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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).
AlMgB14–TiB2 ceramic was successfully brazed to TC4 alloy with inactive AgCu filler alloy. X-ray diffractometer, SEM, and energy-dispersive spectrometer were used to study interfacial microstructure and shear strength of the joints under different brazing temperatures. The results indicated that the typical microstructure of the TC4/AlMgB14–TiB2 joint was TC4/Ti(s.s) + Ti2Cu/Ti2Cu/TiCu/TiCu2Al/Ag(s.s) + Cu(s.s)/TiB whiskers/TiB2 reaction layer/AMBT. By increasing the brazing temperature, the thickness of the TC4 diffusion layer was improved, whereas that of the brazing seam decreased remarkably. When the brazing temperature was increased to 880 °C, the brazing seam was composed of Ti–Cu intermetallic Ag(s.s) with a few Cu(s.s), TiCu2Al distributed. Meanwhile, the formation of a continuous TiB2 reaction layer at the interface of the AMBT and brazing filler facilitated the improvement of joint shear strength. The joint with the maximum shear strength of 46.7 MPa was obtained while brazing at 880 °C for 10 min.
In Democratic People's Republic of Korea, only Plasmodium vivax malaria is prevalent, which is divided into two forms – long incubation form and short form. Among malaria cases reported in a year, long form accounts for 69% and short form 31%. Incubation period of short form ranges from 10 to 29 days (average 17 days) and long from 5·5 to 16 months (average 8–13 months). The most relapses (90%) were reported from May to September – malaria transmission season in the country. Result from preliminary mass chemoprevention in small size of population before transmission season to find appropriate method showed high protective efficacy in two regimens – one regimen given primaquine 0·25 mg base kg−1 day−1 for 14 days (95%) and another 0·5 mg base kg−1 day−1 for 7 days (94%). During the mass chemoprevention with primaquine, some adverse effects were reported but transient. We consider that mass chemoprevention with primaquine before transmission season is of great significance in disturbing the vivax malaria transmission, in which long incubation form is predominant in countries prevailing seasonal malaria.
The lichen family Ophioparmaceae contains three genera: Boreoplaca, Hypocenomyce and Ophioparma. The genus Hypocenomyce is reported here for the first time for China, being represented by the species Hypocenomyce scalaris which is distributed in south-western China. For the genus Ophioparma, one new species is described in this paper, namely Ophioparma pruinosa Li S. Wang & Y. Y. Zhang sp. nov., which is characterized by a pruinose thallus and the presence of usnic acid. Ophioparma araucariae is also reported as new for the Chinese lichen biota. Previous reports of O. lapponica in China are recognized as misidentifications of O. ventosa. Descriptions, keys and phylograms are provided for these species.
We aimed to assess shared genetic correlations of depressive and anxiety symptoms with concurrent and future estimated cardiovascular risk (CVR) score in Korean twins and family members. For the relationship with Adult Treatment Panel III CVR estimate in subjects aged 30–74 years (n = 1,059, baseline and follow-up after 3.2 ± 1.2 years), Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and state and trait anxiety inventory (SAI and TAI) were measured at baseline. A mixed linear model for CVR scores at baseline and follow-up was applied to include depressive and anxiety symptoms, twin and family effects, income, education, alcohol use, exercise, body mass index, and baseline CVR score for follow-up analysis. Higher CES-D scores were associated with higher CVR score at baseline in men, while higher TAI score was associated with higher CVR score at follow-up in women. Heritabilities were 0.245~0.326 for CVR score, 0.320 for CES-D score, 0.367 for TAI score, and 0.482 for SAI score. There were significant common genetic correlations in the relationships of CES-D, TAI, and SAI scores with CVR scores at baseline and follow-up (after adjusting for baseline CV risk score). Shared common environmental correlations were observed in the relationships of CES-D and SAI scores with CVR score at baseline; and SAI score with CVR score at follow-up. In the within-monozygotic twin analysis, there were no associations between CES-D, TAI, and SAI scores, and CVR score. In conclusion, shared genetic and environmental influences were observed in the relationship between depressive and anxiety symptoms with concurrent and future CVR estimates.
Neuroticism, a ‘Big Five’ personality trait, has been associated with sub-clinical traits of both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The objective of the current study was to examine whether causal overlap between ASD and ADHD traits can be accounted for by genetic and environmental risk factors that are shared with neuroticism. We performed twin-based structural equation modeling using self-report data from 12 items of the Neo Five-Factor Inventory Neuroticism domain, 11 Social Responsiveness Scale items, and 12 Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale items obtained from 3,170 young adult Australian individual twins (1,081 complete pairs). Univariate analysis for neuroticism, ASD, and ADHD traits suggested that the most parsimonious models were those with additive genetic and unique environmental components, without sex limitation effects. Heritability of neuroticism, ASD, and ADHD traits, as measured by these methods, was moderate (between 40% and 45% for each respective trait). In a trivariate model, we observed moderate phenotypic (between 0.45 and 0.62), genetic (between 0.56 and 0.71), and unique environmental correlations (between 0.37and 0.55) among neuroticism, ASD, and ADHD traits, with the highest value for the shared genetic influence between neuroticism and self-reported ASD traits (rg = 0.71). Together, our results suggest that in young adults, genetic, and unique environmental risk factors indexed by neuroticism overlap with those that are shared by ASD and ADHD.
The shear-band propagation in bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) during deformation plays a key role in determining their macroscopic ductility. In this work, the shear band propagation during plastic deformation was investigated in the Cu46Zr46Al8 BMG and its in situ or ex situ prepared BMG composites. Compared with the brittle BMG, both types of ductile BMG composites show a more stable shear banding behavior as revealed by a larger power-law scaling exponent obtained from statistical analysis of serrations recorded in compressive curves. A higher cut-off elastic energy density (δc) linked with the multiplication of shear bands is observed for the in situ prepared BMG composites. However, the ex situ fabricated BMG composites show an almost equivalent or slightly larger δc since the dominant shear band but not multiple shear bands mainly governs their deformation. Such observations imply that the shear banding stability of BMGs during deformation is enhanced not only by inducing multiple shear bands but also by obstructing the movement of the dominant shear band at its driven path.
Radiocarbon (14C) is a radionuclide generated mainly through neutron-induced reactions in all types of nuclear reactors. Since most of the 14C released into the environment is in the form of gaseous emissions (CO2 and hydrocarbons), terrestrial plants are the primary indicators of increased 14C levels near nuclear power plants (NPPs). In 2013–2014, we collected samples of silver grasses (including common reed) and pine needles within 3 km of four South Korean NPP centers and measured 14C activities using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at Seoul National University. The highest 14C activities were observed, respectively, in Wolsong>Hanul>Kori>Hanbit [220, 143, 127, and 123% modern carbon (pMC)].
An accessory navicular bone (AN) is the most common accessory ossicle in the foot. The presence of an AN bone can trigger various foot problems, such as posterior tibial tendon pathology, flattening of the medial longitudinal arch, and medial foot pain. Despite the clinical influence of presence of an AN in foot disease, the research regarding its inheritance is still insufficient. A total of 135 pairs of monozygotic (MZ) twins, 25 pairs of dizygotic (DZ) twins, and 676 singletons from families were enrolled in order to estimate genetic influences on AN. After confirmation of zygosity and family relationship with a tandem repeat marker kit and questionnaires, the presence and type of the AN was classified through bilateral feet radiographic examination. The heritability of an AN was estimated using quantitative genetic analysis based on a variance decomposition model considering various types of family relationships: father–offspring pair, mother–offspring pair, and pooled DZ twin and sibling pairs. As a result, approximately 40.96% of the participants in this study had an AN in either foot, with type II being the most common type. The heritability for the presence of any type of an AN in any foot was estimated as 0.88 (95% CI [0.82, 0.94]) after adjusting for age and sex. Specifically, type II AN showed the highest heritability of 0.82 (95% CI [0.71–0.93]). The high heritability of an AN found in this large twin and family study suggests that an AN is determined by the substantial influence of genetic factor.
Stable carbon isotope ratios were measured on the alpha-cellulose in tree rings of a pine tree (Pinus densiflora) from Yeongwol, Korea. We developed an annual-resolution δ13C series (1835–1905) by correcting the measured data for changes in δ13C of air to minimize non-climatic influences. To investigate the climatic signal in the δ13C series, we performed correlation analysis between δ13C and the Cheugugi climate data. The Cheugugi precipitation data were first recorded by King Sejong (1397–1450) of the Joseon Dynasty. However, the longest set of precipitation data available is the one collected in Seoul (1776–1907). Although many studies support the reliability of the Cheugugi data, no previous studies have investigated the potential of the δ13C signal in tree rings as paleoclimate proxy using the Cheugugi data. Recent precipitation trends in Yeongwol are quite similar to that of Seoul, and we found significant correlations between the Cheugugi data and the δ13C series. We suggest further studies to replicate these results and confirm whether comparing δ13C variations in tree rings and Cheugugi data is a useful method of investigating the potential of the δ13C signal as a paleoclimate proxy in or near the Korean peninsula.
Palaeoproterozic metasedimentary rocks, also referred to as khondalites, characterized by Al-rich minerals, are extensively exposed in the nucleus of the Yangtze craton, South China block. Samples of garnet–sillimanite gneiss in the khondalite suite were collected from the Kongling complex for Nd isotopic and elemental geochemical study. These rocks are characterized by variable SiO2 contents ranging from 35.71 to 58.07 wt%, and have low CaO (0.45–0.84 wt%) but high Al2O3 (18.56–29.04 wt%), Cr (174–334 ppm) and Ni (42.5–153 ppm) contents. They have high CIW (Chemical Index of Weathering) values (90.4–94.7), indicating intense chemical weathering of the source material. The samples display light rare earth elements (LREE) enrichment with negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu*=0.40–0.68), and have flat heavy rare earth elements (HREE) patterns. The high contents of transition elements (e.g. Cr, Ni, Sc, V) and moderately radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions suggest that the paragneisses might be those of first-cycle erosion products of predominantly mafic rocks mixing with small amounts of felsic moderately evolved Archaean crustal source. Geochemical and Nd isotopic compositions reveal that at least some of the protoliths of Kongling khondalite were sourced from local pre-existing mafic igneous rocks in a continental arc tectonic setting. Combined with documented zircon U–Pb geochronological data, we propose that the Palaeoproterozoic high-pressure granulite-facies metamorphism, rapid weathering, erosion and deposition of the khondalites in the interior of the Yangtze craton might be related to a Palaeoproterozoic collisional orogenic event during 2.1–1.9 Ga, consistent with the worldwide contemporary orogeny, implying that the Yangtze craton may have been an important component of the Palaeoprotorozoic Columbia supercontinent.
Family study can provide estimates of overall genetic influences on a particular trait because family relationships provide accurate measures of average genetic sharing. However, evidence of genetic contributions to skin phenotypes is limited, which may preclude genetic studies to identify genetic variants or to understand underlying molecular biology of skin traits. This study aimed to estimate genetic and environmental contributions to selected dermatologic phenotypes, that is, to melanin index, sebum secretion, and skin humidity level in a Korean twin-family cohort. We investigated more than 2,000 individuals from 486 families, including 388 monozygotic twin pairs and 82 dizygotic twin pairs. Variance component method was used to estimate genetic influences in terms of heritability. Heritability of skin melanin index, sebum secretion, and skin humidity (arm and cheek) were estimated to be 0.44 [95% CI 0.38–0.49], 0.21 [95% CI 0.16–0.26], 0.13 [95% CI 0.07–0.18], and 0.11 [95% CI 0.06–0.16] respectively, after adjusting for confounding factors. Our findings suggest that genetics play a major role on skin melanin index, but only mild roles on sebum secretion and humidity. Sebum secretion and skin humidity are controlled predominantly by environmental factors notably on shared environments among family members. We expect that our findings add insight to determinants of common dermatologic traits, and serve as a reference for biologic studies.
Container shipping is one of the most important transport modes in international trade. For a large-scale container shipping network, an optimisation model is proposed to minimise the total shipping cost of container flow. Considering the directional property of the container shipping process, a steering vector search pattern is incorporated in a Max-Min Ant System (MMAS) solving algorithm, and an orthogonal array method is adopted in parameter settings. In numerical experiments, a traditional ant colony algorithm and an MMAS algorithm based on a steering vector search pattern are used respectively to optimise the network of five node scales. The results show that a steering vector search pattern can speed up the computation process and improve the optimisation effect.
The C14 dates given below have been obtained by counting CO2 at 2 atm pressure in a 1 L proportional counter. Details of procedure are given in our previous list (R., 1970, v. 12, p. 187–192). Radiocarbon dates in this list are based on 95% of activity of NBS oxalic acid as the modern standard and were calculated using 5570 yr as the half-life of C14. Errors quoted with the dates are standard deviation originating from the statistical nature of radioactive disintegration process. Results obtained during 1970 and 1971 are described here.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
The morphology, chemistry and phylogenetic relationships of Chinese populations
of Bulbothrix are described. Nine species, including two new
species B. mammillaria Y. Y. Zhang & Li S. Wang sp.
nov. and B. lacinia Y. Y. Zhang & Li S. Wang sp.
nov., and two newly recorded for the flora, B. scortella and
B. meizospora, are reported. Bulbothrix
mammillaria can be recognized by the sparse cilia that are reduced to a
bulbate structure and the broad lobes (3–11 mm). Bulbothrix
lacinia differs from other species of the genus by dark brown,
spherical to short-cylindrical isidia and common lacinulae on the upper surface.
Phylogenetic relationships of currently known ITS sequences from
Bulbothrix were inferred to assess the affinities of the
new species. A key to all known species from China is presented.
It has been reported that the characteristics of a very old wood charcoal sample are different from those of modern wood charcoal according to its state of preservation (Cohen-Ofri et al. 2006; Rebollo et al. 2008). It can be assumed that these differences may lead to some difficulties when radiocarbon dating very old wood charcoal samples. To investigate this problem, we studied a carbonized trunk of Prunus pendula for. acendens tree buried in lava and found at the Hantan River lava plateau on the Korean Peninsula. The 14C date of this sample was previously measured as >30,000 BP. However, separate 14C results of its outer crust and inner wood showed a considerable difference, exceeding the estimated age differences by tree-ring counting. To study the reason for this discrepancy, optical microscopy and FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) were performed to examine the differences in the structural and chemical states of the samples. For reference data and to expand our understanding of very old wood charcoal, we applied the same analysis tools (AMS, FTIR, FE-SEM, EDS, and optical microscopy) to a variety of wood charcoals and original wood. From these analyses, we noticed considerable chemical changes in the outer crust sample, and this might explain the age discrepancy. Although it seems that the age difference might be due to the digestion of 14C-free CO2 from a volcanic environment, this explanation would not account for such a large value in the age difference.
At the Seoul National University accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) laboratory, we are planning to develop an automated sample preparation system for higher throughput of radiocarbon dating. This system will consist of several sections, including a combustion line, CO2 trap, graphitization system, and so on. We usually collect CO2 by cryogenic trapping. However, since handling liquid nitrogen is expected to be rather difficult, we are interested in replacing the cryogenic method with the molecular sieve method for the collection of CO2. In this study, we compare the performance of the cryogenic trapping method and molecular sieve method. Zeolite 13X is used as a molecular sieve, and as test samples we use the oxalic acid standard (NIST SRM 4990C), high-purity graphite powder, and archaeological charcoals. The pMC values and the radiocarbon ages (BP) obtained from samples prepared by the above 2 methods are very similar. We especially focused on the memory effect of the molecular sieve, meaning the CO2 contamination from a previous sample, which can cause errors in age determination. To reduce this effect, we flowed He gas through a zeolite container for several minutes at a high temperature before the CO2 was introduced. By the adding this step, we have obtained more reliable results.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.