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The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The associations between Chinese adolescents’ family (maternal, paternal, and sibling) relationship qualities and their adjustment were examined among 540 Chinese families over a one-year period. Path analysis revealed that father-offspring positivity was associated with lower levels of internalising problems, whereas mother-offspring conflict predicted youths’ depressive symptoms and loneliness. Controlling for parent-offspring relationships, sibling intimacy inversely predicted youths’ internalising and externalising problems, whereas sibling conflict predicted youths’ loneliness. Multigroup comparisons revealed that youth gender moderated the associations between maternal conflict and youths’ depressive symptoms, as well as sibling intimacy and youths’ loneliness. Overall, results highlight the importance of family systems for Chinese youths’ mental health and the need to study sibling relationships in future studies of Chinese families.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have consistently revealed that a variant of microRNA 137 (MIR137) shows a quite significant association with schizophrenia. Identifying the network of genes regulated by MIR137 could provide insights into the biological processes underlying schizophrenia. In addition, DLPFC functional connectivity, a robust correlate of MIR137, may provide plausible endophenotypes. However, the regulatory role of the MIR137 gene network in the disrupted functional connectivity remains unclear. Here, we tested the effects of the MIR137 regulated genes on the risk for schizophrenia and DLPFC functional connectivity.
To evaluate the additive effects of the MIR137 regulated genes (N = 1274), we calculated a MIR137 polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia and tested its association with the risk for schizophrenia in the genomic data of a Han Chinese population that included schizophrenia patients (N = 589) and normal controls (N = 575). We then investigated the association between MIR137 PRS and DLPFC functional connectivity in two independent young healthy cohorts (N = 356 and N = 314).
We found that the MIR137 PRS successfully captured the differences in genetic structure between the patients and controls, but the single gene MIR137 did not. We then consistently found that a higher MIR137 PRS was correlated with lower functional connectivities between the DLPFC and both the superior parietal cortex and the inferior temporal cortex in two independent cohorts.
The findings suggested that these two functional connectivities of the DLPFC could be important endophenotypes linking the MIR137-regulated genetic structure to schizophrenia.
Annexin A2 (ANXA2) is reported to be associated with cancer development. To investigate the roles ANXA2 plays during the development of cancer, the RNAi method was used to inhibit the ANXA2 expression in caco2 (human colorectal cancer cell line) and SMMC7721 (human hepatocarcinoma cell line) cells. The results showed that when the expression of ANXA2 was efficiently inhibited, the growth and motility of both cell lines were significantly decreased, and the development of the motility relevant microstructures, such as pseudopodia, filopodia, and the polymerization of microfilaments and microtubules were obviously inhibited. The cancer cell apoptosis was enhanced without obvious significance. The possible regulating pathway in the process was also predicted and discussed. Our results suggested that ANXA2 plays important roles in maintaining the malignancy of colorectal and hepatic cancer by enhancing the cell proliferation, motility, and development of the motility associated microstructures of cancer cells based on a possible complicated signal pathway.
Subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) can increase the level of inflammation and induce rumenitis in dairy cows. Berberine (BBR) is the major active component of Rhizoma Coptidis, which is a type of Chinese anti-inflammatory drug for gastrointestinal diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of BBR on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated rumen epithelial cells (REC) and the underlying molecular mechanisms. REC were cultured and stimulated with LPS in the presence or absence of different concentrations of BBR. The results showed that cell viability was not affected by BBR. Moreover, BBR markedly decreased the concentrations and mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6 in the LPS-treated REC in a dose-dependent manner. Importantly, Western blotting analysis showed that BBR significantly suppressed the protein expression of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and myeloid differentiation primary response protein (MyD88) and the phosphorylation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), inhibitory kappa B (IκBα), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in LPS-treated REC. Furthermore, the results of immunocytofluorescence showed that BBR significantly inhibited the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 induced by LPS treatment. In conclusion, the protective effects of BBR on LPS-induced inflammatory responses in REC may be due to its ability to suppress the TLR4-mediated NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. These findings suggest that BBR can be used as an anti-inflammatory drug to treat inflammation induced by SARA.
The influence of the nozzle aspect ratio (
, 2 and 4), stroke length (
, 3.7 and 5.55) and Reynolds number (
, 158, 316 and 632) on the behaviour of elliptic synthetic jets is studied experimentally. Laser-induced fluorescence and two-dimensional and stereoscopic particle image velocimetry are used to analyse the vortex dynamics and evolution mechanism. It is found that the fluid elements around the major axis of an elliptic vortex ring move downstream faster and tend to approach the centreline, while the fluid elements around the minor axis move downstream at a slower speed and away from the centreline, thereby resulting in the occurrence of the well-known axis-switching phenomenon for elliptic synthetic jets. During this process, a pair of arc-like vortices forms ahead of the primary vortex ring, and they are constituted by streamwise vortices in the leg part and spanwise vortices in the head part; two pairs of streamwise vortices form from the inside of the primary vortex ring and develop in the tails. The streamwise vortices are pushed away progressively from the centreline by the synthetic jet vortex rings that are formed during the subsequent periods. These additional vortical structures for non-circular synthetic jets show regular and periodic characteristics, which are quite different from the previous findings for non-circular jets. Their mutual interaction with the vortex ring causes significant changes in the topology of elliptic synthetic jets, which further results in the variation of the statistical characteristics. Increasing the aspect ratio, stroke length and Reynolds number will make the evolution of the synthetic jet become more unstable and complex. In addition, the entrainment rate of an elliptical synthetic jet is larger than that of a circular synthetic jet and it increases with the nozzle aspect ratio (
) and Reynolds number. It is indicated that the formation of streamwise vortices could enhance the entrainment rate. This finding provides substantial evidence for the potential application of elliptic synthetic jets for effective flow control.
In January 2016, static GPS measurements were carried out in a 30 × 30 km2 area centered around Kunlun station at Dome Argus (Dome A), East Antarctica, to acquire high-precision 3-D geodetic coordinates at 49 sites. By comparing the coordinates with previous GPS measurements in 2008 and 2013 at the same sites, we constructed a detailed and long-term record of the ice-surface velocity field, 2008–2016, around Dome A. During this time span, the estimated ice-surface velocity ranges from 0.8 ± 0.3 to 28.7 ± 1.6 cm a−1, with a mean of 10.4 ± 0.3 cm a−1. From 2013 to 2016, the surface elevation of most Dome A areas exhibits a rising trend, and the maximum increase of snow surface elevation is 84.8 cm. The mean snow surface elevation change rate at Dome A is estimated to be 6.6 ± 0.7 cm a−1. The difference of 1.0 cm a−1 between the snow surface change rate derived from GPS and pole-height change rate from surface mass balance is suspected to be a result of a combination of firn densification and basal melt under Dome A.
The association between gestational weight gain (GWG) and exclusive breast-feeding (EBF) practices remains unclear. The present study evaluated the association between GWG and EBF in the first 6 months postpartum among primiparas in rural China.
The study population was drawn from a previous randomized controlled trial, and the relevant data were obtained from an electronic, population-based perinatal system and a monitoring system for child health care. GWG was categorized according to the guidelines of the Institute of Medicine.
Five rural counties in Hebei Province, China.
A total of 8449 primiparas.
Of the women, 58·7 % breast-fed exclusively for the first 6 months postpartum. Overweight women who gained either more or less weight than the recommended GWG tended to experience failure of EBF (OR=0·49; 95 % CI 0·34, 0·70; P<0·001 and OR=0·79; 95 % CI 0·63, 0·99; P=0·048, respectively). The same results were also observed among obese women; the OR for lower and greater weight gain were 0·28 (95 % CI 0·08, 0·94; P=0·04) and 0·55 (95 % CI 0·32, 0·95; P=0·03), respectively.
GWG that is below or above the Institute of Medicine recommendations is associated with EBF behaviour for the first 6 months postpartum in overweight and obese primiparas in rural China.
Nanocrystalline and nanolaminated materials show enhanced radiation tolerance compared with their coarse-grained counterparts, since grain boundaries and layer interfaces act as effective defect sinks. Although the effects of layer interface and layer thickness on radiation tolerance of crystalline nanolaminates have been systematically studied, radiation response of crystalline/amorphous nanolaminates is rarely investigated. In this study, we show that irradiation can lead to formation of nanocrystals and nanotwins in amorphous CuNb layers in Cu/amorphous-CuNb nanolaminates. Substantial element segregation is observed in amorphous CuNb layers after irradiation. In Cu layers, both stationary and migrating grain boundaries effectively interact with defects. Furthermore, there is a clear size effect on irradiation-induced crystallization and grain coarsening. In situ studies also show that crystalline/amorphous interfaces can effectively absorb defects without drastic microstructural change, and defect absorption by grain boundary and crystalline/amorphous interface is compared and discussed. Our results show that tailoring layer thickness can enhance radiation tolerance of crystalline/amorphous nanolaminates and can provide insights for constructing crystalline/amorphous nanolaminates under radiation environment.
Studies show that the gain from China's remarkable growth of the past 35 years has not been evenly shared, especially through the intergenerational transmission of income. To address this concern, we use data from China Health and Nutrition Survey and find the intergenerational income elasticity to be 0.466 in 2011, which suggests that sons’ incomes are affected by their fathers’ economic statuses to a large extent. A cross-country comparison indicates that the degree of generational income mobility in China is lower than that in many developed nations. Meanwhile, by investigating possible transmission channels, we find that the fathers’ investments in the sons’ education and occupation play substantial roles in intergenerational transmission of income. The results not only demonstrate the trends in intergenerational income mobility in China, but also identify the most likely transmission channels, which is of great importance to improving social equality.
This paper introduces recent activities on Marx-based compact repetitive pulsed power generators at the Institute of Applied Electronics (IAE), China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP), over the period 2010–2018. A characteristic feature of the generators described is the use of a simplified bipolar charged Marx circuit, in which the normal isolation resistors or inductors to ground are removed to make the circuit simpler. Several pulse-forming modules developed to generate a 100 ns square wave output are introduced, including thin-film dielectric lines of different structures, a pulse-forming line based on a Printed Circuit Board, and non-uniform pulse-forming networks. A compact repetitive three-electrode spark gap switch with low-jitter, high-voltage, and high-current was developed and is used in the generators. A positive and negative series resonant constant current power supply with high precision and high power is introduced. As an important part of the repetitive pulse power generator, a lower jitter pulse trigger source is introduced. Several typical high-power repetitive pulsed power generators developed at IAE are introduced including a 30 GW low-impedance Marx generator, a compact square-wave pulse generator based on Kapton-film dielectric Blumlein line, a 20 GW high pulse-energy repetitive PFN-Marx generator, and a coaxial Marx generator based on ceramic capacitors. The research of key technologies and their development status are discussed, which can provide a reference for the future development and application of miniaturization of compact and repetitive Marx generators.
Subcutaneous immunotherapy is an effective and safe treatment for allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma. Different symptom scores are used to evaluate the efficacy of subcutaneous immunotherapy in clinical trials.
A total of 58 allergic rhinitis patients sensitised to house dust mites, with or without mild asthma, were included. Symptom score, medication score, visual analogue scale score and quality of life were assessed before and after 6, 12 and 24 months of subcutaneous immunotherapy.
After two years of subcutaneous immunotherapy, asthma symptom scores nearly reached zero, whereas the scores remained higher for nasal symptoms. The changes in asthma symptom scores were markedly different (p < 0.05) and occurred faster than the changes in nasal symptom scores when compared between monosensitised and polysensitised groups. Significant reductions in visual analogue scale score and medication score were demonstrated after subcutaneous immunotherapy.
Two-year subcutaneous immunotherapy with house dust mite vaccine is an effective treatment for both monosensitised and polysensitised allergic patients. The changes in asthma symptom scores were markedly different and occurred quicker than the changes in nasal symptom scores in Chinese house dust mite allergic patients.
La3+ doped yttrium iron garnet films have been grown on (111) oriented gadolinium gallium garnet substrates via Liquid phase epitaxy technique as a basic material for ISHE device fabrication. Pt as a material with a large spin hall angle was used as a spin detection layer. We investigated the dependence of the spin pumping effect on the power and frequency of the excitation microwaves in La:YIG/Pt bilayers by measuring the ISHE voltage. We demonstrated that the area under the ISHE curve(SISHE) across a wide power range had a nearly linear correlation with the input microwave power (Pin). The parameter SISHE can be used to describe the spin current energy in a Pt layer which can be a useful parameter for a microwave rectifier.
Highly dense zirconia dental ceramic coatings were fabricated by aqueous electrophoretic deposition (EPD) and subsequently sintered between 1250 and 1450 °C. Microstructural examination revealed that aqueous EPDZrO2 coatings possessed a tetragonal phase structure and the grain size increased with increasing sintering temperature. Nanoindentation study proved that the aqueous EPDZrO2 coating also had excellent mechanical properties. The effect of different applied loads on hardness and elastic modulus of the 1350 °C-sintered sample at room temperature was investigated by the method of progressive multicycle measurement nanoindentation. The simulative experiment proved that hardness of aqueous EPDZrO2 exhibited reverse indentation size effect (ISE) behavior and then displayed the normal ISE response. The analysis indicates that the reverse ISE is attributed to the relaxation of surface stresses resulting from indentation cracks at small loads and normal ISE is caused by geometrically necessary dislocations. The tetragonal–monoclinic stress-induced phase transformation during nanoindentation is the primary cause of dental zirconia failures.
To explore the direct and indirect associations of dietary patterns with hypertension using structural equation modelling (SEM).
Factor analysis with varimax rotation was used to classify different dietary patterns and SEM was employed to investigate the associations of dietary patterns with hypertension. Total cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol (TC:HDL-C) ratio and LDL-cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol (LDL-C:HDL-C) ratio were used as observed indicator variables of the lipid latent variable. Waist circumference, body fat percentage and BMI, which were associated with hypertension, were used as observed indicator variables of the obesity latent variable.
International Chronic Disease Cohort (ICDC) that began in 2005 with the purpose of describing the frequency and determinants of chronic diseases in Jilin Province, China.
A total of 1492 adults (40–79 years) were enrolled in the baseline study from August 2010 to August 2011.
Hypertension prevalence in our study population was 34·9 %. It was found that the wine pattern, condiment pattern, obesity latent variable, lipid latent variable, glucose, age and family history of hypertension were factors that had an association with hypertension via SEM, and the corresponding coefficients were 0·056, 0·011, 0·230, 0·281, 0·098, 0·232 and 0·116, respectively.
The wine pattern and lipid latent variable had positive direct associations with hypertension. The condiment pattern had a positive indirect association with hypertension via the obesity latent variable. The vegetables pattern, modern pattern and snack pattern were not associated with hypertension.
We identify a positive causal effect of healthy working environments on corporate innovation, using the staggered passage of U.S. state-level laws that ban smoking in workplaces. We find a significant increase in patents and patent citations for firms headquartered in states that have adopted such laws relative to firms headquartered in states without such laws. The increase is more pronounced for firms in states with stronger enforcement of such laws and in states with weaker preexisting tobacco controls. We present suggestive evidence that smoke-free laws affect innovation by improving inventor health and productivity and by attracting more productive inventors.
The prevalence of sexually transmitted infection (STI) pathogens in Beijing, China, is rarely reported. In this study, 34 911 symptomatic outpatients with suspected genital infections who attended outpatient clinics in a tertiary care hospital were included to investigate the updated prevalence of Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU), Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016 in Beijing, China. Results indicated that a decrease trend (UU, CT, NG and HSV) in male and an increase trend (UU, CT and NG) in female were observed during the period. Patients aged 20–39 years old were mostly affected by these pathogens, while the prevalence in patients aged 20–29 years old was the highest, The prevalence of UU in male was significantly lower than in female (31.5% vs. 49.3%, P < 0.05), while the prevalence of NG in male was significantly higher than in female (2.5% vs. 0.8%, P < 0.05). In patients with co-infections, 60.6% of male and 71.4% of female were co-infected by UU + CT. In total, 11.9% and 88.1% of patients with HSV infections were confirmed to be infected by HSV-1 and HSV-2. This study could contribute to a better understanding of the current epidemiological features of UU, NG, CT and HSV among symptomatic patients attending an outpatient clinic in Beijing, China, and thus facilitate to develop more effective intervention, prevention and treatment of STI.
To investigate the protein-sparing effect of α-lipoic acid (LA), experimental fish (initial body weight: 18·99 (sd 1·82) g) were fed on a 0, 600 or 1200 mg/kg α-LA diet for 56 d, and hepatocytes were treated with 20 μm compound C, the inhibitor of AMP kinase α (AMPKα), treated for 30 min before α-LA treatment for 24 h. LA significantly decreased lipid content of the whole body and other tissues (P<0·05), and it also promoted protein deposition in vivo (P<0·05). Further, dietary LA significantly decreased the TAG content of serum and increased the NEFA content of serum (P<0·05); however, there were no significant differences among all groups in the hepatopancreas and muscle (P>0·05). Consistent with results from the experiment in vitro, LA activated phosphorylation of AMPKα and notably increased the protein content of adipose TAG lipase in intraperitoneal fat, hepatopancreas and muscle in vivo (P<0·05). Meanwhile, LA significantly up-regulated the mRNA expression of genes involved in fatty acid β-oxidation in the same three areas, and LA also obviously down-regulated the mRNA expression of genes involved in amino acid catabolism in muscle (P<0·05). Besides, it was observed that LA significantly activated the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway in muscle of experimental fish (P<0·05). LA could promote lipolysis and fatty acid β-oxidation via increasing energy supply from lipid catabolism, and then, it could economise on the protein from energy production to increase protein deposition in grass carp. Besides, LA might directly promote protein synthesis through activating the mTOR pathway.
Associations between ferritin and insulin sensitivity have been described in recent studies. The possible association showed conflicting results by sex and menopausal status. We aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association of ferritin levels with insulin resistance and β-cell function. A total of 2518 participants (1033 men, 235 pre-menopausal women and 1250 post-menopausal women) were enrolled from the Changfeng Study. A standard interview was conducted, as well as anthropometric measurements and laboratory analyses, for each participant. The serum ferritin level was measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Insulin resistance and β-cell function indices were derived from a homeostasis model assessment. The results showed that the serum ferritin levels were 250·4 (sd 165·2), 94·6 (sd 82·0) and 179·8 (sd 126·6) ng/ml in the men, pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women, respectively. In fully adjusted models (adjusting for age, current smoking, BMI, waist:hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, TAG, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, log urine albumin:creatinine ratio, leucocytes, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase), serum ferritin concentrations are significantly associated with insulin resistance in men and post-menopausal females, and the null association was observed in pre-menopausal females. Interestingly, an increased β-cell function associated with higher ferritin was observed in post-menopausal participants, but not in male participants. In conclusion, these results suggested that elevated serum ferritin levels were associated with surrogate measures of insulin resistance among the middle-aged and elderly male and post-menopausal women, but not in pre-menopausal women.