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The Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) gene has been identified as a top risk gene for schizophrenia in several large-scale genome-wide association studies. A variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) of this gene is the most significant expression quantitative trait locus, but its role in brain activity in vivo is still unknown.
We first performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan of 101 healthy subjects during a memory span task, trained all subjects on an adaptive memory span task for 1 month, and finally performed another fMRI scan after the training. After excluding subjects with excessive head movements for one or more scanning sessions, data from 93 subjects were included in the final analyses.
The VNTR was significantly associated with both baseline brain activation and training-induced changes in multiple regions including the prefrontal cortex and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Additionally, it was associated with baseline brain activation in the striatum and the parietal cortex. All these results were corrected based on the family-wise error rate method across the whole brain at the peak level.
This study sheds light on the role of AS3MT gene variants in neural plasticity related to memory span training.
Primary liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Most patients are diagnosed at late stages with poor prognosis; thus, identification of modifiable risk factors for primary prevention of liver cancer is urgently needed. The well-established risk factors of liver cancer include chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), heavy alcohol consumption, metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and aflatoxin exposure. However, a large proportion of cancer cases worldwide cannot be explained by current known risk factors. Dietary factors have been suspected as important, but dietary aetiology of liver cancer remains poorly understood. In this review, we summarised and evaluated the observational studies of diet including single nutrients, food and food groups, as well as dietary patterns with the risk of developing liver cancer. Although there are large knowledge gaps between diet and liver cancer risk, current epidemiological evidence supports an important role of diet in liver cancer development. For example, exposure to aflatoxin, heavy alcohol drinking and possibly dairy product (not including yogurt) intake increase, while intake of coffee, fish and tea, light-to-moderate alcohol drinking and several healthy dietary patterns (e.g. Alternative Healthy Eating Index) may decrease liver cancer risk. Future studies with large sample size and accurate diet measurement are warranted and need to consider issues such as the possible aetiological heterogeneity between liver cancer subtypes, the influence of chronic HBV or HCV infection, the high-risk populations (e.g. cirrhosis) and a potential interplay with host gut microbiota or genetic variations.
Consumption of a high-fat diet increases fat accumulation and may further lead to inflammation and hepatic injuries. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of Camellia oleifera seed extract (CSE) on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). After a 16-week NAFLD-inducing period, rats were assigned to experimental groups fed an NAFLD diet with or without CSE. At the end of the study, we found that consuming CSE decreased the abdominal fat weight and hepatic fat accumulation and modulated circulating adipokine levels. We also found that CSE groups had lower hepatic cytochrome P450 2E1 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β protein expressions. In addition, we found that CSE consumption may have affected the gut microbiota and reduced toll-like receptor (TLR)-4, myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88, toll/IL-1 receptor domain-containing adaptor-inducing interferon-β (TRIF) expression and proinflammatory cytokine concentrations in the liver. Our results suggest that CSE may alleviate the progression of NAFLD in rats with diet-induced steatosis through reducing fat accumulation and improving lipid metabolism and hepatic inflammation.
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.
The Wulanba granite, consisting of biotite monzogranite and syenogranite, is located in the southern part of the Great Xing’an Range, NE China. Whole-rock major- and trace-element geochemistry suggests the Wulanba granite is a high-K–shoshonitic, slightly peraluminous and highly differentiated I-type granite. The Sr–Nd–Hf isotopes indicate that it originated from partial melting of juvenile crust derived from the depleted mantle with a minor input of old crust. The relatively young T2DM and tDM2 ages indicate it was most likely derived from a Late Neoproterozoic to Early Palaeozoic source. We have demonstrated that the biotite monzogranite is the ore-related intrusion of the Haobugao Zn–Fe mineralization based on the following geological, geochronological and geochemical evidence: (1) the chalcopyrite/pyrite in the biotite monzogranite and the continuous mineralization of drill core ZK2508; (2) the consistence of the emplacement age of the biotite monzogranite (~141–140/138 Ma) with the skarn mineralization age (~142 Ma); and (3) the presence of rich ore-forming elements (Fe–Zn–Cu) in the biotite monzogranite, and the similar Pb compositions of the sulfides from the Haobugao deposit and the biotite monzogranite. Compared to the barren syenogranite, the fertile biotite monzogranite is more oxidized, while the edges of the apatite grains in the biotite monzogranite are more oxidized than the centres. The average F/Cl ratio of the fertile biotite monzogranite (~123.45) is much higher than that of the barren syenogranite (~73.98). We conclude that these differences reflect unique geochemical signatures, and the geochemical composition of the apatite can be used to infer the economic potential of granites.
Flexible electrode is an indispensable component of emerging portable, flexible, and wearable electronic devices. Although various flexible electrodes with different dimensions and functions have been explored, developing a new electrode material with excellent mechanical reliability and superior electrical performance remains a challenge. Here, a graphene-covered Cu composite electrode film with a total thickness of ∼100 nm is successfully fabricated onto a flexible polyimide substrate by means of a series of assembly methods including physical vapor deposition, chemical vapor deposition, and transfer technique. The composite electrode film on the flexible substrate exhibits evidently enhanced tensile strength, monotonic bending, and repeatedly bending fatigue reliability as well as electrical performance compared with that of the bared Cu film electrode. Such excellent mechanical performances are attributed to the role of the graphene coating in suppressing fatigue damage formation and preventing crack advance. It is expected that the chemical vapor-deposited graphene-covered Cu composite electrode would extend the potential ultrathin metal film electrode as the innovative electrode material for the next-generation flexible electronic devices.
Flaxseed oil is rich in α-linolenic acid (ALA), which is the metabolic precursor of EPA and DHA. The present study investigated the effect of flaxseed oil supplementation on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced muscle atrophy and carbohydrate oxidation impairment in a piglet model. Twenty-four weaned pigs were used in a 2 × 2 factorial experiment including dietary treatment (5 % maize oil v. 5 % flaxseed oil) and LPS challenge (saline v. LPS). On day 21 of treatment, the pigs were injected intraperitoneally with 100 μg/kg body weight LPS or sterile saline. At 4 h after injection, blood, gastrocnemius muscle and longissimus dorsi muscle were collected. Flaxseed oil supplementation increased ALA, EPA, total n-3 PUFA contents, protein:DNA ratio and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex quantity in muscles (P < 0·05). In addition, flaxseed oil reduced mRNA expression of toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 and nucleotide-binding oligomerisation domain protein (NOD) 2 and their downstream signalling molecules in muscles and decreased plasma concentrations of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-8, and mRNA expression of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 (P < 0·05). Moreover, flaxseed oil inclusion increased the ratios of phosphorylated protein kinase B (Akt) 1:total Akt1 and phosphorylated Forkhead box O (FOXO) 1:total FOXO1 and reduced mRNA expression of FOXO1, muscle RING finger (MuRF) 1 and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 in muscles (P < 0·05). These results suggest that flaxseed oil might have a positive effect on alleviating muscle protein loss and carbohydrates oxidation impairment induced by LPS challenge through regulation of the TLR4/NOD and Akt/FOXO signalling pathways.
The periodic dispersal and assembly of continental fragments has been an inherent feature of the continental crust. Based on the discovery of large-scale supercontinent cycle and the theory of plate tectonics, several supercontinents have been identified, such as Columbia/Nuna, Rodinia, Gondwana and Pangaea. Neoproterozoic magmatic events related to the break-up of Rodinia are globally well preserved. Although Neoproterozoic magmatic events were very weak in the North China Craton (NCC), they are crucial in reconstructing the geometries of the NCC and could facilitate the completion of the Neoproterozoic configuration of the supercontinent. In this study, c. 853–835 Ma magmatic rocks are identified in the western margin of the NCC. Precise zircon U–Pb age determination yields 206Pb/238U average ages of 835.5 ± 5.3 Ma (HL-39) and 853.7 ± 4.5 Ma (HL-30). In situ zircon Hf isotope compositions of the samples reveal that their parental magma was formed by the reworking of ancient crust evolved from Mesoproterozoic mantle. In summary, the discovery of Neoproterozoic magmatic rocks in the western margin of the NCC, and reported synchronous rocks in other parts of the NCC indicate that the NCC might be conjoined with the supercontinent Rodinia during the Neoproterozoic. This discovery is of significant help in unravelling the early Neoproterozoic history of the NCC and the evolution of the supercontinent Rodinia.
Aeolian dust input exerts significant influence on oceanic biogeochemical cycles and further potentially controls atmospheric CO2 concentrations. However, the possible link between long-term aeolian dust supply and primary productivity in the western North Pacific remains poorly understood. Here, we present a comprehensive study of major and trace elements and total organic carbon (TOC) concentrations of sediments from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site U1430 in the southern Japan Sea, in order to reconstruct oceanic palaeoproductivity evolution and test its possible link to Asian dust input since 4 Ma. Palaeoproductivity proxies indicate remarkable increases in productivity at ∼3–2 Ma followed by high-frequency oscillations in productivity since 1.2 Ma. We suggest that higher dust-derived iron supply from Central Asia at 3–2 Ma, which was likely driven by the growth of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, could account for enhanced primary productivity and export production in the Japan Sea. Such increased oceanic palaeoproductivity could enhance organic carbon burial, which might contribute to the decrease in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and provide a positive feedback to the global cooling. However, the Tsushima Warm Current (TSWC) intrusion via the southern Tsushima Strait, which was controlled by glacioeustatic sea level changes, has been the principal cause of the rapid changes in primary productivity and benthic redox condition since 1.2 Ma, regardless of continuously increased Asian dust input.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Triploid and pentaploid breeding is of great importance in agricultural production, but it is not always easy to obtain double ploidy parents. However, in fishes, chromosome ploidy is diversiform, which may provide natural parental resources for triploid and pentaploid breeding. Both tetraploid and hexaploid exist in Schizothorax fishes, which were thought to belong to different subfamilies with tetraploid Percocypris fishes in morphology, but they are sister genera in molecule. Fortunately, the pentaploid hybrid fishes have been successfully obtained by hybridization of Schizothorax wangchiachii (♀, 2n = 6X = 148) × Percocypris pingi (♂, 2n = 4X = 98). To understand the genetic and morphological difference among the hybrid fishes and their parents, four methods were used in this study: morphology, karyotype, red blood cell (RBC) DNA content determination and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR). In morphology, the hybrid fishes were steady, and between their parents with no obvious preference. The chromosome numbers of P. pingi have been reported as 2n = 4X = 98. In this study, the karyotype of S. wangchiachii was 2n = 6X = 148 = 36m + 34sm + 12st + 66t, while that the hybrid fishes was 2n = 5X = 123 = 39m + 28sm + 5st + 51t. Similarly, the RBC DNA content of the hybrid fishes was intermediate among their parents. In ISSR, the within-group genetic diversity of hybrid fishes was higher than that of their parents. Moreover, the genetic distance of hybrid fishes between P. pingi and S.wangchiachii was closely related to that of their parental ploidy, suggesting that parental genetic material stably coexisted in the hybrid fishes. This is the first report to show a stable pentaploid F1 hybrids produced by hybridization of a hexaploid and a tetraploid in aquaculture.
Although it is crucial to improve the treatment status of people with severe mental illness (SMI), it is still unknown whether and how socioeconomic development influences their treatment status.
To explore the change in treatment status in people with SMI from 1994 to 2015 in rural China and to examine the factors influencing treatment status in those with SMI.
Two mental health surveys using identical methods and ICD-10 were conducted in 1994 and 2015 (population ≥15 years old, n = 152 776) in the same six townships of Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
Compared with 1994, individuals with SMI in 2015 had significantly higher rates of poor family economic status, fewer family caregivers, longer duration of illness, later age at first onset and poor mental status. Participants in 2015 had significantly higher rates of never being treated, taking antipsychotic drugs and ever being admitted to hospital, and lower rates of using traditional Chinese medicine or being treated by traditional/spiritual healers. The factors strongly associated with never being treated included worse mental status (symptoms/social functioning), older age, having no family caregivers and poor family economic status.
Socioeconomic development influences the treatment status of people with SMI in contemporary rural China. Relative poverty, having no family caregivers and older age are important factors associated with a worse treatment status. Culture-specific, community-based interventions and targeted poverty-alleviation programmes should be developed to improve the early identification, treatment and recovery of individuals with SMI in rural China.
This paper is concerned with the travelling waves for a class of non-local dispersal non-cooperative system, which can model the prey-predator and disease-transmission mechanism. By the Schauder's fixed-point theorem, we first establish the existence of travelling waves connecting the semi-trivial equilibrium to non-trivial leftover concentrations, whose bounds are deduced from a precise analysis. Further, we characterize the minimal wave speed of travelling waves and obtain the non-existence of travelling waves with slow speed. Finally, we apply the general results to an epidemic model with bilinear incidence for its propagation dynamics.
This paper presents a hybrid strategy-based coordinate controller with a novel nonlinear disturbance observer for autonomous underwater vehicle manipulator systems (UVMSs). This method can reduce the influence from external unknown disturbances, inner coupling effects and model uncertainties by using a modified disturbance observer. Considering the natural redundancy property of the UVMS, the redundancy resolution algorithm is often utilized to give desired trajectories in the vehicle–joint space. However, because of the calibration errors, assembling errors and numerical errors, these desired trajectories may not lead the end-effector to the goal point accurately. To realize accurate motion control even when small errors exist in the planning phase, a hybrid strategy is introduced to transform the controller in the joint–vehicle space to the controller in the task space. Numerical simulations based on a UVMS have been carried out to testify the effectiveness of the proposed coordinate controller and the hybrid strategy. During the simulations, unknown disturbances are exerted upon the system. The trajectory tracking and error fixing performances are discussed in comparative analyses. The controller also maintains robust characteristics in comparison with the passivity-based controller and the proposed controller but without the disturbance observer. Experiments are also carried out to test its performance.
A kind of novel Ni–P gradient coating/stannate conversion film was deposited on AZ91D magnesium alloy (AZ91D alloy) by an integrative method involved stannate conversion and electroless plating. The results indicated that using sodium hypophosphite concentrations varied as 5, 10, 22, 46, and 60 g/L in the bath, the electroless Ni–P gradient coating with typical cell morphologies was successfully prepared, and the structures transited from crystalline → microcrystalline → amorphous were obtained as increasing P content from 3.31 to 12.58 wt%. Furthermore, the corrosion morphologies, polarization curves, and the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy result indicated that the corrosion resistance of AZ91D alloy substrate was significantly improved and the corrosion resistance of Ni–P gradient coating was superior than that of stannate conversion film, which might be attributed to the gradient structure and rising P content with unique function.
Nacre-mimetic (PE/TiO2)4 nanolayered composites (NLCs) with the nanocrystalline TiO2 layer thickness less than 30 nm and different thickness ratios of inorganic/organic layers were successfully prepared by using layer-by-layer self-assembly and chemical bath deposition method. Mechanical properties, especially fatigue properties of the NLCs with different thickness ratios were evaluated. The elastic modulus, hardness and fracture toughness, strain amplitude to fatigue limits of the NLCs reached 27.78 ± 5.69 GPa, 1.33 ± 0.31 GPa, and 4.16 ± 0.20 MPa m1/2, respectively. Fatigue performance of the NLCs in the high and low cycle fatigue regimes was optimized by tailoring the thickness ratio of the TiO2/PE layers. The PE/TiO2 NLCs with the larger thickness ratio of ∼3 has the high fatigue limit (the critical strain amplitude of 0.0853%) in the high-cycle fatigue regime, while that with the smaller thickness ratio of ∼1 and ∼0.5 are of the good fatigue strength in the low-cycle fatigue regime. The basic mechanism for the enhanced fatigue performance is elucidated.
Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) is being developed as the next-generation magnetic recording technology. High anisotropy granular media such as FePt-C have been demonstrated as HAMR media for ∼2 Tbpsi (terabits per in2) recording density. In order for this technology to reach its full potential of 4–5 Tbpsi, more progress and innovations are needed for the key requirements for HAMR media, including microstructure, design, magnetic distribution, and thermal design. Beyond granular media, heated-dot magnetic recording (HDMR) is planned to extend areal density toward 10 Tbpsi. HDMR combines similar advanced recording layer materials with advanced patterning techniques to fabricate <10-nm rectangular dot media.
Whether there are distinct subtypes of schizophrenia is an important issue to advance understanding and treatment of schizophrenia.
To understand and treat individuals with schizophrenia, the aim was to advance understanding of differences between individuals, whether there are discrete subtypes, and how fist-episode patients (FEP) may differ from multiple episode patients (MEP).
These issues were analysed in 687 FEP and 1880 MEP with schizophrenia using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale for (PANSS) schizophrenia before and after antipsychotic medication for 6 weeks.
The seven Negative Symptoms were correlated with each other and with P2 (conceptual disorganisation), G13 (disturbance of volition), and G7 (motor retardation). The main difference between individuals was in the cluster of seven negative symptoms, which had a continuous unimodal distribution. Medication decreased the PANSS scores for all the symptoms, which were similar in the FEP and MEP groups.
The negative symptoms are a major source of individual differences, and there are potential implications for treatment.
Randomised controlled trials comparing low- v. high-fat diets on cardiometabolic risk factors in people with overweight or obesity have shown inconsistent results, which may be due to the mixed metabolic status of people with excess adiposity. The role of dietary fat manipulation in modifying cardiometabolic indicators in people with overweight or obese without metabolic disturbance is unclear. Thus, meta-analysis was conducted to compare low- v. high-fat diets on cardiometabolic indicators in people who are overweight or obese without metabolic disturbance in the present study. Databases were searched until October 2016. The pooled effects of outcomes with heterogeneity were calculated with a random-effects model, heterogeneities were analysed by subgroup and meta-regression. As a result, twenty studies with 2106 participants were included in the meta-analysis. Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels were lower following low-fat diets compared with high-fat diets: weighted mean difference (WMD) was −7·05 mg/dl (−0·18 mmol/l; 95 % CI −11·30, −2·80; P=0·001) and −4·41 mg/dl (−0·11 mmol/l; 95 % CI −7·81, −1·00; P=0·011), respectively. Conversely, significant higher level of TAG (WMD: 11·68 mg/dl (0·13 mmol/l), 95 % CI 5·90, 17·45; P<0·001) and lower level of HDL-cholesterol (WMD: −2·57 mg/dl (−0·07 mmol/l); 95 % CI −3·85, −1·28; P<0·001) were found following low-fat diets compared with high-fat diets. In conclusion, dietary fat manipulation has a significant influence on blood lipid levels in people with overweight or obesity without metabolic disturbances.
Aphelinus mali (Haldeman) is an effective natural enemy of woolly apple aphid (WAA), Eriosoma lanigerum (Hausmann). Previous studies have found that, with WAA from Shandong Province (Qingdao) as the host, there are significant differences in various biological characteristics between a Shandong clade and Liaoning clade of A. mali. The ability of the Shandong clade to control this aphid was significantly higher than that of the Liaoning clade in Shandong Province. In order to determine whether differences were caused by better adaptation of the Shandong parasitoid clade to the population of the host in that province or if it represents a more general fitness of this clade to control the host regardless of location, we compared the same parasitoid clades with hosts from Hebei Province. We found no significant differences in the developmental threshold temperature, effective accumulated temperature, fecundity, longevity, and oviposition period of the two clades, but the duration of host searching of the Shandong clade was significantly longer than that of the Liaoning clade. The instantaneous attack rate, the control ability (a/Th), the search parameter (Q) of the Shandong clade (0.0946, 0.543, 0.0725) of A. mali were higher than that of the Liaoning clade (0.0713, 0.382, 0.0381), and therefore, with WAA from Hebei Province as the host, the host adaptability of the Shandong clade of A. mali was not worse than that of the Liaoning clade, while the pest control ability of the Shandong clade was still greater than that of the Liaoning clade.