To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Seasonal climate variability is an important component of Earth's climate system, and has a significant impact on ecosystems and social systems. However, the temporal resolution of most proxy-based paleoclimate records is limiting to fully understand the past seasonal changes. Here, we used high-precision monthly resolution Sr/Ca records of three Tridacna squamosa specimens from the northern South China Sea (SCS) to reconstruct the sea surface temperature (SST) seasonality during three time periods from the middle Holocene. The results suggested that SST seasonality in the northern SCS during the middle Holocene (3.21 ± 0.98°C) was smaller than that for recent decades (AD 1994–2004, 4.32 ± 0.59°C). Analysis of modern instrumental data showed that the SST seasonality in the northern SCS was dominated by the winter SST, which was deeply influenced by the intensity of East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM). A strong EAWM usually resulted in cooler winter SST and a larger SST seasonality in the northern SCS. The reconstructed Holocene EAWM records showed that the EAWM strengthened from the middle to late Holocene, which was seen in our reconstruction of less SST seasonality changes during the middle Holocene in the northern SCS. This study highlighted that the Sr/Ca ratios from Tridacna shells can be used as a potential high-resolution indicator of past seasonal climate changes.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been confirmed as the causative agent for cervical cancer. In this study, a total of 301 880 women were recruited from four different regions of Western China, with 301 880 exfoliated cervical cell samples collected from women for DNA isolation and purification. The HPV genotype was tested by polymerase chain reaction. The overall HPV prevalence rate, high-risk (HR) HPV infection rate, low-risk (LR) HPV infection rate and mixed HPV infection rate was 18.24%, 79.14%, 12.56% and 8.30%, respectively. The four most common HR HPV subtypes were HPV-52, 16, 58 and 53, which accounted for 20.49%, 19.93%, 14.54% and 10.01%, respectively. In LR HPV genotype, HPV-6 ranked the highest (28.17%), followed by HPV-81 (9.09%) and HPV-11 (3.78%). HPV genotype subgroup analysis also showed that single-type infection was the most common (77.26%) among HPV-positive individuals. Among multi-infection genotypes, double infection was the most common with frequencies of 76.04%. The overall prevalence of HPV is high in Western China, whose distribution demonstrates different patterns across different ages and regions. Viral genotypes HPV 53, 6 were frequently detected in this population, which is worth of significant clinical attention.
High fibre intake is associated with reduced mortality risk in both general and chronic kidney disease populations. However, in dialysis patients, such data are limited. Therefore, the association between dietary fibre intake (DFI) and the risk of all-cause and CVD mortality was examined in this study. A total of 1044 maintenance haemodialysis (MHD) patients from eight outpatient dialysis centres in China were included in this study. Data on DFI were collected using 24-h dietary recalls for 3 d in a week and were normalised to actual dry weight. The study outcomes included all-cause and CVD mortality. Over a median of 46 months of follow-up, 354 deaths were recorded, of which 210 (59 %) were due to CVD. On assessing DFI as tertiles, the CVD mortality risk was significantly lower in patients in tertiles 2–3 (≥0·13 g/kg per d; hazard ratio (HR) 0·71; 95 % CI 0·51, 0·97) compared with those in tertile 1 (<0·13 g/kg per d). A similar but non-significant trend was found for the association between DFI (tertiles 2–3 v. tertile 1; HR 0·83; 95 % CI 0·64, 1·07) and all-cause mortality. In summary, higher DFI was associated with lower CVD mortality risk among Chinese MHD patients. This study emphasises the significance of DFI in MHD patients and provides information that is critical for the improvement of dietary guidelines for dialysis patients.
To identify the association of the glucokinase gene (GCK) rs4607517 polymorphism with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and determine whether sweets consumption could interact with the polymorphism on GDM in Chinese women.
We conducted a case–control study at a hospital including 1015 participants (562 GDM cases and 453 controls). We collected the data of pre-pregnancy BMI, sweets consumption and performed genotyping of the GCK rs4607517 polymorphism. Logistic regression was performed to test the association between the rs4607517 polymorphism and GDM, and the stratified analyses by sweets consumption were conducted, using an additive genetic model.
A case–control study of women at a hospital in Beijing, China.
One thousand and fifteen Chinese women.
The GCK rs4607517 A allele was significantly associated with GDM (OR 1·35, 95 % CI 1·03, 1·77; P = 0·028). Furthermore, stratified analyses showed that the A allele increased the risk of GDM only in women who had a habitual consumption of sweet foods (sweets consumption ≥ once per week) (OR 1·61, 95 % CI 1·17, 2·21; P = 0·003). Significant interaction on GDM was found between the rs4607517 A allele and sweets consumption (P = 0·004).
This study for the first time reported the interaction between the GCK rs4607517 polymorphism and sweets consumption on GDM. The results provided novel evidence for risk assessment and personalised prevention of GDM.
Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are a detoxifying enzyme family that is essential for parasite blood-feeding and survival, and represent potential targets for hookworm vaccine development. Multiple GST-encoding complementary DNAs (cDNAs) have been cloned from Ancylostoma caninum and Necator americanus, but there are no reports about the cloning of this enzyme from Ancylostoma ceylanicum, the animal-derived zoonotic hookworm. To study the molecular nature and tissue localization of GST of A. ceylanicum (Ace-GST), we designed primers based on the GST gene sequence of A. ceylanicum in GenBank, amplified the Ace-GST cDNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and analysed its homology and genetic evolution relationship. The amplified product was cloned into the pET-32a vector and transformed into Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) for expression. To prepare anti-GST polyclonal antibodies, the recombinant protein was purified and used to immunize Kunming mice. The level of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody in the serum of immunized mice was detected by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the Ace-GST localization in adult worm was determined using the immunofluorescence method. The results showed that the full-length cDNA encoding Ace-GST was 468 bp, which had the highest homology with Ac-GST-1 (60.1%) and clustered into one branch (v-class) with Ac-GST-1 and Na-GST-1 in a phylogenetic tree. Mice immunized with recombinant Ace-GST showed specific IgG antibody response. Immunolocalization revealed that natural Ace-GST is mainly located in the epidermis, muscle and intestine of the adult. These results may lay a foundation for further studies on the biological function of Ace-GST.
Maintenance haemodialysis (MHD) is the use of a machine to filter wastes, salts and fluid from blood for at least 3 months to prolong the life of patients with advanced kidney failure. Although low dietary energy intake (DEI) has been observed in MHD patients, few studies have related DEI to the risk of mortality. To explore this relationship, a study included 1039 MHD patients from eight centres was conducted. DEI was assessed by three 24-h diet recalls and was normalised to ideal body weight (IBW). All-cause mortality and CVD mortality were the primary and secondary outcomes, respectively. During a median follow-up of 28 months, a U-shaped relationship was observed between DEI and all-cause or CVD mortality. The risk of all-cause mortality decreased significantly with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI <167·4 kJ/kg IBW per d (hazard ratio (HR) 0·98; 95 % CI 0·96, 1·00) and increased significantly with the increase of DEI in those with DEI ≥167·4 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 1·12; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·20). Similarly, the risk of CVD mortality decreased with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI <152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·93, 0·99) and increased with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI ≥152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 1·11; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·18). In summary, there was a U-shaped association between DEI and all-cause or CVD mortality, with a turning point at about 167·4 and 152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d, respectively, in MHD patients.
This chapter reports a thirteen-week action research project that was conducted with sixty-seven first-year non-English-major students taking a mandatory general English course in a Chinese state university. Using English professional screenplays as the source of authentic conversations, we designed and implemented an intervention that enabled the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students to consider how the realisation of a speech act is mediated by a range of contextual factors. We achieved this by: (1) selecting screenplay extracts that reflect varied communication situations, (2) using conversation analysis and Hymes’ () SPEAKING model as guiding frameworks, (3) combining awareness-raising tasks with explicit instruction and (4) setting up weekly group work. From two iterative cycles of research, the following qualitative data were collected: (1) two open-ended questionnaires, (2) audio recordings of classroom interaction, (3) our own observation and reflective notes and (4) the conversations and self-reflection created by the students each week. The results show that English screenplays helped to develop the Chinese EFL students’ metapragmatic awareness by providing rich conversational, social and literary contexts to a speech act. The screenplays also enabled the students’ resourcefulness as social actors, fans of pop culture or creative individuals in their interpretation and formulation of varied second language (L2) speech acts. This holds implications particularly for EFL teachers in challenging circumstances such as the one where this study took place: large class sizes, limited class time and students having only limited access to naturally occurring English conversations. The findings also hold implications for the establishment of an interactional learning space facilitated by English screenplays and teacher scaffolding.
There is growing evidence that suggests the association of vitamin D status with the development and progression of heart failure (HF). The objective of the present study is to assess the impact of concentration of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) on cardiac prognosis in patients with HF. Between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016, we consecutively recruited patients with HF. Patients were followed prospectively for a median duration of 1 year. Serum concentration of 25(OH)D was measured with competitive chemiluminescent immunoassay. The endpoints were cardiac events, including CVD death and rehospitalisation for worsening HF. Univariate and multivariable adjustments were performed with Cox proportional-hazard regression analyses. The 25(OH)D concentration was obtained in 343 patients with a median value of 17·4 (interquartile range 12·6–23·4) ng/ml. There were 102 cardiac events, including forty-three deaths and fifty-nine rehospitalisations. Multivariate Cox hazard analysis found that the serum concentration 25(OH)D was independently associated with cardiac events (hazard ratio 0·93, 95 % CI 0·88, 0·97) and CVD mortality (hazard ratio 0·83; 95 % CI 0·77, 0·89) after adjustment for confounding factors. We divided the HF patients into four groups according to the 25(OH)D quartiles. Kaplan–Meier analysis found that the patients with lower serum 25(OH)D concentration had a higher risk of cardiac events or CVD mortality than those with high serum 25(OH)D concentration (log-rank test P < 0·001 and P = 0·032). Decreased serum concentrations of 25(OH)D were associated with cardiac prognosis and CVD mortality in a Chinese population with HF independent of other baseline HF markers.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
Direct determination of barrier height (ΦBH) value between Ir and single crystal (001) hydrogen-terminated diamond with lightly boron doped has been performed using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy technique. 70 nm Ir islands were formed on hydrogen-terminated diamond surface using anodic aluminum oxide. The ΦBH value for Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was −0.43 ± 0.14 eV, indicating that Ir was a suitable metal for ohmic contact with hydrogen-terminated diamond. The band diagram of Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was obtained. The experimental ΦBH was compared with the theoretical ΦBH in this work.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.
As rarely large flake graphite (9 mesh) was recently exploited in China, it was innovatively developed as the raw material to prepare a novel wound dressing based on large expanded graphite (EG) in this work. The EG worms were prepared in an easy oxidative intercalation and thermal expansion method. Afterward, chitosan was grafted onto the surface of EG by chemical modification, forming CS-EG worms. CS-EG sponge dressings were then obtained by pressing a number of CS-EG worms together by external force. Due to the porous structure and large specific surface area, the produced CS-EG sponges exhibited outstanding adsorption capacity for wound exudate. They could also promote blood coagulation by adsorbing the blood cells and proteins quickly and effectively, showing excellent hemostatic performance. The eminent performances and the simple preparation process ensure the great application potential of CS-EG as a dressing material. This is also the first time to report the application of the traditional carbon material, EG, to act as a dressing material after chemical modification.
We hypothesize that the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) may play a role in disturbing the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) on the striatal connectivity in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
We performed a longitudinal observation by combining resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and biochemical analyses to identify the abnormal striatal connectivity in MDD patients, and to evaluate the effect of TNF-α level on these abnormal connectivities during SSRI treatment. Eighty-five rs-fMRI scans were collected from 25 MDD patients and 35 healthy controls, and the scans were repeated for all the patients before and after a 6-week SSRI treatment. Whole-brain voxel-wise functional connectivity (FC) was calculated by correlating the rs-fMRI time courses between each voxel and the striatal seeds (i.e. spherical regions placed at the striatums). The level of TNF-α in serum was evaluated by Milliplex assay. Factorial analysis was performed to assess the interaction effects of ‘TNF-α × treatment’ in the regions with between-group FC difference.
Compared with controls, MDD patients showed significantly higher striatal FC in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and bilateral middle/superior temporal cortices before SSRI treatment (p < 0.001, uncorrected). Moreover, a significant interaction effect of ‘TNF-α × treatment’ was found in MPFC-striatum FC in MDD patients (p = 0.002), and the significance remained after adjusted for age, gender, head motion, and episode of disease.
These findings provide evidence that treatment-related brain connectivity change is dependent on the TNF-α level in MDD patients, and the MPFC-striatum connectivities possibly serve as an important target in the brain.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were added to carbon nanofibers (CNFs) as additives to improve their electrochemical properties. In the present work, CNFs were prepared by using pressurized gyration with polyacrylonitrile as the precursor. The microstructure and electrochemical properties of samples were investigated by scanning electron microscopy and electrochemical workstation, respectively. The results showed that the network structure formed in the fiber, and the fiber diameter decreased with the increase of working pressure. The integral area of cyclic voltammetry curve reached the maximum and the charge/discharge time of constant current charge/discharge curve reached the longest in the case of the CNT concentration is 0.50 wt% and working pressure is 0.2 MPa. At the same time, it exhibited the best electrochemical performance with a specific capacitance of 79 F/g at a current density of 100 mA/g. Compared with the specific capacitance of pure CNFs, the specific capacitance of CNFs with the concentration of CNTs 0.50 wt% increased by about 40%.
The U genome of Aegilops umbellulata is an important basic genome of genus Aegilops. Direct gene transfer from Ae. umbellulata into wheat is feasible but not easy. Triticum turgidum–Ae. umbellulata amphidiploids can act as bridges to circumvent obstacles involving direct gene transfer. Seven T. turgidum–Ae. umbellulata amphidiploids were produced via unreduced gametes for spontaneous doubling of chromosomes of triploid T. turgidum–Ae. umbellulata F1 hybrid plants. Seven pairs of U chromosomes of Ae. umbellulata were distinguished by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes pSc119.2/(AAC)5 and pTa71. Polymorphic FISH signals were detected in three (1U, 6U and 7U) of seven U chromosomes of four Ae. umbellulata accessions. The chromosomes of the tetraploid wheat parents could be differentiated by probes pSc119.2 and pTa535, and identical FISH signals were observed among the three accessions. All the parental chromosomes of the amphidiploids could be precisely identified by probe combinations pSc119.2/pTa535 and pTa71/(AAC)5. The T. turgidum–Ae. umbellulata amphidiploids possess valuable traits for wheat improvement, such as strong tillering ability, stripe rust resistance and seed size-related traits. These materials can be used as media in gene transfers from Ae. umbellulata into wheat.
Shortawn foxtail (Alopecurus aequalis Sobol.) is an invasive and highly troublesome weed species originating from North America that has become widespread across China. Since its proliferation seriously threatens crop production worldwide, understanding its genetic diversity is critical for developing a forecasting system for integrated pest management plans. To accelerate the application of molecular markers in A. aequalis, this study aimed to develop a set of expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers using previous high-throughput sequencing data. In this study, a total of 1411 SSR loci were identified from 95,479 unigenes. Tri-nucleotide repeat motifs were the most abundant type with a frequency of 66.27%, followed by di- (24.95%) and tetra-nucleotide (8.78%). Among the loci, 584 primer pairs were successfully designed for marker development. Subsequently, a subset of 36 primer pairs was randomly selected and synthesized, of which 12 (33.33%) pairs successfully revealed abundant allelic polymorphism. Additionally, to investigate their utility, the genotypes of 160 individuals from 20 natural populations representing diverse wild genotypes of A. aequalis were analysed by using these 12 polymorphic markers. These novel SSR markers developed here are reliable and useful for genetic analysis on this invasive plant and will greatly enrich its genetic resource.
Both fibronectin (FN) and filamentous actin (F-actin) fibers play a critical role for endothelial cells (ECs) in responding to shear stress and modulating cell alignment and functions. FN is dynamically coupled to the F-actin cytoskeleton via focal adhesions. However, it is unclear how ECs cooperatively remodel their subcellular FN matrix and intracellular F-actin cytoskeleton in response to shear stress. Current studies are hampered by the lack of a reliable and sensitive quantification method of FN orientation. In this study, we developed a MATLAB-based feature enhancement method to quantify FN and F-actin orientation. The role of F-actin in FN remodeling was also studied by treating ECs with cytochalasin D. We have demonstrated that FN and F-actin codistributed and coaligned parallel to the flow direction, and that F-actin alignment played an essential role in regulating FN alignment in response to shear stress. Our findings offer insight into how ECs cooperatively remodel their subcellular ECM and intracellular F-actin cytoskeleton in response to mechanical stimuli, and are valuable for vascular tissue engineering.
Studies of schizophrenia at drug-naive state and on antipsychotic medication have reported a number of regions of gray-matter (GM) abnormalities but the reports have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to conduct multimodal meta-analysis to compare the cross-sectional voxel-based morphometry studies of brain GM in antipsychotic-naive first-episode schizophrenia (AN-FES) and those with antipsychotic treatment within 1 year (AT-FES) to determine the similarities and differences in these groups. We conducted two separate meta-analyses containing 24 studies with a sample size of 801 patients and 957 healthy controls. A multimodal meta-analysis method was used to compare the findings between AN-FES and AT-FES. Meta-regression analyses were done to determine the influence of different variables including age, duration of illness, and positive and negative symptom scores. Finally, jack-knife analyses were done to test the robustness of the results. AN-FES and AT-FES showed common patterns of GM abnormalities in frontal (gyrus rectus), superior temporal, left hippocampal and insular cortex. GM in the left supramarginal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus were found to be increased in AN-FES but decreased in AT-FES, whereas left median cingulate/paracingulate gyri and right hippocampus GM was decreased in AN-FES but increased in AT-FES. Findings suggest that both AN-FES and AT-FES share frontal, temporal and insular regions as common anatomical regions to be affected indicating these to be the primary regions of GM abnormalities in both groups.
Phyto-oestrogens are a family of plant-derived xeno-oestrogens that appear to have beneficial effects on human health. To date, no data are available about phyto-oestrogen consumption affecting liver health in a population. The present study aimed to explore the relationship of urinary phyto-oestrogen metabolites with serum liver enzymes in US adults. A nationally representative sample of US adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003–10 was analysed. The cross-sectional study sample consisted of 6438 adults with data on urinary phyto-oestrogen levels, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and γ-glutamyl transaminase (GGT) concentrations and data on other potential confounders. Multivariate logistic regression and linear regression were applied to assess associations between urinary phyto-oestrogen levels and ALT, AST, ALP and GGT concentrations. We found a remarkable association between urinary enterolactone and GGT in both adult males (OR 0·37, 95 % CI 0·22, 0·61; P= 0·003) and females (OR 0·37, 95 % CI 0·26, 0·54; P= 0·009). Moreover, elevated enterolactone levels were inversely associated with ALT and AST levels in adult males. However, no association was present between levels of urinary daidzein, O-desmethylangolensin, equol, enterodiol or genistein with liver enzyme levels in this population. The present study results provide epidemiological evidence that urinary enterolactone levels are associated with liver GGT levels in humans. This suggests a potential protective effect of enterolactone on human liver function. However, the underlying mechanisms still need further investigation.