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We aimed to investigate the association between plasma retinol and incident cancer among Chinese hypertensive adults. We conducted a nested case–control study, including 231 patients with incident cancer and 231 matched controls during a median 4·5-year follow-up of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. There was a significant, inverse association between retinol levels and digestive system cancer (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91). When compared with participants in the first quartile of retinol (< 52·3 μg/dl), a significantly lower cancer risk was found in participants in quartile 2–4 ( ≥ 52·3 μg/dl: OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·71). However, there was a U-shaped association between retinol levels and non-digestive system cancers where the risk of cancers decreased (although not significantly) with each increment of plasma retinol (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·89; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·31) in participants with retinol < 68·2 μg/dl, and then increased significantly with retinol (per 10 μg/dl increase: OR 1·65; 95 % CI 1·12, 2·44) in participants with retinol ≥ 68·2 μg/dl. In conclusion, there was a significant inverse dose–response association between plasma retinol and the risk of digestive system cancers. However, a U-shaped association was observed between plasma retinol and the risk of non-digestive cancers (with a turning point approximately 68·2 μg/dl).
Compared with commercial polyolefin membranes, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) membrane prepared by electrostatic spinning has higher porosity, electrolyte uptake, thermal stability, and lithium-ion conductivity, etc. However, poor mechanical performance has largely limited the application of electrospun PAN separators. In this study, PAN/polyimide (PI) composite membrane is prepared by electrostatic spinning to improve the mechanical and electrochemical performances. Scanning electron microscopy, thermal analysis method, and electrochemical methods were used for evaluation of the electrospun composite membrane. The results show that the composite membrane possesses good thermal stability and exhibits better mechanical performance than pristine PAN membrane (increasing by 1.1 times in tension strength). The addition of PI can increase porosity and fluid absorption rate obviously. In addition, the composite membrane has high ionic conductivity (18.77 × 10−4 S/cm), wide electrochemical window (about 4.0 V), and excellent cycling performance. It can retain a discharge specific capacity of 153 mA h/g even after 50 cycles at 0.5 C. The electrospun PAN/PI membrane may be a promising candidate for lithium-ion battery separators.
In order to improve the dispersibility of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) in polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the modification of HNT surfaces was studied with three types of modifiers (polymethyl methacrylate [PMMA], sodium dodecyl sulfate [SDS] and carboxylic acid). The modified HNTs were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and contact angle measurements. The HNTs were used to reinforce the mechanical properties of PTFE. The mechanical results indicated that the tensile strength of the modified HNT-filled PTFE nanocomposites (F-HNT/PTFE) improved to an acceptable degree and Young's modulus increased significantly. The tribological results showed that the wear rate of F-HNT/PTFE decreased by 21–82 and 9–40 times compared to pure PTFE and the pristine F-HNT/PTFE, respectively.
The following paper investigates the prevalence and characteristics of asymptomatic norovirus infection in the population living around oyster farm sites. Two consecutive surveys were conducted from January 2014 to December 2014 and 4549 stool samples were screened during the same time period. The total asymptomatic infection rate was 4.04% (184/4549). Norovirus infection rate was 5.20% in oyster farming population which was significantly higher compared with non-farming population where the infection rate was 3.65% (χ2 = 5.49, P < 0.05). A total of 184 NoV positive samples were identified by real time-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and semi-nested RT-PCR and 136 sequences were obtained. The sequences were clustered into 14 genotypes. GI strains were clustered into six genotypes, including GI.2, GI.3, GI.5, GI.6, GI.8 and GI.9; while GII strains were clustered into GII.2, GII.3, GII.4, GII.5, GII.6, GII.8 and GII.13. GI.9 and GII.17 were the predominant and most prevalent genotypes, respectively. The GII.17 genotype replaced GII.4 becoming the dominant genotype in the oyster farming area in 2014. To sum up, long-term monitoring of asymptomatic infection is crucial for the detection of new variant strains and for identifying outbreaks during the early stage.
Since 2010, Jankowski’s Bunting Emberiza jankowskii has been listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, because no comprehensive surveys had been conducted, it was not known whether undiscovered populations existed elsewhere, so the population status of the species could not be assessed accurately. The aim of this study was to assess the breeding distribution and population size of Jankowski’s Bunting in China. Fifty sites in Inner Mongolia, and Jilin, Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Hebei Provinces were surveyed to locate suitable habitat and breeding populations of Jankowski’s Bunting. The surveyed sites included historical breeding distribution areas, wintering sites, and regions adjacent to historical breeding distribution areas. We confirmed that Jankowski’s Bunting has disappeared from most of its former breeding distributions, with the exceptions of Dagang, Xiergen and Tumiji. Additionally, 13 new breeding sites were discovered in Inner Mongolia. All currently known populations breed in Mongolian steppe-vegetation zones, with shrubs dominated by the natural Siberian apricot Prunus sibirica, indicating that this type of habitat is crucial for the survival of the species. Based on remote sensing, the suitable breeding habitat for Jankowski’s Bunting is estimated to be approximately 280 km2. The population size of Jankowski’s Bunting could range between 9,800 and 12,500 individuals, which is much higher than the numbers estimated in previous reports that were based on partial surveys. The suitable habitat remaining in Inner Mongolia would highly benefit from the implementation of the National Key Public Forest Protection Project. The population size of Jankowski’s Bunting is larger than previously estimated, but it is still threatened by habitat degradation and fragmentation, and our survey results reinforce the need for more research. The status of Jankowski’s Bunting in China still meets the IUCN criteria B2ab for an ‘Endangered’ species.
Halloysite nanotubes (HNTs)/polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) nanocomposites were prepared by the cold compression moulding method. The effects of addition of HNTs (HNTs ‘filling’) on the performances of PTFE were explored using X-ray diffraction, Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and thermogravimetric analysis which showed that HNTs were well dispersed in the PTFE matrix by means of physical mixing at lower contents of 2–5 wt.%; the introduction of HNTs into PTFE could improve the heat stability of the PTFE. Furthermore, the mechanical and tribological performances of the nanocomposites were measured to examine the filling effect. The tensile strength of the HNTs/PTFE nanocomposites at 2–5 wt.% HNTs content increased by ~3.5% while their wear rates decreased by 55–90% relative to pure PTFE, clear proof of the filling effect of HNTs with a high aspect ratio.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary live yeast (LY) supplementation on growth, intestinal permeability and immunological parameters of piglets challenged with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC). Piglets weaned at 21 d were allocated into three treatments with six pens and six piglets per pen, receiving the control diet (CON), diets supplemented with antibiotics plus zinc oxide (ANT–ZnO) and LY (Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain CNCM I-4407), respectively, for a period of 2 weeks. On day 8, thirty-six piglets were selected as control without ETEC (CON), CON–ETEC, ANT–ZnO–ETEC and LY–ETEC groups challenged with ETEC until day 10 for sample collections. Piglets fed ANT–ZnO diet had the highest average daily gain and average daily feed intake (P<0·05) during the 1st week, but ADG of piglets fed the ANT–ZnO diet was similar as piglets fed LY diet during the second week. Piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC had markedly lower diarrhoea score (P<0·05) than piglets with CON–ETEC during the 24 h after ETEC challenge. Relative to piglets with CON, the counts of E. coli, urinary ratio of lactulose to mannitol, plasma IL-6 concentration, mRNA abundances of innate immunity-related genes in ileum and mesenteric lymph node tissues were increased (P<0·05), whereas the villous height of jejunum and relative protein expression of ileum claudin-1 were decreased (P<0·05) in piglets with CON–ETEC; however, these parameters did not markedly change in piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC. In summary, dietary LY supplementation could alleviate the severity of diarrhoea in piglets with ETEC, which may be associated with the improved permeability, innate immunity and bacterial profile.
A 36C1 peak has been found at about 37 ka BP in the Guliya ice core, drilled from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. This peak is indicative of enhanced cosmogenic isotope production in the atmosphere, rather than a change in accumulation rate. Comparison with the records of 10Be and 36C1 in ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland indicates that peaks of the cosmogenic isotopes are global, and that they can be used as time markers for dating ice cores. Interestingly, the 37 ka BP global event coincided with a cold period.
It has been reported that up to 42% of the population aged over 60 are affected by mild cognitive impairment (MCI) worldwide. This study aims to investigate the prevalence and progression of MCI through a meta-analysis.
We searched Embase and PubMed for relevant literature. Stable disease rate (SR), reversion rate (RR), dementia rate (DR), and Alzheimer's disease rate (AR) were used to evaluate the progression of MCI. The prevalence and progression rates were both obtained by reported percentile and indirect data analysis. Additionally, we carried out sensitivity analysis of each index by excluding some studies due to influence analysis with the most publication bias.
Effect size (ES) was used to present adjusted overall prevalence (16%) and progression rates including SR (45%), RR (15%), DR (34%), and AR (28%) of MCI. Compared with clinic-based outcomes, MCI prevalence, SR, and RR are significantly higher in community, while DR and AR are lower. Despite significant heterogeneity found among the studies, no publication bias was observed.
Age and gender were observed to be associated with MCI, in which age was considered as an impact factor for DR. The strong heterogeneity may result from variations in study design and baselines. Standardized MCI criteria were suggested to systematically evaluate MCI in the future.
Emulsion polymer isocyanate (EPI) and urea-formaldehyde (UF) were selected as typical resin systems to investigate the microstructure of wood–adhesive interphases by fluorescence microscopy (FM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Further, a quantitative micromechanical analysis of the interphases was conducted using nanoindentation. The FM results showed that the UF resin could penetrate the wood to a greater extent than the EPI resin, and that the average penetration depth for these two resin systems was higher in the case of latewood. CLSM allowed visualization of the resin distribution with contrasting colors, showing that the EPI resin could not penetrate the cell wall, whereas UF resin could enter the cell walls. The micromechanical properties of the cell walls were almost unaffected by EPI penetration but were significantly affected by UF penetration, especially in the first cell wall from the glueline. This further confirmed that only cell walls with resin penetration can improve the mechanical properties of the interphase regions.
The long-term outcome of never-treated patients with schizophrenia is
To compare the 14-year outcomes of never-treated and treated patients
with schizophrenia and to establish predictors for never being
All participants with schizophrenia (n = 510) in Xinjin,
Chengdu, China were identified in an epidemiological investigation of 123
572 people and followed up from 1994 to 2008.
The results showed that there were 30.6%, 25.0% and 20.4% of patients who
received no antipsychotic medication in 1994, 2004 and 2008 respectively.
Compared with treated patients, those who were never treated in 2008 were
significantly older, had significantly fewer family members, had higher
rates of homelessness, death from other causes, being unmarried, living
alone, being without a caregiver and poor family attitudes. Partial and
complete remission in treated patients (57.3%) was significantly higher
than that in the never-treated group (29.8%). Predictors of being in the
never-treated group in 2008 encompassed baseline never-treated status,
being without a caregiver and poor mental health status in 1994.
Many patients with schizophrenia still do not receive antipsychotic
medication in rural areas of China. The 14-year follow-up showed that
outcomes for the untreated group were worse. Community-based mental
healthcare, health insurance and family intervention are crucial for
earlier diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation in the community.
Postnatal rapid growth by excess intake of nutrients has been associated with an increased susceptibility to diseases in neonates with intra-uterine growth restricted (IUGR). The aim of the present study was to determine whether postnatal nutritional restriction could improve intestinal development and immune function of neonates with IUGR using piglets as model. A total of twelve pairs of normal-birth weight (NBW) and IUGR piglets (7 d old) were randomly assigned to receive adequate nutrient intake or restricted nutrient intake (RNI) by artificially liquid feeding for a period of 21 d. Blood samples and intestinal tissues were collected at necropsy and were analysed for morphology, digestive enzyme activities, immune cells and expression of innate immunity-related genes. The results indicated that both IUGR and postnatal nutritional restriction delayed the growth rate during the sucking period. Irrespective of nutrient intake, piglets with IUGR had a significantly lower villous height and crypt depth in the ileum than the NBW piglets. Moreover, IUGR decreased alkaline phosphatase activity while enhanced lactase activity in the jejunum and mRNA expressions of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR-9) and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) in the ileum of piglets. Irrespective of body weight, RNI significantly decreased the number and/or percentage of peripheral leucocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes of piglets, whereas the percentage of neutrophils and the ratio of CD4+ to CD8+ were increased. Furthermore, RNI markedly enhanced the mRNA expression of TLR-9 and DNMT1, but decreased the expression of NOD2 and TRAF-6 in the ileum of piglets. In summary, postnatal nutritional restriction led to abnormal cellular and innate immune response, as well as delayed the growth and intestinal development of IUGR piglets.
The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is used for screening mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and the Beijing version (MoCA-BJ) is widely used in China. We aimed to develop a computerized tool for MoCA-BJ (MoCA-CC).
MoCA-CC used person-machine interaction instead of patient-to-physician interaction; other aspects such as the scoring system did not differ from the original test. MoCA-CC, MoCA-BJ and routine neuropsychological tests were administered to 181 elderly participants (MCI = 96, normal controls [NC] = 85).
A total of 176 (97.24%) participants were evaluated successfully by MoCA-CC. Cronbach's α for MoCA-CC was 0.72. The test–retest reliability (retesting after six weeks) was good (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.82; P < 0.001). Significant differences were observed in total scores (t = 9.38, P < 0.001) and individual item scores (t = 2.18–8.62, P < 0.05) between the NC and MCI groups, except for the score for “Naming” (t = 0.24, P = 0.81). The MoCA-CC total scores were highly correlated with the MoCA-BJ total scores (r = 0.93, P < 0.001) in the MCI participants. The area under receiver–operator curve for the prediction of MCI was 0.97 (95% confidence interval = 0.95–1.00). At the optimal cut-off score of 25/26, MoCA-CC demonstrated 95.8% sensitivity and 87.1% specificity.
The MoCA-CC tool developed here has several advantages over the paper-pencil method and is reliable for screening MCI in elderly Chinese individuals, especially in the primary clinical setting. It needs to be validated in other diverse and larger populations.
This study presented a novel fabrication process for TiNi thin films by vacuum diffusion technology using reactive Ni/Ti/Ni multilayer thin films. The sandwiched thin films were prepared by chemical nickel plating. Ni/Ti/Ni multilayer films were heat treated for various diffusion times and temperatures and the influences of the temperature and diffusion time on the interdiffusion behavior of the Ti–Ni system were researched in detail. The results showed that a homogeneous TiNi thin film was obtained at 1173 K with a diffusion time of 4 h. Moreover, the formation sequence of the intermetallics in the Ti–Ni diffusion system was investigated by thermodynamic analysis and experiment. It was found that three compounds – TiNi3, Ti2Ni, and TiNi – formed in the diffusion process at the Ti/Ni interfaces. More importantly, the nucleation of TiNi3 and Ti2Ni was prior to that of TiNi because of the lower reaction Gibbs free energy and increasing interface energy of TiNi3 and Ti2Ni.
The high repetition rate 10 J/10 ns Yb:YAG laser system and its key techniques are reported. The amplifiers in this system have a multi-pass V-shape structure and the heat in the amplifiers is removed by means of laminar water flow. In the main amplifier, the laser is four-pass, and an approximately 8.5 J/1 Hz/10 ns output is achieved in the primary test. The far-field of the output beam is approximately 10 times the diffraction limit. Because of the higher levels of amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) in the main amplifier, the output energy is lower than expected. At the end we discuss some measures that can improve the properties of the laser system.
Dielectric capacitors for energy storage are of great importance in modern electronics and electric systems. It is a challenge to realize the high energy density while maintain the low dielectric loss. We investigated an ultra high breakdown electric field of 1.1 GV/m, which is approaching the intrinsic breakdown, in aromatic polythiourea, a new dielectric material that serves a high energy density of 23 J/cm3 as well as high charge-discharge efficiency above 90%. The molecular structure and film surface morphology were also studied, it was proved a polar amorphous phase and glass state material could significantly suppress the high field conduction to several orders smaller compared with regular polymer dielectric materials, which are usually semi-crystalline and in rubber phase.
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the impact of a lifestyle intervention programme, combined with a daily low-glycaemic index meal replacement, on body-weight and glycaemic control in subjects with impaired glucose regulation (IGR). Subjects with IGR were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n 46) and a control group (n 42). Both groups received health counselling at baseline. The intervention group also received a daily meal replacement and intensive lifestyle intervention to promote healthy eating habits during the first 3 months of the study, and follow-up visits performed monthly until the end of the 1-year study. Outcome measurements included changes in plasma glucose, glycated Hb (HbA1c), plasma lipids, body weight, blood pressure and body composition (such as body fat mass and visceral fat area). The results showed that body-weight loss after 1 year was significant in the intervention group compared with the control group ( − 1·8 (sem 0·35) v.− 0·6 (sem 0·40) 2·5 kg, P< 0·05). The 2 h plasma glucose concentration decreased 1·24 mmol/l in the intervention group and increased 0·85 mmol/l in the control group (P< 0·05) compared with their baseline, respectively. A 5 kg body-weight loss at 1 year was associated with a decrease of 1·49 mmol/l in 2 h plasma glucose (P< 0·01). The incidence of normal glucose regulation (NGR) in the two groups was significantly different (P= 0·001). In conclusion, the combination of regular contact, lifestyle advice and meal replacement is beneficial in promoting IGR to NGR.
Reflective display technologies aim to enable the delivery of dynamic digital content to devices that have the look and feel of ink on paper. We are presenting herein a novel device architecture design and proprietary electrically addressable inks, which enable low power, disruptive, print-like full color reflective display that can exceed the chromaticity represented by the Specifications for Newsprint Advertising Production (SNAP) standard. We are approaching the challenge of generating bright high-quality reflective color images from the perspective of printing by stacking electro-optic layers of subtractive colorants to address every available color at every location. Using in-plane optical effects, our novel media technology provides fast switching between clear and color states. Thin, flexible electronic media based on this technology has been fabricated by imprinting three-dimensional micro-scale structures with a continuous roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing platform. HP’s combination of novel device architecture, proprietary inks, and R2R manufacturing platform enables the required attributes for electronic media such as flexibility, robustness, low power, transparency, print-quality color, and scalability at low cost. The structure property relationship of surfactants has been carried out; their impact on performance of display devices has been studied. These results have been applied to improve the performance of electronic inks. We have demonstrated 3-layer stacked segmented reflective display prototypes, as well as pixelated stacked color reflective display prototypes. The innovations described in this paper are applicable to electronic skins for customizable electronic surfaces and are currently being developed further for electronic paper and signage markets.
The thermal stress behavior of silicon/quartz bonded wafer pairs is examined. Sliding, debonding, and cracking are the observed mechanisms of relaxation. When the elastic energy due to the different thermal expansion coefficients of silicon and quartz exceeds the bonding energy, sliding will start and lead to a serrated curve on the curvature-versus-temperature graph. Finally, debonding will occur once the peeling stress exceeds the interface bonding strength. The debonded parts crack due to the overhang structure, and debonding-cracking processes continue during a further temperature increase. The stress behavior of the hydrogen-implantation induced layer splitting process (the so-called “Smart-Cut process”) of silicon/quartz pairs is also monitored in a stress measurement setup. It is observed that Smart-Cut process is a sudden process in agreement with the observations reported in the literature.
The hydrogenated nano-crystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) films have been deposited with PECVD method.1–2 The micro-structure of these films has been studied by TEM and HREM. The PECVD nc-Si:H films show fiber texture structure which is exceptional compared with the nano-size materials made by the method of compressing granules method. The fractal dimention of this texture structure has been calculated with a Fourier filtered image. The relationshisps between conductivity and temperature and micro-structure has also been studied and the mechanism of electron conduction is discussed.