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An original comprehensive guide on computational nanomechanics discussing basic concepts and implications in areas such as computational physics, materials, mechanics and engineering as well as several other interdisciplinary avenues. This book makes the underlying theory accessible to readers without specialised training or extensive background in quantum physics, statistical mechanics, or theoretical chemistry. It combines a careful treatment of theoretical concepts with a detailed tutorial on computer software and computing implementation, including multiscale simulation and computational statistical theory. Multidisciplinary perspectives are provided, yielding a true insight on the applications of computational nanomechanics across diverse engineering fields. The book can serve as a practical guide with step-by-step discussion of coding, example problems and case studies. This book will be essential reading for students new to the subject, as well as an excellent reference for graduates and researchers.
This study evaluated the association between inflammatory diets as measured by the dietary inflammatory index (DII), and inflammation biomarkers, and the development of preeclampsia among the Chinese population. We followed the reporting guidelines of the STROBE statement for observational studies. A total of 466 preeclampsia cases aged over 18 years were recruited between March 2016 and June 2019, and 466 healthy controls were 1:1 ratio matched by age (± 3 years), week of gestation (± 1 week), and gestational diabetes mellitus. The energy-adjusted DII (E-DII) was computed based on dietary intake assessed using a 79-item semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Inflammatory biomarkers were analyzed by ELISA kits. The mean E-DII scores were -0.65 ± 1.58 for cases and -1.19 ± 1.47 for controls (P value <0.001). E-DII scores positively correlated with IFN-γ (rs = 0.194, P value = 0.001) and IL-4 (rs = 0.135, P value = 0.021). After multivariable adjustment, E-DII scores were positively related to preeclampsia risk (P trend <0.001). The highest tertile of E-DII was 2.18 times the lowest tertiles (95% CI = 1.52, 3.13). The odds of preeclampsia increased by 30% (95% CI= 18%, 43%, P value <0.001) for each E-DII score increase. The preeclampsia risk was positively associated with IL-2 (OR = 1.07, 95% CI = 1.03, 1.11), IL-4 (OR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.03, 1.54) and TGF-β (OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.06, 1.29). Therefore, proinflammatory diets, corresponding to higher IL-2, IL-4 and TGF-β levels, were associated with increased preeclampsia risk.
The extinct family Hylicellidae, as the ancestral group of modern cicadomorphans, had a wide distribution and a very high species-level biodiversity from the Triassic to Early Cretaceous. We herein report 11 new hylicellid specimens from the Jurassic Daohugou beds of Inner Mongolia, NE China, and execute geometric morphometric analysis (GMA) to elucidate their systematic position. Our GMA and subsequent morphometric statistics indicate that 10 of our new specimens can be compared to the holotype of Cycloscytina gobiensis, and one is new to science. Cycloscytina incompleta new species is erected based on this specimen, with the following discriminatory tegminal traits: C3 almost as long as and slightly narrower than C2, and the forking position of stem M distinctly migrates towards wing apex and much apicad of the stem CuA bifurcating. Additionally, Cycloscytina plachutai is herein transferred to the procercopid genus Procercopina, resulting in P. plachutai new combination. To date, just a few body structures of Hylicellidae have been revealed, and the new whole-bodied hylicellids reported herein provide some novel insights on the evolution of basal Clypeata. This study also emphasizes the use of morphometric analysis in the systematics of wing-bearing insects such as hylicellids.
Using the KIDScoreTM D3 (KID3) scoring system, day 3 embryos observed by time-lapse imaging (TLI) were scored to explore the predictive value of the KID scoring system on the developmental potential of embryos. The kinetic parameters of 477 normal fertilized embryos from 77 patients who underwent TLI in our hospital from January 2019 to June 2020 were evaluated by KID3, and the embryos were divided into five groups according to the scores for retrospective analysis of blastocyst formation. Additionally, the high-quality blastocyst formation rate, pregnancy rate and early abortion rate were analyzed via KID3 and traditional morphological assessments, and comparisons of differences among different ages were also performed. In the KID3 estimate, the blastocyst or high-quality blastocyst formation rate in the score 5 group was markedly higher than that in the score 1–4 groups. Blastocyst or high-quality blastocyst formation rates in the A group (the results of two evaluation tools indicated they were excellent embryos) and the B group (KID3: excellent embryos, traditional evaluation: not excellent embryos) were evidently increased in comparison with the C or D group (KID3: not excellent embryos, traditional evaluation: excellent embryo or not, respectively). Furthermore, the percentages of score 5 embryos, blastocyst and high-quality blastocyst formation rates for patients ≥ 35 years old were markedly decreased compared with those for patients < 34 years old, while the trends of nondiploid cleavage, multinucleation and asymmetric division were the opposite. Collectively, the KID3 scoring system may be a promising predictive tool for screening embryos with better developmental potential.
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%.
The present study aimed to explore the association between healthy lifestyle pattern and childhood early onset of puberty. Based on a cohort study in Xiamen of China, a total of 1294 children was followed for three and a half years. Children’s lifestyles, including dietary behaviour, physical activity, sleep duration, smoking and drinking behaviour and sedentary behaviour, were collected by questionnaires. Healthy lifestyle pattern was determined mainly according to the recommendations by the Dietary Guidelines for Chinese school-age children and Canadian Guidelines for children and youth. The pubertal development was assessed by clinical examination according to Tanner stages. The association between pre-pubertal lifestyle and early onset of puberty was estimated using linear regression and log-binomial regression. We found that children who adhered to a healthy lifestyle had a 0·36-year delay of the age of puberty onset (coef = 0·36, 95 % CI (0·08, 0·65)) and 53 % lower risk of early onset of puberty (risk ratio = 0·47, 95 % CI (0·27, 0·80)), compared with those who had a poor lifestyle. However, the beneficial effect of favourable lifestyles on the early onset of puberty was found only in boys with normal weight. Boys who adhered to active physical activity and low sedentary behaviour had a relatively delayed age of puberty onset (coef = 0·49, 95 % CI (0·26, 0·72)). This is the first time to find that healthy lifestyle pattern was associated with a substantially lower risk of early onset of puberty, especially in boys with normal weight. Advocating an integrated healthy lifestyle is essential for the development of children.
Prospective cohort studies linking organ meat consumption and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are limited, especially in Asian populations. This study aimed to prospectively investigate the association between organ meat consumption and risk of NAFLD in a general Chinese adult population. This prospective cohort study included a total of 15,568 adults who were free of liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline. Dietary information was collected at baseline using a validated food frequency questionnaire. NAFLD was diagnosed by abdominal ultrasound after excluding other causes related to chronic liver disease. Cox proportional regression models were used to assess the association between organ meat consumption and risk of NAFLD. During a median of 4.2 years of follow-up, we identified 3,604 incident NAFLD cases. After adjusting for demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, vegetable, fruit, soft drink, seafood, and red meat consumption, the multivariable hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for incident NAFLD across consumption of organ meat were 1.00 (reference) for almost never, 1.04 (0.94, 1.15) for tertile 1, 1.08 (0.99, 1.19) for tertile 2, and 1.11 (1.01, 1.22) for tertile 3, respectively (P for trend <0.05). Such association did not differ substantially in the sensitivity analysis. Our study indicates that organ meat consumption was related to a modestly higher risk of NAFLD among Chinese adults. Further investigations are needed to confirm this finding.
Strike-slip earthquakes near major subduction zones have received less attention than thrust or reverse earthquakes in subduction zone areas. The occurrence of the 2018 Palu Mw 7.5 earthquake in eastern Indonesia provides an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the characteristics of one of these events. The Palu earthquake occurred on the left-lateral, north–south-striking Palu–Koro fault, which is the main plate boundary structure accommodating the convergence between blocks in a triple junction area. It excited a significant tsunami, which unusually is associated with strike-slip earthquakes, and also ruptured at a supershear speed, which is mostly observed on strike-slip faults in continents. Based on our fieldwork, we speculate that the normal slip component of the offshore rupture section in Palu bay on the middle segment probably favours tsunami genesis. Our field investigation has revealed evidence of a simple geometry as well as slip partitioning of dip-slip and strike-slip motion on two subparallel strands on the main segment, both of which may have contributed to the supershear of the rupture propagation. Instead of only a transtensive behaviour of the middle segment, our results also illustrate the transpressional property of the northern and southern rupture segments, which shows more complex behaviour than that of a common continental strike-slip fault.
Previous analyses of grey and white matter volumes have reported that schizophrenia is associated with structural changes. Deep learning is a data-driven approach that can capture highly compact hierarchical non-linear relationships among high-dimensional features, and therefore can facilitate the development of clinical tools for making a more accurate and earlier diagnosis of schizophrenia.
To identify consistent grey matter abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, 662 people with schizophrenia and 613 healthy controls were recruited from eight centres across China, and the data from these independent sites were used to validate deep-learning classifiers.
We used a prospective image-based meta-analysis of whole-brain voxel-based morphometry. We also automatically differentiated patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls using combined grey matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid volumetric features, incorporated a deep neural network approach on an individual basis, and tested the generalisability of the classification models using independent validation sites.
We found that statistically reliable schizophrenia-related grey matter abnormalities primarily occurred in regions that included the superior temporal gyrus extending to the temporal pole, insular cortex, orbital and middle frontal cortices, middle cingulum and thalamus. Evaluated using leave-one-site-out cross-validation, the performance of the classification of schizophrenia achieved by our findings from eight independent research sites were: accuracy, 77.19–85.74%; sensitivity, 75.31–89.29% and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.797–0.909.
These results suggest that, by using deep-learning techniques, multidimensional neuroanatomical changes in schizophrenia are capable of robustly discriminating patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls, findings which could facilitate clinical diagnosis and treatment in schizophrenia.
We aimed to investigate the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related knowledge and practices of cancer patients and to assess their anxiety- and depression-related to COVID-19 during the early surge phase of the pandemic.
An online questionnaire survey of cancer patients was conducted from February 10-29, 2020. Knowledge and practices related to COVID-19 were assessed using a custom-made questionnaire. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to assess the presence of anxiety and depression, with scores beyond 7 indicating anxiety or depressive disorder. Univariate and multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify the high-risk groups according to the level of knowledge, practices, anxiety, and depression scores.
A total of 341 patients were included. The rate of lower level of knowledge and practices was 49.9% and 18.8%, respectively. Education level of junior high school degree or lower showed a significant association with lower knowledge score (β: −3.503; P < 0.001) and lower practices score (β: −2.210; P < 0.001) compared to the education level of college degree and above. The prevalence of anxiety and depression among the respondents was 17.6% and 23.2%, respectively. A higher depression score was associated with older age, marital status of the widowed, and lower level of education, knowledge score, and practices score (P < 0.05).
Targeted COVID-19-related education interventions are required for cancer patients with a lower level of knowledge to help improve their practices. Interventions are also required to address the anxiety and depression of cancer patients.
Considering the polishing requirements for high-precision aspherical optical mirrors, a hybrid polishing robot composed of a serial–parallel manipulator and a dual rotor grinding system is proposed. Firstly, based on the kinematics of serial components, the equivalent load model for the parallel manipulator is established. Then, the elastodynamic model of kinematic branched-chains of the parallel manipulator is established by using the spatial beam element, and the rigid–flexible coupling dynamic model of the polishing robot is obtained with Kineto-elasto dynamics theory. Further, considering the dynamic properties of the joint clearance, the rigid–flexible coupling dynamic model with the joint clearance for the polishing robot is established. Finally, the equivalent load distribution of the parallel manipulator is analyzed, and the effect of the branched-chain elasticity and joint clearance on the motion error of the polishing robot is studied. This article provides a theoretical basis for improving the motion accuracy and dynamic performance of the hybrid polishing robot.
Neuroimaging- and machine-learning-based brain-age prediction of schizophrenia is well established. However, the diagnostic significance and the effect of early medication on first-episode schizophrenia remains unclear.
To explore whether predicted brain age can be used as a biomarker for schizophrenia diagnosis, and the relationship between clinical characteristics and brain-predicted age difference (PAD), and the effects of early medication on predicted brain age.
The predicted model was built on 523 diffusion tensor imaging magnetic resonance imaging scans from healthy controls. First, the brain-PAD of 60 patients with first-episode schizophrenia, 60 healthy controls and 21 follow-up patients from the principal data-set and 40 pairs of individuals in the replication data-set were calculated. Next, the brain-PAD between groups were compared and the correlations between brain-PAD and clinical measurements were analysed.
The patients showed a significant increase in brain-PAD compared with healthy controls. After early medication, the brain-PAD of patients decreased significantly compared with baseline (P < 0.001). The fractional anisotropy value of 31/33 white matter tract features, which related to the brain-PAD scores, had significantly statistical differences before and after measurements (P < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). Correlation analysis showed that the age gap was negatively associated with the positive score on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in the principal data-set (r = −0.326, P = 0.014).
The brain age of patients with first-episode schizophrenia may be older than their chronological age. Early medication holds promise for improving the patient's brain ageing. Neuroimaging-based brain-age prediction can provide novel insights into the understanding of schizophrenia.
During the late Palaeozoic Era, a series of related marine strata dominated by multi-layer limestones were deposited in the southern North China Craton. In order to gain new insights into the systematic geochemistry of the carbonate succession of the representative formation (Taiyuan Formation), we examined 59 limestone samples collected from the Huaibei Coal Basin (HCB), with a view towards quantitatively determining the major and trace elements and stable isotope compositions. The data obtained can provide essential evidence for reconstruction of the depositional palaeo-environment and tectonic setting of the Taiyuan Formation. Both X-ray diffraction analyses and palaeoredox proxies (e.g. V/Cr, V/(V + Ni) and authigenic U) indicated that the limestone layers were deposited in an oxic–dysoxic zone, with calcite as the main component. Moreover, palaeomagnetic evidence provided support for the conclusion that these limestones were laid down within an epicontinental sea depositional environment under a warm or hot palaeoclimate during the transition between late Carboniferous and early Permian time. Additionally, evidence obtained from our analyses of trace and rare earth elements revealed that the tectonic setting of the Taiyuan Formation (L1–L5) in the HCB transited from an open ocean to a passive continental margin, thereby indicating that this transformation stemmed from the subduction closure of the northeastern Palaeotethys Ocean. The findings of this study would be of interest to those working on the upper Palaeozoic marine strata in the southern North China Craton.
Schistosomiasis has been subjected to extensive control efforts in the People's Republic of China (China) which aims to eliminate the disease by 2030. We describe baseline results of a longitudinal cohort study undertaken in the Dongting and Poyang lakes areas of central China designed to determine the prevalence of Schistosoma japonicum in humans, animals (goats and bovines) and Oncomelania snails utilizing molecular diagnostics procedures. Data from the Chinese National Schistosomiasis Control Programme (CNSCP) were compared with the molecular results obtained.
Sixteen villages from Hunan and Jiangxi provinces were surveyed; animals were only found in Hunan. The prevalence of schistosomiasis in humans was 1.8% in Jiangxi and 8.0% in Hunan determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), while 18.3% of animals were positive by digital droplet PCR. The CNSCP data indicated that all villages harboured S. japonicum-infected individuals, detected serologically by indirect haemagglutination assay (IHA), but very few, if any, of these were subsequently positive by Kato-Katz (KK).
Based on the outcome of the IHA and KK results, the CNSCP incorporates targeted human praziquantel chemotherapy but this approach can miss some infections as evidenced by the results reported here. Sensitive molecular diagnostics can play a key role in the elimination of schistosomiasis in China and inform control measures allowing for a more systematic approach to treatment.
South-east Asia's diverse coastal wetlands, which span natural mudflats and mangroves to man-made salt pans, offer critical habitat for many migratory waterbird species in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway. Species dependent on these wetlands include nearly the entire population of the Critically Endangered spoon-billed sandpiper Calidris pygmaea and the Endangered spotted greenshank Tringa guttifer, and significant populations of several other globally threatened and declining species. Presently, more than 50 coastal Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) in the region (7.4% of all South-east Asian IBAs) support at least one threatened migratory species. However, recent studies continue to reveal major knowledge gaps on the distribution of migratory waterbirds and important wetland sites along South-east Asia's vast coastline, including undiscovered and potential IBAs. Alongside this, there are critical gaps in the representation of coastal wetlands across the protected area networks of many countries in this region (e.g. Viet Nam, Indonesia, Malaysia), hindering effective conservation. Although a better understanding of the value of coastal wetlands to people and their importance to migratory species is necessary, governments and other stakeholders need to do more to strengthen the conservation of these ecosystems by improving protected area coverage, habitat restoration, and coastal governance and management. This must be underpinned by the judicious use of evidence-based approaches, including satellite-tracking of migratory birds, ecological research and ground surveys.
The aim of the present study was to compare the rate of preterm birth (PTB) and growth from birth to 18 years between twins conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and twins conceived by spontaneous conception (SC) in mainland China. The retrospective cohort study included 1164 twins resulting from IVF and 25,654 twins conceived spontaneously, of which 494 from IVF and 6338 from SC were opposite-sex twins. PTB and low birth weight (LBW), and growth, including length/height and weight, were compared between the two groups at five stages: infancy (0 year), toddler period (1–2 years), preschool (3–5 years), primary or elementary school (6–11 years), and adolescence (10–18 years). Few statistically significant differences were found for LBW and growth between the two groups after adjusting for PTB and other confounders. Twins born by IVF faced an increased risk of PTB compared with those born by SC (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 8.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] [3.19, 21.13], p < .001 in all twins and aOR 10.12, 95% CI [2.32, 44.04], p = .002 in opposite-sex twins). Twins born by IVF experienced a similar growth at five stages (0–18 years old) when compared with those born by SC. PTB risk, however, is significantly higher for twins conceived by IVF than those conceived by SC.
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.
Polycarboxylate superplasticizer (PCE) is sensitive to the clay present in concrete aggregates. In particular, Montmorillonite (Mnt), an impurity inevitably contained in the aggregate, can significantly influence the performance of concrete. In an effort to improve the compatibility of PCE, a zwitterionic PCE with cationic amide groups and shorter side-chain lengths was synthesized via free radical copolymerization. The optimal synthesis condition was verified via Box-Behnken design. In addition to characterizing the PCE, the performance of PCE in cement pastes with or without Na-Mnt was examined and the underlying mechanism was explored. The results show that, compared with commercially available PCE, the required dosage of PCE for cements containing Na-Mnt decreased. Unlike commercially available PCE, no intercalation occured on the newly manufactured clay-tolerant PCE within the layers of Mnt, resulting in a greater sorption thickness and improved dispersion of the cements containing Na-Mnt.
The oriental armyworm Mythimna separata (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a major migratory pest of cereal crops in East Asia, South Asia and Australia. To comprehensively understand the ecological tolerance of M. separata, we collected life table data of individuals from four consecutive generations reared under outdoor natural fluctuating temperatures from 15 April to 17 October 2018 in Yangling, Shaanxi, China. The results showed that the immature stage in early summer and summer were shorter than in spring and autumn. High mortality in late larval instar and pupal stages was observed in the summer generation. The adult pre-oviposition period in autumn was longer than the other seasons. The population in the earlier two seasons had heavier pupae and higher fecundity than the population in the latter two seasons. The intrinsic rate of increase and the finite rate of increase was the highest in early summer (r = 0.1292 day−1, λ = 1.1391 day−1), followed by spring (r = 0.1102 day−1, λ = 1.1165 day−1), and was the lowest in summer (r = 0.0281 day−1, λ = 1.0293 day−1). The results of this study would be useful to predict the population dynamics of M. separata and deepen our standing of the adaptiveness of this migratory pest in natural fluctuating ambient environments.