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The razor clam, Sinonovacula constricta, contains high levels of long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA), which are critical for human health. In addition, S. constricta is the first marine mollusc demonstrated to possess Δ6 fatty acyl desaturase (Fad) and complete LC-PUFA biosynthetic ability, providing a good representative to investigate the molecular mechanism of sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBP) in regulating Δ6 Fad for LC-PUFA biosynthesis in marine molluscs. Herein, S. constricta SREBP and Δ6 Fad promoter were cloned and characterised. Subsequently, dual luciferase and electrophoretic mobility shift assays were conducted to explore the SREBP binding elements in the core regulatory region of S. constricta Δ6 Fad promoter. Results showed that S. constricta SREBP had a very conservative basic helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper motif, while S. constricta Δ6 Fad promoter exhibited very poor identity with teleost Fads2 promoters, indicating their differentiation during evolution. A 454 bp region harbouring a core sequence in S. constricta Δ6 Fad promoter was predicted to be essential for the transcriptional activation by SREBP. This was the first report on the regulatory mechanism of LC-PUFA biosynthesis in marine molluscs, which would facilitate optimising the LC-PUFA biosynthetic pathway of bivalves in further studies.
The surface topology of biomaterial has a definite effect on the growth behavior of nerve cells for peripheral nerve regeneration. In this study, the silk fibroin (SF) film with different anisotropic microgroove/ridge was constructed by micropatterning technology. The effects of topologies width on the directional growth of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons were evaluated. The results showed that the topological structure of the SF film with higher SF concentration was more clear and complete. The microtopography of the SF film with a concentration of 15% and a groove width of around 30 μm could effectively guide the directional growth of the nerve fibers of DRG. And nerve fibers could obviously form nerve fiber bundles which may have a certain pavement effect on the recovery of nerve function. The study indicated that the SF film with a specific width of the topological structure may have potential applications in the field of directional nerve regeneration.
Maintenance haemodialysis (MHD) is the use of a machine to filter wastes, salts and fluid from blood for at least 3 months to prolong the life of patients with advanced kidney failure. Although low dietary energy intake (DEI) has been observed in MHD patients, few studies have related DEI to the risk of mortality. To explore this relationship, a study included 1039 MHD patients from eight centres was conducted. DEI was assessed by three 24-h diet recalls and was normalised to ideal body weight (IBW). All-cause mortality and CVD mortality were the primary and secondary outcomes, respectively. During a median follow-up of 28 months, a U-shaped relationship was observed between DEI and all-cause or CVD mortality. The risk of all-cause mortality decreased significantly with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI <167·4 kJ/kg IBW per d (hazard ratio (HR) 0·98; 95 % CI 0·96, 1·00) and increased significantly with the increase of DEI in those with DEI ≥167·4 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 1·12; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·20). Similarly, the risk of CVD mortality decreased with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI <152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·93, 0·99) and increased with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI ≥152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 1·11; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·18). In summary, there was a U-shaped association between DEI and all-cause or CVD mortality, with a turning point at about 167·4 and 152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d, respectively, in MHD patients.
North Korea is a unique regime that has not followed the ‘mono-transition’ path (economic reform under modified one-party rule) of other surviving communist regimes (China, Vietnam, Cuba) in the post-Cold War era. Debates over North Korea's unique features (reluctance in economic reform, absence of political modification, international troublemaking) have generated two contending interpretations. The mainstream interpretation attributes North Korea's uniqueness to its regime's highly rigid political system (‘monolithic leadership system’). For the alternative interpretation, structural pressures and political calculus have driven the monolithic regime towards economic reform (‘marketization from above’), making it more convergent with the ‘mono-transition’ regimes, at least in the economic aspect. In support of the latter interpretation, this article will delve further into three contentious issues that represent the most common doubts about the advance of marketization in North Korea. First, how can the regime reconcile marketization with the interests of its ‘core constituencies’? Second, since ‘crony socialism’ exists, how does it influence distribution and productive activity? Third, how does marketization advance in view of the persistence of monolithic rule? In so doing, it will show how the sources of economic reform (structural factors and political calculus) have enabled the marketization constraints to be overcome.
An in-house self-held respiration monitoring device (SHRMD) was developed for providing deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) radiotherapy. The use of SHRMD is evaluated in terms of reproducibility, stability and heart dose reduction.
Methods and materials:
Sixteen patients receiving radiotherapy of left breast cancer were planned for treatment with both a free breathing (FB) scan and a DIBH scan. Both FB and DIBH plans were generated for comparison of the heart, left anterior descending (LAD) artery and lung dose. All patients received their treatments with DIBH using SHRMD. Megavoltage cine images were acquired during treatments for evaluating the reproducibility and stability of treatment position using SHRMD.
Compared with FB plans, the maximum dose to the heart by DIBH technique with SHRMD was reduced by 29·9 ± 15·6%; and the maximum dose of the LAD artery was reduced by 41·6 ± 18·3%. The inter-fractional overall mean error was 0·01 cm and the intra-fractional overall mean error was 0·04 cm.
This study demonstrated the potential benefits of using the SHRMD for DIBH to reduce the heart and LAD dose. The patients were able to perform stable and reproducible DIBHs.
A bimetallic metal–organic frameworks (MOFs)-templated strategy was developed to fabricate mesoporous CdxZn1−xS polyhedrons with improved photocatalytic hydrogen evolution activity, and the formation mechanism of these mesoporous polyhedrons was discussed in detail. Incorporating Cd atoms, the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface areas of mesoporous CdxZn1−xS polyhedrons were significantly increased (271 m2/g), providing more exposed active sites compared with ZnS. In addition, suitable conduction band potential (< −0.55 eV) of the mesoporous CdxZn1−xS polyhedrons was also beneficial for the photocatalysis. Impressively, by the co-effects of mesoporous structure and modified conduction band, the mesoporous CdxZn1−xS polyhedrons exhibited better photocatalytic activity for hydrogen evolution than most reported photocatalysts without noble metals. The maximum hydrogen evolution rate of the CSZ3 reached 4.10 mmol/(h g) under visible-light irradiation and without any cocatalyst condition. This facile strategy for the construction of mesoporous CdxZn1−xS polyhedrons provided a deep insight to fabricate other metal sulfides for a variety of photochemical applications.
CrFeNiTix (x = 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, and 0.6 molar ratio) compositionally complex alloys were fabricated by vacuum arc melting to investigate the microstructure, hardness, and compressive properties. The results revealed that CrFeNiTix alloys consisted of the principal face-centered cubic (FCC) phase and body-centered cubic (BCC) solid solution, with an amount of (Ni, Ti)-rich hexagonal close-packed phase. CrFeNiTix alloys exhibited the typical dendrite. Ti0.2 and Ti0.3 alloys were composed of FCC and BCC solid solutions in the dendrite, as well as ε (Ni3Ti) and R (Ni2.67Ti1.33) phases in the inter-dendrite, simultaneously. For Ti0.4, Ti0.5, and Ti0.6 alloys, (Fe, Cr)-rich solid solution separated out and ε phase transformed into R phase gradually. Meanwhile, TEM analysis indicated that Ti0.4 alloy matrix consisted of the principal FCC phase containing (Ni, Ti)-rich intragranular nanoprecipitates. The hardness values of CrFeNiTix alloys were increased with the addition of Ti content and the high compressive strength of CrFeNiTix alloys was maintained, which was attributed to the solid solution strengthening and precipitation hardening.
Globally over the last forty years the number of students who leave their home country to study abroad has grown considerably. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in 1975, 0.8 million students moved abroad to study; by 2012, this number had grown to 4.5 million (OECD, 2014). The reasons for migrating to study are often described in terms of ‘push’ factors relating to poorer higher education opportunities in the student's home country, and ‘pull’ factors, relating to attractive features of provision in the host country (Altbach, 2004). Traditionally, countries in the English-speaking world, such as the UK, USA and Australia, have been major recipients of international students, but these countries are now facing increasing competition, as universities vie for advantage in a global higher education market (Marginson, 2008; de Wit et al., 2013). International students are considered valuable not only to the host country, but also to individual universities since they boost institutional finance as well as generating jobs in the local economy and creating a more diverse local culture.
Using data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) as well as key informant interviews, this chapter examines the relative importance of international students in the four countries of the UK. The issue of migrant students has become intertwined with the hot political topic of immigration more generally, and we examine how this has played out in different contexts. Finally, we present a case study of Chinese students studying mainly at an ancient Scottish university to shed light on their reasons for enrolling at this institution and their experiences of living and studying in Scotland. Gallacher and Raffe (2012) suggested that the internationalisation of higher education was an area of policy convergence across the UK, and in the conclusion we explore the extent to which this is still the case. It should be noted that throughout this chapter the term ‘international student’ or ‘overseas student’ is used to refer to a non-EU student, since those from the EU study under the same terms and conditions as home students.
An ion beam has the unique feature of being able to deposit its main energy inside a human body to kill cancer cells or inside material. However, conventional ion accelerators tend to be huge in size and cost. In this paper, a future intense-laser ion accelerator is discussed to make the laser-based ion accelerator compact and controllable. The issues in the laser ion accelerator include the energy efficiency from the laser to the ions, the ion beam collimation, the ion energy spectrum control, the ion beam bunching, and the ion particle energy control. In the study, each component is designed to control the ion beam quality by particle simulations. The energy efficiency from the laser to ions is improved by using a solid target with a fine sub-wavelength structure or a near-critical-density gas plasma. The ion beam collimation is performed by holes behind the solid target or a multi-layered solid target. The control of the ion energy spectrum and the ion particle energy, and the ion beam bunching are successfully realized by a multi-stage laser–target interaction.
Round spermatid injection (ROSI) into mammalian oocytes can result in the development of viable embryos and offspring. One current limitation to this technique is the identification of suitable round spermatids. In the current paper, round spermatids were selected from testicular cells with phase contrast microscopy (PCM) and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and ROSI was performed in two strains of mice. The rates of fertilization, embryonic development and offspring achieved were the same in all strains. Significantly, round spermatids selected by PCM and FACS were effectively used to rescue the infertile Pten-null mouse. The current results indicate that FACS selection of round spermatids can not only provide high-purity and viable round spermatids for use in ROSI, but also has no harmful effects on the developmental capacity of subsequently fertilized embryos. It was concluded that round spermatids selected by FACS are useful for mouse strain rederivation and rescue of infertile males; ROSI should be considered as a powerful addition to the armamentarium of assisted reproduction techniques applicable in the mouse.
This paper presents a novel metamaterial constructed with wires, spheres and hollow slabs (WSHS), which simultaneously exhibits negative permittivity and permeability. An electromagnetic wave simulation is performed based on the proposed metamaterial and shows that a negative refractive index is achieved for this metamaterial. Adjusting the lattice constant of the unit cell is an easy way to manipulate the frequency of negative index of this structure. A left-hand material prism is designed composed of metamaterial unit cells and the simulation on the proposed prism proves the left-hand behavior of the designed metamaterial.
The aim of the study is to explore the association of serum bilirubin levels with admission severity and short term clinical outcomes among acute ischemic stroke patients.
Data were collected from 2361 acute ischemic stroke patients in four hospitals of Shangdong Province during January 2006 and December 2008. National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) was used to assess admission and discharge severity. NIHSS≥10 at discharge or in-hospital death was defined as short-term clinical outcomes. Logistic regression and trend test were used to examine the association of serum bilirubin levels with admission severity and short term clinical outcomes.
Serum bilirubin levels were significantly and positively associated with admission severity (P for trend <0.05). The age-sex adjusted odds ratios (95% confidential intervals) of NIHSS≥10 associated with the second, third and fourth quartile of total bilirubin/direct bilirubin were 1.245 (0.873, 1.777)/1.276 (0.895, 1.818), 1.484 (1.048, 2.102)/1.628 (1.158, 2.289) and 2.869 (2.076, 3.966)/2.765 (1.996, 3.828), respectively, compared with the lowest quartile; the multivariate adjusted odds ratios of NIHSS≥10 associated with the second, third and fourth quartile of total bilirubin/direct bilirubin were 1.088(0.711, 1.665)/1.436(0.94, 2.193), 1.328(0.877, 2.011)/1.647(1.092, 2.485) and 2.336(1.579, 3.458)/3.079 (2.049, 4.623), respectively, compared with the lowest quartile. However, no association between serum bilirubin levels and short-term clinical outcomes was observed in our study.
Serum bilirubin levels were associated with initial stroke severity closely. Nevertheless, there is no significant relationship between serum bilirubin levels and short-term clinical outcomes among acute ischemic stroke patients.
Two flares occurred simultaneously in active region NOAA 9433 on 2001 April 25. The GOES X-ray fluxes show only one peak during the two flares. The negative magnetic polarities in the two flaring regions exhibited a clockwise rotation motion around the positive polarities, which can be seen from the evolution of the SOHO/MDI magnetograms. Through analyzing the potential fields extrapolated from the MDI magnetogram, we find that there is a channel strode by a group of magnetic field lines connecting the two flaring regions.
Large quasicrystals up to ∼10 μm in size with a volume fraction of ∼30% have been identified in a nitrogen gas-atomized marginal glass-forming alloy Al85Ni5Y6Co2Fe2 by detailed transmission electron microscopy. The formation of the large quasicrystal (Q) phase is discussed through the configuration of the valence electrons of its constituent elements, and the thermodynamic and kinetic factors associated with the solidification of this marginal glass-forming alloy during gas atomization. The finding leads to an important inference that marginal glass-forming alloys could be ideal systems for the formation of bulk quasicrystals under appropriate kinetic conditions. The Q phase is stable up to ∼500 °C and decomposes thereafter. The activation energy for the decomposition of the Q phase is similar to the self-diffusion of Al. Two new intermetallic phases associated with the formation and decomposition of the Q phase have also been identified and characterized.
The strategies of repair of tetralogy of Fallot change with the age of patients. In children older than 4 years and adults, the optimal strategy may be to use different method of reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract from those followed in younger children, so as to avoid, or reduce, the pulmonary insufficiency that is increasingly known to compromise right ventricular function.
From April, 2001, through May, 2008, we undertook complete repair in 312 patients, 180 male and 132 female, with a mean age of 11.3 years ±0.4 years, and a range from 4 to 48 years, with typical clinical and morphological features of tetralogy of Fallot, including 42 patients with the ventriculo-arterial connection of double outlet right ventricle. The operation was performed under moderate hypothermia using blood cardioplegia. The ventricular septal defect was closed with a Dacron patch. When it was considered necessary to resect the musculature within the right ventricular outflow tract, or perform pulmonary valvotomy, we sought to preserve the function of the pulmonary valve by protecting as far as possible the native leaflets, or creating a folded monocusp of autologous pericardium.
The repair was achieved completely through right atrium in 192, through the right ventricular outflow tract in 83, and through the right atrium, the outflow tract, and the pulmonary trunk in 36 patients. A transjunctional patch was inserted in 169 patients, non-valved in all but 9. There were no differences regarding the periods of aortic cross-clamping or cardiopulmonary bypass. Of the patients, 5 died (1.6%), with no influence noted for the transjunctional patch. Of those having a non-valved patch inserted, three-tenths had pulmonary regurgitation of various degree, while those having a valved patch had minimal pulmonary insufficiency and good right ventricular function postoperatively, this being maintained after follow-up of 8 to 24-months.
Based on our experience, we suggest that the current strategy of repair of tetralogy of Fallot in older children and adults should be based on minimizing the insertion of transjunctional patches, this being indicated only in those with very small ventriculo-pulmonary junctions. If such a patch is necessary, then steps should be taken to preserve the function of the pulmonary valve.
OH- absorption bands of lithium tantalate crystals have been measured
at room temperature, and the bands shape depending on the crystal
composition has been observed. OH- absorption bands are fitted with
three Lorentzian peaks by varying position, halfwidth, and area. Nearly constant peak positions (3461, 3475 and 3486 cm-1) for all samples are obtained. Hydrogenation is also performed to the crystals and its influence on the decomposed peaks (position, halfwidth and area) is
investigated. The results show the fitting parameters of peaks have
different values for crystals with different hydrogen concentration, which
is interpreted by the different sites occupied by H+ in terms of the
modified model about the location of Li-vacancy in the lattice.
Additionally, it is shown that the halfwidth of peak at 3461 cm-1
remain unchanged regardless of hydrogen concentration, which make this
parameter more suitable than other ones to determine the composition of
LiTaO3 crystals. The quantitative relationship between the halfwidth
of peak at 3461 cm-1 and the crystal composition is also
The ‘varieties of capitalism’ literature identifies the labour market and labour relations system as an institutional feature by which liberal market economies (LMEs) and co-ordinated market economies (CMEs) of advanced countries may be distinguished. This literature argues for the resilience of CME institutional features to the allegedly convergence-inducing or homogenizing effects of globalization. Resilience to convergence has also revealed different patterns of institutional adaptation to globalizing pressures among CMEs. This article examines the adaptation of labour institutions to globalization using the Northeast Asian Newly Industrialized Countries of South Korea (hereafter Korea) and Taiwan as case studies. Examples are given of how Korea and Taiwan have pursued labour market liberalization, but within institutional conditions (policies and politics) distinct from those associated with transitions to the LME. The origins of this distinctive pattern of response are explained, pointing out the need for explanations based on globalization to be supplemented by ones that emphasize economic legacies and political logics.
As they increasingly embrace neo-liberal economic policies (especially since the 1997–8 Asian financial crisis), the Northeast Asian NICs of South Korea and Taiwan are now said to be losing their uniqueness as alternative capitalist models. Central to the neo-liberal project is labour flexibility. This entails the reform of employment legislation and of the wider social settlement between state, business and labour. This article will argue against the ‘homogenization’ thesis by revealing the distinctive political, economic and ideological characteristics that distinguish the recent market-oriented labour reforms in South Korea and Taiwan from neo-liberal transitions elsewhere. The sources of variation in the pathways of labour market reform within the Northeast Asian NICs will also be explained.
Despite the dramatic final breakthrough in summer 1987, the democratization of South Korea (hereinafter Korea) displayed the hallmarks of a gradual or continuous transition from authoritarianism. These included: liberalization emanating from within the regime; continuity of personnel from the authoritarian ruling elite; continuity in economic and foreign policy; and the exclusion from power of the representatives of the economically disadvantaged groups. Such features of democratic deficit have been observed for Korea and for Brazil, two countries whose experiences of authoritarian developmentalism are commonly compared.
Events in recent years suggest the possibility of more fundamental reform of Korea's economic and political institutions. The financial crisis of late-1997 led to the most serious economic recession for 40 years. Held in the middle of the financial meltdown, the presidential election of December 1997 resulted in a victory for Kim Dae-Jung (or DJ as he is commonly known), a veteran dissident associated with the excluded constituencies (not only his own underdeveloped home region but also labour and progressivelyminded intellectuals and activists).