To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The selection of high-quality sperms is critical to intracytoplasmic sperm injection, which accounts for 70–80% of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. So far, sperm screening is usually performed manually by clinicians. However, the performance of manual screening is limited in its objectivity, consistency, and efficiency. To overcome these limitations, we have developed a fast and noninvasive three-stage method to characterize morphology of freely swimming human sperms in bright-field microscopy images using deep learning models. Specifically, we use an object detection model to identify sperm heads, a classification model to select in-focus images, and a segmentation model to extract geometry of sperm heads and vacuoles. The models achieve an F1-score of 0.951 in sperm head detection, a z-position estimation error within ±1.5 μm in in-focus image selection, and a Dice score of 0.948 in sperm head segmentation, respectively. Customized lightweight architectures are used for the models to achieve real-time analysis of 200 frames per second. Comprehensive morphological parameters are calculated from sperm head geometry extracted by image segmentation. Overall, our method provides a reliable and efficient tool to assist clinicians in selecting high-quality sperms for successful IVF. It also demonstrates the effectiveness of deep learning in real-time analysis of live bright-field microscopy images.
It is generally accepted that high-oleic crops have at least 70% oleate. As compared to their normal-oleic counterparts, oil and food products made from high-oleic peanut have better keeping quality and are much healthier. Therefore, high-oleic peanut is well recognized by processors and consumers. However, owing to the limited availability of high-oleic donors, most present-day high-oleic peanut varietal releases merely have F435 type FAD2 mutations. Through screening of a mutagenized peanut population of 15L46, a high-yielding peanut line with desirable elliptical oblong large seeds, using near infrared model for predicting oleate content in individual single seeds, high-oleic peanut mutants were identified. Sequencing FAD2A and FAD2B of the mutants along with the wild type revealed that these mutants possessed G448A FAD2A (F435 type FAD2A mutation) and G558A FAD2B (non-F435 type FAD2B mutation). Expression of the wild and mutated type FAD2B in yeast verified that the functional mutation contributed to the high-oleic phenotype in these mutants. The mutants provided additional high-oleic donors to peanut quality improvement.
Viruses completely rely on the energy and metabolic systems of host cells for life activities. Viral infections usually lead to cytopathic effects and host diseases. To date, there are still no specific clinical vaccines or drugs against most viral infections. Therefore, understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of viral infections is of great significance to prevent and treat viral diseases. A variety of viral infections are related to the p38 MAPK signalling pathway, and p38 is an important host factor in virus-infected cells. Here, we introduce the different signalling pathways of p38 activation and then summarise how different viruses induce p38 phosphorylation. Finally, we provide a general summary of the effect of p38 activation on virus replication. Our review provides integrated data on p38 activation and viral infections and describes the potential application of targeting p38 as an antiviral strategy.
This study aimed to investigate the association of nasal nitric oxide and olfactory function.
A cross-sectional study was performed in 117 adults, including 91 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and 26 healthy controls. Scores on the 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcomes Test, Lund-Mackay scale and Lund-Kennedy scale were recorded to assess severity of disease. All participants were screened for common inhaled and food allergens. Nasal nitric oxide and fractional exhaled nitric oxide testing, acoustic rhinometry and anterior rhinomanometry testing were performed to measure nasal function. The validated Sniffin’ Sticks test battery was used to assess olfactory function.
Higher nasal nitric oxide was an independent protective factor for odour discrimination and odour threshold in participants with chronic rhinosinusitis after adjusting for age, gender, drinking, smoking, 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcomes Test, Lund-Mackay score, Lund-Kennedy score, immunoglobulin E and the second minimal cross-sectional area by acoustic rhinometry. Nasal nitric oxide also showed high discrimination in predicting impaired odour discrimination. In addition, nasal nitric oxide was lower in older participants, those with higher Lund-Mackay or Lund-Kennedy scores and higher with elevated total serum immunoglobulin E concentrations above a threshold of 0.35 kU/l.
Higher nasal nitric oxide is associated with better odour discrimination in chronic rhinosinusitis and is modulated by age, degree of allergy and severity of chronic rhinosinusitis.
This manuscript details the strategy employed for categorising food items based on their processing levels into the four NOVA groups. Semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) from the Nurses’ Health Studies (NHS) I and II, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) and the Growing Up Today Studies (GUTS) I and II cohorts were used. The four-stage approach included: (i) the creation of a complete food list from the FFQs; (ii) assignment of food items to a NOVA group by three researchers; (iii) checking for consensus in categorisation and shortlisting discordant food items; (iv) discussions with experts and use of additional resources (research dieticians, cohort-specific documents, online grocery store scans) to guide the final categorisation of the short-listed items. At stage 1, 205 and 315 food items were compiled from the NHS and HPFS, and the GUTS FFQs, respectively. Over 70 % of food items from all cohorts were assigned to a NOVA group after stage 2. The remainder were shortlisted for further discussion (stage 3). After two rounds of reviews at stage 4, 95⋅6 % of food items (NHS + HPFS) and 90⋅7 % items (GUTS) were categorised. The remaining products were assigned to a non-ultra-processed food group (primary categorisation) and flagged for sensitivity analyses at which point they would be categorised as ultra-processed. Of all items in the food lists, 36⋅1 % in the NHS and HPFS cohorts and 43⋅5 % in the GUTS cohorts were identified as ultra-processed. Future work is needed to validate this approach. Documentation and discussions of alternative approaches for categorisation are encouraged.
Chronic inflammation exerts pleiotropic effects in the aetiology and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Glucosamine is widely used in many countries and may have anti-inflammatory properties. We aimed to prospectively evaluate the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD risk and explore whether such association could be modified by smoking in the UK Biobank cohort, which recruited more than half a million participants aged 40–69 years from across the UK between 2006 and 2010. Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for potential confounding factors were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) as well as 95 % CI for the risk of incident COPD. During a median follow-up of 8·96 years (interquartile range 8·29–9·53 years), 9016 new-onset events of COPD were documented. We found that the regular use of glucosamine was associated with a significantly lower risk of incident COPD with multivariable adjusted HR of 0·80 (95 % CI, 0·75, 0·85; P < 0·001). When subgroup analyses were performed by smoking status, the adjusted HR for the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD were 0·84 (0·73, 0·96), 0·84 (0·77, 0·92) and 0·71 (0·62, 0·80) among never smokers, former smokers and current smokers, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between glucosamine use and smoking status (Pfor interaction = 0·078). Incident COPD could be reduced by 14 % to 84 % through a combination of regular glucosamine use and smoking cessation.
Carotenoids are increasingly being implicated to have an important role in brain and eye development. This study aimed to quantify the content and profile of carotenoids in human breast milk, maternal plasma and neonatal umbilical cord plasma in Chengdu, an urban area in Southwest China. In this study, fifty-four healthy mothers were enrolled. Maternal blood, umbilical cord blood, colostrum, transitional milk and mature milk were collected. Concentrations of carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, β-carotene and lycopene) were analysed by HPLC. We found that carotenoid concentrations decreased from colostrum to mature milk. Hydrocarbon carotenoids with weaker polarity decreased more than the polar carotenoids. Lycopene concentrations dropped by 99 %, β-carotene by 92 %, β-cryptoxanthin by 83 %, lutein by 32 % and zeaxanthin by 22 %. Lycopene and β-carotene accounted for 70 % of the total carotenoids in colostrum, and lutein predominated amongst carotenoids in transitional milk and mature milk (51–55 %). Carotenoid concentrations in maternal plasma were much higher than that in cord plasma. Lutein predominated in cord plasma. The concentrations of all carotenoids in maternal plasma were correlated with those of cord plasma and human milk. These results are consistent with selective transport mechanisms in the mammary gland related to the polarity of carotenoids, and each carotenoid has its own implications, which may have different priorities in the early life development of infants. These findings may help guide dietary recommendations for carotenoid inclusion in infant formulas.
To detect low concentrations of formaldehyde selectively, the sensing properties of SnO2 nanostructured are enhanced by modifying with p-type semiconductor NiO. In this study, a nanostructured SnO2/NiO composite was prepared by a simple hydrothermal method. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) peak in 532.4 eV proved that the existence of the SnO2/NiO composite structure increased the amount of adsorbed oxygen O− and O2− significantly. Gas-sensing tests showed that these mixed phases SnO2/NiO are highly promising for gas sensor applications, as the gas response for formaldehyde was significantly enhanced in gas response, selectivity at an operating temperature of 230 °C. The sensor fabricated by SnO2/NiO composite can detect as low as 1 ppm of formaldehyde at 230 °C, and the corresponding response is 1.57. The results of physicochemical properties tests of the samples show that the enhancement in sensitivity and selectivity is attributed to the oxygen vacancies and heterojunction between SnO2 and NiO. The SnO2/NiO composites can be applied to sensitive materials of formaldehyde sensors.
The various vision-based tactile sensors have been developed for robotic perception in recent years. In this paper, the novel soft robotic finger embedded with the visual sensor is proposed for perception. It consists of a colored soft inner chamber, an outer structure, and an endoscope camera. The bending perception algorithm based on image preprocessing and deep learning is proposed. The boundary of color regions and the position of marker dots are extracted from the inner chamber image and label image, respectively. Then the convolutional neural network with multi-task learning is trained to obtain bending states of the finger. Finally, the experiments are implemented to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method.
Epigenetic changes may play a role in the etiology of psychotic diseases. It has been demonstrated that olig2 is implicated in schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BPD). the aim of this study was to investigate the methylation status of a promoter region of the olig2 gene in BPD and SCZ patients.
Our study included 41 BPD and 45 SCZ (DSM-IV criteria) as well as 53 control subjects. DNA was extracted from blood leukocytes and bisulfited sequence analysis was used to determine the DNA methylation status of a typical CpGs island within the promoter region of olig2.
We found the methylated cytosines occurred mainly in two clusters. Olig2 gene promoter was hyper-methylated(∼30%) in DNA derived from the blood leukocytes in SCZ and BD compared to the controls subjects(P = 0.01 and P = 0.03, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference in frequency of site-specific cytosine methylation modification of Olig2 gene between SCZ patients and BD patients(P = 0.21).
We observed increased DNA methylation in the promoter region of the olig2 gene of SCZ and BPD. This could explain the reported decrease of the gene expression. the current study supports the growing interest of DNA methylation in psychopathology.
A bottom-feed omni-directional CP (circularly polarized) antenna array is proposed in this letter. The antenna array is composed of four elements (two printed ZPS (zero-phase-shift) line loops and two half-wavelength dipoles). The four elements are fed with the same phase and amplitude. The ZPS line loops provide the horizontal polarization while the dipoles provide the vertical polarization. Therefore, omni-directional circular polarization is formed in the far field. The feeding network consists of a 1–4 T-shaped power divider formed by parallel strip lines. In order to balance the amplitude of the feeding coaxial cable, the structure is used in the bottom to transfer parallel strip line to micro-strip line. Besides, the loops and the dipoles are placed on the different side of the network to guarantee the omni-directional radiation property. The measured impedance bandwidth of the fabricated antenna is 0.13 GHz (2.40–2.53 GHz) and the measured maximum CP gain at 2.45 GHz is 4.8 dBic.
There is limited experience about transcatheter closure of doubly committed subarterial ventricular septal defects with Amplatzer ductal occluder.
Between March, 2015 and July, 2017, a total of 22 patients with doubly committed subarterial ventricular septal defects received transcatheter closure using Amplatzer ductal occluder and underwent clinical follow-up for at least 6 months.
Device implantation was finally successful in 21 (95.4%) patients despite failed occlusion in one patient and intra-procedural replacement of unsuitable occluders in four (19.0%) patients. In mean 12.3 months of follow-up, there were no major complications (death, aortic valve or sinus rupture, device dislocation or embolisation, grade 2 new-onset aortic regurgitation, etc.), resulting in clinical occlusion success of 95.4%. Mechanical haemolysis occurred in one patient and resolved with medication. Residual shunt was observed in 11 (52.4%) patients (9 mild, 2 moderate-severe) post-procedurally, 14 (66.7%) patients (12 mild, 2 moderate-severe) in hospital stay, and 2 (9.5%) patients (2 mild, 0 moderate-severe) at the last follow-up. Device-induced new-onset aortic regurgitation was found in nine (42.8%) patients (9 mild, 0 moderate-severe) post-procedurally and in hospital stay, which was resolved in two (9.5%) patients and unchanged in seven (33.3%) patients at the last follow-up. Another four (19.0%) patients newly developed mild aortic regurgitation during follow-up.
Transcatheter closure of doubly committed subarterial ventricular septal defects with Amplatzer ductal occluder is technically feasible in the selected patients. However, further study is needed to confirm its long-term clinical outcomes.
In a rice (Oryza sativa L.)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system, a study was conducted to determine the effects of different fertilization regimens (no fertilization, replacement of a portion of chemical fertilizer with composted pig manure, chemical fertilizer only, and straw return combined with chemical fertilizer) on the weed communities and wheat yields after 4 and 5 yr. The impact of the long-term recurrent fertilization regimen initiated in 2010 on the composition and diversity of weed communities and the impact of the components and total amount of fertilizer on wheat yields were assessed in 2014 and 2015. Totals of 19 and 16 weed species were identified in experimental wheat fields in 2014 and 2015, respectively, but the occurrence of weed species varied according to the fertilization regimen. American sloughgrass [Beckmannia syzigachne (Steud.) Fernald], water starwort [Myosoton aquaticum (L.) Moench], and lyrate hemistepta (Hemistepta lyrata Bunge.) were adapted to all fertilization treatments and were the dominant weed species in the experimental wheat fields. The greatest number of weed species were observed under the no-fertilization treatment, in which 40% of the weed community was composed of broadleaf weeds and the lowest wheat yields were obtained. With fertilizer application, the number of weed species was reduced, the height of weeds increased significantly, the density of broadleaf weeds was significantly reduced, the biodiversity indices of weed communities decreased significantly, and higher wheat yields were obtained. Only the chemical fertilizer plus composted pig manure treatment and the chemical fertilizer–only treatment increased the density of grassy weeds and the total weed community density. The treatment with chemical fertilizer only also resulted in the highest density of B. syzigachne. Rice straw return combined with chemical fertilizer yielded the lowest total weed density, which suggests that it inhibited occurrence of weeds. The different fertilizer regimens not only affected the weed species composition, distribution, and diversity, but also the weed density. Our study provides new information from a rice–wheat rotation system on the relationship between soil amendments and agricultural weed infestation.
The sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus is a deposit-feeder and vital for marine benthic ecosystems. Hypoxia can influence the behaviour and even lead to massive mortality in A. japonicus in the wild. It is important to understand the molecular responses of A. japonicus when exposed to acute changes in dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration. In this study, RNA-seq provided a general overview of the gene expression profiles of the respiratory tree of A. japonicus exposed to DO of 8 mg l−1 (DO8), 4 mg l−1 (DO4) and 2 mg l−1 (DO2) conditions. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) screening with the NOISeq method identified 51, 59 and 61 DEGs according to the criteria of fold change ≥2 and divergence probability ≥0.8 in the comparisons of DO2 vs DO4, DO2 vs DO8 and DO4 vs DO8, respectively. Gene ontology analysis showed that ‘cellular process’ and ‘binding’ had the most enriched DEGs in the categories of ‘biological process’ and ‘molecular function’, respectively (catalytic activity also had the most enriched DEGs in the category of ‘molecular function’ based on the comparison of DO2 vs DO8), while ‘cell’ and ‘cell part’ had the most enriched DEGs in the category of ‘cellular component’. The DEGs were mapped to 79, 81 and 104 pathways in the KEGG database, and 8, 29 and 16 pathways were significantly enriched, respectively. The DO-specific DEGs identified in this study of the respiratory tree are important targets for further research into the biochemical mechanisms involved in the response of the sea cucumber to changes in the DO concentration.
Previous studies have supported the theory that there is a positive association between ferritin and carotid atherosclerosis in Western people. Diet plays an important role in determining serum ferritin concentration. Asian dietary patterns are different from Western dietary patterns, implying that there may be a difference in the association of ferritin with carotid atherosclerosis between Asian and Western people. However, few studies focus on the association between ferritin and carotid atherosclerosis among Asians. The aim of this study was to investigate how serum ferritin levels are associated with carotid atherosclerosis in an Asian adult population. A cross-sectional assessment was performed in 8302 adults in Tianjin, China. Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and plaques were assessed using ultrasonography, and serum ferritin was measured using the protein chip-chemiluminescence method. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between quartiles of serum ferritin concentration and carotid atherosclerosis. In the present study, the overall prevalence of IMT and carotid plaques in participants is 29·2 and 22·7 %, respectively. In women, after adjustments for potentially confounding factors, the OR of IMT and carotid plaques by increasing serum ferritin quartiles were 1·00, 1·39 (95 % CI 0·98–1·99), 1·39 (95 % CI 0·99–1·97), 1·81 (95 % CI 1·30–2·55) (Pfor trend<0·001) and 1·00, 1·24 (95 % CI 0·89–1·73), 1·18 (95 % CI 0·85–1·65), 1·59 (95 % CI 1·15–2·20) (Pfor trend<0·01), respectively. However, no association was found between serum ferritin and carotid atherosclerosis in men. The study demonstrated that increased serum ferritin levels are independently associated with IMT and carotid plaques in Asian women but not in Asian men.
Elder self-neglect (ESN) has become a public health issue globally. Limited studies have focused on ESN, as well as the relationship between ESN and quality of life (QoL) in developing countries. The study's objective is to explore the association between ESN and QoL among rural elderly in China.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 3,182 elder adults aged 60 years or older, using a cluster-sampling technique in one township in Dangtu, a county in Anhui province. All participants completed face-to-face interview in their household. QoL was assessed using a brief form of the World Health Organization's quality of life questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF), and ESN was assessed using the Scale of the Elderly Self-neglect (SESN). Hierarchical linear regression models were used to analyze the associations between the ESN scores and QoL scores after adjusting for sociodemographic, social support, and physical and psychological variables.
The scores of overall ESN and five domains were significantly correlated with the scores of four QoL domains (p < 0.001). After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, social support, and physical and psychological health characteristics, elders who reported higher overall self-neglect scores had significantly lower scores in the four QoL domains (p < 0.001). Education, economic level, physical health, ADL, depression, and cognitive function are consistent predictors across all QoL domains.
ESN is an independent risk factor for poor QoL in elderly people in rural China. Understanding the role of ESN and its influence on QoL is important for the management of and intervention in ESN.
SiO2-MgF2/TiO2 double-layer films with antireflective, self-cleaning and adherent properties were prepared by spin-coating SiO2-MgF2 and TiO2 sol on glass substrate successively and subsequently being calcined at 250°C. The optical and structural properties of films have been investigated by visible spectrophotometer and field emission scanning electron microscope, respectively. At the same time, self-cleaning property generated from superhydrophilicity and photocatalysis was obtained. The results indicated that the as-prepared SiO2-MgF2/TiO2 double-layer films show a maximum increase in transmittance near 520 nm wavelength of 2.8% and photocatalytic property with the R value of 4.7(JIS R 1703–2).It has been demonstrated that high transmittance, self-cleaning and adherent composite has been obtained by a simple sol–gel route presenting good potential to be applied on photovoltaics systems.
In this study, the effects of Ag variations on dynamic recrystallization (DRX), texture, and mechanical properties of ultrafine-grained Mg–3Al–1Zn alloys are investigated. The results suggest that Ag segregation and Al–Zn–Ag clusters form in the Mg matrix with Ag addition less than 1 wt%, which retard DRX and the growth of the DRXed grains. The resulting grain size decreases from 513 to 316 nm. As the Ag addition increases to 2 wt%, the Mg54Ag17 phase precipitates along the grain boundary, which plays an important role in restricting DRXed grain growth via grain boundary pinning effect. The resulting grain size is 375 nm with a bimodal grain size distribution. The extrusion texture of the investigated alloys is in fairly scattered orientation distribution. The weak basal texture and ultrafine grain size lead to the high yield asymmetry ratio. The Ag-containing extruded alloys exhibit an increase in the tensile and compressive properties. The strengthening mechanisms due to grain refinement, dislocations, solid solution, precipitates, solute clusters, and segregation are discussed.
Twenty Small Tailed Han (STH) and 20 Ujumqin (UJU) ewes naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes were randomly assigned to one of four treatments arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial design, receiving anthelmintic treatment (AT) or non-anthelmintic treatment (NonAT) prior to lambing. After lambing, the effects of AT on feed intake, digestion and milk yield in ewes, and the growth rates of lambs fed their mother's milk were assessed for 28 days. Faecal samples were collected to determine faecal egg counts (FECs), milk was collected to measure milk yield and ewes and lambs were weighed to quantify daily body weight change. The results showed that AT significantly increased ewe dry matter intake (2411 g/d for AT and 2209 g/d for NonAT) and decreased FECs (50 eggs/g for AT and 2655 eggs/g for NonAT). All ewes lost weight after lambing, but body weight loss in the AT (43 g/d) was significantly less than in NonAT (84 g/d), and STH ewes (70 g/d) lost more weight than UJU ewes (58 g/d). Anthelmintic-treated ewes produced more milk for their lambs to consume. However, the extent of these positive effects of AT differed between STH and UJU ewes. The average daily body weight gain of lambs in AT was higher than those in NonAT. In conclusion, effective AT in ewes before lambing benefits subsequent lactation in ewes and growth rate in lambs.