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There is growing evidence that suggests the association of vitamin D status with the development and progression of heart failure (HF). The objective of the present study is to assess the impact of concentration of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) on cardiac prognosis in patients with HF. Between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016, we consecutively recruited patients with HF. Patients were followed prospectively for a median duration of 1 year. Serum concentration of 25(OH)D was measured with competitive chemiluminescent immunoassay. The endpoints were cardiac events, including CVD death and rehospitalisation for worsening HF. Univariate and multivariable adjustments were performed with Cox proportional-hazard regression analyses. The 25(OH)D concentration was obtained in 343 patients with a median value of 17·4 (interquartile range 12·6–23·4) ng/ml. There were 102 cardiac events, including forty-three deaths and fifty-nine rehospitalisations. Multivariate Cox hazard analysis found that the serum concentration 25(OH)D was independently associated with cardiac events (hazard ratio 0·93, 95 % CI 0·88, 0·97) and CVD mortality (hazard ratio 0·83; 95 % CI 0·77, 0·89) after adjustment for confounding factors. We divided the HF patients into four groups according to the 25(OH)D quartiles. Kaplan–Meier analysis found that the patients with lower serum 25(OH)D concentration had a higher risk of cardiac events or CVD mortality than those with high serum 25(OH)D concentration (log-rank test P < 0·001 and P = 0·032). Decreased serum concentrations of 25(OH)D were associated with cardiac prognosis and CVD mortality in a Chinese population with HF independent of other baseline HF markers.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
A layer of silver nanoparticles created by thermal annealing of evaporated silver films can increase the photocurrents in silicon-on-insulator (SOI) devices by fivefold or more, but significant enhancements have been restricted to wavelengths greater than 800 nm. Here we report a significant enhancement of photoconductance at shorter wavelengths (500-750 nm) by using a monolayer of silver nanoparticles transferred from a colloidal suspension. Photocurrents on SOI increased in the 500-750 nm spectral range with the addition of silver nanoparticles, with enhancements more than two times; enhancements at longer wavelengths were small, in contrast to results with annealed silver films. We prepared similar colloidal silver nanoparticle monolayers layers on nanocrystalline silicon solar cells with conducting oxide top layers. There is an overall decrease in the quantum efficiency of these cells with the deposition of silver nanoparticles. We attribute these effects to the substantial substrate-mediated changes in the localized surface plasmon resonance frequencies of the differing nanoparticle configurations.
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.
Direct determination of barrier height (ΦBH) value between Ir and single crystal (001) hydrogen-terminated diamond with lightly boron doped has been performed using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy technique. 70 nm Ir islands were formed on hydrogen-terminated diamond surface using anodic aluminum oxide. The ΦBH value for Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was −0.43 ± 0.14 eV, indicating that Ir was a suitable metal for ohmic contact with hydrogen-terminated diamond. The band diagram of Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was obtained. The experimental ΦBH was compared with the theoretical ΦBH in this work.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.
As rarely large flake graphite (9 mesh) was recently exploited in China, it was innovatively developed as the raw material to prepare a novel wound dressing based on large expanded graphite (EG) in this work. The EG worms were prepared in an easy oxidative intercalation and thermal expansion method. Afterward, chitosan was grafted onto the surface of EG by chemical modification, forming CS-EG worms. CS-EG sponge dressings were then obtained by pressing a number of CS-EG worms together by external force. Due to the porous structure and large specific surface area, the produced CS-EG sponges exhibited outstanding adsorption capacity for wound exudate. They could also promote blood coagulation by adsorbing the blood cells and proteins quickly and effectively, showing excellent hemostatic performance. The eminent performances and the simple preparation process ensure the great application potential of CS-EG as a dressing material. This is also the first time to report the application of the traditional carbon material, EG, to act as a dressing material after chemical modification.
A compact reconfigurable filtering ultra-wideband (UWB) antenna with switchable band-notched functions is proposed. The basic structure of the proposed design is a filtering slot antenna with good band-edge selectivity using stepped impedance resonator feeding line. The reconfigurability is achieved by using two microstrip lines paralleling to the feeding line and two PIN diodes. The reconfigurable structure and bias circuit of the antenna are relatively simple and are not connected to the radiation structure, so they have little negative influence on the radiation characteristics of the antenna. Total four states could be achieved by using two PIN diodes to short the microstrip lines and ground. To verify the performance of the final design, multiple measured and simulated results in frequency and time domain are studied and analyzed. The measured results agreed very well with simulation. Compared with the traditional UWB antenna, the proposed antenna has advantages in size, filtering function in-band and out-of-band, and tunable states for multiple UWB applications.
We hypothesize that the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) may play a role in disturbing the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) on the striatal connectivity in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
We performed a longitudinal observation by combining resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and biochemical analyses to identify the abnormal striatal connectivity in MDD patients, and to evaluate the effect of TNF-α level on these abnormal connectivities during SSRI treatment. Eighty-five rs-fMRI scans were collected from 25 MDD patients and 35 healthy controls, and the scans were repeated for all the patients before and after a 6-week SSRI treatment. Whole-brain voxel-wise functional connectivity (FC) was calculated by correlating the rs-fMRI time courses between each voxel and the striatal seeds (i.e. spherical regions placed at the striatums). The level of TNF-α in serum was evaluated by Milliplex assay. Factorial analysis was performed to assess the interaction effects of ‘TNF-α × treatment’ in the regions with between-group FC difference.
Compared with controls, MDD patients showed significantly higher striatal FC in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and bilateral middle/superior temporal cortices before SSRI treatment (p < 0.001, uncorrected). Moreover, a significant interaction effect of ‘TNF-α × treatment’ was found in MPFC-striatum FC in MDD patients (p = 0.002), and the significance remained after adjusted for age, gender, head motion, and episode of disease.
These findings provide evidence that treatment-related brain connectivity change is dependent on the TNF-α level in MDD patients, and the MPFC-striatum connectivities possibly serve as an important target in the brain.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were added to carbon nanofibers (CNFs) as additives to improve their electrochemical properties. In the present work, CNFs were prepared by using pressurized gyration with polyacrylonitrile as the precursor. The microstructure and electrochemical properties of samples were investigated by scanning electron microscopy and electrochemical workstation, respectively. The results showed that the network structure formed in the fiber, and the fiber diameter decreased with the increase of working pressure. The integral area of cyclic voltammetry curve reached the maximum and the charge/discharge time of constant current charge/discharge curve reached the longest in the case of the CNT concentration is 0.50 wt% and working pressure is 0.2 MPa. At the same time, it exhibited the best electrochemical performance with a specific capacitance of 79 F/g at a current density of 100 mA/g. Compared with the specific capacitance of pure CNFs, the specific capacitance of CNFs with the concentration of CNTs 0.50 wt% increased by about 40%.
The 2Cr13/316L multilayered composite plates were fabricated by hot rolling with recycle heating step. The effect of rolling reductions on microstructure and properties was investigated. The 2Cr13 layer consists of martensite and lath ferrite, but the middle layer has less ferrite than both sides. The content and grains of ferrite increase with the increase of the reduction and number of reheating, which leads to a decrease in the hardness of the 2Cr13 layer. The hardness of the 2Cr13 layer is determined by the volume ratio of martensite and ferrite. Tensile strength of the specimens with the rolling reduction of 72% and 82% reached 815.8 MPa and 763.4 MPa, while elongations were 20% and 20.8%, respectively. With the increase of the rolling reduction, the fracture mode also changed from cleavage fracture to dimple fracture. There were no cracks and delamination when the 2Cr13/316L composite plate bent to 130° and 180°, which indicated better interfacial bonding.
In this paper, the design of a graded honeycomb radar absorbing structure (RAS) is presented to realize both a wide bandwidth and absorption over a wide range of angles. For both transverse-electric and transverse-magnetic polarization, a fractional bandwidth of more than 118.6% is achieved for at least a 10 dB reflectivity reduction when the incident angle is <45°, an 8 dB reduction when the incident angle is <55° and a 5 dB reduction when the incident angle is <70°. Meanwhile the 10 dB reduction upper angle limit is approximately 30° for the uniform coating honeycomb RAS in the literature, which loses its absorbing ability when the incident angle is larger than 55°. Furthermore, the total thickness of our design is 10.7 mm, which is only approximately 1.29 times that of the theoretical limitation. The good agreement between the calculated, simulated, and measured results demonstrates the validity of this optimization.
Polyspermy was initiated by microinjecting a multiple number of sperm into the activated and dechorionated eggs of dojo loach Misgurnus anguillicaudatus (Teleostei: Cobitidae). A 10-nl sperm suspension from an albino (recessive trait) male (105, 106, 107 or 108 sperm ml −1) was microinjected into eggs from a wild-type female. Although the rates of embryos developing into the blastula stage in the injection group at the highest sperm concentration were similar to that of the control group, the hatching rates of the injection group were much lower. A large proportion of embryos that developed from the injected eggs was haploid and were mosaics containing haploid cells. Most of the haploid and mosaic embryos inherited only paternally derived alleles in the microsatellite markers (i.e. androgenesis was initiated by injecting multiple sperm). In contrast, some haploid embryos contained both paternal and maternal alleles despite haploidy, suggesting that they were mosaics consisting of cells with either paternal or maternal inheritance. The injected eggs displayed diploid, hypotriploid and triploid cells, all of which included both maternally and paternally derived alleles. One albino tetraploid with only paternal alleles was also observed from the injected eggs. These results suggested that part of the sperm microinjected into the ooplasm should form a male pronucleus/pronuclei, which could develop by androgenesis or could fuse with the female pronucleus/pronuclei. Therefore, microinjection of multiple sperm should be considered a potential technique to induce androgenesis and polyploidy.
The U genome of Aegilops umbellulata is an important basic genome of genus Aegilops. Direct gene transfer from Ae. umbellulata into wheat is feasible but not easy. Triticum turgidum–Ae. umbellulata amphidiploids can act as bridges to circumvent obstacles involving direct gene transfer. Seven T. turgidum–Ae. umbellulata amphidiploids were produced via unreduced gametes for spontaneous doubling of chromosomes of triploid T. turgidum–Ae. umbellulata F1 hybrid plants. Seven pairs of U chromosomes of Ae. umbellulata were distinguished by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes pSc119.2/(AAC)5 and pTa71. Polymorphic FISH signals were detected in three (1U, 6U and 7U) of seven U chromosomes of four Ae. umbellulata accessions. The chromosomes of the tetraploid wheat parents could be differentiated by probes pSc119.2 and pTa535, and identical FISH signals were observed among the three accessions. All the parental chromosomes of the amphidiploids could be precisely identified by probe combinations pSc119.2/pTa535 and pTa71/(AAC)5. The T. turgidum–Ae. umbellulata amphidiploids possess valuable traits for wheat improvement, such as strong tillering ability, stripe rust resistance and seed size-related traits. These materials can be used as media in gene transfers from Ae. umbellulata into wheat.
It has been reported that the optimal properties of materials are usually not linear to the configuration entropy of materials; in another word, the high-entropy alloys may not have the best properties among all the alloys, including medium-entropy alloys, thus all of these alloys can be universally named as entropic alloys. For entropic alloys, the design, discovery, and optimization of new materials are more complicated than conventional materials. A technique of high-throughput processing is urgently needed to improve the efficiency. In this paper, a combined method by using multitarget deposition has been proposed for parallel preparation of high-entropy to medium-entropy alloys. Films with compositional gradient were constructed in a pseudo-ternary Ti–Al–(Cr, Fe, Ni) system in this study. To facilitate the characterization of the material library, it has been divided into 144 independent units with an area of 1 cm2 and the maximum value of compositional gradient reaches ∼13 at.%/cm. The material library exhibits a high coverage of composition, and the range of element content varies from 3.3 to 89.2 at.% on average. The stability and homogeneity of the material library were analyzed from phase structure and microtopography. Preliminary screening of the phase structure and properties were performed. The phases are mainly composed of amorphous phase and body-centered cubic phase. Hardness changes nonlinearly with compositions. The material library synthesized in this study is expected to provide an effective platform for high-throughput screening of multicomponent materials.
Due to the lack of an effective and noninvasive screening tool, the early diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) is currently difficult. For the early diagnosis of CRC, we have developed Fe3O4-Dye800-single chain fragment variable (ScFv)egfr/vegfr nanoprobes. ScFvegfr/vegfr (ScFv2) conjugated onto Fe3O4 nanoprobes efficiently recognized CRC tumors in vitro and in vivo. Near-infrared fluorescence imaging modalities such as Dye800 were utilized simultaneously with magnetic resonance to enhance detection efficiency. Fe3O4-Dye800-ScFv2 successfully detected tiny CRC tumors; the synergistic ScFv2 successfully enhanced CRC targeting. Thus, Fe3O4-Dye800-ScFv2 nanoprobes may represent a new molecular imaging strategy for the early detection of CRC.
A compact printed reconfigurable monopole antenna with switchable band-notches is designed and manufactured. The proposed antenna mainly consists of a disc-like radiator with two pairs of T-shaped strips protruded inside a rectangular aperture. Five PIN diode switches are employed to bridge or open the slots, which allow the antenna to be configured into three different structures functioning as an ultra-wideband (UWB) antenna, or an antenna with notched frequencies at WLAN or WiMAX band. Design and optimization of the antenna are done using CST Microwave Studio. After fabrication on an FR4 substrate with dimensions of 35 mm (width) × 41 mm (length) × 1.5 mm (thickness), numerical and experimental results of the proposed reconfigurable antenna are presented and discussed. The experimental results confirm the design as a good candidate for UWB applications.
In this paper, a triple-wideband bandpass filter (BPF) with controllable bandwidths based on two multi-mode stub-loaded resonators (MMSLRs) and a triple-mode resonator is presented. The MMSLR is loaded with two identical folded open-ended stubs and a T-shaped stub. Each passband of the tri-band BPF is formed by four resonant modes, which provide sufficient bandwidths to meet various application requirement. By adjusting the lengths of open-ended stubs, three passband bandwidths can be controlled individually. The center frequencies of the triple-wideband BPF are allocated at 2.7, 3.67, and 5.44 GHz, with the 3 dB fractional bandwidths (FBWs) of 20.1, 14.7, and 26.3%. Among the three passbands, the highest one covers the 5 G WiFi band (5.15–5.85 GHz). The measured results of the proposed filter exhibit excellent agreement with simulated results.
Shortawn foxtail (Alopecurus aequalis Sobol.) is an invasive and highly troublesome weed species originating from North America that has become widespread across China. Since its proliferation seriously threatens crop production worldwide, understanding its genetic diversity is critical for developing a forecasting system for integrated pest management plans. To accelerate the application of molecular markers in A. aequalis, this study aimed to develop a set of expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers using previous high-throughput sequencing data. In this study, a total of 1411 SSR loci were identified from 95,479 unigenes. Tri-nucleotide repeat motifs were the most abundant type with a frequency of 66.27%, followed by di- (24.95%) and tetra-nucleotide (8.78%). Among the loci, 584 primer pairs were successfully designed for marker development. Subsequently, a subset of 36 primer pairs was randomly selected and synthesized, of which 12 (33.33%) pairs successfully revealed abundant allelic polymorphism. Additionally, to investigate their utility, the genotypes of 160 individuals from 20 natural populations representing diverse wild genotypes of A. aequalis were analysed by using these 12 polymorphic markers. These novel SSR markers developed here are reliable and useful for genetic analysis on this invasive plant and will greatly enrich its genetic resource.