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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.
Several studies supported the usefulness of “the surprise question” in terms of 1-year mortality of patients. “The surprise question” requires a “Yes” or “No” answer to the question “Would I be surprised if this patient died in [specific time frame].” However, the 1-year time frame is often too long for advanced cancer patients seen by palliative care personnel. “The surprise question” with shorter time frames is needed for decision making. We examined the accuracy of “the surprise question” for 7-day, 21-day, and 42-day survival in hospitalized patients admitted to palliative care units (PCUs).
This was a prospective multicenter cohort study of 130 adult patients with advanced cancer admitted to 7 hospital-based PCUs in South Korea. The accuracy of “the surprise question” was compared with that of the temporal question for clinician's prediction of survival.
We analyzed 130 inpatients who died in PCUs during the study period. The median survival was 21.0 days. The sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy for the 7-day “the surprise question” were 46.7, 88.7, and 83.9%, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy for the 7-day temporal question were 6.7, 98.3, and 87.7%, respectively. The c-indices of the 7-day “the surprise question” and 7-day temporal question were 0.662 (95% CI: 0.539–0.785) and 0.521 (95% CI: 0.464–0.579), respectively. The c-indices of the 42-day “the surprise question” and 42-day temporal question were 0.554 (95% CI: 0.509–0.599) and 0.616 (95% CI: 0.569–0.663), respectively.
Significance of results
Surprisingly, “the surprise questions” and temporal questions had similar accuracies. The high specificities for the 7-day “the surprise question” and 7- and 21-day temporal question suggest they may be useful to rule in death if positive.
In this work, we propose a broadband, polarization-insensitive and wide incident angle stable metamaterial absorber (MA) based on the resistive film. The absorber consists of a three-layer structure with each layer of dielectric substrate printed with different shapes of resistive film. The multilayer structure not only extends the absorption bandwidth but also maintains high absorption under large wave incident angles. Numerical simulation shows that the absorptivity of a normal incident wave is above 90% in the frequency range 2.34–18.95 GHz, corresponding to a relative absorption bandwidth of 156%. Moreover, the whole MA structure has a total thickness of 11.3 mm, corresponding to 0.09 λ0 at its lowest absorption frequency. Due to the high symmetry of the structure, the absorber has good polarization insensitivity. In addition, for both transverse electric and transverse magnetic incidence, the proposed absorber achieves an absorptivity of more than 80% at incident angles of up to 45° and thus has good stability for wide incident angles. The absorption principle of the absorber is analyzed by the surface current and power loss density distribution. Parameter analysis is also performed for bandwidth optimization. Due to its advantages of wideband absorption with high efficiency, the proposed absorber has the potential to be applied to the energy-harvesting and electromagnetic stealth fields.
Colistin, a peptide antibiotic belonging to the polymyxin family, is one of the last effective drugs for the treatment of multidrug resistant Gram-negative infections. Recent discovery of a novel mobile colistin resistance gene, mcr-1, from people and food animals has caused a significant public health concern and drawn worldwide attention. Extensive usage of colistin in food animals has been proposed as a major driving force for the emergence and transmission of mcr-1; thus, there is a worldwide trend to limit colistin usage in animal production. However, despite lack of colistin usage in food animals in the USA, mcr-1-positive Escherichia coli isolates were still isolated from swine. In this paper, we provided an overview of colistin usage and epidemiology of mcr-1 in food animals, and summarized the current status of mechanistic and evolutionary studies of the plasmid-mediated colistin resistance. Based on published information, we further discussed several non-colistin usage risk factors that may contribute to the persistence, transmission, and emergence of colistin resistance in an animal production system. Filling the knowledge gaps identified in this review is critical for risk assessment and risk management of colistin resistance, which will facilitate proactive and effective strategies to mitigate colistin resistance in future animal production systems.
To retrospectively analyze the rescue and treatment of pediatric patients by the Chinese Red Cross medical team during the Nepal earthquake relief.
The medical team set up a field hospital; the pediatric clinic consisted of 1 pediatrician and several nurses. Children younger than 18 years old were placed in the pediatric clinic for injury examination and treatment.
During the 7-day period of medical assistance (the second to third week after the earthquake), a total of 108 pediatric patients were diagnosed and treated, accounting for 2.8% of the total patients. The earthquake-related injuries mainly required surgical dressing and debridement. No severe limb fractures or traumatic brain injuries were found. Infection of the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract, and the skin were the most common ailments, accounting for 42.3%, 18.5%, and 16.7%, respectively, of the total treated patients.
Two to 3 weeks after the earthquake, the admitted pediatric patients mainly displayed respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. When developing a rescue plan and arranging medical resources, we should consider the necessity of treating non–disaster-related conditions. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;page 1 of 4)
From November 24 to December 10, 2013, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy [PLA(N)] hospital ship Peace Ark was deployed to the Leyte Gulf in the Philippines to provide humanitarian medical relief in Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan. The purpose of this study was to assess the radiological services aboard the ship to provide guidance for future missions.
A retrospective review was performed on a cohort of 109 patients who underwent digital radiography (DR) and 59 patients who underwent computed tomography (CT) scans during a 16-day period during a humanitarian medical relief mission to the Philippines. Patient demographics, DR findings, and CT findings were analyzed.
The mean age of the 109 DR patients was 39.7 years for the 64 males and 43.7 years for the 45 females. A total of 148 DR examinations were performed of the chest (n=109), extremities (n=35), and spine (n=4). The mean age of the 59 CT patients was 43.8 years for the 32 males and 49.1 years for the 27 females. A total of 72 CT scans were performed of the head and neck (n=36), thorax (n=24), abdomen (n=5), spine (n=4), and extremities (n=3). The imaging findings mainly included disaster-related and non-disaster-related fractures, pulmonary tuberculosis, pulmonary infection, acute brain infarction, intracranial hematoma, and occupying lesions.
Analysis of radiological services during a humanitarian medical relief mission to the Philippines provided meaningful information for future humanitarian medical relief missions. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:16–19)
Low-temperature stress is an important limiting factor to tobacco growth in early spring of south China. In this study, a low-temperature-resistant agent (LTRA) was employed to examine its ameliorating effect on the inhibition of tobacco growth triggered by low-temperature stress. Results indicated that low-temperature stress of 12 °C for 6 days reduced root number and biomass of tobacco seedling by 27.4% and 24.1%, while treatment with LTRA could recover the inhibitory effect of low-temperature stress on tobacco growth significantly. The content of ascorbic acid and the activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase at low-temperature stress were 65.2%, 53.5% and 32.1% of those at normal temperature condition (26 °C), while the corresponding values with LTRA treatment were 89.2%, 88.9% and 74.2%, suggesting that LTRA treatment could enhance the activity of antioxidant enzyme and the synthesis of antioxidant compounds. Low-temperature stress increased the membrane permeability by 84.8%, while LTRA treatment recovered it by 77.4%. Furthermore, LTRA treatment contributed to increase chlorophyll synthesis and maintain the integrity of tobacco leaf structure. Effective component analysis indicated that the complex of ammonium calcium nitrate and glycine betaine was the main effective component of LTRA in maintaining membrane integrity. Its effective concentration was 1.0 g L−1. The above results suggested that LTRA could enhance the synthesis of chlorophyll, activate the activity of antioxidant enzyme, maintain the integrity of cell membrane, and thus elevate the tolerance of tobacco seedlings to low-temperature stress.
Mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin (AF), fumonisin B1, zearalenone (ZEA), and deoxynivalenol (DON), are commonly found in many food commodities. Mycotoxins have been shown to increase DNA methylation levels in a human intestinal cell line. We previously showed that the developmental competence of oocytes was affected in mice that had been fed a mycotoxin-containing diet. In this study, we explored possible mechanisms of low mouse oocyte developmental competence after mycotoxin treatment in an epigenetic modification perspective. Mycotoxin-contaminated maize (DON at 3,875 μg/kg, ZEA at 1,897 μg/kg, and AF at 806 μg/kg) was included in diets at three different doses (mass percentage: 0, 15, and 30%) and fed to mice for 4 weeks. The fluorescence intensity analysis showed that the general DNA methylation levels increased in oocytes from high dose mycotoxin-fed mice. Mouse oocyte histone methylation was also altered. H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 level increased in oocytes from mycotoxin-fed mice, whereas H3K27me3 and H4K20me2 level decreased in oocytes from mycotoxin-fed mice. Thus, our results indicate that naturally occurring mycotoxins have effects on epigenetic modifications in mouse oocytes, which may be one of the reasons for reduced oocyte developmental competence.
During mitosis nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs) bind to the Arp2/3 complex and activate actin assembly. JMY and WAVE2 are two critical members of the NPFs. Previous studies have demonstrated that NPFs promote multiple processes such as cell migration and cytokinesis. However, the role of NPFs in development of mammalian embryos is still unknown. Results of the present study show that the NPFs JMY and WAVE2 are critical for cytokinesis during development of mouse embryos. Both JMY and WAVE2 are expressed in mouse embryos. After injection of JMY or WAVE2 siRNA, all embryos failed to develop to the morula or blastocyst stages. Moreover, using fluorescence intensity analysis, we found that the expression of actin decreased, and multiple nuclei were observed within a single cell indicating that NPFs-induced actin reduction caused the failure of cell division. In addition, injection of JMY and WAVE2 siRNA also caused ARP2 degradation, indicating that involvement of NPFs in development of mouse embryos is mainly through regulation of ARP2/3-induced actin assembly. Taken together, these data suggested that WAVE2 and JMY are involved in development of mouse embryos, and their regulation may be through a NPFs-Arp2/3-actin pathway.
Pearlitic transformation in an ultrafine-grained (UFG) hypereutectoid steel was investigated. The steel was a plain carbon steel containing 1.0 wt% C and very few other elements. The UFG samples were prepared by thermomechanical treatment, and an average grain size of approximately 1 μm was achieved. The pearlitic transformation was conducted by heating the UFG samples at 1023 K for different times and then cooling in air. A new pearlitic transformation phenomenon was observed: traditional lamellar pearlite can be observed only when the grain size increases to a dimension larger than approximately 4 μm, which is a critical value. When grain size is smaller than this value, the pearlitic transformation occurs in the form of divorced eutectoid, and the microstructure is the ferrite matrix with granular cementite. This research indicates that grain size has a great influence on pearlitic transformation by shortening the diffusion distance and increasing the diffusion rate of carbon atoms in the UFG steel.
Spindle movement, including spindle migration during first meiosis and spindle rotation during second meiosis, is essential for asymmetric divisions in mouse oocytes. Previous studies by others and us have shown that microfilaments are required for both spindle migration and rotation. In the present study, we aimed to further investigate the mechanism controlling spindle movement during mouse oocyte meiosis. By employing drug treatment and immunofluorescence microscopy, we showed that dynamic microtubule assembly was involved in both spindle migration and rotation. Furthermore, we found that the calcium/CaM/CaMKII pathway was important for regulating spindle rotation.
Early studies have shown that some mouse cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) stored at room temperature for 24 h still retained full developmental potential. In this study, we stored denuded mouse oocytes (DOs) at room temperature (25 °C) for 24 h and activated these oocytes with 10 mM SrCl2 or fertilized the oocytes by IVF. We found that nearly half of the DOs stored at room temperature for 1 day can be fertilized normally by IVF and that two foster mothers gave birth to seven pups. Embryos from stored oocytes were cultured in CZB medium with or without 1 μg/ml 17β-estradiol (E2). The numbers of embryo that developed to morula/blastocyst stage after parthenogenetic activation and IVF were significantly increased when E2 was added to the culture (p < 0.05). These results suggest that E2 might improve mouse embryo development in vitro. The birth of seven agouti pups and their healthy growth indicated that the storage of DOs at room temperature for 1 day may be a practical procedure for mammalian reproduction.
The construction of the sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) molecular genetic linkage map started in the early 1990s. Molecular genetic maps with a high density of markers covering almost the entire sorghum genome have been completed and integration of a sorghum genetic and physical map is under way. The correlation between genetic linkage groups and relevant chromosomes was established and the locations of the important structures of chromosomes, such as centromeres, long and short arms, nucleolus organizer region (NOR), etc., have been identified on the linkage groups. Molecular cytogenetic mapping of each chromosome has been advanced substantially. With continuing progress in the field, sequencing of the full sorghum genome and study of sorghum functional genomics will be initiated soon.
To increase our understanding of the relationships of trunk fat mass (FMtrunk) and four anthropometric indices in Chinese males, 1090 males aged 20–40 years were randomly recruited from the city of Changsha, China. Waist circumference (WC) and hip circumference (HC) were measured using standardized equipment, and three other anthropometric indices of BMI, waist:hip ratio (WHR) and conicity index (CoI) were calculated using weight, height, HC and WC. FMtrunk (in kg) was measured using a Hologic QDR 4500 W dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanner. There was an increasing trend of FMtrunk, %FMtrunk (percentage of FMtrunk) and BMI, WC, WHR, CoI in successively older age groups (e.g. the mean FMtrunk values were 4·63 (sd 2·58), 5·39 (sd 2·74), 5·93 (sd 2·82), 6·57 (sd 2·94) in four 5-year age groups, respectively). FMtrunk and %FMtrunk were significantly correlated with four anthropometric indices with the Pearson's correlation coefficients ranging from 0·25 to 0·86. Principal component analysis was performed to form three principal components that interpreted over 99·5% of the total variation of four related anthropometric indices in all age groups, with over 65% of the total variation accounted by principal component 1. Multiple regression analyses showed that three principal components explained a greater variance (R2 70·0–80·1%) in FMtrunk than did BMI or WC alone (R2 57·8–74·1%). The present results suggest that there is an increasing trend of FMtrunk and four anthropometric indices in successively older age groups; that age has important effects on the relationships of FMtrunk and studied anthropometric indices; and that the accuracy of predicting FMtrunk using four anthropometric indices is higher than using BMI or WC alone.
Two hundred and forty bacterial strains were isolated from three potato (Solanum tuberosum) cultivars from eight different sources. On the basis of antagonistic bacteria examination in vitro, greenhouse and field tests, 22.9% of isolated bacteria were endophytic and antagonistic. Three strains, namely A-10', T3 (Bacillus sp.) and H1-6 (Pseudomonas fluorescens), were chosen for their suppressive effect on bacterial ring rot (Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus) and their growth promotion. The strain A-10' was an endophytic bacterium with the effects of colonization, plant growth promotion and suppression of the pathogenic bacteria, showing good prospects for commercial use.
The aim of this study was to investigate the usefulness of a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of computed tomography (CT) images in determining the anatomy and topographic relationship between various important structures. Using 40 ears from 20 patients with various otological diseases, a 3D reconstruction based on the image data from spiral high-resolution CT was performed by segmentation, volume-rendering and surface-rendering algorithms on a personal computer. The 3D display of the middle and inner ear structures was demonstrated in detail. Computer-assisted measurements, many of which could not be easily measured in vivo, of the reconstructed structures provided accurate anatomic details that improved the surgeon’s understanding of spatial relationships. A 3D reconstruction of temporal bone CT might be useful for education and increasing understanding of the anatomical structures of the temporal bone. However, it will be necessary to confirm the correlation between the 3D reconstructed images and histological sections through a validation study.
Bi2(Zn1/3Ta2/3)2O7 (BZT) thin films were grown on the (111) oriented Pt/TiOx/SiO2/Si substrates using a pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. BZT thin films deposited at an oxygen partial pressure of 400 mTorr have the non-stoichiometric anomalous cubic phase despite the BZT target was the monoclinic phase. Compositions, the lattice mismatch, the interfacial layer and the residual stress in the film were investigated as the factors which may affect the formation of the anomalous cubic phase. Among them, the coherent interfacial layer which formed at high oxygen pressures resulted in the formation of the cubic phase by reducing the internal stress.
It is still unclear whether nuclear envelope breakdown and premature chromosome condensation are essential for the reprogramming of the donor nucleus following somatic nuclear transfer. To address this, we determined the ability of delayed-activated or simultaneously activated porcine oocytes to undergo nuclear remodelling and development following somatic cell nuclear transfer. A small microtubule aster was observed in association with decondensed chromatin following nuclear transfer, suggesting the introduction of a somatic cell centrosome. In the delayed-activated condition, most fibroblast nuclei divided into two chromosome masses and two pronuclear-like structures following transfer into oocytes. In contrast, fibroblast nuclei in the simultaneously activated condition formed a large, swollen, pronuclear-like structure. Microtubule asters were organised in the vicinity of the nucleus regardless of the number of nuclei. More reconstructed oocytes developed to the blastocyst stage in the delayed-activated condition than in the simultaneously activated condition (p < 0.05). Nine piglets were born from two recipient sows following transfer of delayed-activated reconstructed oocytes, while none developed to full term in the simultaneously activated condition. Fingerprint analysis showed that the PCR-RFLP patterns of the nine offspring were identical to that of the donor pig. These results suggest that the activation of recipient oocytes during nuclear transfer probably relates to the nuclear remodelling process, which can affect the ability of embryos created by somatic cell nuclear transfer to develop.
Template-directed co-condensation was used to synthesize phenyl-modified MSU-1 and bi-functionalized MSU-1 silica containing binary moieties of covalently linked phenyl along with methyl or ureidopropyl [H2NCONH(CH2)3]. The texture properties of these materials from x-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance, scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, N2 adsorption, thermogravimetric analysis data, varied with the type of alkoxylsilane precursor and the amount of organosiloxane in the mixture. Small-angle x-ray scattering results, for the as-synthesized and surfactant-extracted organo-modified MSU-X, showed that the templates remaining in the mesostructures gave positive deviation from Porod's law while the incorporated organic groups led to a negative deviation, which formed an interfacial layer between the pore and silica matrix.
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