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Over recent decades, Chinese giant salamanders Andrias spp. have declined dramatically across much of their range. Overexploitation and habitat degradation have been widely cited as the cause of these declines. To investigate the relative contribution of each of these factors in driving the declines, we carried out standardized ecological and questionnaire surveys at 98 sites across the range of giant salamanders in China. We did not find any statistically significant differences between water parameters (temperature, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, alkalinity, hardness and flow rate) recorded at sites where giant salamanders were detected by survey teams and/or had been recently seen by local respondents, and sites where they were not detected and/or from which they had recently been extirpated. Additionally, we found direct and indirect evidence that the extraction of giant salamanders from the wild is ongoing, including within protected areas. Our results support the hypothesis that the decline of giant salamanders across China has been primarily driven by overexploitation. Data on water parameters may be informative for the establishment of conservation breeding programmes, an initiative recommended for the conservation of these species.
The mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) differs between countries and regions. This study aimed to clarify the clinical characteristics of imported and second-generation cases in Shaanxi. This study included 134 COVID-19 cases in Shaanxi outside Wuhan. Clinical data were compared between severe and non-severe cases. We further profiled the dynamic laboratory findings of some patients. In total, 34.3% of the 134 patients were severe cases, 11.2% had complications. As of 7 March 2020, 91.8% patients were discharged and one patient (0.7%) died. Age, lymphocyte count, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, direct bilirubin, lactate dehydrogenase and hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase showed difference between severe and no-severe cases (all P < 0.05). Baseline lymphocyte count was higher in survived patients than in non-survivor case, and it increased as the condition improved, but declined sharply when death occurred. The interleukin-6 (IL-6) level displayed a downtrend in survivors, but rose very high in the death case. Pulmonary fibrosis was found on later chest computed tomography images in 51.5% of the pneumonia cases. Imported and second-generation cases outside Wuhan had a better prognosis than initial cases in Wuhan. Lymphocyte count and IL-6 level could be used for evaluating prognosis. Pulmonary fibrosis as the sequelae of COVID-19 should be taken into account.
Comprehensive screening of rice (Oryza sativa L. subsp. japonica Kato) germplasm resources with different nitrogen (N) efficiency levels is effective for improving N use efficiency (NUE) while reducing pollution and providing high quality, yield, and efficiency agriculture. We investigated 14 indices of 38 varieties under three N application levels to assess differences among genotypes. Rice varieties were classified for screening and identifying N efficient. Descriptive statistical analysis results indicated significant differences in relative yield, and also in NUE indices (agronomic utilization rate and partial productivity of N fertilizer). The genotype main effects and genotype–environment interaction effects (GGE) biplot analysis was used to evaluate suitable varieties, compare the stable and high yield capabilities of different varieties, find the ideal variety, and describe the correlation, discrimination and representativeness of the indices under different N application levels. Descriptive statistical, discrimitiveness and representativeness and factor analysis were used to select indices, in which the panicle number per plant and soil and plant analyzer development (SPAD) value were the key indices for evaluation and identification. Heatmap and hierarchical cluster analysis based on the average value of evaluation indices, and scatter plot based on the comprehensive value of N efficiency (P) according to formula showed that all varieties could be divided into five types under different N treatments. Our findings work toward developing N efficient rice varieties to improve NUE, reduce N fertilizer application and thus N waste, consequently mitigating the effects of rice production on the environment to ensure food security and sustainable agricultural development.
This paper presents an investigation of the precise point positioning (PPP) performance of a combined solution from BDS-2 and BDS-3 satellites. To simultaneously process different BDS signal observations, i.e., B1/B1C, B2/B2a and B3C, undifferenced and uncombined observations with ionosphere delay constrained by the deterministic plus stochastic ionosphere model are used in the basic model. Special attention is paid to code bias and receiver clock parameters in the derivation of the observation model. The analysis is carried out using more than one-month data for BDS-2 and BDS-3 collected at the CANB, DWIN, KNDY and PETH stations in the Asia-Pacific region. The results suggest that compared with BDS-2 alone, the BDS-2 and BDS-3 solution provides significantly more accurate PPP, with increases of 28%, 21% and 5% in the up, north and east directions, respectively. In addition, the average root mean square error decreases to 0·21, 0·13 and 0·16 m for the three directions. Furthermore, the PPP convergence time for BDS-2 and BDS-3 is about 1·5 h and less than 1 h for the horizontal and vertical components, respectively, whereas that for BDS-2 alone is about 2·3 h for both directions.
To assess helical tomotherapy (TOMO) current clinical application and practice in mainland China.
Materials and methods:
Data were collected for all TOMO units clinically operational in mainland China by 30 April 2016, including (a) the distribution of installation and staffing levels; (b) types of cancers treated; (c) utilisation efficiency; (d) quality assurance; (e) maintenance; (f) optional features; and (g) satisfaction levels. The data were collected as a census and analysed qualitatively and quantitatively.
As of 30 April 2016, 23 TOMO units were used clinically by 22 hospitals in mainland China. In the same period, 22,558 cancer patients were treated. For TOMO units with more than a year of clinical utilisation, a median of 378 cases were treated annually per machine. The median daily operation was 10·5 hours, and treatment headcount was 38·3 patients. The median service outage rate was 2·6%, and the most common cause was malfunction of the multi-leaf collimator. In terms of overall satisfaction levels, 3 hospitals were very satisfied, 16 were satisfied and 3 considered their satisfaction level as average.
The overall operation of TOMO is good, but there are some problems due to running at full capacity, lack of clinical efficacy research and insufficient quality assurance regulations.
Thermoregulation has been suggested to influence mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) evolution. Previous studies revealed that the mitochondrial protein-coding genes of fish living in temperate climates have smaller dN/dS (Non-synonymous substitution rate/Synonymous substitution rate) than tropical species. However, it is unknown whether different geographic populations of one fish species experience stronger selective pressures between cold and warm climates. The biological characteristics of the Japanese sand lance, Ammodytes personatus in the North-western Pacific is well-suited for assessing the performance of mtDNA evolution among separate geographic populations. In this study, we focused on the mitochondrial ATP6 gene of A. personatus using 174 individuals from eight different sea temperature populations. Two distinct haplotype lineages and a significant population structure (P = 0.016) were found in this species. The frequencies of the two lineages varied with the changes of annual sea temperature. The southern lineage (lineage A, dN/dS = 0.0384) showed a larger dN/dS value than the northern lineage (lineage B, dN/dS = 0.0167), suggesting that sea temperature greatly influences the evolution of the two lineages. The result provides robust evidence of local adaptation between populations in A. personatus.
Haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is transmitted to humans mainly by rodents and this transmission could be easily influenced by meteorological factors. Given the long-term changes in climate associated with global climate change, it is important to better identify the effects of meteorological factors of HFRS in epidemic areas. Shandong province is one of the most seriously suffered provinces of HFRS in China. Daily HFRS data and meteorological data from 2007 to 2012 in Shandong province were applied. Quasi-Poisson regression with the distributed lag non-linear model was used to estimate the influences of mean temperature and Diurnal temperature range (DTR) on HFRS by sex, adjusting for the effects of relative humidity, precipitation, day-of-the-week, long-term trends and seasonality. A total of 6707 HFRS cases were reported in our study. The two peaks of HFRS were from March to June and from October to December, particularly, the latter peak in 2012. The estimated effects of mean temperature and DTR on HFRS were non-linear. The immediate and strong effect of low temperature and high DTR on HFRS was found. The lowest temperature −8.86°C at lag 0 days indicated the largest related relative risk (RRs) with the reference (14.85 °C), respectively, 1.46 (95% CI 1.11–1.90) for total cases, 1.33 (95% CI 1.00–1.78) for the males and 1.76 (95% CI 1.12–2.79) for the females. Highest DTR was associated with a higher risk on HFRS, the largest RRs (95% CI) were obtained when DTR = 15.97 °C with a reference at 8.62 °C, with 1.26 (0.96–1.64) for total cases and 1.52 (0.97–2.38) for the female at lag 0 days, 1.22 (1.05–1.41) for the male at lag 5 days. Non-linear lag effects of mean temperature and DTR on HFRS were identified and there were slight differences for different sexes.
The morphology, composition, and structure of precipitates in an Al–Si–Mg–Hf alloy after heat treatment at 560°C for 20 h were studied by means of Cs-corrected high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and first-principle calculations. Precipitates with three kinds of morphologies were observed. The rectangular and square precipitates were predominantly (Si2−xAlx)Hf phases, while the nanobelt-like precipitate is the Si2Hf phase. First-principle calculations were used to show that the Si6 and Si8 sites were the most favorable sites for Al incorporation in the orthorhombic Si2Hf phase.
Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and major depressive disorder
(MDD) are likely to be caused by multiple susceptibility genes, each with
small effects in increasing the risk of illness. Identifying DNA variants
associated with schizophrenia and MDD is a crucial step in understanding
the pathophysiology of these disorders.
To investigate whether the SP4 gene plays a significant
role in schizophrenia or MDD in the Han Chinese population.
We focused on nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) harbouring the
SP4 gene and carried out case–control studies in 1235
patients with schizophrenia, 1045 patients with MDD and 1235 healthy
controls recruited from the Han Chinese population.
We found that rs40245 was significantly associated with schizophrenia in
both allele and genotype distributions (Pallele = 0.0005, Pallele = 0.004 after Bonferroni correction; Pgenotype = 0.0023, Pgenotype = 0.0184 after Bonferroni correction). The rs6461563
SNP was significantly associated with schizophrenia in the allele
distributions (Pallele = 0.0033, Pallele = 0.0264 after Bonferroni correction).
Our results suggest that common risk factors in the SP4
gene are associated with schizophrenia, although not with MDD, in the Han
A large schizophrenia genome-wide association study (GWAS) and a
subsequent extensive replication study of individuals of European
ancestry identified eight new loci with genome-wide significance and
suggested that the MIR137-mediated pathway plays a role
in the predisposition for schizophrenia.
To validate the above findings in a Han Chinese population.
We analysed the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the newly
identified schizophrenia candidate loci and predicted
MIR137 target genes based on our published Han
Chinese populations (BIOX) GWAS data. We then analysed 18 SNPs from the
candidate regions in an independent cohort that consisted of 3585
patients with schizophrenia and 5496 controls of Han Chinese
We replicated the associations of five markers
(P<0.05), including three that were located in the
predicted MIR137 target genes. Two loci
(ITIH3/4: rs2239547, P
=1.17×10–10 and CALN1: rs2944829,
P=9.97×10–9) exhibited genome-wide
significance in the Han Chinese population.
The ITIH3/4 locus has been reported to be of genome-wide
significance in the European population. The successful replication of
this finding in a different ethnic group provides stronger evidence for
the association between schizophrenia and ITIH3/4. We
detected the first genome-wide significant association of schizophrenia
with CALN1, which is a predicted target of
MIR137, and thus provide new evidence for the
associations between MIR137 targets and
Common psychiatric disorders are highly heritable, indicating that genetic factors play an important role in their aetiology. The CACNA1C gene, which codes for subunit alpha-1C of the Cav1.2 voltage-dependent L-type calcium channel, has been consistently found to be the shared risk gene for several kinds of mental disorder.
To investigate whether CACNA1C is a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia and major depressive disorder in the Han Chinese population.
We carried out a case–control study of 1235 patients with schizophrenia, 1045 with major depressive disorder and 1235 healthy controls. A tag single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1006737 along with another 10 tag SNPs in the CACNA1C gene were genotyped in all samples.
We found that rs1006737 was associated with both schizophrenia (Pallele = 0.0014, Pgenotype = 0.006, odds ratio (OR) = 1.384, 95% CI 1.134–1.690) and major depressive disorder (Pallele = 0.0007, Pgenotype = 0.003, OR = 1.425, 95% CI 1.160–1.752).
Our findings support CACNA1C being a risk gene for both schizophrenia and major depressive disorder in the Han Chinese population.
In this work, we investigated the influence of N-polar wet etching on the properties of nitride-based hexagonal pyramids array (HPA) vertical-injection light emitting diodes (V-LEDs). The cathodeluminescence images showed the randomly distribution of hexagonal pyramids with isolated active regions. The transmission electron microscopy images demonstrated the reduced density of threading dislocations. The IQE was estimated by temperature dependence of photoluminescence, which showed 30% increase for HPA V-LEDs compared with broad area (BA) V-LEDs. The improved extraction efficiency was verified by finite difference time domain simulation, which was 20% higher than that of roughened BA V-LEDs. The electrical properties of HPA V-LEDs were measured by conductive atomic force microscopy (CAFM) measurements. HPA V-LEDs exhibited much lower leakage current due to the improved crystal quality.
Children in China are experiencing a rapid increase in the prevalence of obesity, which is associated with hypertension. To compare the effect of body fat on blood pressure (BP) with that of the normal physical growth, we compared BP levels in Chinese children with different body fat levels. In the present population-based study, 13 972 children in the highest-skinfold-thickness-quartile group were individually matched to 13 972 children in the lowest-skinfold-thickness-quartile group by height and weight. Similarly, 5103 children in the highest-waist-circumference-quartile group were matched to the same number of children in the lowest-waist-circumference-quartile group. The high- and low-fat groups had similar height and weight but the high-fat group had significantly higher skinfold and waist circumference measurements. The differences in systolic BP (SBP) between the high- and low-skinfold-thickness groups were small: 0·01 (95 % CI − 0·41, 0·44) mmHg in boys and 0·20 (95 % CI − 0·15, 0·54) mmHg in girls. The differences in diastolic BP (DBP) were also small (0·39 and 0·38 mmHg for boys and girls, respectively) but were statistically significant. The differences in both SBP and DBP between the high- and low-waist-circumference groups were small but not statistically significant. For a given body size as measured by height and weight, relative body fat had little impact on BP levels in these children. Fat mass and lean mass may have a similar quantitative impact on BP in healthy-weight children.
The emission from a light emitting diode (LED) that is emitted under the metal electrode cannot escape into free space. A current blocking layer (CBL) is used to address this issue by forcing the current to flow laterally under the electrode reducing the emission absorbed and hence increasing the overall efficiency of the LED. In this paper a new method to fabricate Schottky and isolating CBLs in GaN LED are investigated. Optical and electrical measurements of these vertical LEDs with and without CBL show different light output powers at identical current densities. The results of this study indicate that CBLs could also be used to suppress the efficiency droop effect for GaN LEDs.
We reported a simple and convenient method to determine the film thickness by nanoindentation tests. This method starts from the analysis of the unloading portion of the measured nanoindentation load-displacement curves according to a quadratic polynomial, P = α(h − hf)2 − P0, where P is the indentation load, P0 is the virtual load used to consider the effect of the residual contact stress, h is the indenter displacement (penetration depth), hf is the final displacement after complete unloading which should be determined by curve fitting, and α is a constant. Then the best-fit value of the parameter P0 is plotted as a function of the maximum penetration depth, hmax. Such a P0 versus hmax curve may pass through a minimum, and hmax corresponding to this minimum would be equal to the film thickness value.
Abdominal obesity is a risk factor for cardiometabolic disease, and has become a major public health problem in the world. Waist circumference is generally used as a simple surrogate marker to define abdominal obesity for population screening. An increasing number of publications solely rely on the method that maximises sensitivity and specificity to define ‘optimal’ cut-off values. It is well documented that the optimal cut-off values of waist circumference vary across different ethnicities. However, it is not clear if the variation in cut-off values is a true biological phenomenon or an artifact of the method for identifying optimal cut-off points. The objective of the present review was to assess the relationship between optimal cut-offs and population waist circumference levels. Among sixty-one research papers, optimal cut-off values ranged from 65·5 to 101·2 cm for women and 72·5 to 103·0 cm for men. Reported optimal cut-off values were highly correlated with population means (correlation coefficient: 0·91 for men and 0·93 for women). Such a strong association was independent of waist circumference measurement techniques or the health outcomes (dyslipidaemia, hypertension or hyperglycaemia), and existed in some homogeneous populations such as the Chinese and Japanese. Our findings raised some concerns about applying the sensitivity and specificity approach to determine cut-off values. Further research is needed to understand whether the differences among populations in waist circumference were genetically or environmentally determined, and to understand whether using region-specific cut-off points can identify individuals with the same absolute risk levels of metabolic and cardiovascular outcomes among different populations.
To establish BMI percentile curves that describe the contemporary BMI distribution among Chinese children, and to compare their BMI percentile curves with those in two recently developed international references: the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) growth references.
A cross-sectional national survey.
Thirty provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China.
Nationally representative sample of 232 140 school students aged 7–18 years.
BMI percentile curves were established using the LMS method, and were compared with the percentiles of the WHO and the US CDC references. BMI distributions and growth patterns in Chinese children were dramatically different from those in the two international reference populations. Compared with the international reference populations, younger Chinese boys (7–12 years of age) had higher values of the percentiles above the median and lower values of the percentiles below the median, suggesting that they had larger proportions of extreme BMI values in both directions. Chinese girls and older Chinese boys (15–18 years of age) had substantially lower BMI percentiles than their counterparts in the reference populations, particularly those high percentiles among older age groups.
The present study described the unique patterns of BMI curves at the national level, and these curves are useful as a reference for comparing different regions and for monitoring changes over time in Chinese children. Higher proportions of children with extreme values in both directions indicate that China is currently facing both an increasing level of obesity and a high level of undernutrition, simultaneously.
China is experiencing a rapid increase in overweight and related conditions. This study describes the geographic variation in BMI levels and the prevalence of overweight and underweight in Chinese adults, and assesses their relations with regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita levels. BMI values and the prevalence of overweight and underweight in 143 522 adults from the Chinese National Nutrition and Health Survey (2002) were calculated according to geographic regions in China. Their correlations with GDP were assessed. Linear and logistic regressions were used to adjust for age, sex and city–country composition. BMI and the prevalence of overweight were highest in the Bohai coastal regions while lowest in southern provinces such as Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, Hunan and Fujian. Mean BMI values ranged from 20·72 to 25·48 kg/m2, and the prevalence of overweight ranged from 6·6 to 53·9 %. BMI and the prevalence of overweight were positively correlated with economic development, particularly in the northern regions. However, for regions with similar GDP per capita levels, those in the south had substantially lower BMI and lower prevalence of overweight than those in the north. Interestingly, some southern regions with high GDP per capita had low BMI and low prevalence of overweight. The prevalence of underweight was highest in the south. Substantial geographic variations in the prevalence of overweight and underweight exist in China. Such variations cannot be fully explained by the differences in economic status. China is currently facing challenges of both overweight and underweight but priorities vary in different regions.