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Although numerous studies have investigated the individual effects of salinity, irrigation and fertilization on soil microbial communities, relatively less attention has been paid to their combined influences, especially using molecular techniques. Based on the field of orthogonal designed test and deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing technology, the effects of saline water irrigation amount, salinity level of irrigation water and nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate on soil bacterial community structure were investigated. The results showed that the irrigation amount was the most dominant factor in determining the bacterial richness and diversity, followed by the irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The values of Chao1 estimator, abundance-based coverage estimator and Shannon indices decreased with an increase in irrigation amount while increased and then decreased with an increase in irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The highest soil bacterial richness and diversity were obtained under the least irrigation amount (25 mm), medium irrigation water salinity (4.75 dS/m) and medium N fertilizer rate (350 kg/ha). However, different bacterial phyla were found to respond distinctively to these three factors: irrigation amount significantly affected the relative abundances of Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi; irrigation water salinity mostly affected the members of Actinobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes and Acidobacteria; and N fertilizer rate mainly influenced the Bacteroidetes' abundance. The results presented here revealed that the assessment of soil microbial processes under combined irrigation and fertilization treatments needed to be more careful as more variable consequences would be established by comparing with the influences based on an individual factor, such as irrigation amount or N fertilizer rate.
Recent studies indicate that early postnatal period is a critical window for gut microbiota manipulation to optimise the immunity and body growth. This study investigated the effects of maternal faecal microbiota orally administered to neonatal piglets after birth on growth performance, selected microbial populations, intestinal permeability and the development of intestinal mucosal immune system. In total, 12 litters of crossbred newborn piglets were selected in this study. Litter size was standardised to 10 piglets. On day 1, 10 piglets in each litter were randomly allotted to the faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and control groups. Piglets in the FMT group were orally administrated with 2ml faecal suspension of their nursing sow per day from the age of 1 to 3 days; piglets in the control group were treated with the same dose of a placebo (0.1M potassium phosphate buffer containing 10% glycerol (vol/vol)) inoculant. The experiment lasted 21 days. On days 7, 14 and 21, plasma and faecal samples were collected for the analysis of growth-related hormones and cytokines in plasma and lipocalin-2, secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), selected microbiota and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in faeces. Faecal microbiota transplantation increased the average daily gain of piglets during week 3 and the whole experiment period. Compared with the control group, the FMT group had increased concentrations of plasma growth hormone and IGF-1 on days 14 and 21. Faecal microbiota transplantation also reduced the incidence of diarrhoea during weeks 1 and 3 and plasma concentrations of zonulin, endotoxin and diamine oxidase activities in piglets on days 7 and 14. The populations of Lactobacillus spp. and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and the concentrations of faecal and plasma acetate, butyrate and total SCFAs in FMT group were higher than those in the control group on day 21. Moreover, the FMT piglets have higher concentrations of plasma transforming growth factor-β and immunoglobulin G, and faecal sIgA than the control piglets on day 21. These findings indicate that early intervention with maternal faecal microbiota improves growth performance, decreases intestinal permeability, stimulates sIgA secretion, and modulates gut microbiota composition and metabolism in suckling piglets.
This study aimed to examine a range of factors influencing the long-term recovery of New York City residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.
In a series of logistic regressions, we analyzed data from a survey of New York City residents to assess self-reported recovery status from Hurricane Sandy.
General health, displacement from home, and household income had substantial influences on recovery. Individuals with excellent or fair health were more likely to have recovered than were individuals with poor health. Those with high and middle income were more likely to have recovered than were those with low income. Also, individuals who had not experienced a decrease in household income following Hurricane Sandy had higher odds of recovery than the odds for those with decreased income. Additionally, displacement from the home decreased the odds of recovery. Individuals who applied for assistance from the Build it Back program and the Federal Emergency Management Agency had lower odds of recovering than did those who did not apply.
The study outlines the critical importance of health and socioeconomic factors in long-term disaster recovery and highlights the need for increased consideration of those factors in post-disaster interventions and recovery monitoring. More research is needed to assess the effectiveness of state and federal assistance programs, particularly among disadvantaged populations. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:172–175)
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
Eating disorders (EDs) have long-term physical and mental impacts on those affected. However, few population-based studies have estimated the prevalence of EDs. We aimed to estimate the lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates of EDs using DSM-IV criteria, and to examine differences against the DSM-5 criteria for anorexia.
A nationally representative sample of 10 038 residents in Switzerland was interviewed, and prevalence rates for anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge eating disorder (BED) were assessed using WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interviews (WHO-CIDI).
The lifetime prevalence rate for any ED was found to be 3.5%. Lifetime prevalence estimates for AN, BN, and/or BED were 1.2%, 2.4%, and 2.4%, respectively, among women and 0.2%, 0.9%, and 0.7%, respectively, among men. Utilizing the DSM-5 criteria, the prevalence of AN in women increased by more than 50%, from 1.2% to 1.9%. Among those meeting the criteria for any ED, only 49.4% of men and 67.9% of women had ever sought professional help about their problems with eating or weight.
The higher prevalence of BN we detected relative to other studies should prompt further monitoring for a possible increasing trend. The female v. male ratios, especially for bulimia and BED, are decreasing. Given that more than half of those affected have never consulted any professional about their problems with eating or weight, routine inquiries about eating and weight by clinicians, school teachers/psychologists, and family members may help those who are at risk, especially among men.
The study investigates three-dimensional kinematics of lower limb for female Chinese population during normal squatting activity. 25 young female and 25 elder female Chinese subjects were recruited. With each subject's data collected, the means of three-dimensional rotation angles of knee, hip, and ankle joints of those two groups were calculated and analyzed. Measured results showed that the maximal eccentric range of hip flexion/extension of 128.6° for the young female group (P < 0.05) was compared with that of 158.8° for the elder female group. Thus, the elder female undergoes more hip flexion/extension angles than the young female in the posture of squatting. The mean range of motion (ROM) of knee flexion/extension was 140.2° for the young female group and 138.7° (significant level P > 0.05) for the elder female group. The mean ROM of ankle flexion/extension was 47.90° for the young female group and 31.9° (P > 0.05) for the elder female group. The ROMs obtained in the experiment during squatting were greater than the reported ones achieved after joint arthroplasty. These data may be invaluable in providing designers of lower limb prosthesis with basic mechanical parameters, and assessing the effect of kinematics of low limb on rehabilitation for the Chinese population.
Biased assessment of tillage impacts on soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration are often associated with a lack of information on the initial level of SOC stocks. The present study reported the changes in SOC concentrations and stocks following 10-year different tillage practices relative to the initial SOC levels. The tillage trial included no tillage (NT), ridge tillage (RT) and mouldboard plough (MP) on a Black soil (Hapludolls) in Northeast China. Results showed that tillage, soil depth and time significantly affected SOC concentration and SOC stock. Tillage and crop residue retention had great impacts on the SOC concentrations in the top 0·1 m layer. Compared with MP and NT, RT resulted in higher SOC concentration and SOC stock in the plough layer (0–0·2 m), which became more obvious with time. The soil under NT and RT had higher stratification ratios (SR) of SOC (SR, the ratio of SOC concentration in 0–0·05 m to that in 0·1–0·2 m) than under MP. Significant positive and nearly identical linear relationships between the SR of SOC and the duration of tillage practices occurred for both NT and RT soils; the increased SR in NT resulted from both SOC increase in surface and SOC decrease in subsurface soils, but in RT, the increased SR was only from a substantial SOC increase in surface soil. Accordingly, the present study highlights that RT was more helpful than NT in carbon sequestration for the studied Black soil in Northeast China.
To reduce the amount of chalcogen needed in the post-annealing process, we demonstrate significantly increased sulfur incorporation into pure sulfide CZTS films achieved by increasing the thiourea content of DMSO-based precursor solution. The increase of sulfur content was confirmed by thermogravimetric analyses (TGA). To understand how the elemental distribution across the CZTS layer is affected by extra thiourea, a systematic compositional study was carried out using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). XPS depth profiling reveals increased sulfur incorporation in the final CZTS films when more thiourea is added to the solution. The grain size was reduced slightly with increased sulfur content and the surface morphology was changed significantly. The effect on the surface of the CZTS film has been investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, and XPS. External-quantum-efficiency (EQE) measurements with an electrolyte contact were used to investigate the optoelectronic properties of the deposited CZTS films.
The interferon-inducible transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3), as one of the key genes involved in the interferon pathway, is critical for defending the host against influenza virus, and the rs12252 T>C variant in IFITM3 might be associated with susceptibility to severe influenza. Owing to contradictory and inconclusive results, we performed a meta-analysis to assess the association between rs12252 T>C polymorphism and severe influenza risk. A comprehensive literature search up to 1 August 2014 was conducted in EMBASE, Pubmed, Web of Science, VIP, Wanfang and CNKI databases. Four eligible studies with a total of 445 influenza patients and 3396 controls were included in this meta-analysis. Overall, our results demonstrated a significant association between the IFITM3 rs12252 T>C polymorphism and influenza risk [C vs. T: odds ratio (OR) 1·68, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·32–2·13; CC vs. CT+TT: OR 2·38, 95% CI 1·52–3·73; CC+CT vs. TT: OR 1·62, 95% CI 1·18–2·22]. Stratification by ethnicity indicated that the variant C allele was associated with an 88% increased risk of influenza in Asians (C vs. T: OR 1·88, 95% CI 1·34–2·62). Moreover, subjects carrying the variant C allele had an increased risk of developing severe illness upon influenza infection (C vs. T: OR 2·70, 95% CI 1·86–3·94). However, no significant association was observed in patients with mild infection (C vs. T: OR 1·26, 95% CI 0·93–1·71). Our meta-analysis suggests that IFITM3 rs12252 T>C polymorphism is significantly associated with increased risk of severe influenza but not with the chance of initial virus infection.
Atom probe is a powerful technique for studying the composition of nano-precipitates, but their morphology within the reconstructed data is distorted due to the so-called local magnification effect. A new technique has been developed to mitigate this limitation by characterizing the distribution of the surrounding matrix atoms, rather than those contained within the nano-precipitates themselves. A comprehensive chemical analysis enables further information on size and chemistry to be obtained. The method enables new insight into the morphology and chemistry of niobium carbonitride nano-precipitates within ferrite for a series of Nb-microalloyed ultra-thin cast strip steels. The results are supported by complementary high-resolution transmission electron microscopy.
Chemically deposited thin film stack of SnSe-ZnSe-Cu2-xSe was heated in nitrogen with Se vapor at 350-400 oC to produce Cu2ZnSnSe4 (CZTSe) thin films. For this, a thin film of SnSe with 180 nm thickness was deposited at 26 °C from a chemical bath containing tin(II) chloride, triethanolamine, sodium hydroxide, sodium selenosulfate, and a small quantity of polyvinylpyrrolidone. Thin films of ZnSe and Cu2-xSe were subsequently deposited on this SnSe film, also from chemical bath. The CZTSe thin film produced this way shows X-ray diffraction pattern matching that of Cu2ZnSnSe4 (kesterite/stannite) and have a Zn-rich composition. The film has an optical band gap of 0.9-1.0 eV and p-type electrical conductivity, 0.2-0.06 Ω-1 cm-1.
Fast-electron beam stopping mechanisms in media ranging from solid to warm dense matter have been investigated experimentally and numerically. Laser-driven fast electrons have been transported through solid Al targets and shock-compressed Al and plastic foam targets. Their propagation has been diagnosed via rear-side optical self-emission and Kα X-rays from tracer layers. Comparison between measurements and simulations shows that the transition from collision-dominated to resistive field-dominated energy loss occurs for a fast-electron current density ~5 × 1011 A cm−2. The respective increases in the stopping power with target density and resistivity have been detected in each regime. Self-guided propagation over 200μm has been observed in radially compressed targets due to ~1kT magnetic fields generated by resistivity gradients at the converging shock front.
In recent years, human leptospirosis has been reported in Jinping and Liping counties, Guizhou province, but the leptospires have never been isolated. To track the source of infection and understand the aetiological characteristics, we performed surveillance for field mice carriage of leptospirosis in 2011. Four strains of leptospire were isolated from Apodemus agrarius. PCR confirmed the four isolates as pathogenic. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) showed that the four strains were closely related to serovar Lai strain 56601 belonging to serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae, which is consistent with the antibody detection results from local patients. Furthermore, the diversity of leptospiral isolates from different hosts and regions was demonstrated with MLVA. Our results suggest that A. agrarius may be the main carrier of Leptospira in Jinping and Liping counties, and the serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae serovar may be the epidemic serogroup of Leptospira. This will contribute to the control and prevention of leptospirosis in these localities.
Tobacco smoke has both carcinogenic effects and anti-estrogenic properties and its inconsistent association with breast cancer risk in observational studies may be because of these competing effects across the lifecourse. We conducted a prospective study of prenatal smoke exposure, childhood household smoke exposure, and adult active smoke exposure and mammographic density, a strong intermediate marker of breast cancer risk, in an adult follow-up of existing US birth cohorts. Specifically, we followed up women who were born between 1959 and 1967 and whose mothers participated in either the Collaborative Perinatal Project (Boston and Providence sites) or the Childhood Health and Development Study in California. Of the 1134 women interviewed in adulthood (ranging in age from 39 to 49 years at interview), 79% had a screening mammogram. Cigarette smoking was reported by mothers at the time of their pregnancy; 40% of mothers smoked while pregnant. Women whose mothers smoked during pregnancy had a 3.1% (95% confidence interval (CI) = −6.0%, −0.2%) lower mammographic density than women whose mothers did not smoke during pregnancy. When we further accounted for adult body mass index and adult smoking status, the association remained (β = −2.7, 95% CI = −5.0, −0.3). When we examined patterns of smoking, prenatal smoke exposure without adult smoke exposure was associated with a 5.6% decrease in mammographic density (β = −5.6, 95% CI = −9.6, −1.6). Given the strength of mammographic density as an intermediate marker for breast cancer, the inverse associations between mammographic density and smoking patterns across the lifecourse may help explain the complex association between cigarette smoking and breast cancer risk.
The London of 2020, as described in Chapter 1, will have conserved most of its old character but it will also have become a mixed reality built upon the connections between the ubiquitous Internet and the physical world. These connections will be made by a variety of different intelligent embedded devices. Networks of distributed sensors and actuators together with their computing and communication capabilities will have spread throughout the infrastructures of cities and to various smaller objects in the everyday environment. Mobile devices will connect their users to this local sensory information and these smart environments. In this context, the mobile device will be a gateway connecting the local physical environment of its user to the specific digital services of interest, creating an experience of mixed virtual and physical realities. (See also Figure 1.1.)
Human interaction with this mixed reality will be based on various devices that make the immediate environment sensitive and responsive to the person in contact with it. Intelligence will become distributed across this heterogeneous network of devices that vary from passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to powerful computers and mobile devices. In addition, this device network will be capable of sharing information that is both measured by and stored in it, and of processing and evaluating the information on various levels.
Knowledge of the control of the musculoskeletal system in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) during gait is helpful for the development of intervention programs in the management of these patients. The current study aimed to investigate the leg and joint stiffness, aswell as the associated joint kinematics and kinetics, in patients with bilateral medial knee OA during gait. Joint angles, moments and stiffness, as well as leg stiffness from fifteen patients with bilateral knee OA and fifteen normal controls during level walking, were obtained and their values at the beginning and end of single leg stance were compared using a t-test.
Patients with knee OA were found to modulate their leg and joint stiffness through acquired specific biomechanical strategies in order to maintain normal temporal-spatial patterns of gait. During weight acceptance, they increased their leg stiffness with increased knee stiffness but unalterd hip and ankle stiffness. During weight release, they modulated their hip and ankle kinetics with increased knee and ankle stiffness to improve the control stability of the limb with unaltered leg stiffness. It is suggested that muscle strengthening exercise intervention and/or rehabilitation for patients with knee OA should focus on activities that develop and/or maintain functions not only of the knee, but also of the overall lower extremity.
GeSn alloy nanocrystals were formed by implantation of Ge and Sn ions into an amorphous SiO2 matrix and subsequent thermal annealing. High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) with a high angle annular dark field (HAADF) detector were used to show that phase-segregated crystalline bi-lobe nanocrystals were formed. Rapid melting and solidification using a single excimer laser pulse transformed the bi-lobe structure into a homogeneously mixed amorphous structure. Raman spectroscopy was used to monitor the crystalline nature and approximate grain size of the Ge portion of the nanocrystals after each heat treatment, and the Raman spectra were compared with the TEM images.
A typical copper-copper thermocompression bonding process is carried out in an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) or inert environment at a bonding temperature >300°C. The ultraclean environment serves a single purpose – to maintain oxide-free copper surfaces, allowing intimate physical contact between copper atoms. This study investigates the temperature dependence of direct copper bonding from room temperature to 300°C under ambient condition. An anomalous thermal dependence of bond strength occurs between 80°C to 140°C where an increase in bonding temperature within this regime is in fact, detrimental to joint strength. This is interpreted as a thermal competition between oxidation and bond formation. This study also demonstrates that by simply coating the copper surface with a self assembled monolayer of 1-undecanethiol prior to bonding, Cu joints can be successfully formed at close to ambient temperature without a vacuum, yielding joint shear strengths on the order of 70MPa. The densely packed monolayer serves to passivate the copper surface against oxidation under ambient conditions. The ultrathin organic monolayer structure, as compared to a bulk oxide layer, could be easily displaced during the mechanical deformation at the bonding interface which accompanies thermocompression. This method could be an effective simple bonding solution for three-dimensional integrated chips.
Highly crystalline and transparent Eu-doped Gd2O3 thin films were produced through a modified sol-gel method that did not require the use of any chelating agent. The effect of the atomic fraction of Eu3+ ions (‘x’ =0.05-0.30) on the structural, optical and luminescent properties has been studied. X-ray diffraction studies showed the preferential growth of Gd2-xEuxO3 thin films along the (400) plane corresponding to the cubic phase. UV-vis measurements revealed the high film transparency of the films in the visible region and a band gap value of 5.3eV. It has also been observed that the luminescence properties of the films were strongly dependent on both, the excitation wavelength and Eu concentration; the most efficient excitation conducive to red luminescence was achieved at the absorption band of Gd2O3 host (229nm). Under this condition all films exhibited strong red emission that is characteristic of Eu3+ ions. The emission intensity was also dependent on the doping level; the most intense luminescence was obtained at ‘x’=0.15. The drop in the luminescence intensity observed for ‘x’ values higher than 0.15 was attributed to quenching concentration effect.