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Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and soft tissue. Susceptibility to cellulitis is related to microorganism virulence, the host immunity status and environmental factors. This retrospective study from 2001 to 2013 investigated relationships between the monthly incidence rate of cellulitis and meteorological factors using data from the Taiwanese Health Insurance Dataset and the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau. Meteorological data included temperature, hours of sunshine, relative humidity, total rainfall and total number of rainy days. In otal, 195 841 patients were diagnosed with cellulitis and the incidence rate was strongly correlated with temperature (γS = 0.84, P < 0.001), total sunshine hours (γS = 0.65, P < 0.001) and total rainfall (γS = 0.53, P < 0.001). The incidence rate of cellulitis increased by 3.47/100 000 cases for every 1° elevation in environmental temperature. Our results may assist clinicians in educating the public of the increased risk of cellulitis during warm seasons and possible predisposing environmental factors for infection.
3D ordered bimodal mesoporous carbon (OBMC) with a high specific surface area of 1368.7 m2/g, ordered large mesopores, and small mesopores on the walls is prepared by a surfactant-free rapid method using SiO2 nanosphere arrays as templates. The resulting OBMC is then composited with sulfur to prepare S/OBMC hybrids via a simple solution infiltration method followed by a heat treatment process. In S/OBMC composite, sulfur is uniformly infiltrated inside the 3D hierarchical pores of OBMC. On the basis of this systematic design, the obtained S/OBMC cathode shows a large discharge capacity value of 1590 mA h/g at first cycle and maintains 989 mA h/g after 100 cycles at 0.2 C. Furthermore, at 1 C charge–discharge rate, a reversible discharge capacity of 733 mA h/g after 100 cycles is reached. The extraordinary electrochemical property of S/OBMC derives from the unique bimodal mesoporous structure with large mesopores and small mesopores that can facilitate the mass transfer and strict dissolution of polysulfide species into the electrolyte.
Propofol is a intravenous anaesthetic most commonly used in ultrasound oocyte retrieval. We studied if the use of propofol had an effect on mouse oocyte maturation, pregnancy, childbirth and progeny and investigated the correlation between propofol side effects and reproductive performance in mice. There was no statistical difference in mating, pregnancy, childbirth, litter size, the number of stillbirths and survival between each group (P>0.05). Propofol also had no effect on polar body extrusion in oocyte maturation as well as on pronucleus formation and, subsequently, early embryo development (P>0.05). An increased concentration of propofol had no effect on this result, although propofol at more than 0.01 mg/ml reduced polar body extrusion. Different concentrations of propofol had no effect on oocyte culture in vitro, pronucleus formation and early embryo development.
Manipulating the thermal conductivity of solids is important for practical applications. Due to the fact that phonons in thermoelectric materials have longer mean free paths (MFPs) than electrons, strengthening phonon scattering to reduce lattice thermal conductivity (κlat) becomes the most straightforward and effective approach to enhance the thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, which determines the maximum device efficiency. Phonons have a wide range of MFPs in semiconductors, and different dimensions of lattice defects can be targeted to scatter particular phonons with distinct relaxation times. Designing hierarchical nano-microstructures, spanning from point defects to volume defects, would be beneficial to achieve low κlat via a full spectrum of phonon scattering. Herein, we review the formation and underlying mechanisms for lattice defects and highlight the role of all-scale hierarchical nano-microstructure on phonon engineering. Existing challenges in simulations are also discussed.
Babesiosis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis prevalent in large parts of the world. This study was designed to determine the rates of Babesia microti infection among small rodents in Yunnan province, where human cases of babesiosis have been reported. Currently, distribution of Babesia in its endemic regions is largely unknown. In this study, we cataloged 1672 small wild rodents, comprising 4 orders, from nine areas in western Yunnan province between 2009 and 2011. Babesia microti DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 4·3% (72/1672) of the rodents analyzed. The most frequently infected rodent species included Apodemus chevrieri and Niviventer fulvescens. Rodents from forests and shrublands had significantly higher Babesia infection rates. Genetic comparisons revealed that Babesia was most similar to the Kobe- and Otsu-type strains identified in Japan. A variety of rodent species might be involved in the enzootic maintenance and transmission of B. microti, supporting the need for further serological investigations in humans.
Disclosing the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to a patient is controversial. There is significant stigma associated with a diagnosis of AD or dementia in China, but the attitude of the society toward disclosure of such a diagnosis had not been formally evaluated prior to our study. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the attitude toward disclosing an AD diagnosis to patients in China with cognitive impairment from their caregivers, and the factors that may affect their attitude.
We designed a 17-item questionnaire and administered this questionnaire to caregivers, who accompanied patients with cognitive impairment or dementia in three major hospitals in Shanghai, China. The caregiver's attitude toward disclosing the diagnosis of AD as evaluated by the questionnaire was compared to that of disclosing the diagnosis of terminal cancer.
A majority (95.7%) of the 175 interviewed participants (mean 14.2 years of education received) wished to know their own diagnosis if they were diagnosed with AD, and 97.6% preferred the doctor to tell their family members if they were diagnosed with AD. If a family member of the participants suffered from AD, 82.9% preferred to have the diagnosis disclosed to the patient. “Cognitive impairment” was the most accepted term by caregivers to disclose AD diagnosis in Chinese.
This study suggests most of the well-educated individuals in a Chinese urban area favored disclosing the diagnosis when they or their family members were diagnosed with AD.
To eliminate the effect of subjective factors during manually determining the pearlite spheroidization grade of steel by analysis of optical metallography images, a novel method combining image mining and artificial neural networks (ANN) is proposed. The four co-occurrence matrices of angular second moment, contrast, correlation, and entropy are adopted to objectively characterize the images. ANN is employed to establish a mathematical model between the four co-occurrence matrices and the corresponding spheroidization grade. Three materials used in coal-fired power plants (ASTM A315-B steel, ASTM A335-P12 steel, and ASTM A355-P11 steel) were selected as the samples to test the validity of our proposed method. The results indicate that the accuracies of the calculated spheroidization grades reach 99.05, 95.46, and 93.63%, respectively. Hence, our newly proposed method is adequate for automatically detecting the pearlite spheroidization grade of steel using optical metallography.
From November 24 to December 10, 2013, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy [PLA(N)] hospital ship Peace Ark was deployed to the Leyte Gulf in the Philippines to provide humanitarian medical relief in Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan. The purpose of this study was to assess the radiological services aboard the ship to provide guidance for future missions.
A retrospective review was performed on a cohort of 109 patients who underwent digital radiography (DR) and 59 patients who underwent computed tomography (CT) scans during a 16-day period during a humanitarian medical relief mission to the Philippines. Patient demographics, DR findings, and CT findings were analyzed.
The mean age of the 109 DR patients was 39.7 years for the 64 males and 43.7 years for the 45 females. A total of 148 DR examinations were performed of the chest (n=109), extremities (n=35), and spine (n=4). The mean age of the 59 CT patients was 43.8 years for the 32 males and 49.1 years for the 27 females. A total of 72 CT scans were performed of the head and neck (n=36), thorax (n=24), abdomen (n=5), spine (n=4), and extremities (n=3). The imaging findings mainly included disaster-related and non-disaster-related fractures, pulmonary tuberculosis, pulmonary infection, acute brain infarction, intracranial hematoma, and occupying lesions.
Analysis of radiological services during a humanitarian medical relief mission to the Philippines provided meaningful information for future humanitarian medical relief missions. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:16–19)
The present study conducted a 9-week feeding trial to investigate the effects of threonine (Thr) on the digestion capacity and hepatopancreas gene expression of juvenile blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala). For this purpose, three tanks (300 litres/tank) were randomly arranged and assigned to each experimental diet. Juvenile fish were fed with diets containing graded Thr levels (0·58, 1·08, 1·58, 2·08 or 2·58 % of the diet) to apparent satiation four times daily. At the end of the feeding trial, the results indicated that hepatopancreas weight, hepatosomatic index, hepatopancreatic protein content, intestinal weight, intestosomatic index and intestinal protein content increased with increasing dietary Thr levels up to 1·58 % and thereafter decreased (P< 0·05). The activities of chymotrypsin, trypsin, amylase and lipase elevated as dietary Thr levels increased up to 1·58 % (P< 0·05), while these activities decreased in most cases after 1·58 % dietary Thr except for chymotrypsin and trypsin in the hepatopancreas (plateau 1·58–2·08 % Thr). The relative gene expression levels of chymotrypsin, trypsin, amylase, lipase, target of rapamycin and insulin-like growth factor-I were up-regulated, and the highest values were observed with 1·58 % dietary Thr or 1·58 and 2·08 % dietary Thr, whereas the relative gene expression levels of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 2 gradually decreased (P< 0·10) as dietary Thr levels increased up to 1·58 % and thereafter significantly increased (P< 0·05), which could explain that about 1·58 % dietary Thr could improve the growth and development of digestive organs and activities of digestive enzymes of juvenile blunt snout bream.
The distribution of the Critically Endangered tree Manglietia longipedunculata, of which there are only 11 known wild individuals, is restricted to the Nankunshan Nature Reserve in South China. The species is threatened with extinction because of its small number of individuals and the impediments to its reproduction (a combination of protogyny, a short period of stigma receptivity, and a lack of efficient pollinators). To reduce the risk of extinction we conducted two conservation translocation trials: one to augment the sole extant population, and the other 202 km north of the current range. The latter trial was a conservation introduction in which the goals were to increase the population and to buffer against the effects of climate change. We used emerged and grafted seedlings as translocation materials. We compared the survival, growth, and eco-physiological properties of emerged and grafted seedlings at the two sites. The survival rate and growth were higher for grafted seedlings than for emerged seedlings at both sites. Eco-physiological data indicated that grafted seedlings at both sites were as efficient or more so in light and water usage than wild individuals, whereas emerged seedlings were less efficient. Grafted seedlings attained the flowering stage sooner than emerged seedlings. Our study suggests that grafting can facilitate the augmentation and establishment of new populations of M. longipedunculata and perhaps of new populations of other threatened species facing reproductive difficulties and climate change.
Ca0.98Eu0.02Al1−4δ/3Si1+δN3 (δ = 0–0.36) red-emitting phosphors were prepared by carbothermal reduction and nitridation method with stable and inexpensive CaCO3 as Ca source. Optimal nominal composition was obtained at δ = 0.18, showing intense emission peaked at 625 nm and high external quantum efficiency of 71%. The emission wave length could be successfully tuned from 630 to 606 nm with increasing δ value. Ca0.98Eu0.02Al1−4δ/3Si1+δN3 phosphors provided two coordinated environments for Eu2+ ions, resulting in two fitted Gaussian peaks. Energy transfer from Eu2+ sites in Si-rich environments to those in Si/Al-equivalent modes has been confirmed by analysis of the decay curve of each peak. The decay behaviors suggested that energy transfer effect slowed with higher δ value. Finally, warm white light was created by combining as-prepared red-emitting Ca0.98Eu0.02Al0.76Si1.18N3 and yellow-emitting YAG:Ce3+ phosphors with a blue-emitting chip, exhibiting a color rendering index Ra of 91 at a low correlated color temperature of 3500 K with a luminous efficiency of 79 lm/W.
Tigridiopalma magnifica, a perennial herb and the only species in the genus Tigridiopalma (Family Melastomataceae) is rare and endemic to China where it is categorized as Critically Endangered on the national Red List. Twelve locations with populations of T. magnifica have been identified (1 extinct, 11 extant). T. magnifica only grows in the surface soil on stone walls or rocks under the canopy of secondary forests and plantations and has no specific associated plant species. Canopy closure, soil water content and the distance to the closest stream are the main factors influencing the distribution of T. magnifica. We reintroduced T. magnifica plantlets produced by tissue culture into three locations: one within the species' original range, and 11.5 and 400 km from the species' original range. After 11 months survival rate was 40–58% but survival was higher and plantlet crowns were larger at the location within the species' original range than at the other two sites. The combination of advanced propagation techniques and ecological restoration could facilitate reintroduction and conservation of T. magnifica and other rare and threatened plants. This example of the successful reintroduction of a rare, threatened herb has implications for human-assisted migration and colonization of rare plant species under future climate change scenarios.
A chemotaxonomic study was carried out on the Lethariella cladonioides complex, including L. sernanderi and L. cashmeriana of the subgenus Chlorea, based on extensive field surveys and a detailed morphological and chemical analysis. Only one species, L. cladonioides made up of five chemical races, is recognized. Lethariella sernanderi and L. cashmeriana are reduced to synonyms under L. cladonioides. The presence of a remarkable chemical polymorphism within the population of L. cladonioides is demonstrated. New data on the chemistry and the distribution of the species are presented.
Longzhua loculata n. gen. n. sp., a new Pennsylvanian Archaeorthoptera (i.e., stem-Orthoptera), is described from the Tupo Formation based on 64 specimens, including an individual with parts of body and legs preserved. The range of intra-specific variation in forewing venation pattern is documented in detail. Well-preserved isolated hind wings are associated with forewings based on more complete material. The combination of character states exhibited by the new species indicates relationships with the extinct order Cnemidolestodea. Mandibular and prothoracic morphology suggest that Longzhua loculata n. gen. n. sp. had carnivorous and predatory habits.
Increasing attention has been paid to Spirulina for its potential clinical uses. The present study investigated the protection by dietary Spirulina platensis against d-galactosamine (d-GalN)- and acetaminophen (APAP)-induced hepatitis in ICR mice. Mice in each group (n 6) were fed with a standard diet (American Institute of Nutrition (AIN)-93G), a positive control diet containing 0·5 % butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), or a diet containing 3, 6 or 9 % S. platensis for 1 week. On the last day the mice were treated with d-GalN (300 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) or APAP (150 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) and 24 h later the mice were killed. The doses of both 6 and 9 % S. platensis were found to significantly alleviate the increase of serum glutamate oxaloacetoacetate transaminase (GOT) and glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) activities in d-GalN- or APAP-intoxicated mice. The observation was very similar to that of the positive control groups. Two more experiments were carried out to investigate the involvement of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and IL-18 in the suppression of 6 % S. platensis on d-GalN- and APAP-induced hepatitis. The significant increase of GOT and GPT activities was found to be accompanied with the elevation of hepatic TBARS level, IL-18 mRNA expression and serum IL-18 concentration, and was significantly alleviated by supplementation with 6 % S. platensis in diets. These results showed that dietary S. platensis could provide a significant protection against d-GalN- and APAP-induced liver injuries, and IL-18 and lipid peroxidation might be involved in the protective influence of S. platensis.
Simple sequence repeat (SSR) analysis was performed on five Secale species, four Triticum species and a Triticale line Fenzhi-1 using 102 pairs of microsatellite primers. A 387-bp specific DNA fragment FZ387 (GenBank accession no. EF179137) was obtained from the Triticale Fenzhi-1 with primer Xgwm614, without amplification in Secale. NCBI BLAST revealed that this FZ387 sequence had 94% and 95% similarity to part of the Gypsy Ty3-LTR retrotransposon Fatima in Triticum monoccocum (AY485644) and Triticum turgidum (AY494981), respectively. A pair of specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers, FaF and FaR, was designed based on the conserved region of this FZ387 sequence. The amplification of primer pair Xgwm614F and FaR revealed that a specific 350-bp band (designation as A350) was obtained from the species containing A chromosomes. Furthermore, PCR on Langdon Chinese Spring substitution lines was performed, and the results found that this segment was located on both long and short arms of all A chromosomes. However, the amplification of primer pair FaF and Xgwm614R gave rise to a specific DNA band of about 350 bp (designated AB350) from materials containing A and/or B chromosomes. The wild species of wheat and the relatives were amplified using the two pairs of primers, and revealed that only A350 and AB350 were found in Chinese Spring (CS). Sequence comparison and variation of SSR primers binding regions of FZ387 indicated that significant diversity might exist in the internal sequence of this Fatima-like element among triticeae genomes. Meanwhile, both A350 and AB350 can be used as molecular markers for the detection of A and AB genomes.
The electrical properties of Ni-based ohmic contacts N-face p-type GaN are presented. The specific contact resistance of N-face p-GaN exhibits a liner decrease from 1.01 × cm2 to 9.05 × 10-3 Ω cm2 for the as-deposited and the annealed Ni/Au contacts, respectively, with increasing annealing temperature Furthermore, the specific contact resistance could be decreased by four orders of magnitude to 1.03 × 10-4 Ω cm2 as a result of surface treatment using an alcohol-based (NH4)2S solution. The depth profile data measured by the intensity of O1s core peak in the x-ray photoemission spectra showed that the alcohol-based (NH4)2S treatment was effective in removing of the surface oxide layer of GaN. In addition, a Ga 2p core-level peak showed a red-shift of binding energy by 0.3 eV by alcohol-based (NH4)2S treatment, indicating that the surface Fermi level was shifted toward the valence-band edge. Thus, the low ohmic contact behavior observed in our treated sample might be explained in terms of the removal of the oxide layer and reducing the barrier heights by reduced band-bending effect.
The elements for the Semliki forest virus (SFV) RNA replicon were obtained from the Alphavirus genome. It was designed to overcome the poor efficacy of some current plasmid vectors. Genes coding for viral replicases are preserved while genes coding for structural proteins are replaced by foreign genes in the RNA replicon. High levels of RNA replication and expression of foreign genes in the cytoplasm are regulated by the replicases. To evaluate the effects of the SFV RNA replicon on the improvement of gene expression, a LacZ gene was inserted into pIRES-neo digested by BamHI and dephosphorylated by alkaline phosphatase to construct pIRES-neo-LacZ. The RNA replicon vector pCMV-rep-LacZ and two conventional cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter-based vectors (pLNCX-LacZ and pIRES-neo-LacZ) were transfected, using Lipofectin, to prepared 293 cells. Growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) expression vectors (pCMV-Rep-GHRH, pCDNA3.1(+)-GHRH and pIRES-neo-GHRH) were also tested using the same procedure. Target gene expression was detected with radioimmunoassay (RIA) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results showed that the expression level of the RNA replicon vector was 2–3 times higher than with normal plasmid vectors. This result will help to improve the efficiency of gene expression in eukaryotic cells.
The existence of a sex pheromone of Bradysia odoriphaga Yang and Zhang was investigated prior to the possible development of a semiochemical-based monitoring system or tools for controlling this pest. In laboratory bioassays, live virgin females stimulated 91% of males to attempt to mate. Methylene dichloride washes of whole bodies and excised ovipositors of females attracted males in olfactometer assays. These results indicate the presence of a female sex pheromone in B. odoriphaga, with the ovipositor as its possible source.