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A novel g-C3N4 nanoparticle@porous g-C3N4 (CNNP@PCN) composite has been successfully fabricated by loading g-C3N4 nanoparticles on the porous g-C3N4 matrix via a simply electrostatic self-assembly method. The composition, morphological structure, optical property, and photocatalytic performance of the composite were evaluated by various measurements, including XRD, SEM, TEM, Zeta potential, DRS, PL, FTIR, and XPS. The results prove that the nanolization of g-C3N4 leads to an apparent blueshift of the absorption edge, and the energy band gap is increased from 2.84 eV of porous g-C3N4 to 3.40 eV of g-C3N4 nanoparticle (Fig. 6). Moreover, the valence band position of the g-C3N4 nanoparticle is about 0.7 eV lower than that of porous g-C3N4. Therefore, the photo-generated holes and electrons in porous g-C3N4 can transfer to the conduction band of g-C3N4 nanoparticle, thereby obtaining higher separation efficiency of photo-generated carriers as well as longer carrier lifetime. Under visible-light irradiation, 6CNNP@PCN exhibits the highest photocatalytic performance (Fig. 8) on MB, which is approximately 3.4 times as that of bulk g-C3N4.
Post-testicular maturation of spermatozoa is crucial for attaining the morphological and functional capabilities needed for successful fertilization. Epididymal epithelia offer a favorable environment for spermatozoa that are stored long term in the turtle epididymis; however, sperm–epithelial interactions during storage, which are enormously important for sperm functional and morphological maturation, are still largely unknown in turtles. The present study examined the epididymis during the sperm-storage period (November–April) in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis). Light and transmission electron microscopy were used to determine the cellular features of each epididymal segment (caput, corpus, and cauda) and their epithelial interactions with the spermatozoa. Spermatozoa were mainly located in the lumena of caput, corpus, and cauda epididymides. Numerous spermatozoa were bound to apical surfaces of the epithelia, and several were even embedded in the epithelial cytoplasm of the caput and corpus epididymides. No embedded spermatozoa were found in the cauda epididymis. In all epididymal segments, principal and clear cells showed the synthetic activity, evidenced by a well-developed endoplasmic reticulum network and high and low electron-dense secretory materials, respectively. Principal and clear cells in the caput and corpus segments showed embedded spermatozoa in electron-dense secretions and in the lipid droplets within the cytoplasm. No lysosomes were observed around the embedded spermatozoa. The lumena of the caput and corpus segments showed few apocrine and low electron density secretions. In the lumen of the cauda epididymidis, different secretions, such as holocrine with low and high electron density and their fragmentation, apocrine, and dictyosome, were found and are summarized. Altogether, sperm physical interactions with secretions either in the cytoplasm of epithelium or in the lumen may support the viability, morphological maintenance, and transfer of various proteins involved in long-term sperm storage in the turtle. This interaction could help us to understand the mechanisms of long-term sperm storage and provide more insights into the reproductive strategies of turtle sperm preservation.
The seminiferous tubule (ST) is the location of spermatogenesis, where mature spermatozoa are produced with the assistance of Sertoli cells. The role of extracellular vesicles in the direct communication between Sertoli-germ cells in the ST is still not fully understood. In this study, we reported multivesicular bodies (MVBs) and their source of CD63-enriched exosomes by light and ultrastructure microscopy during the reproductive phases of turtles. Strong CD63 immunopositivity was detected at the basal region in the early and luminal regions of the ST during late spermatogenesis by immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence (IF), and western blot (WB) analysis. Labeling of CD63 was detected in the Sertoli cell cytoplasmic processes that surround the developing germ cells during early spermatogenesis and in the lumen of the ST with elongated spermatids during late spermatogenesis. Furthermore, ultrastructure analysis confirmed the existence of numerous MVBs in the Sertoli cell prolongations that surround the round and primary spermatogonia during acrosome biogenesis and with the embedded heads of spermatids in the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. Additionally, in spermatids, Chrysanthemum flower centers (CFCs) generated isolated membranes involved in MVBs and autophagosome formation, and their fusion to form amphiosomes was also observed. Additionally, autophagy inhibition by 3-methyladenine (after 24 h) increased CD63 protein signals during late spermatogenesis, as detected by IF and WB. Collectively, our study found MVBs and CD63 rich exosomes within the Sertoli cells and their response to autophagy inhibition in the ST during the spermatogenesis in the turtle.
Maintenance haemodialysis (MHD) is the use of a machine to filter wastes, salts and fluid from blood for at least 3 months to prolong the life of patients with advanced kidney failure. Although low dietary energy intake (DEI) has been observed in MHD patients, few studies have related DEI to the risk of mortality. To explore this relationship, a study included 1039 MHD patients from eight centres was conducted. DEI was assessed by three 24-h diet recalls and was normalised to ideal body weight (IBW). All-cause mortality and CVD mortality were the primary and secondary outcomes, respectively. During a median follow-up of 28 months, a U-shaped relationship was observed between DEI and all-cause or CVD mortality. The risk of all-cause mortality decreased significantly with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI <167·4 kJ/kg IBW per d (hazard ratio (HR) 0·98; 95 % CI 0·96, 1·00) and increased significantly with the increase of DEI in those with DEI ≥167·4 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 1·12; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·20). Similarly, the risk of CVD mortality decreased with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI <152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·93, 0·99) and increased with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI ≥152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 1·11; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·18). In summary, there was a U-shaped association between DEI and all-cause or CVD mortality, with a turning point at about 167·4 and 152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d, respectively, in MHD patients.
Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
The condition of caregivers is important to the quality of care received by people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), especially at the late disease stages. This study addresses the distress placed on caregivers by participants’ neuropsychiatric symptoms at different stages of PD in Taiwan
This prospective study enrolled 108 people with PD. All participants were examined with the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI), and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale. Caregiver distress was measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Caregiver Distress Scale (NPI-D). Statistical analysis was used to explore the PD-related factors that contribute to caregiver distress.
The mean follow-up interval in the 108 PD participants were 24.0 ± 10.2 months with no participant lost to follow-up due to death. NPI-distress (the sum of NPI caregiver distress scale across the 12 domains of the NPI) was positively correlated with NPI-sum (the total score across the 12 domains of the NPI) (r = 0.787, p < 0.001), CDR (r = 0.403, p < 0.001), UPRDS (r = 0.276, p = 0.004), and disease duration (r = 0.246, p = 0.002), but negatively correlated with CASI (r = −0.237, p = 0.043) and MMSE (r = −0.281, p < 0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that only NPI-sum and disease duration were independently correlated with NPI-distress.
The disease duration and NPI-sum are independent predictors of caregiver distress in Taiwanese populations with PD. Early detection and reduction of neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with PD can help decrease caregiver distress.
Most vibration-based energy harvesters, including piezoelectric harvester system, perform efficiently at only its resonant frequency as linear resonators, usually at very high frequency which are out of the range of frequency of interest. In real life applications, these linear resonators are impractical since real ambient vibrations are simply having varying lower frequencies. Hence, design a tuneable vibration energy harvester at a lower and useful frequency range of interest are essential in allowing promising energy output to meet intended power input at a more practical approach. In this paper, the piezoelectric voltage energy harvester (PVEH) was designed with a flexible fixture with the aim to reduce its first fundamental natural frequency. Two thickness of elastic fixtures were applied to generate power on PVEH. Three experimental techniques were used to measure the vibration characteristics of PVEH. First, the full-field optical technique, amplitude-fluctuation electronic speckle pattern interferometry (AF-ESPI) measured simultaneously the resonant frequencies and mode shapes. This is followed by the pointwise measurement system, laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) in which the resonant frequencies were measured by dynamic signal swept-sine analysis. The resonant frequencies and anti-resonant frequencies were also obtained by impedance analysis. The results obtained from experimental measurements were compared with finite element numerical calculation. It is found that the boundary conditions under the elastic fixtures can effectively reduce the resonant frequency of the PVEH with a reasonable voltage output. The fundamental natural frequency of PVEH with the thickness of 0.58-mm elastic fixture is reduced to 37 Hz maintaining at 7.1 volts (1.2 mW), in comparison with the natural frequency on cantilevered PVEH at 78 Hz that produces 7.7 volts (6.5 mW).
Geochronological, major and trace element, and Sr–Nd–Hf isotopic data are reported for the monzonitic rocks of the Fushan pluton in the Taihang Mountains, central North China Craton, in order to investigate their sources, petrogenesis and tectonic implications. Zircon U–Pb dating results reveal that the Fushan pluton was emplaced during the Early Cretaceous (∼126–124 Ma). The monzonites and quartz monzonites are mainly characterized by calc-alkaline and magnesian features and display light rare earth element (LREE) enrichment and flat heavy REE (HREE) patterns with slightly positive Eu anomalies. They have similar whole-rock initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70653–0.70819), εNd(t) values (−13.6 to −18.6) and zircon εHf(t) values (−21.8 to −17.3). The primary magma of the Fushan pluton was derived from the partial melting of a spinel-facies amphibole-bearing ancient enriched lithospheric mantle. The monzonitic rocks also have high Ba–Sr and low Y and Yb contents, with high Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios. These geochemical features of monzonitic rocks are not only inherited from the magma source but also significantly enhanced by crystal fractionation during magmatic evolution; e.g. hornblende fractionation increased the Ba–Sr concentrations and Sr/Y ratios. During the Early Cretaceous, the slab sinking and roll-back of the Palaeo-Pacific Plate could have created an ancient big mantle wedge beneath East Asia and induced a lithospheric extensional process in the central North China Craton within an intracontinental setting.
Altered heart rate variability (HRV), an index of autonomic nervous system function, has been reported in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but the results have been mixed. Thus, the present study, using a large sample size and better methodology, aims to examine whether GAD is associated with impaired HRV, both at rest and in response to posture challenges.
In total, 1832 participants were recruited in this study, consisting of 682 patients with GAD (including 326 drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients) and 1150 healthy controls. Short-term HRV was measured during the supine-standing-supine test (5-min per position). Propensity score matching (PSM), a relatively novel method, was used to control for potential confounders.
After PSM algorithm, drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients had reductions in resting (baseline) high-frequency power (HF), an index for parasympathetic modulation, and increases in the low-frequency/HF ratio (LF/HF), an index for sympathovagal balance as compared to matched controls. Furthermore, the responses of HF and LF/HF to posture changes were all attenuated when compared with matched controls. Effect sizes, given by Cohen's d, for resting HF and HF reactivity were 0.42 and 0.36–0.42, respectively.
GAD is associated with altered sympathovagal balance, characterized by attenuation in both resting vagal modulation and vagal reactivity, with an almost medium effect size (Cohen's d ≈ 0.4), regardless of medication use or comorbidity status.
Human innate immune plays an essential role in the spontaneous clearance of acute infection and therapy of HCV. We investigated whether the SNPs in retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptor family were associated with HCV spontaneous clearance and response to treatment. To evaluate the clinical value of DDX58 rs3824456, rs10813831 and rs10738889 genotypes on HCV spontaneous clearance and treatment response in Chinese Han population, we genotyped 1001 HCV persistent infectors, 599 participants with HCV natural clearance and 354 patients with PEGylated interferon-α and ribavirin (PEG IFN-α/RBV) treatment. People carrying rs10813831-G allele genotype were more liable to achieve spontaneous clearance than the carriage of the T allele (dominant model: adjusted OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.08–1.71, P = 0.008). In rs10738889, the rate of persistent infection was significantly lower in patients with the TC genotype compared to those with TT genotype (dominant model: adjusted OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.06–1.74, P = 0.015). Multivariate stepwise analysis indicated that rs10738889, age, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were independent predictors for HCV spontaneous clearance. However, there were no significant differences in the three selection SNPs between the non-SVR group and the SVR group. These results suggest the DDX58 rs10813831 and rs10738889 are associated with spontaneous clearance of HCV, which may be identified as a predictive marker in the Chinese Han population of HCV.
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.
Mastery of strengthening strategies to achieve high-capacity anodes for lithium-ion batteries can shed light on understanding the nature of diffusion-induced stress and offer an approach to use submicro-sized materials with an ultrahigh capacity for large-scale batteries. Here, we report solute strengthening in a series of silicon (Si)–germanium (Ge) alloys. When the larger solute atom (Ge) is added to the solvent atoms (Si), a compressive stress is generated in the vicinity of Ge atoms. This local stress field interacts with resident dislocations and subsequently impedes their motion to increase the yield stress in the alloys. The addition of Ge into Si substantially improves the capacity retention, particularly in Si0.50Ge0.50, aligning with literature reports that the Si/Ge alloy showed a maximum yield stress in Si0.50Ge0.50. In situ X-ray diffraction studies on the Si0.50Ge0.50 electrode show that the phase change undergoes three subsequent steps during the lithiation process: removal of surface oxide layer, formation of cluster-size Lix(Si,Ge), and formation of crystalline Li15(Si,Ge)4. Furthermore, the lithiation process starts from higher index facets, i.e., (220) and (311), then through the low index facet (111), suggesting the orientation-dependence of the lithiation process in the Si0.50Ge0.50 electrode.
Atrial septal defect is one of the most common CHD. The pathogenesis of atrial septal defect still remains unknown. Cx43 is the most prevalent connexin in the mammalian heart during development. Its genetic variants can cause several CHD. The aim of our study was to investigate the association of genetic variations of the Cx43 with sporadic atrial septal defect. A total of 450 paediatric patients were recruited, including 150 cases with atrial septal defect and 300 healthy controls. The promoter region of Cx43 was analysed by sequencing after polymerase chain reaction. All data were analysed by using the Statistic Package for Social Science 19.0 software. The frequency of the single nucleotide polymorphism rs2071166 was significantly higher in atrial septal defect cases than in healthy controls. The CC genotype at rs2071166 site in Cx43 was correlated with an increased risk for atrial septal defect (p<0.0001, odds ratio=3.891, 95% confidence interval 1.948–7.772) and the C allele was positively correlated with atrial septal defect (p=0.007, odds ratio=1.567, 95% confidence interval 1.129–2.175). In conclusion, our results confirmed that rs2071166 in Cx43 may be relevant with an increased atrial septal defect risk.
Apathy is a condition characterized by a lack of motivation that manifests in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains. Although previous studies have indicated that apathy is associated with frontal lesions, few studies have focused on the different subdomains of apathy, and no in vivo human biochemical data have been obtained to examine the neurochemical changes related to apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, we investigated the frontal neurochemical alterations related to apathy among patients with AD using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS).
Apathy was assessed through the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). 1H MRS was performed to measure neurochemical metabolite levels in the anterior cingulate region and right orbitofrontal region. Associations between neurochemical metabolites and the total score and subscores of each domain of the AES were analyzed.
Altogether, 36 patients completed the study. Patients with lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the anterior cingulate region demonstrated higher total apathy scores (β = −0.56, p = 0.003) with adjustments for age, gender, educational level, dementia severity, and depression severity. In a further analysis, a lower NAA/Cr in the anterior cingulate region was associated with all subdomains of apathy, including cognition (β = −0.43, p = 0.028), behavior (β = −0.55, p = 0.002), and emotion (β = −0.50, p = 0.005). No statistically significant associations were discovered in the right orbitofrontal region.
Our results suggest that apathy, in each of its cognitive, behavioral, or emotional subdomains is associated with brain neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate region. Abnormal neuronal integrity over the anterior cingulate cortex may exhibit a central role in causing all aspects of apathy in patients with AD.
Sexual offenses cause harm to the victims’ physical and psychological functions. This study was conducted to evaluate the risk of incident psychiatric disorders in sexual assault victims. Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database was used to conduct a nationwide population-based cohort study to assess the risk of incident psychiatric disorders in sexual assault victims and to further evaluate the respective risk estimates on the basis of diagnostic patterns. A total of 81 sexual assault victims and 324 controls matched by sex, age and residential area were included. The mean age of the sexual assault victims was 18.39 (sd 10.23) years, and 93.83% (76/81) of the sample were females. Sexual assault victims had a higher incidence density of psychiatric disorders than did the control group (9.2% per year, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–33.2% per year v. 1.1% per year, 95% CI .4–15.7% per year; p=.037). Sexual assault was an independent risk factor for incident psychiatric disorders, with an incidence rate ratio of 3.40 (95% CI 1.04–26.41) after adjustment for potential confounding factors. Assessment of psychiatric disorders should be implemented in the integrative care of sexual assault victims. Physicians providing clinical care to the sexual assault victims should receive more all-round training to understand and manage this type of violence.
The predictability of modified constitutive model, based on Arrhenius type equation, for illustrating the flow behavior of Fe–36%Ni Invar alloy was investigated via isothermal hot compression tests. The hot deformation tests were carried out in a temperature range of 850–1100 °C and strain rates from 0.01 to 10 s−1. True stress-true strain curves exhibited the dependence of the flow stress on deformation temperatures and strain rates, which then described in Arrhenius-type equation by Zener–Holloman parameter. Moreover, the related material constants and hot deformation activation energy (Q) in the constitutive model were calculated by considering the effect of strain as independent function on them and employing sixth polynomial fitting. Subsequently, the performance of the modified constitutive equation was verified by correlation coefficient and average absolute relative error which were estimated in accordance with experimental and predicted data. The results showed that the modified constitutive equation possess reliable and stable ability to predict the hot flow behavior of studied material under different deformation conditions. Meanwhile, Zener–Holloman parameter map was established according to the modified constitutive equation and used to estimate the extent of dynamic recrystallization.
This paper presents a novel reconfigurable parallel mechanism, which can serve as a machine tool. The proposed parallel mechanism can change its structure parameters by driving a bevel gear system fixed in the base platform. First, the forward and inverse kinematics of the proposed mechanism are investigated. Second, the reachable workspace and Jacobian matrix are conducted. Based on the Jacobian matrix, the stiffness model and dexterity of the end effector are developed in detail. Finally, a multi-objective optimization is performed by using the Genetic Algorithm, and the workspace and global performance indexes of stiffness as well as the dexterity are considered as the performance indices to improve the performance of the reconfigurable parallel mechanism. Finally, Pareto frontier figure and several tables are provided to illustrate the results of the optimization. The results showed the proposed method has improved the performance of the reconfigurable machine tool in terms of its stiffness and dexterity.
With the rapid development of electronic information and technology, especially the explosive advance of novel electronic devices, ultra-wideband radar detector and satellite communication, the elimination of adverse electromagnetic waves (EWs) effectively is very necessary both for electronic safety and national defense security. As one of the important material basis for controlling adverse EW pollution, compatibility, shielding, and stealth capability of weaponry, microwave absorbing materials has long been an area of intense research activity. Graphene-based materials have attracted great interests for microwave absorption in recent years due to the unique structure and physicochemical properties of graphene, such as high specific surface area, ultrathin thickness, large interface, optical transmittance, and tunable conductive properties, etc. In this paper, the properties and absorption behavior of different kinds of microwave absorbing materials based on graphene were reviewed and discussed in detail. In addition, the perspective of the current challenges and key issues for achieving better microwave absorption performance of the graphene-based materials are provided.
An efficient adaptive time stepping method is proposed for transient dynamic response analysis, which is frequently encountered in civil engineering and elsewhere. The reduced problem following the spatial discretisation can be discretised in the time by a C0-continuous discontinuous Galerkin method, and the adaptive time stepping strategy is based on optimal a posteriori error estimates developed using the energy method. Some numerical experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.