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This study explored the mechanism of Zn-methionine (Zn-Met) influencing eggshell quality of laying hens, and investigated whether the mechanism was related to calcium deposition. Hyline Grey layers (n 384, 38 wk) were divided into four groups: 0 mg Zn/kg, 40, 80 mg Zn/kg as Zn-Met, 80 mg Zn/kg as zinc sulfate (ZnSO4). Eggshell quality, zinc contents, zinc-containing enzymes activities and expressions of shell matrix proteins in eggshell gland (ESG) were analyzed. 80 mg/kg Zn-Met treatment increased (P < 0.05) egg weight and eggshell strength throughout the experiments. 80 mg/kg Zn-Met (P < 0.05) group decreased mammillary knob width and had larger relative atomic weight percentage of Ca, stronger signal intensity of Ca in linear distribution, and the Ca was more evenly distributed in transversal surface of eggshell. Zn contents (P < 0.001) in yolk and serum, Ca, albumin (Alb) levels in ESG as well as carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity in serum (P < 0.05) and mRNA levels of CA and Ca-binding protein-d28k (CaBP-D28k) (P < 0.001) in 80 mg/kg Zn-Met group were the highest among all treatments. In conclusion, shell strength as one of eggshell qualities was mostly related to mammillary cones width in ultrastructure caused by the pattern of calcium deposition in eggshell formation. And the increase of Zn-Met-induced calcium deposition may be due to the increased zinc contents in serum and tissues which were attributable to the increased CA concentrations in serum, Ca, Alb levels and up-regulated CA and CaBP-D28k mRNA levels in ESG.
High inductive helical support provides a solution to controlling the alignment error of inner electrodes in magnetically insulated transmission lines (MITLs). Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations were performed to examine the current loss mechanism and the effects of structural parameters on electron flow in an MITL with a helical inductor. An empirical expression related to the ratio of electron current loss to anode current and the ratio of anode current to self-limited current was obtained. Electron current loss caused by helical inductor with different structures was displayed. The results indicate that the current loss in an MITL, near an inductive helical support, comprises both the inductor current and the electron current loss. The non-uniform structure and current of a helical inductor cause an abrupt change in the magnetic field near the helical support, which leads to anomalous behavior and current loss of electron flow. In addition, current loss in the inductive helical-supported MITL is negligible when the inductance of the support is sufficiently high. This work facilitates the estimation of electron current loss caused by the inductive helical support in MITLs.
Computerized cognitive remediation therapy (CCRT) is generally effective for the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia. However, there is much uncertainty about what factors mediate or moderate effectiveness and are therefore important to personalize treatment and boost its effects.
In total, 311 Chinese inpatients with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV schizophrenia were randomized to receive CCRT or Active control for 12 weeks with four to five sessions per week. All participants were assessed at baseline, post-treatment and 3-month follow-up. The outcomes were cognition, clinical symptoms and functional outcomes.
There was a significant benefit in the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) total score for CCRT (F1,258 = 5.62; p = 0.02; effect size was 0.27, 95% confidence interval 0.04–0.49). There were no specific moderators of CCRT improvements. However, across both groups, Wisconsin Card Sort Test improvement mediated a positive effect on functional capacity and Digit Span benefit mediated decreases in positive symptoms. In exploratory analyses younger and older participants showed cognitive improvements but on different tests (younger on Symbol Coding Test, while older on the Spatial Span Test). Only the older age group showed MSCEIT benefits at post-treatment. In addition, cognition at baseline negatively correlated with cognitive improvement and those whose MCCB baseline total score was around 31 seem to derive the most benefit.
CCRT can improve the cognitive function of patients with schizophrenia. Changes in cognitive outcomes also contributed to improvements in functional outcomes either directly or solely in the context of CCRT. Age and the basic cognitive level of the participants seem to affect the cognitive benefits from CCRT.
The order Onchoproteocephalidea (Eucestoda) was recently erected to accommodate the hook-bearing tetraphyllideans and the proteocephalideans, which are characterized by internal proglottization and a tetra-acetabulate scolex. The recognized subfamilies in the Proteocephalidae appeared to be non-monophyletic based on 28S recombinant DNA (rDNA) sequence data. Other molecular markers with higher phylogenetic resolution, such as large mitochondrial DNA fragments and multiple genes, are obviously needed. Thus the mitochondrial genome of Gangesia oligonchis, belonging to the putative earliest diverging group of the Proteocephalidae, was sequenced. The circular mitogenome of G. oligonchis was 13,958 bp in size, and contained the standard 36 genes: 22 transfer RNA genes, two rRNA genes and 12 protein-coding genes, as well as two major non-coding regions. A short NCR and a large NCR (lNCR) region were 216 bp and 419 bp in size, respectively. Highly repetitive regions in the lNCR region were detected with that of 11 repeat units. The mitogenome of G. oligonchis shared 71.1% nucleotide identity with Testudotaenia sp. WL-2016. Phylogenetic analyses of the complete mitochondrial genomes with Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods indicated that G. oligonchis formed a sister clade with Testudotaenia sp. WL-2016 with maximum support. The ordinal topology is (Caryophyllidea, (Diphyllobothriidea, (Bothriocephalidea, (Onchoproteocephalidea, Cyclophyllidea)))). The mitogenomic gene arrangement of G. oligonchis was identical to that of Testudotaenia sp. WL-2016. Both mitogenomic and nuclear sequence data for many more taxa are required to effectively explore the inter-relationships among the Onchoproteocephalidea.
Associations have been shown between father’s absence and menarcheal age, but most studies have focused on absence resulting from divorce, abandonment or death. Little research has been conducted to evaluate the effect on menarcheal age of paternal absence through migrant work. In a sample of 400 middle school students, this study examined the association between paternal migrant work and menarcheal age against a backdrop of extensive rural-to-urban migration in China. Data were collected through a self-reported questionnaire, including social-demographic characteristics, aspects of family relationships, information about father’s migrant work and age at menarche. After adjusting for BMI, parent marital status and perceived relationship with mother, lower self-perceived quality of father–daughter relationship (both ‘father present, relationship poor’ and ‘father absent, relationship poor’) and lower frequency of contact with the father were associated with higher odds for early menarche. These findings suggest that the assumption that father’s absence for work influences the timing of menarche needs to be examined in the context of the quality of the father–daughter relationship and paternal care, which appear to play a critical role in the timing of menarche. These findings also emphasize the importance of enhancing paternal involvement and improving father–daughter relationships in the development of appropriate reproductive strategy in daughters.
To examine urban–rural disparity in childhood stunting, wasting and malnutrition at national and subnational levels in Chinese primary-school children in 2010 and 2014.
Data were obtained from two nationwide cross-sectional surveys conducted in 2010 and 2014. Malnutrition was classified using the Chinese national ‘Screening Standard for Malnutrition of Children’.
All twenty-seven mainland provinces and four municipalities of mainland China.
Children aged 7–12 years (n 215 214; 107 741 in 2010 and 107 473 in 2014) from thirty-one provinces.
Stunting, wasting and malnutrition prevalence were 1·9, 12·3 and 13·7 % in 2010, but decreased to 1·0, 9·4 and 10·2 % in 2014, respectively. The prevalence of stunting, wasting and malnutrition in both urban and rural children was higher in western provinces, while lower in eastern provinces. Although the prevalence of wasting and malnutrition was higher in rural children than their urban counterparts, the urban–rural disparity in both wasting and malnutrition decreased from 2010 to 2014 (prevalence OR: wasting, 1·35 to 1·16; malnutrition, 1·50 to 1·27). A reversal occurred in 2014 in several eastern provinces where the prevalence of wasting and malnutrition in urban children surpassed their rural peers. The urban–rural disparity was larger in western provinces than eastern provinces.
The shrinking urban–rural disparity and the reversal in wasting and malnutrition suggest that the malnutrition situation has improved during the post-crisis period, especially in the western provinces. Region-specific policies and interventions can be useful to sustainably mitigate malnutrition in Chinese children, especially in rural areas and the western provinces.
Breast milk (BM) hormones have been hypothesised as a nutritional link between maternal and infant metabolic health. This study aimed to evaluate hormone concentrations in BM of women with and without gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), and the relationship between maternal factors, BM hormones and infant growth. We studied ninety-six nulliparous women with (n 48) and without GDM and their exclusively breastfed term singletons. Women with GDM received dietary therapy or insulin injection for euglycaemia during pregnancy. Hormone concentrations in BM, maternal BMI and infant growth were longitudinally evaluated on postnatal days 3, 42 and 90. Mothers with GDM had decreased concentrations of adiponectin (Pcolostrum<0·001; Pmature-milk=0·009) and ghrelin (Pcolostrum=0·011; Pmature-milk<0·001) and increased concentration of insulin in BM (Pcolostrum=0·047; Pmature-milk=0·021). Maternal BMI was positively associated with adiponectin (β=0·06; 95 % CI 0·02, 0·1; P=0·001), leptin (β=0·16; 95 % CI 0·12, 0·2; P<0·001) and insulin concentrations (β=0·06; 95 % CI 0·02, 0·1; P<0·001), and inversely associated with ghrelin concentration in BM (β=–0·08; 95 % CI –0·1, –0·06; P<0·001). Among the four hormones, adiponectin was inversely associated with infant growth in both the GDM (βweight-for-height=–2·49; 95 % CI –3·83, –1·15; P<0·001; βhead-circumference=–0·39; 95 % CI –0·65, –0·13; P=0·003) and healthy groups (βweight-for-height=–1·42; 95 % CI –2·38, –0·46; P=0·003; βhead-circumference=–0·15; 95 % CI –0·27, –0·03; P=0·007). Maternal BMI and GDM are important determinants of BM hormone concentrations. Milk-borne adiponectin is determined by maternal metabolic status and plays an independent down-regulating role in early infant growth.
Ethanolamine (Etn) contained in milk is the base constituent of phosphatidylethanolamine and is required for the proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells and bacteria, which is important for maintenance of the gut microbiome and intestinal development. The present study investigated the effect of Etn on intestinal function and microbiome using 21-d-old Sprague–Dawley rats treated with 0, 250, 500 and 1000 μm Etn in drinking water for 2 weeks immediately after weaning. Growth performance, intestinal morphology, antioxidant capacity and mucosal immunity, as well as gut microbiota community composition, were evaluated. Metagenomic prediction and metabolic phenotype analysis based on 16S RNA sequencing were also carried out to assess changes in metabolic functions. We found that weaned rats administered 500 μm Etn enhanced mucosal antioxidant capacity, as evidenced by higher superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase levels in the jejunum (P<0·05) compared with those in the control group. Predominant microbes including Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Elusimicrobia and Tenericutes were altered by different levels of Etn compared with the control group. An Etn concentration of 500 µm shifted colonic microbial metabolic functions that are in favour of lipid- and sugar-related metabolism and biosynthesis. Etn also altered the metabolic phenotypes such as anaerobic microbial counts, and oxidative stress tolerance at over 250 µm. This is the first report for a role of Etn in modifying gut microbiota and intestinal functions. Our findings highlighted the important role of Etn in shaping gut microbial community and promotes intestinal functions, which may provide a better insight of breast-feeding to infant’s gut health.
The neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.
In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.
Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.
Despite the worldwide distribution and pathogenicity of monogenean parasites belonging to the largest helminth genus, Dactylogyrus, there are no complete Dactylogyrinae (subfamily) mitogenomes published to date. In order to fill this knowledge gap, we have sequenced and characterized the complete mitogenome of Dactylogyrus lamellatus, a common parasite on the gills of grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). The circular mitogenome is 15,187 bp in size, containing the standard 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes, 12 protein-encoding genes and a long non-coding region (NCR). There are two highly repetitive regions in the NCR. We have used concatenated nucleotide sequences of all 36 genes to perform the phylogenetic analysis using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood approaches. As expected, the two dactylogyrids, D. lamellatus (Dactylogyrinae) and Tetrancistrum nebulosi (Ancyrocephalinae), were closely related to each other. These two formed a sister group with Capsalidae, and this cluster finally formed a further sister group with Gyrodactylidae. Phylogenetic affinity between Dactylogyrinae and Ancyrocephalinae was further confirmed by the similarity in their gene arrangement. The sequencing of the first Dactylogyrinae, along with a more suitable selection of outgroups, has enabled us to infer a much better phylogenetic resolution than recent mitogenomic studies. However, as many lineages of the class Monogenea remain underrepresented or not represented at all, a much larger number of mitogenome sequences will have to be available in order to infer the evolutionary relationships among the monogeneans fully, and with certainty.
Disclosing the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to a patient is controversial. There is significant stigma associated with a diagnosis of AD or dementia in China, but the attitude of the society toward disclosure of such a diagnosis had not been formally evaluated prior to our study. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the attitude toward disclosing an AD diagnosis to patients in China with cognitive impairment from their caregivers, and the factors that may affect their attitude.
We designed a 17-item questionnaire and administered this questionnaire to caregivers, who accompanied patients with cognitive impairment or dementia in three major hospitals in Shanghai, China. The caregiver's attitude toward disclosing the diagnosis of AD as evaluated by the questionnaire was compared to that of disclosing the diagnosis of terminal cancer.
A majority (95.7%) of the 175 interviewed participants (mean 14.2 years of education received) wished to know their own diagnosis if they were diagnosed with AD, and 97.6% preferred the doctor to tell their family members if they were diagnosed with AD. If a family member of the participants suffered from AD, 82.9% preferred to have the diagnosis disclosed to the patient. “Cognitive impairment” was the most accepted term by caregivers to disclose AD diagnosis in Chinese.
This study suggests most of the well-educated individuals in a Chinese urban area favored disclosing the diagnosis when they or their family members were diagnosed with AD.
Boron carbide (B4C) powder was consolidated at 45 MPa by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) for 20 min from 1450 to 2000 °C. The density of the B4C reached 99.6% at 2000 °C. A continuum model was applied to describe the densification mechanism of B4C powder under SPS conditions. The shrinkage rate was sensitive to particle size and temperature. The effect of porosity on thermal diffusion was significant, especially for small particle sizes. It appears that there is Joule heating, discharge, and electromagnetic field involved during the SPS of B4C. The current can enhance the sintering process, and it can obviously reduce the creep activation energy.
Field surveys indicate that host population size, rather than density, is the most important determinant of monogenean infection dynamics. To verify this prediction, epidemic parameters were monitored for 70 days at five host population sizes held at constant density using a goldfish – Gyrodactylus kobayashii laboratory model. During the first 20 days, the rate of increase of prevalence and mean abundance was faster in small host populations. Total mean prevalence and total mean abundance throughout the experiment were not significantly affected by host population sizes. Higher transmission rates were detected in larger host populations. However, there were no significant differences in effective contact rates among the five host populations on each sampling day during the first 20 days, implying that contact rates may be saturated at a sufficiently high host density. These results demonstrate that the epidemic occurs more quickly in smaller host populations at the beginning of the experiment. However, the epidemic is independent of the host population size due to the similar effective contact rates in the five population sizes. Significant negative influence of the initial body condition (Kn) of uninfected goldfish on total mean abundance of parasites suggests that susceptibility of hosts is also a determinant of parasite transmission.
The push–pull fatigue characteristics of the peak-aged Mg–0.2Zn–0.5Zr alloys with different addition levels of neodymium (Nd) have been investigated. The fatigue strength (σf) of the Mg–xNd–0.2Zn–0.5Zr (NZx0K) alloy increases proportionally with the increase of the Nd content (CNd) as follows: σf (T6) ≈ (13.8–14.0) CNd + 46 (for x between 0 and 3.0 wt%). The cyclic stress amplitude also increases but the plastic strain value decreases with the increase of the Nd content. The studied alloys exhibit the strain hardening followed by cyclic softening during fatigue test. During the low-cycle fatigue (LCF) test, the cracks originate from the cyclic deformation and cumulative damage. In high-cycle fatigue (HCF), the failure is due to the cyclic deformation and damage irreversibly caused by environment-assisted cyclic slip. The LCF lives of the alloys fitted well with the Coffin–Manson relation and Basquin laws, the three-parameter equation, and the energy-based concepts. The developed multi-scale fatigue (MSF) life models can be used to predict the LCF and HCF lives of the alloys. Among these models, the MSF life can well capture the influence of Nd addition on fatigue.
By using high purity aluminum powders and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) as raw materials, MWCNTs/Al composites were fabricated with ball milling, followed by cold pressing, vacuum sintering, and hot extrusion. It was found that when the sintering temperature was 863 K, MWCNTs/Al composite sintered for 4 h showed good comprehensive properties, and its tensile strength and elongation reached to 156 MPa and 21%, respectively. The comprehensive mechanical properties of the composites became better with raising sintering temperature when the sintering time was 4 h. When the sintering temperature raised to 923 K, the tensile strength of the composite reached to 167 MPa which is three times more than that of annealed high purity aluminum, mainly due to the higher density and better interface bonding resulted from higher sintering temperature. CNTs' pulling out were observed obviously in the fractured surfaces, and load transfer may be the main strengthening mechanism.
Using phytolith analysis from a well-dated and high-resolution sediment sequence in the apex of northern Yangtze Delta, we investigate environmental changes, the rise and decline of rice exploitation and possible impacts of environment on rice exploitation during the early mid-Holocene. The phytolith sequence documents a relatively warm and dry interval during ca.9000 to 8200 cal yr BP, followed by climatic amelioration before 7200 cal yr BP. Phytolith evidence indicates that rice exploitation at the apex of northern Yangtze Delta began at 8200 cal yr BP, flourished by 7700 cal yr BP and ceased after 7400 cal yr BP. The first emergence of marine diatom species approximately 7300 cal yr BP likely indicates an accelerated sea-level rise. The apparent correlation of the initiation of rice exploitation with climatic amelioration during the early mid-Holocene suggests that climatic changes may have played an important role in facilitating rice exploitation. Both the ideal climatic conditions and stable sea level enabled flourishing rice exploitation during 8200 to 7400 cal yr BP. Although the climate remained warm and wet after 7400 cal yr BP, local sea-level rise possibly led to the termination of earlier rice exploitation at this site of the northern Yangtze Delta.
Photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) into renewable hydrocarbon fuels using solar energy has gained much attention in the effort to conserve energy and enhance carbon cycling. This paper begins with a brief description of the basic concepts of the photocatalytic reduction of CO2, introduces some experimental challenges in the gas photoreaction system and provides a review of perovskite oxide semiconductor catalysts, including tantalates, niobates, titanates, zirconates and cerates, for use in the gas phase photoreduction of CO2. The prospects for the future research of CO2 photoreduction are also presented.
In this paper, the recent studies of laboratory astrophysics with strong magnetic fields in China have been reviewed. On the Shenguang-II laser facility of the National Laboratory on High-Power Lasers and Physics, a laser-driven strong magnetic field up to 200 T has been achieved. The experiment was performed to model the interaction of solar wind with dayside magnetosphere. Also the low beta plasma magnetic reconnection (MR) has been studied. Theoretically, the model has been developed to deal with the atomic structures and processes in strong magnetic field. Also the study of shock wave generation in the magnetized counter-streaming plasmas is introduced.
In this present study, the influence of different casting processes on high cycle fatigue behavior of Mg–10Gd–3Y–0.5Zr magnesium alloy was investigated by using porosity-free low-pressure sand-casting (LPS) bars and gravity permanent mold casting (GPM) ingots. The results show that the fatigue properties of both LPS and GPM Mg–10Gd–3Y–0.5Zr alloy in as-cast condition are determined by Mg matrix and eutectic phase. However, the fatigue property improvement for LPS alloy by T6 heat treatment is significantly superior to that of GPM alloy. The different degree of enhancement of fatigue properties for two conditions of the alloy is related to different crack initiation mechanism. The fatigue crack of the LPS alloy initiates from the free surface of the sample, while the crack of the GPM alloy initiates from porosities or inclusions near the surface of the sample. Meanwhile, the crack of slip band has a crucial effect on the fatigue crack initiation of both as-cast and T6 conditions for LPS alloy.
Findings from observational studies have suggested a possible relation between Ca and breast cancer risk. However, the results of these studies are inconclusive, and the dose–response relationship between Ca intake and risk of breast cancer remains to be determined. A meta-analysis of prospective studies was conducted to address these issues. PubMed and Embase databases were searched for relevant studies concerning the association between Ca intake and breast cancer up to March 2016. The summary relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI were calculated with a random-effects model. The final analysis included eleven prospective cohort studies involving 26 606 cases and 872 895 participants. The overall RR of breast cancer for high v. low intake of Ca was 0·92 (95 % CI 0·85, 0·99), with moderate heterogeneity (P=0·026, I2=44·2 %). In the subgroup analysis, the inverse association appeared stronger for premenopausal breast cancer (RR 0·75; 95 % CI 0·59, 0·96) than for postmenopausal breast cancer (RR 0·94; 95 % CI 0·87, 1·01). Dose–response analysis revealed that each 300 mg/d increase in Ca intake was associated with 2 % (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·96, 0·99), 8 % (RR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·98) and 2 % (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99) reduction in the risk of total, premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, respectively. Our findings suggest an inverse dose–response association between Ca intake and risk of breast cancer.