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To evaluate the effects of dietary calcium (Ca) intake and Ca supplementation during pregnancy on low birth weight (LBW) and small for gestational age (SGA) infants.
A birth cohort study was conducted in 2010–2012 at the Gansu Provincial Maternity & Child Care Hospital in Lanzhou, China.
A birth cohort study.
9595 pregnant women who came to the hospital for delivery at 20 weeks of gestation or more, and who were 18 years of age or older.
Compared to non-users, Ca supplement users had a reduced risk of LBW infants (OR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.63–0.95) and a reduced risk of nulliparous women giving birth to LBW infants (OR= 0.75, 95% CI: 0.58–0.98) (P<0.05). More specific, both use of Ca supplement before conception and during pregnancy (OR=0.44, 95% CI: 0.19-0.99) and during pregnancy only (OR=0.80, 95%CI: 0.65-0.99) had the main effect of reducing risk of nulliparous women giving birth to LBW infants (P<0.05). There was no association between Ca supplementation and SGA (OR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.75–1.01) (P>0.05). However, higher dietary Ca intake during pregnancy decreases the risk of both LBW (quartile 2: OR=0.72, 95%CI: 0.55-0.94; quartile 3: OR=0.68, 95%CI: 0.50-0.62) and SGA infants (quartile 2: OR=0.77, 95%CI: 0.63-0.95; quartile 3: OR=0.71, 95%CI: 0.57-0.88, quartile 4: OR=0.71, 95%CI: 0.57-0.88) (P<0.05).
Calcium supplementation and adequate dietary intake of calcium during pregnancy are associated with a decreased risk of LBW infants born to nulliparous women.
This article reviews a selected sample of 70 empirical studies in journal articles and doctoral dissertations on language assessment in China between 2011 and 2018. Following a brief introduction to the history and current state of language assessment in China, the article presents a critical review of language assessment research on six themes that have aroused the greatest interest from researchers in the country, including (1) test reliability and validity; (2) factors affecting test performance; (3) rating and rating scales; (4) technology and language testing; (5) test washback; and (6) classroom-based assessment. In addition to situating the commentary on the studies within the social, cultural and historical contexts of China, this article outlines the scholarly contributions of these studies to the wider international field of language learning, teaching and assessment. It concludes with recommendations on areas in need of further development over the coming decades.
The storage root of alligatorweed [Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb.] growing in terrestrial habitats is an important metamorphic organ for its propagation, overwintering, and spread. However, the regulatory mechanism adventitious root expansion to form storage roots is still unclear. To reveal the changes accompanying the root-swelling process, we quantified sugar, soluble protein, and phytohormone content in adventitious and storage roots. Results demonstrated that sucrose, fructose, and soluble protein increased in storage roots, whereas abscisic acid (ABA), indoleacetic acid (IAA), brassinosteroid (BR), gibberellin, jasmonic acid, and cytokinin (trans-zeatin [tZ] and isopentenyladenine [iP] and the corresponding ribosides tZR and iPR). tZ-type (tZR and tZ) content decreased, suggesting the involvement of sugars and hormones in the formation of storage roots. To further reveal the molecular basis of A. philoxeroides’s ability to form storage roots and provide candidate genes for molecular function analyses, we assembled a de novo transcriptome of A. philoxeroides based on four sets of RNA-sequencing data. According to functional annotation and expression profiling, 42 unigenes involved in sucrose synthesis and hydrolysis were identified, in addition to 70, 58, and 78 unigenes in ABA, BR, and IAA signal transduction, respectively. The quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed 21 unigenes involved in sugar metabolism and hormone signal transduction were differentially expressed during the formation of storage roots. These results revealed metabolic changes during the formation of storage roots and provide candidate genes involved in sugar and phytohormone metabolism in A. philoxeroides.
Here, we explored the influences of dietary inulin (INU) supplementation on growth performance and intestinal health in a porcine model. Thirty-two male weaned pigs (with an average body weight of 7·10 (sd 0·20) kg) were randomly assigned to four treatments and fed with a basal diet (BD) or BD containing 2·5, 5·0 and 10·0 g/kg INU. After a 21-d trial, pigs were killed for collection of serum and intestinal tissues. We show that INU supplementation had no significant influence on the growth performance in weaned pigs. INU significantly elevated serum insulin-like growth factor-1 concentration but decreased diamine oxidase concentration (P < 0·05). Interestingly, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation significantly elevated the villus height in jejunum and ileum (P < 0·05). Moreover, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation also elevated the villus height to crypt depth (V:C) in the duodenum and ileum and improved the distribution and abundance of tight-junction protein zonula occludens-1 in duodenum and ileum epithelium. INU supplementation at 10·0 g/kg significantly elevated the sucrase activity in the ileum mucosa (P < 0·05). INU supplementation decreased the expression level of TNF-α but elevated the expression level of GLUT 2 and divalent metal transporter 1 in the intestinal mucosa (P < 0·05). Moreover, INU increased acetic and butyric acid concentrations in caecum (P < 0·05). Importantly, INU elevated the Lactobacillus population but decreased the Escherichia coli population in the caecum (P < 0·05). These results not only indicate a beneficial effect of INU on growth performance and intestinal barrier functions but also offer potential mechanisms behind the dietary fibre-regulated intestinal health.
A new fast-growing mycobacterium, designated strain QGD101T, was isolated from the sputum of an 84-year-old man suspected of tuberculosis in Wuhan Medical Treatment Center, Hubei, China. This strain was a gram-staining-negative, aerobic, non-spore-forming and catalase-positive bacterium, which was further identified as the NTM by PNB and TCH tests. The moxifloxacin and levofloxacin exhibited strong suppressing function against QGD101T with MIC values of 0.06 and 0.125 µg/ml after drug susceptibility testing of six main antimicrobial agents on mycobacteria. Based on the sequence analysis of 16S rRNA, rpoB, hsp65 and 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer, the strain QGD101T could not be identified to a species level. Mycobacterium moriokaense ATCC43059T that shared the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity (98%) with strain QGD101T was actually different in genomes average nucleotide identity (78.74%). In addition, the major cellular fatty acids of QGD101T were determined as C18:1ω9c, C16:0 and C18:2ω6c. The DNA G + C content was 64.9% measured by high performance liquid chromatography. Therefore, the phenotypic and genotypic characterisation of this strain led us to the conclusion that it represents a novel species of mycobacteria, for which the name Mycobacterium hubeiense sp. nov. (type strain QGD101T = CCTCCAA 2017003T = KCTC39927T) was proposed. Thus, the results of this study are very significant for the clinical diagnosis of tuberculosis and future personalised medicine.
Studies have indicated that psychological stress impairs human fertility and that various stressors can induce apoptosis of testicular cells. However, the mechanisms by which psychological stress on males reduces semen quality and stressors induce apoptosis in testicular cells are largely unclear. Using a psychological (restraint) stress mouse model, we tested whether male psychological stress triggers apoptosis of spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α signalling. Wild-type or TNF-α−/− male mice were restrained for 48 h before examination for apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) in spermatozoa, epididymis, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. The results showed that male restraint significantly decreased fertilization rate and mitochondrial membrane potential, while increasing levels of malondialdehyde, active caspase-3, TNF-α and TNFR1 in spermatozoa. Male restraint also increased apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNFR1 in caudae epididymides, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. Sperm quality was also significantly impaired when spermatozoa were recovered 35 days after male restraint. The restraint-induced damage to spermatozoa, epididymis and seminiferous tubules was significantly ameliorated in TNF-α−/− mice. Furthermore, incubation with soluble TNF-α significantly reduced sperm motility and fertilizing potential. Taken together, the results demonstrated that male psychological stress induces apoptosis in spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating the TNF-α system and that the stress-induced apoptosis in spermatogenic cells can be translated into impaired quality in future spermatozoa.
To investigate the hypothesis that folic acid supplementation and dietary folate intake before conception and during pregnancy reduce the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) and to examine the joint effect of folic acid supplementation and dietary folate intake on the risk of SGA.
Participants were interviewed by trained study interviewers using a standardized and structured questionnaire. Information on birth outcomes and maternal complications was abstracted from medical records and dietary information was collected via a semi-quantitative FFQ before conception and during pregnancy.
A birth cohort data analysis using the 2010–2012 Gansu Provincial Maternity and Child Care Hospital.
Women (n 8758) and their children enrolled in the study.
Folic acid supplementation was associated with a reduced risk of SGA (OR = 0·72, 95 % CI 0·60, 0·86), with the reduced risk seen mainly for SGA at ≥37 weeks of gestational age (OR = 0·70, 95 % CI 0·58, 0·85) and nulliparous SGA (OR = 0·67, 95 % CI 0·54, 0·84). There was no significant association between dietary folate intake and SGA risk.
Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation was associated with a reduced risk of SGA and the risk varied by preterm status and parity.
The Ordovician–Silurian (O–S) transition was a critical interval in geological history. Multiple geochemical methods are used to explore the changes in oceanic environment. The Nd isotopic compositions in the Yangtze Sea are controlled by two sources: the continental erosion and the Panthalassa Ocean. High εNd(t) values during the Katian, late Hirnantian and Rhuddanian intervals are associated with the high sea level, which resulted in less terrestrial input based on the low Ti/Al and Zr/Al ratios. In contrast, low εNd(t) values during the early Hirnantian interval are related to the sea-level fall; in this case, the exposure of submarine highs and the growth of Yangtze Oldlands could lead to more continental materials being transported into the Yangtze Sea based on high Ti/Al and Zr/Al ratios. In addition, the negative εNd(t) excursion can also be attributed to the weak circulation between the Yangtze Sea and Panthalassa Ocean when sea level was low. Furthermore, the sea-level eustacy plays a significant role in the changes in redox water conditions. The redox indices, mainly UEF, Ce/Ce* and Corg/PT, across the O–S transition show a predominance of anoxic ocean over the Yangtze Sea during the Katian, late Hirnantian and Rhuddanian intervals, and an oxygenated episode was briefly introduced during the early Hirnantian period because of the fall in sea level. The Late Ordovician biotic crisis was marked by two-phase extinction events, and the change in sea level and redox chemistry may be the important kill mechanisms.
The microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.
In this paper, based on a novel multimode stub-loaded resonator, a second-order quad-band bandpass filter (BPF) with mixed electric and magnetic coupling is presented. The electric coupling and magnetic coupling are realized by arranging the parallel coupled lines and the grounded stub, respectively. Eight controllable resonant modes can be simultaneously excited and easily tuned. Eight transmission zeros are created, enhancing the passband selectivity. In addition, the bandwidths can be controlled independently by adjusting the coupling strength. A quad-band BPF centering at 0.67, 1.51, 2.84, 3.58 GHz with respective 3 dB fractional bandwidths of 13.4, 15.6, 9.2, 11.5% is designed, fabricated, and measured. The filter is compact with overall size 0.058λg × 0.13λg. The measured results show a good consistence with the simulated ones.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
Muscle fibre types can transform from slow-twitch (slow myosin heavy chain (MyHC)) to fast-twitch (fast MyHC) or vice versa. Leucine plays a vital effect in the development of skeletal muscle. However, the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation and its mechanism are still unclear. In this study, effects of leucine and microRNA-27a (miR-27a) on the transformation of porcine myofibre type were investigated in vitro. We found that leucine increased slow MyHC protein level and decreased fast MyHC protein level, increased the levels of phospho-protein kinase B (Akt)/Akt and phospho-forkhead box 1 (FoxO1)/FoxO1 and decreased the FoxO1 protein level. However, blocking the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway by wortmannin attenuated the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation. Over-expression of miR-27a decreased slow MyHC protein level and increased fast MyHC protein level, whereas inhibition of miR-27a had an opposite effect. We also found that expression of miR-27a was down-regulated following leucine treatment. Moreover, over-expression of miR-27a repressed transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC caused by leucine, suggesting that miR-27a is interdicted by leucine and then contributes to porcine muscle fibre type transformation. Our finding provided the first evidence that leucine promotes porcine myofibre type transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC via the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway and miR-27a.
Using unique U.S. Census data sets, we analyze how entrepreneurial firms’ product market characteristics affect their choice between going public, being acquired, or remaining private. Size, total factor productivity (TFP), sales growth, capital expenditure, market share, access to private funding, and human capital intensiveness significantly increase a private firm’s likelihood of an initial public offering (IPO) relative to an acquisition. Firms in industries with less information asymmetry and higher stock liquidity are more likely to choose an IPO over an acquisition. While TFP peaks around either form of exit, the rate of increase in TFP prior to acquisitions and the subsequent decrease is smaller than that around IPOs.
Leucine, one of the branched-chain amino acids, is the only amino acid to regulate protein turnover in skeletal muscle. Leucine not only increases muscle protein synthesis, but also decreases muscle protein degradation. It is well documented that leucine plays a positive role in differentiation of murine muscle cells. However, the role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation and its mechanism remains unclear. In this study, porcine myoblasts were induced to differentiate with differentiation medium containing different concentrations of leucine, and wortmannin was used to interdict the activity of protein kinase B (Akt). We found that leucine increased the number of myosin heavy chain-positive cells and creatine kinase activity. Moreover, leucine increased the mRNA and protein levels of myogenin and myogenic determining factor (MyoD). In addition, leucine increased the levels of phosphorylated Akt/Akt and phosphorylated Forkhead box O1 (P-FoxO1)/FoxO1, as well as decreased the protein level of FoxO1. However, wortmannin, a specific repressor of PI3K/Akt signalling pathway, attenuated the positive role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation. Our results suggest that leucine promotes porcine myoblast differentiation through the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway.
The intestine plays key roles in maintaining body arginine (Arg) homoeostasis. Meanwhile, the intestine is very susceptible to reactive oxygen species. In light of this, the study aimed to explore the effects of Arg supplementation on intestinal morphology, Arg transporters and metabolism, and the potential protective mechanism of Arg supplementation in piglets under oxidative stress. A total of thirty-six weaned piglets were randomly allocated to six groups with six replicates and fed a base diet (0·95 % Arg,) or base diet supplemented with 0·8 % and 1·6 % l-Arg for 1 week, respectively. Subsequently, a challenge test was conducted by intraperitoneal injection of diquat, an initiator of radical production, or sterile saline. The whole trial lasted 11 d. The diquat challenge significantly decreased plasma Arg concentration at 6 h after injection (P<0·05), lowered villus height in the jejunum and ileum (P<0·05) as well as villus width and crypt depth in the duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0·05). Oxidative stress significantly increased cationic amino acid transporter (CAT)-1, CAT-2 and CAT-3, mRNA levels (P<0·05), decreased arginase II (ARGII) and inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels, and increased TNF-α mRNA level in the jejunum (P<0·05). Supplementation with Arg significantly decreased crypt depth (P<0·05), suppressed CAT-1 mRNA expression induced by diquat (P<0·05), increased ARGII and endothelial nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels (P<0·05), and effectively relieved the TNF-α mRNA expression induced by diquat in the jejunum (P<0·05). It is concluded that oxidative stress decreased Arg bioavailability and increased expression of inflammatory cytokines in the jejunum, and that Arg supplementation has beneficial effects in the jejunum through regulation of the metabolism of Arg and suppression of inflammatory cytokine expression in piglets.
Change mode and effects analysis (CMEA) is a powerful technique for measuring product flexibility toward future changes and diminishing the cost of redesign as well as shortening time to market. As a systematic methodology, it provides an in-depth view for the investigation of potential changes, causes, and effects in designs, products, and processes. Traditional CMEA determines the risk priorities of change modes by using change potential number, which requires the risk factors of design flexibility, occurrence, and readiness to be precisely evaluated. However, this is not always possible in real applications due to the uncertainty and subjectivity involved in the early design stages. It has been criticized much for its deficiencies in criteria weighting of the risk factors, change potential number calculation, and risk priorities determination of the change modes. This paper presents a systematic evaluation approach for determining a more rational rank of change modes by combining with the entropy weight method, rough number, and grey relational analysis. In this study, the entropy weight method is adopted to calculate the relative importance of risk factors. Rough number is presented to aggregate individual weights and preferences, and to manipulate the vagueness in the evaluation process. Then a rough number enhanced grey relational analysis is proposed to evaluate the risk ranking of change modes. Finally, a practical example is put forward to validate the performance of the proposed method. The result shows that the proposed change mode evaluation method can effectively overcome the shortcomings of traditional CMEA and strengthen the objectivity of product flexibility measurement.
Current evidence of the relationship between diets and Fe status is mostly derived from studies in developed countries with Western diets, which may not be translatable to Chinese with a predominantly plant-based diet. We extracted data that were nationally sampled from the 2009 wave of China Health and Nutrition Survey; dietary information was collected using 24-h recalls combined with a food inventory for 3 consecutive days. Blood samples were collected to quantify Fe status, and log-ferritin, transferrin receptor and Hb were used as Fe status indicators. In total, 2905 (1360 males and 1545 females) adults aged 18–50 years were included for multiple linear regression and stratified analyses. The rates of Fe deficiency and Fe-deficiency anaemia were 1·6 and 0·7 % for males and 28·4 and 10·7 % for females, respectively. As red meat and haem Fe consumption differed about fifteen to twenty times throughout the five groups, divided by quintiles of animal protein intake per 4·2 MJ/d, only Fe status as indicated by log-ferritin (P=0·019) and transferrin receptor (P=0·024) concentrations in males was shown to be higher as intakes of animal foods increased. Log-ferritin was positively associated with intakes of red meat (B=0·3 %, P=0·01) and haem Fe (B=12·3 %, P=0·010) in males and with intake of non-haem Fe in females (B=2·2 %, P=0·024). We conclude that diet has a very limited association with Fe status in Chinese adults consuming a traditional Chinese diet, and a predominantly plant-based diet may not be necessarily responsible for poor Fe status.
The fluctuation of material parameters and coupling effects of them have significant effects on cross-sectional deformation of rectangular tube in rotary draw bending process. So, in this research, a global sensitivity analysis (GSA) system was established based on the combination of Morris' GSA method and 3-D finite element method, and the reliability of the system is validated. Based on the system built, the sensitivity values of different material parameters combinations were analyzed. The results show that (i) the maximum cross-sectional deformation ratio decreases with the increase of Young's module E and strain hardening exponent n, while the effects of strength coefficient K, initial yield stress σS, and thickness anisotropy exponent γ on cross-sectional deformation are opposite to those of E and n, (ii) the groups which contain E and γ simultaneously show greater sensitivity and the effect of group only including E and γ on cross-sectional deformation is the most remarkable, while the most insensitive group in different combinations contains K, and (iii) mostly, the sensitivity values of coupling groups to cross-sectional deformation are larger than those of one-parameter groups.
A diode-pumped alkali vapor laser (DPAL) is one of the most promising candidates of the next-generation high-powered laser source. As the saturated number density of alkali vapor is highly dependent on the temperature inside a vapor cell, the temperature distribution in the cross-section of a cell will greatly affect the homogeneity of a laser medium and the output characteristics of a DPAL. In this paper, we developed an algorithm based on the regime concluding quasi-Hilbert transform to evaluate the phase aberration of a wavefront when the probe beam passes through the vapor cell placed in one arm of a Mach–Zehnder interference setup. According to the theoretical algorithm, we deduced the temperature distribution of a cesium vapor cell for different heating conditions. The study is thought to be useful for development of a high-powered laser.
A diode-pumped alkali laser (DPAL) provides the significant promise for high-powered performances. In this paper, a mathematical model is introduced for examination of the kinetic processes of a diode-pumped cesium vapor hollow-core photonic-crystal fiber (HC-PCF) laser, in which the cesium vapor is filled in the center hole of a photonic-bandgap fiber instead of a glass cell. The influence of deleterious processes including energy pooling, photo-ionization, and Penning ionization on the physical features of a fiber DPAL is studied in this report. It has been theoretically demonstrated that the deleterious processes cannot be ignored in a high-powered fiber-DPAL system.