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Alanyl-glutamine (Ala-Gln), a highly soluble and stable glutamine dipeptide, is known to improve gut integrity and function. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether dietary Ala-Gln supplementation could improve growth performance, intestinal development and digestive-absorption function in weaned piglets. A total of 100 purebred Yorkshire piglets weaned at 21 days of age were assigned randomly to four dietary treatment groups and fed a basal diet (control group) or a basal diet containing 0.15%, 0.30% and 0.45% Ala-Gln, respectively. Compared with the control group, piglets fed the Ala-Gln diets had higher average daily gain and lower feed : gain and diarrhea rate (P < 0.05). Moreover, dietary Ala-Gln supplementation increased villous height and villous height : crypt depth ratio in duodenum and jejunum (P < 0.05), as well as the activities of maltase and lysozyme in jejunum mucosa (P < 0.05). In addition, a decrease in serum diamine oxidase activity and crypt depth in duodenum and jejunum was observed in piglets fed the Ala-Gln diets (P < 0.05). Serum cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) concentration and gene expression of cPLA2, Na+-dependent glucose transporter 1, glucose transporter 2 and peptide transporter 1 in jejunum were increased by feeding Ala-Gln diets relative to control diet (P < 0.05). These results indicated that feeding Ala-Gln diet has beneficial effects on the growth performance of weaned piglets, which associated with maintaining intestinal morphology and digestive-absorption function.
A flow corridor is a new class of trajectory-based airspace that encloses groups of flights which fly along the same path in one direction and accept responsibility for separation from each other. A well-designed corridor could reduce the airspace complexity, decrease the workload of air traffic controllers and increase the airspace capacity. This paper analyses the impact of different self-separation parameters on capacity and conflicts of the flow corridor. Both the quantitative impact and interaction effects of pairs of parameters are evaluated using the combined discrete-continuous model and Monte Carlo simulation method. The simulation results show that although the initial separation is the dominating factor, the interactions between initial separation and separation buffer, minimum separation, extra switch buffer, extra threshold buffer and velocity difference threshold also have some significant impacts on the capacity and conflicts for the flow corridor.
This study aimed to evaluate subjective symptom changes in obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patients following nasal surgery, and to explore treatment efficacy in improving patient quality of life.
Patients with nasal blockage accompanied by habitual snoring were stratified into four groups. Their subjective symptoms were evaluated before and after nasal surgery.
There was a significant decrease in the nasal blockage symptom visual analogue scale, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Snore Outcomes Survey, Spouse/Bed Partners Survey and Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20 scores for all patients at six months after surgery. The visual analogue scale score for subjective olfactory function was significantly improved in the severe obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patient group.
Nasal surgery can effectively improve the subjective symptoms of patients with simple snoring accompanied by nasal blockage and of patients with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome, thus improving their quality of life.
EVA foams, like all other polymers, also exhibit strain-rate effects and hysteresis. However, currently available approaches for predicting the mechanical response of polymeric foam subjected to an arbitrarily imposed loading history and strain-rate effect are highly limited. Especially, the strain rates in the intermediate rate domain (between 100 and 102 s–1) are extremely difficult to study. The use of data generated through the drop tower technique for implementation in constitutive equations or numerical models has not been considered in past studies. In this study, an experiment including a quasi-static compression test and drop impact tests with a high speed camera was conducted. An inverse analysis technique combined with a finite element model for material parameter identification was developed to determine the stress–strain behavior of foam at different specific strain rates. It was used in this study to simulate multiple loading and unloading cycles on foam specimens, and the results were compared with experimental measurements.
It has been postulated that aging is the consequence of an accelerated accumulation of somatic DNA mutations and that subsequent errors in the primary structure of proteins ultimately reach levels sufficient to affect organismal functions. The technical limitations of detecting somatic changes and the lack of insight about the minimum level of erroneous proteins to cause an error catastrophe hampered any firm conclusions on these theories. In this study, we sequenced the whole genome of DNA in whole blood of two pairs of monozygotic (MZ) twins, 40 and 100 years old, by two independent next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms (Illumina and Complete Genomics). Potentially discordant single-base substitutions supported by both platforms were validated extensively by Sanger, Roche 454, and Ion Torrent sequencing. We demonstrate that the genomes of the two twin pairs are germ-line identical between co-twins, and that the genomes of the 100-year-old MZ twins are discerned by eight confirmed somatic single-base substitutions, five of which are within introns. Putative somatic variation between the 40-year-old twins was not confirmed in the validation phase. We conclude from this systematic effort that by using two independent NGS platforms, somatic single nucleotide substitutions can be detected, and that a century of life did not result in a large number of detectable somatic mutations in blood. The low number of somatic variants observed by using two NGS platforms might provide a framework for detecting disease-related somatic variants in phenotypically discordant MZ twins.
We fabricated MoS2 transistor adopting electric double layer (EDL) as gate dielectric. So far, EDL has realized p-type conducting MoS2 in addition to well-known n-type conduction showing ambipolar operation. In our study, field-effect superconducting transition of MoS2 was realized with maximum TC around 10 K. This TC is the highest not only within MoS2 compounds but also among whole TMDs. The highest TC discovered in this study lies in the carrier density region much smaller than chemically investigated region. Such compounds with small doping level have never been successfully synthesized by chemical method. Furthermore, by combining HfO2 (typical high-k material for FETs) gating with EDL gating, continuous control of carrier density, and thus quantum phase, was demonstrated. As a result, we successfully obtained the phase diagram of MoS2. Interestingly, the TC exhibits strong carrier density dependence, showing dome-shaped superconducting phase. Superconducting dome in other materials than cuprates has been reported only a few times in doped 2D semiconductors. Since FET charge accumulation is basically two dimensional, our result implies the existence of common mechanism for superconducting dome in 2D band insulators.
This study aimed to confirm that vertical transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) can occur via the infected ovum. Specimens studied were obtained from discarded test-tube embryos from mothers with chronic HBV infection who had received in vitro fertilization treatment. Single-cell reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction was used to detect HBV mRNA in the embryos. HBV mRNA was detected in the cleavage embryos of patients with chronic HBV infection, with a detection rate of 13·2% (5/38). The level of serum HBV DNA was not related to the HBV mRNA positivity rates in embryos. In this study, HBV mRNA was detected in test-tube embryos from HBV-infected mothers who had received in vitro fertilization treatment. This confirms the theory of vertical transmission of HBV via the ovum, thereby providing an important theoretical basis for further study on the mechanism of HBV vertical transmission, influencing factors and blocking measures.
The relationship between recurrent major depression (MD) in women and suicidality is complex. We investigated the extent to which patients who suffered with various forms of suicidal symptomatology can be distinguished from those subjects without such symptoms.
We examined the clinical features of the worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent DSM-IV MD between the ages of 30 and 60 years from across China. Student's t tests, and logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between suicidality and other clinical features of MD.
Suicidal symptomatology is significantly associated with a more severe form of MD, as indexed by both the number of episodes and number of MD symptoms. Patients reporting suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts experienced a significantly greater number of stressful life events. The depressive symptom most strongly associated with lifetime suicide attempt was feelings of worthlessness (odds ratio 4.25, 95% confidence interval 2.9–6.3). Excessive guilt, diminished concentration and impaired decision-making were also significantly associated with a suicide attempt.
This study contributes to the existing literature on risk factors for suicidal symptomatology in depressed women. Identifying specific depressive symptoms and co-morbid psychiatric disorders may help improve the clinical assessment of suicide risk in depressed patients. These findings could be helpful in identifying those who need more intense treatment strategies in order to prevent suicide.
We present a study on the liquid/solid interface, which can be electrostatically doped to a high carrier density (n~1014 cm-2) by electric-double-layer gating. Using micro-cleavage technique on the layered materials: ZrNCl and graphene, atomically flat channel surfaces can be easily prepared. Intrinsic high carrier density transport regime is accessed at the channel interface of electric double-layer field effect transistor, where novel transport properties are unveiled as the field-induced superconductivity on the ZrNCl with high transition temperature at 15 K, and accessing a high carrier density up to 2×1014 cm-2 in graphene and its multi-layers.
InAs/AlGaAs quantum dot infrared photodetectors based on bound-to-bound intraband transitions in undoped InAs quantum dots are reported. AlGaAs blocking layers were employed to achieve low dark current. The photoresponse peaked at 6.2 μm. At 77 K and –0.7 V bias the responsivity was 14 mA/W and the detectivtiy, D*, was 1010 cmHz1/2/W.
Mechanical bending of HTS tapes can result in the deterioration and destruction of their transport properties. Depending on the magnitude and type of strain (tensile or compressive), the films can be permanently damaged by fracture and recoverable only by post heat treatment, or simply elastically strained with recoverable transport properties upon release of the strain. Here we present results of strain effects on BSCCO (2212) /Ag tape transport properties and post heat treatment recovery of those properties.
Processable polymeric nonlinear optical materials can be synthesized by functionalizing a glassy macromolecule with chromophores having large quadratic hyperpolarizabilities, followed by poling in an electric field. In the present case, the functionalization of polystyrene with 4- (4-nitrophenylaza)(N-ethyl)(2-hydroxyethyl))aniline, 4-(4-N,N-dimethylaminostyryl) pyridine, and N-(4-nitrophenyl)-L-prolinol is described. Particularly noteworthy is the high level of chromophore units that can be incorporated into transparent films of these materials, the high second harmonic coefficients that can be achieved (as high as d33 – 11 × 10-9 esu at 1064 nm), and the long-term temporal stability of the second harmonic generation capacity.
The whisker/matrix interfaces in a β-Si3N4w/60 61Al composite were structurally characterized by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). It was shown that there was a nearly amorphous layer (2–3 nm thickness) at a whisker/matrix interface. The magnesium segregation at the whisker/Al interface was revealed by electron dispersive analysis of x-ray (EDAX). MgO and MgAl2O4 nanocrystal particles were formed at the whisker/matrix interface due to the Mg segregation there during the manufacturing of the composite. The Mg2Si particles preferred to precipitate at the whisker/Al interface when the composite was processed with T6 heating treatment. There were specific orientation relationship of the MgAl2O4 or Mg2Si particles with the β-Si3N4 whiskers.
The interface structure in a Ti/TiN multilayer material has been investigated by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). It was shown that the α-Ti and β-TiN layers consisted of many cylindrical crystals growing along the close packed directions normal to the surface of a stainless steel. There existed specific orientation relationship at the Ti/TiN interfaces without transition layers: (111)TiN ‖ (001)Ti, TiN ‖ Ti. However there was no such orientation relationship at the Ti/TiN interfaces with TixN (x >1) transition layers.
DLTS revealed that each plasma type (He and SiCl4) introduced its own characteristic set of defects. Some of the defects created during He processing and one defect introduced by SiCl4 etching had identical electronic properties to those introduced during high energy (MeV) He ion bombardment. SiC14etching introduced only two prominent defects, one of which is metastable with electronic properties similar to a metastable defect previously reported in high and low energy He-ion bombardment of Si-doped GaAs. IV measurements demonstrated that the characteristics of SBDs fabricated on He-ion processed surfaces were very poor compared to those of control diodes (diodes fabricated on surfaces cleaned by conventional wet etching). In contrast, the properties of SBDs fabricated on SiCl4 etched surfaces were as good as, and in some cases superior to, those of control diodes. SBDs fabricated on annealed (at 450°C for 30 minutes) He-processed samples exhibited improved but still poor rectification. In contrast, SBDs fabricated on annealed SiCl4 etched surfaces had virtually the same characteristics as those fabricated on unannealed SiCl4 etched samples.
The adsorption process of water molecules on the surface of InVO4 has been investigated via first principles molecular dynamics simulations and compared with that of the well-known rutile TiO2. We have found that the surface of InVO4 shows a remarked chemical reactivity whenever comes in contact with water and H2O molecules are often adsorbed dissociatively on its surface. The reaction proceeds spontaneously in a way similar to the case of TiO2 and does not require the overcoming of an activation energy barrier. The peculiar atomic connectivity of the InVO4 bulk crystal structure and the changes at the catalyst surface induced by the water adsorption are discussed and compared with the TiO2 system.
Molecular dynamics simulations of C1 through C14 n-alkanes have been used to elucidate diffusion mechanisms in siliceous faujasite zeolites. Additional simulations of the bulk liquids were conducted to compare the liquid and adsorbed phases. Macroscopic quantities, such as heats of adsorption, diffusivities, and activation energies, were calculated and compare well with experimental values. In addition, the simulations provide detailed information about the mechanisms of alkane diffusion in the confined pores of faujasite.
Adhesion strength in sputter-deposited Cu thin films on various types of barrier layers was investigated by scratch test. The barrier layers were Ta1-xNx with varied nitrogen concentration of 0, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.5. Microstructure observation by TEM indicated that each layer consists of mixed phases of β;-Ta, bcc-TaN0.1, hexagonal-TaN, and fcc-TaN, depending on the nitrogen concentration. A sulfur- containing amorphous phase was also present discontinuously at the Cu/barrier interfaces in all samples. Scratch test showed that delamination occurred at the Cu/barrier interface and that the overall adhesion strength increased with increasing the nitrogen concentration. A good correlation was found between the measured adhesion strength and the composing phases in the barrier layer.