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The parasite Fasciola hepatica is an important zoonotic parasite. The development of an animal model of F. hepatica's life cycle is critical for studying the biological characteristics of the parasite in snails and mammals. Eggs of F. hepatica of bovine origin were cultured, and metacercariae were obtained after infection of Galba pervia snails. The life cycle system of F. hepatica was initiated in 2 different animals by orally infecting rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice with the metacercariae. The animals' survival after infection, parasite migration in the animals and pathological damage to the liver were observed. We discovered that rabbits died due to acute suppurative hepatitis 60–69 days after infection, and eggs were found in the feces on day 63 of infection. The liver of SD rats showed punctate lesions on day 3 of infection, and further changes occurred as the infection progressed. However, liver repair was observed at week 9. SD rats survived for more than a year after infection and continued the F. hepatica life cycle. The liver lesions in Kunming mice after infection were similar but more severe than those in SD rats. Death was observed on the 31st post-infection day. We discovered that while rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice can all be used as animal models of F. hepatica, SD rats are more suitable experimental animals in terms of tolerance and pathological response.
The 4.2 ka event is widely presumed to be a globally widespread aridity event and has been linked to several episodes of societal changes across the globe. Whether this climate event impacted the cultural development in south-central China remains uncertain due to a lack of regional paleorainfall records. We present here stalagmite stable carbon isotope and trace element–based reconstruction of hydroclimatic conditions from south-central China. Our data reveal a sub–millennial scale (~5.6 to 4.3 ka) drying trend in the region followed by a gradual transition to wetter conditions during the 4.2 ka event (4.3–3.9 ka). Together with the existing archaeological evidence, our data suggest that the drier climate before 4.3 ka may have promoted the Shijiahe culture, while the pluvial conditions during the 4.2 ka event may have adversely affected its settlements in low-lying areas. While military conflicts with the Wangwan III culture may have accelerated the collapse of Shijiahe culture, we suggest that the joint effects of climate and the region's topography also played important causal roles in its demise.
A novel wide 3-dB axial ratio (AR) circularly polarized 2 × 2 array antenna is proposed in this paper. The spindle-shaped coupling cavity with tilted waveguide is capable of generating circular polarization waves from incident linear waves, which improves the AR bandwidth (ARBW) of the antenna. With this structure, a similar amplitude of the two orthogonal transmitted wave components and a stable phase difference of nearly 90° can be generated. The circularly polarized antenna proposed herein has been fabricated. According to the measurement results, the operating bandwidth from 5.32 to 6.13 GHz is <−10 dB. In addition, the measured ARBW, which is below 3 dB, can cover the range of 5.41–6.02 GHz. The maximum gain of the antenna can attain 15.65 dBi, and the efficiency is better than 80%.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a heterogeneous autoimmune disorder that leads to severe joint deformities, negatively affecting the patient's quality of life. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), which include exosomes and ectosomes, act as intercellular communication mediators in several physiological and pathological processes in various diseases including RA. In contrast, EVs secreted by mesenchymal stem cells perform an immunomodulatory function and stimulate cartilage repair, showing promising therapeutic results in animal models of RA. EVs from other sources, including dendritic cells, neutrophils and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, also influence the biological function of immune and joint cells. This review describes the role of EVs in the pathogenesis of RA and presents evidence supporting future studies on the therapeutic potential of EVs from different sources. This information will contribute to a better understanding of RA development, as well as a starting point for exploring cell-free-based therapies for RA.
Maternal nutrition during pregnancy plays a vital role in foetal growth and development. The present study aimed to describe the diet quality of pregnant women and explore the association between maternal diet and the prevalence of low birth weight (LBW) and small for gestational age (SGA). A total of 3 856 participants from a birth cohort in Beijing, China were recruited between June 2018 and February 2019. Maternal diet in the 1st and 2nd trimesters was assessed by inconsecutive 2-day 24-hour dietary recalls. The Chinese diet balance index for pregnancy (DBI-P) was used to assess the diet quality of the participants. Multivariate logistic regressions were performed to explore the independent effects of DBI-P components on LBW and SGA. The prevalence of LBW and SGA was 3.8% and 6.0%, respectively. Dietary intakes of the participants were imbalanced. The proportions of participants having insufficient intake of vegetables (87.3% and 86.6%), dairy (95.9% and 96.7%), and aquatic foods (80.5% and 85.3%) were high in both trimesters. The insufficiency of fruit intake was more severe in the 2nd trimester (85.2%) than in the 1st trimester (22.5%) (P<0.05). After adjusting for potential confounders, the intake of fruits and dairy in the 2nd trimester was negatively associated with the risk of LBW (OR=0.850, 95% CI: 0.723-0.999) and SGA (OR=0.885, 95% CI: 0.787-0.996), respectively. The diet of Beijing pregnant women was imbalanced. Higher consumption of fruits and dairy products in the 2nd trimester was associated with lower risks of LBW and SGA. Sufficient consumption of fruits and dairy products in pregnancy may be suggested, in an attempt to prevent the occurrence of LBW and SGA.
In this paper, a metasurface (MS)-based multi-functional electromagnetic (EM) structure is proposed to realize its two different applications, namely absorption and radiation. The proposed structure is based on periodic arrays of disk-shaped metallic patches and split rings with four embedded lumped resistors. The metallic vias are inserted from top to bottom to connect the disk-shaped patches with a feeding network designed on the bottom layer where two p-i-n switches are embedded in the feeding network to alter the different functions of the proposed structure. For free space incident plan wave, the designed structure works as an absorber when the p-i-n switches are switched OFF. The absorber operates over a frequency band from 6.2 GHz to 8.2 GHz and unchanged over an incident angle from 0° to 30° for both TE and TM polarized incident waves. The same structure also works as a low scattering and high gain radiator when the p-i-n switches are turned ON and radiate within absorbing frequency band, i.e. from 7.5 to 8.0 GHz. The designed structure is fabricated and experimentally verified for EM absorption and radiation applications.
The findings regarding the associations between red meat, fish and poultry consumption, and the metabolic syndrome (Mets) have been inconclusive, and evidence from Chinese populations is scarce. A cross-sectional study was performed to investigate the associations between red meat, fish and poultry consumption, and the prevalence of the Mets and its components among the residents of Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, China. A total of 4424 participants were eligible for the analysis. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the OR and 95 % CI for the prevalence of the Mets and its components according to red meat, fish and poultry consumption. In addition, the data of our cross-sectional study were meta-analysed under a random effects model along with those of published observational studies to generate the summary relative risks (RR) of the associations between the highest v. lowest categories of red meat, fish and poultry consumption and the Mets and its components. In the cross-sectional study, the multivariable-adjusted OR for the highest v. lowest quartiles of consumption was 1·23 (95 % CI 1·02, 1·48) for red meat, 0·83 (95 % CI 0·72, 0·97) for fish and 0·93 (95 % CI 0·74, 1·18) for poultry. In the meta-analysis, the pooled RR for the highest v. lowest categories of consumption was 1·20 (95 % CI 1·06, 1·35) for red meat, 0·88 (95 % CI 0·81, 0·96) for fish and 0·97 (95 % CI 0·85, 1·10) for poultry. The findings of both cross-sectional studies and meta-analyses indicated that the association between fish consumption and the Mets may be partly driven by the inverse association of fish consumption with elevated TAG and reduced HDL-cholesterol and, to a lesser extent, fasting plasma glucose. No clear pattern of associations was observed between red meat or poultry consumption and the components of the Mets. The current findings add weight to the evidence that the Mets may be positively associated with red meat consumption, inversely associated with fish consumption and neutrally associated with poultry consumption.
Environmental hypoxia exposure causes fertility problems in human and animals. Compelling evidence suggests that chronic hypoxia impairs spermatogenesis and reduces sperm motility. However, it is unclear whether paternal hypoxic exposure affects fertilization and early embryo development. In the present study, we exposed male mice to high altitude (3200 m above sea level) for 7 or 60 days to evaluate the effects of hypoxia on sperm quality, zygotic DNA methylation and blastocyst formation. Compared with age-matched controls, hypoxia-treated males exhibited reduced fertility after mating with normoxic females as a result of defects in sperm motility and function. Results of in vitro fertilization (IVF) experiments revealed that 60 days’ exposure significantly reduced cleavage and blastocyst rates by 30% and 70%, respectively. Immunohistochemical staining of pronuclear formation indicated that the pronuclear formation process was disturbed and expression of imprinted genes was reduced in early embryos after paternal hypoxia. Overall, the findings of this study suggested that exposing male mice to hypoxia impaired sperm function and affected key events during early embryo development in mammals.
Robots of next-generation physically interact with the world rather than be caged in a controlled area, and they need to make contact with the open-ended environment to perform their task. Compliant robot links offer intrinsic mechanical compliance for addressing the safety issue for physical human–robot interactions (pHRI). However, many important research questions are yet to be answered. For instance, how do system parameters, for example, mechanical compliance, motor torque, impact velocities, and so on, affect the impact force? how to formulate system impact dynamics of compliant robots, and how to size their geometric dimensions to maximize impact force reduction. In this paper, we present a parametric study of compliant link (CL) design for safe pHRI. We first present a theoretical model of the pHRI system that is comprised of robot dynamics, an impact contact model, and dummy head dynamics. After experimentally validating the theoretical model, we then systematically study the effects of CL parameters on the impact force in more detail. Specifically, we explore how the design and actuation parameters affect the impact force of pHRI system. Based on the parametric studies of the CL design, we propose a step-by-step process and a list of concrete guidelines for designing CL with safety constraints in pHRI. We further conduct a simulation case study to validate this design process and design guidelines.
Patients with schizophrenia and individuals with schizotypy, a subclinical group at risk for schizophrenia, have been found to have impairments in cognitive control. The Dual Mechanisms of Cognitive Control (DMC) framework hypothesises that cognitive control can be divided into proactive and reactive control. However, it is unclear whether individuals with schizotypy have differential behavioural impairments and neural correlates underlying these two types of cognitive control.
Twenty-five individuals with schizotypy and 26 matched healthy controls (HCs) completed both reactive and proactive control tasks with electroencephalographic data recorded. The proportion of congruent and incongruent trials was manipulated in a classic colour-word Stroop task to induce proactive or reactive control. Proactive control was induced in a context with mostly incongruent (MI) trials and reactive control in a context with mostly congruent (MC) trials. Two event-related potential (ERP) components, medial frontal negativity (MFN, associated with conflict detection) and conflict sustained potential (conflict SP, associated with conflict resolution) were examined.
There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of behavioural results. In terms of ERP results, in the MC context, HC exhibited significantly larger MFN (360–530 ms) and conflict SP (600–1000 ms) amplitudes than individuals with schizotypy. The two groups did not show any significant difference in MFN or conflict SP in the MI context.
The present findings provide initial evidence for dissociation of neural activation between proactive and reactive cognitive control in individuals with schizotypy. These findings help us understand cognitive control deficits in the schizophrenia spectrum.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REMs) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off this mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimensional particle-in-cell (2D-PIC) simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapidly expanding. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and the corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selectively adjusting of the corresponding spectra.
To assess the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Chinese adults living in Ningbo and to examine the association between alcohol consumption and MetS and its medical components.
A representative survey in Ningbo was conducted in 2015 covering socio-demography. A FFQ together with additional questionnaires was used to collect information on alcohol consumption, diet, demography, lifestyle and medical information. Multivariable logistic regression and generalised linear models were used to examine the association between alcohol consumption and both MetS and its medical components, respectively.
A total of 2853 adults ≥ 20 years (44 % men) in this final analysis.
The prevalence of frequent alcohol drinkers and MetS was 29·9 % and 28·0 %, respectively. Significantly higher prevalence of MetS and mean values of medical components were found in the group of frequent alcohol drinkers with an exception for HDL-cholesterol, compared with less or non-alcohol drinkers. Frequent alcohol consumption was associated with higher odds of developing MetS and positively associated with medical components excepting waist circumference.
Frequent alcohol consumption contributed to a higher prevalence of MetS and unfavourable influence on MetS and its medical components among Chinese adults. A public health intervention on alcohol restriction is necessary for the prevention and control of the ongoing epidemic MetS.
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) could induce milk fat depression via regulating the body and blood fat metabolism. However, it is not completely clear how LPS might regulate triglyceride synthesis in dairy cow mammary epithelial cells (DCMECs). DCMECs were isolated and purified from dairy cow mammary tissue and treated with LPS. The level of triglyceride synthesis, the expression and activity of the liver X receptor α (LXRα), enzymes related to de novo fatty acid synthesis, and the expression of the fatty acid transporters were investigated. We found that LPS decreased the level of triglyceride synthesis via a down-regulation of the transcription, translation, and nuclear translocation level of the LXRα. The results also indicated that the transcription level of the LXRα target genes, sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1), fatty acid synthetase (FAS), acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 (ACC1), were significantly down-regulated in DCMECs after LPS treatment. Our data may provide new insight into the mechanisms of milk fat depression caused by LPS.
In this study, we aimed to evaluate the correlation between the trauma score of individuals wounded in the Lushan earthquake and emergency workload for treatment. We further created a trauma score-emergency workload calculation model.
We included data from patients wounded in the Lushan earthquake and treated at West China Hospital, Sichuan University. We calculated scores per the following models separately: Revised Trauma Score (RTS), Prehospital Index (PHI), Circulation Respiration Abdominal Movement Speech (CRAMS), Therapeutic Intervention Scoring System (TISS-28), and Nursing Activities Score (NAS). We assessed the association between values for CRAMS, PHI, and RTS and those for TISS-28 and NAS. Subsequently, we built a trauma score-emergency workload calculation model to quantitative workload estimation.
Significant correlations were observed for all pairs of trauma scoring models with emergency workload scoring models. TISS-28 score was significantly associated with PHI score and RTS; however, no significant correlation was observed between the TISS-28 score and CRAMS score.
CRAMS, PHI, and RTS were consistent in evaluating the injury condition of wounded individuals; TISS-28 and NAS scores were consistent in evaluating the required treatment workload. Dynamic changes in emergency workload in unit time were closely associated with wounded patient visits.
In this paper, we investigate the global boundedness, asymptotic stability and pattern formation of predator–prey systems with density-dependent prey-taxis in a two-dimensional bounded domain with Neumann boundary conditions, where the coefficients of motility (diffusiq‘dfdon) and mobility (prey-taxis) of the predator are correlated through a prey density-dependent motility function. We establish the existence of classical solutions with uniform-in time bound and the global stability of the spatially homogeneous prey-only steady states and coexistence steady states under certain conditions on parameters by constructing Lyapunov functionals. With numerical simulations, we further demonstrate that spatially homogeneous time-periodic patterns, stationary spatially inhomogeneous patterns and chaotic spatio-temporal patterns are all possible for the parameters outside the stability regime. We also find from numerical simulations that the temporal dynamics between linearised system and nonlinear systems are quite different, and the prey density-dependent motility function can trigger the pattern formation.
To identify the association of the glucokinase gene (GCK) rs4607517 polymorphism with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and determine whether sweets consumption could interact with the polymorphism on GDM in Chinese women.
We conducted a case–control study at a hospital including 1015 participants (562 GDM cases and 453 controls). We collected the data of pre-pregnancy BMI, sweets consumption and performed genotyping of the GCK rs4607517 polymorphism. Logistic regression was performed to test the association between the rs4607517 polymorphism and GDM, and the stratified analyses by sweets consumption were conducted, using an additive genetic model.
A case–control study of women at a hospital in Beijing, China.
One thousand and fifteen Chinese women.
The GCK rs4607517 A allele was significantly associated with GDM (OR 1·35, 95 % CI 1·03, 1·77; P = 0·028). Furthermore, stratified analyses showed that the A allele increased the risk of GDM only in women who had a habitual consumption of sweet foods (sweets consumption ≥ once per week) (OR 1·61, 95 % CI 1·17, 2·21; P = 0·003). Significant interaction on GDM was found between the rs4607517 A allele and sweets consumption (P = 0·004).
This study for the first time reported the interaction between the GCK rs4607517 polymorphism and sweets consumption on GDM. The results provided novel evidence for risk assessment and personalised prevention of GDM.