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Shifts in the maternal gut microbiota have been implicated in the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Understanding the interaction between gut microbiota and host glucose metabolism will provide a new target of prediction and treatment. In this nested case-control study, we aimed to investigate the causal effects of gut microbiota from GDM patients on the glucose metabolism of germ-free (GF) mice. Stool and peripheral blood samples, as well as clinical information, were collected from 45 GDM patients and 45 healthy controls (matched by age and prepregnancy body mass index (BMI)) in the first and second trimester. Gut microbiota profiles were explored by next-generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and inflammatory factors in peripheral blood were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Fecal samples from GDM and non-GDM donors were transferred to GF mice. The gut microbiota of women with GDM showed reduced richness, specifically decreased Bacteroides and Akkermansia, as well as increased Faecalibacterium. The relative abundance of Akkermansia was negatively associated with blood glucose levels, and the relative abundance of Faecalibacterium was positively related to inflammatory factor concentrations. The transfer of fecal microbiota from GDM and non-GDM donors to GF mice resulted in different gut microbiota colonization patterns, and hyperglycemia was induced in mice that received GDM donor microbiota. These results suggested that the shifting pattern of gut microbiota in GDM patients contributed to disease pathogenesis.
This technical note describes a quantitative assessment of the production of radioactive materials during a year-long clinical operation of a Mevion S250i Hyperscan proton therapy system. The production of accumulated radioactive materials plays an important role in determining radiation safety in and around the proton therapy facilities.
We have conducted a weekly room survey, every week for a year, during normal clinical operation.
Results and conclusions:
We estimated the accumulated activity from secondary neutron activation on aluminium structures at 3 m away from isocentre in the beamline to be less than 300 μCi.
As the number of proton therapy facilities has steadily increased, the need for the tool to provide precise dose simulation for complicated clinical and research scenarios also increase. In this study, the treatment head of Mevion HYPERSCAN pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy system including energy modulation system (EMS) and Adaptive Aperture™ (AA) was modelled using TOPAS (TOolkit for PArticle Simulation) Monte Carlo (MC) code and was validated during commissioning process.
Materials and methods:
The proton beam characteristics including integral depth doses (IDDs) of pristine Bragg peak and in-air beam spot sizes were simulated and compared with measured beam data. The lateral profiles, with and without AA, were also verified against calculation from treatment planning system (TPS).
All beam characteristics for IDDs and in-air spot size agreed well within 1 mm and 10% separately. The full width at half maximum and penumbra of lateral dose profile also agree well within 2 mm.
The TOPAS MC simulation of the MEVION HYPERSCAN PBS proton therapy system has been modelled and validated; it could be a viable tool for research and verification of the proton treatment in the future.
We aimed to evaluate the relationship of plasma Mg with the risk of new-onset hyperuricaemia and examine any possible effect modifiers in hypertensive patients. This is a post hoc analysis of the Uric acid (UA) Sub-study of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial (CSPPT). A total of 1685 participants were included in the present study. The main outcome was new-onset hyperuricaemia defined as a UA concentration ≥417 μmol/l in men or ≥357 μmol/l in women. The secondary outcome was a change in UA concentration defined as UA at the exit visit minus that at baseline. During a median follow-up duration of 4·3 years, new-onset hyperuricaemia occurred in 290 (17·2 %) participants. There was a significantly inverse relation of plasma Mg with the risk of new-onset hyperuricaemia (per sd increment; OR 0·85; 95 % CI 0·74, 0·99) and change in UA levels (per sd increment; β −3·96 μmol/l; 95 % CI −7·14, −0·79). Consistently, when plasma Mg was analysed as tertiles, a significantly lower risk of new-onset hyperuricaemia (OR 0·67; 95 % CI 0·48, 0·95) and less increase in UA levels (β −8·35 μmol/l; 95 % CI −16·12, −0·58) were found among participants in tertile 3 (≥885·5 μmol/l) compared with those in tertile 1 (<818·9 μmol/l). Similar trends were found in males and females. Higher plasma Mg levels were associated with a decreased risk of new-onset hyperuricaemia in hypertensive adults.
We aimed to investigate the association between plasma retinol and incident cancer among Chinese hypertensive adults. We conducted a nested case–control study, including 231 patients with incident cancer and 231 matched controls during a median 4·5-year follow-up of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. There was a significant, inverse association between retinol levels and digestive system cancer (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91). When compared with participants in the first quartile of retinol (< 52·3 μg/dl), a significantly lower cancer risk was found in participants in quartile 2–4 ( ≥ 52·3 μg/dl: OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·71). However, there was a U-shaped association between retinol levels and non-digestive system cancers where the risk of cancers decreased (although not significantly) with each increment of plasma retinol (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·89; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·31) in participants with retinol < 68·2 μg/dl, and then increased significantly with retinol (per 10 μg/dl increase: OR 1·65; 95 % CI 1·12, 2·44) in participants with retinol ≥ 68·2 μg/dl. In conclusion, there was a significant inverse dose–response association between plasma retinol and the risk of digestive system cancers. However, a U-shaped association was observed between plasma retinol and the risk of non-digestive cancers (with a turning point approximately 68·2 μg/dl).
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.
Data on dietary patterns in relation to the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a middle-aged Chinese population are sparse. The present study was performed to determine the major dietary patterns among a population aged 45–59 years and to evaluate their associations with MetS risk in China.
Cross-sectional examination of the association between dietary patterns and MetS. Face-to-face interviews were used to assess dietary intake using a validated semi-quantitative FFQ. OR and 95 % CI for MetS were calculated across quartiles of dietary pattern scores using multivariate logistic regression analysis models.
City of Linyi, Shandong Province, China.
Adults (n 1918) aged 45–59 years.
Three major dietary patterns were identified: traditional Chinese, animal food and high-energy. After adjustment for potential confounders, individuals in the highest quartile of the traditional Chinese pattern had a reduced risk of MetS relative to the lowest quartile (OR=0·72, 95 % CI 0·596, 0·952; P<0·05). Compared with those in the lowest quartile, individuals in the highest quartile of the animal food pattern had a greater risk of MetS (OR=1·28; 95 % CI 1·103, 1·697; P<0·05). No significant association was observed between the high-energy pattern and risk of MetS.
These findings indicate that the traditional Chinese pattern was associated with a reduced risk, while the animal food pattern was associated with increased risk of MetS. Given the cross-sectional nature of our study, further prospective studies are warranted to confirm these findings.
Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC), such as MoS2, WS2 have attracted attention due to their mechanical and electronic properties in their two dimensional (2D) structures. Here, we report a facile growth of monolayer TMDC using oxide source materials with the assistant of NaCl. The addition of NaCl can enhance the lateral growth and widen the growth window of TMDC. Through carefully controlling the growth parameters, large area growth of TMDC can be achieved. Two steps E-beam lithography was utilized to fabricate electrodes of TMDC. The phototransistors made from the CVD grown TMDC show strong persistent photoconductivity (PPC). It was finally shown that TMDC device capping with h-BN could have suppressed PPC effects.
A 336-cm-long sediment core spanning the last 130 ka was recovered from Lake Xingkai on the northeastern margin of the East Asian summer monsoon domain to reveal the linkage between lacustrine depositional processes and environmental changes. Bayesian end member modeling analysis was conducted to partition and interpret the grain-size distributions of Lake Xingkai sediments. Our results suggest that the sedimentary system is characterized by three end members (EMs). EM1 and EM2, with a modal value of 13 and 10 μm, respectively, indicate the variation of local hydraulic conditions. EM3, with a modal value of 5 μm, reflects the background atmospheric dust loading. High atmospheric dust concentration generally occurred during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5d, MIS 4, and early MIS 3, when the climate in the Asian dust source region was cold and dry. In contrast, low dust concentration prevailed during MIS 2, likely due to the southward shift of the westerlies driven by maximum ice volume in the high latitudes.
Disclosing the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to a patient is controversial. There is significant stigma associated with a diagnosis of AD or dementia in China, but the attitude of the society toward disclosure of such a diagnosis had not been formally evaluated prior to our study. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the attitude toward disclosing an AD diagnosis to patients in China with cognitive impairment from their caregivers, and the factors that may affect their attitude.
We designed a 17-item questionnaire and administered this questionnaire to caregivers, who accompanied patients with cognitive impairment or dementia in three major hospitals in Shanghai, China. The caregiver's attitude toward disclosing the diagnosis of AD as evaluated by the questionnaire was compared to that of disclosing the diagnosis of terminal cancer.
A majority (95.7%) of the 175 interviewed participants (mean 14.2 years of education received) wished to know their own diagnosis if they were diagnosed with AD, and 97.6% preferred the doctor to tell their family members if they were diagnosed with AD. If a family member of the participants suffered from AD, 82.9% preferred to have the diagnosis disclosed to the patient. “Cognitive impairment” was the most accepted term by caregivers to disclose AD diagnosis in Chinese.
This study suggests most of the well-educated individuals in a Chinese urban area favored disclosing the diagnosis when they or their family members were diagnosed with AD.
The discovery of the ancient city of Loulan in Xinjiang, China, at the beginning of the 20th century was of great significance for understanding the evolution of culture and civilization in Inner Asia. However, due to the lack of systematic chronological studies, the history of this ancient city remains unclear, particularly the date of its construction and abandonment. Here, we present the results of the first systematic radiocarbon (14C) dating carried out on artifacts from ancient Loulan. Our results show that human activity began as early as 350 cal BC, flourished during the interval from the 1st to 4th centuries AD, and completely disappeared around 600 AD. Most of the buildings in the city were constructed during the Eastern Han Dynasty rather than in Wei/Jin Dynasty, as previously indicated by excavated documents and letters (Hedin 1898; Xiao 2006). The development and flourishing of Loulan coincided with the interval of high ice accumulation and meltwater supply from surrounding mountains. The city began to decline and was finally abandoned following an abrupt decrease in ice accumulation and meltwater supply (Yao et al. 1996; Lauterbach et al. 2014), suggesting that natural climate change was the major factor responsible for the abandonment of Loulan.
This article outlines the evolution of a rescue team in responding to adenovirus prevention with a deployable field hospital. The local governments mobilized a shelter hospital and a rescue team consisting of 59 members to assist with rescue and response efforts after an epidemic outbreak of adenovirus. We describe and evaluate the challenges of preparing for deployment, field hospital maintenance, treatment mode, and primary treatment methods. The field hospital established at the rescue scene consisted of a medical command vehicle, a computed tomography shelter, an X-ray shelter, a special laboratory shelter, an oxygen and electricity supply vehicle, and epidemic prevention and protection equipment. The rescue team comprised paramedics, physicians, X-ray technicians, respiratory therapists, and logistical personnel. In 22 days, more than 3000 patients with suspected adenovirus infection underwent initial examinations. All patients were properly treated, and no deaths occurred. After emergency measures were implemented, the spread of adenovirus was eventually controlled. An emergency involving infectious diseases in less-developed regions demands the rapid development of a field facility with specialized medical personnel when local hospital facilities are either unavailable or unusable. An appropriate and detailed prearranged action plan is important for infectious diseases prevention. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:109–114)
Disaster can strike people in any community at any time anywhere in the world. Disasters occur with high frequency, take on multiple forms, and exert wide influence, typically causing property damage, injuries, and death. As the world’s largest developing country, China incurs great costs when a disaster hits. After the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, the Chinese government focused its attention on the construction of an emergency response system, the creation of disaster prevention and mitigation systems, and the development of a disaster medicine program. Here, we describe the current status of disaster medicine in China, focusing on the following four aspects: the Emergency Management System, Education & Training, Rescue Practices, and Research. We also discuss the future of disaster medicine in China. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:157–165)
Environmental filtering and competitive interactions are important ecological processes in community assembly. The contribution of the two processes to community assembly can be evaluated by shifts in functional diversity patterns. We examined the correlations between functional diversity of six traits (leaf chlorophyll concentration, dry matter content, size, specific leaf area, thickness and wood density) and environmental gradients (topography and soil) for 92 species in the 20-ha Dinghushan forest plot in China. A partial Mantel test showed that most of the community-weighted mean trait values changed with terrain convexity and soil fertility, which implied that environmental filtering was occurring. Functional diversity of many traits significantly increased with increasing terrain convexity and soil fertility, which was associated with increased light and below-ground resources respectively. These results suggest that co-occurring species are functionally convergent in regions of strong abiotic stress under the environmental filtering, but functionally divergent in more benign environments due to resource partitioning and competitive interactions. Single-trait diversity and multivariate functional diversity had different relationships with environmental factors, indicating that traits were related to different niche axes, and associated with different ecological processes, which demonstrated the importance of focusing niche axes in traits selection. Between 9% and 41% of variation in functional diversity of different traits was explained by environmental factors in stepwise multiple regression models. Terrain convexity and soil fertility were the best predictors of functional diversity, which contributed 30.5% and 29.0% of total R2 to the model. These provided essential evidence that different environmental factors had distinguishing impacts on regulating diversity of traits.
To determine dynamic changes in clinical characteristics by examining an outbreak of adenovirus infection that occurred from December 20, 2012, to February 25, 2013, in Tianjin, China.
Active surveillance for febrile respiratory illnesses was conducted, and medical records of patients were collected. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and sequencing were used for pathogen identification and viral genome study, respectively. Student’s t-test was used to compare the mean values of normally distributed continuous variables. Mann-Whitney U or Kruskal-Wallis tests were used if continuous variables were not normally distributed. Pearson’s chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test was used to compare categorical variables.
The outbreak was sourced from the index case diagnosed as the common cold on December 20, 2012; a total of 856 cases were reported in the following 66 days. The pathogen was identified as human adenovirus (HAdV) 55. The symptoms manifested differently in severe and mild cases. Routine blood examinations, liver function indexes, and heart function indexes showed different dynamic patterns over time in hospitalized patients.
Clinical characteristics and laboratory examinations may reveal unique patterns over the course of HAdV-55 infection. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:464–469)
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
In this paper, we propose two initialization techniques for the lattice Boltzmann method. The first one is based on the theory of asymptotic analysis developed in [M. Junk and W.-A. Yong, Asymptotic Anal., 35(2003)]. By selecting consistent macroscopic quantities, this initialization leads to the second-order convergence for both velocity and pressure. Another one is an improvement of the consistent initial conditions proposed in [R. W. Mei, L.-S. Luo, P. Lallemand and D. d’Humières, Comput. Fluids, 35(2006)]. The improvement involves a modification of the collision term and a reconstruction step. Numerical examples confirm the accuracy and efficiency of our techniques.
Early identification of patients with bipolar disorder during their first depressive episode is beneficial to the outcome of the disorder and treatment, but traditionally this has been a great challenge to clinicians. Recently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD), but it is not clear whether BDNF levels can be used to predict bipolar disorder among patients in their first major depressive episode.
To explore whether BDNF levels can differentiate between MDD and bipolar disorder in the first depressive episode.
A total of 203 patients with a first major depressive episode as well as 167 healthy controls were recruited. After 3 years of bi-annual follow-up, 164 patients with a major depressive episode completed the study, and of these, 21 were identified as having bipolar disorder and 143 patients were diagnosed as having MDD. BDNF gene expression and plasma levels at baseline were compared among the bipolar disorder, MDD and healthy control groups. Logistic regression and decision tree methods were applied to determine the best model for predicting bipolar disorder at the first depressive episode.
At baseline, patients in the bipolar disorder and MDD groups showed lower BDNF mRNA levels (P<0.001 and P = 0.02 respectively) and plasma levels (P = 0.002 and P = 0.01 respectively) compared with healthy controls. Similarly, BDNF levels in the bipolar disorder group were lower than those in the MDD group. These results showed that the best model for predicting bipolar disorder during a first depressive episode was a combination of BDNF mRNA levels with plasma BDNF levels (receiver operating characteristics (ROC) = 0.80, logistic regression; ROC = 0.84, decision tree).
Our findings suggest that BDNF levels may serve as a potential differential diagnostic biomarker for bipolar disorder in a patient's first depressive episode.
The protective effects of a novel stilbene derivative, (E)-2-(3,4,5-trimethoxystyryl)-3,5,6-trimethylpyrazine (MSTMP), on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced human derived neuroblastoma cell (SH-SY5Y) damage and its molecular mechanisms were investigated.
SH-SY5Y cells were exposed to 200 μmol·L−1 H2O2 for 12 h. The effect of MSTMP on cell viability and apoptosis was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethyl- thiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and flow cytometry method. The activities of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and nitric oxide synthetase (NOS) and the content of malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH) and nitric oxide (NO) in cells were determined by commercial kits. The expressions of pro-apoptotic factor caspase-3, caspase-9 and inducible NOS (iNOS) were detected by Western blotting. Intracellular formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was assessed using 6-carboxy-2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCFH-DA) fluorescent probe.
MSTMP increased the SH-SY5Y cell viability by inhibition of cell apoptosis induced by H2O2. These effects were accompanied by an increase of SOD activity, GSH level, and a decrease of MDA content. Moreover, MSTMP showed stronger effects on inhibition of LDH leakage, apoptotic cells, intracellular ROS level and the expression of caspase-3 and caspase-9 than TMP. Furthermore, MSTMP induced a decrease of NO level and the activity of iNOS, tNOS in a time-dependent manner.
MSTMP prevents H2O2-induced cell injury through anti-oxidation and anti-apoptosis via ROS-NO pathway.
We present the study of the synthesis of (001) nickel oxide (NiO) epitaxial nanocrystals grown on (001) strontium titanate (SrTiO3) single crystal substrates. Pulsed laser deposition of the bismuth nickel oxide (BiNiO3, BNO) perovskite precursor followed by post-deposition processing is carried out to form the NiO nanocrystals. A detailed analysis of the dimensions of nanocrystals reveals that the morphology attained differs from the thermodynamically expected equilibrium shape. The deviations from the equilibrium shape are found to follow a systematic trend where the in-plane basal dimensions, that is, the length and width of the nanocrystals grown differ in discretized dimensions. This discretization suggests that for a given interfacial area of nanocrystals there are multiple stable basal rectangular geometries attainable.