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Schizotypy refers to schizophrenia-like traits below the clinical threshold in the general population. The pathological development of schizophrenia has been postulated to evolve from the initial coexistence of ‘brain disconnection’ and ‘brain connectivity compensation’ to ‘brain connectivity decompensation’.
In this study, we examined the brain connectivity changes associated with schizotypy by combining brain white matter structural connectivity, static and dynamic functional connectivity analysis of diffusion tensor imaging data and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. A total of 87 participants with a high level of schizotypal traits and 122 control participants completed the experiment. Group differences in whole-brain white matter structural connectivity probability, static mean functional connectivity strength, dynamic functional connectivity variability and stability among 264 brain sub-regions of interests were investigated.
We found that individuals with high schizotypy exhibited increased structural connectivity probability within the task control network and within the default mode network; increased variability and decreased stability of functional connectivity within the default mode network and between the auditory network and the subcortical network; and decreased static mean functional connectivity strength mainly associated with the sensorimotor network, the default mode network and the task control network.
These findings highlight the specific changes in brain connectivity associated with schizotypy and indicate that both decompensatory and compensatory changes in structural connectivity within the default mode network and the task control network in the context of whole-brain functional disconnection may be an important neurobiological correlate in individuals with high schizotypy.
Radiocarbon (14C) dating of anthropogenic carbonates (CaCO3) such as ash, lime plaster and lime mortar, has proven a difficult task due to the occurrence of a number of contaminants embedded within the CaCO3 pyrogenic binder. These include 14C-free geologic components and/or secondary phases bearing an unknown amount of 14C, and thus the alteration of the original pyrogenic isotopic signature of the material results in major age offsets when carbon recovery is performed through acid hydrolysis. Here we present a characterization/quantification approach to anthropogenic carbonates that includes Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction, thin section petrography, thermogravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscopy coupled with high-resolution cathodoluminescence, with which we identified the pyrogenic CaCO3 fraction in an aerial lime plaster and two hydraulic mortars. The preserved pyrogenic component was then isolated by density separation and its purity checked again using FTIR. Carbon was recovered through thermal decomposition in vacuum. The resulting 14C age matches the expected age of the lime plaster, whereas hydraulic mortars are slightly offset due to the carbonation of calcium hydroxide lumps. This approach highlights the importance of a dedicated characterization strategy prior to dating and may be applied to aerial lime plasters to obtain accurate ages.
The core toroidal plasma intrinsic rotation has been studied by experiments and simulations in the Joint Texas Experimental Tokamak (J-TEXT). The direction of core intrinsic rotation in the J-TEXT plasma is counter-current. As the plasma density ramps up, the rotation velocity increases in the counter-current direction. By comparing four different electron densities, linear local gyrokinetic simulations have been performed by the Gyrokinetic Electromagnetic Numerical Experiment code for the first time on J-TEXT. It is found that the most dominant turbulence is the ion temperature gradient at
is the minor radius of the plasma and this is unchanged during the plasma density ramp up. By scanning the radial wave vectors, it is found that the residual stress term reverses from negative to positive when the plasma density exceeds a certain threshold. The pinch term is larger than the residual stress term at all four electron densities, which means that the pinch term is always dominant in the core of a J-TEXT plasma.
Electrospun membranes have potential applications in the field of waterproof and breathable textile products. However, challenges still exist to improve the breathability, and waterproof and mechanical properties of these microporous membranes. In this paper, a novel hydrophobic microporous nanofiber membrane was prepared via side-by-side electrospinning of fluorosilane-modified silica nanoparticles (F–SiO2) blended with synthesized polyurethane (PU) solution and composited with the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) solution. To prepare F–SiO2, SiO2 nanoparticles were hydrophobically modified by fluorosilane. Composite nanofiber membranes with different blending ratios of PU(F–SiO2)/PAN were fabricated via side-by-side electrospinning by controlling the extruding speed of two spinnerets. Experimental results indicated that regarding F–SiO2 as hydrophobic inorganic particle can improve the hydrophobic properties of PU nanofiber membrane. The prepared PAN/(F–SiO2/PU) nanofiber microporous membranes exhibit relatively excellent waterproof and mechanical properties as that robust tensile strength (19.5 MPa), preferable water vapor permeability [10.3 kg/(m2 d)], favorable water contact angle (137.2°), and superior mechanical properties. It was believed that the reinforced PAN/(F–SiO2/PU) nanofibrous composite membranes have potential applications in chemical protective clothing, army combat uniforms, self-cleaning materials, and other medical products.
We genotyped six SNPs in the genes of p450 family among paranoid schizophrenics and normal controls. All subjects are unrelated Han Chinese. Three showed polymorphic, and no significant differences in allele or genotype frequencies were detected between patients and controls. Thus we obtained no evidence for the involvement of the polymorphisms in paranoid schizophrenia in the population investigated.
Dysfunctions of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission are two important hypotheses for the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Thus, genes in the pathway are candidates for schizophrenia susceptibility. Phosphate-activated glutaminase (GLS), glutamine synthetase (GLUL), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), GABA transaminase (ABAT) and succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH5A1) are five primary enzymes in glutamate and GABA synthetic and degradative pathway. In order to investigate the possible involvement of these genes in the development of paranoid schizophrenia, we genotyped 80 paranoid schizophrenics from northern China and 108 matched controls by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) methods or directly sequencing of PCR product. Seven SNPs were found to be polymorphic in the population investigated. No significant differences in the genotype distributions or allele frequencies between patients and controls were found. Therefore, we conclude the polymorphisms studied in the five genes do not play major roles in pathogenesis of paranoid schizophrenia in the population investigated.
We performed an association study between three SNPs in the genes of 14-3-3 family and paranoid schizophrenia. SNP rs983583 G/A in the YWHAZ gene showed significant association with paranoid schizophrenia. Our study indicated that the YWHAZ gene was a potential susceptibility gene for paranoid schizophrenia in the population studied.
A bidirectional dielectric resonator (DR) antenna array using back-to-back quasi-Yagi antenna configuration is proposed and implemented for the first time. The DR operating at higher-order TE3δ1 mode is used as a magnetic dipole, applying for the driver of quasi-Yagi antenna. Due to the high-order mode employment, the antenna gain can be enhanced. By partially loading the metallic strip on the side wall of the DR, the gain can be further enhanced. In addition, a simple dual Marchand balun is constructed for feeding the two quasi-Yagi antennas directly for bidirectional radiation. To verify the design concept, a prototype operating at the X-band is fabricated and measured. Good agreement between the simulated and measured results can be observed.
Dark-field x-ray microscopy is intended for the acquisition of three -dimensional (3D) movies of the nanostructure (grains, domains, and dislocations) and the associated local strain within bulk materials. It is analogous to dark-field electron microscopy in that an objective lens magnifies diffracting features of the sample. The use of high-energy synchrotron x-rays, however, means that these microstructural features can be large and deeply embedded. The spatial and angular resolution is on the order of 100 nm and 0.001°, respectively, and full maps can be recorded in seconds to minutes. Four applications of the technique are presented—domain switching in ferroelectrics, processing of metals, microstructural characterization of biominerals, and visualization of dislocations. The ability to directly characterize complex, multiscale phenomena in situ—and in 3D—is a key step toward formulating and validating multiscale models that account for the entire heterogeneity of materials.
Three-dimensional (3D) tomographic imaging of the structural, chemical, and physical properties of a material provides key knowledge that links the structure of a material to both its processing and structure that is central to studies across a broad spectrum of materials. For many decades, tomography using x-rays or electrons has proven to be an essential 3D characterization tool. In recent years, advances in technology have significantly pushed the envelope of these techniques in many respects, enabling new imaging capabilities at the nanometer and atomic scale. This article highlights several such developments in nanoscale x-ray and electron tomography. The five articles that appear in this issue of MRS Bulletin discuss research frontiers that include multimodal x-ray tomography at the nanoscale, x-ray spectroscopic tomography, dark-field x-ray microscopy, electron nanotomography for functional nanomaterials, and atomistic imaging by electron tomography. These articles give a holistic view of the status of these techniques and promising future directions, as well highlighting their applications for scientific problems.
At the forefront of developments in synchrotron x-ray microscopy, nanoscale-resolution high-dimensional spectrotomography under controlled sample environments has been demonstrated. Such cutting-edge experimental capability has been broadly applied to scientific studies in the field of energy materials science, where the dynamically evolving structural and chemical defects play a vital role in the functionality. In this article, we review novel developments of this technique from both experimental and data/information mining perspectives. Using studies on lithium-ion battery electrode materials as examples, we highlight the rich information in the high-dimensional and high-resolution x-ray tomographic data, which can be used to interpret the complicated thermal-electro-chemo-mechanical interplay that occurs under the operating conditions and collectively determines battery performance. We also discuss the frontier challenges in this field and our perspectives of the future directions in the context of projected major developments in the landscape of large-scale x-ray facilities across the globe.