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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 optically detected magnetic resonance (ODMR) technique has been employed to examine the nature and formation mechanism of non-radiative defects in GaNAs and InGaAsN. In both alloys, two defects were observed and were shown to be deep-level, non-radiative recombination centers. One of the defects has been identified as a complex involving an AsGa antisite. These two defects gain more importance with increasing N composition up to 3%, presumably due to an increase in their concentration. With a further higher N composition, the defects start to lose importance in carrier recombination that is attributed to an increasingly important role of other new non-radiative channels introduced with a high N composition. On the other hand, effect of In composition up to 3% seems to be only marginal. Both defects were shown to be preferably introduced in the alloys during low-temperature growth by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), but can be rather efficiently removed by post-growth rapid thermal annealing.
Efficient hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) n-i-p solar cells have been fabricated with all doped and undoped a-Si:H layers deposited by hot-wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD). The total deposition time of all layers, except the top ITO-contact, is less than 4 minutes. On an untextured stainless steel (SS) substrate, an initial efficiency of 7.12% is reached, with a stable efficiency of 5.4% after 1000 hours 1 sun light soaking. This initial efficiency is reached by incorporating into the p/i interface about 60 Å of intrinsic a-Si:H “edge” material grown under conditions near the transition to microcrystallinity. This edge layer increases the cell's fill factor from 0.60 to 0.68 and the best open-circuit voltage is about 0.88 V. Using textured Ag/ZnOcoated SS supplied by United Solar Corporation, preliminary results of an all-HWCVD solar cell give an initial efficiency of 8.7 %.
GeB− Cluster ions have been used to effectively produce 0.65-2keV boron for low energy ion implantation. We have generated the GeB− cluster ions using the SNICS ion source (source of negative ion by cesium sputtering). Shallow junctions have been made by the GeB− cluster ions implanting into Si substrates at 15keV, 1×1015/cm2 and 5keV, 5×1014/cm2. The junction depth as small as 37nm has been achieved by rapid thermal annealing of the 5 keV sample at 1000°C for 1 second. A two-step annealing was also performed to study the diffusion of B in the GeB− ion cluster implanted Si by annealing the 15 keV implanted sample at 550°C/300sec+1000°C/10sec. We found that the junction depth of the two-step annealed sample was only half of the one-step annealed sample. TEM (transmission electron microscopy) showed clear recrystallization of the amorphized layer with no observable residual defects. We briefly discussed the role of Ge in regards to reduction of the junction depth.
We have studied boron profiles by using the ion beam recoil implantation. A boron layer was first deposited onto Si, followed by irradiation with Si ions at various energies to knock the boron. Conventional belief is that the higher the implantation energy, the deeper the recoil profiles. While this is true for low-energy incident ions, we show here that the situation is reversed for incident Si ions of higher energy due to the fact that recoil probability at a given angle is a strong function of the energy of the primary projectile. Our experiments show that 500-keV high-energy recoil implantation produces a shallower B profile than lower-energy implantation such as 10 keV and 50 keV. The secondary-ion-massspectrometry (SIMS) analysis shows that the distribution of recoiled B atoms scattered by the energetic Si ions agrees with our calculation results. Sub-100 nm p+/n junctions have been realized with a 500-keV Si ion beam.
Low temperature annealing combined with pre-damage (or preamorphization) implantation is a very promising method to overcome the activation barrier in ultra-shallow junction formation. We have made a 32 nm p+/n junction with sheet resistance of 290 /sq. using 20 keV 4×1014 Ω/cm2 Si followed by 2 keV 1×1015 at./cm2 B implantation and 10 minutes 550 °C annealing. This paper studies the boron activation mechanism during low temperature annealing. The result shows that placing B profile in the vacancyrich region has much better boron activation than placing B profile in interstitial-rich region or without pre-damage. It also shows that a significant portion of boron is in substitutional positions before annealing. The amount of substitutional boron is correlated to the amount of vacancies (damage) by the pre-damage Si implantation. The result supports our speculation that vacancy enhances boron activation.
In order to build electrical devices based on carbon nanotubes, it is crucial to understand the effects of the substrate, electrical contacts, defects and junctions on the transport properties of both multi-wall and single-wall carbon nanotubes (MWNT and SWNT). In the present study two different dispositions are analyzed. In one of them, isolated MWNT were deposited onto an insulating oxide layer over a conducting substrate and platinum electrical contacts were prepared via a focused ion beam (FIB) deposition method. An ohmic contact to the substrate allowed us to polarize it at a different potential than the nanotubes themselves. In the second one, a vertical array of MWNT was grown on a template of alumina in which one of the ends was coated with gold, to provide an electric contact. To investigate transport properties, we used an atomic force microscope (AFM) to determine the electric surface potential of MWNT. The technique employed, scanning surface potential microscopy (SSPM), applied a dc-voltage to the tip that equilibrates the local electrostatic potential on the sample so as to eliminate forces on the AFM tip caused by electric repulsion or attraction between tip and sample. There is no alteration of the sample potential caused by the tip. Surface potential measurements on the first system show that the electric transport on the MWNT has a diffusive character. The application of a (4.5V) bias between nanotube and substrate causes the resistance of the nanotube to drop by a factor of four. We can also resolve the voltage drop on the nanotube and at the contacts. The measurements in the second system (vertical arrangement) show that the nanotubes are uncapped and we can observe a contrast that varies with the application of different voltages to the back contact.