To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Multiple studies on regional glacier mass balance in the Pamir Mountains have been conducted using the geodetic method, but they were rarely extended to the period before 2000. In this study, we used KH-9 imagery acquired in 1975 to generate the historical DEM for the central Pamir, and then obtained the glacier elevation change by comparing this with the SRTM C-band DEM. The penetration depth of the C-band radar was corrected for different glacier surfaces, i.e. 2.96, 1.68 and 0 m for firn/snow cover, bare ice and debris-covered areas, respectively. The final results suggest that the central Pamir glaciers, overall, experienced a near-zero mass balance of −0.03 ± 0.24 m w.e. a−1 for 1975–99. Due to glacier surge activity, the elevation change patterns of individual glaciers were highly variable, and their mass balances varied from −0.12 ± 0.26 to 0.63 ± 0.20 m w.e. a−1. The mean mass budgets of the surge-type glaciers and non-surge-type glaciers were 0.03 ± 0.14 and −0.05 ± 0.28 m w.e. a−1, respectively. Concurring with previous studies, we conclude that the central Pamir glaciers may have been in a state of approximately balanced mass budget or slight mass deficit from the mid-1970s to the mid-2010s.
In high power laser facility for inertial confinement fusion research, final optics assembly (FOA) plays a critical role in the frequency conversion, beam focusing, color separation, beam sampling and debris shielding. The design and performance of FOA in SG-II Upgrade laser facility are mainly introduced here. Due to the limited space and short focal length, a coaxial aspheric wedged focus lens is designed and applied in the FOA configuration. Then the ghost image analysis, the focus characteristic analysis, the B integral control design and the optomechanical design are carried out in the FOA design phase. In order to ensure the FOA performance, two key technologies are developed including measurement and adjustment technique of the wedged focus lens and the stray light management technique based on ground glass. Experimental results show that the design specifications including laser fluence, frequency conversion efficiency and perforation efficiency of the focus spot have been achieved, which meet the requirements of physical experiments well.
The Shen-Guang II Upgrade (SG-II-U) laser facility consists of eight high-power nanosecond laser beams and one short-pulse picosecond petawatt laser. It is designed for the study of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), especially for conducting fast ignition (FI) research in China and other basic science experiments. To perform FI successfully with hohlraum targets containing a golden cone, the long-pulse beam and cylindrical hohlraum as well as the short-pulse beam and cone target alignment must satisfy tight specifications (30 and
rms for each case). To explore new ICF ignition targets with six laser entrance holes (LEHs), a rotation sensor was adapted to meet the requirements of a three-dimensional target and correct beam alignment. In this paper, the strategy for aligning the nanosecond beam based on target alignment sensor (TAS) is introduced and improved to meet requirements of the picosecond lasers and the new six LEHs hohlraum targets in the SG-II-U facility. The expected performance of the alignment system is presented, and the alignment error is also discussed.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
Mechanical reliability is a critical issue in all forms of energy conversion, storage, and harvesting. In Li-ion batteries, mechanical degradation caused by the repetitive swelling and shrinking of electrodes upon lithiation cycles is now well recognized; however, the impact of mechanical stresses on Li transport and hence the capacity of batteries is less obvious and underestimated. In particular, the stress field within the heterogeneous electrodes is complex, making the characterization of the chemomechanical behaviors of electrodes a challenging task. We develop a finite element program that computes the coupled Li diffusion and stresses in three-dimensional composite electrodes. We employ the reconstructed models of both cathode and anode materials to investigate the mechanical interactions of the constituents and their influence on the accessible capacity. The state of charge in the percolated particles is highly inhomogeneous regulated by the stress field. An ample space of design is open for the optimization of the capacity and mechanical performance of electrodes by tuning the size, shape, and pattern of active particles, as well as the properties of the inactive matrix.
Interleukin (IL)-13-associated signal pathway plays an important role in schistosomiasis hepatic fibrosis. In this study we tried to investigate the effects of corilagin to ameliorate schistosomiasis hepatic fibrosis through regulating IL-13-associated signal pathway in vitro and in vivo. Cellular model was set up with hepatic stellate cells-T6 cells stimulated by rIL-13 and male Balb/c mice were infected with Schistosoma japonicum cercariaeas as animal model. Liver histological changes were observed with haematoxylin and eosin staining. Masson staining was employed to observe the change of egg granulomas. Expression of Col (collagen) and Col III were examined with Immunohistochemistry. Western bolt was employed to detect the JAK-1 and IL13Rα1 proteins. The mRNA expression of Col I, Col III, IL-13, JAK-1 and IL13Rα1 were tested by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. As a result, less inflammatory changes were found in all corilagin groups compared with model group and praziquantel group. The mRNA levels of Col I, Col III, IL-13, JAK-1 and IL13Rα1 were significantly decreased after corilagin intervention (P < 0·01). JAK-1 and IL-13Rα1 protein levels were also greatly decreased in the corilagin groups (P < 0·01). In conclusion, corilagin could ameliorate schistosomiasis hepatic fibrosis by down-regulating the expression of IL-13 and signal molecules in IL-13 pathway.
Monitoring of oriental fruit moths (Grapholita molesta Busck) is a prerequisite for its control. This study introduced a digital image-processing method and logistic model for the control of oriental fruit moths. First, five triangular sex pheromone traps were installed separately within each area of 667 m2 in a peach orchard to monitor oriental fruit moths consecutively for 3 years. Next, full view images of oriental fruit moths were collected via a digital camera and then subjected to graying, separation and morphological analysis for automatic counting using MATLAB software. Afterwards, the results of automatic counting were used for fitting a logistic model to forecast the control threshold and key control period. There was a high consistency between automatic counting and manual counting (0.99, P < 0.05). According to the logistic model, oriental fruit moths had four occurrence peaks during a year, with a time-lag of 15–18 days between adult occurrence peak and the larval damage peak. Additionally, the key control period was from 28 June to 3 July each year, when the wormy fruit rate reached up to 5% and the trapping volume was approximately 10.2 per day per trap. Additionally, the key control period for the overwintering generation was 25 April. This study provides an automatic counting method and fitted logistic model with a great potential for application to the control of oriental fruit moths.
The occurrence of a relapse during abstinence is an important issue that must be addressed during treatment for drug addiction. We investigated the influence of drug exposure pattern on morphine-seeking behaviour following withdrawal. We also studied the role of the hippocampus in this process to confirm its involvement in drug relapse.
Male Sprague–Dawley rats that were trained to self-administer morphine (1.0 mg/kg) using 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 h daily sessions underwent withdrawal in their home cages and were re-exposed to the operant chamber to evaluate morphine-seeking behaviour. During the relapse session, rats were intravenously injected with morphine (0.25 mg/kg) or saline before re-exposure to the chamber. In the second experiment, rats were administered a microinjection of saline or cobalt chloride (CoCl2, 1 mM), a synaptic blocker, into the CA1 of the hippocampus prior to the relapse test.
In the first experiment, more morphine-seeking behaviour was observed in the 2 h group (animals trained to self-administer morphine during a 2 h daily session spread over 21 days) during the relapse session, despite all groups being exposed to similar amounts of morphine during the training period before withdrawal. In the second experiment, pretreatment with CoCl2 markedly reduced morphine-seeking behaviour in the 2 h group.
The present findings suggest that the exposure pattern influences the degree of relapse and that control of memorisation is important for prevention of relapse.
In this paper, preconditioned iterative methods for solving two-dimensional space-fractional diffusion equations are considered. The fractional diffusion equation is discretized by a second-order finite difference scheme, namely, the Crank-Nicolson weighted and shifted Grünwald difference (CN-WSGD) scheme proposed in [W. Tian, H. Zhou and W. Deng, A class of second order difference approximation for solving space fractional diffusion equations, Math. Comp., 84 (2015) 1703-1727]. For the discretized linear systems, we first propose preconditioned iterative methods to solve them. Then we apply the D’Yakonov ADI scheme to split the linear systems and solve the obtained splitting systems by iterative methods. Two preconditioned iterative methods, the preconditioned generalized minimal residual (preconditioned GMRES) method and the preconditioned conjugate gradient normal residual (preconditioned CGNR) method, are proposed to solve relevant linear systems. By fully exploiting the structure of the coefficient matrix, we design two special kinds of preconditioners, which are easily constructed and are able to accelerate convergence of iterative solvers. Numerical results show the efficiency of our preconditioners.
Salivary α-amylase (sAA) is responsible for the ‘pre-digestion’ of starch in the oral cavity and accounts for up to 50 % of salivary protein in human saliva. An accumulating body of literature suggests that sAA is of nutritional importance; however, it is still not clear how sAA is related to individual's nutritional status. Although copy number variations (CNV) of the salivary amylase gene (AMY1) are associated with variation in sAA levels, a significant amount of sAA variation is not explained by AMY1 CNV. To measure sAA responses to gustatory stimulation with citric acid, we used sAA ratio (the ratio of stimulated sAA levels to those of resting sAA) and investigated acute sAA responses to citric acid in children with normal (Normal-BMI, n 22) and low (Low-BMI, n 21) BMI. The AMY1 gene copy number was determined by quantitative PCR. We, for the first time, demonstrated attenuated acute sAA responses (decreased sAA ratio) to gustatory stimulation in Low-BMI (thinness grade 3) children compared with the Normal-BMI children, which suggest that sAA responses to gustatory stimulation may be of nutritional importance. However, child's nutritional status was not directly related to their resting or stimulated sAA levels, and it was not associated with AMY1 gene copy number. Finally, AMY1 CNV might influence, but did not eventually determine, sAA levels in children.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of hyperhomocysteinaemia (HHCY; total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) concentration >15 μmol/l) and its major determinants in healthy Chinese northerners. A descriptive and cross-sectional study was conducted in Shaanxi Province, China. The study sample included 2645 participants (1042 men and 1603 women) aged >20 years. Demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors were assessed via questionnaire interviews and physical examination. Plasma levels of homocysteine and folate and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphism were determined according to standard methods. The prevalence of HHCY was 67·7 % (81·4 % in men and 58·8 % in women). The geometric mean of tHcy concentration was 19·1 μmol/l. The OR of HHCY were 0·44 (95 % CI 0·34, 0·57) for women v. men; 1·95 (95 % CI 1·41, 2·70), 1·41 (95 % CI 1·05, 1·88) and 0·76 (95 % CI 0·64, 0·89) for participants with smoking and alcohol drinking cessation and improved physical activity levels, respectively; 0·25 (95 % CI 0·17, 0·38), 0·33 (95 % CI 0·22, 0·49) and 0·56 (95 % CI 0·36, 0·88) for participants with an education level of elementary school, secondary school and university v. illiterate, respectively; 1·41 (95 % CI 1·13, 1·75) and 3·05 (95 % CI 2·35, 3·97) for participants with CT and TT v. CC genotype at MTHFR 677C → T polymorphism, respectively. These results demonstrate that the prevalence of HHCY is considerably high in Chinese northerners, especially in TT subjects, suggesting that implementation of tHcy-lowering strategies, such as lifestyle changes, is necessary.
In this paper, we study the (3+1)-dimensional generalized Johnson model, which can be used to describe the dust-ion-acoustic waves in a cosmic unmagnetized dusty plasma, and its perturbed model, which can be found in an unmagnetized dusty plasma for the electron temperature below the Curie temperature. (I) For the original model: Bilinear form and soliton solutions are obtained. Amplitude of the one soliton reaches the maximum when the equilibrium electron (ne0) and ion (ni0) densities take certain values which correspond with ne0/ni0 = 2. Overtaking and head-on interactions between the two solitons are given. (II) For the perturbed model: Phase projections are given numerically. Via the spectral analysis, two kinds of chaotic motions, i.e., the weak and developed chaos, are investigated. Largest Lyapunov exponents and power spectra are investigated to corroborate that those motions are indeed chaotic. Dynamic behavior of such a perturbed model varying with the external perturbation is different when the nonlinear term changes. With the damped term considered, two kinds of periodic motions are studied, and spectra of those periodic motions are also given. Through the comparison between the chaotic motions and periodic ones, possible chaotic or periodic motions in the perturbed model can be predicted.
In this paper, we demonstrate a thin film Cu–Ni–Nb alloy deposited directly on silicon, without a designated barrier, showing very high thermal stability at a temperature up to 700 °C for 1 h. Thin [Nb–Ni12]Cux films were sputter deposited and annealed, and their material and electrical properties were studied. The results can be explained by the “cluster-plus-glue atom” model for stable solid solutions, where [Nb–Ni12] cuboctahedral clusters are embedded in a Cu matrix. In this model, the clusters are congruent with the Cu minimizing atomic interactions allowing a good stability. The properties of the films were found to be affected by the Ni/Nb ratios. Especially, the (Nb1.2/13.2Ni12/13.2)0.3Cu99.7 film annealed at 500 °C for 1 h had the lowest electrical resistivity of about 2.7 μΩ cm. And even after 40 h annealing at 500 °C, it maintained a low resistivity of about 2.8 μΩ cm, demonstrating extremely high stabilities against silicide formation.
Polycrystalline Ba8Ga16MgxGe30−x compounds were synthesized by combining solid-state reaction with spark plasma sintering (SPS) method. The structural and electronic properties of Mg-substituted Ge type-I clathrate phase Ba8Ga16MgxGe30−x (x = 1, 2, 3, 4) were investigated experimentally and theoretically. Theoretically structural and electronic properties of Ba8Ga16MgxGe30−x were calculated by first-principles method based on the density-functional theory. The results indicate a strong preference for the occupation of the 6c sites by Mg. It is found that Mg substitution for Ge can lower the melting points and bulk modulus of this system. The formation energies and the binding energies decrease with increasing Mg content, suggesting that the Mg-doped Ba8Ga16Ge30 clathrates are stable in a limited range of composition. The calculated results show that these alloys are all indirect gap semiconductors and the values of band gap increase with the increase of Mg content. All specimens exhibit the behavior of the p-type conduction, which is originated from the presence of a shallow acceptor energy level. The electrical conductivity and the room-temperature carrier mobility decrease with increasing Mg content, while the room-temperature carrier concentration increases with increasing Mg content.
In vitro fertilized (IVF) human embryos have a high incidence of developmental arrest before the blastocyst stage, therefore characterization of the molecular mechanisms that regulate embryo development is urgently required. Post-transcriptional control by microRNAs (miRNAs) is one of the most investigated RNA control mechanisms, and is hypothesized to be involved actively in developmental arrest in preimplantation embryos. In this study, we extracted total RNA from mouse 2-cell and 4-cell embryos. Using a miRNA microarray, 192 miRNAs were found to be differentially expressed in 4-cell embryos and 2-cell embryos; 122 miRNAs were upregulated and 70 were downregulated in 4-cell embryos. The microarray results were confirmed by real-time quantitative RT-PCR for six miRNAs (mmu-miR-467h, mmu-miR-466d-3p, mmu-miR-292–5p, mmu-miR-154, mmu-miR-2145, and mmu-miR-706). Cdca4 and Tcf12 were identified as miR-154 target genes by target prediction analysis. This study provides a developmental map for a large number of miRNAs in 2-cell and 4-cell embryos. The function of these miRNAs and the mechanisms by which they modulate embryonic developmental arrest require further study. The results of this study have potential applications in the field of reproductive medicine.
The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between age and risk for depression among the old and the oldest old.
MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library database were used to identify potential studies. The studies were divided into cross-sectional and longitudinal subsets. For each study, the numbers of the total participants, cases (for cross-sectional study), or incident cases (for longitudinal study) of depression in each age group were extracted and entered into Review Manager 4.2 software. Qualitative meta-analyses of cross-sectional studies and of longitudinal studies were performed. For prevalence and incidence rates of depression, odds risk (OR) and relative risk (RR) were calculated, respectively.
The qualitative meta-analyses showed that, compared with younger participants (above vs. below 65 years, above vs. below 70 years, above vs. below 75 years, and above vs. below 80 years), older age groups had a significantly higher risk for depression. (All of the ORs and RRs were significant.) Compared with participants aged 55–89, those aged above 90 years had no higher risk for depression. (Neither the OR nor the RR was significant.)
Despite the methodological limitations of this meta-analysis, older age appears to be an important risk factor for depression in the general elderly population (aged below 80 years), but not in the oldest population (aged above 85 years).