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Hundreds of small-scale influenza outbreaks in schools are reported in mainland China every year, leading to a heavy disease burden which seriously impacts the operation of affected schools. Knowing the transmissibility of each outbreak in the early stage has become a major concern for public health policy-makers and primary healthcare providers. In this study, we collected all the small-scale outbreaks in Changsha (a large city in south central China with ~7·04 million population) from January 2005 to December 2013. Four simple and popularly used models were employed to calculate the reproduction number (R) of these outbreaks. Given that the duration of a generation interval Tc = 2·7 and the standard deviation (s.d.)σ = 1·1, the mean R estimated by an epidemic model, normal distribution and delta distribution were 2·51 (s.d. = 0·73), 4·11 (s.d. = 2·20) and 5·88 (s.d. = 5·00), respectively. When Tc = 2·9 and σ = 1·4, the mean R estimated by the three models were 2·62 (s.d. = 0·78), 4·72 (s.d. = 2·82) and 6·86 (s.d. = 6·34), respectively. The mean R estimated by gamma distribution was 4·32 (s.d. = 2·47). We found that the values of R in small-scale outbreaks in schools were higher than in large-scale outbreaks in a neighbourhood, city or province. Normal distribution, delta distribution, and gamma distribution models seem to more easily overestimate the R of influenza outbreaks compared to the epidemic model.
Outbreaks of acute haemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) – a rapidly progressing and highly contagious infection – often occur in schools during summer and autumn. We used dynamic modelling to evaluate the efficacy of interventions to control AHC outbreaks in schools. A susceptible-infected-recovered (SIR) model was built to simulate AHC outbreaks in Chinese schools, with isolation or school closure added into the model. We used outbreak data from the period 2004–2015 in our models to estimate the effective reproduction number and assess the efficacy of interventions. The median effective reproduction number (uncontrolled) of AHC outbreaks was 7·00 (range 1·77–25·87). The median effective reproduction number (controlled) of AHC outbreaks was 0·16 (range 0·00–2·28). Intervention efficacy is affected by the timing of isolation; earlier isolation is associated with a lower morbidity peak and smaller total attack rate (TAR). School closures were not effective; TARs were almost 100% and did not change even when different school closure durations were adopted. Isolation and school closure as a combined intervention strategy was used to simulate outbreak control, but the efficacy was the same as isolation alone. An isolation programme could be an effective primary intervention during AHC outbreaks in schools. However, school closure is not recommended.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
The herbicide chlorsulfuron is commonly applied to cereals and may persist in alkaline soil long enough to damage subsequent sensitive crops. Sewage water, a potential source of the heavy metal cadmium (Cd), is used to irrigate agricultural soils in many developing countries. The current work evaluated the effects of the residual herbicide chlorsulfuron and Cd on maize seedlings, with particular attention to the mechanism of their action on plant growth. Maize seeds were planted in soil that had been sprayed with chlorsulfuron and Cd, after which residues in both seedlings and the soil were measured. The chlorsulfuron dose was correlated with the amount of residue found in seedlings but not in the soil. In all, 39 metabolites were identified in seedlings using the Automated Mass spectral Deconvolution and Identification System software program and the retention index method. The combination of chlorsulfuron and Cd significantly reduced multiple metabolites in the shikimate pathway, malic acid and citric acid production in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and lactic acid, glucose, aspartic acid, asparagine and 3-glycerophosphoric acid production. In addition, chlorsulfuron caused an increase in multiple amino acids, including tyrosine, methionine and asparagine, and a marked decrease in caffeic and cinnamic acids (the secondary metabolites derived from the shikimate pathway and galactose). Finally, chlorsulfuron and Cd stress markedly increased shikimate acid, decreased 3-glycerophosphoric acid and caused negative correlations between the amounts of phenylalanine and tyrosine and those of quinic- and cinnamic-acid. In conclusion, chlorsulfuron and Cd did not have a synergistic effect on maize seedlings; rather, the combination of these pollutants had an antagonistic effect on some amino acids.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and breast feeding on childhood overweight and obesity in a mainland Chinese population. The incidence of and factors associated with overweight and obesity were compared between children of mothers with (n=1068) and without (n=1756) GDM. The independent roles of the associated factors were examined by multiple logistic regression analysis. The incidence of overweight was higher (16.6 v. 12.6%, P=0.002) in the GDM group, but that of obesity was not different (10.7 v. 12.0%, P=0.315). At age 1–2 and 2–5 years, no difference in overweight (11.0 v. 12.0%, P=0.917, and 15.7 v. 14.6%, P=0.693, respectively) was found, while obesity (8.0 v. 13.6%, P=0.019, and 8.4 v. 13.4%, P=0.014, respectively) was less frequent in the GDM offspring. At age 5–10 years, increased overweight (22.2 v. 12.1%, P<0.001) and obesity (15.9 v. 9.0%, P=0.001) were found in the GDM group, which was associated with maternal obesity, being born large-for-gestational age, male gender and formula feeding. After adjusting for confounding factors, GDM remained an independent determinant of offspring overweight and obesity (aOR 2.28, 95% CI 1.61–3.22), suggesting that the effects of GDM were independent of breast feeding, as well as of maternal obesity and birth size.
Mycoplasma infections are most frequently associated with disease in the urogenital or respiratory tracts and, in most cases, mycoplasmas infect the host persistently. In HIV-infected individuals the prevalence and role of genital mycoplasmas has not been well studied. To investigate the six species of Mycoplasma and the risk factors for infection in Jiangsu province, first-void urine and venous blood samples were collected and epidemiological questionnaires were administered after informed consent. A total of 1541 HIV/AIDS patients were recruited in this study. The overall infection rates of six Mycoplasma species were: Ureaplasma urealyticum (26·7%), Mycoplasma hominis (25·3%), M. fermentans (5·1%), M. genitalium (20·1%), M. penetrans (1·6%) and M. pirum (15·4%). The Mycoplasma infection rate in the unmarried group was lower than that of the married, divorced and widowed groups [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1·432, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·077–1·904, P < 0·05]. The patients who refused highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) had a much higher risk of Mucoplasma infection (aOR 1·357, 95% CI 1·097–1·679, P < 0·05). Otherwise, a high CD4+ T cell count was a protective factor against Mycoplasma infection (aOR 0·576, 95% CI 0·460–0·719, P < 0·05). Further research will be required to confirm a causal relationship and to identify risk factors for Mycoplasma infection in HIV/AIDS populations.
We present the characteristics of a high temperature CMOS integrated circuit process based on 4H silicon carbide designed to operate at temperatures beyond 300°C. N-channel and P-channel transistor characteristics at room and elevated temperatures are presented. Both channel types show the expected low values of field effect mobility well known in SiC MOSFETS. However the performance achieved is easily capable of exploitation in CMOS digital logic circuits and certain analogue circuits, over a wide temperature range.
Data is also presented for the performance of digital logic demonstrator circuits, in particular a 4 to 1 analogue multiplexer and a configurable timer operating over a wide temperature range. Devices are packaged in high temperature ceramic dual in line (DIL) packages, which are capable of greater than 300°C operation. A high temperature “micro-oven” system has been designed and built to enable testing and stressing of units assembled in these package types. This system heats a group of devices together to temperatures of up to 300°C while keeping the electrical connections at much lower temperatures. In addition, long term reliability data for some structures such as contact chains to n-type and p-type SiC and simple logic circuits is summarized.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is an important risk factor for development of hypertension, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. Maternal low protein (LP) intake during rat pregnancy leads to IUGR in male and female offspring, although females may be resistant to the development of effect. Current evidence suggests that changes in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in utero contribute to this programmed hypertension, via sex-specific mechanisms. The previously orphaned G-protein coupled receptor (GPR91) was identified as a central player in the development of hypertension in adult mice, through a RAS-dependent pathway. However, whether the GPR91 pathway contributes to fetal programming is unknown. Furthermore, the nature of involvement of downstream modulators of the RAS including Gqα/11α and GαS has not been investigated in IUGR-LP rats. Therefore, we postulated that renal GPR91, in conjunction with RAS, is differentially impacted in a sex-specific manner from LP-induced IUGR rats. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed control (C, 20% protein) or LP (8% protein) diet until embryonic day 19 (E19) or postnatal d21. At E19, GPR91 protein and mRNA were increased in both male and female LP kidneys (P<0.05), whereas renin and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) were only increased in males (P=0.06 and P<0.05, respectively). On d21, AT1R and Gqα/11α were increased in LP males, while in LP females, AT2R protein was elevated and renin expression was decreased (P<0.05). This study demonstrates that in IUGR-LP rats, up regulation of GPR91 in fetal kidney is mirrored by increased ACE and renin in males. These in utero alterations, when combined with postnatal increases in AT1R-Gqα/11α specifically in male offspring, may predispose to the development of hypertension.
Several N-nitroso compounds (NOC) have been shown to be carcinogenic in a variety of laboratory animals, but evidence of their carcinogenicity in humans is lacking. We aimed to examine the association between NOC intake and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk and possible effect modification by vitamins C and E and protein in a large case–control study carried out in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario, Canada. A total of 1760 case patients with pathologically confirmed adenocarcinoma and 2481 population controls were asked to complete a self-administered FFQ to evaluate their dietary intakes 1 year before diagnosis (for cases) or interview (for controls). Adjusted OR and 95 % CI were calculated across the quintiles of NOC (measured by N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)) intake and relevant food items using unconditional logistic regression. NDMA intake was found to be associated with a higher risk of CRC (highest v. lowest quintiles: OR 1·42, 95 % CI 1·03, 1·96; P for trend = 0·005), specifically for rectal carcinoma (OR 1·61, 95 % CI 1·11, 2·35; P for trend = 0·01). CRC risk also increased with the consumption of NDMA-containing meats when the highest tertile was compared with the lowest tertile (OR 1·47, 95 % CI 1·03, 2·10; P for trend = 0·20). There was evidence of effect modification between dietary vitamin E and NDMA. Individuals with high NDMA and low vitamin E intakes had a significantly increased risk than those with both low NDMA and low vitamin E intakes (OR 3·01, 95 % CI 1·43, 6·51; P for interaction = 0·017). The present results support the hypothesis that NOC intake may be positively associated with CRC risk in humans. Vitamin E, which inhibits nitrosation, could modify the effect of NDMA on CRC risk.
The statistical equilibrium of neutral and ionized silicon in the atmospheres of cool stars is discussed. Non-local thermodynamic equilibrium effects (NLTE) are investigated. It is found that the NLTE effects for Si are important, in particular for warm metal-poor stars. For warm metal-poor stars, the NLTE abundance correction reaches ~0.2 dex relative to standard LTE calculations.
EMU is a wide-field radio continuum survey planned for the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The primary goal of EMU is to make a deep (rms ∼ 10 μJy/beam) radio continuum survey of the entire Southern sky at 1.3 GHz, extending as far North as +30° declination, with a resolution of 10 arcsec. EMU is expected to detect and catalogue about 70 million galaxies, including typical star-forming galaxies up to z ∼ 1, powerful starbursts to even greater redshifts, and active galactic nuclei to the edge of the visible Universe. It will undoubtedly discover new classes of object. This paper defines the science goals and parameters of the survey, and describes the development of techniques necessary to maximise the science return from EMU.
The Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity and Hall coefficient of FeSbx (x = 2.04, 2.00, and 1.96) nanocomposites hot pressed at 300 °C were measured. The power factor of FeSb1.96 was increased by 105% compared to FeSb2. Hall coefficient measurements revealed a decreased carrier concentration and increased mobility in FeSb1.96 with an overall enhancement in ZTof 45% in FeSb1.96 .
Single layers of Co82?l8 with thickness in me ranee of 100–1500Å and multilayers of Co-Cr/Al with Co-Cr thickness in the range of 100–200A and Al at 7Å were prepared by dc magnetron sputtering. The films were deposited on to Si (111) and glass substrates at room temperature. A 100Å thick Al buffer layer was deposited to improve the c-axis orientation. X-ray diffraction (XRD) Measurements on the multilayers show a predominant Co-Cr (00.2) peak. Polar Magneto-optic measurements were performed to determine the Kerr rotation (θK) and figure of Merit. The results indicated an enhancement in the figure of merit at λ = 632.8 nm for the multilayered structures compared to single layer samples. All of the films show a 4πMs value around 6 kG and ferromagnetic resonance measurements indicate an enhancement in the perpendicular anisotropy field for the 150Å multilayered sample.
InGaN multi-quantum-well laser diodes have been fabricated on fully-coalesced laterally epitaxially overgrown (LEO) GaN on sapphire. The laterally overgrown ‘wing’ regions as well as the coalescence fronts contained few or no threading dislocations. Laser diodes fabricated on the low-dislocation-density wing regions showed a reduction in threshold current density from 8 kA/cm2 to 3.7 kA/cm2 compared the those on the high-dislocation ‘window’ regions. Laser diodes also showed a twofold reduction in threshold current density when comparing those on the wing regions to those fabricated on conventional planar GaN on sapphire. The internal quantum efficiency also improved from 3% for laser diodes on conventional GaN on sapphire to 22% for laser diodes on LEO GaN on sapphire.
We have grown GaN, with addition of a 0.10 to 0.33 % Al, on sapphire(0001) substrates by solid-source RF-plasma assisted MBE. The Al-concentration was determined by secondary ion-mass spectrometry and Auger-electron spectroscopy, while the layer quality was assessed by photoluminescence and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy. Microscopy revealed a meandering pattern and a surface roughness varying with Al-content. The smallest surface roughness was obtained at 0.10 % Al. Photoluminescence revealed two main peaks attributed to the neutral donor-bound exciton. Its energy increased slightly with Al-concentration, which established a correlation between the Al-concentration and the band gap.
Excimer laser ablation rates of Si (111) and AlN films grown on Si (111) and r-plane sapphire substrates were determined. Linear dependence of ablation rate of Si (111) substrate, sapphire and AlN thin films were observed. Excimer laser micromachining of the AlN thin films on silicon (111) and SiC substrates were micromachined to fabricate a waveguide structure and a pixilated structure. This technique resulted in clean precise machining of AlN with high aspect ratios and straight walls.