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We describe 14 yr of public data from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA), an ongoing project that is producing precise measurements of pulse times of arrival from 26 millisecond pulsars using the 64-m Parkes radio telescope with a cadence of approximately 3 weeks in three observing bands. A comprehensive description of the pulsar observing systems employed at the telescope since 2004 is provided, including the calibration methodology and an analysis of the stability of system components. We attempt to provide full accounting of the reduction from the raw measured Stokes parameters to pulse times of arrival to aid third parties in reproducing our results. This conversion is encapsulated in a processing pipeline designed to track provenance. Our data products include pulse times of arrival for each of the pulsars along with an initial set of pulsar parameters and noise models. The calibrated pulse profiles and timing template profiles are also available. These data represent almost 21 000 h of recorded data spanning over 14 yr. After accounting for processes that induce time-correlated noise, 22 of the pulsars have weighted root-mean-square timing residuals of
in at least one radio band. The data should allow end users to quickly undertake their own gravitational wave analyses, for example, without having to understand the intricacies of pulsar polarisation calibration or attain a mastery of radio frequency interference mitigation as is required when analysing raw data files.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
Influenza activity is subject to environmental factors. Accurate forecasting of influenza epidemics would permit timely and effective implementation of public health interventions, but it remains challenging. In this study, we aimed to develop random forest (RF) regression models including meterological factors to predict seasonal influenza activity in Jiangsu provine, China. Coefficient of determination (R2) and mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) were employed to evaluate the models' performance. Three RF models with optimum parameters were constructed to predict influenza like illness (ILI) activity, influenza A and B (Flu-A and Flu-B) positive rates in Jiangsu. The models for Flu-B and ILI presented excellent performance with MAPEs <10%. The predicted values of the Flu-A model also matched the real trend very well, although its MAPE reached to 19.49% in the test set. The lagged dependent variables were vital predictors in each model. Seasonality was more pronounced in the models for ILI and Flu-A. The modification effects of the meteorological factors and their lagged terms on the prediction accuracy differed across the three models, while temperature always played an important role. Notably, atmospheric pressure made a major contribution to ILI and Flu-B forecasting. In brief, RF models performed well in influenza activity prediction. Impacts of meteorological factors on the predictive models for influenza activity are type-specific.
To assess helical tomotherapy (TOMO) current clinical application and practice in mainland China.
Materials and methods:
Data were collected for all TOMO units clinically operational in mainland China by 30 April 2016, including (a) the distribution of installation and staffing levels; (b) types of cancers treated; (c) utilisation efficiency; (d) quality assurance; (e) maintenance; (f) optional features; and (g) satisfaction levels. The data were collected as a census and analysed qualitatively and quantitatively.
As of 30 April 2016, 23 TOMO units were used clinically by 22 hospitals in mainland China. In the same period, 22,558 cancer patients were treated. For TOMO units with more than a year of clinical utilisation, a median of 378 cases were treated annually per machine. The median daily operation was 10·5 hours, and treatment headcount was 38·3 patients. The median service outage rate was 2·6%, and the most common cause was malfunction of the multi-leaf collimator. In terms of overall satisfaction levels, 3 hospitals were very satisfied, 16 were satisfied and 3 considered their satisfaction level as average.
The overall operation of TOMO is good, but there are some problems due to running at full capacity, lack of clinical efficacy research and insufficient quality assurance regulations.
Radio continuum surveys are equally sensitive to all pulsars, not affected by dispersion measure smearing, scattering or orbital modulation of spin periods, and therefore allow us to search for extreme pulsars, such as sub-millisecond pulsars, pulsar-black hole systems and pulsars in the Galactic Centre. As we move towards the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) era, searching for pulsars in continuum images will complement conventional pulsar searches, and make it possible to find extreme objects.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2), a widely used inorganic semiconductor owing to its superb photoelectric properties, has frequently been fabricated into composites to reduce its relatively large band gap and overcome its limited visible light absorption. In this article, a “layer-by-layer” method has been developed to prepare the composite structure of nitrogen (N)-doped graphene quantum dots (GQDs)-sensitized TiO2 nanofibers. The as-prepared structure shows considerable luminescence and exhibits excellent photoelectric properties. Various factors including the crystalline phase of TiO2, amount of N in GQDs, and irradiation wavelength were investigated to find the optimal conditions for enhanced photoelectric activity. It is demonstrated that the combination of highest N amount GQDs with TiO2 nanofibers of mixed phases (750 °C-sintered TiO2 nanofibers) possess the best photoelectric properties. The enhancement of properties using TiO2 nanofibers with mixed phases mainly contributes to the transfer of electrons between conduction bands of different phases in TiO2 and the distinctive photoluminescence (PL) property of N-GQDs. Furthermore, this enhancement can be achieved in most areas of the visible light range. The general mechanism of the electron generation and transfer of the structure is based on the normal PL and upconversion PL property of N-GQDs which serve as the sensitizer. We consider it a feasible method to improve the photoelectric conversion efficiency in photovoltaic devices.
To evaluate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, as well as their association with Hb and elevated blood lead levels (BLL) in children in China.
A cross-sectional and 1-year retrospective study.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, China.
Children aged from 6 months to 14 years living in south-west China who were taken to physical examinations (January–December 2011).
Of 1218 children included in the study, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration (mean 33·18 (sd 16·48) ng/ml) was deficient in 21·6 % and insufficient in 27·4 %, which were higher than the prevalence of both anaemia at 8·5 % and elevated BLL (Pb ≥ 10 μg/dl) at 1·8 %, but lower than mildly elevated BLL prevalence (5 μg/dl ≤ Pb < 10 μg/dl) at 56·9 %. There was a negative correlation between 25(OH)D concentration and BLL (r = −0·216, P < 0·001) while no significant relationship was found between 25(OH)D concentration and Hb (r = −0·012, P > 0·05). After multivariable adjustment, the significant predictors of 25(OH)D deficiency and insufficiency were increasing child age especially between 8 and 14 years (OR = 18·29; 95 % CI 10·14, 32·99; P < 0·001) and BLL (OR = 1·01; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·02; P = 0·045).
The prevalence of 25(OH)D deficiency and insufficiency was much higher than that of anaemia or elevated BLL in south-west China, and associated with increasing age and BLL.
The present study aimed to evaluate the independent associations between serum leptin concentration and dietary patterns in a Chinese population.
A cross-sectional study.
Data obtained from the 2006 wave of the China Health and Nutrition Survey in Jiangsu Province, China.
The sample contained 1061 Chinese adults (488 men and 573 women). BMI was calculated as a parameter of obesity. Factor analysis was used to derive dietary patterns. ANCOVA was performed to assess the associations between serum leptin concentration and the dietary patterns.
Four dietary patterns were derived: Western, High-wheat, Traditional and Hedonic. The Western pattern (rich in meat, milk and cake) was significantly associated with a higher level of serum leptin in men and women, both in an unadjusted model (both P for trend < 0·001) and after adjusting for sex, age, income, total energy intake, physical activity, smoking status and BMI (P for trend = 0·007 for men and P for trend < 0·001 for women). The other three dietary patterns were not significantly associated with serum leptin after adjustment. Sensitivity analysis showed there was an interaction between age and the Western pattern in relation to leptin level. An interaction also existed between current smoking status and the Western pattern.
Serum leptin concentration was positively associated with the Western dietary pattern in a Chinese population independent of BMI, energy intake and other factors.
Although pear species (Pyrus spp.) are widely cultivated as an important fruit tree in the world, the regulatory mechanism of their seed dormancy is still unclear. In this research, the role of endocarp, seed coat and embryo in sand pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) seed dormancy was analysed by detecting the endogenous abscisic acid (ABA) and analysing germination experiments with different treatments. The results suggest that a combination of testa and embryo impose sand pear seed dormancy. The high concentration of endogenous ABA in the embryo effectively inhibited seed germination. The high concentration of ABA in the endocarp, as well as in the testa, suggests that dissipation and/or degradation of endogenous ABA in imbibed embryos were suppressed to maintain ABA-inhibited germination. The ABA and gibberellic acid (GA) key signalling genes, including ABI3–5, GAI, RGA and RGL2, were cloned and their expression was analysed in ABA-treated embryos and embryos of imbibed nutlets, imbibed true seeds (endocarp removed) and GA-treated true seeds. The results revealed regulation by ABA of the expression of ABA and GA signalling factors controlling the dormancy release of sand pear imbibed seeds.
The aim of the present study was to examine the association between dietary patterns and insulin resistance in Chinese adults without known diabetes. Study subjects were 1070 Chinese adults aged 18 years and above in Jiangsu Province who participated in the 2006 wave of the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Usual dietary intake was assessed by using a validated FFQ. Dietary patterns were identified by factor analysis using a principal component analysis method. Insulin resistance was defined as the highest quartile of the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) scores. We derived four dietary patterns in our population by factor analysis: the Western, High-wheat, Traditional and Hedonic pattern. After adjusted for potential confounders, the Western pattern was significantly associated with greater odds for insulin resistance (P for trend = 0·009), while a significant negative association was found between the Hedonic pattern and insulin resistance (P for trend = 0·035). Compared with the lowest quartile of the Western pattern, the highest quartile had higher odds of insulin resistance (adjusted OR 1·89, 95 % CI 1·12, 3·19). There was a 42 % decrease in the odds after adjustment for all covariates in the highest quartile of the Hedonic pattern, compared with the lowest quartile (adjusted OR 0·58, 95 % CI 0·34, 0·99). HOMA-IR levels as a continuous variable also increased across the quartiles of the Western pattern and decreased across the quartiles of the Hedonic pattern. In conclusion, dietary patterns were significantly associated with insulin resistance in Chinese adults without known diabetes.
We propose to determine the mass of isolated neutron stars through gravitational microlensing. We show that the all-sky microlensing pulsar event rate is ~2.8 × 10−10 per year per background source (/yr/source). Microlensing neutron star event rate would contribute ~20% to the total Galactic event rate at time-scale of ~15 days. We also present catalogue comparisons between known pulsars and background stars. We find that several pulsars would pass by background stars closely and may cause observable astrometric microlensing phenomenon. According to our covariance analysis, the uncertainty of masses determined through astrometric microlensing could be ~20%. Therefore, gravitational microlensing is a promising way to determine the mass of isolated neutron stars with future advanced radio and optical telescopes.
Polycrystalline solutions of 0.6(Bi0.9La0.1)FeO3-0.4Pb(Ti1-xMnx)O3(BLF-PTM, x=0 and 0.01)have been fabricated by the so-gel process combined with a solid state reaction method. BLF-PTM exhibits the nonlinear dielectric and piezoelectric responses under applied fields. Rayleigh law has been used to evaluate the irreversible contribution of the domain walls movement to the nonlinear dielectric response. Rayleigh analysis reveals that a mechanism with no associated loss exists in the BLF-PTM of x=0.01. The real part piezoelectric coefficient of BLF-PTM linearly increases with increasing the electric fields. The dielectric and piezoelectric nonlinear coefficient of 0.17×10-3 m/V and 0.897 ×10-17 m2/V2 respectively are obtained for BLF-PTM of x=0.01,which are smaller than those of 0.22×10-3 m/V and 1.19 ×10-17 m2/V2 for BLF-PTM of x=0. Our results indicate that Mn doping increase the intrinsic piezoelectric properties of BLF-PTM reducing the extrinsic contributions to piezoelectric responses.
A detailed history of volcanism covering the last 2840 years is reconstructed from the top 100.42 m of a 109.91 m ice core from Dome A (DA2005 ice core), East Antarctica. Using two known volcanic stratigraphic markers, the mean accumulation rate during the period AD 1260-1964 is found to be 23.2 mmw.e. a-1, consistent with the previously reported accumulation rate at Dome A. This mean accumulation rate is used to date the entire core. Volcanic eruptions in the period 840 BC-AD1998 are detected as outstanding sulphate events. Seventy-eight eruptions are identified, with a mean of 2.7 eruptions per century. Comparisons with previous Antarctic ice-core volcanic records are made to assess the quality of this new DA2005 record. In terms of dates for volcanic events, the DA2005 record is in good agreement with previous records in the second millennium ad (ad 1000-1998). A series of volcanic signatures found in both the DA2005 record and several other Antarctic ice-core records in the first millennium ad (ad 1-1000) appear to validate the DA2005 record during this time period. For the older periods, direct comparisons are difficult between the DA2005 record and other Antarctic ice-core records due to the lack of well-dated stratigraphic horizons.
Undoped Bi2FeCrO6, 5%Ti- and 10%La-doped Bi2FeCrO6 were prepared by a high pressure solid-state sintering method. The phase structure, electrical, ferroelectric and magnetic properties have been investigated. It is shown that undoped Bi2FeCrO6 has a serious leakage current problem, and doping either Ti or La can enhance the resistivity by 2-3 orders of magnitude. Furthermore, both Ti- and La-doped Bi2FeCrO6 show an antiferromagnetic spin order due to disordered B-site cation alignment. Weak ferromagnetism was only observed in undoped Bi2FeCrO6 and the reason is tentatively explained.
The aim of the present study was to examine the association between dietary patterns and weight change prospectively. We followed up 1231 adults aged 20 years and older (mean age 49·3 years) from 2002 to 2007. Food intake was assessed at baseline by an FFQ. Factor analysis was used to identify dietary patterns. Nutrient intake was measured by food weighing plus consecutive individual 3 d food records. Body weight and height were measured. The mean 5-year weight gain among all participants was 0·8 (sd 4·7) kg. The mean weight changes across quartiles of the ‘traditional’ pattern (rice, fresh vegetables, pork and wheat flour) were 2·0, 0·6, 0·6 and 0·0 kg. The corresponding values were 0·4, 0·5, 0·7 and 1·6 kg across quartiles of the ‘vegetable-rich’ pattern. No significant association between the ‘macho’ dietary pattern (meat and alcohol), the ‘sweet tooth’ pattern (drinks and cake) and weight gain was found. In multivariate linear regression, using the first quartile as the reference, participants in the highest quartile of the ‘traditional’ pattern had a β of − 2·18 (95 % CI − 2·91, − 1·45) for weight gain. However, the β from weight change of the highest quartile of the ‘vegetable-rich’ pattern was 1·00 (95 % CI 0·25, 1·74). In conclusion, the ‘traditional’ dietary pattern was negatively and the ‘vegetable-rich’ pattern was positively associated with weight gain in Chinese adults.
Animal studies and one large cross-sectional study of 752 healthy Chinese men and women suggest that monosodium glutamate (MSG) may be associated with overweight/obesity, and these findings raise public concern over the use of MSG as a flavour enhancer in many commercial foods. The aim of this analysis was to investigate a possible association between MSG intake and obesity, and determine whether a greater MSG intake is associated with a clinically significant weight gain over 5 years. Data from 1282 Chinese men and women who participated in the Jiangsu Nutrition Study were analysed. In the present study, MSG intake and body weight were quantitatively assessed in 2002 and followed up in 2007. MSG intake was not associated with significant weight gain after adjusting for age, sex, multiple lifestyle factors and energy intake. When total glutamate intake was added to the model, an inverse association between MSG intake and 5 % weight gain was found (P = 0·028), but when the model was adjusted for either rice intake or food patterns, this association was abolished. These findings indicate that when other food items or dietary patterns are accounted for, no association exists between MSG intake and weight gain.
CdS nanocrystals embedded in sodium borosilicate glass were synthesized through sol-gel process. The CdS nanocrystals were usually 10 to 20 nm in size. The microstructure of CdS nanocrystals was determined to be of the hexagonal phase. The morphology and microstructure of the glass were examined using diverse techniques including scanning-probe microscopy (SPM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), energy dispersion x-ray spectra (EDAX), and high-resolution TEM (HRTEM). The linear optical absorption spectrum of the glass showed a blue shift as a result of quantum-size effect. Furthermore, the third-order optical nonlinearities of the glass were studied by Z-scan technique at a wavelength of 770 nm. The results showed that the third-order optical nonlinear refractive index γ, absorption coefficient β, and susceptibility χ(3) were determined to be −2.16 × 10−16 m2/W, 6.32 × 10−11 m/W, and 1.20 × 10−10 esu, respectively, which were greater than those reported previously for CdS nanocrystals embedded in different matrices.
Fe supplementation has been used to prevent anaemia in China; however, high Fe intake and body Fe stores may increase diabetes risk. The present study aimed to prospectively examine the association between Fe intake/stores and hyperglycaemia, and to assess the joint effects on anaemia.
We followed 1056 healthy adults aged 20 years and older from 2002 to 2007. Body Fe stores were measured. Dietary data were collected using a 3 d food record and FFQ. Hyperglycaemia was defined as fasting plasma glucose >5·6 mmol/l.
Of the participants, 28·8 % were anaemic at baseline. During the 5 years of follow-up, we documented 125 incident cases of hyperglycaemia, among them twenty-three were diabetic. Haem Fe intake was positively associated with the risk of hyperglycaemia in men and women: the OR (95 % CI) across increasing quartiles of haem Fe intake was 1·00 (referent), 1·49 (0·74, 3·01), 2·16 (1·06, 4·42) and 3·48 (1·71, 7·11), respectively (P for trend <0·001). Comparing the fourth quartile of serum ferritin with the others, the age- and gender-adjusted OR (95 % CI) was 1·54 (1·01, 2·34), P for trend = 0·043. The association between total Fe intake and the risk of hyperglycaemia was significant in men (P for trend = 0·002). Anaemia added additional risk of hyperglycaemia on haem Fe intake. Comparing extreme quartiles of haem Fe intake, the OR (95 % CI) was 5·67 (1·43, 22·49) and 3·44 (1·51, 7·85) for hyperglycaemia among anaemic and non-anaemic participants (P for trend = 0·008 and 0·010, respectively).
The present cohort study suggests that high haem Fe intake, anaemia and high ferritin are associated with an increased risk of hyperglycaemia in Chinese men and women. There was a joint effect between anaemia and haem Fe intake on the risk of hyperglycaemia.