthy children were vaccinated prior to hospitalization. This was consistent with low population-wide estimates of influenza vaccine uptake. It highlights the need to examine alternative strategies, such as universally funded paediatric influenza vaccination, to address disease burden in Australian children.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
Ectropis grisescens Warren and Ectropis obliqua (Prout) are two morphologically similar sibling species with overlapping ranges. In this study, manipulative laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the possibility of reproductive interference in sympatric populations of E. grisescens and E. obliqua and the potential consequences of the mating interaction. Our results showed that the presence of males or females of different species could incur mating interference and significant reduction of F1 offspring. The reduction was not significant relevant to the initial relative abundance of E. grisescens and E. obliqua. Detailed observations of mating opportunity showed that female mating frequencies of both species were not significantly affected by the absolute species density, but the mating success of E. obliqua females with conspecific males depended on species ratio. In addition, adding males to the other species resulted in lower number of offspring suggesting that the males’ behaviour might be linked with mating interference. Males of both E. grisescens and E. obliqua could interfere the intraspecific mating of the other species, but the impact of the mating interference differed. These combined data indicated that asymmetric reproductive interference existed in E. grisescens and E. obliqua under laboratory conditions, and the offspring of the mixed species were significantly reduced. The long term outcome of this effect is yet to be determined since additional reproductive factors such as oviposition rate and progeny survival to adulthood may reduce the probability of demographic displacement of one species by the other in overlapping niches.
We present rational computational design of phenothiazine dyes for dye-sensitized solar cells containing different five-membered rings (thiophene, furan, and selenophene) by a combined strategy of modified conjugation order and functionalization leading to the quinoidization of the ring. We predict that it is possible to lower the excitation energy by 20% vs. the parent dye by the combination of: change in the conjugation order of the methine unit, its functionalization by the CN group, and replacement of the thiophene ring by furan.
Pedogenic alteration of illite from red earth sediments in Jiujiang in subtropical China was investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). Illite, hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite (HIV), kaolinite and mixed-layer illite-HIV (I-HIV) are present in the soils. The characteristic reflections of the clay phases were 14 Å, 10–14 Å, 10 Å, and 7 Å, respectively. After Mg-glycerol saturations, the 14 Å peak of the samples did not expand, and after heating at 350°C and 550°C it shifted to 13.8 Å and 12 Å respectively, with no residual 14 Å reflection, suggesting the occurrence of hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite. The randomly interstratified I-HIV clays were characterized by a broad peak at 10–14 Å, which did not change its position after Mg-glycerol saturation, but collapsed to 10 Å after heating at 350°C and 550°C. HRTEM analysis showed different lattice fringes of 12 Å, 10 Å and 7 Å . Mixed-layer I-HIV, HIV-K and illite-kaolinite (I-K) were observed in the HRTEM images which represented the intermediate phases during illite alteration. The merging of two 10 Å illite layers into a 12 Å HIV layer, lateral transformation of one HIV layer into one kaolinite layer and alteration of one illite layer into two kaolinite layers illustrated the mechanisms of illite-to-HIV, HIV-to-kaolinite and illite-tokaolinite transformation, respectively. The proposed pedogenic alteration of illite and the weathering sequence of the clay minerals in Jiujiang is illite → I-HIV → HIV → HIV-K → kaolinite. In addition, illite may transform directly to kaolinite.
The seasonal variation and spatial distribution of chaetognaths were studied based on samples collected from July to August 2006 (summer), December 2006 to January 2007 (winter), and in April 2007 (spring) on the north-west continental shelf of the South China Sea. A total of 19 species of chaetognaths were identified. The average chaetognath abundances (mean ±SD) were 54.0 ± 44.5, 36.8 ±16.7 and 48.9 ± 95.5 ind. m−3 in summer, winter and spring, respectively. Flaccisagitta enflata and Serratosagitta pacifica were the dominant species during the whole sampling period, and F. enflata determined the spatial distribution of total chaetognath abundance. According to the topography and hydrological conditions, the survey area was divided into three sub-regions: inshore waters of the western Guangdong (Region I), inshore waters to the east of Hainan Island (Region II) and offshore waters from the western Guangdong to Hainan Island (Region III). The community structure and abundance distribution of chaetognaths varied significantly between the three sub-regions. The species richness was significantly different among the three sub-regions, with the lowest in Region I and the highest in Region III. The species richness was correlated positively with temperature and salinity. The abundance of chaetognaths was significantly higher in Region I than in both Regions II and III in summer and spring. The increasing food availability caused by the cold eddy, coastal upwelling and the western Guangdong coastal current was able support a greater abundance of chaetognaths during warm seasons on the north-west continental shelf of the South China Sea.
We report a simple synthesis technique to attached poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) on magnetic nanoparticles. Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles were prepared using co-precipitation method. Nearly monodisperse nanoparticles were separated by terminating surface of Fe3O4 with dopamine followed by careful centrifugation and decantation. NHS/EDC coupling chemistry was employed to attached the carboxylic acid terminated poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) to amine end of dopamine on surface of the magnetic particles. Analysis of the polymer brush layers was conducted using UV-Vis spectroscopy, ATR−FTIR, and Transmission electron microscopy techniques. The magnetic property was investigated using direct current superconducting quantum interference device (DC-SQUID) method.
Polystyrene (PS), polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) were used to fabricate conductive nanocomposites using various mixing methods, followed by compression molding to analyze their electrical properties. The main objective of this research project was to evaluate how using different mixing techniques alter the composite microstructure and hence the properties of the resultant composite material. Three fabrication techniques were selected to be investigated: mechanical mixing, melt-mixing, and solution mixing. The concentration of the fillers was kept constant at 2 wt% MWNT to simplify comparisons. After mixing, the composite mixtures were compression molded at the same temperature of 180°C. It was found that each mixing method yielded uniquely different AC conductivity profiles which can be attributed to how the fabrication method used affected the arrangement of the CNTs in the composite structure. This newfound control of the electrical properties of the composite materials could definitely be useful to researchers because one can choose the proper fabrication technique based on what properties are desired.
Temperature-sensitive ferrogel prepared using Fe3O4 nanoparticles are characterized under varying temperature conditions. The nanoparticles were distributed in Nisopropylacrylamide (NIPAm) during their polymerization to form hydrogel. Particle distribution and agglomeration characteristics of the prepared ferrogels were investigated using ultra small angle x-ray scattering (USAXS) at various temperatures through the Lower Critical Solution Temperature (LCST). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to estimate the particle size distribution. The magnetic property was investigated using direct current superconducting quantum interference device (DC-SQUID) under hydrated conditions. The USAXS analysis showed an increase in the volume of particles without changing the agglomeration characteristics as the temperature is increased during the measurements. The ferrogel did not show any sedimentation or particle detachment from the gel under thermal cycling. Details of our results and analysis are presented.
We examined the uptake of HIV testing in black Africans living in England before the introduction of national testing guidelines. Analyses were conducted using data from an anonymous self-completed questionnaire linked to oral fluid samples to establish HIV status in black Africans attending community venues in England in 2004. Of 946 participants, 44% had ever been tested for HIV and 29% had been tested in the previous 24 months. Of those with undiagnosed HIV, 45% had previously had a negative HIV test. Almost a third of people tested in the UK had been at general practice. Uptake of HIV testing was not associated with perceived risk of HIV. These findings highlight the need for the implementation of national HIV testing guidelines in the UK, including the promotion of testing in general practice. Regular testing in black Africans living in the UK should be promoted regardless of their HIV test history.
We report the case of a successful cochlear implantation in a patient with severe cochlear hypoplasia.
The outcome of cochlear implantation is generally less favourable for patients with cochlear hypoplasia than for those with a normal cochlear structure. In the reported patient, part of the electrode array was inserted into the internal auditory canal. Nevertheless, the benefits following cochlear implantation seemed to outweigh the risks for this patient.
Cochlear hypoplasia is not necessarily a contraindication for cochlear implantation.
Clay mineralogy and its palaeoclimatic interpretation of the early-Eocene (∼53.3–49.70 Ma) sediments at Lulehe, Qaidam basin, northwest China, were investigated using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The interval of ∼53.3–49.70 Ma, including the early-Eocene climate optimum (EECO) with isotopic events, was the transition period of “greenhouse” to “icehouse”. Climate changes during the episode were documented in the sediments and were expressed by the proportion of clay species and clay indices, as well as by the proportion of non-clay minerals, gypsum, halite and calcite. Our results suggest that a warm and humid climate prevailed over the period ∼53.3–52.90 Ma, followed by a warm and seasonally dry and humid climate in the period ∼52.90–51.0 Ma and a subsequently warm and humid climate in the period ∼51.0–49.70 Ma. Three warmer and more humid intervals were observed at 52.7, 51.0 and 50.5 Ma based on clay indices. The climate evolution in the Qaidam Basin during the period derived from the clay mineralogical study is in good agreement with the early Eocene global climate change, and the warm and seasonally dry and humid episode in the early Eocene in Qaidam basin is a regional response to the global early-Eocene climate optimum.
Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma is a ligand-dependent transcription factor with an important role in insulin resistance and obesity. We investigated the associations between the Pro12Ala polymorphism of this receptor, obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnoea syndrome and hyperlipidaemia risk factors, in a Chinese cohort.
Subjects and methods:
We recruited 420 obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnoea syndrome patients and 190 healthy controls. Genetic analysis was conducted by restriction fragment length polymorphism. The hyperlipidaemia risk in both the study and control groups was analysed.
Comparison of genotype and allele frequencies revealed no significant differences between patients and controls (p > 0.05). In patients, there was no correlation between genotype and clinical parameters (p > 0.05), apart from a significant association between the Ala12 allele and hyperlipidaemia (odds ratio = 2.181; p = 0.017; 95 per cent confidence interval = 1.133–4.198).
In this Chinese cohort, the Pro12Ala polymorphism of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma was not associated with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnoea syndrome, but was associated with increased hyperlipidaemia risk.
The present study assessed the relationship between breakfast frequency and measures of obesity in Hong Kong Chinese children aged 9–18 years. A total of 11 570 children (50 % boys) underwent anthropometric measurements and completed a simple self-administered dietary behaviour questionnaire. Their parents completed a questionnaire providing demographic information. Breakfast frequency was assessed by a single question, ‘How many days over the past week did you have breakfast?’ Children were categorised into three groups: skippers (ate breakfast 0–2 times/week); semi-skippers (ate breakfast 3–4 times/week); non-skippers (ate breakfast 5–7 times/week), to assess all associated characteristics. Of the 3644 primary and 7926 secondary school students, 8 % (8·7 % of boys and 6·9 % of girls) and 14 % (14 % of boys and 15 % of girls), respectively, were breakfast skippers. The prevalence of obesity among breakfast skippers, semi-skippers and non-skippers was, respectively, 9·8, 10·6 and 3·8 % (P < 0·001) for primary school students and 3·9, 3·1 and 2·4 % (P < 0·001) for secondary school students. The 12 % of Hong Kong children aged 9–18 years who skipped breakfast had higher BMI, BMI z-scores and percentage of body fat (PBF) than their counterparts. The dose effects of breakfast frequency (unstandardised regression coefficient, P < 0·001) on BMI and PBF were, respectively, − 0·125 kg/m2 and − 0·219 % for boys and − 0·165 kg/m2 and − 0·353 % for girls, adjusting for physical activity per additional breakfast meal per week. Further study is recommended to elucidate whether regular breakfast consumption may have a role in the prevention of childhood obesity.