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In order to expand the family and improve the bioactivity of oral implant ceramics, the phase structures, mechanical and wetting properties of the hot-pressed yttria-zirconia/multilayer graphene oxide composite (3Y-ZrO2/GO) ceramics were investigated. GO was uniformly distributed in 3Y-ZrO2 powders, forming the C–O–Zr bond during the sintering process. In comparison to raw 3Y-ZrO2 ceramics, the flexural strength and fracture toughness improved up to 200% (1489.96 ± 35.71 MPa) in ZG3 (with 0.15 wt% GO) and 40.9% (8.95 ± 0.59 MPa m1/2) in ZG2 (with 0.1 wt% GO), respectively, while the relative density and Vickers hardness increased slightly. The toughening mechanisms included crack deflection, crack bridging, and GO put-out. Meanwhile, the composite ceramics were transformed into a more hydrophilic direction and indicated a good wetting property. In consideration of mechanical and wetting properties, the ZG3 would be a favorable alternative to the yttria-zirconia ceramic (Y-TZP) in dental implant applications. The results are expected to serve as a technical guidance for the fabrication and evaluation of dental implants.
We aimed to investigate the associations between school-level characteristics and obesity among Chinese primary school children with consideration of individual-level characteristics.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2015/2016. School-level characteristics were assessed using an interviewer-administered school questionnaire, and a ‘school-based obesity prevention index’ was further developed. Individual-level characteristics were collected by self-administered questionnaires. Objectively measured height and weight of students were collected, and obesity status was classified according to the International Obesity Task Force criteria for Asian children. Generalised linear mixed models were used to estimate the associations among the school- and individual-level characteristics and obesity of students.
Thirty-seven primary schools from an urban and a rural district of Beijing, China.
School staffs, 2201 students and their parents.
The school-based obesity prevention index involved the number of health professionals, availability of students’ health records, monitoring students’ nutrition status, frequency of health education activities, reporting achievements of obesity prevention activities to parents, duration of physical activity during school time and availability of playground equipment. The prevalence of obesity was lower in schools with the higher index value compared with that in schools with the lower index value (OR 0·56; 95 % CI 0·40, 0·79). Some individual-level characteristics were negatively associated with childhood obesity: liking sports, duration of screen time ≤2 h/d, perceived lower eating speed, parental non-overweight/obesity.
Irrespective of individual-level characteristics, the specific school-level characteristics had a cumulative effect on obesity among Chinese primary school children. Further school-based obesity intervention should consider these characteristics simultaneously.
The antibacterial hydrogels can be widely used in the biomedical area owing to their excellent properties. The main limitation of antibacterial hydrogels is their poor mechanical strength. In this study, the novel hydrogels were fabricated with a mixture of silk fibroin (SF), chitosan (CH), agarose (AG), and silver nanoparticles (SNPs) via facile reaction condition without inorganic substances. The mechanical property of these fabricated hydrogels can be modulated by the concentration of SF or AG. The rheological studies demonstrated enhanced elasticity of CH-doped hydrogels. Because of the presence of CH and Ag in hydrogels, the antimicrobial property against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria was exhibited. Cytocompatibility test proved the very low toxic nature of the hydrogels. In addition, these composite hydrogels have a smaller porosity, higher swelling ratio, and good compatibility, indicating their great potential for biomedical application.
Copy number variations (CNVs), as an important source of genetic variation, can affect a wide range of phenotypes by diverse mechanisms. The somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) gene plays important roles in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Recently, this gene was mapped to a CNV region, which encompasses quantitative trait loci of cattle economic traits including body weight, marbling score, etc. Therefore, SSTR2 CNV may exhibit phenotypic effects on cattle growth traits. In the current study, distribution of SSTR2 gene CNVs was investigated in six Chinese cattle breeds (XN, QC, NY, JA, LX and PN), and the results showed higher CNV polymorphisms in XN, QC and NY cattle. Next, association analysis between growth traits and SSTR2 CNV was performed for XN, QC and NY cattle. In NY, individuals with fewer copies showed better performance than those with more copies. Further, the effects of SSTR2 CNV on the SSTR2 mRNA level were also investigated, but revealed no significant correlation in either muscle or adipose tissue of adult NY cattle. The results suggested the potential for use of SSTR2 CNV as a marker for the molecular breeding of NY cattle.
In this study we report changes in Indian summer monsoon (ISM) intensity during the past ~ 3500 yr inferred from proxy indices at Lake Erhai, southwestern China. Both the pollen concentrations and other proxy indices, including sediment grain size, total organic carbon contents (TOC), and elemental contents (e.g., Fe, Al), clearly indicate a long term decreasing trend in ISM intensity over the late Holocene. During the period from approximately AD 750 to AD 1200, pollen concentrations of conifer and broadleaf trees, and herbs reached the lowest levels over the past ~ 3500 yr; while the pollen percentages of both herbs and broadleaf trees increased, suggesting a significant medieval drought. The grain size, TOC, and elemental contents also support an arid climate during the medieval period. The Little Ice Age (LIA) at Lake Erhai was characterized as cold and wet. The medieval and LIA climatic patterns at Lake Erhai were similar to those over most of the ISM areas, but anti-phase with those over East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) areas. We suspect that sea surface temperature variations in the Indo-Pacific oceans and the related land-sea thermal contrasts may be responsible for such hydroclimatic differences between EASM and ISM areas.
This study aimed to explore whether the presence of a Y chromosome azoospermia factor (AZF) microdeletion confers any adverse effect on embryonic development and clinical outcomes after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment. Fifty-seven patients with AZF microdeletion were included in the present study and 114 oligozoospermia and azoospermia patients without AZF microdeletion were recruited as controls. Both AZF and control groups were further divided into subgroups based upon the methods of semen collection: the AZF-testicular sperm extraction subgroup (AZF-TESE, n = 14), the AZF-ejaculation subgroup (AZF-EJA, n = 43), the control-TESE subgroup (n = 28) and the control-EJA subgroup (n = 86). Clinical data were analyzed in the two groups and four subgroups respectively. A retrospective case–control study was performed. A significantly lower fertilization rate (69.27 versus 75.70%, P = 0.000) and cleavage rate (89.55 versus 94.39%, P = 0.000) was found in AZF group compared with the control group. Furthermore, in AZF-TESE subgroup, the fertilization rate (67.54 versus 74.25%, P = 0.037) and cleavage rate (88.96 versus 94.79%, P = 0.022) were significantly lower than in the control-TESE subgroup; similarly, the fertilization rate (69.85 versus 75.85%, P = 0.004) and cleavage rate (89.36 versus 94.26%, P = 0.002) in AZF-EJA subgroup were significantly lower than in the control-EJA subgroup; however, the fertilization rate and cleavage rate in AZF-TESE (control-TESE) subgroup was similar to that in the AZF-EJA (control-EJA) subgroup. The other clinical outcomes were comparable between four subgroups (P > 0.05). Therefore, sperm from patients with AZF microdeletion, obtained either by ejaculation or TESE, may have lower fertilization and cleavage rates, but seem to have comparable clinical outcomes to those from patients without AZF microdeletion.
To observe clinical manifestations, behavioral characteristics, and effects of rehabilitation on a patient with pusher syndrome and unilateral spatial neglect caused by right thalamic hemorrhage.
Assessment of pusher syndrome was made by the Scale for Contraversive pushing (SCP), and unilateral spatial neglect syndrome was diagnosed using line cancellation, letter and star cancellation, line bisection tests and copy and continuation of graphic sequence test. Behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, reading training and traditional Chinese medicine methods were adopted for treatment of pusher syndrome and unilateral spatial neglect.
The patient showed typical pusher syndrome and unilateral spatial neglect symptoms. The pusher syndrome and unilateral spatial neglect symptoms were significantly improved following rehabilitation treatments.
Pusher syndrome and unilateral spatial neglect syndrome occurred simultaneously after right thalamic hemorrhage. Early rehabilitation therapy can reduce the symptoms of pusher syndrome and unilateral spatial neglect syndrome and improve motor function.
A new quad-band bandpass filter for Global System for Mobile Communications, Wireless Local Area Network, and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access is designed and fabricated using the stub-loaded resonator (SLR) technology without complex fabrication process, such as via-hole or multi-layer substrate. Owing to the embedded SLR, the proposed quad-mode resonator is compact. Equivalent circuits of the proposed quad-mode resonator are analyzed in detail, and high design freedom is shown because of shifting the passband frequencies individually. Good passband selectivity and isolation of the each passband at 1.8, 2.4, 3.5, and 5.2 GHz can be well achieved due to the transmission zeros appeared near the each passband edges. Experimental results show good agreement with the simulated results.
Interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT), a powerful tool in basic scientific research, has been used widely to increase and preserve the population of endangered species. Yak (Bos grunniens) is one of these species. Development to term of interspecies cloned yak embryos has not been achieved, possibly due to abnormal epigenetic reprogramming. Previous studies have demonstrated that treatment of intraspecies cloned embryos with (NaBu) significantly improves nuclear–cytoplasmic reprogramming and viability in vitro. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the effect of optimal NaBu concentration and exposure time on preimplantation development of yak iSCNT embryos and on the expression patterns of developmentally important genes. The results showed that 8-cell rate, blastocyst formation rate and total cell number increased significantly compared with their untreated counterparts when yak iSCNT embryos were treated with 5 nM NaBu for 12 h after activation, but that the 2-cell stage embryo rate was not significantly different. The treatment of NaBu also increased significantly the expression levels of Oct-4 and decreased the expression levels of HDAC-2, Dnmt-1 and IGF-1; the expression patterns of these genes were more similar to that of their bovine–yak in vitro fertilization (BY-IVF) counterparts. The results described above indicated that NaBu treatment improved developmental competence in vitro and ‘corrected’ the gene expression patterns of yak iSCNT embryos.
Even though terminal cancer patients receive help from a hospice palliative care team, they have to suffer the pressure of death with deteriorating conditions. This study aims to evaluate the effect of art therapy for these terminal cancer patients.
The patients involved were terminal cancer patients who were under the care of team members, which included physicians, nurses, social workers, clergy, art therapists, and volunteers in a hospice palliative care unit in Taiwan. The art therapy in our study took the form of visual fine art appreciation and hands-on painting. The effects of the art therapy were evaluated according to patients' feelings, cognitions, and behaviors.
There were 177 patients (105 males and 72 females; mean age: 65.4 ±15.8 years) in the study. Each patient received a mean of 2.9 ± 2.0 sessions of the art therapy and produced a mean of 1.8 ± 2.6 pieces of art. During the therapy, most patients described their feelings well, and created art works attentively. Patients expressed these feelings through image appreciation and hands-on painting, among which the landscape was the most common scene in their art. After the therapy, the mean score of patients' artistic expressions (one point to each category: perception of beauty, art appreciation, creativity, hands-on artwork, and the engagement of creating artwork regularly) was 4.0 ± 0.7, significantly higher than the score before therapy (2.2 ± 1.4, p < 0.05). During the therapy, 70% of patients felt much or very much relaxed in their emotional state and 53.1% of patients felt much or very much better physically.
Significance of results:
Terminal cancer patients in a hospice palliative care unit in Taiwan may benefit from art therapy through visual art appreciation and hands-on creative artwork.
The purpose of this study was to prepare intracellular pathogen resistance 1 (Ipr1) transgenic donor cells for somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Based on our current understanding of Ipr1, a macrophage special expression vector pSP–EGFP–Ipr1was constructed. Bovine fetal fibroblasts were transfected with pSP-EGFP-Ipr1. The green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing cells were selected and transferred into enucleated bovine oocytes. Then, the rates of oocyte cleavage and blastocyst formation of transgenic cells and non-transgenic cells were observed, respectively. The results showed that reconstructed embryos derived from transgenic cells could successfully develop into blastocysts, most of which were GFP-positive. This study may provide cloned embryos for the production of anti-tuberculosis transgenic animals.
Simple sequence repeats (SSR) and random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) molecular markers were used to assess the genetic diversity of 80 isolates of Phytophthora infestans in potato (Solanum tuberosum) from Fujian, Heilongjiang, Hebei and Inner Mongolia Provinces in China. Polymorphism was identified by 13 SSR primers and 14 RAPD primers in the isolates of P. infestans in potato. A total of 76 bands were amplified by SSRs, with the percentage of polymorphic bands (PPB) being 78.9% and the similarity coefficient ranging between 0.00 and 0.42. A total of 189 bands were amplified by RAPDs, with the percentage of polymorphic bands being 95.2% and the similarity coefficient ranging between 0.04 and 0.66. Analysis of genetic diversity showed that there exists higher genetic variation in the Fujian population in comparison to the populations of Heilongjiang, Hebei and Inner Mongolia. Nei's genetic identity analysis indicates that the genetic similarity between populations of Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia is the highest and that between Fujian and Hebei is the lowest. A cluster analysis revealed that isolates from Fujian, in the south of China, are distantly related to those from Heilongjiang, Hebei and Inner Mongolia in the north, and the Fujian population is distributed among more groups than the other three, exhibiting a higher genetic diversity.
To investigate a nosocomial outbreak of infection with multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii in the intensive care units at China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan.
Prospective outbreak investigation.
Three intensive care units in a 2,000-bed university hospital in Taichung, Taiwan.
Thirty-eight stable patients in 3 intensive care units, all of whom had undergone an invasive procedure, were enrolled in our study. Ninety-four A. baumannii strains were isolated from the patients or the environment in the 3 intensive care units, during the period from January 1 through December 31, 2006. We characterized A. baumannii isolates by use of repetitive extragenic palindromic–polymerase chain reaction (REP-PCR) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting. The clinical characteristics of the source patients and the environment were noted.
All of the clinical isolates were determined to belong to the same epidemic strain of MDR A. baumannii by the use of antimicrobial susceptibility tests, REP-PCR, and RAPD fingerprinting. All patients involved in the infection outbreak had undergone an invasive procedure. The outbreak strain was also isolated from the environment and the equipment in the intensive care units. Moreover, an environmental survey of one of the intensive care units found that both the patients and the environment harbored the same outbreak strain.
The outbreak strain of A. baumannii might have been transmitted among medical staff and administration equipment. Routine and aggressive environmental and equipment disinfection is essential for preventing recurrent outbreaks of nosocomial infection with MDR A. baumannii.