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Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) plays a key role in diabetes development and prognosis through its role in pancreatic β-cell dysfunction and death as well as in upregulating the inflammatory response in hyperglycemia. DNA methylation (DNAm) of TXNIP (TXNIP-cg19693031) is associated with the prevalence and incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D); however, its role in inflammation and its relationship with T2D remain unclear. We aimed to investigate the epigenetic associations of TXNIP-cg19693031 with a panel of inflammatory biomarkers and to examine whether these inflammatory biomarkers modify the association between TXNIP-cg19693031 methylation and diabetes in 218 middle-aged male twins from the Emory Twin Study. We confirmed the association of TXNIP-cg19693031 DNAm with T2D, as well as with HbA1c, insulin and fasting glucose. We found that hypomethylation at TXNIP-cg19693031 is strongly associated with both type 2 diabetes and higher levels of inflammatory biomarkers (VCAM-1, ICAM-1, MMP-2, sRAGE and P-selectin); however, the relationship between TXNIP-cg19693031 and T2D is independent of the levels of these inflammatory biomarkers. Our results suggest that DNA methylation of TXNIP is linked with multiple biological processes, through which the TXNIP may have broad influence on chronic disease risk.
Cryoconite is a dark-coloured granular sediment that contains biological and mineralogical components, and it plays a pivotal role in geochemistry, carbon cycling and glacier mass balance. In this work, we collected cryoconite samples from Laohugou Glacier No. 12 (LHG) on the north-eastern Tibetan Plateau during the summer of 2015 and measured the spectral albedo. To explore the impacts of this sediment on surface ablation, the ice melting differences between the cryoconite-free (removed) ice and the intact layers were compared. The results showed that the mean concentrations of black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC) and total iron (Fe) in the LHG cryoconite were 1.28, 11.18 and 39.94 mg g−1, respectively. BC was found to play a stronger role in solar light adsorption than OC and free Fe. In addition, ice covered by cryoconite exhibited the lowest mean reflectance (i.e., <0.1). Compared with the cryoconite-free ice surface, cryoconite effectively absorbed solar energy and enhanced glacial melting at a rate of 2.27–3.28 cm d−1, and free Fe, BC and OC were estimated to contribute 1.01, 0.99 and 0.76 cm d−1, respectively. This study provides important insights for understanding the role of cryoconite in the glacier mass balance of the northern Tibetan Plateau.
SCN5A encodes sodium-channel α-subunit Nav1.5. The mutations of SCN5A can lead to hereditary cardiac arrhythmias such as the long-QT syndrome type 3 and Brugada syndrome. Here we sought to identify novel mutations in a family with arrhythmia.
Genomic DNA was isolated from blood of the proband, who was diagnosed with atrial flutter. Illumina Hiseq 2000 whole-exome sequencing was performed and an arrhythmia-related gene-filtering strategy was used to analyse the pathogenic genes. Sanger sequencing was applied to verify the mutation co-segregated in the family.
Results and conclusions
A novel missense mutation in SCN5A (C335R) was identified, and this mutation co-segregated within the affected family members. This missense mutation was predicted to result in amplitude reduction in peak Na+ current, further leading to channel protein dysfunction. Our study expands the spectrum of SCN5A mutations and contributes to genetic counselling of families with arrhythmia.
We analyzed a 2-year time series of meteorological data (January 2011–December 2012) from three automatic weather stations on Laohugou glacier No. 12, western Qilian Mountains, China. Air temperature, humidity and incoming radiation were significantly correlated between the three sites, while wind speed and direction were not. In this work, we focus on the effects of clouds on other meteorological parameters and on glacier melt. On an average, ~18% of top-of-atmosphere shortwave radiation was attenuated by the clear-sky atmosphere, and clouds attenuated a further 12%. Most of the time the monthly average increases in net longwave radiation caused by clouds were larger than decreases in net shortwave radiation but there was a tendency to lose energy during the daytime when melting was most intense. Air temperature and wind speed related to turbulent heat flux were found to suppress glacier melt during cloudy periods, while increased water vapor pressure during cloudy days could enhance glacier melt by reducing energy loss by latent heat. From these results, we have increased the physical understanding of the significance of cloud effects on continental glaciers.
The long-term outcome of never-treated patients with schizophrenia is
To compare the 14-year outcomes of never-treated and treated patients
with schizophrenia and to establish predictors for never being
All participants with schizophrenia (n = 510) in Xinjin,
Chengdu, China were identified in an epidemiological investigation of 123
572 people and followed up from 1994 to 2008.
The results showed that there were 30.6%, 25.0% and 20.4% of patients who
received no antipsychotic medication in 1994, 2004 and 2008 respectively.
Compared with treated patients, those who were never treated in 2008 were
significantly older, had significantly fewer family members, had higher
rates of homelessness, death from other causes, being unmarried, living
alone, being without a caregiver and poor family attitudes. Partial and
complete remission in treated patients (57.3%) was significantly higher
than that in the never-treated group (29.8%). Predictors of being in the
never-treated group in 2008 encompassed baseline never-treated status,
being without a caregiver and poor mental health status in 1994.
Many patients with schizophrenia still do not receive antipsychotic
medication in rural areas of China. The 14-year follow-up showed that
outcomes for the untreated group were worse. Community-based mental
healthcare, health insurance and family intervention are crucial for
earlier diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation in the community.
Increasing dietary Ca intake may prevent the excessive mobilisation of bone mineral in nursing mothers. We aimed to investigate whether higher Ca intake could positively modulate the bone mineral changes in Chinese postpartum lactating women. The study was a 12-month randomised, double-blinded, parallel group trial conducted over 12 months. A total of 150 postpartum women were randomly selected to receive either 40 g of milk powder containing 300 mg of Ca and 5 μg of vitamin D (Low-Ca group) or same milk powder additionally fortified with 300 mg of Ca (Mid-Ca group) or 600 mg of Ca (High-Ca group). Bone mineral density (BMD) for the whole body, the lumbar spine, the total left hip and its sub-regions was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. A total of 102 subjects completed the whole trial. The duration of total lactating time was 7·9 (sd 2·8) months on average. The intention-to-treat analysis yielded the following mean percentage changes in BMD for the whole body, the lumbar spine and the total left hip, respectively: −0·93 (sd 1·97), 2·11 (sd 4·90) and −1·60 (sd 2·65) % for the Low-Ca group; −0·56 (sd 1·89), 2·21 (sd 3·77) and −1·43 (sd 2·30) % for the Mid-Ca group; and −0·44 (sd 1·67), 2·32 (sd 4·66) and −0·95 (sd 4·08) % for the High-Ca group. The differences between the groups were not statistically significant (P: 0·5–0·9). The results of the complete case analysis were similar. In sum, we found no significant differences in the bone mineral changes from baseline to 12 months in postpartum lactating women consuming milk powder fortified with different levels of Ca.
Glacier surface melting can be described using energy-balance models. We conducted a surface energy budget experiment to quantify surface energy fluxes and to identify factors affecting glacial melt in the ablation zone of Laohugou glacier No. 12, western Qilian mountains. The surface energy budget was calculated based on data from an automatic weather station, and turbulent fluxes calculated using the bulk-aerodynamic approach were corrected using measurements from an eddy-covariance system. Simulated mass balances were validated by stake observations. Net shortwave radiation was the primary component of the surface energy balance (126Wm–2), followed by sensible heat flux. Net longwave radiation (–45Wm–2) and latent heat flux (–12.8 Wm–2) represented heat sinks. The bulk-aerodynamic method underestimated sensible and latent heat fluxes by 3.4 and 1.2 W m–2, respectively. The simulated total mass balance of –1703mmw.e. exceeded the observed total by 90 mm w.e. Daily positive accumulated temperature and low albedo were the main factors accelerating glacier melt. An uncertainty assessment showed that mass balance was very sensitive to albedo and varied by 36% when albedo changed by 0.1.
Drug addiction is a major public health issue, yet the underlying adaptation of neural networks by drugs of abuse is not fully understood. We have previously linked chaperone heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) to drug-induced adaptations. Focusing on the NAc core and shell, the present study aims to provide further findings for our understanding of the relation between behavioural sensitization to morphine and Hsp70 at transcriptional and functional levels in rats. Firstly, we delineated the characteristics of behavioural sensitization induced by a single morphine exposure (1–10 mg/kg, s.c.). Secondly, Hsp70 protein expression in the NAc core was time- and dose-relatedly induced during the development of behavioural sensitization to a single morphine exposure in rats, and Pearson analysis indicated a positive correlation between behavioural sensitization and Hsp70 expression in NAc core. Thirdly, at the transcriptional level, intra-NAc core injection of the specific heat shock factor-I (HSF-I) inhibitor N-Formyl-3,4-methylenedioxy-benzylidine-γ-butyrolactam (KNK437) suppressed Hsp70 expression and the development of behavioural sensitization, while the HSF-I specific inducer geranylgeranylacetone (GGA) promoted both of them. Interestingly, intra-NAc shell injection of KNK437 or GGA did not affect the development of behavioural sensitization. Finally, both the functional inhibition of Hsp70 ATPase activity by methylene blue (MB), and the antagonism of Hsp70 substrate binding site (SBD) activity by pifithrin-μ (PES) impaired the development of behavioural sensitization when they were microinjected into the NAc core. Taken together, the critical involvement of chaperone Hsp70 in behavioural sensitization to morphine identifies a biological target for long-lasting adaptations with relevance to addiction.
We apply the feature-tracking method to L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images to derive detailed motion patterns of glaciers in the Yigong Zangbo basin during summer 2007. The results indicate that the flow patterns are generally constrained by the valley geometry and terrain complexity. The mean velocities of the 12 glaciers were 15–206 m a−1,with a maximum of 423 m a−1 for Glacier No. 5a. The majority of the glaciers exhibited high and low velocities in their upper and lower sections, respectively. The glacier area ranges from 3 to 42 km2. It is found that velocity shows a positive correlation with the glacier area and length. Many small-scale temporal/spatial variations in the glacier flow patterns were observed along the central glacier flowline.
Knowledge of present-day ice temperature and velocity is important in order to determine how fast a glacier will respond to present and future climate change. We apply a two-dimensional higher-order thermomechanical flowband model to simulate present-day ice temperature and velocity along the main flowline of East Rongbuk Glacier, Qomolangma (Mount Everest), Himalaya. We use recent (2005–11) observational data to validate the numerical model. Modelled and observed ice surface velocities exhibit good agreement. Modelled ice temperatures agree well with observed values in two shallow boreholes that are ∼18 m deep. The model suggests that the ablation zone of East Rongbuk Glacier, km 4 to km 10 from the glacier head, is underlain by temperate ice.
Previous studies showed an inconsistent association of fruit and vegetable consumption with bone health. We assessed the associations in Chinese adolescents, young and postmenopausal women.
A cross-sectional study conducted in China during July 2009 to May 2010.
Bone mineral density (BMD) and content (BMC) at the whole body, lumbar spine and left hip were measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Dietary intakes were assessed using an FFQ. All these values were separately standardized into Z-scores in each population subgroup.
One hundred and ten boys and 112 girls (11–14 years), 371 young women (20–34 years, postpartum within 2 weeks) and 333 postmenopausal women (50–70 years).
After adjustment for potential covariates, analysis of covariance showed a significantly positive association between fruit intake and BMD and BMC in all participants combined (P-trend: < 0·001 to 0·002). BMD Z-score increased by 0·25 (or 2·1 % of the mean), 0·22 (3·5 %), 0·23 (3·0 %) and 0·25 (3·5 %), and BMC Z-score increased by 0·33 (5·7 %), 0·25 (5·8 %), 0·34 (5·9 %) and 0·29 (4·7 %), at the total body, lumbar spine, total hip and femoral neck in participants belonging to the top tertile compared with the bottom tertile of fruit intake (all P < 0·05), respectively. There was no significant association between vegetable intake and bone mass at all bone sites studied except for total body BMD (P = 0·030). Relatively more pronounced effects were observed in boys and postmenopausal women.
Our findings add to the existing evidence that fruits and vegetables may have a bone sparing effect.
Twins could play a crucial role in our understanding of genetic contributions to numerous etiologically complex disorders. In China, although adult twins are relatively rare, twins will become increasingly available due to increasing twin birth rates. Thus, child twin data will be a valuable resource to contribute to the field of child and adolescent psychopathology. The first twin database of children aged from 6 to 16 was established in Chongqing, R.P., China. In this article, we will discuss our experiences in establishing the twin database, completed in three steps — the first step being to search and identify twins, the second being to keep contact with the twins and the final being to seek cooperation with the twin families, and its future prospects. Our twin database has proven to be an efficient method for the investigation and data collection of twin children in China. The results of our present study suggest that the inclusion of twin information in the residence registration of the public security bureaus in the future may ensure a smooth run of research based on the demographic resources. We propose that school networks may be adopted as the preferred method of collection of twin records for future studies.
Increasing the growth rate is especially important for low-quality wood applications, so this has become an important goal in poplar breeding. The present study describes the transfer of Vitreoscilla haemoglobin (VHb) gene (vgb) driven by constitutive promoters, by Agrobacterium tumefaciens into poplar (Populus alba×P. glandulosa). From about 450 leaf discs used for transformation, 60 Kan-resistant plants were obtained, and 52 proved to be true transgenic plants. The transgenic nature of these plants was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and Southern dot blot hybridization. The expression of vgb gene in transgenic plants was confirmed by reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR). The performance of the transgenic lines was evaluated during the first year of growth in a greenhouse. These plants showed no significant stable morphological differences from the untransformed plants. Among them, three vgb-transgenic lines exhibited noticeably higher growth rates in terms of height and diameter.
Glacier variation is one of many indicators of climate change. Repeat measurements of the glacier terminus positions for selected glaciers in the central Himalaya document that they have been in a state of continuous retreat over the past few decades. Since the 1960s the average retreat rate on the north slope of Qomolangma (Mount Everest) is 5.5–9.5ma-1 and on Xixiabangma it is 4.0–5.2ma-1. Many glaciers on the south slope of the central Himalaya have been in retreat, and recently their retreat rate has accelerated. Ice-core studies show that the annual accumulation on these glaciers has fluctuated, but over the last century it has declined. It decreased rapidly in the 1960s and has remained consistently below the long-term mean thereafter. Meteorological station records indicate that the annual mean temperature in the region has slowly increased, particularly during the summer months. The strongest warming has occurred in the last 30 years. These data suggest that the current glacier retreat is due to the combined effect of reduced precipitation and warmer temperatures, and, if these conditions continue, the glaciers in the region will continue to shrink.
Time resolved imaging has been used to investigate the whole process of the crystallization induced by intense 130 femtosecond laser pulses in as-deposited Ge1Sb2Te4 films. With an average fluence of 24mJ/cm2 a transient non-equilibrium state of the excited material is formed within 1 picosecond. The results are consistent with an electronically induced non-thermal phase transition.
The SiGe:C hetero-structure bipolar transistor (HBT) has turned into a key technology for wireless communication. This paper describes the metrology tools for SiGe epitaxy process control. Two types of analysis are critical, (1) routine control of SiGe base and Si cap thicknesses, location and thickness of the doping layer, doping dose, Ge composition profile, and their uniformity across the wafer; and (2) root-cause analysis on non-routine problems. This is achieved by developing a transmission electron microscopy (TEM) technique allowing a thickness measurement with a reproducibility better than 3 Å. Charge-compensated low-energy secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) using an optical conductivity enhancement (OCE) allows a Ge composition measurement to a required precision of 0.5 at. %.
In 1997, three ice cores were recovered from Dasuopu glacier on the northern slope of the central Himalaya. the first core, 159.9 m long, was drilled at 7000ma.s.l. down the flowline from the top of the col. the second core, 149.2m long, was drilled on the col at 7200ma.s.l. the third core, 167.7 m long, was also drilled on the col at 7200ma.s.l., 100 maway from the second core. the present paper discusses the δ18O and methane results reconstructed for the past 1000 years based on the second core. the δ18O can be interpreted as an air-temperature signal. the methane concentration is mainly representative of atmospheric methane concentration. Both δ18O and methane records show an obvious increasing trend in the past 1000 years. Methane concentration in the record is similar to the fluctuations of δ18O, decreasing during cold periods and increasing during warm periods. the Little Ice Age was well recorded in the core by both δ18O and methane. the coldest period appeared in the late 18th century, accompanied by a decrease in methane concentration. the abrupt methane-concentration increase starting after the 18th century is no doubt due to anthropogenic input. the observed methane-concentration decrease during World Wars I and II clearly demonstrates the importance of the anthropogenic input to atmospheric methane concentration if further measurements prove that it is a true atmospheric signal.
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