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Evaluation of Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se in humans is challenged by the potentially high within-individual variability of these elements in biological specimens, which are poorly characterised. This study aimed to evaluate their within-day, between-day and between-month variability in spot samples, first-morning voids and 24-h collections. A total of 529 spot urine samples (including eighty-eight first-morning voids and 24-h collections) were collected from eleven Chinese adult men on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 30, 60 and 90 and analysed for these five elements using inductively coupled plasma-MS. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were utilised to characterise the reproducibility, and their sensitivity and specificity were analysed to assess how well a single measurement classified individuals’ 3-month average exposures. Serial measurements of Zn in spot samples exhibited fair to good reproducibility (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·47) over five consecutive days, which became poor when the samples were gathered months apart (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·33). The reproducibility of Cr, Mn, Fe and Se in spot samples was poor over periods ranging from days to months (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·01–0·12). Two spot samples were sufficient for classifying 60 % of the men who truly had the highest (top 33 %) 3-month average Zn concentrations; for Cr, Mn, Fe and Se, however, at least three specimens were required to achieve similar sensitivities. In conclusion, urinary Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se concentrations showed a strong within-individual variability, and a single measurement is not enough to efficiently characterise individuals’ long-term exposures.
Cryptorchidism, characterized by the presence of one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) undescended testes, is a common male urogenital defect. Cryptorchidism can lead to male infertility, testicular cancer being the most extreme clinical symptom, as well as psychological issues of the inflicted individual. Despite this, both knowledge about the aetiology of cryptorchidism and the mechanism for cryptorchidism-induced male infertility remain limited. In this present study, by using an artificial cryptorchid mouse model, we investigated the effects of surgery-induced cryptorchidism on spermatogenic cells and seminiferous epithelial cycles. We found that surgery-induced cryptorchidism led to a reduced testicular weight, aberrant seminiferous epithelial cycles and impaired spermatogenesis characterized by degenerating spermatogenic cells. We also observed multinucleated giant cells after surgery-induced cryptorchidism. Transmission electron microscopy, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) and western blot assays demonstrated cryptorchidism-induced apoptosis of spermatogenic cells. Moreover, we identified the occurrence of autophagy in germ cells after surgery-induced cryptorchidism. Interestingly, apoptosis and autophagy were synchronous, suggestive of their synergetic roles in promoting germ cell death. Our results provide novel insights into the cryptorchidism-induced male infertility, thereby contributing to the development of male contraceptive strategies as well as treatment options for male infertility caused by cryptorchidism.
This paper presents a complete two-step phase-shifting (TSPS) spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction (SPIDER) to improve the reconstruction of ultrafast optical fields. Here, complete TSPS acts as a balanced detection that can not only remove the effect of the dc term of the interferogram, but also reduce measurement noises, and thereby improve the capability of SPIDER to measure the pulses with narrow spectra or complex spectral structures. Some prisms are chosen to replace some environment-sensitive optical components, especially reflective optics to improve operating stability and improve signal-to-noise ratio further. Our experiments show that the available shear can be decreased to 1.5% of the spectral width, which is only about
compared with traditional SPIDER.
The Zhenzhu Spring, located in the Tengchong volcanic field, Yunnan, China, is an acid hot spring with high SO42− concentrations and intense acid aerosol generation. In order to understand the formation mechanism of sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring and provide a better insight into the sulfur isotope geochemistry of the associated Rehai hydrothermal system, we investigated the spring water hydrochemistry, mineralogy and major-element geochemistry of sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring together with the sulfur-oxygen isotope geochemistry of sulfur-containing materials at the Rehai geothermal field and compared the isotope results with those in other steam-heated environments. Subaerial minerals include a wide variety of sulfate minerals (gypsum, alunogen, pickeringite, tamarugite, magnesiovoltaite and a minor Mg–S–O phase) and amorphous SiO2. The δ34S values of the subaerial sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring varied subtly from –0.33 to 1.88‰ and were almost consistent with the δ34S values of local H2S (–2.6 to 0.6‰) and dissolved SO42− (–0.2 to 5.8‰), while the δ18O values (–8.94 to 20.1‰) were between that of the spring waters (–10.19 to –6.7‰) and atmospheric O2 (~23.88‰). The results suggest that most of the sulfate minerals are derived from the oxidation of H2S, similar to many sulfate minerals from modern steam-heated environments. However, the rapid environmental change (different ratio of atmospheric and water oxygen) at the Zhenzhu Spring accounts for the large variation of δ18O. The formation of subaerial sulfate minerals around the Zhenzhu Spring is related to acid aerosols (vapour and acid water droplets). The intense activity of spring water around vents supply the aerosol with H2SO4 (H2S oxidation and acid water droplets formed by bubble bursting) and few cations. Deposition of the acid sulfate aerosol forms the acid condensate, which attacks the underlying rocks and releases many cations and anions to form subaerial sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring.
The present study was undertaken to investigate the antiparasitic activity of extracellular products of Streptomyces albus. Bioactivity-guided isolation of chloroform extracts affording a compound showing potent activity. The structure of the compound was elucidated as salinomycin (SAL) by EI-MS, 1H NMR and 13C NMR. In vitro test showed that SAL has potent anti-parasitic efficacy against theronts of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis with 10 min, 1, 2, 3 and 4 h (effective concentration) EC50 (95% confidence intervals) of 2.12 (2.22–2.02), 1.93 (1.98–1.88), 1.42 (1.47–1.37), 1.35 (1.41–1.31) and 1.11 (1.21–1.01) mg L−1. In vitro antiparasitic assays revealed that SAL could be 100% effective against I. multifiliis encysted tomonts at a concentration of 8.0 mg L−1. In vivo test demonstrated that the number of I. multifiliis trophonts on Erythroculter ilishaeformis treated with SAL was markedly lower than that of control group at 10 days after exposed to theronts (P < 0.05). In the control group, 80% mortality was observed owing to heavy I. multifiliis infection at 10 days. On the other hand, only 30.0% mortality was recorded in the group treated with 8.0 mg L−1 SAL. The median lethal dose (LD50) of SAL for E. ilishaeformis was 32.9 mg L−1.
It has been documented that lipreading facilitates the understanding of difficult speech, such as noisy speech and time-compressed speech. However, relatively little work has addressed the role of visual information in perceiving accented speech, another type of difficult speech. In this study, we specifically focus on accented word recognition. One hundred forty-two native English speakers made lexical decision judgments on English words or nonwords produced by speakers with Mandarin Chinese accents. The stimuli were presented as either as videos that were of a relatively far speaker or as videos in which we zoomed in on the speaker’s head. Consistent with studies of degraded speech, listeners were more accurate at recognizing accented words when they saw lip movements from the closer apparent distance. The effect of apparent distance tended to be larger under nonoptimal conditions: when stimuli were nonwords than words, and when stimuli were produced by a speaker who had a relatively strong accent. However, we did not find any influence of listeners’ prior experience with Chinese accented speech, suggesting that cross-talker generalization is limited. The current study provides practical suggestions for effective communication between native and nonnative speakers: visual information is useful, and it is more useful in some circumstances than others.
Nanoscale magnetization modulation by electric field enables the construction of low-power spintronic devices for information storage applications and, etc. Electric field-induced ion migration can introduce desired changes in the material's stoichiometry, defect profile, and lattice structure, which in turn provides a versatile and convenient means to modify the materials’ chemical-physical properties at the nanoscale and in situ. In this review, we provide a brief overview on the recent study on nanoscale magnetization modulation driven by electric field-induced migration of ionic species either within the switching material or from external sources. The formation of magnetic conductive filaments that exhibit magnetoresistance behaviors in resistive switching memory via foreign metal ion migration and redox activities is also discussed. Combining the magnetoresistance and quantized conductance switching of the magnetic nanopoint contact structure may provide a future high-performance device for non-von Neumann computing architectures.
Given the global water challenges, solar-driven steam generation has become a renewed topic recently as an energy-efficient way for clean water production. Here, a hybrid plasmonic structure consisting of a top layer of TiN nanoparticles (NPs) and a bottom layer of mesoporous anodized alumina membrane (AAM) was rationally designed and fabricated. The top TiN NPs with broadband light absorption acted as a plasmonic heating layer, which converted the absorbed light to heat efficiently for interfacial water heating. The AAM acted as the mechanical support layer, guaranteeing the heat isolation and continuous water replenishment. With optimized thickness of the TiN top layer, a solar steam generation efficiency of 87.7% was achieved in this study. This efficiency is comparable or even higher than prior studies. The current work proves the capability of the TiN NPs as an alternative photothermal material.
This telescope was designed for determining the trigonometric parallaxes of faint stars. The otpical configuration is a Ritchey-Chrétien system and has only a f/10 Cassegrain focus for photographic work.
The mounting is a combination of fork and yoke frame which can reduce the flexure due to gravity. A high speed digital servo-system was adopted for controlling and driving the telescope. At present some photographs of Comet Halley have been obtained.
The 1.56m astrometric telescope (Fig. 1) is designed mainly for determining trigonometric parallaxes of faint stars.
In order to keep the design as simple as possible, the telescope has only a Ritchey-Chretien focus and will accomodate plates 200 × 200 mm. We also plan to design several pieces of auxiliary equipment such as a medium dispersion grating spectrograph, a photometer, a reducing camera, and an electrographic camera, all of which are in the second stage of engineering. The whole project consists of four parts.
The predictability of modified constitutive model, based on Arrhenius type equation, for illustrating the flow behavior of Fe–36%Ni Invar alloy was investigated via isothermal hot compression tests. The hot deformation tests were carried out in a temperature range of 850–1100 °C and strain rates from 0.01 to 10 s−1. True stress-true strain curves exhibited the dependence of the flow stress on deformation temperatures and strain rates, which then described in Arrhenius-type equation by Zener–Holloman parameter. Moreover, the related material constants and hot deformation activation energy (Q) in the constitutive model were calculated by considering the effect of strain as independent function on them and employing sixth polynomial fitting. Subsequently, the performance of the modified constitutive equation was verified by correlation coefficient and average absolute relative error which were estimated in accordance with experimental and predicted data. The results showed that the modified constitutive equation possess reliable and stable ability to predict the hot flow behavior of studied material under different deformation conditions. Meanwhile, Zener–Holloman parameter map was established according to the modified constitutive equation and used to estimate the extent of dynamic recrystallization.
Both lay beliefs and research findings suggest that people tend to avoid conflicts if interpersonal harmony is highly valued. Counter to this widely accepted convention, we adopt the perspective of motivated social cognition to argue that conflict avoidance is subject to the joint effect of the need for epistemic security (need for closure) and the motivation to prevent losses (prevention focus). Such effect is mediated by negative anticipation towards the consequences of confronting conflicts. Results across three studies indicated that individuals with relatively high need for closure and high prevention focus show the strongest conflict avoidance tendency due to their heightened negative anticipation. However, with low need for closure, the negative anticipation and conflict avoidance tendency of high prevention-focused individuals are weakened or even disappear. This research offers a novel theory about the mechanism of conflict avoidance. The findings about the debiasing role of low need for closure also provide rich implications for conflict resolutions.
The prevalence of CHD has been well described worldwide except in Tibet. This study aimed to illustrate the prevalence and composition of CHD in Tibetan children according to altitude.
Methods and results
In the first part, we prospectively recruited 7088 unselected Tibetan children (4–17 years) from south-west Tibet. The total prevalence of CHD increased from 4.6/1000 below 4200 m to 13.4/1000 above 4700 m, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.3:3.1. The total prevalence and female prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus increased more than 10-fold. Females living above 4700 m had exceptionally high prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (14.9/1000). The prevalence of atrial septal defect was comparable among different altitudes (3.3–3.8/1000). The prevalence of ventricular septal defect was 1.3/1000 below 4700 m, and no cases were found above this altitude. In the second part, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 383 CHD children in Tibet and 73 children at lower altitudes. The percentage of isolated ventricular septal defect decreased from 54.8 to 3.1%, and the percentage of isolated patent ductus arteriosus increased from 8.2 to 68.4% with elevation. Children living below 4200 m (10.4–13.7%) had a larger proportion of complex CHD than those above this altitude (2.0–3.1%). Of the 20 Tibetan children with complex CHD, 14 (70.0%) lived below 4200 m.
A wide variation in CHD prevalence and composition existed in Tibetan children among different altitudes.
This article analyzes the effects of firms’ founding ownership in shaping their corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance in China. Drawing on a nationwide survey of 1,037 representative manufacturing firms in 12 cities, we specify the imprinting effects of firms’ founding ownership on labor and environmental protections, two important CSR practices. Our results show that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) founded during the state socialist period, regardless of their restructuring experience in the market reform era, continued to implement pro-labor practices. Moreover, even the SOEs founded in the market reform era provided better labor protection than non-SOEs founded during the same time. In contrast, the founding imprints of environmentalism in the reform era for non-SOEs, especially the de novo private firms, explain why they spent more than SOEs in environmental protection. We extend the organizational imprinting theory by highlighting the importance of firms’ founding ownership imprints and in shaping their current CSR performance.
The present study was performed to identify the genotype of a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy family and investigate the clinicopathogenic characteristics and prognostic features of relevant genetic abnormalities. Target sequence capture sequencing was performed to screen for pathogenic alleles in a 32-year-old female patient (proband). Sanger sequencing was carried out to verify the results. Sanger sequencing was also performed on other family members to identify allele carriers. A survival analysis was carried out using published literature and our findings. We found that the proband and her son harboured a Gly716Arg sequence variant of the β-myosin heavy chain. Neither the proband’s father nor the mother were carriers of this sequence variant; thus, the mutation was classified as “de novo”. Further survival analysis revealed that female patients appear to have a longer life expectancy compared with males. Our study may provide an effective approach for the genetic diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Ice algae have successfully adapted to the extreme environmental conditions in the Antarctic, however the underlying mechanisms involved in the regulation and response of thylakoid membranes and chloroplast to low-temperature stress are still not well understood. In this study, changes in pigment concentrations, lipids, fatty acids and pigment protein complexes in thylakoid membranes and chloroplast after exposure to low temperature conditions were investigated using the Antarctic ice algae Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L. Results showed that the chloroplasts of Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L are distributed throughout the cell except in the nuclear region in the form of thylakoid lamellas which exists in the gap between organelles and the starch granules. Also, the structure of mitochondria has no obvious change after cold stress. Concentrations of Chl a, Chl b, monogalactosyl diacylglycerol, digalactosyl diacylglycerol and fatty acids were also observed to exhibit changes with temperature, suggesting possible adaptations to cold environments. The light harvesting complex, lutein and β-carotene played an important role for adaptation of ICE-L, and increasing of monogalactosyl diacylglycerol and digalactosyl diacylglycerol improved the overall degree of unsaturation of thylakoid membranes, thereby maintaining liquidity of thylakoid membranes. The pigments, lipids, fatty acids and pigment-protein complexes maintained the stability of the thylakoid membranes and the normal physiological function of Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L.
A 100-J-level Nd:glass laser system in nanosecond-scale pulse width has been constructed to perform as a standard source of high-fluence-laser science experiments. The laser system, operating with typical pulse durations of 3–5 ns and beam diameter 60 mm, employs a sequence of successive rod amplifiers to achieve 100-J-level energy at 1053 nm at 3 ns. The frequency conversion can provide energy of 50-J level at 351 nm. In addition to the high stability of the energy output, the most valuable of the laser system is the high spatiotemporal beam quality of the output, which contains the uniform square pulse waveform, the uniform flat-top spatial fluence distribution and the uniform flat-top wavefront.
In this work, fluorescent Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) cells were developed as probes for imaging applications and to explore behaviorial interaction between B. subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). A novel biological strategy of coupling intracellular biochemical reactions for controllable biosynthesis of CdSe quantum dots by living B. subtilis cells was demonstrated, through which highly luminant and photostable fluorescent B. subtilis cells were achieved with good uniformity. With the help of the obtained fluorescent B. subtilis cells probes, S. aureus cells responded to co-cultured B. subtilis and to aggregate. The degree of aggregation was calculated and nonlinearly fitted to a polynomial model. Systematic investigations of their interactions implied that B. subtilis cells inhibit the growth of neighboring S. aureus cells, and this inhibition was affected by both the growth stage and the amount of surrounding B. subtilis cells. Compared to traditional methods of studying bacterial interaction between two species, such as solid culture medium colony observation and imaging mass spectrometry detection, the procedures were more simple, vivid, and photostable due to the efficient fluorescence intralabeling with less influence on the cells’ surface, which might provide a new paradigm for future visualization of microbial behavior.
A series of zeolite–zeolite composites were prepared by a two-step hydrothermal crystallization procedure in which the mixture of presynthesized ZSM-5 zeolite acts as nutrients for the growth of postsynthesized Y zeolite, and the as-synthesized products are denoted as MFI–FAU. The structural, crystalline, and textural properties of the as-synthesized materials, as well as the references Y, ZSM-5, and a corresponding physical mixture composed of Y and ZSM-5 zeolite, were characterized by x-ray powder diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectrum (FTIR), temperature-programmed desorption of ammonia, N2 adsorption–desorption, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectrometry, and Thermogravimetry. The results show that the ratio of Y to ZSM-5 in the composite can be adjusted by controlling the hydrothermal treatment time of the second-step synthesis. Steric hindrance provoked by the concurrently growing crystals offers the postsynthesized Y zeolite phase, a relatively smaller size. A hierarchical pores system, which results from the extraction of silicon species from ZSM-5 and the polycrystalline accumulation of Y zeolite, has been created in the zeolite–zeolite composite. Catalytic performances of the zeolite–zeolite composite catalysts as well as the references catalysts were investigated during the catalytic cracking of isopropylbenzene. As compared with the corresponding physical mixture, the composite catalysts display the excellent catalytic performances with a higher conversion of isopropylbenzene as well as a longer catalytic life because of the introduced hierarchical pores system and the formation of special composite structure.
Recently, the detection of non-bulk superconductivity with unexpectedly high onset-Tcs up to 49 K in Pr-doped CaFe2As2 [(Ca,Pr)122] single crystals and the report of a Tc up to 65 K in one-unit-cell (1UC) FeSe epi-films, offer an unusual opportunity to seek an answer to the question posed in the title. Through systematic compositional, structural, resistive, and magnetic investigations on (Ca,Pr)122 single crystals, we have observed a doping-level-independent Tc, the simultaneous appearance of superparamagnetism and superconductivity, large magnetic anisotropy, and the existence of mesoscopic-2D structures in these crystals, thus providing clear evidence consistent with the proposed interface-enhanced Tc in these naturally occurring rareearth-doped Fe-based superconductors, (Ca,R)122. Similar resistive and magnetic measurements were also made on the 3–4UC FeSe ultrathin epi-films. We have detected weak links in the Meissner state below 20 K, weakly coupled small superconducting patches between 20–45 K, and collective excitations of spin and/or superconducting nature between 45–80 K. The unusual frequency dependences of the diamagnetic moment observed in the films in different temperature ranges will be presented and their implications discussed.