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Laser pulses of 200 ps with extremely high intensities and high energies are sufficient to satisfy the demand of shock ignition, which is an alternative path to ignition in inertial confinement fusion (ICF). This paper reports a type of Brillouin scheme to obtain high-intensity 200-ps laser pulses, where the pulse durations are a challenge for conventional pulsed laser amplification systems. In the amplification process, excited Brillouin acoustic waves fulfill the nonlinear optical effect through which the high energy of a long pump pulse is entirely transferred to a 200-ps laser pulse. This method was introduced and achieved within the SG-III prototype system in China. Compared favorably with the intensity of
in existing ICF laser drivers, a 6.96-
pulse with a width of 170 ps was obtained in our experiment. The practical scalability of the results to larger ICF laser drivers is discussed.
Immiscible displacement in porous media is common in many practical applications. Under quasi-static conditions, the process is significantly affected by disorder of the porous media and the wettability of the pore surface. Previous studies have focused on wettability effects, but the impact of the interplay between disorder and contact angle is not well understood. Here, we combine microfluidic experiments and pore-scale simulations with theoretical analysis to study the impact of disorder on the quasi-static displacement from weak imbibition to strong drainage. We define the probability of overlap to link the menisci advancements to displacement patterns, and derive a theoretical model to describe the lower and upper bounds of the cross-over zone between compact displacement and capillary fingering for porous media with arbitrary flow geometry at a given disorder. The phase diagram predicted by the theoretical model shows that the cross-over zone, in terms of contact angle range, expands as the disorder increases. The diagram further identifies four zones to elucidate that the impact of disorder depends on wettability. In zone I, increasing disorder destabilizes the patterns, and in zone II, a stabilizing effect plays a role, which is less significant than that in zone I. In the other two zones, invasion morphologies are compact and fingering, respectively, independent of both contact angle and disorder. We evaluate the proposed diagram using pore-scale simulations, experiments in this work and in the literature, confirming that the diagram can capture the effect of disorder on displacement under different wetting conditions. Our work extends the classical phase diagrams and is also of practical significance for engineering applications.
Maternal one-carbon metabolism during pregnancy is crucial for fetal development and programming by DNA methylation. However, evidence on one-carbon biomarkers other than folate is lacking. We, therefore, investigated whether maternal plasma methyl donors, that is, choline, betaine and methionine, are associated with birth outcomes. Blood samples were obtained from 115 women during gestation (median 26·3 weeks, 90 % range 22·7–33·0 weeks). Plasma choline, betaine, methionine and dimethylglycine were measured using HPLC-tandem MS. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between plasma biomarkers and birth weight, birth length, the risk of small-for-gestational-age and large-for-gestational-age (LGA). Higher level of maternal betaine was associated with lower birth weight (–130·3 (95 % CI –244·8, –15·9) per 1 sd increment for log-transformed betaine). Higher maternal methionine was associated with lower risk of LGA, and adjusted OR, with 95 % CI for 1 sd increase in methionine concentration was 0·44 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·89). Stratified analyses according to infant sex or maternal plasma homocysteine status showed that reduction in birth weight in relation to maternal betaine was only limited to male infants or to who had higher maternal homocysteine status (≥5·1 µmol/l). Higher maternal betaine status was associated with reduced birth weight. Maternal methionine was inversely associated with LGA risk. These findings are needed to be replicated in future larger studies.
The elastic polymer composite embedded with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is an ideal candidate for stretchable and flexible sensor fabrication due to the perfect combination between the excellent properties of CNTs and the high stretchability of the elastomer. A cube model of nanotube/polymer composite is constructed to comprehensively and theoretically analyze its electrical behavior, which is dominantly governed by the CNT network. The aspect ratio and alignment of CNTs significantly influence both the percolation threshold range and the electrical conductivity; however, the electrical conductivity of CNTs has little impact on the percolation threshold. The piezoresistivity of the composite is not only governed by the property of CNTs but also by the mechanical property of the polymer matrix, including the Poisson’s ratio and alignment of CNTs. The specific reasons why the composite resistance rises when it is stretched are investigated. Finally, one optimizing suggestion is given for making the CNTs/polymer composite with high sensitivity.
Apathy is a condition characterized by a lack of motivation that manifests in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains. Although previous studies have indicated that apathy is associated with frontal lesions, few studies have focused on the different subdomains of apathy, and no in vivo human biochemical data have been obtained to examine the neurochemical changes related to apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, we investigated the frontal neurochemical alterations related to apathy among patients with AD using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS).
Apathy was assessed through the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). 1H MRS was performed to measure neurochemical metabolite levels in the anterior cingulate region and right orbitofrontal region. Associations between neurochemical metabolites and the total score and subscores of each domain of the AES were analyzed.
Altogether, 36 patients completed the study. Patients with lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the anterior cingulate region demonstrated higher total apathy scores (β = −0.56, p = 0.003) with adjustments for age, gender, educational level, dementia severity, and depression severity. In a further analysis, a lower NAA/Cr in the anterior cingulate region was associated with all subdomains of apathy, including cognition (β = −0.43, p = 0.028), behavior (β = −0.55, p = 0.002), and emotion (β = −0.50, p = 0.005). No statistically significant associations were discovered in the right orbitofrontal region.
Our results suggest that apathy, in each of its cognitive, behavioral, or emotional subdomains is associated with brain neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate region. Abnormal neuronal integrity over the anterior cingulate cortex may exhibit a central role in causing all aspects of apathy in patients with AD.
The prevalence of CHD has been well described worldwide except in Tibet. This study aimed to illustrate the prevalence and composition of CHD in Tibetan children according to altitude.
Methods and results
In the first part, we prospectively recruited 7088 unselected Tibetan children (4–17 years) from south-west Tibet. The total prevalence of CHD increased from 4.6/1000 below 4200 m to 13.4/1000 above 4700 m, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.3:3.1. The total prevalence and female prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus increased more than 10-fold. Females living above 4700 m had exceptionally high prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (14.9/1000). The prevalence of atrial septal defect was comparable among different altitudes (3.3–3.8/1000). The prevalence of ventricular septal defect was 1.3/1000 below 4700 m, and no cases were found above this altitude. In the second part, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 383 CHD children in Tibet and 73 children at lower altitudes. The percentage of isolated ventricular septal defect decreased from 54.8 to 3.1%, and the percentage of isolated patent ductus arteriosus increased from 8.2 to 68.4% with elevation. Children living below 4200 m (10.4–13.7%) had a larger proportion of complex CHD than those above this altitude (2.0–3.1%). Of the 20 Tibetan children with complex CHD, 14 (70.0%) lived below 4200 m.
A wide variation in CHD prevalence and composition existed in Tibetan children among different altitudes.
Beginning in 2007, all newly diagnosed cancer patients at the Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center (KF–SYSCC) were screened for psychosocial distress. Our social workers, as part of the psychosocial care team (PCT), have engaged in proactive outreach with patients identified as distressed. The goal of the present study was to assess the prevalence of psychosocial distress and the extent of contact between the PCT and distressed patients.
Newly diagnosed patients who were treated at KF–SYSCC between 2007 and 2010 for cancer were eligible if there were at least 100 patients with the same type of cancer. Before treatment began, they were screened with the Pain Scale and the Distress Thermometer (DT) and had the option to specify a desire for help. The rates of distress were analyzed by cancer type and by probable related factors. Information regarding contact with the PCT was retrieved from computerized databases.
Overall, some 5,335 cancer patients representing 12 major cancer types were included in our study. Of these, 1,771 (33.20%) were significantly distressed. By multivariate logistic regression, younger age, female gender, higher pain score, and disease stage, but not cancer type, were found to be associated with higher rates of distress. Among these distressed patients, 628 (36%) had some contact with the PCT.
Significance of results:
This Taiwanese study with a large sample size revealed a prevalence rate of psychosocial distress similar to rates found in Western countries. Contact with the PCT was established in only 36% of significantly distressed patients, despite a proactive outreach program. It is very important to have screening results made available in a timely fashion to the psycho-oncology team so that appropriate care can be offered promptly.
Cancer patients with depression or anxiety have poor survival, and the interaction between mental and physical problems in older patients may exacerbate this problem. K-ras oncogene (KRAS) mutation may play a role in the development of psychosocial distress and may be associated with poor survival of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients. This study investigated the association between KRAS gene mutations and psychosocial morbidity to explore the possible cancer/psychosis relationship in older mCRC patients.
In this study, 62 newly diagnosed mCRC patients were recruited and completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Demographic data were also collected, and clinicopathological data were retrieved from medical records. KRAS mutations were assessed via PCR analysis of tissue specimens from the patients.
The results showed that 28 of the 62 participants (45.2%) had positive screens for possible depression, and 45 of the 62 participants (72.6%) had positive screens for anxiety. The KRAS mutation rate was 40.3% (25/62), and 19 of the 25 patients with KRAS mutations (76.0%) had probable depression, whereas only 24.3% of the patients with wild-type KRAS were probably depressed (p < 0.05). The KRAS mutation was associated with higher HADS depression scores, independent of gender and performance status (p < 0.05), but not with higher HADS anxiety or total scores.
KRAS mutations were associated with depression severity and higher rates of probable depression in older mCRC patients. Depression should be assessed and treated as early as possible in older mCRC patients with the KRAS mutation. Further studies are needed to verify our current findings using a larger sample size.
Accumulating evidence suggests that altered immunity contributes to the
development of major depressive disorder (MDD).
To examine whether complement factor H (CFH), a regulator of activation
of the alternative pathway of the complement cascade, confers
susceptibility to MDD.
Expression analyses were tested in 53 unmedicated people with MDD and 55
healthy controls. A two-stage genetic association analysis was performed
in 3323 Han Chinese with or without MDD. Potential associations between
CFH single nucleotide polymorphisms and age at MDD
onset were evaluated.
CFH levels were significantly lower in the MDD group at
both protein and mRNA levels (P = 0.009 and
P = 0.014 respectively). A regulatory variant in the
CFH gene, rs1061170, showed statistically significant
genotypic and allelic differences between the MDD and control groups
(genotypic P = 0.0005, allelic P =
0.0001). Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed that age at onset of MDD
was significantly associated with the C allele of
rs1061170 (log rank statistic χ2 = 6.82, P =
0.009). The C-allele carriers had a younger age at onset
of MDD (22.2 years, s.d. = 4.0) than those without the C
allele (23.6 years, s.d. = 4.3).
CFH is likely to play an important role in the
development of MDD. rs1061170 has an important effect on age at onset of
MDD in Han Chinese and may therefore be related to early pathogenesis of
MDD, although further study is needed.
Mussels are typical macrofouling organisms in the world. In this study, the interaction between the settlement of Mytilus coruscus plantigrades and bacterial community on coloured substrata was determined. Bacterial communities in biofilms developed on seven coloured substrata were analysed by Illumina Miseq sequencing. The mussel settlement response to coloured substrata with no biofilms was also examined. Flavobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were the first, second and third most dominant groups in seven biofilm samples. The results suggest that the inducing activities of these biofilms on plantigrade settlement varied with coloured substrata and the lowest percentage of settlement was observed on biofilms on the green substratum. High-throughput sequencing showed that bacterial community in biofilms also changed with the substratum colour. No significant difference in the inducing activity on plantigrade settlement was observed between the coloured substrata with no biofilms. Thus, difference in plantigrade settlement response may be correlated to the changes in bacterial community on coloured substrata. This finding extends current knowledge of interaction among mussel settlement and bacterial community variability.
During 1997–2012 we conducted a nationwide camera-trapping survey and assessed the availability of prey and habitat for the clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa in Taiwan. We surveyed 1,249 camera-trap sites over 113,636 camera-trap days, from the seashore to an altitude of 3,796 m and covering various types of vegetation. No clouded leopards were photographed during 128,394 camera-trap days, including at 209 sites in other studies, confirming the presumed extinction of clouded leopards in Taiwan. Assessment of the prey base revealed altitudinal distribution patterns of prey species and prey biomass. Areas at lower altitudes and with less human encroachment and hunting supported a higher prey biomass and more of the typical prey species of clouded leopards. Habitat analysis revealed 8,523 km2 of suitable habitat but this was reduced to 6,734 km2 when adjacent areas of human encroachment were subtracted. In the absence of hunting and large mammalian carnivores the major prey of clouded leopards in Taiwan, such as Formosan macaques Macaca cyclopis, Reeves's muntjacs Muntiacus reevesi, Formosan serow Capricornis swinhoei and sambar Rusa unicolor, could become over-abundant. Thus, it is important to address the cascading effect of the disappearance of top-down predator control. Our assessment indicated that, with proper regulation of hunting, habitat restoration and corridor improvement, it may be possible to reintroduce the clouded leopard.
Common psychiatric disorders are highly heritable, indicating that genetic factors play an important role in their aetiology. The CACNA1C gene, which codes for subunit alpha-1C of the Cav1.2 voltage-dependent L-type calcium channel, has been consistently found to be the shared risk gene for several kinds of mental disorder.
To investigate whether CACNA1C is a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia and major depressive disorder in the Han Chinese population.
We carried out a case–control study of 1235 patients with schizophrenia, 1045 with major depressive disorder and 1235 healthy controls. A tag single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1006737 along with another 10 tag SNPs in the CACNA1C gene were genotyped in all samples.
We found that rs1006737 was associated with both schizophrenia (Pallele = 0.0014, Pgenotype = 0.006, odds ratio (OR) = 1.384, 95% CI 1.134–1.690) and major depressive disorder (Pallele = 0.0007, Pgenotype = 0.003, OR = 1.425, 95% CI 1.160–1.752).
Our findings support CACNA1C being a risk gene for both schizophrenia and major depressive disorder in the Han Chinese population.
Unawareness of deficits is common and is associated with poor outcomes in Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, little is known about correlated neurobiochemical changes.
Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to examine neurobiochemical correlates of unawareness of deficits as assessed by the Dementia Deficit Scale in 36 patients with AD. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy spectra were acquired from the anterior cingulate area and right orbitofrontal area. Concentrations of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), total creatine, and other neurometabolites were calculated.
Nineteen (52.8%) participants had relative unawareness of deficits. This condition was negatively correlated with NAA/creatine in the anterior cingulate area (β = −0.36, p = 0.025) and positively correlated with NAA/creatine in the right orbitofrontal area (β = 0.41, p = 0.009) after controlling for dementia severity.
These findings suggest unawareness of deficits in AD was associated with the altered neurochemical metabolites in the anterior cingulate area and right orbitofrontal area. However, the two areas might have opposite neuronal functions in unawareness of deficits.
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the impact of a lifestyle intervention programme, combined with a daily low-glycaemic index meal replacement, on body-weight and glycaemic control in subjects with impaired glucose regulation (IGR). Subjects with IGR were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n 46) and a control group (n 42). Both groups received health counselling at baseline. The intervention group also received a daily meal replacement and intensive lifestyle intervention to promote healthy eating habits during the first 3 months of the study, and follow-up visits performed monthly until the end of the 1-year study. Outcome measurements included changes in plasma glucose, glycated Hb (HbA1c), plasma lipids, body weight, blood pressure and body composition (such as body fat mass and visceral fat area). The results showed that body-weight loss after 1 year was significant in the intervention group compared with the control group ( − 1·8 (sem 0·35) v.− 0·6 (sem 0·40) 2·5 kg, P< 0·05). The 2 h plasma glucose concentration decreased 1·24 mmol/l in the intervention group and increased 0·85 mmol/l in the control group (P< 0·05) compared with their baseline, respectively. A 5 kg body-weight loss at 1 year was associated with a decrease of 1·49 mmol/l in 2 h plasma glucose (P< 0·01). The incidence of normal glucose regulation (NGR) in the two groups was significantly different (P= 0·001). In conclusion, the combination of regular contact, lifestyle advice and meal replacement is beneficial in promoting IGR to NGR.
Effect of heat treatment on the properties and microstructure of non-stoichiometric Ti-Mn based hydrogen storage alloys were investigated. The results were presented that the hydrogen storage capacity was increased and the width of P-C-T Plateau extended, but the slope of plateau increased after heat treatment. Through SEM, EDS and XRD analysis, it was found that the crystal parameters and cell volume was increased, meanwhile the composition homogeneity effectively enhanced and the content of C15 phase decreased after heat treatment. The accretion of slope of plateau would be related to the ratio of valence electron/atom of the alloys.
The sediments in Lake Huguang Maar in coastal South China were previously thought to originate mainly from wind-blown dust transported from North China, such that the lake sediments recorded the varying strength of the Asian winter monsoon. An alternative explanation was that the local pyroclastic rocks supplied the lake sediments, but the actual contributions from the different sources remained unclear. Geochemical analyses including 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd and trace elements support the local pyroclastic rock as the dominant source: <22% of the total Sr in the lake sediments and ∼ 17% of the Nd arises from the distant source. Nb/Ta and Zr/Hf for the lake sediments are identical to those for the local rock but differ from the ratios for the wind-blown dust, and chondrite-normalized rare earth element patterns for the lake sediments are similar to those for the local rock and soil, but differ from those for the distant source. The sediments in Lake Huguang Maar are probably input into the lake through runoff and thus controlled by the hydrology of the lake. Wind-blown dust transported by the Asian winter monsoon from arid North China is only a minor contribution to the sediments.
The outcome of Plasmodium yoelii 17XL-infected BALB/c and DBA/2 mice, ranging from death to spontaneous cure, respectively, depends largely on the establishment of effective pro-inflammatory type 1 responses during the early stages of infection and associates with CD4+CD25+Foxp3+regulatory T cells (Tregs). Here, effects of Tregs were analysed on early P. yoelii 17XL infection in BALB/c and DBA/2 mice. In vivo depletion of Tregs significantly reversed the inhibited establishment of effective pro-inflammatory type 1 responses in BALB/c mice, indicating that this cell population contributed to the suppression of T-cell function in malaria. Moreover, the proportion and absolute numbers of IL-10-secreting Tregs in BALB/c mice were significantly higher than that found in DBA/2 mice by intracytoplasmic staining, and IL-10 production was correlated with the Tregs population. In addition, in vivo Tregs depletion decreased the production of IL-10 and the apoptosis of CD4+ T cells. Consistently, IL-10R blockade also had the same effect as that of Tregs depletion in P. yoelii 17XL-infected BALB/c mice. Our data demonstrate that Tregs perhaps have an important role in regulating pro-inflammatory type 1 responses in an IL-10-dependent manner and induce CD4+ T cell apoptosis during the early stage of P. yoelii 17XL infection.
We investigated the elastic properties of two tin-copper crystalline phases, the η′-Cu6Sn5 and ε-Cu3Sn, which are often encountered in microelectronic packaging applications. The full elastic stiffness of both phases is determined based on strain-energy relations using first-principles calculations. The computed results show the elastic anisotropy of both phases that cannot be resolved from experiments. Our results, suggesting both phases have the greatest stiffness along the c direction, particularly showed the unique in-plane elastic anisotropy associated with the lattice modulation of the Cu3Sn superstructure. The polycrystalline moduli obtained using the Voigt-Reuss scheme are 125.98 GPa for Cu6Sn5 and 134.16 GPa for Cu3Sn. Our data analysis indicates that the smaller elastic moduli of Cu6Sn5 are attributed to the direct Sn–Sn bond in Cu6Sn5. We reassert the elastic modulus and hardness of both phases using the nanoindentation experiment for our calculation benchmark. Interestingly, the computed polycrystalline elastic modulus of Cu6Sn5 seems to be overestimated, whereas that of Cu3Sn falls nicely in the range of reported data. Based on the observations, the elastic modulus of Cu6Sn5 obtained from nanoindentation tests admit the microstructure effect that is absent for Cu3Sn is concluded. Our analysis of electronic structure shows that the intrinsic hardness and elastic modulus of both phases are dominated by electronic structure and atomic lattice structure, respectively.
An efficient AHL (N-acyl-homoserine lactone) bioassay strain, JZA1, of Agrobacterium tumefaciens was used to detect the AHL production from Acidovorax avenae subsp. citrulli [the pathogen causing bacterial fruit blotch (BFB) of melons], and the results showed that A. avenae subsp. citrulli produced a 3-O-C8-homoserine (HSL) type signal molecule. Gene aiiA, which could degrade AHL molecules, was transformed into A. avenae subsp. citrulli strain NJF10, creating strain NJF10-aiiA. The AHL production from NJF10-aiiA was significantly reduced compared with wild-type NJF10. Inoculation tests showed that NJF10-aiiA had an obvious reduction of virulence on watermelon fruits. Our finds showed that AHL production by A. avenae subsp. citrulli was related to its pathogenicity. This work might provide a novel way to control BFB by QS (quorum sensing) interference.