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Toxigenic Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) carriers represent an important source in the transmission of C. difficile infection (CDI) during hospitalisation, but its prevalence and mode in patients with hepatic cirrhosis are not well established. We investigated longitudinal changes in carriage rates and strain types of toxigenic C. difficile from admission to discharge among hepatic cirrhosis patients. Toxigenic C. difficile was detected in 104 (19.8%) of 526 hepatic cirrhosis patients on admission, and the carriage status changed in a portion of patients during hospitalisation. Approximately 56% (58/104) of patients lost the colonisation during their hospital stay. Among the remaining 48 patients who remained positive for toxigenic C. difficile, the numbers of patients who were positive at one, two, three and four isolations were 10 (55.6%), three (16.7%), two (11.1%) and three (16.7%), respectively. Twenty-eight patients retained a particular monophyletic strain at multiple isolations. The genotype most frequently identified was the same as that frequently identified in symptomatic CDI patients. A total of 25% (26/104) of patients were diagnosed with CDI during their hospital stay. Conclusions: Colonisation with toxigenic C. difficile strains occurs frequently in cirrhosis patients and is a risk factor for CDI.
Human infections with Trichinella spiralis and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are common, as T. spiralis infections are re-emerging in various parts of the world and RSV infections remain a threat for infants. Yet, studies investigating the relationship pertaining to the two are severely lacking. In particular, immune response induction via RSV and T. spiralis remain largely elusive. Here, we investigated the resistance against T. spiralis infection induced upon primary infection with RSV. RSV, notorious for causing severe inflammatory reaction in the lungs, were intranasally infected, followed with a T. spiralis infection in mice. Our results revealed that primary RSV infection in mice significantly raised T. spiralis-specific and total IgE, IgG and its subclass antibody responses upon T. spiralis challenge infection (RSV-Ts). Blood eosinophil levels were decreased in RSV-Ts, accompanied with significant increase in both Th1 and Th2 cytokines. Antibodies generated against RSV in RSV-infected mice were found to react with T. spiralis excretory/secretory antigen, showing several bands determined through immunoblotting. RSV-Ts also had a marked reduction of T. spiralis worm burden in diaphragm. These results indicate that immune responses induced by RSV infection contribute to resistance against subsequent T. spiralis infection.
Flexibility is a particularly important biomechanical property for intracranial vascular stents. To study the flexibility of stent, the following work was carried out by using the finite element method: Four mechanical models were adopted to simulate the bending deformation of stents, and comparative studies were conducted about the distinction between cantilever beam and simply supported beam, as well as the distinction between moment-loading method and displacement-loading method. A complete process as implanting a stent including compressing, expanding and bending was also simulated, for analyzing the effects of compressing and expanding deformation on stent flexibility. At the same time, the effects of the arrangement and the number of bridges on stent flexibility were researched. The results show that: 1. A same flexibility index was obtained from cantilever beam model and simply supported beam model; displacement-loading method is better than moment-loading for simulating the bending deformation of stents. 2. The flexibility of stent with compressing and expanding deformation is lower than that in the initial form. 3. Crossly arranging the neighboring bridges in axial direction, can effectively improve the stent flexibility and reduce the flexibility difference in various bending directions; the bridge number, has proportional non-linear correlation with the stent rigidity as well as the maximum moment required for bending the stent.
Many shorebird populations are in decline along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The rapid loss of coastal wetlands in the Yellow Sea, which provide critical stop-over sites during migration, is believed to be the cause of the alarming trends. The Yalu Jiang coastal wetland, a protected area in the north Yellow Sea, supports the largest known migratory staging populations of Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica (menzbieri and baueri subspecies) and Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris. Monitoring of the macrozoobenthos food for these shorebirds from 2011 to 2016 showed declines of over 99% in the densities of the bivalve Potamocorbula laevis, the major food here for both Bar-tailed Godwits and Great Knots. The loss of the bivalve might be caused by any combination of, but not limited to: (1) change in hydrological conditions and sediment composition due to nearby port construction, (2) run-off of agrochemicals from the extensive shoreline sea cucumber farms, and (3) parasitic infection. Surprisingly, the numbers of birds using the Yalu Jiang coastal wetland remained stable during the study period, except for the subspecies of Bar-tailed Godwit L. l. menzbieri, which exhibited a 91% decline in peak numbers. The lack of an overall decline in the number of bird days in Great Knots and in the peak numbers of L. l. baueri, also given the published simultaneous decreases in their annual survival, implies a lack of alternative habitats that birds could relocate to. This study highlights that food declines at staging sites could be an overlooked but important factor causing population declines of shorebirds along the Flyway. Maintaining the quality of protected staging sites is as important in shorebird conservation as is the safeguarding of staging sites from land claim. Meanwhile, it calls for immediate action to restore the food base for these beleaguered migrant shorebirds at Yalu Jiang coastal wetland.
Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is the common cause of cognitive decline in the old population. MRI can be used to clarify its mechanisms. However, the surrogate markers of MRI for early cognitive impairment in SVD remain uncertain to date. We investigated the cognitive impacts of cerebral microbleeds (CMBs), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and brain volumetric measurements in a cohort of post-stroke non-dementia SVD patients.
Fifty five non-dementia SVD patients were consecutively recruited and categorized into two groups as no cognitive impairment (NCI) (n = 23) or vascular mild cognitive impairment (VaMCI) (n = 32). Detailed neuropsychological assessment and multimodal MRI were completed.
The two groups differed significantly on Z scores of all cognitive domains (all p < 0.01) except for the language. There were more patients with hypertension (p = 0.038) or depression (p = 0.019) in the VaMCI than those in the NCI group. Multiple regression analysis of cognition showed periventricular mean diffusivity (MD) (β = −0.457, p < 0.01) and deep CMBs numbers (β = −0.352, p < 0.01) as the predictors of attention/executive function, which explained 45.2% of the total variance. Periventricular MD was the independent predictor for either memory (β = −0.314, p < 0.05) or visuo-spatial function (β = −0.375, p < 0.01); however, only small proportion of variance could be accounted for (9.8% and 12.4%, respectively). Language was not found to be correlated with any of the MRI parameters. No correlation was found between brain atrophic indices and any of the cognitive measures.
Arteriosclerotic CMBs and periventricular white matter disintegrity seem to be independent MRI surrogated markers in the early stage of cognitive impairment in SVD.
To determine dynamic changes in clinical characteristics by examining an outbreak of adenovirus infection that occurred from December 20, 2012, to February 25, 2013, in Tianjin, China.
Active surveillance for febrile respiratory illnesses was conducted, and medical records of patients were collected. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and sequencing were used for pathogen identification and viral genome study, respectively. Student’s t-test was used to compare the mean values of normally distributed continuous variables. Mann-Whitney U or Kruskal-Wallis tests were used if continuous variables were not normally distributed. Pearson’s chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test was used to compare categorical variables.
The outbreak was sourced from the index case diagnosed as the common cold on December 20, 2012; a total of 856 cases were reported in the following 66 days. The pathogen was identified as human adenovirus (HAdV) 55. The symptoms manifested differently in severe and mild cases. Routine blood examinations, liver function indexes, and heart function indexes showed different dynamic patterns over time in hospitalized patients.
Clinical characteristics and laboratory examinations may reveal unique patterns over the course of HAdV-55 infection. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:464–469)
A conjecture of Scharaschkin and Skorobogatov states that there is a Brauer–Manin obstruction to the existence of rational points on a smooth geometrically irreducible curve over a number field. In this paper, we verify the Scharaschkin–Skorobogatov conjecture for explicit families of generalized Mordell curves. Our approach uses standard techniques from the Brauer–Manin obstruction and the arithmetic of certain threefolds.
have no rational points. As an illustration, using the sufficient condition, we study the arithmetic of hyperelliptic curves of the above form and show that there are infinitely many curves of the above form that are counterexamples to the Hasse principle explained by the Brauer–Manin obstruction.
Energetic electron beam generation from a thin foil target by the ponderomotive force of an ultra-intense circularly polarized laser pulse is investigated. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations show that laser pulses with intensity of 1022–1023 Wcm−2 generate about 1–10 GeV electron beams, in agreement with the prediction of one-dimensional theory. When the laser intensity is at 1024–1025 Wcm−2, the beam energy obtained from PIC simulations is lower than the values predicted by the theory. The radiation damping effect is considered, which is found to become important for the laser intensity higher than 1025 Wcm−2. The effect of laser focus positions is also discussed.
A series of LiFe1−xZnxPO4 (0.0 ≤ x ≤ 1.0) compounds were prepared by solid-state reaction. Effects of the substitution of Zn for Fe on crystal structure and electrochemical properties of LiFe1−xZnxPO4 were investigated. The results show that single-phase regions of LiFe1−xZnxPO4 with orthorhombic (space group Pmna) and monoclinic (Cc) structures were found for the compounds with low Zn (or high Fe) contents of 0.0 ≤ x ≤ 0.30 and high Zn (or low Fe) contents of 0.90 ≤ x ≤ 1.0, respectively. The LiFe1−xZnxPO4 compounds with medium Zn (or Fe) contents of 0.35 ≤ x ≤ 0.80 are two-phase mixtures containing both the orthorhombic and the monoclinic phases. Systematic variations of unit-cell parameters a, b, c, and volume V with the Zn content determined by X-ray diffraction have also been obtained. Our electrochemical study show that the conductivity of LiFe1−xZnxPO4 increases by almost 2 orders of magnitude from 2.13 × 10−9 to 1.27 × 10−7 Scm−1 as the Zn content increasing from x = 0 to 0.3. The initial specific capacity decreases and the cycle performance increase with increasing Zn-doping content in the four orthorhombic LiFe1−xZnxPO4 compounds. Among the four LiFe1−xZnxPO4 compounds, LiFe0.8Zn0.2PO4 has the highest capacity retentions after 6 to 20 cycles and the capacity retention is 93.7% after 20 cycles, even though the initial discharge specific capacity of LiFe0.8Zn0.2PO4 is lower than those of LiFeZnPO4 and LiFe0.9Zn0.1PO4. LiFe0.7Zn0.3PO4 has the highest capacity retention of 97% after 20 cycles.
In this study, the influence of T5 heat treatment on tensile and fatigue behavior of hot-extruded Mg–10Gd–3Y (wt%) magnesium alloy has been investigated. High cycle fatigue tests were carried out at a stress rate (R) of −1 and a frequency of 100 Hz using hour-glass-shaped round specimens with a gauge diameter of 5.8 mm. The results show that fatigue strength (at 107 cycles) of Mg–10Gd–3Y magnesium alloy increases from 150 to 165 MPa after T5 heat treatment, i.e., the improvement of 10% in fatigue strength has been achieved. However, the crack growth resistance is lowered by T5 heat treatment. Results of microstructure observation and scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive x-ray (SEM-EDX) analysis suggest that the fatigue strength in the Mg–10Gd–3Y magnesium alloy is determined by the threshold stress of basal slip, which is induced by solid solution hardening and precipitation hardening.
Composite Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe (SHRIMP) U–Pb zircon and 40Ar–39Ar step-heating biotite-hornblende ages are used to provide constraints on the timing and origin of the felsic gneissic rocks in the Baiyunshan Mountains region and to elucidate their tectonothermal history. SHRIMP dating and CL imaging of zircons give magmatic zircon crystallization ages between Late Ordovician and Early Silurian (c. 453.5 Ma, 446 Ma, and 439 Ma) for three representative felsic gneisses, suggesting that most of the Baiyunshan gneiss cannot represent basement rocks of the Cathaysia Block as previously thought. Including the present age information, a synthesis of available age data for regional Wuyun (Wuyi-Yunkai) events reflects the emergence of orogen-wide magmatism that could be syn-orogenic and have occurred mainly between 460 and 420 Ma in the South China Block. Inherited zircons are abundant, with ages clustering at late Mesoproterozoic (1189–1017 Ma) and middle Mesoproterozoic (772 Ma), which reveals that the Baiyunshan orthogneiss samples a crustal basement containing significant igneous or recycled components related to the Rodinia amalgamation and break-up. A SHRIMP date of 212 ± 12 Ma from a white rim of zircon provides evidence for metamorphic overprinting of an Indosinian tectonothermal event on the Baiyunshan gneiss. Incremental heating experiments with six biotite samples and one hornblende sample from a variety of metamorphic rocks yielded two distinct 40Ar–39Ar age groups: 150–155 and 94–98 Ma. The older ages are similar to zircon U–Pb dates for widespread granitic intrusions in central Guangdong. We attribute them to Late Jurassic magmatism-induced thermal resetting of the biotite K–Ar system. On the other hand, the younger age group is interpreted to record either cooling through the biotite closure temperature of ~300–350 °C or a second resetting of biotite Ar isotopes at c. 94–98 Ma due to contemporaneous magmatic activity. Our present age data suggest that the Maofengshan orthogneiss was exhumed to 8 to 10 km crustal levels at c. 150 Ma, whereas the eastward components of gneissic rock masses appear to have passed upward through the same crustal depth synchronously or later (by c. 94 Ma). Exhumation of middle crustal-level rocks in the study area since c. 155 Ma is roughly coeval with exhumation of gneissic rocks from elsewhere in the Wuyun Orogen, suggesting a large-scale mechanism for the exhumation pulse related to the Yanshanian extensional tectonic regime.
We report an experimental study of the large-scale circulation (LSC) in a turbulent Rayleigh–Bénard convection cell with aspect ratio unity. The temperature-extrema-extraction (TEE) method for obtaining the dynamic information of the LSC is presented. With this method, the azimuthal angular positions of the hot ascending and cold descending flows along the sidewall are identified from the measured instantaneous azimuthal temperature profile. The motion of the LSC is then decomposed into two different modes based on these two angles: the azimuthal mode and the translational or sloshing mode that is perpendicular to the vertical circulation plane of the LSC. Comparing to the previous sinusoidal-fitting (SF) method, it is found that both the TEE and the SF methods give the same information about the azimuthal motion of the LSC, but the TEE method in addition can provide information about the sloshing motion of the LSC. The sloshing motion is found to oscillate time-periodically around the cell's central vertical axis with an amplitude being nearly independent of the turbulent intensity and to have a π/2 phase difference with the torsional mode. It is further found that the azimuthal angular positions of the hot ascending and cold descending flows oscillate out of phase with each other by π, which leads to the observations of the torsional mode when these two flows are near the top and the bottom plates, respectively, and of the sloshing mode when they are both near the mid-height plane. A direct velocity measurement further confirms the existence of the bulk sloshing mode of the flow field.
The molecular mechanisms underlying the involvement of oligodendrocytes in formation of the nodes of Ranvier (NORs) remain poorly understood. Here we show that oligodendrocyte-myelin glycoprotein (OMgp) aggregates specifically at NORs. Nodal location of OMgp does not occur along demyelinated axons of either Shiverer or proteolipid protein (PLP) transgenic mice. Over-expression of OMgp in OLN-93 cells facilitates process outgrowth. In transgenic mice in which expression of OMgp is down-regulated, myelin thickness declines, and lateral oligodendrocyte loops at the node-paranode junction are less compacted and even join together with the opposite loops, which leads to shortened nodal gaps. Notably, each of these structural abnormalities plus modest down-regulation of expression of Na+ channel α subunit result in reduced conduction velocity in the spinal cords of the mutant mice. Thus, OMgp that is derived from glia has distinct roles in regulating nodal formation and function during CNS myelination.
Novel nanocrystals and polymer composite thin films for the applications of electro-optical devices were prepared. We used PbTiO3 nanocrystals as a nonlinear chromophore (guest) in the NLO polymer system. The transparent polymer polyetherketone (PEK-c) was chosen as the polymer host due to its high glass transition temperature. The PbTiO3 nanocrystals were synthesized successfully by the chemical solution decomposition method. The size of the PbTiO3 nanocrystals was estimated to be 30–40 nm. The weight ratio of PbTiO3 nanocrystals to polymer polyetherketone was 15 %. The composite thin films of PbTiO3 / PEK-c were prepared by spin-coating technique. The films were then electrically poled to induce asymmetry in the material by heating the films to a temperature close to their glass transition and applying an electric field. The refractive indices of the un-poled composite PbTiO3 / PEK-c film were found to be 1.55165 for 633 nm and 1.65352 for 414 nm by using the Metricon prism coupling system. In the poled composite PbTiO3 / PEK-c film sample, the TE- and TM-indices differences were found to be 0.02945 for 633 nm and 0.03915 for 414 nm, showing very good optical anisotropy properties. Dielectric constant ε of the film was determined to be 7.32 at room temperature at 100 KHz using an Impedance Analyzer. The electro-optic coefficient, γ33, of poled PbTiO3 / PEK-c composite film was measured to be 18.34 pm/Vat 633 nm under room temperature by the simple transmission technique. The factor F2 = n7 γ2 /ε, figures of merit, was estimated to be 1546. The relaxation time constant was calculated to be 5836 min.
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