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Chronic inflammation exerts pleiotropic effects in the etiology and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Glucosamine is widely used in many countries and may have anti-inflammatory properties. We aimed to prospectively evaluate the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD risk and explore whether such association could be modified by smoking in the UK Biobank cohort, which recruited more than half a million participants aged 40–69 years from across the UK between 2006 and 2010. Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for potential confounding factors were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) as well as 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for the risk of incident COPD. During a median follow-up of 8.96 years (interquartile range 8.29 to 9.53 years), 9016 new-onset events of COPD were documented. We found that regular use of glucosamine was associated with a significantly lower risk of incident COPD with multivariable adjusted HR of 0.80 (95% CI, 0.75 to 0.85; P<0.001). When subgroup analyses were performed by smoking status, the adjusted HRs for the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD were 0.84 (0.73 to 0.96), 0.84 (0.77 to 0.92), and 0.71 (0.62 to 0.80) among never smokers, former smokers and current smokers, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between glucosamine use and smoking status (P for interaction=0.078). Incident COPD could be reduced by 14% to 84% through a combination of regular glucosamine use and smoking cessation
The FNDC5 gene encodes the fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 that is a membrane protein mainly expressed in skeletal muscle, and the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism may be associated with liver disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the influence of the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the relationship between sarcopenia and the histological severity of NAFLD. A total of 370 adult individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD were studied. The association between the key exposure sarcopenia and the outcome liver histological severity was investigated by binary logistic regression. Stratified analyses were undertaken to examine the impact of FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the association between sarcopenia and the severity of NAFLD histology. Patients with sarcopenia had more severe histological grades of steatosis and a higher prevalence of significant fibrosis and definite non-alcoholic steatohepatitis than those without sarcopenia. There was a significant association between sarcopenia and significant fibrosis (adjusted OR 2·79, 95 % CI 1·31, 5·95, P = 0·008), independent of established risk factors and potential confounders. Among patients with sarcopenia, significant fibrosis occurred more frequently in the rs3480 AA genotype carriers than in those carrying the FNDC5 rs3480 G genotype (43·8 v. 17·2 %, P = 0·031). In the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis, there was a significant interaction between the FNDC5 genotype and sarcopenia status (P value for interaction = 0·006). Sarcopenia is independently associated with significant liver fibrosis, and the FNDC5 rs3480 G variant influences the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere. As the threat of terrorism develops, the China-Eurasia Expo held in Ürümqi, China is attracting fewer potential visitors. A nationwide survey of 2034 residents from 31 provinces and municipalities in China was conducted to examine the relation between the distance to respondents’ city of residence from Ürümqi and their levels of concern for safety and security concerning the Expo. The two were found to be positively related: the closer the respondents lived to Ürümqi, the less concerned they were with the safety and security of the Expo. This is consistent with the “psychological typhoon eye” effect, which states that people living closer to the center of an unfortunate event (whether natural or man-made hazards) are less concerned with the event’s negative consequences. This effect appears to hold for terrorism. There are implications of this finding for international counter-terrorism practice, tourism, and research.
Schizophrenia is a common major mental disorder and prenatal nutritional deficiency may increase its risk. We aimed to investigate long-term impact of prenatal exposure to malnutrition on risk of schizophrenia in adulthood using the Chinese famine of 1959–1961 as a natural experiment.
We obtained data from the Second National Sample Survey on Disability implemented in 31 provinces in 2006, and restricted our analysis to 387,093 individuals born from 1956 to 1965. Schizophrenia was ascertained by psychiatrists based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision. Famine severity was defined as cohort size shrinkage index. The famine effect on adult schizophrenia was estimated by difference-in-difference models, established by examining the variations of famine exposure across birth cohorts.
Compared with the reference cohort of 1965, famine cohorts (1959–1962) had significantly higher odds (OR: 1.84; 95% CI: 1.13, 3.00; P = 0.014) of schizophrenia in the rural population. After adjusting for multiple covariates, this association remained significant (OR: 1.82; 95% CI: 1.11, 2.98; P = 0.018). We did not observe statistically significant differences in odds of schizophrenia among famine cohorts compared with the reference cohort in the urban population.
Prenatal malnutrition exposure has a detrimental impact on risk of schizophrenia in adulthood in the rural population. Further studies were needed to investigate corresponding mechanisms on this topic.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
To examine the vitamin D status, SNP of the vitamin D receptor gene (VDR) and the effects of vitamin D supplementation on parathyroid hormone and insulin secretion in adult males with obesity or normal weight in a subtropical Chinese city.
An intervention trial.
Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China.
From a cross-sectional survey conducted from June to July, eighty-two normal-weight and ninety-nine obese males (18–69 years) were screened to analyse their vitamin D status and for five SNP of VDR. From these individuals, in the same season of a different year, obese and normal-weight male volunteers (twenty-one per group) were included for an intervention trial with oral vitamin D supplementation at 1250 µg/week for 8 weeks.
For the survey, there was no significant difference (P>0·05) in baseline circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations or in the percentages of participants in different categories of vitamin D status between the two groups. The VDR SNP, rs3782905, was significantly associated with obesity (P=0·043), but none of the examined SNP were correlated with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D when adjusted for age, BMI and study group. After vitamin D supplementation, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration, hypersecretions of parathyroid hormone and insulin, and insulin resistance in the obese were changed beneficially (P<0·05); however, the increase in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D was less than that of the normal-weight men.
For obese and normal-weight men of subtropical China, the summer baseline vitamin D status was similar. However, oral vitamin D supplementation revealed a decreased bioavailability of vitamin D in obese men and ameliorated their hypersecretion of parathyroid hormone and insulin resistance.
The EPR parameters (zero-field splitting D and g-factors g//, g⊥) of Mn5+-doped solid state laser materials Ca2(MO4)Cl (M = P, As, V) are calculated from the complete high-order perturbation formulas of EPR parameters based on the two-mechanism model for 3d2 ions in a approximately tetragonal tetrahedron. The model includes the contributions from both the crystal-field (CF) mechanism and the charge-transfer (CT) mechanism (the latter is neglected in crystal field theory). The calculated results suggest that the contribution to EPR parameters due to CT mechanism is important. So, in the cases of high valence state 3dn ions in crystals, the reasonable explanation of EPR parameters should take both CF and CT mechanisms into account.
Zn3(VO4)2 nanorods with visible light-driven photocatalytic activity were prepared by hydrothermal reaction and characterized by x-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectra, and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area and pore size analyzer. The Zn3(VO4)2 nanorods consisted of rods with a thickness of approximately 30 nm, length in the range 400–600 nm, and width in the range 150–250 nm. The photocatalytic degradation activities for methylene blue (MB) and 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) over the Zn3(VO4)2 nanorods were studied in detail. The photocatalytic activity of the as-prepared photocatalyst for MB and 4-NP in visible light under the same conditions was about 3.5 times and 2.5 times higher than that of N–TiO2, respectively. The main active species in the photodegradation come from •OH, and the photogenerated electrons also partly involved in the photocatalytic degradation process, in which the •OH radicals formed were in proportional to the light illumination time obeying zero-order reaction rate kinetics.
MicroRNAs are endogenous ~22nt RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level via binding to the 3′-untranslated region (3′UTR) of target mRNAs. The microRNA miR-27a was reported to depress the expression of myostatin, a critical inhibitor of skeletal myogenesis, by binding to its 3′UTR in mouse. In this study, we cloned the full-length 3′UTR of porcine myostatin by rapid amplification of 3′-cDNA ends (3′-RACE) and demonstrated that the 3′UTR of porcine myostatin is targeted by miR-27a. The phenomenon that the level of myostatin inversely correlated with miR-27a was observed in fat and heart of pigs and also in proliferating porcine myoblasts. Besides, overexpression of miR-27a in porcine myoblasts promoted cell proliferation by reducing the expression of myostatin. Our data suggest that miR-27a positive regulates porcine myoblast proliferation via targeting myostatin.
Neurosyphilis (NS) may present with neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive impairment, personality disorders, and confusion, among others. Very few studies have focused on neuropsychiatric disorders secondary to NS in elderly people.
A retrospective chart review was performed to characterize the psychiatric findings, clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory findings, and brain magnetic resonance imaging results of ten elderly inpatients with NS.
In these ten patients, the most common presenting symptoms included a wide variety of psychiatric manifestations. The serum rapid plasma regain (RPR) and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay (TPPA) of the ten patients were positive, with positive CSF TPPA and RPR rates of 100% and 60%, respectively. In addition, 90% of the patients demonstrated abnormal imaging, including cerebral atrophy, infarct ischemic stroke, and hydrocephalus.
Our findings support the importance of serological tests for syphilis as a routine component of the evaluation of patients with clinically evident neurological or psychiatric symptoms. If the serology is positive, all of the patients should be examined with a lumbar puncture. Moreover, psychiatric illnesses secondary to NS in the elderly also deserve medical attention.
Using 16S rDNA-polymerase chain reaction–denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE), electron microscopy and a conventional plating method, the genetic diversity and phenotype polymorphism of the endophytic bacteria within Azolla microphylla were explored. The 16S rDNA-PCR-DGGE profile showed a complex and divergent bacterial community, with Bacillus cereus as the dominant species, within the Azolla–cyanobacteria association. This result was supported by the fact that endobacterial cells exhibited distinct ultrastructural characteristics in vivo and, in vitro, bacteria displayed various colonies with different sizes, shapes and colours. This study demonstrates that the genetic diversity of endophytic bacteria in Azolla can be investigated using the16S rDNA-PCR-DGGE technique.
The strategies of repair of tetralogy of Fallot change with the age of patients. In children older than 4 years and adults, the optimal strategy may be to use different method of reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract from those followed in younger children, so as to avoid, or reduce, the pulmonary insufficiency that is increasingly known to compromise right ventricular function.
From April, 2001, through May, 2008, we undertook complete repair in 312 patients, 180 male and 132 female, with a mean age of 11.3 years ±0.4 years, and a range from 4 to 48 years, with typical clinical and morphological features of tetralogy of Fallot, including 42 patients with the ventriculo-arterial connection of double outlet right ventricle. The operation was performed under moderate hypothermia using blood cardioplegia. The ventricular septal defect was closed with a Dacron patch. When it was considered necessary to resect the musculature within the right ventricular outflow tract, or perform pulmonary valvotomy, we sought to preserve the function of the pulmonary valve by protecting as far as possible the native leaflets, or creating a folded monocusp of autologous pericardium.
The repair was achieved completely through right atrium in 192, through the right ventricular outflow tract in 83, and through the right atrium, the outflow tract, and the pulmonary trunk in 36 patients. A transjunctional patch was inserted in 169 patients, non-valved in all but 9. There were no differences regarding the periods of aortic cross-clamping or cardiopulmonary bypass. Of the patients, 5 died (1.6%), with no influence noted for the transjunctional patch. Of those having a non-valved patch inserted, three-tenths had pulmonary regurgitation of various degree, while those having a valved patch had minimal pulmonary insufficiency and good right ventricular function postoperatively, this being maintained after follow-up of 8 to 24-months.
Based on our experience, we suggest that the current strategy of repair of tetralogy of Fallot in older children and adults should be based on minimizing the insertion of transjunctional patches, this being indicated only in those with very small ventriculo-pulmonary junctions. If such a patch is necessary, then steps should be taken to preserve the function of the pulmonary valve.
The genetic diversity of dinitrogen-fixing bacteria associated with rice (Oryza sativa) was assessed by a polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) approach on the nifH gene amplified directly from DNA extracted from washed rice roots and rhizospheric soil. Restriction digestion with the enzymes MnlI and HaeIII was performed to characterize 54 cloned nifH PCR products. RFLP profiles were clustered and analysed with the UPGMA program. Eight pairs of similar RFLP patterns (similarity>50%) and two pairs of homologous RFLP patterns (100% identity) were found from the washed roots and the rhizospheric soil, respectively. Three specific diazotrophic patterns were found from rhizospheric soil and rice roots. The analyses have revealed the presence of different nifH types, which appear to be significant components of the diazotrophic community in paddy fields, indicating that some of the diazotrophs may colonize the inside and the surface of the rice roots.
This study used three winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes (H6756, H311 and SP8581) to compare the effects of sampling time, callus induction media, differentiation media and rooting media on in vitro culture of young spikes in wheat. In all these three genotypes, the frequencies of green plantlet differentiation were high when their young spikes were cultured between the stages of protective glume primordium formation and pistil and stamen primordium formation, but low at other stages. The optimum medium for callus induction was Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium+2 mg/l 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). The optimum green plantlet differentiation medium was MS medium. Some abnormal plantlets regenerated from calli. When these plantlets were transferred to another differentiation medium [MS+1.0 mg/l 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA)+0.2 mg/l 6-benzylaminopurine (6-BA)], shoot formation and elongation were induced. This allowed 90.91% of them to develop into normal green plantlets. The optimum rooting medium was 1/2MS+0.2 mg/l 3-Indolylacetonitrile (IAA)+80 g/l sucrose. An efficient regeneration system for young spike culture of wheat was set up based on such methods. Using this wheat-regeneration system, young spikes and immature embryos of 17 genotypes of wheat were in vitro cultured to study and compare the callus induction frequencies and green plantlet differentiation frequencies. The results of two successive years showed that in 15 out of the 17 genotypes (88.24%) the green plantlet differentiation frequencies were higher than those of immature embryos by 6.2–65.1%. These results showed that the regeneration system established in this trial for young spike culture of wheat was effective.
A novel fabrication approach for two- and three-dimensional arrays of magnetic microspheres is presented in this paper. The magnetic microsphere is made from 47 μm size Al2O3 spheres onto which a 2–3 μm thick nickel layer is coated through electroless plating. After proper anneal, the outer nickel layer is converted to exhibit a crystalline structure. As an example for utilizing such magnetic microspheres, a two-dimensional, anisotropically conductive matrix is made by transferring the magnetic microsphere array from a template to a transparent adhesive tape using a magnetic attractive force. In addition, a three-dimensional array has also successfully been constructed on a metal plate. The two-dimensional conductor array may be useful for high-density circuit packaging applications in the semiconductor industry, and the three-dimensional array may open up a possibility for constructing three-dimensional photonic crystals.
A new series of side chain liquid crystalline-amorphous diblock copolymers has been successfully synthesized using chiral mesogens. Anionic polymerization techniques have been used to make these monodisperse diblock materials. Preliminary studies suggest that these microphase segregated diblock copolymers exhibit a smectic C* phase. This mesophase exists between and above the glass transition temperatures of the two polymer blocks. Synthesis and characterization of these novel materials are discussed.
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