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Imaging studies have shown that the subcallosal region (SCR) volume was decreased in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, whether the volumetric reductions in the SCR are due to thinning of the cortex or a loss of surface area (SA) remains unclear. In addition, the relationship between cortical measurements of the SCR and age through the adult life span in MDD remains unclear.
We used a cross-sectional design from 114 individuals with MDD and 112 matched healthy control (HC) individuals across the adult life span (range: 18–74 years). The mean cortical volume (CV), SA and cortical thickness (CT) of the SCR were computed using cortical parcellation based on FreeSurfer software. Multivariate analyses of covariance models were performed to compare differences between the MDD and HC groups on cortical measurements of the SCR. Multiple linear regression models were used to test age-by-group interaction effects on these cortical measurements of the SCR.
The MDD had significant reductions in the CV and SA of the left SCR compared with HC individuals after controlling of other variables. The left SCR CV and SA reductions compared with matched controls were observed only in early adulthood patients. We also found a significant age-related CT reduction in the SCR both in the MDD and HC participants.
The SCR volume reduction was mainly driven by SA in MDD. The different trajectories between the CT and SA of the SCR with age may provide valuable information to distinguish pathological processes and normal ageing in MDD.
Chitooligosaccharides (COS) are multi-functional foods and nutrients and environmentally friendly biological abiotic-resistance inducing agents for plants. In the current study, the effects and possible mechanisms of COS on improving the cold resistance of rice (II YOU 1259) seedlings were investigated. Compared with the control, a COS pre-soaking treatment enhanced photosynthesis, reduced oxidation damage and led to accumulation of more osmotic regulation substances under chilling treatment. In addition, a novel Deg/HtrA family serine endopeptidase (DegQ) gene, related to COS enhanced rice cold resistance, was identified. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed that transcription of DegQ and psbA (D1 protein encoding gene) were up-regulated in a time-dependent manner by COS treatment under cold stress. With increasing expression of the D1 protein, chlorophyll b content was enhanced correspondingly. The current results suggest that COS could enhance cold stress tolerance of rice by repairing the photodamaged photosystem II, altering osmotic regulation and reducing oxidation damage.
Northeastern China is a region of high tick abundance, multiple tick-borne pathogens and likely human infections. The spectrum of diseases caused by tick-borne pathogens has not been objectively evaluated in this region for clinical management and for comparison with other regions globally where tick-transmitted diseases are common. Based on clinical symptoms, PCR, indirect immunofluorescent assay and (or) blood smear, we identified and described tick-borne diseases from patients with recent tick bite seen at Mudanjiang Forestry Central Hospital. From May 2010 to September 2011, 42% (75/180) of patients were diagnosed with a specific tick-borne disease, including Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, human babesiosis and spotted fever group rickettsiosis. When we compared clinical and laboratory features to identify factors that might discriminate tick-transmitted infections from those lacking that evidence, we revealed that erythema migrans and neurological manifestations were statistically significantly differently presented between those with and without documented aetiologies (P < 0.001, P = 0.003). Twelve patients (6.7%, 12/180) were co-infected with two tick-borne pathogens. We demonstrated the poor ability of clinicians to identify the specific tick-borne disease. In addition, it is necessary to develop specific laboratory assays for optimal diagnosis of tick-borne diseases.
A comprehensive geochronological and geochemical study was carried out on the gneissic monzogranites, porphyritic granodiorites and charnockites in the Gaozhou complex of the Yunkai massif in the southern part of the South China block to better understand the Early Palaeozoic tectonic regime of the South China block. Laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) U–Pb dating of zircons indicates an age of 453.2 ± 5.1 Ma to the formation of the gneissic monzogranites, whereas the porphyritic granodiorites and charnockites were generated at 437.0 ± 1.5 Ma and 435.2 ± 2.2 Ma, respectively. The gneissic monzogranites show geochemical features consistent with the high-K, calc-alkaline rock series and are strongly peraluminous. They have SiO2 contents ranging from 67.75 to 69.65 wt. % and relatively low CaO contents (1.66–1.94 wt. %). Their REE patterns are fractionated with enriched LREEs and negative Eu anomalies. The samples also show enrichment in LILEs (e.g. Rb and K) and Pb, and depletion in Sr, Ba and HFSEs (e.g. Nb, Ta, Ti and P). They have εNd(t) values of −8.2 to −7.7. Conversely, the porphyritic granodiorites and charnockites are characterized as medium-K, calc-alkaline rock series and weakly to strongly peraluminous. They exhibit pronounced depletions in HFSEs and positive Pb anomalies. Compared to the earlier gneissic monzogranites, these rocks have relatively lower SiO2 (65.50–69.36 wt. %), but higher CaO contents (3.34–4.05 wt. %), and have slightly lower εNd(t) values (−9.1 to −8.4). Petrography and geochemical compositions of the gneissic monzogranites indicate that they are S-type granite and likely formed by partial melting of Neoproterozoic to Early Palaeozoic immature metagreywackes; whereas The porphyritic granodiorites and charnockites are A-type granite and likely derived from low degrees of partial melting of the dry, granulitic residue depleted by prior extraction of granitic melt. The new data for the Caledonian granitoids in the Yunkai massif suggest that they were formed in a post-collisional tectonic setting. They represent the earliest post-collisional alkaline magmatism reported so far in the Yunkai massif, and thus indicate a tectonic regime switch, from compression to extension, as early as the Late Ordovician to Early Silurian (~450–435 Ma).
This study aimed to investigate the impacts of dietary threonine on intestinal immunity and inflammation in juvenile grass carp. Six iso-nitrogenous semi-purified diets containing graded levels of threonine (3·99–21·66 g threonine/kg) were formulated and fed to fishes for 8 weeks, and then challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 d. Results showed that, compared with optimum threonine supplementation, threonine deficiency (1) decreased the ability of fish against enteritis, intestinal lysozyme activities (except in the distal intestine), acid phosphatase activities, complement 3 (C3) and C4 contents and IgM contents (except in the proximal intestine (PI)), and it down-regulated the transcript abundances of liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide (LEAP)-2A, LEAP-2B, hepcidin, IgZ, IgM and β-defensin1 (except in the PI) (P<0·05); (2) could up-regulate intestinal pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-17D mRNA levels partly related to NF-κB signalling; (3) could down-regulate intestinal anti-inflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2, IL-4/13A (not IL-4/13B) and IL-10 mRNA levels partly by target of rapamycin signalling. Finally, on the basis of the specific growth rate, against the enteritis morbidity and IgM contents, the optimum threonine requirements were estimated to be 14·53 g threonine/kg diet (4·48 g threonine/100 g protein), 15.05 g threonine/kg diet (4·64 g threonine/100 g protein) and 15·17 g threonine/kg diet (4·68 g threonine/100 g protein), respectively.
The prevalence of CHD has been well described worldwide except in Tibet. This study aimed to illustrate the prevalence and composition of CHD in Tibetan children according to altitude.
Methods and results
In the first part, we prospectively recruited 7088 unselected Tibetan children (4–17 years) from south-west Tibet. The total prevalence of CHD increased from 4.6/1000 below 4200 m to 13.4/1000 above 4700 m, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.3:3.1. The total prevalence and female prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus increased more than 10-fold. Females living above 4700 m had exceptionally high prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (14.9/1000). The prevalence of atrial septal defect was comparable among different altitudes (3.3–3.8/1000). The prevalence of ventricular septal defect was 1.3/1000 below 4700 m, and no cases were found above this altitude. In the second part, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 383 CHD children in Tibet and 73 children at lower altitudes. The percentage of isolated ventricular septal defect decreased from 54.8 to 3.1%, and the percentage of isolated patent ductus arteriosus increased from 8.2 to 68.4% with elevation. Children living below 4200 m (10.4–13.7%) had a larger proportion of complex CHD than those above this altitude (2.0–3.1%). Of the 20 Tibetan children with complex CHD, 14 (70.0%) lived below 4200 m.
A wide variation in CHD prevalence and composition existed in Tibetan children among different altitudes.
Palaeoproterozic metasedimentary rocks, also referred to as khondalites, characterized by Al-rich minerals, are extensively exposed in the nucleus of the Yangtze craton, South China block. Samples of garnet–sillimanite gneiss in the khondalite suite were collected from the Kongling complex for Nd isotopic and elemental geochemical study. These rocks are characterized by variable SiO2 contents ranging from 35.71 to 58.07 wt%, and have low CaO (0.45–0.84 wt%) but high Al2O3 (18.56–29.04 wt%), Cr (174–334 ppm) and Ni (42.5–153 ppm) contents. They have high CIW (Chemical Index of Weathering) values (90.4–94.7), indicating intense chemical weathering of the source material. The samples display light rare earth elements (LREE) enrichment with negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu*=0.40–0.68), and have flat heavy rare earth elements (HREE) patterns. The high contents of transition elements (e.g. Cr, Ni, Sc, V) and moderately radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions suggest that the paragneisses might be those of first-cycle erosion products of predominantly mafic rocks mixing with small amounts of felsic moderately evolved Archaean crustal source. Geochemical and Nd isotopic compositions reveal that at least some of the protoliths of Kongling khondalite were sourced from local pre-existing mafic igneous rocks in a continental arc tectonic setting. Combined with documented zircon U–Pb geochronological data, we propose that the Palaeoproterozoic high-pressure granulite-facies metamorphism, rapid weathering, erosion and deposition of the khondalites in the interior of the Yangtze craton might be related to a Palaeoproterozoic collisional orogenic event during 2.1–1.9 Ga, consistent with the worldwide contemporary orogeny, implying that the Yangtze craton may have been an important component of the Palaeoprotorozoic Columbia supercontinent.
The present study investigated the effects of dietary vitamin A on immune function in the proximal intestine (PI), mid intestine (MI) and distal intestine (DI) of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). Fish were fed graded levels of dietary vitamin A for 10 weeks, and then a challenge test using an injection of Aeromonas hydrophila was conducted for 14 d. The results showed that, compared with the optimum vitamin A level, vitamin A deficiency significantly decreased fish growth performance, increased enteritis morbidity, decreased intestinal innate humoral immune response and aggravated intestinal inflammation. However, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2A/B mRNA in the DI and IL-6, IL-17D, IL-10, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and TGF-β2 mRNA in the PI were not affected by vitamin A levels. Meanwhile, vitamin A deficiency disturbed inflammatory cytokines in the PI, MI and DI, which might be partly linked to p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) signalling and NF-κB canonical signalling pathway (IκB kinase β (IKKβ), IKKγ, inhibitor of κBα, NF-κB p65 and c-Rel) rather than NF-κB non-canonical signalling pathway (NF-κB p52 and IKKα). However, the signalling molecules NF-κB p65 and p38MAPK did not participate in regulating cytokines in the PI. These results suggested that vitamin A deficiency decreased fish growth and impaired intestinal immune function, and that different immune responses in the PI, MI and DI were mediated partly by NF-κB canonical signalling and p38MAPK signalling pathways. On the basis of percentage of weight gain, to protect fish against enteritis morbidity and acid phosphatase activity, the optimum dietary vitamin A levels were estimated to be 0·664, 0·707 and 0·722 mg /kg, respectively.
To describe nutrient intakes, characterize dietary patterns and analyse their associations with sociodemographic characteristics among pregnant women in Shaanxi, China.
Population-based cross-sectional survey.
Twenty counties and ten districts in Shaanxi Province of Northwest China, 2013.
Women (n 7462) were recruited using a stratified multistage random sampling method to report diets during pregnancy, at 0–12 months (median 3 months; 10th–90th percentile, 0–7 months) after delivery.
Pregnant women had higher intakes of fat, niacin and vitamin E than the nutrient reference values, while most micronutrients such as vitamin A, folate, Ca and Zn were reportedly low. Women in the highest education, occupation and household income groups had higher nutrient intakes than those in the lowest groups. Nutrient intake differences also existed by geographic area, residence and maternal age at delivery. Three dietary patterns were identified: balanced pattern, vegetarian pattern and snacks pattern. Participants with high balanced pattern scores tended to be better educated, wealthier, 25–29 years old at delivery, working outside and living in urban areas and central Shaanxi. Women with high scores on the vegetarian pattern and snacks pattern tended to be in low balanced pattern score groups, and had lower nutrient intakes than those in the high balanced pattern score groups.
The study suggested that pregnant women in Shaanxi, China had low intakes of most nutrients such as vitamin A, folate and Ca. Dietary patterns and most nutrient intakes varied by sociodemographic characteristics. Targeted programmes are needed to improve dietary intakes and dietary patterns among sociodemographically disadvantaged groups.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as a serious hospital and community-acquired infection and some strains are associated with greater severity. We investigated the clinical variability and molecular characteristics of MRSA infections in Shenzhen, China through a study at nine sentinel hospitals from January to December 2014. MRSA infections were classified as community-associated (CA-MRSA), healthcare-associated (HA-MRSA), and healthcare-associated community-onset (HACO-MRSA). In total, 812 MRSA isolates were collected and 183 of these were selected for further study. Patients with HA-MRSA infections were generally of greater age compared to other groups. Distinct body site and clinical presentations were evident in infected patients, e.g. CA-MRSA (skin and soft tissue, 53%), HA-MRSA (respiratory tract, 22%; surgical site, 20%; trauma wounds, 20%) and HACO-MRSA (mastitis, 47%). In contrast to HA-MRSA, other categories of strains were significantly more susceptible to gentamicin, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, and tetracycline. No resistance to vancomycin or linezolid was recorded. The predominant clonal lineage within each strain category was CC59-t437-SCCmec IV/V-agr I (CA, 51·4%; HA, 28·9%; HACO, 52·9%) which exhibited characteristics of a traditional CA clone together with agr I which is more often associated with HA clones. In conclusion, for the three categories of MRSA infections, there were significant differences in clinical characteristics of patients, but the predominant clone in each category shared a similar genetic background which suggests that transmission of MRSA strains has occurred between the community and hospitals in Shenzhen.
The objective of this study was to determine the protective effect of glutamate (Glu) in Cu-induced oxidative injury in fish intestine in vivo and enterocytes in vitro. The results indicated that exposure to 6 mg/l Cu for 72 h induced the production of reactive oxygen species, thereby increasing protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation in enterocytes of grass carp in vitro. Cells exposed to Cu alone resulted in a significant increase in lactate dehydrogenase release, which is accompanied by depletions of antioxidants, including total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), glutathione S-transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GR), anti-superoxide anion (ASA), anti-hydroxy radical (AHR) activities and GSH content. Pre-treatment with Glu remarkably prevented the toxic effects of Cu on the T-SOD, GST, GR, AHR, and ASA activities and GSH content in enterocytes. However, Cu induced an adaptive increase in the activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Glu supplementation further increased GPx activity in enterocytes. Interestingly, the experiment in vivo showed that Glu pre-supplementation significantly elevated SOD, GPx, GST, GR, ASA and AHR activities, as well as GSH content. Further results showed that pre-treatment with Glu could alleviate Cu-induced oxidative injury by elevating antioxidant enzyme activities through regulating the expression of NF-E2-related nuclear factor 2 (Nrf2) mRNA. Together, these results indicated that Glu could attenuate Cu-induced cellular oxidative damage in fish intestine, likely mediated through Nrf2 signalling pathways regulating mRNA expressions of antioxidant enzyme genes and synthesis of GSH.
This study investigated the effects of glycinin on the growth, intestinal oxidative status, tight junction components, cytokines and apoptosis signalling factors of fish. The results showed that an 80 g/kg diet of glycinin exposure for 42 d caused poor growth performance and depressed intestinal growth and function of juvenile Jian carp (Cyprinus carpio var. Jian). Meanwhile, dietary glycinin exposure induced increases in lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation; it caused reductions in superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities; and it increased MnSOD, CuZnSOD, GPx1b and GPx4a mRNA levels, suggesting an adaptive mechanism against stress in the intestines of fish. However, dietary glycinin exposure decreased both the activity and mRNA levels of nine isoforms of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) (α, μ, π, ρ, θ, κ, mGST1, mGST2 and mGST3), indicating toxicity to this enzyme activity and corresponding isoform gene expressions. In addition, glycinin exposure caused partial disruption of intestinal cell–cell tight junction components, disturbances of cytokines and induced apoptosis signalling in the distal intestines>mid intestines>proximal intestines of fish. Glycinin exposure also disturbed the mRNA levels of intestinal-related signalling factors Nrf2, Keap1a, Keap1b, eleven isoforms of protein kinase C and target of rapamycin/4E-BP. Interestingly, glutamine was observed to partially block those negative influences. In conclusion, this study indicates that dietary glycinin exposure causes intestinal oxidative damage and disruption of intestinal physical barriers and functions and reduces fish growth, but glutamine can reverse those negative effects in fish. This study provides some information on the mechanism of glycinin-induced negative effects.
The present study was conducted to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D both in juvenile Jian carp (Cyprinus carpio var. Jian) in vivo and in enterocytes in vitro. In primary enterocytes, exposure to 10 mg lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/l increased lactate dehydrogenase activity in the culture medium (P<0·05) and resulted in a significant loss of cell viability (P<0·05). LPS exposure increased (P<0·05) the mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8), which was decreased by pre-treatment with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25D3) in a dose-dependent manner (P<0·05). Further results showed that pre-treatment with 1,25D3 down-regulated Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (Myd88) and NF-κB p65 mRNA expression (P<0·05), suggesting potential mechanisms against LPS-induced inflammatory response. In vivo, intraperitoneal injection of LPS significantly increased TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8 mRNA expression in the intestine of carp (P<0·05). Pre-treatment of fish with vitamin D3 protected the fish intestine from the LPS-induced increase of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8 mainly by downregulating TLR4, Myd88 and NF-κB p65 mRNA expression (P<0·05). These observations suggest that vitamin D could inhibit LPS-induced inflammatory response in juvenile Jian carp in vivo and in enterocytes in vitro. The anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D is mediated at least in part by TLR4-Myd88 signalling pathways in the intestine and enterocytes of juvenile Jian carp.
The Third Catalogue of Nearby Stars (CNS3) was analyzed. A study of the stellar luminosity function in the solar neighborhood with CNS3 was described. The luminosity function for main sequence stars derived from CNS3 was compared with that from CNS2 and that based on the method of photometric parallaxes. The results from CNS3 for stars with Mv <15.5 were well defined. Luminosity functions for the giants and A, F, G, K and M type main sequence stars are also given, based on CNS3.
The family of interferon-inducible transmembrane proteins (IFITMs) plays a crucial role in inhibiting proliferation, promoting homotypic cell adhesion and mediating germ cell development. In the present study, the full-length cDNAs of zebrafish ifitm1 (744 bp) and ifitm3 (702 bp) were obtained by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis showed that ifitm1 mRNA was expressed in the ovary, testis, brain, muscle, liver and kidney, while ifitm3 mRNA was only detected in the ovary. Based on in situ hybridization, ifitm1 mRNA was found to be strongly expressed in the ooplasm from stage I to stage II and ifitm3 mRNA was also strongly expressed in the ooplasm from stage I to stage II, furthermore ifitm3 expression ultimately localized to the cortex region beneath the plasma membrane of stage IV oocytes. During development, ifitm1 expression was initially detected in the enveloping layer cells and deep layer cells of shield stage embryos. Then, throughout the segmentation phase (10.25–24 hours post-fertilization (hpf)), ifitm1 expression was mainly detected in the head, trunk and tail regions. Unlike ifitm1, ifitm3 expression was initially detected in sphere stage embryos and was then broadly expressed throughout the embryo from the 70% epiboly stage to 24 hpf. Interestingly, ifitm3 was also expressed in primordial germ cells (PGCs) from the bud stage to 24 hpf. This expression analysis indicates that zebrafish ifitm1 may play a critical role in early organogenesis and may perform immune or hematopoietic functions and ifitm3 might be necessary for PGC migration and the formation of female germ cells.
Dietary fibre intake has been suggested to reduce blood glucose levels in diabetic patients, particularly when glycosylated Hb (HbA1c) levels are high. In the present study, we used a quantile regression (QR) approach to characterise the possible heterogeneous associations of dietary fibre intake with HbA1c levels in Chinese diabetic patients. A total of 497 diabetic patients participated in the baseline survey in 2006 and in the follow-up survey in 2011, both of which were conducted in Pudong New Area of Shanghai, China. Structured in-person interviews were conducted to collect information on demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors. Dietary intake was assessed using a validated FFQ. Blood samples were collected during the interviews for biochemical assays. QR models were used to examine the heterogeneous associations of dietary factors with HbA1c levels. A significant marginal association of insoluble dietary fibre intake with subsequent HbA1c levels was observed only when the HbA1c level was over 6·8 %. The associations appeared to be greater when the quantile levels of HbA1c were higher. The coefficient estimates were − 0·174 (95 % CI − 0·433, − 0·025) at the quantile of 0·60, − 0·200 (95 % CI − 0·306, − 0·008) at 0·70, − 0·221 (95 % CI − 0·426, − 0·117) at 0·80, and − 0·389 (95 % CI − 0·516, − 0·018) at 0·90. A similar pattern was observed for the associations of dietary glycaemic index (GI) value with HbA1c levels. In conclusion, the present results indicate that the associations of insoluble dietary fibre intake and GI value with subsequent HbA1c levels depend on glycaemic control status in Chinese diabetic patients. More studies are required to confirm our findings.
Dietary fibre has been linked to lower levels of glycosylated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) among diabetes patients. The present study aimed to evaluate the long-term effect of dietary fibre on HbA1c levels among Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted in 2006 and 2011, with the second one being a repeat survey on a sub-sample from the initial one. In both surveys, an in-person interview was conducted to collect information on demographic characteristics and lifestyles following a similar protocol. Dietary intake was assessed with a validated FFQ. Anthropometric measures and biochemical assays were performed at the interview.
Communities in Pudong New Area of Shanghai, China.
Chinese patients (n 934) with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
An inverse association was observed between dietary fibre and glycaemic status indicated by HbA1c level in both surveys, although it was significant only in the first survey. Among 497 patients participating in both surveys, dietary fibre intake at the first survey was inversely associated with uncontrolled glycaemic status at the second survey, with adjusted odds ratios across the tertiles of intake being 1·00, 0·72 (95 % CI 0·43, 1·21) and 0·58 (95 % CI 0·34, 0·99; Ptrend = 0·048). The change in fibre intake was slightly associated with glycaemic status, with each increase in tertile scores of intake linked to a 0·138 % (β = −0·138; 95 % CI −0·002, 0·278) decrease in HbA1c value and a 19 % (OR = 0·81; 95 % CI 0·65, 1·02) reduced risk of uncontrolled glycaemic status at the second survey.
Dietary fibre may have a long-term beneficial effect on HbA1c level among Chinese diabetes patients.
Fast linear transformer driver (FLTD) has some advantages in repetitive operation compared with traditional pulsed power generators. However, different types of gas switches applied in the field of pulsed power technology in recent years cannot reach the requirements of repetitive operation of FLTD. Therefore, the capability of repetitive operation of a multigap gas switch has been investigated in a circuit similar to the basic discharge loop named as brick in this paper. The switch has been triggered more than 2000 times and the distribution of delay time and switch jitter are analyzed and reported. Also, the self-breakdown voltages of the switch during different segments of the triggered breakdown experiment have been tested. The experimental results indicate that the delay time obeys the Gauss distribution and the jitter of 2000 times of discharge is about 2.3 ns.
To understand a genetic regulatory network, two popular mathematical models, Boolean Networks (BNs) and its extension Probabilistic Boolean Networks (PBNs) have been proposed. Here we address the problem of constructing a sparse Probabilistic Boolean Network (PBN) from a prescribed positive stationary distribution. A sparse matrix is more preferable, as it is easier to study and identify the major components and extract the crucial information hidden in a biological network. The captured network construction problem is both ill-posed and computationally challenging. We present a novel method to construct a sparse transition probability matrix from a given stationary distribution. A series of sparse transition probability matrices can be determined once the stationary distribution is given. By controlling the number of nonzero entries in each column of the transition probability matrix, a desirable sparse transition probability matrix in the sense of maximum entropy can be uniquely constructed as a linear combination of the selected sparse transition probability matrices (a set of sparse irreducible matrices). Numerical examples are given to demonstrate both the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed method.