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The diet of most adults is low in fish and, therefore, provides limited quantities of the long-chain, omega-3 fatty acids (LCn-3FAs), eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA, DHA). Since these compounds serve important roles in the brain, we sought to determine if healthy adults with low-LCn-3FA consumption would exhibit improvements in neuropsychological performance and parallel changes in brain morphology following repletion through fish oil supplementation.
In a randomized, controlled trial, 271 mid-life adults (30–54 years of age, 118 men, 153 women) consuming ⩽300 mg/day of LCn-3FAs received 18 weeks of supplementation with fish oil capsules (1400 mg/day of EPA and DHA) or matching placebo. All participants completed a neuropsychological test battery examining four cognitive domains: psychomotor speed, executive function, learning/episodic memory, and fluid intelligence. A subset of 122 underwent neuroimaging before and after supplementation to measure whole-brain and subcortical tissue volumes.
Capsule adherence was over 95%, participant blinding was verified, and red blood cell EPA and DHA levels increased as expected. Supplementation did not affect performance in any of the four cognitive domains. Exploratory analyses revealed that, compared to placebo, fish oil supplementation improved executive function in participants with low-baseline DHA levels. No changes were observed in any indicator of brain morphology.
In healthy mid-life adults reporting low-dietary intake, supplementation with LCn-3FAs in moderate dose for moderate duration did not affect neuropsychological performance or brain morphology. Whether salutary effects occur in individuals with particularly low-DHA exposure requires further study.
The 2017 plague outbreak in Madagascar was unprecedented in the African region, resulting in 2417 cases (498 confirmed, 793 probable and 1126 suspected) and 209 deaths by the end of the acute urban pneumonic phase of the outbreak. The Health Emergencies Programme of the WHO Regional Office for Africa together with the WHO Country Office and WHO Headquarters assisted the Ministry of Public Health of Madagascar in the rapid implementation of plague prevention and control measures while collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative data to inform immediate interventions. We document the key findings of the evidence available to date and actions taken as a result. Based on the four goals of operational research – effective dissemination of results, peer-reviewed publication, changes to policy and practice and improvements in programme performance and health – we evaluate the use of evidence to inform response to the outbreak and describe lessons learned for future outbreak responses in the WHO African region. This article may not be reprinted or reused in any way in order to promote any commercial products or services.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
Schizophrenia (SCZ) and psychotic bipolar disorder (PBD) share considerable overlap in clinical features, genetic risk factors and co-occurrence among relatives. The common and unique functional cerebral deficits in these disorders, and in unaffected relatives, remain to be identified.
A total of 59 healthy controls, 37 SCZ and 57 PBD probands and their unaffected first-degree relatives (38 and 28, respectively) were studied using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rfMRI). Regional cerebral function was evaluated by measuring the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF). Areas with ALFF alterations were used as seeds in whole-brain functional connectivity analysis. We then tested whether abnormalities identified in probands were present in unaffected relatives.
SCZ and PBD probands both demonstrated regional hypoactivity in the orbital frontal cortex and cingulate gyrus, as well as abnormal connectivity within striatal-thalamo-cortical networks. SCZ probands showed greater and more widely distributed ALFF alterations including the thalamus and bilateral parahippocampal gyri. Increased parahippocampal ALFF was related to positive symptoms and cognitive deficit. PBD patients showed uniquely increased functional connectivity between the thalamus and bilateral insula. Only PBD relatives showed abnormal connectivity within striatal-thalamo-cortical networks seen in both proband groups.
The present findings reveal a common pattern of deficits in frontostriatal circuitry across SCZ and PBD, and unique regional and functional connectivity abnormalities that distinguish them. The abnormal network connectivity in PBD relatives that was present in both proband groups may reflect genetic susceptibility associated with risk for psychosis, but within-family associations of this measure were not high.
A novel atom probe tomography (APT) method has been developed that enables a full description of the orientation relationship between individual grains to be determined together with estimates of the extents of solute segregation for all elements over the surface of the grain boundary with 1 nm by 1 nm spatial resolution. This approach also enables variations in the solute excess for the elements with the habit plane and curvature of the grain boundary to be evaluated. The method has been applied to a mechanically-alloyed nanostructured ferritic alloy (NFA) after high dose heavy ion irradiation. The innovative high-resolution two-dimensional mapping of the solute segregation across the surface of grain boundaries in the NFA clearly demonstrates that the distributions of chromium and tungsten are not uniform across the grain boundaries, and the distributions correlate with changes in its local curvature and the position of the grain boundary precipitates. These features pin the grain boundary against grain growth and provide the stability for excellent creep properties.
We investigated the genetic structure of 120 isolates of serotype 19F Streptococcus pneumoniae from Chinese children with acute respiratory infections collected from 1997 to 2006, and 2010. All strains were susceptible to vancomycin and levofloxacin, and only five strains were not susceptible to penicillin. The non-susceptibility rate to cephalosporins increased from 1997 to 2010. Of 119 erythromycin-resistant strains, 60 carried both ermB and mefA genes. The percentage of clonal complex 271 (CC271) increased from 14·3% in 1997–1998 to 92% in 2010, whereas that of CC983 decreased from 64·3% to 0%. CC271 had a higher non-susceptibility rate to β-lactam antibiotics than CC983 and other CCs. The increased non-susceptibility rate to β-lactam antibiotics in serotype 19F pneumococci was found to be associated with the spread of the international resistant clone CC271 presumably caused by antibiotic pressure. Long-term surveys of serotype 19F S. pneumoniae are required to monitor CC prevalence and trends in antimicrobial resistance.
This study investigated the effects of different levels of dietary L-arginine (L-Arg) supplementation on the abdominal fat pad, circulating lipids, hepatic fatty acid synthase (FAS) gene expression, gene expression related to fatty acid β-oxidation, and the performance of broiler chickens. We tested whether the dietary L-Arg levels affected the expression of genes related to lipid metabolism in order to reduce body fat deposition. A total of 192 broiler chickens (Cobb 500) aged 21 days with an average BW of 920 ± 15 g were randomly assigned to four groups (six broilers per replicate and eight replicates per treatment). The control group was fed a basal diet, whereas the treatment groups were fed basal diets supplemented with 0.25%, 0.50%, or 1.00% L-Arg for 3 weeks. The average daily feed intake, average daily gain and feed : gain ratio were not affected by the dietary L-Arg levels. However, chickens supplemented with L-Arg had lower abdominal fat content, plasma triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC) concentrations, hepatic FAS mRNA expression and increased heart carnitine palmitoyl transferase1 (CPT1) and 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (3HADH) mRNA expression. These findings suggest that the addition of 0.25% L-Arg may reduce the plasma TC concentration by decreasing hepatic 3-hydroxyl-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase mRNA expression. This may lower the plasma TG and abdominal fat content by suppressing hepatic FAS mRNA expression and enhancing CPT1 and 3HADH (genes related to fatty acid β-oxidation) mRNA expression in the hearts of broiler chickens.
We investigated the genetic structure of 99 isolates of serotype 23F Streptococcus pneumoniae from children with acute respiratory infections collected over two periods from 1997 to 2006, and 2010. All isolates were susceptible to vancomycin and amoxicillin–clavulanic acid; 97 were resistant to erythromycin, 95 of which carried the ermB gene and two carried both mefA/E and ermB genes. Multidrug resistance to three or more classes of antibiotics was exhibited by 90 isolates. Sequence types ST342 and ST81 were the most frequent in 1997–2006 and 2010, respectively. All CC81 isolates were non-susceptible to β-lactam antibiotics and had higher minimum inhibitory concentration values for penicillin than other clone complexes and sequence types. The increased β-lactam antibiotic resistance may have resulted from the replacement of multidrug-resistant clones related to ST81. Long-term studies on S. pneumoniae serotype 23F, especially the ST81 clone, should be conducted to better understand the epidemiological picture of this pathogen in China.
In 2008 January the 24th Chinese expedition team successfully deployed the Chinese Small Telescope ARray (CSTAR) to Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau. CSTAR consists of four 14.5cm optical telescopes, each with a different filter (g, r, i and open) and has a 4.5°×4.5° field of view (FOV). Based on the CSTAR data, initial statistics of astronomical observational site quality and light curves of variable objects were obtained. To reach higher photometric quality, we are continuing to work to overcome the effects of uneven cirrus cloud cirrus, optical “ghosts” and intra-pixel sensitivity. The snow surface stability is also tested for further astronomical observational instrument and for glaciology studies.
One branch of the tryptophan catabolic cascade is the kynurenine pathway, which produces neurotoxic [3-hydroxykynurenine (3-OHKY), quinolinic acid] and neuroinhibitory (kynurenic acid) compounds. Kynurenic acid acts as a competitive antagonist at the glycine site of N-methyl-d-asparate receptors at high concentrations and as a non-competitive antagonist on the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor at low concentrations. Kynurenine compounds also influence cognitive functions known to be disrupted in schizophrenia. Alterations in tryptophan metabolism are therefore of potential significance for the pathophysiology of this disorder. In this paper, tryptophan metabolites were measured from plasma using high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical coulometric array detection, and relationships were tested between these metabolic signatures and clinical symptoms for 25 first-episode neuroleptic-naive schizophrenia patients. Blood samples were collected and clinical and neurological symptoms were rated at baseline and again at 4 wk following initiation of treatment. Level of 3-OHKY and total clinical symptom scores were correlated when patients were unmedicated and neuroleptic-naive, and this relationship differed significantly from the correlation observed for patients 4 wk after beginning treatment. Baseline psychosis symptoms were predicted only by neurological symptoms. Moreover, baseline 3-OHKY predicted clinical change at 4 wk, with the lowest concentrations of 3-OHKY being associated with the greatest improvement in symptoms. Taken together, our findings suggest a neurotoxic product of tryptophan metabolism, 3-OHKY, predicts severity of clinical symptoms during the early phase of illness and before exposure to antipsychotic drugs. Baseline level of 3-OHKY may also predict the degree of clinical improvement following brief treatment with antipsychotics.
Large-volume cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) radiation detectors would greatly improve radiation detection capabilities and, therefore, attract extensive scientific and commercial interests. CZT crystals with volumes as large as hundreds of centimeters can be achieved today due to improvements in the crystal growth technology. However, the poor performance of large-volume CZT detectors is still a challenging problem affecting the commercialization of CZT detectors and imaging arrays. We have employed Pockels effect measurements and synchrotron X-ray mapping techniques to investigate the performance-limiting factors for large-volume CZT detectors. Experimental results with the above characterization methods reveal the non-uniform distribution of internal electric field of large-volume CZT detectors, which help us to better understand the responsible mechanism for the insufficient carrier collection in large-volume CZT detectors.
Low thermal budget annealing approaches, such as millisecond annealing or solid-phase epitaxy (SPE) of amorphized silicon, electrically activate implanted dopants while minimizing diffusion. However, it is also important to anneal damage to the crystal lattice in order to minimize junction leakage. Annealing experiments were performed on low-energy B implants into both crystalline silicon and into wafers pre-amorphized by Ge implantation. Some wafers also received As implants for halo-style doping, and in some cases the halo implants were pre-annealed at 1050°C before the B-doping. The B-implants were annealed by either SPE at 650°C, spike annealing at 1050°C, or by millisecond annealing with flash-assisted RTP™ (fRTP™) at temperatures between 1250°C and 1350°C. Residual damage was characterized by photoluminescence and non-contact junction leakage current measurements, which permit rapid assessment of damage removal efficacy. Damage from the heavy ions used for the halo and pre-amorphization implants dominates the defect annealing behaviour. The halo doping is the critical factor in determining junction leakage current. Millisecond annealing at high temperatures helps to minimize residual damage while limiting diffusion.
The objectives of this study were to determine true phosphorus (P) digestibility, degradability of phytate-P complex and the endogenous P outputs associated with brown rice feeding in weanling pigs by using the simple linear regression analysis technique. Six barrows with an average initial body weight of 12.5 kg were fitted with a T-cannula and fed six diets according to a 6 × 6 Latin-square design. Six maize starch-based diets, containing six levels of P at 0.80, 1.36, 1.93, 2.49, 3.04, and 3.61 g/kg per kg dry-matter (DM) intake (DMI), were formulated with brown rice. Each experimental period lasted 10 days. After a 7-day adaptation, all faecal samples were collected on days 8 and 9. Ileal digesta samples were collected for a total of 24 h on day 10. The apparent ileal and faecal P digestibility values of brown rice were affected ( P < 0.01) by the P contents in the assay diets. The apparent ileal and faecal P digestibility values increased from − 48.0 to 36.7% and from − 35.6 to 40.0%, respectively, as P content increased from 0.80 to 3.61 g/kg DMI. Linear relationships ( P < 0.05), expressed as g/kg DMI, between the apparent ileal and faecal digestible P and dietary levels of P, suggested that true P digestibility and the endogenous P outputs associated with brown rice feeding could be determined by using the simple regression analysis technique. There were no differences ( P>0.05) in true P digestibility values (57.7 ± 5.4 v. 58.2 ± 5.9%), phytate P degradability (76.4 ± 6.7 v. 79.0 ± 4.4%) and the endogenous P outputs (0.812 ± 0..096 v. 0.725 ± 0.083 g/kg DMI) between the ileal and the faecal levels. The endogenous faecal P output represented 14 and 25% of the National Research Council (1998) recommended daily total and available P requirements in the weanling pig, respectively. About 58% of the total P in brown rice could be digested and absorbed by the weanling pig. Our results suggest that the large intestine of the weanling pigs does not play a significant role in the digestion of P in brown rice. Diet formulation on the basis of total or apparent P digestibility with brown rice may lead to P overfeeding and excessive P excretion in pigs.
This paper presents a numerical study of the Reynolds
number and scaling effects in microchannel flows. The configuration
includes a rectangular, high-aspect ratio microchannel with heat
sinks, similar to an experimental setup. Water at ambient
temperature is used as a coolant fluid and the source of heating is
introduced via electronic cartridges in the solids. Two channel
heights, measuring 0.3 mm and 1 mm are considered at first. The
Reynolds number varies in a range of 500–2200, based on the
hydraulic diameter. Simulations are focused on the Reynolds number
and channel height effects on the Nusselt number. It is found that
the Reynolds number has noticeable influences on the local Nusselt
number distributions, which are in agreement with other studies. The
numerical predictions of the dimensionless temperature of the fluid
agree fairly well with experimental measurements; however the
dimensionless temperature of the solid does exhibit a significant
discrepancy near the channel exit, similar to those reported by
other researchers. The present study demonstrates that there is a
significant scaling effect at small channel height, typically ≤0.3 mm, in agreement with experimental observations. This scaling
effect has been confirmed by three additional simulations being
carried out at channel heights of 0.24 mm, 0.14 mm and 0.1 mm,
respectively. A correlation between the channel height and the
normalized Nusselt number is thus proposed, which agrees well with
Customer requirements and vision in aerospace dictate that the next generation of civil transport aircraft should have a strong emphasis on increased safety, reduced environmental impact and reduced cost without sacrificing performance. In this context, the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Queen’s University of Belfast and Bombardier have, in recent years, been conducting research into some of the key aerodynamic technologies for the next generation of aircraft engine nacelles. Investigations have been performed into anti-icing technology, efficient thrust reversal, engine fire zone safety, life cycle cost and integration of the foregoing with other considerations in engine and aircraft design. A unique correlation for heat transfer in an anti-icing system has been developed. The effect of normal vibration on heat transfer in such systems has been found to be negligible. It has been shown that carefully designed natural blockage thrust reversers without a cascade can reduce aircraft weight with only a small sacrifice in the reversed thrust. A good understanding of the pressure relief doors and techniques to improve the performance of such doors have been developed. Trade off studies between aerodynamics, manufacturing and assembly of engine nacelles have shown the potential for a significant reduction in life cycle cost.
This paper presents the recent achievements of ZnO/GaN heteroepitaxy. The general controlling method and mechanism for the polarity of heteroepitaxial ZnO and GaN films by interface engineering via Plasma-assisted Molecular beam epitaxy(P-MBE) are introduced in a viewpoint of principle for polarity control. We propose the principle of crystal polarity: Crystal polarity can succeed at the heterointerface when no interface layer is formed, while an interface layer with inversion symmetry is formed, the crystal polarity is inverted at the heterointerfae. The effects of polarity on the interface, surface and bulk structure, and the structural and optical properties of ZnO/GaN epitaxy are also included. The polarity of GaN on ZnO is successfully controlled based on the proposed principle for control of crystal polarity. Additionally, the electronic characteristics such as electron concentration, band-line-up, and C-V characteristics of ZnO/GaN heterointerface are dicussed.
The genic male-sterile rice (GMSR) sensitive to photoperiod during the panicle development period is a novel type of germplasm in rice, which is sterile under the long-day condition but fertile under the short-day condition. The fertility is also affected by temperature. A number of GMSR lines have been popularly used in commercial seed production of hybrid rice in China. Because the sterility is decided by environmental factors, a set of fertility conversion indices has been proposed to evaluate the usability and to determine the suitable regions for safe application of these male sterile lines. In the present experiment, 13 photoperiod-sensitive (PGMSR) lines that are dominant in China were sown by stages in the field at Hainan Island (18° 14′ N), Quiyang (26° 35′ N) and Wuhan (30° 38′ N) in China. The fertility and sterility were distinguished on the percentage of seed-setting on the bagged panicles (PBS). The fertility conversion indices were determined on the day-length and temperature regimes and on a fertility quantifying model, and comparison was made between the two methods. Results showed that it was feasible to determine the fertility conversion index of GMSR lines based on data of bagged seed-setting rates in experiments of sowing at different times in the field. Of the 13 sterile lines observed, two of the PGMSR were found to be completely sterile when the length of the day exceeded 12·3 h. Five temperature-sensitive (TGMSR) lines had fertility conversion indices of 24 °C. One of the photoperiod- and temperature-sensitive (PTGMSR) lines showed that steady fertility conversion occurred under the short day in spite of high or low temperature. These GMSR lines are adaptable to the conditions of day-length and temperature in the main rice-growing regions of China and thus of high value in application to seed production.
Structural studies, electrical resistivity, and Seebeck coefficient measurements are reported in the range 4.2 − 300 K for single crystals of NiS2−xSex (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.71) grown from a Te melt. Over the entire temperature and composition ranges there are no large scale structural changes concomitant to a variety of magnetic ordering phenomena, and to a changeover from insulating to metallic characteristics as x increases. Thus, the evolution in transport characteristics with x can be studied without interference from the lattice; moreover, the electron count is unaffected by substitution of Se for S. The existence of anomalous peaks in resistivity as a function of temperature is attributed to significant electron correlation phenomena which allow the entropy of charge carrier to play a dominant role. The complex temperature dependence of the Seebeck coefficient is attributed to the participation of both electrons and holes in charge transport.