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Deep learning methods have been applied to randomly generate images, such as in fashion, furniture design. To date, consideration of human aspects which play a vital role in a design process has not been given significant attention in deep learning approaches. In this paper, results are reported from a human- in-the-loop design method where brain EEG signals are used to capture preferable design features. In the framework developed, an encoder extracting EEG features from raw signals recorded from subjects when viewing images from ImageNet are learned. Secondly, a GAN model is trained conditioned on the encoded EEG features to generate design images. Thirdly, the trained model is used to generate design images from a person's EEG measured brain activity in the cognitive process of thinking about a design. To verify the proposed method, a case study is presented following the proposed approach. The results indicate that the method can generate preferred designs styles guided by the preference related brain signals. In addition, this method could also help improve communication between designers and clients where clients might not be able to express design requests clearly.
Introduction: To investigate the effects of paroxetine (PAR) on motor and cognitive function recovery in patients with non-depressed ischemic stroke (nD-AIS).
Methods: One hundred sixty-seven patients hospitalized for non-depressed acute ischemic stroke were selected and divided into treatment (T) and control (C) groups using a random number table. All patients received conventional secondary ischemic stroke prevention and rehabilitation training; patients in Group T additionally received treatment with PAR (10 mg/day during week 1 and 20 mg/day thereafter) for 3 months. The follow-up observation lasted 6 months. The Fugl–Meyer motor scale (FMMS), Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA), and Hamilton depression scale (HAMD) were used on D0, D15, D90, and D180 (T0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively; D180 = 90 days after treatment cessation) after study initiation, and scores were compared between the groups.
Results: The FMMS and MoCA scores differed significantly between Groups T and C at T2 and T3 (p < .05); by contrast, these scores did not differ significantly between the groups at T1 (p > .05). Furthermore, the HAMD scores differed significantly between the two groups at T3 (p < .05), but not at T1 and T2 (p > .05).
Conclusions: PAR treatment may improve motor and cognitive function recovery in patients with nD-AIS. Moreover, PAR may reduce the occurrence of depression after stroke.
Evidence regarding the relationships between the socioeconomic status and
long-term outcomes of individuals with bipolar affective disorder (BPD)
We aimed to estimate the effects of baseline socioeconomic status on
A national cohort of adult participants with newly diagnosed BPD was
identified in 2008. The effects of personal and household socioeconomic
status were explored on outcomes of hospital treatment, mortality and
healthcare costs, over a 3-year follow-up period (2008–2011).
A total of 7987 participants were recruited. The relative risks of
hospital treatment and mortality were found elevated for the ones from
low-income households who also had higher healthcare costs. Low premium
levels did not correlate with future healthcare costs.
Socioeconomic deprivation is associated with poorer outcome and higher
healthcare costs in BPD patients. Special care should be given to those
with lower socioeconomic status to improve outcomes with potential
benefits of cost savings in the following years.
To assess the association between maternal caffeine intake and risk of pregnancy loss using a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Categorical and dose–response meta-analysis of prospective studies.
Relevant articles were identified by searching MEDLINE and SCOPUS databases through 30 January 2015. Two authors independently extracted information from eligible studies. Random-effects models were used to derive the summary relative risks (RR) and corresponding 95 % CI for specific categories of caffeine consumption and for a continuous association using generalized least-squares trend estimation.
A total of 130 456 participants and 3429 cases in fourteen included studies.
Compared with the reference category with no or very low caffeine intake, the RR (95 % CI) of pregnancy loss was 1·02 (0·85, 1·24; I2=28·3 %) for low intake (50–149 mg/d), 1·16 (0·94, 1·41; I2=49·6 %) for moderate intake (150–349 mg/d), 1·40 (1·16, 1·68; I2=18·6 %) for high intake (350–699 mg/d) and 1·72 (1·40, 2·13; I2=0·0 %) for very high intake (≥700 mg/d). In the dose–response analysis, each 100 mg/d increment in maternal caffeine intake (~1 cup of coffee) was associated with 7 % (95 % CI 3 %, 12 %) higher risk of pregnancy loss. Our results may have been affected by publication bias, but the association remained significant for the subset of larger studies. Furthermore, adjustment for smoking and pregnancy symptoms may have been incomplete, potentially resulting in residual confounding.
Albeit inconclusive, higher maternal caffeine intake was associated with a higher risk of pregnancy loss and adherence to guidelines to avoid high caffeine intake during pregnancy appears prudent.
Early life environments interact with genotype to determine stable phenotypic outcomes. Here we examined the influence of a variant in the brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) gene (Val66Met), which underlies synaptic plasticity throughout the central nervous system, on the degree to which antenatal maternal anxiety associated with neonatal DNA methylation. We also examined the association between neonatal DNA methylation and brain substructure volume, as a function of BDNF genotype. Infant, but not maternal, BDNF genotype dramatically influences the association of antenatal anxiety on the epigenome at birth as well as that between the epigenome and neonatal brain structure. There was a greater impact of antenatal maternal anxiety on the DNA methylation of infants with the methionine (Met)/Met compared to both Met/valine (Val) and Val/Val genotypes. There were significantly more cytosine–phosphate–guanine sites where methylation levels covaried with right amygdala volume among Met/Met compared with both Met/Val and Val/Val carriers. In contrast, more cytosine–phosphate–guanine sites covaried with left hippocampus volume in Val/Val infants compared with infants of the Met/Val or Met/Met genotype. Thus, antenatal Maternal Anxiety × BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism interactions at the level of the epigenome are reflected differently in the structure of the amygdala and the hippocampus. These findings suggest that BDNF genotype regulates the sensitivity of the methylome to early environment and that differential susceptibility to specific environmental conditions may be both tissue and function specific.
Predator–prey interactions play major and direct roles in the structuring of zooplankton communities. Asplanchna usually predates ciliates, rotifers, cladocerans and sometimes even copepods, its predation may drive not only the ecological, but also the evolutionary dynamics of prey populations. In the present study, the life-table demography and the population growth of Asplanchna brightwelli were investigated at four temperatures (16, 20, 24 and 28°C) using Brachionus angularis as prey at four densities (10, 20, 30 and 40 ind.mL−1). The results showed that temperature affected significantly all the life-table demographic parameters (age-specific survivorship and fecundity, average lifespan, life expectancy at hatching, generation time, net reproductive rate and intrinsic rate of population increase) and the population growth rate obtained from the population growth studies, prey density affected the generation time, the net reproductive rate, the intrinsic rate of population increase and the population growth rate, and the interaction between temperature and prey density affected the generation time and the population growth rate. Both the average lifespan and the life expectancy at hatching were the longest at 16°C, the generation times were longer at lower temperatures (16 and 20°C) and higher prey densities (30 and 40 ind.mL−1), the net reproductive rates were higher at lower temperatures (16 and 20°C) and 20–40 ind.mL−1 of B. angularis, and the population growth rates were higher at 20°C under 20–40 ind.mL−1 of B. angularis.
Au nanoparticles (Au NPs) have attracted much interest owing to their unique optical properties. In this paper, a facile process has been successfully developed to synthesize the SiO2/Au hybrid microspheres with a diameter of 200 nm via the galvanic replacement of SiO2/Ag hybrid microspheres and chlorauric acid (HAuCl4) solution. The as-prepared products were investigated by x-ray diffraction (XRD), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM, JEOL-6700F), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM, JEOL 3010), respectively. As expected, the as-prepared SiO2/Au hybrid microspheres show strong chemical stability and superior catalytic reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) to 4-aminophenol (4-AP). The SiO2/Au hybrid microspheres would be found widely used in wastewater treatment, catalytic reaction, bacteriostatic and bactericidal applications.
Using the discrete ordinate method, we solve the equations of phonon radiative transfer for thin films analytically, and deduce closed-form expressions for three thermophysical properties including the phonon intensity, heat flux density and effective phonon thermal conductivity. These analytical expressions provide a fast and convenient way to analyze heat conduction behavior in thin films, and thus allowing us to comprehend how the film thickness and bulk phonon mean free path affects the thermophysical properties. Also we extend these expressions from thin films to one period of superlattices, and demonstrate that adjusting the thickness ratio of two layers can control its effective phonon thermal conductivity.
The efficacy of homocysteine (Hcy)-lowering therapy in reducing the risk of CVD among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to determine whether pooling the data from the few small randomised, controlled trials that address this topic would improve the statistical power of the analysis and resolve some of the inconsistencies in the results. Randomised, controlled clinical trials (RCT) were identified from MEDLINE, EMBASE, www.clinicaltrials.gov, the Cochrane Controlled Clinical Trials Register Database and Nephrology Filters. Independent extraction of articles was performed using predefined data fields. The primary outcome was relative risk (RR) of CVD, CHD, stroke and all-cause mortality for the pooled trials. A stratified analysis was planned, assessing the RR for cardiovascular events between the patients on and not on dialysis. Overall, ten studies met the inclusion criteria. The estimated RR were not significantly different for any outcomes, including CHD (RR 1·00, 95 % CI 0·75, 1·31, P = 0·97), CVD (RR 0·94, 95 % CI 0·84, 1·05, P = 0·30), stroke (RR 0·83, 95 % CI 0·57, 1·19, P = 0·31) and all-cause mortality (RR 1·00, 95 % CI 0·92, 1·09, P = 0·98). In the stratified analysis, the estimated RR were not significantly different for cardiovascular events regardless of dialysis or in combination with vitamin B therapy or the degree of reduction in Hcy levels. Our meta-analysis of RCT supports the conclusion that Hcy-lowering therapy was not associated with a significant decrease in the risk for CVD events, stroke and all-cause mortality among patients with CKD.
Diffusion couples of pure Ti and polysynthetically twinned (PST) TiAl (49.3 at.% Al) were prepared by high vacuum hot-pressing, with the bonding interface perpendicular to the lamellar planes. Diffusion experiments were carried out by annealing the couples in the same furnace at 650, 700 and 850°C for various times. The cross-section of the couple was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and quantitative wavelength-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (WDS). A reaction layer whose composition is close to that of the stoichiometric α2-Ti3Al phase formed along the PST TiAl / Ti bonding interface in PST TiAl side. Direct measurements of the thickness of the reaction zone were performed at different phase regions and various boundaries. By assuming the thickness of the reaction zone increases as (Dt)1/2, where D is the diffusion coefficient and t is the annealing time, the diffusion coefficients at these temperatures were calculated. Composition profiles in the reaction zone, along the lamellae and at the lamellar interfaces were obtained by WDS analyses.
In an immiscible Cu-Nb system, an amorphous alloy and two metastable crystalline phases were obtained by solid-state reaction of Cu-Nb multilayered films, and the formation of the alloy phases was found to be quite sensitive to the average composition of the films. At Nb concentration of 75at%, amorphization was achieved by 250°C annealing for 50 min, while in the films with compositions of 70 and 80 at% Nb, a simple cubic (a=0.405±0.005nm) and an orthorhombic phase (a=0.421, b=0.334, c=0.291±0.005nm) were observed, respectively. Thermodynamic calculation was conducted for the Nb-Cu alloy phases and the energetic state of the multilayers, which consisted of 9 Cu/Nb bilayers. It turned out that the excess free energy originating from the interfacial atoms could raise the multilayers to an energy level being higher than that of the amorphous or/and metastable crystalline phases both with a convex shape, and thus provided a major driving force for alloy phase formation in such immiscible system.
Low dielectric constant polymers offer many advantages in circuit performance, such as power dissipation, crosstalk and RC delay, when used as inter-layer dielectrics (ILDs). Silicon dioxide, a material commonly used as an ILD has a dielectric constant of 4.0. Organic polymers that have dielectric constant values ranging from 2.0 to 3.0 offer attractive alternatives to SiO2. However, it has been a great challenge to find organic polymers with thermal stability up to 450 °C. We have characterized thermal properties of polymers using thermal desorption analysis. isothermal TGA and FTIR to identify weak functional groups. In addition, we have measured the hardnesses and moduli of these polymers and found that the values are much lower than those of SiO2.Stress distributions in the interconnect system were analyzed using finite element modeling in order to understand potential reliability problems.
Interdiffusion in multi-phase diffusion couples of polycrystalline Ti and polysynthetically twinned (PST) Ti-49.3 at.% Al, with the diffusion direction parallel to the lamellar planes, is investigated in the temperature range 973 – 1173 K. A reaction zone (RZ) of the a2-Ti3Al phase forms between the end materials and exhibits deeper penetration in the a2 lamellae than in the primary g lamellae. The mass balance and the lamellar thickness across the RZ / PST interface are believed to be the major factors that lead to the different behaviors in the penetration depth of the RZ. Direct measurements of the RZ thickness reveal a parabolic growth of the RZ, indicating a diffusion-controlled growth macroscopically. Concentration profiles from the Ti, through the RZ, into the PST g and a2 lamellae are measured by x-ray spectroscopy in a transmission electron microscope. Deviations from a diffusion-controlled composition profile indicate some extent of interface-controlled growth. Plateaus are seen in the concentration profiles in the RZ adjacent to the RZ/PST interface, extending through most of the deeply penetrated well region. The interfacial energy and strain energy are possible reasons for the plateaus. The interdiffusion coefficients are found to be largely independent of composition with a temperature dependence that obeys the Arrhenius relationship.
We report the room-temperature micro-luminescence images from V-shaped inverted pyramids in undoped GaN films grown on (0001) sapphire substrate by hybrid vapor phase epitaxy. As the excitation laser spot at 325 nm was translated from the surface toward the center of the inverted pyramid along its slope, the center wavelength of the PL peak shows a trend of monotonic red-shift of from 373.9 nm to 379.1 nm. This could be attributed to the 3-dimensional release of stress and associated decrease of build-in piezoelectric field in the V-defects. A distinct and strong emission at 386.7 nm was observed at the apex of the V-defect. This could be originated from the threading dislocation at the onset of the defect.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is becoming a perfect target for killing carcinoma cells, especially because of its overexpression on the surface of these cells. Cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAP) have their own special mechanism of membrane-lytic cytotoxicity. In this study, a membrane-lytic immunotoxin (IT), chimeric protein MEGFMEL, was constructed to kill carcinoma cells with EGFR overexpression. This protein is composed of mouse (Mus musculus) epidermal growth factor (MEGF), as the target part, and melittin (MEL), as the cytotoxic part. Using Escherichia coli BL21 and pET30a as expression strain and vector, respectively, 63.45 μg/ml of MEGFMEL (68% purity) was obtained through low-temperature induction of expression and a thawing-freezing purification procedure (without cytolysis). In vitro activity measurement showed that this MEGFMEL significantly induced a lethal effect on A431 carcinoma cells overexpressing EGFR on the surface, with an LD50 value 52.6 μg/ml. The results suggest that the use of CAP as the toxin in the construction of unique membrane-lytic ITs aimed at EGFR is feasible.
The Yangtze Platform preserves relatively thick carbonate successions and excellent fossil records across the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary interval. The intensely studied Meishucun section in East Yunnan was one of the Global Stratotype Section candidates for the Precambrian–Cambrian boundary. However, depositional breaks were suspected in the section and the first appearance of small shelly fossils could not be verified. The Laolin section located in NE Yunnan is more continuous and shows great potential for global correlation of carbon isotope features across the Precambrian–Cambrian boundary. However, the stratigraphic framework and correlations were controversial. We studied and systematically sampled the Laolin section and present here new carbon isotope data for this section. The Laolin section consists of, in ascending order, the Baiyanshao dolostone of the Dengying Formation, the Daibu siliceous dolostone, Zhongyicun dolomitic phosphorite, lower Dahai dolostone and upper Dahai limestone of the Zhujiaqing Formation, and the black siltstone of the Shiyantou Formation. Our data reveal a large negative δ13C excursion (−7.2‰, L1′) in the Daibu Member, which matches the previously published data for the Laolin section, and a large positive excursion (+3.5‰, L4) in the Dahai Member, which was not shown in the published data. The excursion L1′ correlates well with the similarly large negative excursion near the first appearance of small shelly fossils in Siberia and Mongolia. Similar magnitude excursions are also known from Morocco and Oman, for which there are no robust fossil constraints but from where volcanic ash beds have been dated precisely at 542 Ma, thus confirming a global biogeochemical event near the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary. Our data also indicate that deposition was more continuous at the Laolin section compared with the Meishucun section, where there are no records of a comparable negative excursion near the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary, nor any comparable positive excursion in the Dahai Member. Therefore, the Laolin section has proven potential to be a supplementary Global Stratotype Section for the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary on the Yangtze Platform.
The gene expression profile of a normal-suffering monozygotic twin pair is investigated to explore biological mechanisms of spastic type cerebral palsy. Main works include following three aspects: First, a cDNA microarray test is carried out to get the differentially expressed genes of the patient with cerebral palsy compared to her monozygotic twin sister. Second, these differentially expressed genes are searched for their bioinformation within 4 biological databases: FatiGO, FatiGOPlus, KEGG, and SOURCE. Third, a set of special genes and gene families are screened out from the spastic type cerebral palsy patient. These biological analyses reveal that those genes for cell junction are mostly down-regulated, while those genes for metabolism are mostly up-regulated. The individual genes, gene family, and their associated biological functions can reflect the pathological and physiological characteristics of the cerebral palsy.
To investigate the potential reservoir and mode of transmission of pandrug-resistant (PDR) Acinetobacter baumannii in a 7-day-old neonate who developed PDR A. baumannii bacteremia that was presumed to be the iceberg of a potential outbreak.
Outbreak investigation based on a program of prospective hospital-wide surveillance for nosocomial infection.
A 24-bed neonatal intensive care unit in a 2,200-bed major teaching hospital in Taiwan that provides care for critically ill neonates born in this hospital and those transferred from other hospitals.
Samples from 33 healthcare workers' hands and 40 samples from the environment were cultured. Surveillance cultures of anal swab specimens and sputum samples were performed for neonates on admission to the neonatal intensive care unit and every 2 weeks until discharge. The PDR A. baumannii isolates, defined as isolates resistant to all currently available systemic antimicrobials except polymyxin B, were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Control measures consisted of implementing contact isolation, reinforcing hand hygiene adherence, cohorting of nurses, and environmental cleaning.
One culture of an environmental sample and no cultures of samples from healthcare workers' hands grew PDR A. baumannii. The positive culture result involved a sample obtained from a ventilation tube used by the index patient. During the following 2 months, active surveillance identified PDR A. baumannii in 8 additional neonates, and isolates from 7 had the same electrokaryotype. Of the 9 neonates colonized or infected with PDR A. baumannii, 1 died from an unrelated condition. Reinforcement of infection control measures resulted in 100% adherence to proper hand hygiene protocol. The outbreak was stopped without compromising patient care.
In the absence of environmental contamination, transient hand carriage by personnel who cared for neonates colonized or infected with PDR A. baumannii was suspected to be the mode of transmission. Vigilance, prompt intervention and strict adherence to hand hygiene protocol were the key factors that led to the successful control of this outbreak. Active surveillance appears to be an effective measure to identify potential transmitters and reservoirs of PDR A. baumannii.