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Respiratory distress syndrome results from inadequate functional pulmonary surfactant and is a significant cause of mortality in preterm infants. Surfactant is essential for regulating alveolar interfacial surface tension, and its synthesis by Type II alveolar epithelial cells is stimulated by leptin produced by pulmonary lipofibroblasts upon activation by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ). As it is unknown whether PPARγ stimulation or direct leptin administration can stimulate surfactant synthesis before birth, we examined the effect of continuous fetal administration of either the PPARγ agonist, rosiglitazone (RGZ; Study 1) or leptin (Study 2) on surfactant protein maturation in the late gestation fetal sheep lung. We measured mRNA expression of genes involved in surfactant maturation and showed that RGZ treatment reduced mRNA expression of LPCAT1 (surfactant phospholipid synthesis) and LAMP3 (marker for lamellar bodies), but did not alter mRNA expression of PPARγ, surfactant proteins (SFTP-A, -B, -C, and -D), PCYT1A (surfactant phospholipid synthesis), ABCA3 (phospholipid transportation), or the PPARγ target genes SPHK-1 and PAI-1. Leptin infusion significantly increased the expression of PPARγ and IGF2 and decreased the expression of SFTP-B. However, mRNA expression of the majority of genes involved in surfactant synthesis was not affected. These results suggest a potential decreased capacity for surfactant phospholipid and protein production in the fetal lung after RGZ and leptin administration, respectively. Therefore, targeting PPARγ may not be a feasible mechanistic approach to promote lung maturation.
Residual deformation and failure are two critical issues in powder bed fusion (PBF) additive manufacturing (AM) of metal products. Residual deformation caused by the non-uniform residual stress distribution dramatically affects the quality of AM product and can result in catastrophic failure in operation. Therefore, the development of an effective numerical approach to predict residual deformation and failure characteristics of AM product is always a major concern in industrial applications.
In this paper, a numerical approach in predicting residual distortion, stress and failure in AM products is presented. The conventional inherent strain method used in welding process is modified to consider the specific characteristic of AM process, such as the influences of reheating and scanning pattern. This approach consists of three simulation steps including a detailed process simulation in small-scale, a onetime static mechanical finite element analysis in part-scale, and a material failure analysis. First, the inherent strains are calculated from a thermo-mechanical process simulation in small-scale, which considers AM process parameters, such as laser power, scanning speed and path. The physical state in deposited materials including powder, liquid and solid states are taken into account in the simulation by specifying the solidus and liquidus temperature and corresponding material properties. Then the inherent strains are applied layer by layer to the part-scale simulation, where the residual distortion and stress can be predicted efficiently. Finally, a Lagrange particle method is utilized to study the failure characteristics of AM products. Numerical examples are studied to investigate the effectiveness and applicability of present approach.
The transient impact hypothesis was extended, and the oblique collision model was established by considering the tangential slip. In order to solve this problem, the oblique-impact equations for cam-follower were transformed into a linear complementarity problem. Impulsive control method was employed to control or anti-control the nonlinear responses. The simulation results show that the cam-follower system performs very complex nonlinear characteristics, such as period, quasi-period and chaos responses. Using the impulsive control method, the nonlinear responses of the cam-follower system can be controlled to P(n, n) and P(∞, n) or anti-controlled to chaos.
The genetic influences in human brain structure and function and impaired functional connectivities are the hallmarks of the schizophrenic brain. To explore how common genetic variants affect the connectivities in schizophrenia, we applied genome-wide association studies assaying the abnormal neural connectivities in schizophrenia as quantitative traits.
We recruited 161 first-onset and treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia and 150 healthy controls. All the participants underwent scanning with a 3 T-magnetic resonance imaging scanner to acquire structural and functional imaging data and genotyping using the HumanOmniZhongHua-8 BeadChip. The brain-wide association study approach was employed to account for the inherent modular nature of brain connectivities.
We found differences in four abnormal functional connectivities [left rectus to left thalamus (REC.L–THA.L), left rectus to right thalamus (REC.L–THA.R), left superior orbital cortex to left thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.L) and left superior orbital cortex to right thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.R)] between the two groups. Univariate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based association revealed that the SNP rs6800381, located nearest to the CHRM3 (cholinergic receptor, muscarinic 3) gene, reached genomic significance (p = 1.768 × 10−8) using REC.L–THA.R as the phenotype. Multivariate gene-based association revealed that the FAM12A (family with sequence similarity 12, member A) gene nearly reached genomic significance (nominal p = 2.22 × 10–6, corrected p = 0.05).
Overall, we identified the first evidence that the CHRM3 gene plays a role in abnormal thalamo-orbital frontal cortex functional connectivity in first-episode treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia. Identification of these genetic variants using neuroimaging genetics provides insights into the causes of variability in human brain development, and may help us determine the mechanisms of dysfunction in schizophrenia.
Legionnaires’ disease (LD) is a globally distributed systemic infectious disease. The burden of LD in many regions is still unclear, especially in Asian countries including China. A survey of Legionella infection using real-time PCR and nested sequence-based typing (SBT) was performed in two hospitals in Shanghai, China. A total of 265 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) specimens were collected from hospital A between January 2012 and December 2013, and 359 sputum specimens were collected from hospital B throughout 2012. A total of 71 specimens were positive for Legionella according to real-time PCR focusing on the 5S rRNA gene. Seventy of these specimens were identified as Legionella pneumophila as a result of real-time PCR amplification of the dotA gene. Results of nested SBT revealed high genetic polymorphism in these L. pneumophila and ST1 was the predominant sequence type. These data revealed that the burden of LD in China is much greater than that recognized previously, and real-time PCR may be a suitable monitoring technology for LD in large sample surveys in regions lacking the economic and technical resources to perform other methods, such as urinary antigen tests and culture methods.
In the experiments reported here, we used the female ladybird Coccinella septempunctata L. as a model to identify diapause-associated proteins using proteomics technology. Our results indicated that protein expression patterns of diapausing and nondiapausing individuals were highly differentiated. A total of 58 spots showed significant differences in abundance (Ratio > 2 and P < 0.05) according to two-dimensional electrophoresis and GE Image Scanner III analysis. Sixteen protein spots were further investigated using mass spectrometry. Eight proteins were characterized, including chaperones and proteins involved in glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Among these proteins, five proteins were upregulated in diapausing female adults, including a chaperone (Symbionin symL), malate dehydrogenase (putative), two proteins linked to lipid metabolism (unknown and conserved hypothetical protein) and phosphoglyceromutase (partial). By contrast, isocitrate dehydrogenase (RH49423p), fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (AGAP001942-PA), and a putative medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase were downregulated. These results contribute to the understanding of diapause mechanisms of the ladybird C. septempunctata and may suggest methods for improving the application of this natural enemy insect.
Estimating crop nutrient requirements for winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) is a crucial step in optimizing fertilization to enhance seed yield and improve fertilizer use efficiency. In the present paper, a database composed of 1035 on-farm observations collected from 2005 to 2010 across the major winter oilseed rape production regions in China was used to evaluate internal nutrient efficiencies (kg seed per kg nutrient in plant dry matter); then the Quantitative Evaluation of the Fertility of Tropical Soils (QUEFTS) model for winter oilseed rape was developed to describe the nutrient uptake-yield relationship of oilseed rape over a wide range of environmental conditions and predict the nutrient requirements for a target yield. After excluding observations with low harvest index values, <0·20, and excluding 0·025 of the highest and lowest internal nutrient efficiencies, the minimum and maximum internal nutrient efficiencies were estimated as 13·1 and 31·6 kg seed/kg nitrogen (N), 68·9 and 200·3 kg seed/kg phosphorus (P) and 8·9 and 31·1 kg seed/kg potassium (K), respectively. On the basis of the data settings, the balanced N, P and K uptake at different yield potential levels was calculated using a linear–parabolic–plateau curve with the QUEFTS model. Crop nutrient requirements increased linearly until the yield reached approximately 0·60–0·70 of the potential yield, and 46·0 kg N, 8·0 kg P and 57·1 kg K were found to be needed to produce 1000 kg of seed. The corresponding internal nutrient efficiencies were 21·8, 125·1 and 17·5 kg seed/kg N, P and K, respectively. However, when the target yields approached the yield potential, a decrease in internal nutrient efficiencies was detected in the model. The predicted nutrient requirement values simulated by the QUEFTS model compared well with observed values across a range of conditions. To conclude, the QUEFTS model was shown to be a practical and robust tool for assessing the crop nutrient requirements of winter oilseed rape.
The unique properties of silicon oxide materials, no matter intrinsic or doped, utilized in thin film solar cells (TFSCs) in the area of photovoltaic (PV) are making TFSCs one of the most attractive photovoltaic technologies for the development of high-performing electricity production units to be integrated in everyday life. In comparison to other silicon materials, the particular diphasic structure of silicon oxide materials, in which hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) crystallites are surrounded by an oxygen-rich hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) phase, causes them present excellent photoelectrical material properties, such as a low-parasitic absorption in the broadband spectral range, independent controllability of longitudinal and lateral conductivity, refractive indices (3.5-2.0), band gap (2.0-2.6 eV) and conductivity tenability (with orders of 1-10-9 S/cm) with oxygen doping, and so on. Various types of silicon oxide materials, including intrinsic, p- or n- type, further applied in TFSCs have also played significant roles in improving the efficiency of various types of single-, dual-, and triple-junction thin-film solar cells from both the optical and electrical points of view. In this paper, we present our latest progress in studying the performance improvement role of intrinsic or doped silicon oxide materials in pin-type a-Si:H, a-SiGe:H, and μc-Si:H single-junction solar cells. By effectively tuning the band gap values of intrinsic a-SiOx:H materials with oxygen doping and adopting the layers with a suitable band gap (1.86 eV) as the P/I buffer layers of a-Si:H solar cells fabricated on metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) boron-doped zinc oxide (ZnO:B) substrates, a significant Voc increases up to 909 mV and an excellent external quantum efficiency (EQE) response of 75% at the 400 nm typical wavelength can be achieved by matching the band gap discontinuity between the p-type nc-SiOx:H window and a-Si:H intrinsic layers. The serious leakage current characteristics of pin-type narrow-gap (Eg<1.5 eV) a-SiGe:H single-junction solar cells can also be finely tuned by integrating an n-type μc-SiOx:H layer with a small oxygen content in addition to improving the long-wavelength response, an effective approach gives rise to the highest FF of 70.62% for pin-type a-SiGe:H single-junction solar cells with an average band gap of 1.48 eV. In addition, our studies proved that the application of p-type μc-SiOx:H window layers in μc-Si:H single-junction solar cells can effectively improve the short-wavelength light coupling by suppressing the parasitic absorption and promoting the anti-reflectivity with a graded refractive index profile. On the basis of the optimum single-junction solar cells with omnipotent silicon oxide materials, an initial efficiency of 16.07% has been achieved for pin-type a-Si:H/a-SiGe:H/μc-Si:H triple-junction solar cells with an active area of 0.25 cm2. The omnipotent properties of silicon oxide layers in TFSCs, including effective optical coupling and trapping, suitability in compensating for the band gap discontinuity, the shunt-quenching capacity, and so on, make them likely to be extended to other types of solar cells such as polycrystalline chalcopyrite Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) and perovskite-sensitized solar cells, opening up new opportunities for acquiring solar cells with higher performance.
AlGaN/GaN High Electron Mobility Transistors were exposed to 60Co gamma-irradiation to doses up to 300Gy. The impact of Compton- electron injection (due to gamma-irradiation) is studied through monitoring of minority carrier transport using Electron Beam Induced Current (EBIC) technique. Temperature dependent EBIC measurements were conducted on devices before and after exposure to the irradiation, which provide us with critical information on gamma-irradiation induced defects in the material. As a result of irradiation, minority carrier diffusion length increases significantly, with an accompanying decrease in the activation energy. This is consistent with the longer life time of minority carrier in the material’s valence band as a result of an internal electron injection and subsequent trapping of Compton electrons on neutral levels.
In 2009, we examined HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in 750 female sex workers (FSWs) in Shanghai using a cross-sectional survey. Participants (mean age 27 years) were interviewed and tested for HIV and selected STIs. Prevalence was: HIV 0·13%, chlamydia 14·7%, gonorrhoea 3·5% and syphilis 1·3%. In a demographic multivariate model, younger age, higher income and originating from provinces other than Zhejiang and Shanghai were independently associated with STI. In a social and sexual behavioural model, women working in small venues with fewer clients per week, use of drugs, and higher price charged per sex act indicated a greater risk for STI. Although HIV appears rare in Shanghai FSWs, chlamydial infection is common, especially in women aged <25 years (prevalence 19·6%). Since STI and HIV share similar risk factors, preventive intervention measures should be implemented immediately based on the venues and characteristics of FSWs to prevent future spread of HIV.
Human infection with the emerging avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China in 2013 has raised global concerns. We conducted a retrospective descriptive study of 27 confirmed human influenza A(H7N9) cases in Jiangsu Province, to elaborate poultry-related exposures and to provide a more precise estimate of the incubation periods of the illness. The median incubation period was 6 days (range 2–10 days) in cases with single known exposure and was 7·5 days (range 6·5–12·5 days) in cases with exposures on multiple days, difference between the two groups was not significant (Z = −1·895, P = 0·058). The overall median incubation period for all patients was estimated to be 7·5 days (range 2–12·5 days). Our findings further highlight the necessity for public health authorities to extend the period of medical surveillance from 7 days to 10 days.
A novel silicone-epoxy oligomer was synthesized and evaluated for its use as the polymer in photopolymerizable dental composites. This synthesized oligomer contained rigid and non-rigid groups with 1-8 epoxy functionalities as characterized using 1H NMR and 29Si NMR and MALDI-TOF analysis. In comparison to the traditional BisGMA/TEGDMA monomer system, the photo-polymerized silicone-epoxy demonstrated significantly improved material properties (148% greater elastic modulus, 12% greater ultimate strength, 48% greater fracture toughness), as well as 61% lower polymerization shrinkage and 58% lower polymerization stresses. Furthermore, the silicone-epoxy system demonstrated enhanced resistance to degradation of its material properties after accelerated (24hr) aging, i.e. exposure to severe hydrolytic (boiling in ethanol at 100 ᵒC), oxidative (exposed to 5% H2O2), and low pH (0.05M acetic acid) stress. Under these conditions, the properties of conventional BisGMA/TEGDMA systems deteriorated by 22-47%, while the properties of the silicone-epoxy composites decreased by 2-10%. Bisphosphonate additives enhanced the precipitation of mineral in a dose-dependent manner, but inhibited polymerization due to interactions with epoxy groups. Bisphosphonate additives also dose-dependently demonstrated anti-bacterial efficacy as demonstrated using live-dead, MTT and crystral violet assays. The silicone-epoxy polymer was demonstrated to be biocompatible when compared to tissue culture plastic. When calcium fluoride was incorporated into this system, fluoride was found to be released quantities significant enough to engender anti-bacterial effects. In summary, the designed multifunctional dental resin exhibits higher stability as demonstrated by lower chemical, mechanical and enzymatic degradation.
Canine hookworm infections are endemic worldwide, with zoonotic transmission representing a potentially significant public health concern. This study aimed to investigate hookworm infection and identify the prevalent species from stray and shelter dogs in Guangzhou city, southern China by polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences. From March 2011 to July 2012, fresh faecal samples from a total of 254 dogs were obtained from five locations, namely Conghua, Baiyun, Liwan, Haizhu and Panyu, in Guangzhou. These samples were screened for the presence of hookworm eggs using light microscopy, with an overall prevalence of 29.53% being recorded. The highest prevalence of 45.28% was found in suburban dogs from Conghua compared with lower values recorded in urban dogs in Haizhu (21.43%), Baiyun (18.97%), Panyu (18.18%) and Liwan (15%). The prevalence in stray dogs was signiﬁcantly higher than that in shelter dogs. PCR-RFLP analysis showed that 57.33% were detected as single hookworm infections with Ancyclostoma caninum, and 22.67% as A. ceylanicum, while 20% were mixed infections. This suggests that high prevalences of both hookworm species in stray and shelter dogs in China pose a potential risk of transmission from pet dogs to humans.
Sirtuins, NAD-dependent histone deacetylase (HDAC), are correlated to aging and antioxidant. The aim of this study was to determine breed differences of porcine Sirtuins expression and antioxidant capacity in brain between Jinhua pigs (a fatty breed of China) and Danish Landrace pigs (a leaner breed). Effect of age on Sirtuins’ expression was also investigated. At the age of 180 days, the mRNA levels of Sirt1, as well as Sirt2 and Sirt4, in Jinhua pigs were greater, but the mRNA levels of Sirt3, Sirt5, Sirt6, and Sirt7 of Jinhua pigs were lower compared with Danish Landrace pigs. Likewise, at the same BW of 64 kg, the mRNA levels of Sirtuins, except Sirt5 and Sirt7, in Jinhua pigs were greater than Danish Landrace pigs. Meanwhile, Jinhua pigs possessed higher antioxidants activity than Danish Landrace pigs either at the same age or at the same BW. Furthermore, mRNA levels of Sirtuins were decreased with age in brain of the two breeds from 30 to 120 days. The results indicated that Sirtuins expression in brain was different between fatty and lean pigs, and Sirtuins expression may be correlated to antioxidant capacity. In addition, age could down-regulate Siruins expression in porcine brain.
Many infectious diseases exhibit repetitive or regular behaviour over time. Time-domain approaches, such as the seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average model, are often utilized to examine the cyclical behaviour of such diseases. The limitations for time-domain approaches include over-differencing and over-fitting; furthermore, the use of these approaches is inappropriate when the assumption of linearity may not hold. In this study, we implemented a simple and efficient procedure based on the fast Fourier transformation (FFT) approach to evaluate the epidemic dynamic of scarlet fever incidence (2004–2010) in China. This method demonstrated good internal and external validities and overcame some shortcomings of time-domain approaches. The procedure also elucidated the cycling behaviour in terms of environmental factors. We concluded that, under appropriate circumstances of data structure, spectral analysis based on the FFT approach may be applicable for the study of oscillating diseases.
Atomic layer deposition has attracted much attention recently in fabricating noble metal nanoparticles for a wide range of applications. We have explored synthesizing palladium nanoparticles via atomic layer deposition on self-assembled monolayers modified silicon substrate. Using alkyltrichlorosilanes as the passivating agents, our results show the method is capable of fabricating Pd nanoparticles with well controlled density and particle diameter on the modified silicon substrate.