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Using the first-principles calculation combined with the structure searching method, the ternary intermetallic compound (IMC) (Ni0.66, Zn0.33)3Sn4 with
space group is predicted. The energetic, dynamic, thermal, and mechanical stabilities of the (Ni0.66, Zn0.33)3Sn4 IMC are confirmed. The mechanical, thermodynamic, and electronic characteristics at different pressures from 0 to 20 Gpa for the (Ni0.66, Zn0.33)3Sn4 IMC are also investigated. The results show that the (Ni0.66, Zn0.33)3Sn4 IMC possesses a ductile trait within 20 Gpa and that pressurization can increase its elastic modulus, hardness, anisotropy, Debye temperature, and minimum thermal conductivity. At a given pressure, the thermal expansion coefficient α increases significantly below 200 K, and then its increase rate approaches a linear mode as the temperature increases. Compared with the case of 0 GPa, the shapes of the total density of states and partial density of states for the (Ni0.66, Zn0.33)3Sn4 IMC change slightly at pressure 20 Gpa, implying that its structure is still stable under pressure 20 GPa.
Whether the first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have an increased risk of the major psychiatric disorders, namely schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database with the whole population sample size (n = 23 258 175), 89 500 FDRs, including parents, offspring, siblings, and twins, of patients with OCD were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with OCD.
FDRs of patients with OCD had higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders, namely OCD (RR 8.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 7.68–8.57), bipolar disorder (RR 2.85, 95% CI 2.68–3.04), MDD (RR 2.67, 95% CI 2.58–2.76), ASD (RR 2.38, 95% CI 2.10–2.71), ADHD (RR 2.19, 95% CI 2.07–2.32), and schizophrenia (RR 1.97, 95% CI 1.86–2.09), compared with the total population. Different familial kinships of FDRs, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins consistently had increased risks for these disorders. In addition, a dose-dependent relationship was found between the numbers of OCD probands and the risk of each major psychiatric disorder.
The FDRs, including parents, offspring, siblings, and twins, of patients with OCD have a higher risk of OCD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, MDD, ADHD, and ASD. The familial co-aggregation of OCD with OCD and other major psychiatric disorders was existent in a dose-dependent manner. Given the increased risks of psychiatric disorders, medical practitioners should closely monitor the mental health of the FDRs of patients with OCD.
To investigate the hypothesis that folic acid supplementation and dietary folate intake before conception and during pregnancy reduce the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) and to examine the joint effect of folic acid supplementation and dietary folate intake on the risk of SGA.
Participants were interviewed by trained study interviewers using a standardized and structured questionnaire. Information on birth outcomes and maternal complications was abstracted from medical records and dietary information was collected via a semi-quantitative FFQ before conception and during pregnancy.
A birth cohort data analysis using the 2010–2012 Gansu Provincial Maternity and Child Care Hospital.
Women (n 8758) and their children enrolled in the study.
Folic acid supplementation was associated with a reduced risk of SGA (OR = 0·72, 95 % CI 0·60, 0·86), with the reduced risk seen mainly for SGA at ≥37 weeks of gestational age (OR = 0·70, 95 % CI 0·58, 0·85) and nulliparous SGA (OR = 0·67, 95 % CI 0·54, 0·84). There was no significant association between dietary folate intake and SGA risk.
Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation was associated with a reduced risk of SGA and the risk varied by preterm status and parity.
Perceived loneliness, an increasingly prevalent social issue, is closely associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the neural mechanisms previously implicated in key cognitive and affective processes in loneliness and MDD still remain unclear. Such understanding is critical for delineating the psychobiological basis of the relationship between loneliness and MDD.
We isolated the unique and interactive cognitive and neural substrates of loneliness and MDD among 27 MDD patients (mean age = 51.85 years, 20 females), and 25 matched healthy controls (HCs; mean age = 48.72 years, 19 females). We assessed participants' behavioral performance and neural regional and network functions on a Stroop color-word task, and their resting-state neural connectivity.
Behaviorally, we found greater incongruence-related accuracy cost in MDD patients, but reduced incongruence effect on reaction time in lonelier individuals. When performing the Stroop task, loneliness positively predicted prefrontal-anterior cingulate-parietal connectivity across all participants, whereas MDD patients showed a decrease in connectivity compared to controls. Furthermore, loneliness negatively predicted parietal and cerebellar activities in MDD patients, but positively predicted the same activities in HCs. During resting state, MDD patients showed reduced parietal-anterior cingulate connectivity, which again positively correlated with loneliness in this group.
We speculate the distinct neurocognitive profile of loneliness might indicate increase in both bottom-up attention and top-down executive control functions. However, the upregulated cognitive control processes in lonely individuals may eventually become exhausted, which may in turn predispose to MDD onset.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
The aim of this study was to explore the association between serum Mg and cardiovascular mortality in the peritoneal dialysis (PD) population. This prospective cohort study included prevalent PD patients from a single centre. The primary outcome of this study was cardiovascular mortality. Serum Mg was assessed at baseline. A total of 402 patients (57 % male; mean age 49·3±14·9 years) were included. After a median of 49·9 months (interquartile range: 25·9–68·3) of follow-up, sixty-two patients (25·4 %) died of CVD. After adjustment for conventional confounders in multivariate Cox regression models, being in the lower quartile for serum Mg level was independently associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular mortality, with hazards ratios of 2·28 (95 % CI 1·04, 5·01), 1·41 (95 % CI 0·63, 3·16) and 1·62 (95 % CI 0·75, 3·51) for the lowest, second and third quartiles, respectively. A similar trend was observed when all-cause mortality was used as the study endpoint. Further analysis showed that the relationships between lower serum Mg and higher risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality were present only in the female subgroup, and not among male patients. The test for interaction indicated that the associations between lower serum Mg and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality differed by sex (P=0·008 and P=0·011, respectively). In conclusion, lower serum Mg was associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in the PD population, especially among female patients.
U60 ([UO2(O2)(OH)]6060− in water) is a uranyl peroxide nanocluster with a fullerene topology and Oh symmetry. U60 clusters can exist in crystalline solids or in liquids; however, little is known of their behavior at high pressures. We compressed the U60-bearing material: Li68K12(OH)20[UO2(O2)(OH)]60(H2O)310 (
; a = 37.884 Å) in a diamond anvil cell to determine its response to increasing pressure. Three length scales and corresponding structural features contribute to the compression response: uranyl peroxide bonds (<0.5 nm), isolated single nanoclusters (2.5 nm), and the long-range periodicity of nanoclusters within the solid (>3.7 nm). Li68K12(OH)20[UO2(O2)(OH)]60(H2O)310 transformed to a tetragonal structure below 2 GPa and irreversibly amorphized between 9.6 and 13 GPa. The bulk modulus of the tetragonal U60-bearing material was 25 ± 2 GPa. The pressure-induced amorphous phase contained intact U60 clusters, which were preserved beyond the loss of long-range periodicity. The persistence of U60 clusters at high pressure may have been enhanced by the interaction between U60 nanoclusters and the alcohol pressure medium. Once formed, U60 nanoclusters persist regardless of their associated long-range ordering—in crystals, amorphous solids, or solutions.
Systematic paleontology of three new species of Petalocrinidae (Crinoidea) are documented from the carbonate-dominated units of the Shihniulan and equivalent Leijiatun formations (Llandovery, Silurian) of the Baisha, Fengxiang, and Shuibatang sections in Guizhou (China). New taxa are from the Upper Yangtze Epicontinental Sea of the South China Block. The new taxa include Petalocrinus stenopetalus new species, Spirocrinus circularis new species, and S. dextrosus new species. They have a narrow spatial and temporal (Aeronian) distribution. Evolutionary patterns of the four genera of Petalocrinidae are outlined based on the specialized characters of the fused arm plates. Phylogenetic analysis was used to assess morphological relationships within the Petalocrinidae. Petalocrinus inferior represents the plesiomorphic condition for the group and nests as a sister group of P. stenopetalus n. sp. and the Spirocrinus species used in this analysis and the clade exclusively comprised of Sinopetalocrinus. The phylogenetic analysis suggests that Petalocrinus, as currently defined, might be a paraphyletic genus.
The long-term outcome of never-treated patients with schizophrenia is
To compare the 14-year outcomes of never-treated and treated patients
with schizophrenia and to establish predictors for never being
All participants with schizophrenia (n = 510) in Xinjin,
Chengdu, China were identified in an epidemiological investigation of 123
572 people and followed up from 1994 to 2008.
The results showed that there were 30.6%, 25.0% and 20.4% of patients who
received no antipsychotic medication in 1994, 2004 and 2008 respectively.
Compared with treated patients, those who were never treated in 2008 were
significantly older, had significantly fewer family members, had higher
rates of homelessness, death from other causes, being unmarried, living
alone, being without a caregiver and poor family attitudes. Partial and
complete remission in treated patients (57.3%) was significantly higher
than that in the never-treated group (29.8%). Predictors of being in the
never-treated group in 2008 encompassed baseline never-treated status,
being without a caregiver and poor mental health status in 1994.
Many patients with schizophrenia still do not receive antipsychotic
medication in rural areas of China. The 14-year follow-up showed that
outcomes for the untreated group were worse. Community-based mental
healthcare, health insurance and family intervention are crucial for
earlier diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation in the community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed an approach to ventilator-associated events (VAE) surveillance. Using these methods, this study was performed to investigate VAE incidences and to test whether VAEs are associated with poorer outcomes in China.
A 4-month, prospective multicenter surveillance study between April and July 2013.
Our study included 15 adult intensive care units (ICUs) of 15 hospitals in China.
Patients admitted to ICUs during the study period
Patients on mechanical ventilation (MV) were monitored for VAEs: ventilator-associated conditions (VACs), infection-related ventilator-associated complications (IVACs), and possible or probable ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Patients with and without VACs were compared with regard to duration of MV, ICU length of stay (LOS), overall hospital LOS, and mortality rate.
During the study period, 2,356 of the 5,256 patients admitted to ICUs received MV for 8,438 ventilator days. Of these patients, 636 were on MV >2 days. VACs were identified in 94 cases (4.0%; 11.1 cases per 1,000 ventilator days), including 31 patients with IVACs and 16 with possible VAP but none with probable VAP. Compared with patients without VACs, patients with VACs had longer ICU LOS (by 6.2 days), longer duration on MV (by 7.7 days), and higher hospital mortality rate (50.0% vs 27.3%). The mortality rate attributable to VACs was 11.7%. Compared with those with VACs alone, patients with IVACs had longer duration on MV and increased ICU LOS but no higher mortality rates.
In China, surveillance of VACs and IVACs is able to identify MV patients with poorer outcomes. However, surveillance of possible and probable VAP can be problematic.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1388–1395
This study was conducted to determine the effects of l-carnitine (LC), as an antioxidant, in preventing spermatozoa damage during the freezing–thawing process in both astheno- and normozoospermic human semen samples. Seventy semen samples (37 asthenozoospermic and 33 normozoospermic) were involved in this study. Cryopreservation medium supplemented with 1.0 g/l LC was mixed with semen at a ratio of 1:1 (v/v). Controls were cryopreserved with freezing medium only. Assessment of motility, viability (VIA), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and DNA fragmentation index (DFI) were performed on aliquots of fresh semen, frozen–thawed control and frozen–thawed LC treated samples. Supplementation of the cryopreservation medium with LC induced a significant improvement in post-thaw sperm parameters in both the asthenozoospermic and normozoospermic semen samples, compared with those of the control, regarding sperm fast forward motility, forward motility, total motility and VIA. LC showed better protective effects towards asthenozoospermia for DFI (F = 115.85, P < 0.01) and VIA (F = 67.14, P < 0.01) than did normozoospermic semen samples. We conclude that supplementation with LC prior to the cryopreservation process reduced spermatozoa cryodamage in both asthenozoospermic and normozoospermic semen samples. LC had better protective effects for asthenozoospermic human semen samples. Future research should focus on the molecular mechanism for and the different protective effects of LC between asthenozoospermic and normozoospermic semen samples during cryopreservation.
This study investigated the microstructure and machining characteristics of a Zr38.5Ti16.5Cu15.25Ni9.75Be20 bulk metallic glass (Zr-BMG) alloy machined using electro-discharge machining (EDM). After EDM, the hardening effect near the outer surface of the electro-discharge machined (EDMed) Zr-BMG alloy originated from the surface carbides of the recast layer, ZrC and TiC. The thickness of the recast layer, crater size, and the surface roughness increased with greater pulse energy. Furthermore, the EDM can generate a porous recast layer and convert the Zr-BMG alloy surface into a carbide surface, which is a potential method to fabricate biomaterials. Experimental results also show that the material removal rate of this alloy in the EDM process was significantly related to the pulse current IP and pulse duration τP. Many electro-discharge craters and recast materials were observed on the surface of the EDMed Zr-BMG alloy. The surface roughness of the EDMed Zr-BMG alloy was found to obey the empirical equation of Ra = β(IP × τP)α.
The electrode materials for VRFB should possess higher electric conductivity, corrosion resistance and hydrophilic properties in sulfuric acid. The characteristics of the electrode materials affect the stability and the energy efficiency of VRFB. Carbon materials are the best suited for VRFB applications. In this study, the calcined treatment, acid treatment and ozone treatment were used to modify the surface of carbon papers. The redox reaction of [VO]2+/[VO2]+ on the modified carbon papers was evaluated by cyclic voltammetry (CV). The surface compositions of carbon materials were analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectrometry (XPS). The experimental results reveal that three oxidative methods enhance the redox reaction of [VO]2+/[VO2]+. The calcined treatments and acid treatments also enhanced hydrolysis reaction. The mole ratio of O/C apparently increased, but the binding energy of C1s and O1s were not chemically shifted in the acid treatment. The intensity of binding energy of O1s, between 532 eV and 534 eV, apparently increased in the ozone and calcined treatments. The Ox treated samples were more hydrophilic than the Oz treated samples. In the Ox treated samples, the decrease of Rct value indicates that was contributed from the redox reaction of [VO]2+/[VO2]+ and hydrolysis reaction. It does not completely benefit the energy efficiency of VRFB. The 5 x 5 cm2 modified carbon papers were used as electrode materials in the VRFB. The voltage efficiency, coulomb efficiency and energy efficiency reached 93 %, 90 % and 83 %, respectively, at a current density of 12 mA．cm-2 at 0.8-1.8 V.
The stability of the negative electrode electrolyte affects the efficiency and capacity of energy storage in the vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) system. To explore the stability of vanadium electrolytes, the study prepared five types of V(II) electrolytes that were exposed to air in a fixed open area and monitored the charge state of vanadium ions over time by UV/Visible spectrophotometer. This study succeeded in preparing pure V(II) electrolytes. Five characteristics are found in the UV/Visible spectra, respectively, during the oxidation process from V(II) electrolytes to V(III) electrolytes and V(III) electrolytes to V(IV) electrolytes. The experimental results show that the oxidation rate of a solution of 1 M V(II) electrolytes to V(III) electrolytes and 1 M V(III) electrolytes to V(IV) electrolytes under an atmosphere of air is 4.79 and 0.0089 mol/h per square meter. The oxidation rates of 0.05-1 M V(II) electrolytes to V(III) electrolytes are approximately 96-538 times than that of V(III) electrolytes to V(IV) electrolytes.
Recently, tremendous progress has been made toward the application of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) in full color flat panel displays and other devices. This article reviews and discusses our recent progress in extended development of emissive semi-interpenetrating polymer networks (E-semi-IPNs) and hybrid quantum dots (QDs)–polymer nanocomposites for use in multicolor and multilayer OLED pixels through low-cost solution processing. Our semi-IPNs with high solvent resistance, containing an inert polymer network and conjugated polymers, served in different layers of OLED devices. These semi-IPNs do not require complicated chemical modification to OLED materials; therefore, many state-of-the-arts conjugated polymers can be utilized to achieve red–green–blue and white OLEDs by tuning formulations. Our research findings on hybrid QD–oligomer nanocomposites lead to the successful design and synthesis of QD–polymer hybrid nanocomposites, which were used to build proof-of-the-concept devices showing good promise in providing excellent color purity and stability from QDs and solution processability from hybrid nanocomposites.
Thermo-responsive actuation (thermomechanical effects) based on nematic liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) have become a research priority in the preparation of soft actuators. Nematic LCEs combine the anisotropic features of liquid crystal phases with the rubber elasticity of polymer network. When heated at nematic to isotropic phase transition temperature (N-to-I temp.), a uniaxial thermomechanical deformation of LCEs will undergo at nearly constant volume due to a change of LC director order. Recently, an array of the micro-sized LCE pillars related to such thermomechanical effects have been successfully constructed through a soft lithography technology (i.e., replica molding). The prepared LCE pillars are mono-dispersive and micro-sized. They also possess N-to-I temp. higher than 100°C, largely limiting the available application. By contrast, the present study will report a hexagonal array of nano-sized thermo-responsive pillar actuators that are able to contract and expand in response to temperature changes around a lower N-to-I temp. is manufactured via using reactive rod-like liquid crystal and ultraviolet nanoimprinting technology. According to atomic force microscope (AFM) observation, a hexagonal array of pillars can be easily constructed by nanoimprinting and a responsive surface with a thermo-stimuli-driven roughness change is achieved. The room-temperature AFM scans quantitatively represent the single pillar shows a diameter of ca. 270 nm and 140 nm in depth, and the pitch meaning the averaged inter-pillar distance is measured as ca. 425 nm, thus lying in a nano-sized range. Furthermore, temperature-variable AFM is also utilized to demonstrate the pillar behaves as a thermally-stimulated nano-sized actuator. In our case, when heated above N-to-I phase transition temperature (ca. 65°C), it is clearly observed that the pillar diameter is expanded in the order of over 12-15 % and then reversibly contracted in response to temperature drop.
Recently, tremendous progress has been made toward application of organic (small molecule/polymer) light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) in full color flat panel displays and other devices. However, with current technologies, OLEDs are still struggling with high manufacturing costs which really limit the size of OLEDs panels and with life time, especially differential aging of colors. To be more cost-effective for fabricating OLEDs, we believe solution-processing would be an attractive path due to its simplicity and highly reduced equipment costs. This proceeding paper discusses our recent progress in development of new polymer systems that are highly solvent-resistant but maintaining their photophysical properties and hybrid quantum-dots (QDs)-polymer nanocomposites for their use in multicolor and multilayer OLEDs pixels through solution-processing. Our new polymer systems are named conductive semi-interpenetrating polymer networks (C-Semi-IPNs) served in different layers of OLEDs devices, containing an inert polymer network and conducting polymer(s) including hole transport and emissive materials. Since these do not require complicated chemical modification or introduction of reactive moieties to OLED materials, many state-of-the-arts emissive polymers can be utilized to achieve RGB and white OLEDs. The research findings on hybrid QDoligomer nanocomposite as a good analogue lead to the successful design and synthesis of QDpolymer nanocomposites which were used to build proof-of-the-concept devices showing a good promise in providing excellent color purity and stability as well as device robustness.
The Chelonia face an extinction crisis, particularly in Asia: unsustainable harvests, and habitat fragmentation and loss accompanying rapid urbanization and land development all pose threats to turtles. These threats are particularly acute for those species with a high commercial value such as the yellow-margined box turtle Cuora flavomarginata. Because of burgeoning demand in the food and pet markets, combined with extensive habitat loss, C. flavomarginata is categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. To investigate the status and distribution of this species in Taiwan we conducted an extensive trapping survey in 2001–2008, locating a total of 527 different individuals at 23 sites. Our results show that C. flavomarginata is restricted to low-elevation forested hills. Populations in lowland areas may have been extirpated by land development. There are four clusters of localities in low-elevation primary and secondary forests, and some relatively large populations survive. However, capture success at most sites was low. In those sites where we trapped > 20 individuals, sex ratios were significantly skewed towards females and adults predominated. The most essential measure for the conservation of C. flavomarginata in Taiwan is to secure and preserve some relatively undisturbed habitats at low elevations.