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Evaluation of Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se in humans is challenged by the potentially high within-individual variability of these elements in biological specimens, which are poorly characterised. This study aimed to evaluate their within-day, between-day and between-month variability in spot samples, first-morning voids and 24-h collections. A total of 529 spot urine samples (including eighty-eight first-morning voids and 24-h collections) were collected from eleven Chinese adult men on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 30, 60 and 90 and analysed for these five elements using inductively coupled plasma-MS. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were utilised to characterise the reproducibility, and their sensitivity and specificity were analysed to assess how well a single measurement classified individuals’ 3-month average exposures. Serial measurements of Zn in spot samples exhibited fair to good reproducibility (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·47) over five consecutive days, which became poor when the samples were gathered months apart (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·33). The reproducibility of Cr, Mn, Fe and Se in spot samples was poor over periods ranging from days to months (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·01–0·12). Two spot samples were sufficient for classifying 60 % of the men who truly had the highest (top 33 %) 3-month average Zn concentrations; for Cr, Mn, Fe and Se, however, at least three specimens were required to achieve similar sensitivities. In conclusion, urinary Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se concentrations showed a strong within-individual variability, and a single measurement is not enough to efficiently characterise individuals’ long-term exposures.
Maternal exposure to major stressors during pregnancy has been found to increase the risk of neurodevelopmental, cognitive and psychiatric disorders in the offspring. However, the association between prenatal exposure to earthquake and the risk of adult schizophrenia has yet to be examined.
To explore the potential long-term effects of prenatal exposure to maternal stress on the risk of schizophrenia in adulthood, using the Great Tangshan Earthquake in 1976 as a natural experiment.
We obtained data from the Second China National Sample Survey on Disability, and analysed 94 410 Chinese individuals born between 1975 and 1979. We obtained difference-in-differences estimates of the earthquake effects on schizophrenia by exploiting temporal variation in the timing of earthquake exposure across four birth cohorts born between 1975 and 1979, along with geographical variation in earthquake severity at the prefecture level. Schizophrenia was ascertained by psychiatrists using the ICD-10 classification. Earthquake severity was measured by seismic intensity.
Earthquake cohort who experienced prenatal exposure to felt earthquake had higher risk of schizophrenia (odds ratio, 3.38; 95% CI 1.43–8.00) compared with the unexposed reference cohort. After specifying the timing of exposure by the trimester of pregnancy, prenatal exposure to felt earthquake during the first trimester of pregnancy increased the risk of adulthood schizophrenia significantly (odds ratio, 7.45; 95% CI 2.83–19.59).
Prenatal (particularly early pregnancy) exposure to maternal stress after a major disaster substantially affects the mental health of Chinese adults.
Muscle fibre types can transform from slow-twitch (slow myosin heavy chain (MyHC)) to fast-twitch (fast MyHC) or vice versa. Leucine plays a vital effect in the development of skeletal muscle. However, the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation and its mechanism are still unclear. In this study, effects of leucine and microRNA-27a (miR-27a) on the transformation of porcine myofibre type were investigated in vitro. We found that leucine increased slow MyHC protein level and decreased fast MyHC protein level, increased the levels of phospho-protein kinase B (Akt)/Akt and phospho-forkhead box 1 (FoxO1)/FoxO1 and decreased the FoxO1 protein level. However, blocking the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway by wortmannin attenuated the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation. Over-expression of miR-27a decreased slow MyHC protein level and increased fast MyHC protein level, whereas inhibition of miR-27a had an opposite effect. We also found that expression of miR-27a was down-regulated following leucine treatment. Moreover, over-expression of miR-27a repressed transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC caused by leucine, suggesting that miR-27a is interdicted by leucine and then contributes to porcine muscle fibre type transformation. Our finding provided the first evidence that leucine promotes porcine myofibre type transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC via the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway and miR-27a.
The current measures of cognitive functioning in adulthood do not indicate a long-term association with prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine. However, whether such association emerges in China is poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the potential effect of prenatal exposure to the 1959–1961 Chinese famine on adult cognitive impairment. We obtained data from the Second National Sample Survey on Disability implemented in thirty-one provinces in 2006, and restricted our analysis to 387 093 individuals born in 1956–1965. Cognitive impairment was defined as intelligence quotient (IQ) score under 70 and IQ of adults was evaluated by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – China Revision. Famine severity was defined as excess death rate. The famine impact on adult cognitive impairment was estimated by difference-in-difference models, established by examining the variations of famine exposure across birth cohorts. Results show that compared with adults born in 1956–1958, those who were exposed to Chinese famine during gestation (born in 1959–1961) were at greater risk of cognitive impairment in the total sample. Stratified analyses showed that this effect was evident in males and females, but only in rural, not in urban areas. In conclusion, prenatal exposure to famine had an enduring deleterious effect on risk of cognitive impairment in rural adults.
Leucine, one of the branched-chain amino acids, is the only amino acid to regulate protein turnover in skeletal muscle. Leucine not only increases muscle protein synthesis, but also decreases muscle protein degradation. It is well documented that leucine plays a positive role in differentiation of murine muscle cells. However, the role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation and its mechanism remains unclear. In this study, porcine myoblasts were induced to differentiate with differentiation medium containing different concentrations of leucine, and wortmannin was used to interdict the activity of protein kinase B (Akt). We found that leucine increased the number of myosin heavy chain-positive cells and creatine kinase activity. Moreover, leucine increased the mRNA and protein levels of myogenin and myogenic determining factor (MyoD). In addition, leucine increased the levels of phosphorylated Akt/Akt and phosphorylated Forkhead box O1 (P-FoxO1)/FoxO1, as well as decreased the protein level of FoxO1. However, wortmannin, a specific repressor of PI3K/Akt signalling pathway, attenuated the positive role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation. Our results suggest that leucine promotes porcine myoblast differentiation through the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway.
The granitic rocks of the Tarim large igneous province (LIP) are temporally and spatially related to mafic intrusions. However, their tectonic setting and genetic relationship are debated. Here, we report geochemical, and zircon U–Pb–Hf isotopic results for three alkali feldspar granitic plutons in the Halajun area, western margin of the Tarim Block. Zircon U–Pb ages suggest these plutons were emplaced at 268–275 Ma, coeval with the neighbouring mafic–ultramafic complexes and syenitic rocks. These granitic rocks have high contents of SiO2, alkalis, Rb, Th, Zr and REE (except Eu), and high ratios of FeO*/MgO and Ga/Al, and show strong depletions in Ba, Sr, Eu, which are commonly observed in the A1-type granites. Zircon Hf isotopes reveal a limited range of εHf(t) values from −1.0 to +3.5 for different samples from three granitic plutons, obviously higher than those (mostly <0) of the mafic rocks. This distinct difference, along with a Daly gap and small volume of mafic rocks, argues against extreme fractionation of mafic magma as the main origin of the A1-type granites. Instead the A1-type granites were most likely derived from partial melting of newly underplated rocks triggered by the upwelling asthenosphere, followed by extensive fractionation. These A1-type granites were emplaced within an anorogenic setting during the late stage of the Tarim LIP, which possibly lasts for more than 30 Ma. The Piqiang mafic–ultramafic complex directly stemmed from asthenospheric mantle and Halajun A1-type granites represent two manners of vertical crustal growth.
This paper presents a heuristic Learning-based Non-Negativity Constrained Variation (L-NNCV) aiming to search the coefficients of variational model automatically and make the variation adapt different images and problems by supervised-learning strategy. The model includes two terms: a problem-based term that is derived from the prior knowledge, and an image-driven regularization which is learned by some training samples. The model can be solved by classical ε-constraint method. Experimental results show that: the experimental effectiveness of each term in the regularization accords with the corresponding theoretical proof; the proposed method outperforms other PDE-based methods on image denoising and deblurring.
The intestine plays key roles in maintaining body arginine (Arg) homoeostasis. Meanwhile, the intestine is very susceptible to reactive oxygen species. In light of this, the study aimed to explore the effects of Arg supplementation on intestinal morphology, Arg transporters and metabolism, and the potential protective mechanism of Arg supplementation in piglets under oxidative stress. A total of thirty-six weaned piglets were randomly allocated to six groups with six replicates and fed a base diet (0·95 % Arg,) or base diet supplemented with 0·8 % and 1·6 % l-Arg for 1 week, respectively. Subsequently, a challenge test was conducted by intraperitoneal injection of diquat, an initiator of radical production, or sterile saline. The whole trial lasted 11 d. The diquat challenge significantly decreased plasma Arg concentration at 6 h after injection (P<0·05), lowered villus height in the jejunum and ileum (P<0·05) as well as villus width and crypt depth in the duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0·05). Oxidative stress significantly increased cationic amino acid transporter (CAT)-1, CAT-2 and CAT-3, mRNA levels (P<0·05), decreased arginase II (ARGII) and inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels, and increased TNF-α mRNA level in the jejunum (P<0·05). Supplementation with Arg significantly decreased crypt depth (P<0·05), suppressed CAT-1 mRNA expression induced by diquat (P<0·05), increased ARGII and endothelial nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels (P<0·05), and effectively relieved the TNF-α mRNA expression induced by diquat in the jejunum (P<0·05). It is concluded that oxidative stress decreased Arg bioavailability and increased expression of inflammatory cytokines in the jejunum, and that Arg supplementation has beneficial effects in the jejunum through regulation of the metabolism of Arg and suppression of inflammatory cytokine expression in piglets.
This paper presents a relatively simple numerical method to investigate the flow and heat transfer of laminar power-law fluids over a semi-infinite plate in the presence of viscous dissipation and anisotropy radiation. On one hand, unlike most classical works, the effects of power-law viscosity on velocity and temperature fields are taken into account when both the dynamic viscosity and the thermal diffusivity vary as a power-law function. On the other hand, boundary layer equations are derived by Taylor expansion, and a mixed analytical/numerical method (a pseudosimilarity method) is proposed to effectively solve the boundary layer equations. This method has been justified by comparing its results with those of the original governing equations obtained by a finite element method. These results agree very well especially when the Reynolds number is large. We also observe that the robustness and accuracy of the algorithm are better when thermal boundary layer is thinner than velocity boundary layer.
Two transmission curved crystal spectrometers are designed to measure the hard x-ray emission in the laser fusion experiment of Compton radiography of implosion target on ShenGuang-III laser facility in China. Cylindrically curved
-quartz (10–11) crystals with curvature radii of 150 and 300 mm are used to cover spectral ranges of 10–56 and 17–100 keV, respectively. The distance between the crystal and the x-ray source can be changed over a broad distance from 200 to 1500 mm. The optical design, including the integral reflectivity of the curved crystal, the sensitivity, and the spectral resolution of the spectrometers, is discussed. We also provide mechanic design details and experimental results using a Mo anode x-ray source. High-quality spectra were obtained. We confirmed that the spectral resolution can be improved by increasing the working distance, which is the distance between the recording medium and the Rowland circle.
To examine the vitamin D status, SNP of the vitamin D receptor gene (VDR) and the effects of vitamin D supplementation on parathyroid hormone and insulin secretion in adult males with obesity or normal weight in a subtropical Chinese city.
An intervention trial.
Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China.
From a cross-sectional survey conducted from June to July, eighty-two normal-weight and ninety-nine obese males (18–69 years) were screened to analyse their vitamin D status and for five SNP of VDR. From these individuals, in the same season of a different year, obese and normal-weight male volunteers (twenty-one per group) were included for an intervention trial with oral vitamin D supplementation at 1250 µg/week for 8 weeks.
For the survey, there was no significant difference (P>0·05) in baseline circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations or in the percentages of participants in different categories of vitamin D status between the two groups. The VDR SNP, rs3782905, was significantly associated with obesity (P=0·043), but none of the examined SNP were correlated with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D when adjusted for age, BMI and study group. After vitamin D supplementation, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration, hypersecretions of parathyroid hormone and insulin, and insulin resistance in the obese were changed beneficially (P<0·05); however, the increase in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D was less than that of the normal-weight men.
For obese and normal-weight men of subtropical China, the summer baseline vitamin D status was similar. However, oral vitamin D supplementation revealed a decreased bioavailability of vitamin D in obese men and ameliorated their hypersecretion of parathyroid hormone and insulin resistance.
In this study, thermodynamic properties of BC2N under extreme conditions have been reported by using first-principle calculations and quasi-harmonic Debye model. Isochoric heat capacity (Cv) of BC2N at normal temperature and pressure is 23.15 kJ mol−1 K−1 and it increases with the temperature and decreases with the pressure. In the low temperature region, pressure has no obvious influence on phonons and thus the decrease of Cv is very slow. In the medium temperature region, the decrease of Cv becomes steep. The reason is that high pressure plays an important role in controlling the vibration of atoms. In the high temperature region, the decrease of Cv becomes slow. Debye temperature (θ) decreases with the temperature. However, the tendency is not obvious in the low temperature region but very clear in high temperature. Moreover, θ increases with pressure and the amplitude is larger in higher temperature. Because of the four covalent bonds with different strength and distribution asymmetric thermal expansion along different axes occurs. The value of thermal expansion coefficient along c axis is more than that of along a and b axes.
In the present study, twenty-four Duroc × Landrance × Yorkshire (initial body weight (BW) of 21·82 (sem 2·06) kg) cross-bred pigs were used to determine whether dietary vitamin D supplementation could confer protection against viral infections through the retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) signalling pathway in pigs. Experimental treatments were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial manner with the main effects of immune challenge (control v. porcine rotavirus (PRV) challenge) and dietary concentrations of vitamin D (200 and 5000 IU; where 1 IU of vitamin D is defined as the biological activity of 0.025 mg of cholecalciferol). The pigs were fed a diet containing 200 or 5000 IU vitamin D in the first week of the study period. On day 8, the pigs were orally dosed with 4 ml of Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/Ham's F-12 medium containing PRV or essential medium (control). Serum samples were collected on day 8 (pre-challenge), and 6 d after the PRV challenge, the pigs were killed to evaluate intestinal morphology and tissue gene expression following the last blood collection. Pigs challenged with PRV had decreased BW gain (P< 0·01), feed intake (P< 0·01), villus height (P< 0·01), faecal consistency (P< 0·05), and serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D concentration (P< 0·01) and increased (P< 0·01) serum IL-2, IL-6 and interferon (IFN)-β concentrations. Vitamin D supplementation mitigated these effects. The mRNA expression of RIG-I (P< 0·01), IFN-β promoter stimulator 1 (P< 0·01), IFN-β (P< 0·01) and interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) (P< 0·01) was up-regulated by the PRV challenge and vitamin D supplementation in the intestine. In conclusion, vitamin D supplementation could activate the RIG-I signalling pathway and thus alleviate the negative effects caused by PRV challenge.
Low birth weight (LBW) exerts persistent effects on the growth and development of offspring. The present study was conducted to test the hypothesis that LBW alters the response of pigs to high-fat (HF) diet-induced changes in meat quality and skeletal muscle proteome. Normal-birth weight (NBW) and LBW piglets were fed a control diet or a HF diet from weaning to slaughter at 110 kg body weight. Most of the meat quality traits were influenced by LBW. Meat quality analysis revealed that LBW piglets had a greater ability to deposit intramuscular lipids than their heavier littermates when fed a HF diet. Increased shear force, lower pH45min and drip loss were observed in the skeletal muscle of LBW piglets compared with NBW piglets. Proteomic analysis revealed forty-six differentially expressed proteins in the skeletal muscle of LBW and NBW piglets fed the control diet or HF diet. These proteins play a central role in cell structure and motility, glucose and energy metabolism, lipid metabolism, and cellular apoptosis, as well as stress response. Of particular interest is the finding that LBW altered the response to HF diet-induced changes in the expression of proteins related to stress response (heat shock protein) and glucose and energy metabolism (pyruvate kinase, phosphoglycerate mutase, enolase and triosephosphate isomerase). Taken together, our findings revealed that the HF diet-induced changes in the expression of glucose and energy metabolism-related proteins varied between NBW and LBW piglets, which provides a possible mechanism to explain higher intramuscular fat store in LBW pigs when fed a HF diet.
We present an experimental study of turbulent thermal convection with smooth and rough surface plates in various combinations. A total of five cells were used in the experiments. Both the global
for each plate (or the associated boundary layer) are measured. The results reveal that the smooth plates are insensitive to the surface (rough or smooth) and boundary conditions (i.e. nominally constant temperature or constant flux) of the other plate of the same cell. The heat transport properties of the rough plates, on the other hand, depend not only on the nature of the plate at the opposite side of the cell, but also on the boundary condition of that plate. It thus appears that, at the present level of experimental resolution, the smooth plate can influence the rough plate, but cannot be influenced by either the rough or the smooth plates. It is further found that the scaling of
for all of the smooth plates is consistent with the classical
exponent. But the scaling exponent for the global
for the cell with both plates being smooth is definitely less than
(this result itself is consistent with all previous studies at comparable parameter range). The discrepancy between the
behaviour at the whole-cell and individual-plate levels is not understood and deserves further investigation.
Chinese and English belong to different language families, so they often have different forms of expression. Chinese has no definite grammatical category of number and has almost no number inflection. Plural meaning is usually implied in the syntactic structure or in the context by a bare noun, or is expressed through the plural marker 们 and the numerical adjectives such as many, numerous and each, as well as by quantifiers and reduplications. However, English nouns express number category by inflection as well as by quantifiers at times, so their grammatical number is far more complicated than that of Chinese nouns. From the point of view of grammatical form, English nouns are often considered as countable and uncountable nouns. Uncountable nouns cannot be directly modified by a numeral without unit specification, nor can they be combined with an indefinite article. Thus, cheese is quantified as three slices of cheese. However, uncountable nouns can also be quantified without specifying a unit of measurement, such as much coal. A number of uncountable nouns can be used in the plural form to mean ‘a large amount of’ as in the following example from Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (hereinafter, LDCE) ‘The ship drifted into Turkish territorial waters’. In such cases, although water is uncountable, it has the plural form. In some cases, native English speakers can turn the theoretical uncountable nouns into countable ones (Landau, 2001). There seems to be no absolute boundary between countable and uncountable nouns.
As an international metropolitan area undergoing rapid development, Beijing is facing a sharp rise in the volume of motor vehicles and mobility, which has become the major contributor to the air pollution in this city. This is evident in the recent ranking of Beijing as the most congested as well as the most polluted city in the world by the Millennium Cities Database. Local government has adopted a battery of policies to reduce these problems. In this study, we investigate the impact of increasing the fuel tax on travel mode choice based on a large sample of travel survey data. We estimate that if the price of gasoline increased to a moderate level, 11.53 RMB/liter, the total car volume on the road would be reduced by 7 per cent, which corresponds to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 786,002.4 tons, or about 8 per cent of vehicular emissions from private cars and company-owned cars in Beijing.
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of fibre source on intestinal mucosal barrier function in weaning piglets. A total of 125 piglets were randomly allotted on the basis of their body weight and litters to one of five experimental diets, i.e. a control diet without fibre source (CT), and diets in which expanded maize was replaced by 10 % maize fibre (MF), 10 % soyabean fibre (SF), 10 % wheat bran fibre (WBF) or 10 % pea fibre (PF). The diets and water were fed ad libitum for 30 d. Piglets on the WBF and PF diets had lower diarrhoea incidence compared with the MF- and SF-fed animals. A higher ratio of villous height:crypt depth in the ileum of WBF-fed piglets and higher colonic goblet cells in WBF- and PF-fed piglets were observed compared with CT-, MF- and SF-fed piglets. In the intestinal digesta, feeding WBF and PF resulted in increased Lactobacillus counts in the ileum and Bifidobacterium counts in the colon. Lower Escherichia coli counts occurred in the ileum and colon of WBF-fed piglets than in SF-fed piglets. Tight junction protein (zonula occludens 1; ZO-1) and Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) gene mRNA levels were up-regulated in the ileum and colon of pigs fed WBF; however, feeding MF and SF raised IL-1α and TNF-α mRNA levels. Furthermore, higher diamine oxidase activities, transforming growth factor-α, trefoil factor family and MHC-II concentration occurred when feeding WBF and PF. In conclusion, the various fibre sources had different effects on the ileal and colonic barrier function. Clearly, WBF and PF improved the intestinal barrier function, probably mediated by changes in microbiota composition and concomitant changes in TLR2 gene expression.