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Several life-threatening diseases of the kidney have their origins in mutational events that occur during embryonic development. In this study, we investigate the role of the Wolffian duct (WD), the earliest embryonic epithelial progenitor of renal tubules, in the etiology of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). ADPKD is associated with a germline mutation of one of the two Pkd1 alleles. For the disease to occur, a second event that disrupts the expression of the other inherited Pkd1 allele must occur. We postulated that this secondary event can occur in the pronephric WD. Using Cre-Lox recombination, mice with WD-specific deletion of one or both Pkd1 alleles were generated. Homozygous Pkd1-targeted deletion in WD-derived tissues resulted in mice with large cystic kidneys and serologic evidence of renal failure. In contrast, heterozygous deletion of Pkd1 in the WD led to kidneys that were phenotypically indistinguishable from control in the early postnatal period. High-throughput sequencing, however, revealed underlying gene and microRNA (miRNA) changes in these heterozygous mutant kidneys that suggest a strong predisposition toward developing ADPKD. Bioinformatic analysis of this data demonstrated an upregulation of several miRNAs that have been previously associated with PKD; pathway analysis further demonstrated that the differentially expressed genes in the heterozygous mutant kidneys were overrepresented in signaling pathways associated with maintenance and function of the renal tubular epithelium. These results suggest that the WD may be an early epithelial target for the genetic or molecular signals that can lead to cyst formation in ADPKD.
Oxidative stress is implicated in the aetiology of schizophrenia, and the antioxidant defence system (AODS) may be protective in this illness. We examined the major antioxidant glutathione (GSH) in prefrontal brain and its correlates with clinical and demographic variables in schizophrenia.
GSH levels were measured in the dorsolateral prefrontal region of 28 patients with chronic schizophrenia using a magnetic resonance spectroscopy sequence specifically adapted for GSH. We examined correlations of GSH levels with age, age at onset of illness, duration of illness, and clinical symptoms.
We found a negative correlation between GSH levels and age at onset (r = −0.46, p = 0.015), and a trend-level positive relationship between GSH and duration of illness (r = 0.34, p = 0.076).
Our findings are consistent with a possible compensatory upregulation of the AODS with longer duration of illness and suggest that the AODS may play a role in schizophrenia.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Norovirus, a major cause of gastroenteritis in people of all ages worldwide, was first reported in South Korea in 1999. The most common causal agents of pediatric acute gastroenteritis are norovirus and rotavirus. While vaccination has reduced the pediatric rotavirus infection rate, norovirus vaccines have not been developed. Therefore, prediction and prevention of norovirus are very important. Norovirus is divided into genogroups GI–GVII, with GII.4 being the most prevalent. However, in 2012–2013, GII.17 showed a higher incidence than GII.4 and a novel variant, GII.P17-GII.17, appeared. In this study, 204 stool samples collected in 2013–2014 were screened by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction; 11 GI (5.39%) and 45 GII (22.06%) noroviruses were identified. GI.4, GI.5, GII.4, GII.6 and GII.17 were detected. The whole genomes of the three norovirus GII.17 were sequenced. The whole genome of GII.17 consists of three open reading frames of 5109, 1623 and 780 bp. Compared with 20 GII.17 strains isolated in other countries, we observed numerous changes in the protruding P2 domain of VP1 in the Korean GII.17 viruses. Our study provided genome information that might aid in epidemic prevention, epidemiology studies and vaccine development.
Introduction: According to WHO, one third of patients aged ≥65 fall every year. Those falls account for 25% of all geriatric emergency department (ED) visits. Fear of falling (FOF) is common in older patients who sustained a fall and is associated with a decline in mobility and health issues for patients. We hypothesized that there is an association between FOF and return to ED (RTED) and future falls. Objective: To assess the relation between FOF and RTED and subsequent falls in older ED patients Methods: This research was conducted as part of the Canadian Emergency Team Initiative in elderly (CETIe) multicenter prospective cohort study from 2011 to 2016. Participants: Patients 65 years or older were assessed and discharged from ED following a minor trauma. They had to be independent in all basic activities of daily living and being able to communicate in English or French. Measures: Primary outcome was RTED and secondary outcome was subsequent falls. Both were self-reported at 3 and 6 months. Patients were stratified according to Short Falls Efficacy Scale International (SFES-I) score, assessing FOF in different situations. A total score is calculated to determine the mild, moderate or severe level of FOF. Previous falls and TUG were used to evaluate patients’ mobility. OARS, ISAR and SOF were used to evaluated patient frailty. Descriptive statistical were performed and multiple regression were performed to show the association between SFES-1 score and outcomes. Results: FOF was measured in 2899 participants, of which 2214 participated at the 3 months follow-up and 2009 participated at the 6 months follow-up. Odds Ratio (OR) of return to ED at 3 months was 1.10 for moderate FOF and 1.52 for severe FOF (Type 3 test p = 0.11). At 6 months, OR was 1.03 for moderate FOF and 1.25 for severe FOF (Type 3 test p = 0.63). OR of subsequent fall at 3 months was 1.80 for moderate FOF and 2.18 for severe FOF (Type 3 test p < 0.001). At 6 months, OR of subsequent fall was 1.63 for moderate FOF and 2.37 for severe FOF (Type 3 test p < 0.001). Conclusion: The multicenter cohort study showed that severe fear of falling is strongly associated with subsequent falls over the next 6 months following ED discharge, but not significantly associated with return to ED episodes. Further research should be done to analyze the association between severe FOF and RTED.
A cost-effective fabrication method to engineer metamaterial structures with micrometersize features and novel mechanical properties, which are suitable for terahertz applications, is reported herein. The effective metamaterial parameter extraction procedure is employed with the Kramers-Kronig relation to analyze the effective parameters of single- and multilayer metamaterial structures.
We have developed a novel strategy for elaborating composite plasmonic nanomaterials in a well controlled manner. Combining several techniques commonly used in microelectronic engineering, namely sputtering deposition, thermal oxidation, ultra low energy ion implantation, focused ion beam lithography, thermal or laser annealing, we have obtained 3D patterned optical layers. Their spatial and spectral responses take benefit of optical interference, plasmonic resonance effects and coupling between excitations in both near and far field regime. Moreover these structures show high level of uniformity, reproducibility and stability, and they preserve flat and chemically uniform surfaces.
The second order nonlinear optical (NLO) properties of two different ionic selfassembled multilayer (ISAM) films combined with Ag nanoparticles have been investigated. The plasmon resonances in the Ag particles concentrate the incident light, markedly increasing in the NLO efficiencies of the films. We find that the efficiency enhancement is significantly larger in conventional ISAM films compared to films made using a hybrid covalent ISAM technique (HCISAM), even though the intrinsic bulk second order non-linear susceptibility (χ(2)) is much larger for HCISAM films. We attribute this to the interfaces in HCISAM films being much easier to disrupt by external perturbations such as the metal deposition by which the nanoparticles are fabricated. We conclude that because the plasmon decay length is very short, the plasmonic enhancement of NLO effects primarily occurs at and near the film-particle interface. To discern the importance of the interfaces, we surrounded thin ISAM and HCISAM films with NLOinactive buffer layers, which confirmed this hypothesis, particularly in the case of HCISAM films.
Reciprocal space mapping can be efficiently carried out using a position-sensitive x-ray detector (PSD) coupled to a traditional double-axis diffractometer. The PSD offers parallel measurement of the total scattering angle of all diffracted x-rays during a single rocking-curve scan. As a result, a two-dimensional reciprocal space map can be made in a very short time similar to that of a one-dimensional rocking-curve scan. Fast, efficient reciprocal space mapping offers numerous routine advantages to the x-ray diffraction analyst. Some of these advantages arc the explicit differentiation of lattice strain from crystal orientation effects in strain-relaxed heteroepitaxial layers; the nondestructive characterization of the size, shape and orientation of nanocrystalline domains in ordered-alloy epilayers; and the ability to measure the average size and shape of voids in porous epilayers. Here, the PSD-based diffractometer is described, and specific examples clearly illustrating the advantages of complete reciprocal space analysis are presented.
A new ESCA (electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis) instrument has been developed to provide high sensitivity and efficient operation for laboratory analysis of composition and chemical bonding in very thin surface layers of solid samples. High sensitivity is achieved by means of the high-intensity, efficient X-ray source described by Davies and Herglotz at the 1968 Denver X-Ray Conference, in combination with the new electron energy analyzer described by Lee at the 1972 Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy. A sample chamber designed to provide for rapid introduction and replacement of samples has adequate facilities for various sample treatments and conditioning followed immediafely by ESCA analysis of the sample.
Examples of application are presented, demonstrating the sensitivity and resolution achievable with this instrument. Its usefulness in trace surface analysis is shown and some “chemical shifts” measured by the instrument are compared with those obtained by X-ray spectroscopy.