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The synergetic effects of surface smoothing exhibited during the inductively coupled plasma reactive ion etching (ICP-RIE) of free-standing polycrystalline diamonds (PCDs) were investigated. Changing the assistive gas types generated variable surface oxidation states and chemical environments that resulted in different etching rates and surface morphologies. The main reaction bond mechanism (C–O) during ICP-RIE and the ratio of C–O–C/O–C=O associated with the existence of a uniform smooth surface with root mean square (RMS) roughness of 2.36 nm were observed. An optimal process for PCD smoothing at high etching rate (4.6 μm/min) was achieved as follows: 10% gas additions of CHF3 in O2 plasma at radio frequency power of 400 W. The further etched ultra-smooth surface with RMS roughness <0.5 nm at etching rate of 0.23 μm/min that being produced by transferring this optimum recipe on single crystal diamonds with surface patterns confirmed the effectiveness of the fast smoothing approach and its feasibility for diamond surface patterning.
Inhibitory control is a key deficit in patients with schizophrenia. This study aims to test whether emotions can facilitate inhibition in patients with schizophrenia when they increase attention to inhibitory process.
A total of 36 patients with schizophrenia and 36 healthy controls completed an emotional stop-signal task. The task involved selective responses to “Go” stimuli and stopped response when emotional or neutral stop cues occurred.
In all conditions, patients with schizophrenia took longer time to inhibit response compared with healthy controls, indicating an overall impairment in response inhibition. Importantly, patients with schizophrenia and controls acquired similar size of benefit from the negative stop cues, showing as reduced reaction time to negative than neutral stop cues. However, the negative stop cues impaired subsequent Go performance only in patients with schizophrenia, indicating additional cost of the negative stop cues for patients with schizophrenia. In both groups, the positive stop cues did not have any significant influence on response inhibition.
These findings provide novel evidence for the benefit of emotional stop cues on inhibitory control in patients with schizophrenia and reveal different after-effects of emotional enhancement effect in patients and healthy populations. The findings may help develop effective interventions for improving inhibitory control in patients with schizophrenia and other clinical populations.
Most of original studies indicated maternal violence experiences is associated with adverse obstetric outcomes, to date, but it is not clear that the association of maternal violence experiences and the risk of postpartum depression (PPD). We aimed to assess the association between maternal violence experiences and risk of developing PPD by performing a meta-analysis of cohort studies.
PubMed, Google Scholar, Cochrane Libraries and Chinese databases were searched through December 2017 to identify studies that assessed the association between violence and PPD. Meta-analysis was conducted by the RevMan software and Stata software. Potential heterogeneity source was explored by subgroup analysis and potential publication bias was assessed by Begg's funnel plots and Egger’s linear regression test.
Overall, women experiencing any violence events compared with the reference group were at a higher risk of developing PPD (odds ratio [OR] = 2.04; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.72–2.41). Additionally, different types of violence events such as sexual (OR = 1.56; 95%CI: 1.35–1.81), emotional (OR = 1.75; 95%CI: 1.61–1.89), and physical violence (OR = 1.90; 95%CI: 1.36–2.67), as well as domestic (OR = 2.05; 95%CI: 1.50–2.80) or childhood violence (OR = 1.59; 95%CI: 1.34–1.88) also increased the risk of developing PPD. Relevant heterogeneity moderators have been identified by subgroup analysis. Sensitivity analysis yielded consistent results.
Maternal violence experiences are significantly associated with risk of developing PPD. These finding highlight the necessary to protect women from any types of violence and formulate preventive strategies to promote the maternal mental health.
Given the global water challenges, solar-driven steam generation has become a renewed topic recently as an energy-efficient way for clean water production. Here, a hybrid plasmonic structure consisting of a top layer of TiN nanoparticles (NPs) and a bottom layer of mesoporous anodized alumina membrane (AAM) was rationally designed and fabricated. The top TiN NPs with broadband light absorption acted as a plasmonic heating layer, which converted the absorbed light to heat efficiently for interfacial water heating. The AAM acted as the mechanical support layer, guaranteeing the heat isolation and continuous water replenishment. With optimized thickness of the TiN top layer, a solar steam generation efficiency of 87.7% was achieved in this study. This efficiency is comparable or even higher than prior studies. The current work proves the capability of the TiN NPs as an alternative photothermal material.
The effects of the thermal cyclic aging treatment on the microstructure and mechanical properties of 2060 Al–Li alloy laser beam welded joints were investigated. Aging treatments were conducted at different temperatures and for different cycles. Test results showed that the tensile strength of the weld joints increased and the elongation slightly decreased after the thermal cycling treatment. It was also found that the heat affected zone (HAZ) of the welds exhibited a significant increase in microhardness, whilst the microhardness variation of the nondendrite equiaxed zone (EQZ) can be neglected. The strengthening effect of the thermal cycling became more obvious as the temperature and cycles increased. The highest strength of around 513 MPa (96% of the base metal) was obtained at the temperature of 180 °C. Reprecipitation of strengthening phases such as T1 in the HAZ at 180 °C was observed by TEM, which can be considered as the main reason for the strengthening effect of the aging treatment.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity associated with liver disease. Risk factors identified for the transmission of HCV include contaminated blood products, intravenous drug use, body piercing, an infected mother at birth, sexual activity, and dental therapy, among others. However, the exact diversity of the HCV genotype and genetic variation among patients with low-risk factors is still unknown. In this study, we briefly described and analysed the genotype distribution and genetic variation of HCV infections with low-risk factors using molecular biology techniques. The results suggested that genotype 1b was predominant, followed by genotypes 2a and 1a. Genetic variations in the 5′ UTR sequences of HCV were identified, including point mutations, deletions, and insertions. The frequency of genetic variations in 1b was higher than in 2a. This study provides considerable value for the prevention and treatment of liver disease caused by HCV among patients with low-risk factors and for the development of HCV diagnostic reagents and vaccines.
The ordering of polarization field of inhomogeneous ferroelectric systems were investigated. We found that these systems exhibit rather complex polarization ordering behaviors with the coexistence of polar and toroidal ordering, and particularly, a novel and tunable polar-toroidal phase transformation under external mechanical, electrical or thermal fields. Accompanying with this polar-toroidal phase transformation, there is a large change of polarization and strain. As a result, large eletromechanical and thermomechanical performance can be achieved in these systems. The polar/toroidal phase boundaries can be regarded a new kind of morphotropic phase boundary (MPB). The polar-toroidal phase transformation in nanoscale ferroelectric systems should provide us a novel strategy to develop energy conversion nanodevices.
The TiO2 hollow spheres (TiO2HS) were successfully prepared by a hydrothermal method and added to Vulcan XC-72 carbon black as the support materials for Pd nanoparticles. A facile approach to promote ethylene glycol (EG) electrooxidation in alkaline medium was carried out by the PdBi/TiO2HS-C catalyst. The results show that Pd and Bi nanoparticles are uniformly dispersed on the surface of carbon-doped TiO2 hollow spheres, the appropriate amount of Bi modification into Pd/TiO2HS-C catalyst can enhance remarkably the electrocatalytic activity for EG oxidation, in which the PdBi/TiO2HS-C (Pd:Bi = 1:0.1) catalyst exhibits excellent stability. The high electrochemical performance is attributed to the unique structure and high surface area of the TiO2HS, metal nanoparticles uniform distribution, the electronic effect between Pd and Bi as well as the bifunctional effect between metal nanoparticles and the support TiO2HS-C. The results obtained are significant for the development of new Pd-based TiO2HS-C electrocatalysts for alcohol fuel cells.
Genetic risk prediction of chronic conditions including obesity, diabetes and CVD currently has limited predictive power but its potential to engage healthy behaviour change has been of immense research interest. We aimed to understand whether the latter is indeed true by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis investigating whether genetic risk communication affects motivation and actual behaviour change towards preventative lifestyle modification. We included all randomised controlled trials (RCT) since 2003 investigating the impact of genetic risk communication on health behaviour to prevent cardiometabolic disease, without restrictions on age, duration of intervention or language. We conducted random-effects meta-analyses for perceived motivation for behaviour change and clinical changes (weight loss) and a narrative analysis for other outcomes. Within the thirteen studies reviewed, five were vignette studies (hypothetical RCT) and seven were clinical RCT. There was no consistent effect of genetic risk on actual motivation for weight loss, perceived motivation for dietary change (control v. genetic risk group standardised mean difference (smd) −0·15; 95 % CI −1·03, 0·73, P=0·74) or actual change in dietary behaviour. Similar results were observed for actual weight loss (control v. high genetic risk SMD 0·29 kg; 95 % CI −0·74, 1·31, P=0·58). This review found no clear or consistent evidence that genetic risk communication alone either raises motivation or translates into actual change in dietary intake or physical activity to reduce the risk of cardiometabolic disorders in adults. Of thirteen studies, eight were at high or unclear risk of bias. Additional larger-scale, high-quality clinical RCT are warranted.
In light of government investment over the past decade, we explored the capacity for disaster response in Heilongjiang Province, identifying the factors that affect response capacity.
We surveyed 1257 medical staff in 65 secondary and tertiary hospitals in Heilongjiang province to explore their perceptions of disaster management capacity using a cross-sectional multistage, stratified cluster sampling method.
All tertiary hospitals (100%) and most secondary hospitals (93%) have documented disaster management plans that are regularly reviewed. In secondary hospitals, drills were less prevalent (76.7%) but the occurrence of simulated training exercises was closer to tertiary hospitals (86.0%). We noted that 95.4% of all hospitals have leadership groups responsible for disaster preparedness capacity building, but only 10.8% have a stockpiled network of reserve supplies.
Although response capacity has improved in Heilongjiang Province, vulnerabilities remain. We recommend that priorities should be targeted at preparedness capacity building, in terms of reliable and relevant operational response plans, the expansion of existing response mechanisms to oversee local education and scenario training, and to ensure there is sufficient access to protective equipment and materials, either held in reserve, or alternatively by activating resilient supply chain mechanisms. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:176–183)
Floral organ development influences plant reproduction and crop yield. The mechanism of floral organ specification is generally conserved in angiosperms as demonstrated by the ‘ABC’ model. However, mechanisms underlying the development of floral organs in specific groups of species such as grasses remain unclear. In the genus Oryza (rice), a spikelet consists of a fertile floret sub-tended by a lemma, a palea, two sterile lemmas and rudimentary glumes. To understand how the lemma is formed, a curve-shaped lemma-distortion1 (ld1) mutant was identified. Genetic analysis confirmed that the ld1 mutant phenotype was due to a single recessive gene mutation. Using a large F2 population, the LD1 gene was mapped between markers Indel-7-15 and Indel-7-18, which encompassed a region of 15·6 kilo base pairs (kbp). According to rice genome annotations, two putative genes, LOC_Os07g32510 and LOC_Os07g32520, were located in this candidate region. However, DNA sequencing results indicated only 1 base pair (bp) substitution (T⇨C) was found in LOC_Os07g32510 between the wild-type and the ld1 mutant. Thus LOC_Os07g32510, encoding a DNA binding with one zinc finger (DoF) containing protein, was the candidate gene for LD1. Further analysis showed that mutation of the amino acid cysteine (C) to arginine (R) was likely to lead to zinc finger protein deactivation. Phylogenetic and conservation analysis of the gene from different species revealed that cysteine was critical to LD1 function. As a new gene controlling lemma development, the study of LD1 could provide insights into rice floral organ formation mechanisms.
In this study, the authors have comparatively studied the influence of H2 addition on the structures and properties of ZnO films grown by metal organic (MO) chemical vapor deposition with dimethyl zinc and diethyl zinc as zinc precursors and N2O and O2 as oxygen sources, respectively. Various characterization methods, like x-ray diffraction, Raman scattering, Hall effect, photoluminescence, and atomic force microscopy, have been utilized, showing that H2 has different effects on different MO precursors and oxidants. The H2 addition has significantly improved the crystal structural quality of ZnO thin films for the case of dimethyl zinc source, but an opposite effect has been found for the case of diethyl zinc. Moreover, the H2 addition can significantly improve the optical properties of the ZnO films, regardless of the zinc MO sources used, with the surface morphology improved too. The suppression of carbon-related contaminations depends on the use of different precursors and whether H2 is added. By analyzing the experimental results, we have given the effects of H2 on the decomposition of the discussed MO precursors and oxidants, the proposed mechanism could be used in understanding the experimental data.
The etiology and pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders has yet to be elucidated, so their differential diagnosis is a challenge. This is especially true in differentiating Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson disease (PD), and multiple system atrophy (MSA).
A total of 11 eligible articles were identified by search of electronic databases including PubMed, Springer Link, Elsevier, and the Cochrane Library, up to June 2014. In meta-analyses, standardized mean differences (SMD), with 95% confidence intervals (CI), comparing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) measures of α-synuclein between the above conditions were calculated using random-effects models.
CSF α-synuclein concentrations were significantly higher in AD compared to DLB [SMD: 0.32, 95% CI: (0.02, 0.62), z = 2.07, P = 0.038]; PD [SMD: 0.87, 95% CI: (0.15, 1.58), z = 2.38, P = 0.017]; or MSA [SMD: 1.14, 95% CI: (0.15, 2.14), z = 2.25, P = 0.025]. However, no significant difference was found between patients with AD and neurological cognitively normal controls [SMD: 0.02, 95% CI: (−0.21, 0.24), z = 0.13, P = 0.894].
Results of these meta-analysis suggest that quantification of CSF α-synuclein could help distinguish AD from other neurodegenerative disorders such as DLB, PD, or MSA.
This paper examines choices of earth-working tools made by Neolithic Chinese populations. In the Hemudu Culture (7000–5000 B.P.), bone (scapula) digging tools were used from the earliest times, whereas peoples in surrounding areas used stone spades. A range of experiments on manufacturing costs, durability, and use efficiency under realistic conditions show that bone and stone spades are functionally equivalent when soils are soft, but that stone implements provide significant and easily perceived advantages when working harder soils. The persistence of scapular spades in the Hemudu Culture would have constrained decisions about undertaking large construction projects under normal soil conditions. Our results show that, in addition to generalized labor for construction, labor demands for producing earth-working implements for large-scale prehistoric earthworks could have also been substantial. These findings not only help explain the processes of intensifying rice-agriculture and sedentary settlements in the Lower Yangzi Basin, but also create a solid foundation for further investigation of how the recruitment of both generalized and specialized laborers, the organization of craft production, and the relevant logistics for large-scale earthworks may have paralleled concentrations of political power in prehistory.
In the present study, twenty-four Duroc × Landrance × Yorkshire (initial body weight (BW) of 21·82 (sem 2·06) kg) cross-bred pigs were used to determine whether dietary vitamin D supplementation could confer protection against viral infections through the retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) signalling pathway in pigs. Experimental treatments were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial manner with the main effects of immune challenge (control v. porcine rotavirus (PRV) challenge) and dietary concentrations of vitamin D (200 and 5000 IU; where 1 IU of vitamin D is defined as the biological activity of 0.025 mg of cholecalciferol). The pigs were fed a diet containing 200 or 5000 IU vitamin D in the first week of the study period. On day 8, the pigs were orally dosed with 4 ml of Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/Ham's F-12 medium containing PRV or essential medium (control). Serum samples were collected on day 8 (pre-challenge), and 6 d after the PRV challenge, the pigs were killed to evaluate intestinal morphology and tissue gene expression following the last blood collection. Pigs challenged with PRV had decreased BW gain (P< 0·01), feed intake (P< 0·01), villus height (P< 0·01), faecal consistency (P< 0·05), and serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D concentration (P< 0·01) and increased (P< 0·01) serum IL-2, IL-6 and interferon (IFN)-β concentrations. Vitamin D supplementation mitigated these effects. The mRNA expression of RIG-I (P< 0·01), IFN-β promoter stimulator 1 (P< 0·01), IFN-β (P< 0·01) and interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) (P< 0·01) was up-regulated by the PRV challenge and vitamin D supplementation in the intestine. In conclusion, vitamin D supplementation could activate the RIG-I signalling pathway and thus alleviate the negative effects caused by PRV challenge.
Recent advances and limitations of using zinc finger nuclease to stimulate a high efficiency of homologous recombination, and chimeric oligonucleotides to promote single base replacement in functional genomic research and plant genetic breeding, are systematically reviewed. Approaches to improve gene targeting efficiency through molecular modification of key pathways in plant homologous recombination are also discussed.
Astrometric observations with the VLBA with accuracies approaching ~ 10 μas are being conducted in order to better understand the Galaxy. The location of Sgr A* on infrared images can be determined with an accuracy of a few mas, using stars with SiO maser emission as a calibration grid for infrared images. The apparent proper motion of Sgr A*, which is dominated by the effects of the orbit of the Sun around the Galactic center, has been measured with high accuracy. This measurement strongly constrains Θ0R0 and offers a dynamical definition of the Galactic plane with Sgr A* at its origin. The intrinsic motion of Sgr A* is very small and comparable to that expected for a supermassive black hole. When combined with infrared results, this provides overwhelming evidence that Sgr A* is a supermassive black hole. Finally, we are engaged in a large project to map the spiral structure and kinematics of the Galaxy. Preliminary trigonometric parallaxes, obtained with the VLBA, to eight massive star forming regions are presented.