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This review focuses on current understanding of prenatal, prepubertal and post-pubertal development of the male reproductive system of cattle. The critical developmental events occur during the first 3 to 4 months of gestation and the first ~6 to 9 months after birth. The Wilms Tumor-1 and SRY proteins play critical roles in early development and differentiation of the fetal testis, which in turn drives gestational development of the entire male reproductive system. The hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis matures earlier in the bovine fetus than other domestic species with descent of the testes into the scrotum occurring around the 4th month of gestation. An array of congenital abnormalities affecting the reproductive system of bulls has been reported and most are considered to be heritable, although the mode of inheritance in most cases has not been fully defined. Early postnatal detection of most of these abnormalities is problematic as clinical signs are generally not expressed until after puberty. Development of genomic markers for these abnormalities would enable early culling of affected calves in seedstock herds. The postnatal early sustained increase in lutenising hormone secretion cues the rapid growth of the testes in the bull calf leading to the onset of puberty. There is good evidence that both genetic and environmental factors, in particular postnatal nutrition, control or influence development and maturation of the reproductive system. For example, in Bos taurus genotypes which have had sustained genetic selection pressure applied for fertility, and where young bulls are managed on a moderate to high plane of nutrition puberty typically occurs at 8 to 12 months of age. However, in many Bos indicus genotypes where there has been little selection pressure for fertility and where young bulls are reared on a low plane of nutrition, puberty typically occurs between 15 to 17 months. Our understanding of the control and expression of sexual behavior in bulls is limited, particularly in B. indicus genotypes.
The longstanding association between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus and schizophrenia (SZ) risk has recently been accounted for, partially, by structural variation at the complement component 4 (C4) gene. This structural variation generates varying levels of C4 RNA expression, and genetic information from the MHC region can now be used to predict C4 RNA expression in the brain. Increased predicted C4A RNA expression is associated with the risk of SZ, and C4 is reported to influence synaptic pruning in animal models.
Based on our previous studies associating MHC SZ risk variants with poorer memory performance, we tested whether increased predicted C4A RNA expression was associated with reduced memory function in a large (n = 1238) dataset of psychosis cases and healthy participants, and with altered task-dependent cortical activation in a subset of these samples.
We observed that increased predicted C4A RNA expression predicted poorer performance on measures of memory recall (p = 0.016, corrected). Furthermore, in healthy participants, we found that increased predicted C4A RNA expression was associated with a pattern of reduced cortical activity in middle temporal cortex during a measure of visual processing (p < 0.05, corrected).
These data suggest that the effects of C4 on cognition were observable at both a cortical and behavioural level, and may represent one mechanism by which illness risk is mediated. As such, deficits in learning and memory may represent a therapeutic target for new molecular developments aimed at altering C4’s developmental role.
Oxidative stress has been linked to many obesity-related conditions among children including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Exposure to environmental chemicals such as phthalates, ubiquitously found in humans, may also generate reactive oxygen species and subsequent oxidative stress. We examined longitudinal changes of 8-isoprostane urinary concentrations, a validated biomarker of oxidative stress, and associations with maternal prenatal urinary concentrations of phthalate metabolites for 258 children at 5, 9 and 14 years of age participating in a birth cohort residing in an agricultural area in California. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, and in utero exposure has been also linked to altered lipid metabolism, as well as adverse birth and neurodevelopmental outcomes. We found that median creatinine-corrected 8-isoprostane concentrations remained constant across all age groups and did not differ by sex. Total cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure were positively associated with 8-isoprostane in 14-year-old children. No associations were observed between 8-isoprostane and body mass index (BMI), BMI Z-score or waist circumference at any age. Concentrations of three metabolites of high molecular weight phthalates measured at 13 weeks of gestation (monobenzyl, monocarboxyoctyl and monocarboxynonyl phthalates) were negatively associated with 8-isoprostane concentrations among 9-year olds. However, at 14 years of age, isoprostane concentrations were positively associated with two other metabolites (mono(2-ethylhexyl) and mono(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalates) measured in early pregnancy. Longitudinal data on 8-isoprostane in this pediatric population with a high prevalence of obesity provides new insight on certain potential cardiometabolic risks of prenatal exposure to phthalates.
Identifying youth who may engage in future substance use could facilitate early identification of substance use disorder vulnerability. We aimed to identify biomarkers that predicted future substance use in psychiatrically un-well youth.
LASSO regression for variable selection was used to predict substance use 24.3 months after neuroimaging assessment in 73 behaviorally and emotionally dysregulated youth aged 13.9 (s.d. = 2.0) years, 30 female, from three clinical sites in the Longitudinal Assessment of Manic Symptoms (LAMS) study. Predictor variables included neural activity during a reward task, cortical thickness, and clinical and demographic variables.
Future substance use was associated with higher left middle prefrontal cortex activity, lower left ventral anterior insula activity, thicker caudal anterior cingulate cortex, higher depression and lower mania scores, not using antipsychotic medication, more parental stress, older age. This combination of variables explained 60.4% of the variance in future substance use, and accurately classified 83.6%.
These variables explained a large proportion of the variance, were useful classifiers of future substance use, and showed the value of combining multiple domains to provide a comprehensive understanding of substance use development. This may be a step toward identifying neural measures that can identify future substance use disorder risk, and act as targets for therapeutic interventions.
Carbon films deposited by filtered cathodic vacuum arc have been used to form high quality Schottky diodes on p-Si. Energetic deposition with an applied substrate bias of -1 kV and with a substrate temperature of 100 °C has produced carbon diodes with rectification ratios of ∼ 3 × 106, saturation currents of ∼0.02 nA and ideality factors close to unity (n = 1.05). Simulations were used to estimate the effective work function and the thickness of an interfacial mixed (C/SiO2) layer from the current/voltage characteristics of the diodes.
We report on a comprehensive study of the defect structure in GaN grown on c-oriented sapphire by gas source molecular beam epitaxy and metal organic vapour phase epitaxy. Transmission electron microscopy is used to investigate the defect structures which are dominated by threading dislocations perpendicular to the sapphire surface and stacking faults. Additionally, dislocation densities are determined. For determination of dislocation densities by x-ray diffraction we employ a model that uses the linewidth of x-ray rocking curves for this purpose. Finally, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry is performed to complement the structural investigation.
Energetically-deposited carbon contacts to n-type 6H-SiC have exhibited either insulating, rectifying or ohmic electrical characteristics depending on the average energy of the depositing flux and the substrate temperature. Deposition at room temperature and at a low-medium average energy (<500 eV) has resulted in carbon with a low graphitic content and insulating electrical contacts. With higher average energy and at a moderately elevated temperature (∼100 °C), the higher graphitic content contacts were rectifying with an ideality factor, η, of ∼1.8 and barrier height of ∼0.88 eV. Oriented graphitic carbon deposited at 200 °C with biases exceeding 300 V formed ohmic contacts.
Neuroimaging measures of behavioral and emotional dysregulation can yield biomarkers denoting developmental trajectories of psychiatric pathology in youth. We aimed to identify functional abnormalities in emotion regulation (ER) neural circuitry associated with different behavioral and emotional dysregulation trajectories using latent class growth analysis (LCGA) and neuroimaging.
A total of 61 youth (9–17 years) from the Longitudinal Assessment of Manic Symptoms study, and 24 healthy control youth, completed an emotional face n-back ER task during scanning. LCGA was performed on 12 biannual reports completed over 5 years of the Parent General Behavior Inventory 10-Item Mania Scale (PGBI-10M), a parental report of the child's difficulty regulating positive mood and energy.
There were two latent classes of PGBI-10M trajectories: high and decreasing (HighD; n = 22) and low and decreasing (LowD; n = 39) course of behavioral and emotional dysregulation over the 12 time points. Task performance was >89% in all youth, but more accurate in healthy controls and LowD versus HighD (p < 0.001). During ER, LowD had greater activity than HighD and healthy controls in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a key ER region, and greater functional connectivity than HighD between the amygdala and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (p's < 0.001, corrected).
Patterns of function in lateral prefrontal cortical–amygdala circuitry in youth denote the severity of the developmental trajectory of behavioral and emotional dysregulation over time, and may be biological targets to guide differential treatment and novel treatment development for different levels of behavioral and emotional dysregulation in youth.
The consolidation of crystalline powders to obtain dense microstructures is typically achieved through a combination of volume and grain boundary diffusion. In situ transmission electron microscopy was utilized to study neck formation between adjacent nickel particles during the early stages of sintering. It was found that the presence of carbon during consolidation of Ni lowers the reduction temperature of nickel oxides on the particle surface and therefore has the potential to accelerate consolidation. In the absence of carbon, the surface oxides remain present during the early stage of sintering and neck formation between particles is limited by self-diffusion of nickel through the oxide layer. This study provides direct experimental evidence that corroborates related earlier hypotheses of self-cleaning on the surface of the nanoparticles that precedes neck formation and growth.
This paper describes the development of a nitrogen-based passivation technique for interface states near the conduction band edge [Dit(Ec)] in 4H-SiC/SiO2. These states have been observed and characterized in several laboratories for n- and p-SiC since their existence was first proposed by Schorner, et al. . The origin of these states remains a point of discussion, but there is now general agreement that these states are largely responsible for the lower channel mobilities that are reported for n-channel, inversion mode 4H-SiC MOSFETs. Over the past year, much attention has been focused on finding methods by which these states can be passivated. The nitrogen passivation process that is described herein is based on post-oxidation, high temperature anneals in nitric oxide. An NO anneal at atmospheric pressure, 1175°C and 200–400sccm for 2hr reduces the interface state density at Ec-E ≅0.1eV in n-4H-SiC by more than one order of magnitude - from > 3×1013 to approximately 2×1012cm−2eV−1. Measurements for passivated MOSFETs yield effective channel mobilities of approximately 30–35cm2/V-s and low field mobilities of around 100cm2/V-s. These mobilities are the highest yet reported for MOSFETs fabricated with thermal oxides on standard 4H-SiC and represent a significant improvement compared to the single digit mobilities commonly reported for 4H inversion mode devices. The reduction in the interface state density is associated with the passivation of carbon cluster states that have energies near the conduction band edge. However, attempts to optimize the the passivation process for both dry and wet thermal oxides do not appear to reduce Dit(Ec) below about 2×1012cm−2eV−1 (compared to approximately 1010cm−2eV−1 for passivated Si/SiO2). This may be an indication that two types of interface states exist in the upper half of the SiC band gap – one type that is amenable to passivation by nitrogen and one that is not. Following NO passivation, the average breakdown field for dry oxides on p-4H-SiC is higher than the average field for wet oxides (7.6MV/cm compared to 7.1MV/cm at room temperature). However, both breakdown fields are lower than the average value of 8.2MV/cm measured for wet oxide layers that were not passivated. The lower breakdown fields can be attributed to donor-like states that appear near the valence band edge during passivation.
Strain relaxed Si1−xGex layers are attractive virtual substrates for the epitaxial growth of strained Si. Tensile strained Si has attracted a lot of attention due its superior electronic properties. In this study, the strain relaxation of pseudomorphic Si1−xGex layers grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on Si(100) substrates was investigated after He+ ion implantation and thermal annealing. The implantation induced defects underneath the SiGe/Si interface promote strain relaxation during annealing via preferred nucleation of dislocation loops which form misfit dislocations at the interface to the substrate. The amount of strain relaxation as well as the final threading dislocation density depend on the implantation dose and energy. Si1−xGex layers with thicknesses between 75 and 420 nm and Ge concentrations between 19 and 29 at% were investigated. The strain relaxation strongly depends on the layer thickness. Typically the structures show ≈70 % strain relaxation and threading dislocation densities in the low 106 cm−2 range. AFM investigations proved excellent surface morphology with an rms roughness of 0.6 nm. The samples were investigated by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, ion channeling, transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy.
The reactive ion etching of diamond in O2, CF4/O2, CHF3/O2, O2/Ar) discharges has been examined as a function of bias voltage, flow rate and composition of the gas mixtures. Etching in O2 and O2/Ar plasmas (with flow ratio of O2/Ar >25% ) was characterised by a high etch rate (∼35 nm/min) and an increase in surface roughness with rising bias voltage. The CF4/O2 plasmas also produced a high etch rate (∼50 nm/min) but with only minor dependence of roughness on bias voltage. In comparison, the O2/Ar (with O2/Ar flow ratio <25%) and CHF3/O2 plasmas resulted in a low etch rate (7-10 nm/min). The high and low rate regimes were identified as ion- enhanced chemical etching and physical sputtering respectively. Etching in the O2/Ar plasmas has been attributed to a combination of the two processes dependent on the O2 content.
Damage accumulation in Si-implanted GaAs has been characterized by ion channeling and Raman scattering as a function of implant temperature, dose, and dose rate. The damage was found to be extremely sensitive to temperature near room temperature (RT), such that an implant dose of 6×1014Si/cm2 which produced a peak damage fraction of 94% at 20°C gave only a 15% damage fraction at 30°C. Such a sharp damage transition obviously has important implications for controlling the activation of dopants implanted at RT. One consequence is a strong dependence of the damage on dose rate near RT: the damage increases with dose rate as the dose rate is increased over nearly two orders of magnitude. Comparison of Ion channeling results with Raman scattering measurements indicates that the morphologies of the dose-rafe-dependent and dose-dependent damage components in RT implants are distinct, ie‥ the rate-dependent component primarily consists of crystalline defects, while the dose-dependent damage nas a large amorphous contribution. These experimental observations are discussed in terms of the competition between different damage nucleation and growth mechanisms as a function of the implant parameters.
The relationship between the supramolecular conformational structure of assembled chromophores and their susceptibility to electric field poling is of interest for maximizing the bulk alignment achievable in an electro-optic material. We have employed solution phase dielectric constant measurements to investigate possible enhancements in dipolar susceptibility as a function of connectivity and state of aggregation in rationally synthesized chromophore assemblies, including conformationally defined head-to-tail oligomers. On the other hand, conformationally unrestricted, highly dipolar azo dyes behave as relatively isolated molecules even when present in supersaturated solutions and in close proximity on polymer chains.
The effects of N-ion implantation on the corrosive-wear properties of Ti-6Al-4V, an alloy used for construction of the femoral component of artificial hip joints in humans, were tested. In corrosive-wear tests designed to simulate pertinent hip-joint parameters, electrochemical corrosion currents were measured for cylindrical samples in saline electrolyte in an arrangement which allowed the samples to be rotated between loaded polyethylene pads simultaneously with the current measurement. To further quantify material removal, Zr markers were ion-implanted into some samples so that, by use of Rutherford backscattering, material removal could be detected by changes in position of the marker relative to the surface. Corrosion currents were greatly reduced by implantation of approximately 20 at. % N, but even implantation of the Zr markers also reduced corrosion currents. The marker experiments confirmed the low rate of material removal for the implanted samples.
Damage produced by 1.0-2.5 MeV self-ion and O-ion implantation into Si and Ge single crystals has been characterized by cross-sectional electron microscopy and ion channeling. In Si, it is observed that the damage morphology varies substantially along the ion's track. Near the end-of-range of the ion, damage accumulation is very similar to that which occurs during medium- to low-energy implantation (i.e., damage increases monotonically with dose until the lattice is made completely amorphous). In front of this end-of-range region, however, damage saturates at a very low level for moderate implantation fluences. A model based on homogeneous damage nucleation in Si is discussed. For Ge, damage accumulation is very different; a monotonic increase of damage with dose is observed over the entire range of the ion. Possible mechanisms responsible for the differences between Si and Ge are discussed.