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Methods for the control of molecular deposition and orientation are critical for the development of organic electronic devices. Here, we show the fabrication of ribbons of the optical material polydiacetylene (PDA) using a controlled evaporative self-assembly method. The ability to form these ribbons is highly dependent on both the side groups on the PDA as well as the solvent used in the preparation. Arrays of ribbons of one type of PDA, poly[1,6-di(N-carbazolyl)-2,4-hexadiyne], with widths on the order of 1–2 µm and lengths of 100s of micrometers, could be successfully obtained with good orientation.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains an important problem among end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. We reviewed the epidemiology of TB and ESRD, investigations of TB exposures in US dialysis facilities, and published guidelines to inform screening and treatment practices among US ESRD patients. Compared to TB in the general population, ESRD patients have 6–25-fold higher TB incidence rates, and mortality during treatment is 2–3-fold higher. Most TB cases among ESRD patients (~90%) occur among non–US-born persons, and an analysis of genotyping data suggests that 80% of all cases result from latent TB infection (LTBI) reactivation. Published TB contact investigations in dialysis facilities have reported cases among ESRD patients and healthcare workers. However, transmission of TB is rare: there were no reports of secondary cases of TB because of exposure to an index-case patient and there were few TB infections, which was demonstrated by low occurrence of newly positive tuberculin skin tests (12%–16%) and conversions (8%–17%) among contacts. Targeted TB education, screening, and treatment for ESRD patients at highest risk for TB exposure (eg, non–US-born persons), using interferon-gamma release assays and short course LTBI regimens (ie, isoniazid-rifapentine weekly for 12 weeks or rifampin daily for 4 months) may be an effective overall strategy for reducing TB burden in ESRD patients.
Cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) is thought to be useful for chronic pain, with the pathology of the latter being closely associated with cognitive–emotional components. However, there are few resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) studies. We used the independent component analysis method to examine neural changes after CBT and to assess whether brain regions predict treatment response.
We performed R-fMRI on a group of 29 chronic pain (somatoform pain disorder) patients and 30 age-matched healthy controls (T1). Patients were enrolled in a weekly 12-session group CBT (T2). We assessed selected regions of interest that exhibited differences in intrinsic connectivity network (ICN) connectivity strength between the patients and controls at T1, and compared T1 and T2. We also examined the correlations between treatment effects and rs-fMRI data.
Abnormal ICN connectivity of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and inferior parietal lobule within the dorsal attention network (DAN) and of the paracentral lobule within the sensorimotor network in patients with chronic pain normalized after CBT. Higher ICN connectivity strength in the OFC indicated greater improvements in pain intensity. Furthermore, ICN connectivity strength in the dorsal posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) within the DAN at T1 was negatively correlated with CBT-related clinical improvements.
We conclude that the OFC is crucial for CBT-related improvement of pain intensity, and that the dorsal PCC activation at pretreatment also plays an important role in improvement of clinical symptoms via CBT.
It has been demonstrated that negatively distorted self-referential processing, in which individuals evaluate one's own self, is a pathogenic mechanism in subthreshold depression that has a considerable impact on the quality of life and carries an elevated risk of developing major depression. Behavioural activation (BA) is an effective intervention for depression, including subthreshold depression. However, brain mechanisms underlying BA are not fully understood. We sought to examine the effect of BA on neural activation during other perspective self-referential processing in subthreshold depression.
A total of 56 subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scans during a self-referential task with two viewpoints (self/other) and two emotional valences (positive/negative) on two occasions. Between scans, while the intervention group (n = 27) received BA therapy, the control group (n = 29) did not.
The intervention group showed improvement in depressive symptoms, increased activation in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), and increased reaction times during other perspective self-referential processing for positive words after the intervention. Also, there was a positive correlation between increased activation in the dmPFC and improvement of depressive symptoms. Additionally, there was a positive correlation between improvement of depressive symptoms and increased reaction times.
BA increased dmPFC activation during other perspective self-referential processing with improvement of depressive symptoms and increased reaction times which were associated with improvement of self-monitoring function. Our results suggest that BA improved depressive symptoms and objective monitoring function for subthreshold depression.
Recent studies have shown that it is important to understand the brain mechanism specifically by focusing on the common and unique functional connectivity in each disorder including depression.
To specify the biomarker of major depressive disorder (MDD), we applied the sparse machine learning algorithm to classify several types of affective disorders using the resting state fMRI data collected in multiple sites, and this study shows the results of depression as a part of those results.
The aim of this study is to understand some specific pattern of functional connectivity in MDD, which would support diagnosis of depression and development of focused and personalized treatments in the future.
The neuroimaging data from patients with major depressive disorder (MDD, n = 100) and healthy control adults (HC: n = 100) from multiple sites were used for the training dataset. A completely separate dataset (n = 16) was kept aside for testing. After all preprocessing of fMRI data, based on one hundred and forty anatomical region of interests (ROIs), 9730 functional connectivities during resting states were prepared as the input of the sparse machine-learning algorithm.
As results, 20 functional connectivities were selected with the classification performance of Accuracy: 83.0% (Sensitivity: 81.0%, Specificity: 85.0%). The test data, which was completely separate from the training data, showed the performance accuracy of 83.3%.
The selected functional connectivities based on the sparse machine learning algorithm included the brain regions which have been associated with depression.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Low birth weight was associated with cardiometabolic diseases in adult age. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) has a crucial role in fetal growth and also associates with cardiometabolic risks in adults. Therefore, we elucidated the association between IGF-1 level and serum lipids in cord blood of preterm infants. The subjects were 41 consecutive, healthy preterm neonates (27 male, 14 female) born at <37-week gestational age, including 10 small for gestational age (SGA) infants (<10th percentile). IGF-1 levels and serum lipids were measured in cord blood, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC) and very low-density lipoprotein triglyceride (VLDLTG) levels were determined by HPLC method. SGA infants had lower IGF-1 (13.1 ± 5.3 ng/ml), total cholesterol (TC) (55.0 ± 14.8), LDLC (21.6 ± 8.3) and HDLC (26.3 ± 11.3) levels, and higher VLDLTG levels (19.0 ± 12.7 mg/dl) than in appropriate for gestational age (AGA) infants (53.6 ± 25.6, 83.4 ± 18.9, 36.6 ± 11.1, 38.5 ± 11.6, 8.1 ± 7.0, respectively). In simple regression analyses, log IGF-1 correlated positively with birth weight (r = 0.721, P < 0.001), TC (r = 0.636, P < 0.001), LDLC (r = 0.453, P = 0.006), and HDLC levels (r = 0.648, P < 0.001), and negatively with log TG (r = −0.484, P = 0.002) and log VLDL-TG (r = −0.393, P = 0.018). Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that IGF-1 was an independent predictor of TC, HDLC and TG levels after the gestational age and birth weight were taken into account. In preterm SGA infants, cord blood lipids profile altered with the concomitant decrease in IGF-1 level.
Within the Herschel key project “The Warm And Dense ISM” (WADI) we systematically observe
a number of prominent photon-dominated regions (PDRs) to measure the impact of varying UV
fields on the energy balance, the chemical and dynamical structure of heated molecular
Colonization factors (CFs) mediate attachment of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) to the intestinal mucosa and induce protective immunity against ETEC diarrhoea. We designed CF-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers, and developed a simple PCR-based genotypic CF identification method. ETEC strains (n=17) isolated from patients with diarrhoea in Thailand were examined for genotypical identification of CFs of ETEC strains. Coli surface antigen 6 (CS6) was the most common CF (29%), followed by CS13 (12%), colonization factor antigen I (CFA/I), CS2 and CS3, and CS17/CS19 (6% each), while 41% of the strains were negative. This simple PCR method for the detection of CF genes is useful for surveillance of ETEC infections in diagnostic laboratories.
There are few data on circulatory pro-inflammatory cytokine levels and cytokine gene polymorphisms in H. pylori-positive patients. A cross-sectional study was conducted to examine the effects of H. pylori infection, gastric atrophy, and the IL-8 T-251A polymorphism on plasma IL-8 levels in 98 Japanese adults. Seventy-one subjects were positive for H. pylori infection. The geometric mean of plasma IL-8 concentration was significantly higher in subjects with H. pylori infection than in those without (P=0·001). The development of atrophy was negatively associated with IL-8 levels in the H. pylori-positive subjects, although not significantly. Plasma IL-8 levels in the T/T genotype were associated with H. pylori infection and atrophy status (P=0·016). Our findings suggested that circulating IL-8 levels were associated with H. pylori infection. The effect of H. pylori infection on plasma IL-8 levels was not clearly modified by the IL-8 T-251A polymorphism.
In the study of the interaction of ultra-intense laser pulses with thin plasma targets there appears self-generated magnetic fields in the plasma target. The strong magnetic fields were directly measured in the plasma target, and were attributed to a mechanism of non-parallel electron temperature and density gradients. These magnetic fields can become strong enough to significantly affect the plasma transport. The underlying mechanism of the self-generated magnetic fields in the ultra-intense laser–plasma interactions is presented by using a two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation.
Polycrystalline Galfenol (Fe-Ga-X, X=Al, C, Zr etc.) alloys were fabricated as a bulk sample from ark-melted and annealing process method for enhancing various engineering applicability. (Fe-Ga0.15-Al0.05)99.0-Zr0.5-C0.5 [at.%] sample showed a maximum magnetostriction of 134 ppm as well as a tensile stress over σ=800MPa. This large magnetostriction is caused by A2 phases without the excessive precipitation of ordered phases such as fcc ordered L12 and bcc ordered D03 phases. Secondarily, we will introduce an application as a smart torque sensor by utilizing Galfenol-ring around the steering shaft for steering-by-wire system of automobile. In this system, a torque sensing system by using the magnetostrictive ring of FeGa (Galfenol) alloy was developed and magnetic flux leaked from the Galfenol ring attached on the rotating shaft was experimentally measured by using two differential Hall probe sensor. As a result, the sensitivity in (Fe0.80Ga0.15Al0.05)99Zr0.5C0.5 ring increased by 2.9 times in comparison with the (Fe0.80Ga0.15Al0.05)98.5C1.5 alloy at rotations speed 500 rpm.
We have prepared a number of Pt-TM(transition metals) alloys with various TM elements and evaluated their catalytic abilities by means of hydrogenation of methyl acrylate. High catalytic activities are obtained when the crystalline structures are similar, i.e., fcc structure, indicating that the crystal structure of a catalyst plays an important role in hydrogenation of methyl acrylate. Furthermore, for a certain TM element, i.e., Mo, the catalytic activity is found to surpass that of Pt metal.
The number of pertussis cases in Japan has decreased dramatically following the nationwide use of an acellular pertussis vaccine combined with diphtheria-tetanus toxoids (DTaP vaccines) which began in 1981. However, the effectiveness of the DTaP vaccine has not been systematically evaluated using appropriate epidemiological methods during a non-epidemic period in Japan. We evaluated the vaccine effectiveness (VE) of the Kaketsuken DTaP vaccine which contains two-component pertussis antigens in Japanese children from 1999 to 2001 using a matched case-control design and data from the Basic Resident Registration and Maternal and Child Health Handbooks. The DTaP vaccination history of 15 children with pertussis and 59 controls was obtained. The VE of 3 or 4 pertussis vaccinations compared with non-vaccination (baseline) was 96·9% for coughing attacks that lasted ⩾7 days, 96·4% for those lasting ⩾14 days, and 95·9% for those lasting ⩾21 days. These findings suggest that DTaP vaccination effectively prevented pertussis during a non-epidemic period in Japan.
We report the results of mid- to far-infrared spectroscopic
observations of Galactic star-forming regions with ISO, Spitzer, and
AKARI. Owing to the high sensitivity of the IRS onboard Spitzer, we
detected [Si II] 35 μm, [Fe II] 26 μm, and [Fe III] 23 μm lines widely
in low-density star-forming regions, and derived gas-phase Si and Fe
abundances as 3–100% and <22%, respectively. With the FTS
onboard AKARI, we obtained the spatial distribution of
the [O III] 88 μm emission in two star-forming regions.
Newly developed interferon-gamma release assays have become commercially available to detect tuberculosis (TB) infection in adults. However, little is known about their performance in children. We compared test results between the QuantiFERON-TB® Gold test (QFT) and tuberculin skin test (TST) in young children living with pulmonary TB patients in Cambodia. Of 195 children tested with both QFT and TST, the TST-positive rate of 24% was significantly higher than the QFT-positive rate of 17%. The agreement between the test results was considerable (κ-coefficient 0·63). Positive rates increased from 6% to 32% for QFT and from 15% to 43% for TST, according to the sputum smear grades of the index cases. The presence of Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) scars did not significantly affect the results of TST or QFT in a logistic regression analysis. In conclusion, QFT can be a substitute for TST in detecting latent TB infection in childhood contacts aged ⩽5 years, especially in those who may have a false-positive TST due to BCG vaccination or non-tuberculous mycobacterial infection.
We have recently identified 2 surface proteins in Entamoeba histolytica as intermediate subunits of galactose- and N-acetyl-D-galactosamine-inhibitable lectin (EhIgl1 and EhIgl2); these proteins both contain multiple CXXC motifs. Here, we report the molecular characterization of the corresponding proteins in Entamoeba dispar, which is neither pathogenic nor invasive. Two Igl genes encoding 1110 and 1106 amino acids (EdIgl1 and EdIgl2) were cloned from 2 strains of E. dispar. The amino acid sequence identities were 79% between EdIgl1 and EdIgl2, 75–76% between EdIgl1 and EhIgl1, and 73–74% between EdIgl2 and EhIgl2. However, all the CXXC motifs were conserved in the EdIgl proteins, suggesting that the fold conferred by this motif is important for function. Comparison of the expression level of the Igl genes by real-time RT-PCR showed 3–5 times higher expression of EdIgl1 compared to EdIgl2. Most EdIgl1 and EdIgl2 proteins were co-localized on the surface and in the cytoplasm of trophozoites, based on confocal microscopy. However, a different localization of EdIgl1 and EdIgl2 in intracellular vacuoles and a different level of phenotypic expression of the two Igls were also observed. These results demonstrate that Igls are important proteins even in non-pathogenic amoeba and that Igl1 and Igl2 may possess different functions.