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Continuous hBN films have been grown by means of a radio-frequency-sputtering technology, and their material properties have been investigated. The prepared hBN films can achieve good smoothness in a large area. The surface morphologies and compositions of the hBN films on Si substrate and Al film have been characterized, indicating that there is no difference. The 101-phase peak of hBN film is the strongest, and the optical band gap of the fabricated film is 5.84 eV. An attempt on the fabrication of the hBN based resistive switching (RS) device has been made by using an Ag/hBN/Al structure, leading to the observation of a clear and stable RS behavior. The device exhibits a resistance window (high-resistivity state/low-resistivity state) of around 102, and the RS behaviors of hBN film prepared by sputtering were first observed. It has been found that the opening voltage for the device is changed when a different cycle voltage is applied because of the built-in electric field increasing with the increase of applied cycle voltage. The mechanism of the RS behavior has been analyzed, which lay a foundation for the application of hBN as RS material in resistive random access memory to improve the storage density.
Although the progression of invasive aspergillosis (IA) shares some risk factors in the development of active pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), however, the prevalence of IA in suspected PTB remains unclear. During a period of 1 year (from January 2016 to December 2016), consecutive patients with suspected PTB were included in a referral TB hospital. Data, including demographic information and underlying diseases, were collected from medical records. PTB were all confirmed by mycobacterial culture (Lowenstein–Jensen medium). IA were diagnosed as proven or probable according to the criteria of the 2008 EORTC/MSG definitions. A descriptive analysis was performed to estimate the corresponding prevalence. During the study year, 1507 patients have a positive mycobacterial culture, with a mean age of 45.6 (s.d. 19.9) years old and a female:male ratio of 1:4. Among the 82 patients with non-tuberculous mycobacterial diseases, two patients (2.44%, 95% CI 0.67–8.46%) were diagnosed as IA (one proven and one probable); two probable IA patients (0.15%, 95% CI 0.04–0.55%) were diagnosed in PTB patients (n = 1315), and all were retreatment cases. In addition, all four IA patients (100%) exhibited cavities in both lobes on radiograph. In China, the prevalence of IA is low in active PTB patients. However, when high-risk factors for IA are encountered in PTB patients, further investigations are required and empirically treatment for IA might be warranted.
Information about seed dormancy cycling and germination in relation to temperature and moisture conditions in the natural environment is important for the conservation and restoration of rare species, including Begonia guishanensis and Paraisometrum mileense, two sympatric perennial limestone (karst) species. Dry afterripening (DAR) and wet and dry (WD) cycles at 15/5 and 25/15°C as well as moist chilling (MC) at 15/5°C were used to mimic the natural environment at different times of the year. A field experiment was conducted to monitor seasonal changes in germination responses of the seeds. About 40–65% of B. guishanensis and 5% of P. mileense seeds were dormant at maturity. DAR at 25/15 and 15/5°C as well as MC and WD cycles at 15/5°C alleviated dormancy for B. guishanensis but not P. mileense, and WD cycles at 25/15°C induced a deeper conditional dormancy for both species. Seeds of B. guishanensis exhibited dormancy cycling in the field, with increased dormancy under natural WD cycles at relatively high temperatures during the transition from the dry to the wet season in April to May and decreased dormancy during the wet season from June to October. KNO3 mitigated the dormancy-inducing effect of both artificial and natural WD cycles at relatively high temperatures for B. guishanensis. The field experiment indicated that seeds of B. guishanensis may be able to form a persistent soil seed bank, while almost all seeds of P. mileense germinate at the beginning of the wet season in the field.
Androgenetic embryonic stem (AgES) cells offer a possible tool for patient-specific pluripotent stem cells that will benefit genomic imprinting studies and clinic applications. However, the difficulty in producing androgenetic embryos and the unbalanced expression of imprinted genes make the therapeutic applicability of AgES cells uncertain. In this study, we produced androgenetic embryos by injecting two sperm into an enucleated metaphase II (MII) oocyte. By this method, 88.48% of oocytes survived after injection, and 20.24% of these developed to the blastocyst stage. We successfully generated AgES cell lines from the androgenetic embryos and assayed the expression of imprinted genes in the cell lines. We found that the morphological characteristics of AgES cells were similar to that of fertilized embryonic stem cells (fES), such as expression of key pluripotent markers, and generation of cell derivatives representing all three germ layers following in vivo and in vitro differentiation. Furthermore, activation of paternal imprinted genes was detected, H19, ASC12 and Tss3 in AgES cell activation levels were lower while other examined genes showed no significant difference to that of fES cells. Interestingly, among examined maternal imprinted genes, only Mest and Igf2 were significantly increased, while levels of other detected genes were no different to that of fES cells. These results demonstrated that activation of some paternal imprinted genes, as well as recovery of maternal imprinted genes, was present in AgES cells. We differentiated AgES cells into a beating embryoid body in vitro, and discovered that the AgES cells did not show significant higher efficiency in myocardial differentiation potential.
Isolated gametes can be used to investigate fertilization mechanisms, and probe distant hybridization between different species. Pollen grains of wheat and Setaria viridis are tricellular, containing sperm cells at anthesis. Sperm from these plants were isolated by breaking open pollen grains in a osmotic solution. Wheat ovules were digested in an enzyme solution for 20 min, and then transferred to an isolation solution without enzymes to separate egg cells from ovules. The fusion of wheat egg cells with wheat and S. viridis sperm was conducted using an electro-fusion apparatus. Under suitable osmotic pressure (10% mannitol), calcium concentration of 0.001% (CaCl2·2H2O), and a 30–35 V alternating electric field for 15 s, egg cells and sperm adhered to each other and became arranged in a line. Electroporation of the plasma membrane of egg cells and sperm using a 300–500 V direct-current electric field (45 µs amplitude pulse) caused them to fuse.
The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the prognostic significance of pre-treatment immunological and nutritional statuses in patients with locally advanced gastric cancer (GC), and to use the risk factors to develop a predictive score. A total of 731 patients who underwent gastrectomy for stage II/III GC from November 2010 to December 2015 were recruited into this retrospective study. On the basis of univariate and further multivariate Cox regression analyses, decreased pretreatment lymphocyte count (<1·5×109/litre) and prealbumin concentrations (<180 mg/l) were identified to be independently associated with poorer overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). Low albumin concentrations (<33 g/l) were identified as an independent risk factor only for OS, but not for DFS. Thereafter, patients who had a decreased prealbumin concentration and lymphocyte count were given a combination of serum prealbumin concentration and lymphocyte count (Co-PaL) score of 2. Patients with only one or neither of these concentrations were given a Co-PaL score of 1 or 0, respectively. Both the OS and the DFS time were inversely related to the Co-PaL scores, and the differences among the three groups were all significant. In contrast, the prognosis did not differ significantly between patients with good nutrition and those with mild to moderate malnutrition according to the prognostic nutritional index. This study indicated that the simple scoring system could accurately predict the prognosis of patients who underwent gastrectomy for stage II/III GC. The score might be helpful in terms of clinical preoperative decision-making.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a major worldwide public-health problem, but less data are available on the long-term trends of HAIs and antimicrobial use in Eastern China. This study describes the prevalence and long-term trends of HAIs and antimicrobial use in a tertiary care teaching hospital in Hefei, Anhui, China from 2010 to 2017 based on annual point-prevalence surveys. A total of 12 505 inpatients were included; 600 HAIs were recorded in 533 patients, with an overall prevalence of 4.26% and a frequency of 4.80%. No evidence was found for an increasing or decreasing trend in prevalence of HAI over 8 years (trend χ2 = 2.15, P = 0.143). However, significant differences in prevalence of HAI were evident between the surveys (χ2 = 21.14, P < 0.001). The intensive care unit had the highest frequency of HAIs (24.36%) and respiratory tract infections accounted for 62.50% of all cases; Escherichia coli was the most common pathogen (16.67%). A 44.13% prevalence of antimicrobial use with a gradually decreasing trend over time was recorded. More attention should be paid to potential high-risk clinical departments and HAI types with further enhancement of rational antimicrobial use.
This study analyzed and assessed publication trends in articles on “disaster medicine,” using scientometric analysis. Data were obtained from the Web of Science Core Collection (WoSCC) of Thomson Reuters on March 27, 2017. A total of 564 publications on disaster medicine were identified. There was a mild increase in the number of articles on disaster medicine from 2008 (n=55) to 2016 (n=83). Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness published the most articles, the majority of articles were published in the United States, and the leading institute was Tohoku University. F. Della Corte, M. D. Christian, and P. L. Ingrassia were the top authors on the topic, and the field of public health generated the most publications. Terms analysis indicated that emergency medicine, public health, disaster preparedness, natural disasters, medicine, and management were the research hotspots, whereas Hurricane Katrina, mechanical ventilation, occupational medicine, intensive care, and European journals represented the frontiers of disaster medicine research. Overall, our analysis revealed that disaster medicine studies are closely related to other medical fields and provides researchers and policy-makers in this area with new insight into the hotspots and dynamic directions. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:165–172)
Low-field magnetic stimulation (LFMS) has mood-elevating effect, and the increase of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is associated with antidepressant treatment. We evaluated the effects and association with BDNF of rhythmic LFMS in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).
A total of 22 MDD patients were randomized to rhythmic alpha stimulation (RAS) or rhythmic delta stimulation (RDS), with 5 sessions per week, lasting for 6 weeks. Outcomes assessments included the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD–17), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA), and the Clinical Global Impressions–Severity scale (CGI–S) at baseline and at weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Serum BDNF level was measured at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, and 6.
HAMD–17, HAMA, and CGI–S scores were significantly reduced with both RAS and RDS. RAS patients had numerically greater reductions in HAMD–17 scores than RDS patients (8.9 ± 7.4 vs. 6.2 ± 6.2, effect size [ES]=0.40), while RDS patients had greater improvement in HAMA scores (8.2 ± 8.0 vs. 5.3 ± 5.8, ES=0.42). RAS was associated with clinically relevant advantages in response (54.5% vs. 18.2%, number-needed-to-treat [NNT]=3) and remission (36.4% vs. 9.1%, NNT=4). BDNF increased significantly during the 6-week study period (p<0.05), with greater increases in RAS at weeks 4 and 6 (ES=0.66—0.76) and statistical superiority at week 2 (p=0.034, ES=1.23). Baseline BDNF in the 8 responders (24.8±9.0 ng/ml) was lower than in the 14 nonresponders (31.1±7.3 ng/ml, p=0.083, ES=–0.79), and BDNF increased more in responders (8.9±7.8 ng/ml) than in nonresponders (1.8±3.5 ng/ml, p=0.044). The change in BDNF at week 2 was the most strongly predicted response (p=0.016).
Rhythmic LFMS was effective for MDD. BDNF may moderate/mediate the efficacy of LFMS.
Disclosing the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to a patient is controversial. There is significant stigma associated with a diagnosis of AD or dementia in China, but the attitude of the society toward disclosure of such a diagnosis had not been formally evaluated prior to our study. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the attitude toward disclosing an AD diagnosis to patients in China with cognitive impairment from their caregivers, and the factors that may affect their attitude.
We designed a 17-item questionnaire and administered this questionnaire to caregivers, who accompanied patients with cognitive impairment or dementia in three major hospitals in Shanghai, China. The caregiver's attitude toward disclosing the diagnosis of AD as evaluated by the questionnaire was compared to that of disclosing the diagnosis of terminal cancer.
A majority (95.7%) of the 175 interviewed participants (mean 14.2 years of education received) wished to know their own diagnosis if they were diagnosed with AD, and 97.6% preferred the doctor to tell their family members if they were diagnosed with AD. If a family member of the participants suffered from AD, 82.9% preferred to have the diagnosis disclosed to the patient. “Cognitive impairment” was the most accepted term by caregivers to disclose AD diagnosis in Chinese.
This study suggests most of the well-educated individuals in a Chinese urban area favored disclosing the diagnosis when they or their family members were diagnosed with AD.
In this study, the effects of Sm on the microstructure and corrosion resistance of hot-extruded AZ61 magnesium alloys were investigated by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The results showed that uniformly dispersed Al2Sm particles with size of ∼2 μm were discovered in the hot-extruded AZ61 magnesium alloy sample modified with 1.0 wt% Sm, which promoted dynamic recrystallization grain growth during the hot-extruded process, gradually increasing the grain of the alloy as Sm content increased. The morphology of the corroded surface and the corrosion rate of the hot-extruded AZ61 magnesium alloy both were significantly improved after Sm addition. The alloy sample modified with 2.0 wt% Sm after immersion in 3.5 wt% NaCl solution for 12 h showed minimum corrosion rate value, 3.1 mg/cm2 day, which is only 3.7% of the corrosion rate of unmodified alloy (82 mg/cm2 day).
The NASA Kepler satellite has provided unprecedented high duty-cycle, high-precision light curves for a large number of stars by continuously monitoring a field of view in Cygnus-Lyra region, leading to great progress in both discovering exoplanets and characterizing planet-hosting stars by means of asteroseismic methods. The asteroseismic survey allows the investigation of stars covering the whole H-R diagram. However, the low precision of effective temperatures and surface gravities in the KIC catalogue and the lack of information on chemical composition, metallicity and rotation rate prevent asteroseismic modeling, requiring spectroscopic observations for thousands of asteroseismic targets in the Kepler field in a homogeneous way.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is known to be a natural antioxidant. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the cryoprotective effect of ALA on the motility of boar spermatozoa and its antioxidant effect on boar spermatozoa during freezing–thawing. Different concentrations (2.0, 4.0, 6.0, 8.0 or 10.0 mg/ml) of ALA were added to the extender used to freeze boar semen, and the effects on the quality and endogenous antioxidant enzyme activities of frozen–thawed spermatozoa were assessed. The results indicated that the addition of ALA to the extender resulted in a higher percentage of motile spermatozoa post-thaw (P < 0.05). The activities of superoxide dismutase, lactate dehydrogenase, glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase and catalase improved after adding ALA to the extender (P < 0.05). Artificial insemination results showed that pregnancy rate and litter size were significantly higher at 6.0 mg/ml in the ALA group than in the control group (P < 0.05). In conclusion, ALA conferred a cryoprotective capacity to the extender used for boar semen during the process of freezing–thawing, and the optimal concentration of ALA for the frozen extender was 6.0 mg/ml.
Introduction: The mortality of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and its associated risk factors among clinically definite PD patients in China has been rarely investigated. Our study aimed to identify the mortality rates and predictors of death in PD patients in China. Methods: 157 consecutive, clinically definite PD patients from the urban area of Shanghai were recruited from a central hospital based movement disorder clinic in 2006. All patients were regularly followed up at the clinic until December 31, 2011, or death. Mortality and associations with baseline demographics, health and medical factors were then determined within the cohort. Results: After 5 years, 11(7%) patients had died. The standardised mortality ratio was 0.62 (95% CI 0.32 to 1.07, P=0.104). The main causes of death were pneumonia (54.5%, 6/11) and digestive disorders (18.2%, 2/11), respectively. Age at onset, independent living, the mini mental state examination score, the Parkinson’s disease sleep scale score and the Epworth sleepiness scale score at baseline were statistically significantly different between the survival group and the deceased group (P<0.05). Across all participants, risk factors for death included low mini mental state examination score, and high Epworth sleepiness scale score according to a binary variable logistic regression analysis. Conclusions: This study confirms the similar survival of patients with PD to the control population up to a follow-up of 5 years. Interventions tailored to potential risk factors associated with death may offer further benefits.
Rhizoma et Radix Notopterygii is often used as a traditional medicine in China. In our recent work, we found that the ethanol crude extract of Rhizoma et Radix Notopterygii could reduce phytotoxicity of acetochlor on rice. The crude extract of Rhizoma et Radix Notopterygii was isolated and purified by activity-guided fractionation. Two coumarins, isopimpinellin and 5-methoxypsoralen (5-MOP) were identified, and their bioactivity was tested in a growth chamber. The results showed that the two coumarins increased herbicide tolerance of rice shoots, and 5-MOP demonstrated better protection than isopimpinellin. The treatment of 5-MOP at 50 g ai ha−1 recovered the shoot height of rice from 42.6% (treated with acetochlor only) to 81.6% of the control treated without acetochlor, whereas the phytocidal activity of acetochlor on barnyardgrass was not impaired by 5-MOP. Further study suggested that 5-MOP increases herbicide tolerance of rice by enhancing the glutathione S-transferase level of activity in rice. Our findings suggest that isopimpinellin and 5-MOP have the potential to be applied as safeners for rice.
In present paper, the locomotion of an oblate jellyfish is numerically investigated by using a momentum exchange-based immersed boundary-Lattice Boltzmann method based on a dynamic model describing the oblate jellyfish. The present investigation is agreed fairly well with the previous experimental works. The Reynolds number and the mass density of the jellyfish are found to have significant effects on the locomotion of the oblate jellyfish. Increasing Reynolds number, the motion frequency of the jellyfish becomes slow due to the reduced work done for the pulsations, and decreases and increases before and after the mass density ratio of the jellyfish to the carried fluid is 0.1. The total work increases rapidly at small mass density ratios and slowly increases to a constant value at large mass density ratio. Moreover, as mass density ratio increases, the maximum forward velocity significantly reduces in the contraction stage, while the minimum forward velocity increases in the relaxation stage.
A recursive scheme is proposed for identifying a single input single output (SISO) Wiener-Hammerstein system, which consists of two linear dynamic subsystems and a sandwiched nonparametric static nonlinearity. The first linear block is assumed to be a finite impulse response (FIR) filter and the second an infinite impulse response (IIR) filter. By letting the input be a sequence of mutually independent Gaussian random variables, the recursive estimates for coefficients of the two linear blocks and the value of the static nonlinear function at any fixed given point are proven to converge to the true values, with probability one as the data size tends to infinity. The static nonlinearity is identified in a nonparametric way and no structural information is directly used. A numerical example is presented that illustrates the theoretical results.
In this paper, a boundary condition-enforced IBM is introduced into the LBM in order to satisfy the non-slip and temperature boundary conditions, and natural convections in a concentric isothermal annulus between a square outer cylinder and a circular inner cylinder are simulated. The obtained results show that the boundary condition-enforced method gives a better solution for the flow field and the complicated physics of the natural convections in the selected case is correctly captured. The calculated average Nusselt numbers agree well with the previous studies.