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Listeriosis is a rare but serious foodborne disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. This matched case–control study (1:1 ratio) aimed to identify the risk factors associated with food consumption and food-handling habits for the occurrence of sporadic listeriosis in Beijing, China. Cases were defined as patients from whom Listeria was isolated, in addition to the presence of symptoms, including fever, bacteraemia, sepsis and other clinical manifestations corresponding to listeriosis, which were reported via the Beijing Foodborne Disease Surveillance System. Basic patient information and possible risk factors associated with food consumption and food-handling habits were collected through face-to-face interviews. One hundred and six cases were enrolled from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020, including 52 perinatal cases and 54 non-perinatal cases. In the non-perinatal group, the consumption of Chinese cold dishes increased the risk of infection by 3.43-fold (95% confidence interval 1.27–9.25, χ2 = 5.92, P = 0.02). In the perinatal group, the risk of infection reduced by 95.2% when raw and cooked foods were well-separated (χ2 = 5.11, P = 0.02). These findings provide important scientific evidence for preventing infection by L. monocytogenes and improving the dissemination of advice regarding food safety for vulnerable populations.
Poor utilisation efficiency of carbohydrate always leads to metabolic phenotypes in fish. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in carbohydrate degradation. Whether the intestinal bacteria could alleviate high-carbohydrate diet (HCD)-induced metabolic phenotypes in fish remains unknown. Here, a strain affiliated to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens was isolated from the intestine of Nile tilapia. A basal diet (CON), HCD or HCD supplemented with B. amy SS1 (HCB) was used to feed fish for 10 weeks. The beneficial effects of B. amy SS1 on weight gain and protein accumulation were observed. Fasting glucose and lipid deposition were decreased in the HCB group compared with the HCD group. High-throughput sequencing showed that the abundance of acetate-producing bacteria was increased in the HCB group relative to the HCD group. Gas chromatographic analysis indicated that the concentration of intestinal acetate was increased dramatically in the HCB group compared with that in the HCD group. Glucagon-like peptide-1 was also increased in the intestine and serum of the HCB group. Thus, fish were fed with HCD, HCD supplemented with sodium acetate at 900 mg/kg (HLA), 1800 mg/kg (HMA) or 3600 mg/kg (HHA) diet for 8 weeks, and the HMA and HHA groups mirrored the effects of B. amy SS1. This study revealed that B. amy SS1 could alleviate the metabolic phenotypes caused by HCD by enriching acetate-producing bacteria in fish intestines. Regulating the intestinal microbiota and their metabolites might represent a powerful strategy for fish nutrition modulation and health maintenance in future.
A high-carbohydrate diet could achieve a protein-sparing effect, but it may cause negative impacts on the growth condition of fish due to their poor utilisation ability of carbohydrate. How to reduce the adverse effects caused by a high-carbohydrate diet is important for the development of aquaculture. In the present study, we aimed to identify whether inulin could attenuate the metabolic syndrome caused by a high-carbohydrate diet in fish. Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) (1·19 (sd 0·01) g) were supplied with 35 % carbohydrate (CON), 45 % carbohydrate (HC) and 45 % carbohydrate + 5 g/kg inulin (HCI) diets for 10 weeks. The results showed that addition of inulin improved the survival rate when fish were challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila, indicating that inulin had an immunostimulatory effect. Compared with the HC group, the HCI group had lower lipid accumulation in liver and the gene expression analyses indicated that addition of inulin down-regulated genes related to lipogenesis and up-regulated genes relevant to β-oxidation significantly (P < 0·05). Higher liver glycogen and glucose tolerance were found in the HCI group compared with the HC group (P < 0·05). These results indicated that inulin could alleviate the metabolic syndrome induced by a high-carbohydrate diet. Furthermore, addition of inulin to a high-carbohydrate diet changed the intestinal bacterial composition and significantly increased the concentration of acetic acid and propionic acid in fish gut which have the potential to increase pathogen resistance and regulate metabolic characteristics in fish. Collectively, our results demonstrated a possible causal role for the gut microbiome in metabolic improvements induced by inulin in fish.
Eurasian steppes experienced frequent cultural transfers, human migration, and diffusion of techniques during the Bronze Age. The Hami Oasis is one of the most dynamic areas and has attracted multiple cultural flows. It is an important area that connects various routes of the Tianshan Corridor with the Hexi Corridor in western China. The Tianshanbeilu cemetery is the largest Bronze Age cemetery in Hami. Thirty-seven new radiocarbon dates allowed us to establish a new and more accurate chronology for Tianshanbeilu. Our results showed that the Tianshanbeilu cemetery was used from approximately 2022–1802 cal BC and remained in use from 1093–707 cal BC. This indicates that Tianshanbeilu is the earliest and longest-used known cemetery in eastern Xinjiang. By incorporating the typology of artifacts and stratigraphic relationships, the development of the Tianshanbeilu cemetery was divided into four phases. The first phase was from 2011–1672 cal BC, the second phase was from 1660–1408 cal BC, the third phase was from 1385–1256 cal BC, and the fourth phase was from 1214–1029 cal BC.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an autosomal dominant hereditary disease characterised by left ventricular asymmetry hypertrophy. However, our knowledge of the genetic background in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy cases is limited. Here, we aimed to evaluate pathogenic gene mutations in a family with high-risk hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and analyse the genotype/phenotype relationships in this family.
The proband, her parents, and her niece underwent whole-exome sequencing, and the genotypes of family members were identified using Sanger sequencing. mRNA expression was detected using reverse transcription sequencing. Structural impairments were predicted by homologous modelling. A family survey was conducted for patients with positive results to obtain information on general clinical symptoms, electrocardiography, ambulatory electrocardiography, echocardiography, and 3.0T cardiac magnetic resonance findings. Regular follow-up was performed for up to 6 months.
Five family members, including the proband, carried a cleavage site mutation in the MYBPC3 gene (c.2737+1 (IVS26) G>T), causing exon 26 of the MYBPC3 gene transcript to be skipped and leading to truncation of cardiac myosin-binding protein C. Family survey showed that the earliest onset age was 13 years old, and three people had died suddenly at less than 40 years old. Three pathogenic gene carriers were diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and all showed severe ventricular septal hypertrophy.
The c.2737+1 (IVS26) G>T mutation in the MYBPC3 gene led to exon 26 skipping, thereby affecting the structure and function of cardiac myosin-binding protein C and leading to severe ventricular hypertrophy and sudden death.
Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and soft tissue. Susceptibility to cellulitis is related to microorganism virulence, the host immunity status and environmental factors. This retrospective study from 2001 to 2013 investigated relationships between the monthly incidence rate of cellulitis and meteorological factors using data from the Taiwanese Health Insurance Dataset and the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau. Meteorological data included temperature, hours of sunshine, relative humidity, total rainfall and total number of rainy days. In otal, 195 841 patients were diagnosed with cellulitis and the incidence rate was strongly correlated with temperature (γS = 0.84, P < 0.001), total sunshine hours (γS = 0.65, P < 0.001) and total rainfall (γS = 0.53, P < 0.001). The incidence rate of cellulitis increased by 3.47/100 000 cases for every 1° elevation in environmental temperature. Our results may assist clinicians in educating the public of the increased risk of cellulitis during warm seasons and possible predisposing environmental factors for infection.
We investigate the defect structures around a spherical colloidal particle in a cholesteric liquid crystal using spectral method, which is specially devised to cope with the inhomogeneity of the cholesteric at infinity. We pay particular attention to the cholesteric counterparts of nematic metastable configurations. When the spherical colloidal particle imposes strong homeotropic anchoring on its surface, besides the well-known twisted Saturn ring, we find another metastable defect configuration, which corresponds to the dipole in a nematic, without outside confinement. This configuration is energetically preferable to the twisted Saturn ring when the particle size is large compared to the nematic coherence length and small compared to the cholesteric pitch. When the colloidal particle imposes strong planar anchoring, we find the cholesteric twist can result in a split of the defect core on the particle surface similar to that found in a nematic liquid crystal by lowering temperature or increasing particle size.
A series of oxidation experiments were carried out on these novel γ/γ′-strengthened cobalt-based alloys of the systems Co–9Al–10W and Co–9Al–10W–0.02X (X = La, Ce, Dy, Y) at 900 °C. The appropriate amounts’ addition of rare earth elements leads to improved oxidation properties at 900 °C, especially La elements show the best oxidation resistance (129.008 mg/cm2). However, the base Co–9Al–10W alloy shows the worst oxidation performance (151.544 mg/cm2). Multilayer oxide layers formed during the oxidation process, the outer were mainly CoO and Co3O4 oxides, and the middle layer contained complex oxides (containing Co, Al, and W). The inner layer consists of little discontinuous oxides, included few Al2O3 oxides. There existed a different crack width and the base alloy had the widest crack. Moreover, there exists a phase transformation (γ/γ′ to γ/Co3W) at the interface between oxide film and substrate.
The isothermal oxidation experiments were carried out on several new γ/γ′-strengthened cobalt-base alloys Co–Al–W–4Cr–0.02X (X = La, Ce, Dy, Y) at 900 and 800 °C. Due to an appropriate content of additional elements, the change in the morphology occurred and it significantly improved the oxidation resistance compared with those without Cr, among which the one with La elements shows the best oxidation resistance. Multiple oxide layers are also formed during the oxidation process, with CoWO4 and CoAl2O4 phases in the outer layer, and Cr, Al, W, and Co (e.g., Cr2O3) in the middle layer. The inner layer consists of some Al2O3 oxides, while more protective Al2O3 oxide was formed, esp. at the temperature of 800 °C. Both Cr2O3 and Al2O3 oxides were effectively protective oxides, which can prevent the intrusion of oxygen into the alloy substrate. Moreover, a phase transformation (γ/γ′ to γ/Co3W) was observed at the interface between oxide layer and substrate.
In this paper, the recent studies of laboratory astrophysics with strong magnetic fields in China have been reviewed. On the Shenguang-II laser facility of the National Laboratory on High-Power Lasers and Physics, a laser-driven strong magnetic field up to 200 T has been achieved. The experiment was performed to model the interaction of solar wind with dayside magnetosphere. Also the low beta plasma magnetic reconnection (MR) has been studied. Theoretically, the model has been developed to deal with the atomic structures and processes in strong magnetic field. Also the study of shock wave generation in the magnetized counter-streaming plasmas is introduced.
It is found that there is an upper-limit critical power for self-guided propagation of intense lasers in plasma in addition to the well-known lower-limit critical power set by the relativistic effect. Above this upper-limit critical power, the laser pulse experiences defocusing due to expulsion of local plasma electrons by the transverse ponderomotive force. Associated with the upper-limit power, a lower-limit critical plasma density is also found for a given laser spot size, below which self-focusing does not occur for any laser power. Both the upper-limit power and the lower-limit density are derived theoretically and verified by two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. The present study provides new guidance for experimental designs, where self-guided propagation of lasers is essential.
Uniform ytterbium ion and erbium ion codoped gadolinium oxyfluoride (GdOF: Yb3+, Er3+) hollow nanospheres of 100-nm diameter were synthesized via the nanoscale Kirkendall approach, using colloidal nanospheres of ytterbium ion and erbium ion codoped gadolinium hydroxide [Gd(OH)3: Yb3+, Er3+] as sacrificial templates and titanium tetrafluoride as fluorine source under hydrothermal condition. The shell thickness of the as-synthesized GdOF: Yb3+, Er3+ hollow nanospheres can be facilely tuned from 31 to 13 nm by controlling reaction temperature and reaction time. The upconversion emission color could be adjusted from red to yellow to green when the host lattices variedfrom gadolinium (III) oxide to gadolinium oxyfluoride to gadolinium fluoride. Furthermore, the formation mechanism of the hollow GdOF: Yb3+, Er3+ nanospheres was found to depend on the fluorine source.
Energetic electron beam generation from a thin foil target by the ponderomotive force of an ultra-intense circularly polarized laser pulse is investigated. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations show that laser pulses with intensity of 1022–1023 Wcm−2 generate about 1–10 GeV electron beams, in agreement with the prediction of one-dimensional theory. When the laser intensity is at 1024–1025 Wcm−2, the beam energy obtained from PIC simulations is lower than the values predicted by the theory. The radiation damping effect is considered, which is found to become important for the laser intensity higher than 1025 Wcm−2. The effect of laser focus positions is also discussed.
Poor weight gain is common in infants after Stage I Norwood operation and can negatively impact outcomes.
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of feeding strategy on interstage weight gain.
In a multi-centre study, 158 infants discharged following the Norwood operation were enrolled prospectively. Weight and feeding data were obtained at 2-week intervals. Differences between feeding regimens in average daily weight gain and change in weight-for-age z-score between Stage I discharge and Stage II surgery were examined.
Discharge feeding regimens were oral only in 52%, oral with tube supplementation in 33%, and by nasogastric/gastrostomy tube only in 15%. There were significant differences in the average daily interstage weight gain among the feeding groups – oral only 25.0 grams per day, oral/tube 21.4 grams per day, and tube only 22.3 grams per day – p = 0.019. Tube-only-fed infants were significantly older at Stage II (p = 0.004) and had a significantly greater change in weight-for-age z-score (p = 0.007). The overall rate of weight gain was 16–32 grams per day, similar to infant norms. The rate of weight gain declined over time, with earlier decline observed for oral- and oral/tube-fed infants (less than 15 grams per day at 5.4 months) in comparison with tube-only-fed infants (less than 15 grams per day at 8.6 months).
Following Stage I Norwood, infants discharged on oral feeding had better average daily weight gain than infants with tube-assisted feeding. The overall weight gain was within the normal limits in all feeding groups, but the rate of weight gain decreased over time, with an earlier decline in infants fed orally.
The hexagonal mesoporous silica MCM-41 nanospheres with Au nanorods (AuNRs) as core have been synthesized via a modified Stöber method by a process of hydration and condensation of tetraethoxysilane in a water–ethanol mixture. The AuNR@MCM-41 nanocomposites combine the photothermal characteristic with the mesopore of MCM-41 in one body. We utilized these core–shell materials for ibuprofen encapsulation and release in the simulated body fluid (pH 7.4) for the first time. The results certificated AuNR@MCM-41 nanocomposites as novel dual-functional materials could realize the light-driven release of drug due to the photothermal effect of the AuNRs. Such novel nanomaterials offer a new way for cancer treatment which combine hyperthermia with the chemotherapeutic drugs by synergistic effect.
A total of six amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) primer combinations were used to detect genetic variation of pooled DNA in a sample of 12 chicken breeds indigenous to China, and AFLP DNA fingerprinting of each chicken breed was constructed. Polymorphic bands, specific bands and genetic similarity coefficients of 12 chicken breeds were calculated from AFLP data. A total of 279 polymorphic bands were generated by the six primer combinations, giving, on average, 46.5 polymorphic markers detected per primer combination. Nine specific bands were produced in the pooled DNA of Jiuyuan black and Dongxiang black chickens. However, one specific band was produced in the pooled DNA of Wenchang and Xingyi bantam chickens. An unweighted-pair-group method using average linkages (UPGMA) cluster analysis revealed that the 12 chicken breeds could be divided into three groups. Genetic similarity coefficients and the UPGMA tree of the 12 chicken breeds were consistent with their breeding history as well as their geographical distribution. Based on AFLP DNA fingerprinting, genetic diversity, genetic relationship and identification of chicken breeds can be analysed.
Quantum dot infrared photodetectors (QDIPs) have been studied widely for normal-incidence infrared detection. The 3D confinement provided by quantum dots allows for the elimination of gratings that are typically required for normal-incidence detection in quantum well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs). Furthermore, the growth of Ge dots on Si substrates offers the potential for integration with existing CMOS platforms. To date, however, Ge QDIPs have typically been grown epitaxially by Stranski-Krastonov growth – producing pancake-like dots with base dimensions of 50-100 nm, heights of 7-10 nm, and an aerial dot density of 109–1010 cm−2. Such dots have poor lateral confinement, causing them to have non-ideal normal-incidence absorption characteristics, similar to quantum wells. In this work, we demonstrate infrared absorption in Ge dots with base dimensions of approximately 15 nm. These dots are epitaxially grown on pre-patterned Si substrates, with an aerial dot density of approximately 1011 cm−2. The substrates are prepared by using diblock copolymers to create a nano-pattern on the substrate surface which is transferred to the substrate by dry etching. The size of this pattern determines the base dimensions of the Ge dots. After growth, these dots are then tested for their infrared absorption properties using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. The normal-incidence absorption of the dots can be studied with FTIR by varying the polarization angle of the infrared light. We present FTIR absorption spectra for samples grown with various conditions (e.g., different dot doping levels, numbers of layers, and dot base dimensions) and investigate the effects of different growth conditions on infrared absorption properties. We also report on the normal-incidence absorption characteristics of these dots by presenting absorption spectra for various polarization angles of infrared light.
In order to examine the chronologic changes in genetic variance and heritability of anthropometric characteristics of Chinese infants in Taiwan, a total of 521 pairs of same-sexed twin neonates given birth in four major general teaching hospitals in Taipei City were studied. Based on the placental pattern and 12 red blood cell antigens, 428 MZ and 93 DZ twin pairs were identified and followed up to the age of one year. There was no significant genetic variance for all anthropometric characteristics adjusted for sex and gestational week before the age of six months. After adjusting for sex and gestational week, a significant genetic variance was observed at the age of six months, with heritability values of 0.51 (weight), 0.63 (head circumference), 0.77 (chest circumference), and 0.53 (arm circumference), as well as at one year, although with considerably lower heritability values. This implies that growth is dynamically determined by both genetic and environmental factors during infancy.