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Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable mental illness that transmits intergeneratively. Previous studies supported that first-degree relatives (FDRs), such as parents, offspring, and siblings, of patients with bipolar disorder, had a higher risk of bipolar disorder. However, whether FDRs of bipolar patients have an increased risk of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains unclear.
Among the entire population in Taiwan, 87 639 patients with bipolar disorder and 188 290 FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were more likely to have a higher risk of major psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (RR 6.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.95–6.30), MDD (RR 2.89, 95% CI 2.82–2.96), schizophrenia (RR 2.64, 95% CI 2.55–2.73), ADHD (RR 2.21, 95% CI 2.13–2.30), and ASD (RR 2.10, 95% CI 1.92–2.29), than the total population did. These increased risks for major psychiatric disorders were consistent across different familial kinships, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins. A dose-dependent relationship was also found between risk of each major psychiatric disorder and numbers of bipolar patients.
Our study was the first study to support the familial coaggregation of bipolar disorder with other major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, MDD, ADHD, and ASD, in a Taiwanese (non-Caucasian) population. Given the elevated risks of major psychiatric disorders, the public health government should pay more attention to the mental health of FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
Using time-resolved laser-scanning confocal microscopy and ultrafast optical pump/THz probe spectroscopy, we measure photoluminescence (PL) and THz-conductivity in perovskite micro-crystals and films. PL quenching and lifetime variations occur from local heterogeneity. Ultrafast THz-spectra measure sharp quantum transitions from excitonic Rydberg states, providing weakly bound excitons with a binding energy of ~13.5 meV at low temperatures. Ab-initio electronic structure calculations give a direct band gap of 1.64 eV, a dielectric constant of ~18, heavy electrons, and light holes, resulting in weakly bound excitons, consistent with the binding energies from the experiment. The complementary spectroscopy and simulations reveal fundamental insights into perovskite light-matter interactions.
A new band-reject frequency-selective surface (FSS) based on dual-band near-zero refractive index metamaterial (ZIM) design is presented in this paper. Consisting of a planar array of complementary dual-layer symmetry resonant ring, the proposed FSS exhibits a high-selective band-reject filtering response. From the viewpoint of effective medium, the subwavelength FSS is characterized by near-zero effective magnetic permeability and near-zero effective electric permittivity in two different operational bands, respectively. The corresponding resonant behavior and E-field distributions are analyzed in detail. A prototype of the proposed FSS working in X-band is fabricated and measured. The simulation and experiment results verify the effectiveness and correctness of the ZIM-based design method.
The objective of this Research Communication was to use polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analysis to investigate a region of the bovine TLR4 gene (TLR4) in pasture-fed New Zealand (NZ) Holstein-Friesian × Jersey (HF × J) cross dairy cows and to determine whether gene variation was associated with milk production traits. Genetic variation was observed, with two variants (A and B) containing a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (c.2021C/T) that was non-synonymous and putatively results in a p.Thr674Ile substitution in the transmembrane/cytoplasmic domain of TLR4. Variant A was associated with higher milk yields, but lower milk fat percentages, whereas B was associated with lower milk yields, but higher fat and protein percentages. Cows of genotype AA produced more milk than AB or BB cows, but the milk produced by AA cows contained less fat than AB or BB cows.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
The study reported in this Research Communication was carried out to examine how parity and milking time affected donkey milk yield under a typical Chinese production system. Eighteen Jiangyue breed donkeys with good health condition, aged between 6 and 9 years, and with parities 3 and 4, were selected. Milk production was measured commencing from the fourth week post-foaling, with a total data collection of 170 d in milk (lactation length). Mean milk yield of the donkeys used in this study was 3·0 kg/donkey/d. Results showed milk yield decreased with days in milk from 3·3 kg/donkey/d at the start of the study, to 2·2 kg/donkey/d by the end of the 170 d. Parity 3 donkeys produced 22% more milk than parity 4 donkeys (3·3 kg/donkey/d vs 2·7 kg/donkey/d). The information provided by this study should aid producers in estimating the expected milk yields from individual donkey, and better predict milk yield over the course of a production cycle.
The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus strykeri was discovered in 2010 on the western slopes of the Gaoligong Mountains in the Irrawaddy River basin in Myanmar and subsequently in the same river basin in China, in 2011. Based on 2 years of surveying the remote and little disturbed forest of the Gaoligong Mountains National Nature Reserve in China, with outline transect sampling and infrared camera monitoring, a breeding group comprising > 70 individuals was found on the eastern slopes of the Gaoligong Mountains in the Salween River Basin. Given the Critically Endangered status of this primate (a total of < 950 individuals are estimated to remain in the wild), efforts to protect the relatively undisturbed habitat of this newly discovered population and to prevent hunting are essential for the long-term survival of this species.
Beginning in 2007, all newly diagnosed cancer patients at the Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center (KF–SYSCC) were screened for psychosocial distress. Our social workers, as part of the psychosocial care team (PCT), have engaged in proactive outreach with patients identified as distressed. The goal of the present study was to assess the prevalence of psychosocial distress and the extent of contact between the PCT and distressed patients.
Newly diagnosed patients who were treated at KF–SYSCC between 2007 and 2010 for cancer were eligible if there were at least 100 patients with the same type of cancer. Before treatment began, they were screened with the Pain Scale and the Distress Thermometer (DT) and had the option to specify a desire for help. The rates of distress were analyzed by cancer type and by probable related factors. Information regarding contact with the PCT was retrieved from computerized databases.
Overall, some 5,335 cancer patients representing 12 major cancer types were included in our study. Of these, 1,771 (33.20%) were significantly distressed. By multivariate logistic regression, younger age, female gender, higher pain score, and disease stage, but not cancer type, were found to be associated with higher rates of distress. Among these distressed patients, 628 (36%) had some contact with the PCT.
Significance of results:
This Taiwanese study with a large sample size revealed a prevalence rate of psychosocial distress similar to rates found in Western countries. Contact with the PCT was established in only 36% of significantly distressed patients, despite a proactive outreach program. It is very important to have screening results made available in a timely fashion to the psycho-oncology team so that appropriate care can be offered promptly.
Uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1) plays a role in the regulation of body temperature, metabolic rate and energy expenditure in animals. While variation in UCP1 and its phenotypic effect has been investigated in humans and sheep, little is known about this gene in cattle. In this study, four regions of bovine UCP1 were investigated in 612 Holstein-Friesian × Jersey (HF × J) dairy cows using polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analyses. In the four regions of the gene analysed, a total of 13 SNPs were detected. Three sequences (a, b and c) were found in Region-2 and three sequences (A, B and C) were found in Region-4, and these were assembled into three (a-B, b-B and c-A) common and three (b-C, c-B and c-C) rare haplotypes. Of the three common haplotypes, b-B and c-A were associated (P < 0·007 and P < 0·043, respectively) with increased milk yield and tended to be associated (P < 0·085 and P < 0·070, respectively) with decreased fat percentage. Cows with genotype b-B/a-B produced more milk (P < 0·004), but with a lower percentage of fat (P < 0·035) and protein (P < 0·038) than cows with genotype a-B/a-B. Cows of genotype a-B/c-A had milk of low fat percentage (P < 0·017), but tended to produce more milk (P < 0·059) than cows of genotype a-B/a-B. This suggests that UCP1 affects milk yield, milk fat percentage and milk protein percentage.
There is controversy over previous findings that a high ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteriodetes helps obese animals harvest energy from the diet. To further investigate the relationship between microbial composition and energy harvest, microbial adaptation to diet and time should be considered. In this study, lean and obese rats were successfully induced with low-fat and high-fat diets. An 8-week high soyabean fibre (HSF)-containing diet was then fed to investigate the interaction between the diet and the rats’ gut microbiota, as well as their influence on rats’ growth. Rats’ body weight (BW) was recorded weekly; their plasma lipids and their gut microbiota at week 11, 15 and 19 were analysed. After the consumption of the HSF diet, BW of lean rats increased significantly (P<0·05), but no significant alteration in BW was found in obese rats. The average content of plasma cholesterol was lowered and that of TAG was upgraded in both the groups when fed the HSF diet. There was no significant difference observed at each period between lean and obese rats. In the group of lean rats, the diversity of gut microbiota was elevated strongly (P<0·01), and bacteria from phylum Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were both increased largely (P<0·01); however, the bacterial diversity and composition in obese rats were less altered after the HSF diet control. In conclusion, the increased Firmicutes and Bacteriodetes might relate to lean rats’ higher BW gain; ‘obese microbiota’ could not help the hosts harvest more energy from the HSF diet.
Previous evidence has shown positive associations between post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) and hypertension, dyslipidaemia and diabetes
mellitus, which are all risk factors for stroke, but the role of PTSD in
the subsequent development of stroke is still unknown.
To investigate the temporal association between PTSD and the development
Identified from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database,
5217 individuals aged 18 years, with PTSD but with no history of stroke,
and 20 868 age- and gender-matched controls were enrolled between 2002
and 2009, and followed up until the end of 2011 to identify the
development of stroke.
Individuals with PTSD had an increased risk of developing any stroke
(hazard ratio (HR) 3.37, 95% CI 2.44–4.67) and ischaemic stroke (HR =
3.47, 95% CI 2.23–5.39) after adjusting for demographic data and medical
comorbidities. Sensitivity tests showed consistent findings (any stroke
HR = 3.02, 95% CI 2.13–4.28; ischaemic stroke HR = 2.89, 95% CI
1.79–4.66) after excluding the first year of observation.
Individuals with PTSD have an increased risk of developing any stroke and
ischaemic stroke. Further studies are required to investigate the
A method to design the composite insulation structures in pulsed power systems is proposed in this paper. The theoretical bases for this method include the Weibull statistical distribution and the empirical insulation formula. A uniform formula to describe the reliability (R) for different insulation media such as solid, liquid, gas, vacuum, and vacuum surface is derived. The dependence curves of the normalized applied field on R are also obtained. These curves show that the normalized applied field decreases rapidly as R increases but the declining rates corresponding to different insulation media are different. In addition, if R is required to be higher than a given level, the normalized applied field should be smaller than a certain value. In practical design, the common range of the applied fields for different insulation media should be chosen to meet a global reliability requirement. In the end, the proposed method is demonstrated with a specific coaxial high-voltage vacuum insulator.
Largocephalosaurus polycarpon Cheng et al. 2012a was erected after the study of the skull and some parts of a skeleton and considered to be an eosauropterygian. Here we describe a new species of the genus, Largocephalosaurus qianensis, based on three specimens. The new species provides many anatomical details which were described only briefly or not at all in the type species, and clearly indicates that Largocephalosaurus is a saurosphargid. It differs from the type species mainly in having three premaxillary teeth, a very short retroarticular process, a large pineal foramen, two sacral vertebrae, and elongated small granular osteoderms mixed with some large ones along the lateral most side of the body. With additional information from the new species, we revise the diagnosis and the phylogenetic relationships of Largocephalosaurus and clarify a set of diagnostic features for the Saurosphargidae Li et al. 2011. Largocephalosaurus is characterized primarily by an oval supratemporal fenestra, an elongate dorsal ‘rib-basket’, a narrow and elongate transverse process of the dorsal vertebrae, and the lack of a complete dorsal carapace of osteoderms. The Saurosphargidae is distinct mainly in having a retracted external naris, a jugal–squamosal contact, a large supratemporal extensively contacting the quadrate shaft, a leaf-like tooth crown with convex labial surface and concave lingual surface, a closed dorsal ‘rib-basket’, many dorsal osteoderms, a large boomerang-like or atypical T-shaped interclavicle. Current evidence suggests that the Saurosphargidae is the sister-group of the Sauropterygia and that Largocephalosaurus is the sister-group of the Saurosphargis–Sinosaurosphargis clade within the family.
Two sets of reciprocal introgression lines (ILs) and a population of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from the cross between japonica cultivar Xiushui09 and indica breeding line IR2061-520-6-9 (abbreviated as IR2061) were used to identify QTL for heading date (HD). Phenotyping was conducted in Hainan Island for two winter seasons (2007 and 2009). Nine QTLs were detected in the ILs with Xiushui09 background (XS-ILs), and four of which were repeatedly mapped across 2 years. Five QTLs were identified in the ILs with IR2061 background (IR-ILs), and three of which were commonly detected in 2 years. All commonly detected QTL had the same direction of gene effect. Seven QTL for HD were identified in the RILs in 2009. Only three (25%) QTLs were commonly detected using all the three populations (XS-ILs, IR-ILs and RILs). The number of commonly identified QTLs among populations was related to degree of similarity of their genetic backgrounds, suggesting that the genetic background effect is important for detecting HD QTL. QHd7 and QHd10b stably expressed in different populations and across years thus would be exploited in rice breeding programme. Moreover, lines with both of QHd7 and QHd10b resulted in at least 3 days earlier than lines with only one of them QTL, showing evident pyramiding effect.
A biomimetic underwater vehicle, which is propelled by two undulating long-fins, is introduced in this paper. The undulating or oscillating movements of symmetrical long-fins cause the complex locomotion of biomimetic underwater vehicle. For convenience, three motion modes are proposed and considered firstly. Then an inertial unit is installed for collection of accelerations and angular velocity. The underwater vehicle's MIMO model is reduced into a SISO model by some simplifications. A sine wave function deduced from the long-fin's time-varying membrane is proposed and used as the input of the biomimetic underwater vehicle ARMA model, and velocity or angular velocity is considered as the model output. The algorithms based on recursive weighted least squares are applied for model parameter identification. Experiments carried out with a long-fin propelled underwater vehicle. The experimental results show that the proposed methods can build valid locomotion models for three motion modes efficiently.
To longitudinally investigates the Survivors' daily lives and healthy condition after Sichuan earthquake in China. This study identifies Survivors' daily lives and health conditions for 3-years.
The study was conducted after obtaining approval in Ethical Review Board of Sichuan University.
The study was conducted for the survivors who experienced the earthquake and aged 18 years and over, and joined the 1st year and 2nd year study. Questionnaire included the survivors' socio-demographics, impact of disaster and the health status after disaster. The date was analyzed using SPSS 13.0 software.
Results showed the follow-up date which was results of 3-years. The changes of daily lives of survivors for 3-years were fluctuations. As their health conditions in the 3rd year, the following symptoms were decreased: locomotors system disease, respiratory disease, Autoimmunity and endocrine diseases, asthma and allergy, Gout, Irregular menstruation/dysmenorrheal, kidney disease and the others. In contrast, the following symptoms were increased: cardiac disease, weight gain/less, hypertension, diabetes, and liver disease. About their self-rated health, “Not healthy” at 3rd year was 26.4%. Compared with the 1st year and 2nd year results, it has taken a turn for the significantly better (1st year 49.9%; 2nd year 35.1%). With regard to the psychological condition, the Positive response of IES-R at 3rd year was 11.6%. Compared with the 1st year and 2nd year results, the Positive response of IES-R significantly decrease (1st year 49.8; 2nd year 31.8%. p < 0.001, by Pearson Chi-square).
After 3rd year of the Sichuan earthquake disaster, the survivors' physical and psychological conditions have improved compared to 1st year and 2nd year results. However most of the survivors still had some health problems in their health. Our local nursing authorities still need to go on their health promotion, which can further improve the survivors' health status.