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Infrared absorption spectroscopy is a powerful tool for structural and functional studies of biomolecules. The technique enables direct access to the vibrational fingerprints of molecular bonds in the mid-infrared spectral region (3-20μm). Although intrinsic absorption cross-sections are nearly ten orders of magnitude greater than corresponding Raman cross-sections, they are still small in comparison with those of fluorescent molecules. Sensitivity improvements are therefore required for the method to be applicable to single molecule / molecular layer studies. In this work, we demonstrate the use of lithographically patterned arrays of nanoantennas to enhance the absorption signature of the protein amide-I and II backbone vibrations. Strong absorption signals from monolayer thickness films are obtained. By arranging ensembles of tailored antennas in specific lattices, higher quality factor resonances and increased near-field intensities are possible. These features are leveraged to obtain 104-105 fold signal enhancements and the direct measurement of vibrational spectra of proteins at zepto-mole sensitivity levels.
A novel freeze-cast porous chitosan conduit for peripheral nerve repair with highly-aligned, double layered porosity, which provides the ideal mechanical and chemical properties was designed, manufactured, and assessed in vivo. Efficacies of the conduit and the control inverted nerve autograft were evaluated in bridging 10-mm Lewis rat sciatic nerve gap at 12 weeks post-implantation. Biocompatibility and regenerative efficacy of the porous chitosan conduit were evaluated through the histomorphometric analysis of longitudinal and transverse sections. The porous chitosan conduit was found to have promising regenerative characteristics, promoting the desired neovascularization, and axonal ingrowth and alignment through a combination of structural, mechanical and chemical cues.
An updated compilation of published and new data of major-ion (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, NO3, SO4) and methylsulfonate (MS) concentrations in snow from 520 Antarctic sites is provided by the national ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition) programmes of Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and the national Antarctic programme of Finland. The comparison shows that snow chemistry concentrations vary by up to four orders of magnitude across Antarctica and exhibit distinct geographical patterns. The Antarctic-wide comparison of glaciochemical records provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the fundamental factors that ultimately control the chemistry of snow or ice samples. This paper aims to initiate data compilation and administration in order to provide a framework for facilitation of Antarctic-wide snow chemistry discussions across all ITASE nations and other contributing groups. The data are made available through the ITASE web page (http://www2.umaine.edu/itase/content/syngroups/snowchem.html) and will be updated with new data as they are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research efforts are summarized.
Vertigo is common in the emergency department (ED). Most aetiologies are peripheral and do not require hospitalization, but many patients still fear falling. Some patients may be taking opioid analgesic medications (for other reasons); the risk of falls leading to fractures among patients with vertigo could be potentiated by the simultaneous use of opioids.
To examine the risk of fractures in discharged ED patients with peripheral vertigo who were being prescribed opioids during the same time period.
Linked administrative databases from Ontario were used to compare discharged ED patients aged ≥65 with peripheral vertigo to patients with urinary tract infection (UTI) from 2006 to 2011. We used Cox regression analysis with an interaction term to estimate the modifying effect of an opioid prescription on the hazard of fracture within 90 days.
There were 13,012 patients with a peripheral vertigo syndrome and 76,885 with a UTI. Thirteen percent of the vertigo cohort and 25% of the UTI cohort had access to a filled opioid prescription. Compared to vertigo patients who did not fill an opioid prescription, the adjusted hazard of fracture among vertigo patients who did fill a prescription was 3.59 (95% CI 1.97–6.13). Among UTI patients who filled an opioid prescription the hazard ratio was 1.68 (95% CI 1.43–1.97) compared to UTI patients who did not.
Patients discharged from the ED with peripheral vertigo who were also being prescribed opioids had a higher hazard of subsequent fracture compared to those who were not, and the effect was much greater than among UTI patients. These results suggest that in the acutely vertiginous older patient, opioid analgesic medications should be modified, where possible.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
We determined the prevalence and seasonality of infections by Fasciola of goats and bovine species (cattle and water buffalo) in Hubei and Anhui provinces of China. Faecal samples were collected at 2- to 3-month intervals from 200 goats in Hubei province and from 152 bovine species in Anhui province. All faecal samples were examined for the presence of parasites. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of 39 Fasciola worms from Anhui province. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in goats ranged between 3.5 and 37.0%, with mean eggs per gram (EPG) ranging between 29.0 and 166.0. Prevalence and EPG exhibited downward trends over time with significant differences. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in cattle ranged between 13.3 and 46.2% (mean EPG, 36.4–100.0), and that of water buffalo ranged between 10.3 and 35.4% (mean EPG, 25.0–89.6), with a higher prevalence of infection and EPG from June to October compared with December to March. Analysis of ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences revealed that F. hepatica and F. gigantica were present in all bovine species of Anhui province and that F. gigantica mainly infected water buffalo. This is the first demonstration of Fasciola infection in Hubei province and detection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Anhui province. The present study of Hubei province shows that mass treatment of livestock with closantel sodium injections in April and August/September controlled Fasciola infection effectively.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Pedogenic alteration of illite from red earth sediments in Jiujiang in subtropical China was investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). Illite, hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite (HIV), kaolinite and mixed-layer illite-HIV (I-HIV) are present in the soils. The characteristic reflections of the clay phases were 14 Å, 10–14 Å, 10 Å, and 7 Å, respectively. After Mg-glycerol saturations, the 14 Å peak of the samples did not expand, and after heating at 350°C and 550°C it shifted to 13.8 Å and 12 Å respectively, with no residual 14 Å reflection, suggesting the occurrence of hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite. The randomly interstratified I-HIV clays were characterized by a broad peak at 10–14 Å, which did not change its position after Mg-glycerol saturation, but collapsed to 10 Å after heating at 350°C and 550°C. HRTEM analysis showed different lattice fringes of 12 Å, 10 Å and 7 Å . Mixed-layer I-HIV, HIV-K and illite-kaolinite (I-K) were observed in the HRTEM images which represented the intermediate phases during illite alteration. The merging of two 10 Å illite layers into a 12 Å HIV layer, lateral transformation of one HIV layer into one kaolinite layer and alteration of one illite layer into two kaolinite layers illustrated the mechanisms of illite-to-HIV, HIV-to-kaolinite and illite-tokaolinite transformation, respectively. The proposed pedogenic alteration of illite and the weathering sequence of the clay minerals in Jiujiang is illite → I-HIV → HIV → HIV-K → kaolinite. In addition, illite may transform directly to kaolinite.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
The symptoms of major depression (MD) are clinically diverse. Do they form coherent factors that might clarify the underlying nature of this important psychiatric syndrome?
Symptoms at lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatoryfactor analysis (CFA) were performed in Mplus in random split-half samples.
The preliminary EFA results were consistently supported by the findings from CFA. Analyses of the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria revealed two factors loading on: (i) general depressive symptoms; and (ii) guilt/suicidal ideation. Examining 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria revealed three factors reflecting: (i) weight/appetite disturbance; (ii) general depressive symptoms; and (iii) sleep disturbance. Using all symptoms (n = 27), we identified five factors that reflected: (i) weight/appetite symptoms; (ii) general retarded depressive symptoms; (iii) atypical vegetative symptoms; (iv) suicidality/hopelessness; and (v) symptoms of agitation and anxiety.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several underlying correlated symptom dimensions. In addition to a general depressive symptom factor, a complete picture must include factors reflecting typical/atypical vegetative symptoms, cognitive symptoms (hopelessness/suicidal ideation), and an agitated symptom factor characterized by anxiety, guilt, helplessness and irritability. Prior cross-cultural studies, factor analyses of MD in Western populations and empirical findings in this sample showing risk factor profiles similar to those seen in Western populations suggest that our results are likely to be broadly representative of the human depressive syndrome.
To investigate whether inadequate dose to Point-A necessitates treatment plan changes in a time of computed tomography (CT)-image-guided brachytherapy treatment planning for cervix cancer.
Materials and methods
A total of 125 tandem and ovoid insertions from 25 cervix patients treated were reviewed. CT-image-based treatment planning was carried out for each insertion. Point-A is identified and the dose documented; however, dose optimisation in each plan was based on covering target while limiting critical organ doses (PlanTarget). No attempts were made to equate prescription and Point-A dose. For each insertion, a second hypothetical treatment plan was generated by prescribing dose to Point-A (PlanPoint-A). Plans were inter-compared using dose–volume histogram analyses.
A total of 250 treatment plans were analysed. For the study population, the median cumulative dose at Point-A was 80 Gy (range 70–95) for PlanTarget compared with 84·25 Gy for PlanPoint-A. Bladder and rectal doses were higher for PlanPoint-A compared with PlanTarget (p < 0·0001). Target D90 did not correlate with Point-A dose (p = 0·60).
Depending on applicator geometry, tumour size and patient anatomy, Point-A dose may vary in magnitude compared with prescription dose. Treatment plan modifications purely based on inadequate Point-A dose are unnecessary, as these may result in higher organ-at-risk doses and not necessarily improve target coverage.
Previous studies support Beck's cognitive model of vulnerability to depression. However, the relationship between his cognitive triad and other clinical features and risk factors among those with major depression (MD) has rarely been systematically studied.
The three key cognitive symptoms of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness were assessed during their lifetime worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent MD. Diagnostic and other risk factor information was assessed at personal interview. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by logistic regression.
Compared to patients who did not endorse the cognitive trio, those who did had a greater number of DSM-IV A criteria, more individual depressive symptoms, an earlier age at onset, a greater number of episodes, and were more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for melancholia, postnatal depression, dysthymia and anxiety disorders. Hopelessness was highly related to all the suicidal symptomatology, with ORs ranging from 5.92 to 6.51. Neuroticism, stressful life events (SLEs) and a protective parental rearing style were associated with these cognitive symptoms.
During the worst episode of MD in Han Chinese women, the endorsement of the cognitive trio was associated with a worse course of depression and an increased risk of suicide. Individuals with high levels of neuroticism, many SLEs and high parental protectiveness were at increased risk for these cognitive depressive symptoms. As in Western populations, symptoms of the cognitive trio appear to play a central role in the psychopathology of MD in Chinese women.
The 2mass Tully–Fisher Survey (2mtf) aims to measure Tully–Fisher (TF) distances for all bright, inclined spirals in the 2mass Redshift Survey (2mrs) using high-quality Hi widths and 2mass photometry. Compared with previous peculiar-velocity surveys, the 2mtf survey provides more accurate width measurements and more uniform sky coverage, combining observations with the Green Bank, Arecibo, and Parkes telescopes. With this new redshift-independent distance database, we will significantly improve our understanding of the mass distribution in the local Universe.
Clay mineralogy and its palaeoclimatic interpretation of the early-Eocene (∼53.3–49.70 Ma) sediments at Lulehe, Qaidam basin, northwest China, were investigated using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The interval of ∼53.3–49.70 Ma, including the early-Eocene climate optimum (EECO) with isotopic events, was the transition period of “greenhouse” to “icehouse”. Climate changes during the episode were documented in the sediments and were expressed by the proportion of clay species and clay indices, as well as by the proportion of non-clay minerals, gypsum, halite and calcite. Our results suggest that a warm and humid climate prevailed over the period ∼53.3–52.90 Ma, followed by a warm and seasonally dry and humid climate in the period ∼52.90–51.0 Ma and a subsequently warm and humid climate in the period ∼51.0–49.70 Ma. Three warmer and more humid intervals were observed at 52.7, 51.0 and 50.5 Ma based on clay indices. The climate evolution in the Qaidam Basin during the period derived from the clay mineralogical study is in good agreement with the early Eocene global climate change, and the warm and seasonally dry and humid episode in the early Eocene in Qaidam basin is a regional response to the global early-Eocene climate optimum.
We present the results and critical analyses of recent studies of ultrafast optical nonlinearities of liquid crystals in the isotropic and ordered phases for time scales spanning femtoseconds – microseconds. Pure undoped liquid crystals as well as liquid crystals containing plasmonic nano-particles have been investigated. Individual molecular electronic optical nonlinearities are found to be useful for femtoseconds – nanoseconds nonlinear transmission clamping applications. On the other hand, laser induced order parameter and birefringence modification in aligned nematic cells allow very rapid transmission switching of visible as well as near infrared lasers with response times in the sub-microseconds - few nanoseconds regime.
The ferromagnetic bulk metallic glass (BMG) Nd60Fe30Al10system exhibits extremely large coercivities at low temperature and moderate coercivities near room temperature. The magnetic hardness, as best evidenced by the onset of magnetic irreversibility, was studied in bulk suction-cast and melt-spun alloys with the nominal composition Nd60Fe30Al10. Systematic x-ray diffraction studies of the degree of crystallinity performed as a function of position within the bulk suction-cast samples is found to correlate with the variation in the room-temperature magnetic hysteresis character. X-ray diffraction data clearly shows the presence of both crystallites and amorphous material on the samples' outmost surfaces; the amorphous phase content increases with distance into the cast sample. These results underscore the importance of solidification conditions and attendant nanophase selection, on the resultant magnetic properties of this class of alloys.
The innovative Combustion Chemical Vapor Deposition (CCVD) process is a non-vacuum technique that is being investigated to enable next generation products in several application areas including high-temperature superconductors (HTS). In combination with the Rolling Assisted Biaxially Textured Substrate (RABiTS) technology, the CCVD process has significant promise to provide low-cost, high-quality lengths of YBCO coated conductor. The CCVD technology has been used to deposit both buffer layer coatings as well as YBCO superconducting layers. A buffer layer architecture of strontium titanate and ceria have been deposited by CCVD on textured nickel substrates and optimized to appropriate thicknesses and microstructures to provide templates for growing PLD YBCO with high critical current density values. The CCVD buffer layers have been scaled to meter plus lengths with good epitaxial uniformity along the length. A short sample cut from one of the lengths enabled high critical current density PLD YBCO. Films of CCVD YBCO superconductors have been grown on single crystal substrates with critical current densities over 1 MA/cm2. Work is currently in progress to combine both the buffer layer and superconductor technologies to produce high-quality coupons of HTS tape made entirely by the non-vacuum CCVD process.
The predominate substrate for multilayer printed wiring boards is laminate constructed from epoxy resin reinforced with fiber glass fabrics. This combination of materials dominates the segment of the electronics market where dimensional stability of the substrate is critical. The rapid development of high speed digital and analog electronic systems has challenged the predominance of fiber glass as the reinforcement of choice. As systems move to the GHz frequency range, there is a need for lower dielectric constant of the substrate to insure integrity and speed of signals. A lower dissipation factor of the substrate is desired for the wireless communication applications of printed wiring boards. A review is presented of materials competing as substrates for the high speed application of the printed wiring board market.
We report observations by high resolution electron microscopy of model catalysts produced by impregnating MgO smoke particles with inorganic clusters. With the use of very low beam currents the substrates are of sufficiently low noise that we have been able to image cleanly both single atoms and very small clusters of size l-2nm in sufficient detail to determine their atomic structure. Two types of metal structures are observed: single atoms decorating atomic steps and in a few cases two-dimensional surface rafts, and a population of mainly single crystal with a few multiply twinned particles. The single crystal particles are pseudomorphically epitaxed on the MgO substrates.