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Solar energy can alleviate our dependence on traditional energy sources like coal and petroleum. In this regard, the design and performance of solar absorbers are crucial for capturing energy from sunlight. Specifically, for applications relying on solar-thermal energy conversion, it is desirable to construct solar absorbers using scalable techniques that also allow a variation in optical properties. In this study, we demonstrate the ability to tune the spectral absorptance of nickel-infused nanoporous alumina using a scalable and inexpensive fabrication procedure. With simple variations in the geometry of the nanostructures, we enable broadband absorption with a net solar absorptance of 0.96 and thermal emittance of 0.98 and spectrally-selective absorption with a net solar absorptance of 0.83 and thermal emittance of 0.22. The simple manufacturing techniques presented in this study to generate nanoengineered surfaces can lead to further advancements in solar absorbers with well-controlled and application-specific optical properties.
A Fast Ice Prediction System (FIPS) was constructed and is the first regional land-fast sea-ice forecasting system for the Antarctic. FIPS had two components: (1) near-real-time information on the ice-covered area from MODIS and SAR imagery that revealed, tidal cracks, ridged and rafted ice regions; (2) a high-resolution 1-D thermodynamic snow and ice model (HIGHTSI) that was extended to perform a 2-D simulation on snow and ice evolution using atmospheric forcing from ECMWF: either using ERA-Interim reanalysis (in hindcast mode) or HERS operational 10-day predictions (in forecast mode). A hindcast experiment for the 2015 season was in good agreement with field observations, with a mean bias of 0.14 ± 0.07 m and a correlation coefficient of 0.98 for modeled ice thickness. The errors are largely caused by a cold bias in the atmospheric forcing. The thick snow cover during the 2015 season led to modeled formation of extensive snow ice and superimposed ice. The first FIPS operational service was performed during the 2017/18 season. The system predicted a realistic ice thickness and onset of snow surface melt as well as the area of internal ice melt. The model results on the snow and ice properties were considered by the captain of R/V Xuelong when optimizing a low-risk route for on-ice transportation through fast ice to the coastal Zhongshan Station.
To investigate the effects of dietary fiber on follicular atresia in pigs fed a high-fat diet, we fed 32 prepubescent gilts a basal diet (CON) or a CON diet supplemented with 300 g/d dietary fiber (fiber), 240 g/d soy oil (SO), or both (fiber + SO). At the 19th day of the 4th estrus cycle, gilts fed the SO diet showed 112% more atretic follicles and greater expression of the apoptotic markers, Bax and Caspase-3, and these effects were reversed by the fiber diet. The abundance of short-chain fatty acid-producing microbes was decreased by the SO diet, but this effect was reversed by fiber treatment. Concentrations of serotonin and melatonin in the serum and follicular fluid were increased by the fiber diet. Overall, dietary fiber protected against high-fat feeding induced follicular atresia at least partly via gut microbiota-related serotonin–melatonin synthesis. These results provide insight into preventing negative effects on fertility in humans consuming a high-energy diet.
A novel coronavirus disease, designated as COVID-19, has become a pandemic worldwide. This study aims to estimate the incubation period and serial interval of COVID-19. We collected contact tracing data in a municipality in Hubei province during a full outbreak period. The date of infection and infector–infectee pairs were inferred from the history of travel in Wuhan or exposed to confirmed cases. The incubation periods and serial intervals were estimated using parametric accelerated failure time models, accounting for interval censoring of the exposures. Our estimated median incubation period of COVID-19 is 5.4 days (bootstrapped 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.8–6.0), and the 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles are 1 and 15 days, respectively; while the estimated serial interval of COVID-19 falls within the range of −4 to 13 days with 95% confidence and has a median of 4.6 days (95% CI 3.7–5.5). Ninety-five per cent of symptomatic cases showed symptoms by 13.7 days (95% CI 12.5–14.9). The incubation periods and serial intervals were not significantly different between male and female, and among age groups. Our results suggest a considerable proportion of secondary transmission occurred prior to symptom onset. And the current practice of 14-day quarantine period in many regions is reasonable.
Bile acids (BA) have emerged as signalling molecules regulating intestinal physiology. The importance of intestinal microbiota in production of secondary BA, for example, lithocholic acid (LCA) which impairs enterocyte proliferation and permeability, triggered us to determine the effects of oral probiotics on intestinal BA metabolism. Piglets were weaned at 28 d of age and allocated into control (CON, n 14) or probiotic (PRO, n 14) group fed 50 mg of Lactobacillus plantarum daily, and gut microbiota and BA profile were determined. To test the potential interaction of LCA with bacteria endotoxins in inducing damage of enterocytes, IPEC-J2 cells were treated with LCA, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and LCA + LPS and expressions of genes related to inflammation, antioxidant capacity and nutrient transport were determined. Compared with the CON group, the PRO group showed lower total LCA level in the ileum and higher relative abundance of the Lactobacillus genus in faeces. In contrast, the relative abundances of Bacteroides, Clostridium_sensu_stricto_1, Parabacteroides and Ruminococcus_1, important bacteria genera in BA biotransformation, were all lower in the PRO than in the CON group. Moreover, PRO piglets had lower postprandial glucagon-like peptide-1 level, while higher glucose level than CON piglets. Co-administration of LPS and LCA led to down-regulated expression of glucose and peptide transporter genes in IPEC-J2 cells. Altogether, oral L. plantarum altered BA profile probably by modulating relative abundances of gut microbial genera that play key roles in BA metabolism and might consequently impact glucose homoeostasis. The detrimental effect of LCA on nutrient transport in enterocytes might be aggravated under LPS challenge.
The first case of 2019-nCoV pneumonia infection occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, South China Seafood Market in December 2019. As a group with a high probability of infection, health workers are faced with a certain degree of psychological challenges in the process of facing the epidemic. This study attempts to evaluate the impact of 2019-nCoV outbreak on the psychological state of Chinese health workers and to explore the influencing factors. During the period from 31 January 2020 to 4 February 2020, the ‘Questionnaire Star’ electronic questionnaire system was used to collect data. The 2019-nCoV impact questionnaire and The Impact of Event Scale (IES) were used to check the psychological status of health workers in China. A total of 442 valid data were collected in this study. Seventy-four (16.7%) male and 368 (83.3%) female individuals participated in this study. The average score of high arousal dimension was 5.15 (s.d. = 4.71), and the median score was 4.0 (IQR 2.0, 7.0). The average score of IES was 15.26 (s.d. = 11.23), and the median score was 13.5 (IQR 7.0, 21.0). Multiple regression analysis showed that there were critical statistical differences in high arousal scores among different gender groups (male 3.0 vs. female 5.0, P = 0.075). Whether being quarantined had significant statistical differences of IES scores (being quarantined 16.0 vs. not being quarantined 13.0, P = 0.021). The overall impact of the 2019-nCoV outbreak on health workers is at a mild level. Chinese health workers have good psychological coping ability in the face of public health emergencies.
The aim of this study was to explore associations between internet/email use in a large sample of older English adults with their social isolation and loneliness. Data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing Wave 8 were used, with complete data available for 4,492 men and women aged ⩾ 50 years (mean age = 64.3, standard deviation = 13.3; 51.7% males). Binomial logistic regression was used to analyse cross-sectional associations between internet/email use and social isolation and loneliness. The majority of older adults reported using the internet/email every day (69.3%), fewer participants reported once a week (8.5%), once a month (2.6%), once every three months (0.7%), less than every three months (1.5%) and never (17.4%). No significant associations were found between internet/email use and loneliness, however, non-linear associations were found for social isolation. Older adults using the internet/email either once a week (odds ratio (OR) = 0.60, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.49–0.72) or once a month (OR = 0.60, 95% CI = 0.45–0.80) were significantly less likely to be socially isolated than every day users; those using internet/email less than once every three months were significantly more likely to be socially isolated than every day users (OR = 2.87, 95% CI = 1.28–6.40). Once every three months and never users showed no difference in social isolation compared with every day users. Weak associations were found between different online activities and loneliness, and strong associations were found with social isolation. The study updated knowledge of older adults’ internet/email habits, devices used and activities engaged in online. Findings may be important for the design of digital behaviour change interventions in older adults, particularly in groups at risk of or interventions targeting loneliness and/or social isolation.
The extent of intertidal flats in the Yellow Sea region has declined significantly in the past few decades, resulting in severe population declines in several waterbird species. The Yellow Sea region holds the primary stopover sites for many shorebirds during their migration to and from northern breeding grounds. However, the functional roles of these sites in shorebirds’ stopover ecology remain poorly understood. Through field surveys between July and November 2015, we investigated the stopover and moult schedules of migratory shorebirds along the southern Jiangsu coast, eastern China during their southbound migration, with a focus on the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea and ‘Endangered’ Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer. Long-term count data indicate that both species regularly occur in globally important number in southern Jiangsu coast, constituting 16.67–49.34% and 64.0–80.67% of their global population estimates respectively, and it is highly likely that most adults undergo their primary moult during this southbound migration stopover. Our results show that Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank staged for an extended period of time (66 and 84 days, respectively) to complete their primary moult. On average, Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Nordmann’s Greenshanks started moulting primary feathers on 8 August ± 4.52 and 27 July ± 1.56 days respectively, and their moult durations were 72.58 ± 9.08 and 65.09 ± 2.40 days. In addition, some individuals of several other shorebird species including the ‘Endangered’ Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris, ‘Near Threatened’ Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, ‘Near Threatened’ Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata and Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii also underwent primary moult. Our work highlights the importance of the southern Jiangsu region as the primary moulting ground for these species, reinforcing that conservation of shorebird habitat including both intertidal flats and supratidal roosting sites in this region is critical to safeguard the future of some highly threatened shorebird species.
It is well-known that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with changes in the dopaminergic system. However, the relationship between central dopaminergic tone and the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal during receipt of rewards and penalties in the corticostriatal pathway in adults with ADHD is unclear.
Single-photon emission computed tomography with [99mTC]TRODAT-1 was used to assess striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) availability. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted on subjects performing the Iowa Gambling Test.
DAT availability was found to be associated with the BOLD response, which was a covariate of monetary loss, in the medial prefrontal cortex (r = 0.55, P = .03), right ventral striatum (r = 0.69, P = .003), and right orbital frontal cortex (r = 0.53, P = .03) in adults with ADHD. However, a similar correlation was not found in the controls.
The results confirmed that dopaminergic tone may play a different role in the penalty-elicited response of adults with ADHD. It is plausible that a lower neuro-threshold accompanied by insensitivity to punishment could be exacerbated by the hypodopaminergic tone in ADHD.
The present study examined the relationship between the Lie scale scores and striatal D2/D3 receptor availability with respect to the cerebellum in 42 healthy community volunteers in Taiwan using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with [123I]iodo-benzoaminde (IBZM). Even after controlling of age and educational level, subjects' Lie scale scores of the Maudsley personality inventory correlate negatively with D2/D3 receptor availability. Individual with higher Lie scale scores may have higher impulsivity due to lower dopaminergic availability.
To investigate whether the depressive tendency of adolescents are associated with certain personality traits in a stratified sample in eastern Taiwan.
Students who were sampled from 6 junior high and 25 primary schools in a multi-stratified manner were invited to join the study and asked to complete the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the Junior Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (JEPQ) administrated together with other measurements of behavioral problems and life events. Effects of gender and grades on the score of the CES-D and the JEPQ and all its four subscales (N, E, P, and L) were analyzed. Correlation between the CES-D and the JEPQ's subscales were explored.
Data from 3222 participants was analysed. Scores of CES-D and all four subscales (N, E, P, and L) of JEPQ were not influenced by gender. Scores of CES-D of participants from junior high school (grade 7-9) were significantly higher than those from primary schools (grade 4-6) but not similar finding in JEPQ scores. Gender difference was not noted in the low depressive tendency group, but there's more girls (59.2%) than boys (41.8%) in the high depressive group. Participants in the high depressive tendency group had significantly higher scores of N and P subscale, but not E subscale of JEPQ than those in the low depressive tendency group.
Different aspects of personality might be correlated differently to the tendency of depression among adolescents. Whether there's developmental causation warrants further analyses and explorations.
It is known that Sexual Dysfunction (SD) is higher in patient with depression than in the general population. Though antidepressant seems to worsen the situation, there are also indications that the gender may play a role on it.
Evaluate the gender effect of sexual function among unmedicated MDD, MDD receiving antidepressant, and healthy controls.
The sample was formed by male and female Taiwanese outpatients in three age and sex matched groups, with sixty nine participants per group: unmedicated MDD, MDD receiving antidepressant, and healthy controls. the diagnoses of depressions were performed according DSM-IV and Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire. SD was evaluated with the Chinese version of the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire. Finally, the data was analyzed using SPSS software v17. Mixed designed ANOVA was used.
There are significant differences between males and females CSFQ results (sex main effect F = 82.44, p < 0.001) and between groups (group main effect F = 3.48, p = 0.034). Additionally, the 2-way interaction between sex and group was also significant (F = 3.40, p = 0.036). Simple main effect analysis shows differences among male participants, between healthy and medicated males (F = 11.41, p = 0.002), but not in female (F = 1.58, p = 0.21). However the statistics weren’t different between females groups, the medicated expresses better results (similar to healthy group) than the unmedicated one.
SD is different between genders in each of the groups. Antidepressant seems to increase SD in man, while improves sexual satisfaction/function among depressive woman. We speculate that psychological improvement after treatment may have different impact between genders on sexual satisfaction.
The presence of comorbid anxiety disorders (AD) and bipolar II disorders (BP-II) compounds disability complicates treatment, worsens prognosis, and has been understudied. The genes involved in metabolizing dopamine and encoding dopamine receptors, such as aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) and dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) genes, may be important to the pathogenesis of BP-II comorbid with AD. We aimed to clarify ALDH2 and DRD2 genes for predisposition to BP-II comorbid with and without AD. The sample consisted of 335 subjects BP-II without AD, 127 subjects BP-II with AD and 348 healthy subjects as normal control. The genotypes of the ALDH2 and DRD2 Taq-IA polymorphisms were determined using polymerase chain reactions plus restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Logistic regression analysis showed a statistically significant association between DRD2 Taq-I A1/A2 genotype and BP-II with AD (OR = 2.231, P = 0.021). Moreover, a significant interaction of the DRD2 Taq-I A1/A1 and the ALDH2*1*1 genotypes in BP-II without AD was revealed (OR = 5.623, P = 0.001) compared with normal control. Our findings support the hypothesis that a unique genetic distinction between BP-II with and without AD, and suggest a novel association between DRD2 Taq-I A1/A2 genotype and BP-II with AD. Our study also provides further evidence that the ALDH2 and DRD2 genes interact in BP-II, particularly BP-II without AD.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent mental disorder characterized by impairments in affect, behaviour and cognition. Previous studies have indicated that the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) may play an essential role in the pathophysiology of depression. In this study, we systematically identified changes in functional connectivity (FC) for ACC subdivisions that manifest in MDD and further investigated the relationship between these changes and the clinical symptoms of depression.
Sub-regional ACC FC was estimated in 41 first-episode medication-naïve MDD patients compared to 43 healthy controls. The relationships between depressive symptom severity and aberrant FC of ACC subdivisions were investigated. In addition, we conducted a meta-analysis to generate the distributions of MDD-related abnormal regions from previously reported results and compared them to FC deficits revealed in this study.
In MDD patients, the subgenual and perigenual ACC demonstrated decreased FC with the posterior regions of the default network (DN), including the posterior inferior parietal lobule and posterior cingulate cortex. FC of these regions was negatively associated with the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire scores and largely overlapped with previously reported abnormal regions. In addition, reduced FC between the caudal ACC and precuneus was negatively correlated with the Hamilton Anxiety Scale scores. We also found increased FC between the rostral ACC and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex.
Our findings confirmed that functional interaction changes in different ACC sub-regions are specific and associated with distinct symptoms of depression. Our findings provide new insights into the role of ACC sub-regions and DN in the pathophysiology of MDD.
Al-based composites with micrometer and submicro-TiB2 reinforcements (1 wt%) have been produced by selective laser melting (SLM) from mixed powder under different processing conditions. The results show that the densification level of SLM-processed composite with submicro-TiB2 particles (>99.0%) was 0.3–2.4% larger than that of micrometer TiB2-reinforced composite under the same processing conditions. The distribution of Si precipitates in the matrix experienced a transform from continuous cellular to directional line-like morphology with reinforcement size decreasing from micron to submicron. The reinforcement size added in the matrix also exhibited a critical influence on preferred orientation and grain size of matrix. The SLM-processed composites exhibited improved tensile strength and ductility with a decrease of reinforcement size. High tensile strength of ∼400 MPa and elongation of ∼3.6% were obtained for the fine TiB2-reinforced samples, increasing by 6 and 13% compared with that of micro-TiB2–added samples, respectively.
A humanoid robot developed to play multievent athletes like human has paved a way for interesting and popular robotics research. One of the great dreams is to develop a humanoid robot being able to challenge human athletes. Therefore, the challenge of humanoid robots to play archery against human is organized at Taichung, Taiwan, in HuroCup, FIRA 2018, on August 7th. The difficulties of developing humanoid robot are not just on playing archery. The humanoid robots for HuroCup must make use of the same hardware for the 10 events. In this paper, the design and implementation of the humanoid robot for archery are proposed under the trade off with other nine events. Therefore, the humanoid robot must have some special design and development on software. More specially, the humanoid robot must use professional bow to challenge human for archery competition. Therefore, in this paper, special shooting posture under constrained arm structure and motion planning of both arms for more torque to play professional bow are proposed. In addition, the further development of humanoid robot to improve archery shooting is summarized.
Here it is demonstrated how some anionic food additives commonly used in our diet, such as tartrazine (TZ), bind to DHVAR4, an antimicrobial peptide (AMP) derived from oral host defense peptides, resulting in significantly fostered toxic activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, but not against mammalian cells. Biophysical studies on the DHVAR4–TZ interaction indicate that initially large, positively charged aggregates are formed, but in the presence of lipid bilayers, they rather associate with the membrane surface. In contrast to synergistic effects observed for mixed antibacterial compounds, this is a principally different mechanism, where TZ directly acts on the membrane-associated AMP promoting its biologically active helical conformation. Model vesicle studies show that compared to dye-free DHVAR4, peptide–TZ complexes are more prone to form H-bonds with the phosphate ester moiety of the bilayer head-group region resulting in more controlled bilayer fusion mechanism and concerted severe cell damage. AMPs are considered as promising compounds to combat formidable antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections; however, we know very little on their in vivo actions, especially on how they interact with other chemical agents. The current example illustrates how food dyes can modulate AMP activity, which is hoped to inspire improved therapies against microbial infections in the alimentary tract. Results also imply that the structure and function of natural AMPs could be manipulated by small compounds, which may also offer a new strategic concept for the future design of peptide-based antimicrobials.
The Taihangshan Mountain Belt, in the central North China Craton, represents an important crustal and tectonic boundary. To explore the complex tectonic evolution of this area during the Mesozoic–Cenozoic, we gathered zircon and apatite (U–Th)/He thermochronology data along a vertical transect (elevation of 630−1584 m) of the northern part of the Taihang Mountain Belt. From our data, we observed three separate rapid cooling phases that occurred at 100 Ma, 50−40 Ma and 27 Ma. Combined with previously published geochronological ages, we suggest that the uplift of the Taihang Mountain Belt initiated during the Jurassic and experienced multiphase rapid uplift from the Cretaceous to the Cenozoic. The early Cretaceous rapid cooling/uplifting events are widespread in the North China Craton and are caused by the collision between the Okhotomorsk Block and the East Asian continental margin. The Eocene and Oligocene rapid cooling events correspond to the initial rifting and thermal subsidence of the Bohai Bay Basin, indicating a coupling between the creation of basins and mountains.