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It is difficult to separate an age-dependent fall in nitrogen use efficiency (NUE; N balance/N intake) in growing ruminants from a progressively decrease in animal protein requirements over time. This study examined the effect of dietary protein content on N partitioning, digestibility and N isotopic discrimination between the animal and its diet (Δ15Nanimal-diet) evaluated at two different fattening periods (early v. late). Twenty-four male Romane lambs (age: 19 ± 4.0 days; BW: 8.3 ± 1.39 kg) were equally allocated to three dietary CP treatments (15%, 17% and 20% CP on a DM basis). Lambs were reared with their mothers until weaning, thereafter housed in individual pens until slaughter (45 kg BW). During the post-weaning period, lambs were allocated twice (early fattening (30 days post-weaning) and late fattening (60 days post-weaning)) to metabolic cages for digestibility and N balance study. When diet CP content increased, the average daily gain of lambs increased (P < 0.05) while the age at slaughter decreased (P = 0.01), but no effect was observed on feed efficiency (P > 0.10). Diet CP content had limited effect on lamb carcass traits. Higher fibre digestibility was observed at the early v. late fattening period (P < 0.001). The N intake and the urinary N excretion increased when diet CP content increased (P < 0.001) and when shifting from early to late fattening period (P < 0.001). Faecal N excretion (P = 0.14) and N balance (P > 0.10) were not affected by diet CP content. Nitrogen digestibility increased (P < 0.001) as the diet CP content increased and on average it was greater at late v. early fattening period (P = 0.02). The NUE decreased (P = 0.001) as the diet CP content increased and as the lamb became older (P < 0.001). However, the age-dependent fall in NUE observed was lower at high v. low dietary CP content (CP × age interaction; P = 0.04). The Δ15Nanimal-diet was positively correlated (P < 0.05) with N intake (r = 0.59), excretion of faecal N (r = 0.41), urinary N (r = 0.69) and total manure N (r = 0.64), while negatively correlated with NUE (r = −0.57). Overall, the experiment showed NUE was lower in older lambs and when lambs were fed high diet CP content, and that Δ15Nanimal-diet was a useful indicator not only for NUE but also for urinary N excretion, which is a major environmental pollution factor on farm.
Crystal structure and electronic structure of YMnO3 were investigated by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy related techniques. According to the density of states (DOS), the individual interband transitions to energy loss peaks in the low energy loss spectrum were assigned. The hybridization of O 2p with Mn 3d and Y 4d analyzed by the partial DOS was critical to the ferroelectric nature of YMnO3. From the simulation of the energy loss near-edge structure, the fine structure of O K-edge was in good agreement with the experimental spectrum. The valence state of Mn (+3) in YMnO3 was determined by a comparison between experiment and calculations.
The six LIGO detections of merging black holes (BHs) allowed to infer slow spin values for the two pre-merging BHs. The three cases where the spins of the BHs can be determined in high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) show that those BHs have high spin values. We discuss here scenarios explaining these differences in spin properties in these two classes of object.
The Latino population in the United States is rapidly growing and faces profound health disparities; however, engagement of Latinos in biomedical research remains low. Our community-based participatory research partnership has recruited 2083 Spanish-speaking Latinos into 21 studies over 15 years. We sought to identify and describe the strategies we have used to successfully recruit and retain Spanish-speaking Latinos in research.
We abstracted and analyzed data from archived study notes, progress reports, team meeting minutes, and in-depth interviews conducted annually from community-based participatory research partnership members. We used a nominal group process to refine and prioritize strategies.
Overall, 13 recruitment strategies and 12 retention strategies emerged. These strategies relied on the creativity and perseverance of the study team and partners.
It is essential that we develop and disseminate effective recruitment and retention strategies that engage Latinos in biomedical research to reduce health disparities and promote health equity.
We investigated the clinical predictors of methicillin-resistance and their impact on mortality in 371 patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia identified from two prospective multi-centre studies. Methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) accounted for 42.2% of community-onset and 74.5% of hospital-onset cases. No significant clinical difference was found between patients infected with MRSA vs. methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA), except that the former were more likely to have had hospital-onset bacteraemia and received antibiotics in the preceding 90 days. After stratifying according to the acquisition site, prior antibiotic use was the only independent predictor of having MRSA in both community-onset and hospital-onset cases. The frequency of inappropriate empirical antibiotic therapy was higher in patients with MRSA than in those with MSSA bacteraemia. However, methicillin resistance was not a predictor of mortality in patients and the clinical characteristics and outcomes of both MRSA and MSSA bacteraemia were similar. This study indicates that there are no definitive clinical or epidemiological risk factors which could distinguish MRSA from MSSA cases with the exception of the previous use of antibiotics for having MRSA bacteraemia, which emphasises the prudent use of glycopeptide treatment of patients at risk for invasive MRSA infections.
Multiple human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genotypes in China were first discovered in Yunnan Province before disseminating throughout the country. As the HIV-1 epidemic continues to expand in Yunnan, genetic characteristics and transmitted drug resistance (TDR) should be further investigated among the recently infected population. Among 2828 HIV-positive samples newly reported in the first quarter of 2014, 347 were identified as recent infections with BED-captured enzyme immunoassay (CEIA). Of them, 291 were successfully genotyped and identified as circulating recombinant form (CRF)08_BC (47.4%), unique recombinant forms (URFs) (18.2%), CRF01_AE (15.8%), CRF07_BC (14.4%), subtype C (2.7%), CRF55_01B (0.7%), subtype B (0.3%) and CRF64_BC (0.3%). CRF08_BC and CRF01_AE were the predominant genotypes among heterosexual and homosexual infections, respectively. CRF08_BC, URFs, CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC expanded with higher prevalence in central and eastern Yunnan. The recent common ancestor of CRF01_AE, CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC dated back to 1983.1, 1992.1 and 1989.5, respectively. The effective population sizes (EPS) for CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC increased exponentially during 1991–1999 and 1994–1999, respectively. The EPS for CRF08_BC underwent two exponential growth phases in 1994–1998 and 2001–2002. Lastly, TDR-associated mutations were identified in 1.8% of individuals. These findings not only enhance our understanding of HIV-1 evolution in Yunnan but also have implications for vaccine design and patient management strategies.
To observe the five-year efficacy of standardised specific subcutaneous immunotherapy for house dust mite allergy in monosensitised and polysensitised children with persistent allergic rhinitis.
From January 2007 to August 2009, 236 children with persistent allergic rhinitis were divided into 2 groups: 1 group received standardised specific subcutaneous immunotherapy using house dust mite extract; the other received pharmacotherapy with intranasal corticosteroids and oral antihistamines. A total of 193 patients (106 in the immunotherapy group and 87 in the pharmacotherapy group) completed treatment. Scores for symptoms, total medication and quality of life were evaluated.
The subcutaneous immunotherapy group demonstrated a significant reduction in visual analogue scale scores, Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores and total medication scores (p < 0.05) compared with the pharmacotherapy group. No significant differences in the visual analogue scale and Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores were found between the polysensitised and monosensitised subgroups (p > 0.05). No serious adverse events occurred.
Standardised subcutaneous immunotherapy has long-term efficacy for children with persistent allergic rhinitis. Single-allergen subcutaneous immunotherapy was appropriate for allergic rhinitis caused by multiple allergens, including house dust mites, in the paediatric population.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity associated with liver disease. Risk factors identified for the transmission of HCV include contaminated blood products, intravenous drug use, body piercing, an infected mother at birth, sexual activity, and dental therapy, among others. However, the exact diversity of the HCV genotype and genetic variation among patients with low-risk factors is still unknown. In this study, we briefly described and analysed the genotype distribution and genetic variation of HCV infections with low-risk factors using molecular biology techniques. The results suggested that genotype 1b was predominant, followed by genotypes 2a and 1a. Genetic variations in the 5′ UTR sequences of HCV were identified, including point mutations, deletions, and insertions. The frequency of genetic variations in 1b was higher than in 2a. This study provides considerable value for the prevention and treatment of liver disease caused by HCV among patients with low-risk factors and for the development of HCV diagnostic reagents and vaccines.
Human cystic echinococcosis is a widespread, chronic, endemic, helminthic zoonosis caused by larval tapeworms of the species Echinococcus granulosus. At present, there is no rational and effective therapy for patients with echinococcosis. The present study evaluated whether the combination of alkaloids from Sophora moorcroftiana seeds (SMSa2) and Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) was effective in the treatment of experimental echinococcosis. After 20 weeks of secondary infection with protoscoleces, mice were randomly allocated to five groups and treated for 6 weeks by daily intragastric administration of albendazole (ABZ, 100 mg/kg), SMSa2 (100 mg/kg), BCG (abdominal subcutaneous injection at 5 × 106 CFU), SMSa2 + BCG (100 mg/kg SMSa2 and 5 × 106 CFU BCG) or normal saline (untreated group), respectively. The results indicated a significant reduction in the weight of hydatid cysts in the SMSa2 + BCG group compared with the untreated, SMSa2 and BCG groups. The rate of inhibition of hydatid cyst growth in the SMSa2 + BCG group (76.1%) was obviously increased compared with that in the SMSa2 (25.7%) and BCG (26.6%) groups, respectively. Compared with the untreated control, the SMSa2 + BCG group showed a non-significant increase in serum interleukin-4 (IL-4). Furthermore, the serum levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) between the untreated and SMSa2 + BCG groups were not statistically different. Therefore, the combination of alkaloids from S. moorcroftiana seeds and BCG can reduce cyst burden and is an effective therapeutic regimen against echinococcosis.
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are one of the most common and severe symptoms of schizophrenia, but the neuroanatomical abnormalities underlying AVHs are not well understood. The present study aims to investigate whether AVHs are associated with cortical thinning.
Participants were schizophrenia patients from four centers across China, 115 with AVHs and 93 without AVHs, as well as 261 healthy controls. All received 3 T T1-weighted brain scans, and whole brain vertex-wise cortical thickness was compared across groups. Correlations between AVH severity and cortical thickness were also determined.
The left middle part of the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) was significantly thinner in schizophrenia patients with AVHs than in patients without AVHs and healthy controls. Inferences were made using a false discovery rate approach with a threshold at p < 0.05. Left MTG thickness did not differ between patients without AVHs and controls. These results were replicated by a meta-analysis showing them to be consistent across the four centers. Cortical thickness of the left MTG was also found to be inversely correlated with hallucination severity across all schizophrenia patients.
The results of this multi-center study suggest that an abnormally thin left MTG could be involved in the pathogenesis of AVHs in schizophrenia.
Bacillary dysentery continues to be a major health issue in developing countries and ambient temperature is a possible environmental determinant. However, evidence about the risk of bacillary dysentery attributable to ambient temperature under climate change scenarios is scarce. We examined the attributable fraction (AF) of temperature-related bacillary dysentery in urban and rural Hefei, China during 2006–2012 and projected its shifting pattern under climate change scenarios using a distributed lag non-linear model. The risk of bacillary dysentery increased with the temperature rise above a threshold (18·4 °C), and the temperature effects appeared to be acute. The proportion of bacillary dysentery attributable to hot temperatures was 18·74% (95 empirical confidence interval (eCI): 8·36–27·44%). Apparent difference of AF was observed between urban and rural areas, with AF varying from 26·87% (95% eCI 16·21–36·68%) in urban area to −1·90% (95 eCI −25·03 to 16·05%) in rural area. Under the climate change scenarios alone (1–4 °C rise), the AF from extreme hot temperatures (>31·2 °C) would rise greatly accompanied by the relatively stable AF from moderate hot temperatures (18·4–31·2 °C). If climate change proceeds, urban area may be more likely to suffer from rapidly increasing burden of disease from extreme hot temperatures in the absence of effective mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production has been very rare in serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae ST23 strains, which are well-known invasive community strains. Among 92 ESBL-producing strains identified in 218 isolates from nine Asian countries, serotype K1 K. pneumoniae strains were screened. Two ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates from Singapore and Indonesia were determined to be serotype K1 and ST23. Their plasmids, which contain CTX-M-15 genes, are transferable rendering the effective transfer of ESBL resistance plasmids to other organisms.
Laser-driven relativistic electrons can be focused onto a high-Z convertor for generating high-brightness γ-rays, which in turn can be used to induce photonuclear reactions. In this work, photo-transmutation of long-lived radionuclide 135Cs induced by laser–plasma–interaction-driven electron source is demonstrated using Geant4 simulation (Agostinelli et al., 2003 Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A506, 250). High-energy electron generation, bremsstrahlung, as well as photonuclear reaction are observed at four different laser intensities: 1020, 5 × 1020, 1021, and 5 × 1021 W/cm2. The transmutation efficiency depends on the laser intensity and target size. An optimum laser intensity, namely 1021 W/cm2, was found, with the corresponding photonuclear reaction yield reaching 108 J−1 of the laser energy. Laser-generated electrons can therefore be a promising tool for transmutation reactions. Potential application in nuclear waste management is suggested.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has become a global public health problem. Many studies have been conducted to identify risk factors for HCV infection. However, some of these studies reported inconsistent results. Using data collected from 11 methadone clinics, we fit both a non-spatial logistical regression and a geographically weighted logistic regression to analyse the association between HCV infection and some factors at the individual level. This study enrolled 5401 patients with 30·0% HCV infection prevalence. The non-spatial logistical regression found that injection history, drug rehabilitation history and senior high-school education or above were related to HCV infection; and being married was negatively associated with HCV infection. Using the spatial model, we found that Yi ethnicity was negatively related to HCV infection in 62·0% of townships, and being married was negatively associated with HCV infection in 81·0% of townships. Senior high-school education or above was positively associated with HCV infection in 55·2% of townships of the Yi Autonomous Prefecture. The spatial model offers better understanding of the geographical variations of the risk factors associated with HCV infection. The geographical variations may be useful for customizing intervention strategies for local regions for more efficient allocation of limited resources to control transmission of HCV.
To investigate the prevalence of allergic rhinitis among elementary and middle school students and examine its impact on their quality of life.
Stratified sampling and cluster sampling surveys were performed among 10–17-year-old students in Changsha city from June 2011 to April 2012.
In the stratified sampling survey, the self-reported allergic rhinitis rate was 42.5 per cent. Further examination demonstrated that the average prevalence of allergic rhinitis was 19.4 per cent. The cluster sampling survey demonstrated that 214 of 814 students appeared to be atopic (26.3 per cent). The prevalence of allergic rhinitis and asthma was 17.2 and 2.1 per cent, respectively. In total, 71 atopic individuals (8.7 per cent) were without any symptoms of allergic disease. Further analysis showed that allergic rhinitis influenced the students' sleep, emotions and memory (p < 0.001).
The prevalence of allergic rhinitis was 15.8 –19.4 per cent, showing an increase with age. Allergic rhinitis affected students' sleep, emotions and memory.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Ten leading varieties of winter wheat released during 1950–2009 in North China were tested in a free-air temperature increase (FATI) facility. The FATI facility mimicked the local air temperature pattern well, with an increase of 1·1 °C in the daily mean temperature. For all the tested varieties, warming caused a significant reduction in the total length of wheat growth period by 5 days and especially in the pre-anthesis period, where it was reduced by 9 days. However, warming increased wheat biomass production and grain yield by 8·4 and 11·4%, respectively, on an average of all the tested varieties. There was no significant difference in the warming-led reduction in the entire growth period among the tested varieties. Interestingly, the warming-led increments in biomass production and grain yield increased along with the variety release year. Significantly higher warming-led increases in post-anthesis biomass production and 1000-grain weight were found in the new varieties compared to the old ones. Meanwhile, a significant improvement in plant productivity was noted due to wheat breeding during the past six decades, while no significant difference in the length of entire growth period was found among the varieties released in different eras. The results demonstrate that historical wheat breeding might have enhanced winter wheat productivity and adaptability through exploiting the positive effects rather than mitigating the negative impacts of warming on wheat growth in North China.
Modern diffraction and scattering methods of X-ray radiation allow for multi-scale probing of the material morphology for both polymer-based composite films and fibers. These approaches and analyses tools can be used to map the makeup of individual grain structures in various polymer nano-composites in order to examine the effects of the fillers on nano-scale structural changes in the materials. The electron intensity correlation function, derived from Fourier transformations of the X-ray scattering pattern provides a path to analyze acquired data for space resolved domains. Here in this study, polymer-based nano-carbon composite systems are analyzed. The polymers used include polyvinyl alcohol, polyethylene, and polyacrilonitrile as matrix materials. The nano-carbon filler contribution to the grain size evolution is tracked by X-ray scattering/diffraction characterization. These results show that the relevant sizes of crystalline and amorphous domains within the lamellae structures correspond to the dispersion/distribution of the nano-filler in the composite materials. This work mainly illustrates an effective use of the correlation function to provide global morphological analysis in the composite system.