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Background. Our study aimed to investigate the relationship between extracellular matrix 1 (ECM1) gene polymorphism and progression of liver fibrosis in the Chinese population. Methods. A total 656 patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and 298 healthy individuals of the Chinese Han population were recruited for a retrospective case-control study. Of the disease group, 104 cases had chronic hepatitis B (CHB), 266 had LC, and 286 had hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Subjects were frequency-matched according to age and gender. Polymorphisms of the ECM1 gene were examined using the MassARRAY SNP genotyping method. Results. There were no associations between genotype and allele frequencies of ECM1 rs3737240 and rs13294 loci with the risk of CHB and CHB-related HCC. After adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, and drinking habits, the GT genotype was dramatically related to a reduced risk of chronic HBV infection in both non-HCC (OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.49-0.94) and total chronic HBV infection patients (OR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.56-1.00). Haplotype analyses revealed twelve protective haplotypes against total chronic HBV infection and four against non-HCC chronic HBV infection. Conclusion. ECM1 gene polymorphism in rs3834087 and rs3754217 loci is associated with a reduced risk of chronic HBV infection but not with liver fibrosis development and the occurrence of HCC.
According to Hamilton's rule, matrilineal-biased investment restrains men in matrilineal societies from maximising their inclusive fitness (the ‘matrilineal puzzle'). A recent hypothesis argues that when women breed communally and share household resources, a man should help his sisters' household, rather than his wife's household, as investment to the later but not the former would be diluted by other unrelated members (Wu et al., 2013). According to this hypothesis, a man is less likely to help on his wife's farm when there are more women reproducing in the wife's household, because on average he would be less related to his wife's household. We used a farm-work observational dataset, that we collected in the matrilineal Mosuo in southwest China, to test this hypothesis. As predicted, high levels of communal breeding by women in his wife's households do predict less effort spent by men on their wife's farm, and communal breeding in men's natal households do not affect whether men help on their natal farms. Thus, communal breeding by women dilutes the inclusive fitness benefits men receive from investment to their wife and children, and may drive the evolution of matrilineal-biased investment by men. These results can help solve the ‘matrilineal puzzle'.
Anticipatory pleasure deficits are closely correlated with negative symptoms in schizophrenia, and may be found in both clinical and subclinical populations along the psychosis continuum. Prospection, which is an important component of anticipatory pleasure, is impaired in individuals with social anhedonia (SocAnh). In this study, we examined the neural correlates of envisioning positive future events in individuals with SocAnh.
Forty-nine individuals with SocAnh and 33 matched controls were recruited to undergo functional MRI scanning, during which they were instructed to simulate positive or neutral future episodes according to cue words. Two stages of prospection were distinguished: construction and elaboration.
Reduced activation at the caudate and the precuneus when prospecting positive (v. neutral) future events was observed in individuals with SocAnh. Furthermore, compared with controls, increased functional connectivity between the caudate and the inferior occipital gyrus during positive (v. neutral) prospection was found in individuals with SocAnh. Both groups exhibited a similar pattern of brain activation for the construction v. elaboration contrast, regardless of the emotional context.
Our results provide further evidence on the neural mechanism of anticipatory pleasure deficits in subclinical individuals with SocAnh and suggest that altered cortico-striatal circuit may play a role in anticipatory pleasure deficits in these individuals.
Schizotypy refers to schizophrenia-like traits below the clinical threshold in the general population. The pathological development of schizophrenia has been postulated to evolve from the initial coexistence of ‘brain disconnection’ and ‘brain connectivity compensation’ to ‘brain connectivity decompensation’.
In this study, we examined the brain connectivity changes associated with schizotypy by combining brain white matter structural connectivity, static and dynamic functional connectivity analysis of diffusion tensor imaging data and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. A total of 87 participants with a high level of schizotypal traits and 122 control participants completed the experiment. Group differences in whole-brain white matter structural connectivity probability, static mean functional connectivity strength, dynamic functional connectivity variability and stability among 264 brain sub-regions of interests were investigated.
We found that individuals with high schizotypy exhibited increased structural connectivity probability within the task control network and within the default mode network; increased variability and decreased stability of functional connectivity within the default mode network and between the auditory network and the subcortical network; and decreased static mean functional connectivity strength mainly associated with the sensorimotor network, the default mode network and the task control network.
These findings highlight the specific changes in brain connectivity associated with schizotypy and indicate that both decompensatory and compensatory changes in structural connectivity within the default mode network and the task control network in the context of whole-brain functional disconnection may be an important neurobiological correlate in individuals with high schizotypy.
Associations have been shown between father’s absence and menarcheal age, but most studies have focused on absence resulting from divorce, abandonment or death. Little research has been conducted to evaluate the effect on menarcheal age of paternal absence through migrant work. In a sample of 400 middle school students, this study examined the association between paternal migrant work and menarcheal age against a backdrop of extensive rural-to-urban migration in China. Data were collected through a self-reported questionnaire, including social-demographic characteristics, aspects of family relationships, information about father’s migrant work and age at menarche. After adjusting for BMI, parent marital status and perceived relationship with mother, lower self-perceived quality of father–daughter relationship (both ‘father present, relationship poor’ and ‘father absent, relationship poor’) and lower frequency of contact with the father were associated with higher odds for early menarche. These findings suggest that the assumption that father’s absence for work influences the timing of menarche needs to be examined in the context of the quality of the father–daughter relationship and paternal care, which appear to play a critical role in the timing of menarche. These findings also emphasize the importance of enhancing paternal involvement and improving father–daughter relationships in the development of appropriate reproductive strategy in daughters.
The internal buckling is a common phenomenon in the as-grown carbon nanotube arrays. It makes the physical properties of carbon nanotube array in experiment lower than that in theory. In this work, we analyzed the formation and evolution mechanism of the internal buckling based on quasi-static compression model, which is different from collective effect of the van der Waals interactions. The self-restriction effect and the different growth rate of carbon nanotubes verify the possibility of the quasi-static compression model to explain the morphology evolution of vertical carbon nanotube arrays, especially the phenomenon of the quasi-straight and bent carbon nanotubes coexisted in the array. We generalized the Euler beam to wave-like beam and explained the mechanism of high-mode buckling combined with the van der Waals interaction. The calculated result about the link between compressive stress and strain confirms with the stage of collective buckling in the quasi-static compression test of carbon nanotube array. Preparation of well-organized carbon nanotube arrays was strong evidence verified the effect of self-restriction in experiment.
The Lorentz factor (Γ) is an important parameter related to the relativistic jet physics. We study the evolution patterns of Γ within gamma-ray burst (GRB) and active galactic nuclear jets for individual GRB 090168, GRB 140508A, and 3C 454.3. By estimating the Γ values for well-separated pulses in GRBs 090618 and 140508A with an empirical relation derived from typical GRBs, we find that the Γ evolution pattern in the two GRBs are different. The increasing-to-coasting evolution pattern of Γ in GRB 090618 likely indicates that the GRB fireball is still being accelerated in the prompt phase. The clear decrease evolution pattern of Γ in GRB 140508A suggests the deceleration of the fireball components. By deriving the Γ value through fitting their spectral energy distribution in different flares of 3C 454.3, a pattern of Γ-tracking-γ-ray flux is clearly found, likely indicating that the observed gamma-ray flares are being due to the Doppler boosting effect to the jet emission.
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