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Fullerene dimers have attracted extensive attention due to their unique structures and fascinating properties. Here, fullerene dimer derivatives with four to six carbon atoms in the esters are designed and synthesized. The property differences that caused by the carbon number in the esters of the fullerene dimers are investigated by performing their electrochemical, optical, and photoelectric measurements. As the carbon atom numbers in the esters increase from four to five and six, the absorption intensities increase to 1.6- and 4.4-folds. The intensities of the fluorescence spectra increase to 1.8- and 5.2-folds. Their photocurrent increases to 2- and 7-folds under the irradiation of a 405-nm laser. The LUMO energy levels move downward slightly from −3.89 to −3.90 and −3.92 eV, respectively. Our results indicate that as the carbon number increases, the carbon chain lengths in the ester structures increase, very slight effects produced on the energy levels of the fullerene dimers, but strongly contribute to their chemical activities and thus the photoelectronic efficiencies.
No studies have reported on how to relieve distress or relax in medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The study aimed to establish which relaxation technique, among six, is the most feasible in first-line medical health workers wearing medical protective equipment.
This was a two-step study collecting data with online surveys. Step 1: 15 first-line medical health workers were trained to use six different relaxation techniques and reported the two most feasible techniques while wearing medical protective equipment. Step 2: the most two feasible relaxation techniques revealed by step 1 were quantitatively tested in a sample of 65 medical health workers in terms of efficacy, no space limitation, no time limitation, no body position requirement, no environment limitation to be done, easiness to learn, simplicity, convenience, practicality, and acceptance.
Kegel exercise and autogenic relaxation were the most feasible techniques according to step 1. In step 2, Kegel exercise outperformed autogenic relaxation on all the 10 dimensions among the 65 participants while wearing medical protective equipment (efficacy: 24 v. 15, no space limitation: 30 v. 4, no time limitation: 31 v. 4, no body position requirement: 26 v. 4, no environment limitation: 30 v. 11, easiness to learn: 28 v. 5, simplicity: 29 v. 7, convenience: 29 v. 4, practicality: 30 v. 14, acceptance: 32 v. 6).
Kegel exercise seems a promising self-relaxation technique for first-line medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment among COVID-19 pandemic.
To examine participants’ experiences with nutrition education classes that were implemented with and designed to complement a cost-offset community-supported agriculture (CSA) programme.
Qualitative analysis of data from twenty-eight focus groups with ninety-six participants enrolled in Farm Fresh Foods for Healthy Kids (F3HK). Transcribed data were coded and analysed by a priori and emergent themes.
Rural and micropolitan communities in New York, North Carolina, Vermont and Washington (USA).
Ninety-six F3HK participants.
Participants found recipes and class activities helpful and reported improvements in nutrition knowledge, food preservation skills and home cooking behaviours for themselves and their children; they also reported that classes promoted a sense of community. Some educators better incorporated CSA produce into lessons, which participants reported as beneficial. Other obligations and class logistics were barriers to attendance; participants recommended that lessons be offered multiple times weekly at different times of day. Other suggestions included lengthening class duration to encourage social engagement; emphasising recipes to incorporate that week’s CSA produce and pantry staples and offering additional strategies to incorporate children in classes.
Complementing a cost-offset CSA with nutrition education may enhance programme benefits to low-income families by improving nutrition knowledge and cooking behaviours. However, future interventions will benefit from ongoing coordination between educators and local growing trajectories to maximise timely coverage of unfamiliar produce in lessons; synchronous scheduling of CSA pick-up and classes for participant convenience and creative strategies to engage children and/or provide childcare.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a common pathogen associated with nosocomial infections and is characterised serologically by capsular polysaccharide (K) and lipopolysaccharide O antigens. We surveyed a total of 348 non-duplicate K. pneumoniae clinical isolates collected over a 1-year period in a tertiary care hospital, and determined their O and K serotypes by sequencing of the wbb Y and wzi gene loci, respectively. Isolates were also screened for antimicrobial resistance and hypervirulent phenotypes; 94 (27.0%) were identified as carbapenem-resistant (CRKP) and 110 (31.6%) as hypervirulent (hvKP). isolates fell into 58 K, and six O types, with 92.0% and 94.2% typeability, respectively. The predominant K types were K14K64 (16.38%), K1 (14.66%), K2 (8.05%) and K57 (5.46%), while O1 (46%), O2a (27.9%) and O3 (11.8%) were the most common. CRKP and hvKP strains had different serotype distributions with O2a:K14K64 (41.0%) being the most frequent among CRKP, and O1:K1 (26.4%) and O1:K2 (17.3%) among hvKP strains. Serotyping by gene sequencing proved to be a useful tool to inform the clinical epidemiology of K. pneumoniae infections and provides valuable data relevant to vaccine design.
We present an analytical model of nonlinear evolution of two-dimensional single-mode Rayleigh–Taylor instability (RTI) in cylindrical geometry at arbitrary Atwood number for the first time. Our model covers a full scenario of bubble evolution from the earlier exponential growth to the nonlinear regime with the bubbles growing in time as
for cylindrical RTI, other than as
for planar RTI, where
are the bubble acceleration and velocity, respectively. It is found that from this model the saturating acceleration
is formulated as a simplified function of the external acceleration, Atwood number and number of perturbation waves. This model's predictions are in good agreement with data from direct numerical simulations.
Probiotics and plant extracts are considered to prevent the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study explores the effects of using both probiotics and plant extracts on NAFLD. This study evaluated the effects of plant extracts on lipid droplet accumulation and the growth of probiotics in vitro. A C57BL/6 mouse model was used to examine the effects of probiotics and plant extracts on NAFLD. The body weight and food intake were measured. The levels of serum lipids, oxidative stress, and the liver injury index were determined using commercial kits. HE staining, gas chromatography and Real-Time PCR were also used for analysis. The results revealed that administration of Lactobacillus casei YRL577 and Lactobacilli paracasei X11 with resveratrol (RES) or tea polyphenols (TP) significantly reduced the levels of total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerols (TG) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and increased the level of the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). The groups of L. casei YRL577 with RES and TP also regulated the liver structure, oxidative stress, and injury. Furthermore, L. casei YRL577 with TP exhibited a more positive effect toward improving the NAFLD and increased the concentrations of the butyric acid than other three combined groups. L. casei YRL577 with TP up-regulated the mRNA levels of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and fibroblast growth factor 15 (FGF15) and decreased the mRNA levels of the apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT). These findings showed that L. casei YRL577 + TP modified genes in the intestinal bile acid pathway improved markers of NAFLD.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the main cause of end-stage liver disease. Probiotics have the potential effect of alleviating NAFLD. The aim of this study was to explore functional probiotics and their underlying mechanisms. The bile salt hydrolase (BSH) activity in thirty-four strains was determined in vitro. Then, C57BL/6 mice were used to explore the effects of probiotics on NAFLD. Body weight and food intake were measured, and serum lipid concentrations, oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokines levels were determined using commercial kits. The expressions of intestinal bile acid pathway genes were evaluated via real-time PCR. The results showed that Lactobacillus casei YRL577 and L. paracasei X11 had higher BSH activity. L. casei YRL577 significantly reduced liver weight and liver index and could regulate the levels of lipid metabolism, oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokines as compared with L. paracasei X11. Furthermore, the results indicated that L. casei YRL577 up-regulated the mRNA levels of farnesoid X receptor and fibroblast growth factor 15, whereas down-regulated the mRNA level of apical Na-dependent bile acid transporter. These findings suggested that L. casei YRL577 modified genes in the intestinal bile acid pathway which might contribute to the alleviation of NAFLD.
Birth weight influences not only brain development, but also mental health outcomes, including depression, but the underlying mechanism is unclear.
The phenotypic data of 12,872–91,009 participants (59.18–63.38% women) from UK Biobank were included to test the associations between the birth weight, depression, and brain volumes through the linear and logistic regression models. As birth weight is highly heritable, the polygenic risk scores (PRSs) of birth weight were calculated from the UK Biobank cohort (154,539 participants, 56.90% women) to estimate the effect of birth weight-related genetic variation on the development of depression and brain volumes. Finally, the mediation analyses of step approach and mediation analysis were used to estimate the role of brain volumes in the association between birth weight and depression. All analyses were conducted sex stratified to assess sex-specific role in the associations.
We observed associations between birth weight and depression (odds ratio [OR] = 0.968, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.957–0.979, p = 2.29 × 10−6). Positive associations were observed between birth weight and brain volumes, such as gray matter (B = 0.131, p = 3.51 × 10−74) and white matter (B = 0.129, p = 1.67 × 10−74). Depression was also associated with brain volume, such as left thalamus (OR = 0.891, 95% CI = 0.850–0.933, p = 4.46 × 10−5) and right thalamus (OR = 0.884, 95% CI = 0.841–0.928, p = 2.67 × 10−5). Additionally, significant mediation effects of brain volume were found for the associations between birth weight and depression through steps approach and mediation analysis, such as gray matter (B = –0.220, p = 0.020) and right thalamus (B = –0.207, p = 0.014).
Our results showed the associations among birth weight, depression, and brain volumes, and the mediation effect of brain volumes also provide evidence for the sex-specific of associations.
Schizotypy refers to schizophrenia-like traits below the clinical threshold in the general population. The pathological development of schizophrenia has been postulated to evolve from the initial coexistence of ‘brain disconnection’ and ‘brain connectivity compensation’ to ‘brain connectivity decompensation’.
In this study, we examined the brain connectivity changes associated with schizotypy by combining brain white matter structural connectivity, static and dynamic functional connectivity analysis of diffusion tensor imaging data and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. A total of 87 participants with a high level of schizotypal traits and 122 control participants completed the experiment. Group differences in whole-brain white matter structural connectivity probability, static mean functional connectivity strength, dynamic functional connectivity variability and stability among 264 brain sub-regions of interests were investigated.
We found that individuals with high schizotypy exhibited increased structural connectivity probability within the task control network and within the default mode network; increased variability and decreased stability of functional connectivity within the default mode network and between the auditory network and the subcortical network; and decreased static mean functional connectivity strength mainly associated with the sensorimotor network, the default mode network and the task control network.
These findings highlight the specific changes in brain connectivity associated with schizotypy and indicate that both decompensatory and compensatory changes in structural connectivity within the default mode network and the task control network in the context of whole-brain functional disconnection may be an important neurobiological correlate in individuals with high schizotypy.
A higher dietary intake or serum concentration of betaine has been associated with greater lean body mass in middle-aged and older adults. However, it remains unknown whether betaine intake is associated with age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass (SMM). We assessed the association between dietary betaine intake and relative changes in SMM after 3 years in middle-aged adults. A total of 1242 participants aged 41–60 years from the Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study 2011–2013 and 2014–2017 with body composition measurements by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were included. A face-to-face questionnaire was used to collect general baseline information. After adjustment for potential confounders, multiple linear regression found that energy-adjusted dietary betaine intake was significantly and positively associated with relative changes (i.e. percentage loss or increase) in SMM of legs, limbs and appendicular skeletal mass index (ASMI) over 3 years of follow-up (β 0·322 (se 0·157), 0·309 (se 0·142) and 0·303 (se 0·145), respectively; P < 0·05). The ANCOVA models revealed that participants in the highest betaine tertile had significantly less loss in SMM of limbs and ASMI and more increase in SMM of legs over 3 years of follow-up, compared with those in the bottom betaine tertile (all Ptrend < 0·05). In conclusion, our findings suggest that elevated higher dietary betaine intake may be associated with less loss of SMM of legs, limbs and ASMI in middle-aged adults.
Sustainable and green energy sources are in high demand to meet the current human energy needs and environmental requirements. Hydrogen energy, with the highest energy density and zero carbon emission, is considered a potential solution. Hydrogen is primarily produced by splitting water. Rationally designed electrocatalysts are required to promote the cathodic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and the anodic oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Organic polymer matrices provide new opportunities for electrocatalytic water splitting due to their special physical and chemical characteristics and thermal stability. This article explains the role of organic polymers in electrocatalytic water decomposition from three aspects: ion-conductive polymers, conjugated conductive polymers, and carbon materials derived from organic polymers. We hope that this article will provide more rational ideas and promote the design of organic polymers for water-splitting electrocatalysis, and furnish more technical insights for the future of water electrolysis.
A continuous survey on influenza was conducted in Hulunbuir, China from January 2010 to May 2019 to reveal epidemiological, microbiological and air pollutants associated with laboratory-confirmed influenza cases.
Influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory infection subjects were enrolled from a sentinel hospital in Hulunbuir during the study period for epidemiological and virological investigation. The association between air pollutants and influenza-positivity rate was assessed by a generalised additive model.
Of 4667 specimens, 550 (11.8%) were tested positive for influenza. The influenza-positivity was highest in the age groups of 5–14 years, 50–69 years and ⩾70 years. We found that the effect of particulate matter ⩽2.5 μm (PM2.5) concentrations on the influenza-positivity rate was statistically significant, particularly on day lag-4 and lag-5. Genetic characterisations showed that (H1N1) pdm09 strains belonged to subclade 6B.1 and that influenza B isolates belonged to subclade 1A-3Del, with significant substitutions in the haemagglutinin and neuraminidase proteins compared with those in the WHO-recommended vaccine strains.
Elderly individuals and school-age children were at high risk for influenza infection. PM2.5 concentrations showed significant effects on influenza-positivity rate in Hulunbuir, which could be considered in local influenza prevention strategies.
Data on average iodine requirements for the Chinese population are limited following implementation of long-term universal salt iodisation. We explored the minimum iodine requirements of young adults in China using a balance experiment and the ‘iodine overflow’ hypothesis proposed by our team. Sixty healthy young adults were enrolled to consume a sequential experimental diet containing low, medium and high levels of iodine (about 20, 40 and 60 μg/d, respectively). Each dose was consumed for 4 d, and daily iodine intake, excretion and retention were assessed. All participants were in negative iodine balance throughout the study. Iodine intake, excretion and retention differed among the three iodine levels (P < 0·01 for all groups). The zero-iodine balance derived from a random effect model indicated a mean iodine intake of 102 μg/d, but poor correlation coefficients between observed and predicted iodine excretion (r 0·538 for μg/d data) and retention (r 0·304 for μg/d data). As iodine intake increased from medium to high, all of the increased iodine was excreted (‘overflow’) through urine and faeces by males, and 89·5 % was excreted by females. Although the high iodine level (63·4 μg/d) might be adequate in males, the corresponding level of 61·6 μg/d in females did not meet optimal requirements. Our findings indicate that a daily iodine intake of approximately half the current recommended nutrient intake (120 μg/d) may satisfy the minimum iodine requirements of young male adults in China, while a similar level is insufficient for females based on the ‘iodine overflow’ hypothesis.
The dendrite morphologies of the cast nickel-based superalloy CMSX-4® (CMSX-4® is registered trademarks of the Cannon-Muskegon Corporation) and the austenitic stainless steel HP microalloy have been obtained via an automated serial-sectioning process which allows three-dimensional (3D) microstructural characterization. The dendrite arm spacing, volume fraction of segregation, and fraction of porosity have been determined. This technique not only increases the depth, scope, and level of detailed microstructural characterization but also delivers microstructural data for modeling and simulation.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
Mobile payment generally refers to transactions made through the applications of a portable electronic gadget without the transfer of cash. As one of the most disruptive technologies for finance, mobile payment has been rapidly transforming the traditional financial industry. While it brings important benefits, there are also various risks, in terms of liquidity, security, and data privacy, that call for adequate regulatory responses. As a global financial centre, Hong Kong has gradually established a regulatory framework for mobile payment, addressing the relevant risks with rules on payment and privacy. However, there is still room for further improvement, in terms of measures to deal with cybersecurity issues and strengthen the protection of personal data. The Hong Kong experiences suggest that, to regulate a new and fast-growing industry such as mobile payment, the regulatory regime needs to be improved continuously to alleviate the risk concerns, so as to enhance the protection of financial consumers and society at large.