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Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
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.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
In this work, carbon nanotubes (CNTs)-templated binuclear metallophthalocyanines (MTAPcCF3)2C (M = Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn) assemblies (MTAPcCF3)2C–COOH–CNTs are designed and obtained. Whereafter, the structure and morphology of target products are analyzed by many means such as infrared, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The electrocatalytic performances of lithium-thionyl chloride battery catalyzed by (MTAPcCF3)2C–COOH–CNTs were carried out. The result shows that all catalysts can improve the battery performance including the discharge time and the initial voltage. The catalytic performance of (MTAPcCF3)2C–COOH–CNTs is ordered following the central metal: Mn > Fe > Ni > Co > Cu > Zn. The cell capacity catalyzed by optimal catalyst (MnTAPcCF3)2C–COOH–CNTs can expand to 28.08 mAˑh, with increase by 142.07%, and the (MnTAPcCF3)2C–COOH–CNTs can extend the discharge time to 551.6 s. Besides, the reaction mechanism is presented on the basis of cyclic voltammetry measurements.
The current experiment aimed at assessing the effects of dietary supplementation of guanidino acetic acid (GAA) on growth performance, thigh meat quality and development of small intestine in broilers. A total of 360 1-day-old female broiler chicks were distributed randomly to four groups of 90 birds each, and each group received GAA dosages of 0, 0.4, 0.8 and 1.2 g/kg of feed dry matter. During the whole experiment of 60 days, broilers had ad libitum access to water and feed and the feed intake was recorded daily. All broilers were weighed before and after the experiment, and 30 broilers of each group were selected randomly to slaughter at the end. Increasing dietary supplementation of GAA increased final live weight and daily body weight gain, gain-to-feed ratio, thigh muscle pH value and fibre diameter of broilers, but decreased daily feed intake, drip loss, cooking loss, shear force value, hardness, gumminess and chewiness of thigh meat. In addition, increasing supplementation of GAA quadratically increased duodenal, jejunal and ileal villus height and width and ratio of villus height to crypt depth, but decreased crypt depth. The results indicated that GAA as a feed additive may support better development of small intestine, thereby resulting in improvement of growth performance and meat quality of broilers.
This study aim to derive and validate a simple and well-performing risk calculator (RC) for predicting psychosis in individual patients at clinical high risk (CHR).
From the ongoing ShangHai-At-Risk-for-Psychosis (SHARP) program, 417 CHR cases were identified based on the Structured Interview for Prodromal Symptoms (SIPS), of whom 349 had at least 1-year follow-up assessment. Of these 349 cases, 83 converted to psychosis. Logistic regression was used to build a multivariate model to predict conversion. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) was used to test the effectiveness of the SIPS-RC. Second, an independent sample of 100 CHR subjects was recruited based on an identical baseline and follow-up procedures to validate the performance of the SIPS-RC.
Four predictors (each based on a subset of SIPS-based items) were used to construct the SIPS-RC: (1) functional decline; (2) positive symptoms (unusual thoughts, suspiciousness); (3) negative symptoms (social anhedonia, expression of emotion, ideational richness); and (4) general symptoms (dysphoric mood). The SIPS-RC showed moderate discrimination of subsequent transition to psychosis with an AUC of 0.744 (p < 0.001). A risk estimate of 25% or higher had around 75% accuracy for predicting psychosis. The personalized risk generated by the SIPS-RC provided a solid estimate of conversion outcomes in the independent validation sample, with an AUC of 0.804 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.662–0.951].
The SIPS-RC, which is simple and easy to use, can perform in the same manner as the NAPLS-2 RC in the Chinese clinical population. Such a tool may be used by clinicians to counsel appropriately their patients about clinical monitor v. potential treatment options.
Positron annihilation spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry were used to evaluate the changes of the atomic configurations in Zr-based metallic glasses (MGs) due to alloying and plastic deformation. The correlation between the atomic configurations of MGs and the amorphous-to-icosahedral phase transition due to heating was investigated. The results indicate that the free volume frozen in the as-cast Zr60Al15Ni25, Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5, and Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5Ag5 MGs substantially decreases in sequence. More excess free volume is introduced in Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5Ag5 MG due to cold rolling and milling. The annihilation of free volume due to alloying considerably stabilizes the icosahedral structure of MGs, which enhances the nucleation and growth of quasicrystals upon heating. However, the nucleation and growth of quasicrystals are considerably suppressed in Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5Ag5 MG due to cold rolling and milling, during which the more introduced excess free volume results in substantial destruction of short-range order with 5-fold symmetry. The present work further provides direct evidence for the prevalence of icosahedral short-range order in MGs.
Monosized spherical Cu–20% Sn (wt%) alloy particles with diameter ranging from 70.6 to 334.0 μm were prepared by the pulsated orifice ejection method (termed “POEM”). Fully dense without pores and bulk inclusions, the cross-sectional micrographs of the spherical alloy particles indicate an even distribution of Cu and Sn. These spherical Cu–Sn alloy particles exhibit a good spherical shape and a narrow size distribution, suggesting that the liquid Cu–Sn alloy can completely break the balance between the surface tension and the liquid static pressure in the crucible micropores and accurately control the volume of the droplets. Furthermore, the cooling rate of spherical Cu–20% Sn alloy particles is estimated by a Newton’s cooling model. The cooling rate of the Cu–20% Sn alloy particle decreases gradually with the particle diameter increasing. Smaller particles have higher cooling rates and when the particle diameter is less than 70 μm, the cooling rate of particles can reach more than 3.3 × 104 K/s. The secondary dendrite arm spacing has strong dependence on particle diameter which increases gradually with the increase of particle diameter. The results demonstrate that POEM is an effective route for fabrication of high-quality monosized Cu–20% Sn alloy particles.
Optical isolators, devices that only allow unidirectional light propagation, constitute an essential building block for photonic integrated circuits. For near-infrared communications wavelengths, most current isolator designs rely on the incorporation of magneto-optical (MO) materials to break time-reversal symmetry, such as iron garnets or magnetically substituted semiconductors. MO garnets form the backbone of traditional bulk isolators, but suffer from large lattice and thermal mismatch with common semiconductor substrates, which has significantly impeded their integration into on-chip optical isolators. Materials innovations over the past few years have overcome these barriers and enabled monolithic deposition of MO oxide thin films on silicon using techniques such as pulsed laser deposition and magnetron sputtering. On-chip optical isolator devices with polarization diversity in the telecommunication band have been demonstrated based on these materials. This article reviews the latest technological breakthroughs in MO oxide material growth as well as device design and integration strategies toward practical implementation of on-chip optical isolation.
Unique SnO2 monoflowers with an aloe-like morphology were successfully synthesized via a one-step hydrothermal method. The structural, chemical, and physical characteristics were investigated. The results exhibited that the as-prepared sample was assembled by triangle rutile SnO2 nanoslices with rough surfaces. A possible crystal growth and nanostructure assembling mechanism was proposed. The Raman peaks in 171, 235, and 211 cm−1 proved that a large amount of oxygen defects existed inside the sample, which might narrow the band gap from 3.6 eV of pure SnO2 to 2.7 eV of the sample. The sensor fabricated by aloe-like SnO2 nanostructures exhibited an excellent response and selectivity to ethanol. The developed sensor can detect ethanol as low as 10 ppm at 360 °C. The prepared aloe-like SnO2 microflower sensor exhibited a gas sensing response of about 7.46 when exposed to 100 ppm of ethanol gas at 360 °C, which was probably related to more numerous defects and thinner structure of aloe-like SnO2.
An Al–3% B master alloy has been subjected to equal channel angular pressing (ECAP). The grain refining performance and fading resistance of an Al–3% B master alloy on a commercial purity Al (CPA) have been evaluated. The effect of the number of ECAP passes on the size and the distribution of the AlB2 particles, the grain size of CPA ingots with and without adding the Al–3% B master alloy subjected to ECAP have been investigated. The mean size of AlB2 particles was significantly reduced from ∼34 to ∼12 μm after four ECAP passes. Fine blocky AlB2 particles were uniformly distributed in the Al matrix. It has been revealed that when it was inoculated by the Al–B master alloy subjected to ECAP, the grain size of α-Al was decreased from ∼1200 to ∼180 μm after four ECAP passes, beyond that, the grain size tends to be saturated. It has been proved that grain refinement efficiency and fading resistance of the Al–3% B master alloy subjected to ECAP in CPA ingots was enhanced.
Leucine plays an important role in promoting muscle protein synthesis and muscle remodelling. However, what percentage of leucine is appropriate in creep feed and what proteome profile alterations are caused by dietary leucine in the skeletal muscle of piglets remain elusive. In this case, we applied isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation to analyse the proteome profile of the longissimus dorsi muscles of weanling piglets fed a normal leucine diet (NL; 1·66 % leucine) and a high-leucine diet (HL; 2·1 % leucine). We identified 157 differentially expressed proteins between these two groups. Bioinformatics analysis of these proteins exhibited the suppression of oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid β-oxidation, as well as the activation of glycolysis, in the HL group. For further confirmation, we identified that SDHB, ATP5F1, ACADM and HADHB were significantly down-regulated (P<0·01, except ATP5F1, P<0·05), whereas the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase was significantly up-regulated (P<0·05) in the HL group. We also show that enhanced muscle protein synthesis and the transition from slow-to-fast fibres are altered by leucine. Together, these results indicate that leucine may alter energy metabolism and promote slow-to-fast transitions in the skeletal muscle of weanling piglets.
A well-preserved fossil priapulid worm, Xiaoheiqingella sp., is reported from the early Cambrian Guanshan Lagerstätte (Cambrian Series II, Stage 4) near Kunming City, Yunnan Province, SW China. The body of the animal consists of four sections: a swollen introvert, a constricted neck, a finely annulated trunk and a caudal appendage. The body configuration exhibits a close resemblance to that of the crown group priapulid Xiaoheiqingella peculiaris from the early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte. The new discovery provides another striking example of crown group priapulids, representing the third occurrence of crown group fossil priapulids after the Chengjiang Lagerstätte (Cambrian Series II, Stage 3) and the Mazon Creek Lagerstätte (late Moscovian Stage, Pennsylvanian). The discovery also sheds new light on the early diversity and evolution of priapulid worms.
In this work, a shorting control (SC) scheme is integrated into a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) synchronous rectifier for the output voltage regulation of a wireless power supply. The rectifier is designed to operate in a parallel tuned pickup with a 500 mW output power capability for biomedical implants. Without any additional components, the proposed SC method enables the power pickup to operate with high efficiency under variable coupling conditions while maintaining the required load power to keep the output voltage constant. Desired operating conditions are achieved with increased power transfer capability at weak magnetic coupling conditions and higher power efficiency at strong coupling. A novel derivation describes the change in efficiency with SC duty ratio. Experimental validation is completed with an original custom CMOS integrated rectifier with embedded SC. It is demonstrated that the proposed SC method can increase the overall secondary pickup power transfer efficiency by 14% as the magnetic coupling increases to the stronger end.
The fruit plus accessory parts, and thus not only the fruit or seed, is the diaspore in some species of flowering plants. Atriplex centralasiatica, a summer annual salt-secreting cold-desert halophyte of central Asia that produces flat and humped diaspores, is such a species. The dispersal/germination units of this diaspore-heteromorphic species are fruits enclosed in persistent ‘bracteoles’. Germination of black and brown fruits (i.e. ‘bracteoles’ removed) of this species has been studied in some detail previously, but little attention has been given to the germination biology of the intact diaspores. The aim of this study was to compare the germination biology of the intact diaspores of A. centralasiatica, and their fates in the field during 12 months on the soil surface and buried at 5-cm depth. Fresh flat diaspores germinated to 42.7–51.3% in light (12-h photoperiod) and to 16.0–59.3% in constant dark, over a temperature range of 15–20/30°C, while no freshly matured humped diaspores did so under any temperature/light regime. Neither gibberellin (GA3) nor potassium nitrate (KNO3) had an effect on germination of either diaspore. Both diaspores readily imbibed water, and removal of ‘bracteoles’ released most of the dormancy. Thus, the ‘bracteoles’ are primarily responsible for diaspore dormancy in A. centralasiatica. Humped diaspores persisted for a longer period in the soil than flat ones. The germination requirements of intact natural dispersal/germination units of A. centralasiatica differ from those previously reported for fruits of this species.
The objective of this study was to determine if a moderate or high reduction of dietary CP, supplemented with indispensable amino acids (IAA), would affect growth, intestinal morphology and immunological parameters of pigs. A total of 40 barrows (initial BW=13.50±0.50 kg, 45±2 day of age) were used in a completely randomized block design, and allocated to four dietary treatments containing CP levels at 20.00%, 17.16%, 15.30% and 13.90%, respectively. Industrial AA were added to meet the IAA requirements of pigs. After 4-week feeding, blood and tissue samples were obtained from pigs. The results showed that reducing dietary CP level decreased average daily gain, plasma urea nitrogen concentration and relative organ weights of liver and pancreas (P<0.01), and increased feed conversion ratio (P<0.01). Pigs fed the 13.90% CP diet had significantly lower growth performance than that of pigs fed higher CP at 20.00%, 17.16% or 15.30%. Moreover, reducing dietary CP level decreased villous height in duodenum (P<0.01) and crypt depth in duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0.01). The reduction in the dietary CP level increased plasma concentrations of methionine, alanine (P<0.01) and lysine (P<0.05), and decreased arginine (P<0.05). Intriguingly, reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 13.90% resulted in a significant decrease in plasma concentration of IgG (P<0.05), percentage of CD3+T cells of the peripheral blood (P<0.01), also down-regulated the mRNA abundance of innate immunity-related genes on toll-like receptor 4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (P<0.01) and nuclear factor kappa B (P<0.05) in the ileum. These results indicate that reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 15.30%, supplemented with IAA, had no significant effect on growth performance and had a limited effect on immunological parameters. However, a further reduction of dietary CP level up to 13.90% would lead to poor growth performance and organ development, associated with the modifications of intestinal morphology and immune function.
Intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) impairs postnatal growth and skeletal muscle development in neonatal infants. This study evaluated whether dietary β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate Ca (HMB-Ca) supplementation during the early postnatal period could improve muscle growth in IUGR neonates using piglets as a model. A total of twelve pairs of IUGR and normal-birth-weight (NBW) male piglets with average initial weights (1·85 (sem 0·36) and 2·51 (sem 0·39) kg, respectively) were randomly allotted to groups that received milk-based diets (CON) or milk-based diets supplemented with 800 mg/kg HMB-Ca (HMB) during days 7–28 after birth. Blood and longissimus dorsi (LD) samples were collected and analysed for plasma amino acid content, fibre morphology and the expression of genes related to muscle development. The results indicate that, regardless of diet, IUGR piglets had a significantly decreased average daily weight gain (ADG) compared with that of NBW piglets (P<0·05). However, IUGR piglets fed HMB-Ca had a net weight and ADG similar to that of NBW piglets fed the CON diet. Irrespective of body weight (BW), HMB-Ca supplementation markedly increased the type II fibre cross-sectional area and the mRNA expression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), insulin-like growth factor-1 and myosin heavy-chain isoform IIb in the LD of piglets (P<0·05). Moreover, there was a significant interaction between the effects of BW and HMB on mTOR expression in the LD (P<0·05). In conclusion, HMB-Ca supplementation during the early postnatal period could improve skeletal muscle growth and maturity by accelerating fast-twitch glycolytic fibre development in piglets.
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).
Recent advances in digital microfluidics have led to tremendous interest in
miniaturized lab-on-a-chip devices for biochemical analysis. Synthesis tools
have also emerged for the automated design of lab-on-a-chip from the
specifications of laboratory protocols. However, none of these tools
considers control flow or addresses the problem of recovering from fluidic
errors that can occur during on-chip bioassay execution. We present a
synthesis method that incorporates control paths and an error-recovery
mechanism in the design of a cyberphysical digital microfluidic
lab-on-a-chip. A microcontroller coordinates the implementation of the
control-flow-based bioassay by intercepting the synthesis results that are
mapped to the software programs. Real-life bioassay applications are used as
case studies to evaluate the proposed design method. For a representative
protein assay, compared with a baseline chip design, the biochip with a
control path can reduce the completion time by 30% when errors occur during
the implementation of the bioassay. A fabricated biochip is also used to
demonstrate cyberphysical error recovery in a laboratory setting.
Microfluidic biochips have now come of age, with applications to biomolecular
recognition for high-throughput DNA sequencing, immunoassays, and
point-of-care clinical diagnostics . In particular, digital microfluidic
biochips, which use electrowetting-on-dielectric to manipulate discrete
droplets (or “packets of biochemical payload”) of picoliter
volumes under clock control, are especially promising .