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Mo, Zr, and Y with low diffusion coefficients in Al matrix were used to improve the high-temperature properties of the Al–5.8Cu–0.3Mn–0.2Mg alloy. The effects of these microalloying elements on the microstructures of the Al–5.8Cu–0.3Mn–0.2Mg alloy were investigated with the aid of optical microscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM). The HRTEM images and selected area electron diffraction patterns indicated that L12-Al3(Zr, Y), Al3Zr, Al3Y, and Al12Mo could precipitate in the process of solid solution treatment after adding Mo, Zr, and Y. These Mo-, Zr-, and Y-containing precipitates were stable at high temperatures and could slow the coarsening rate of θ′ precipitates at high temperatures. The tensile strength of the Al–5.8Cu–0.3Mn–0.2Mg alloy modified by Mo, Zr, and Y microalloying elements was improved significantly at both room and high temperatures. The strengthening mechanisms were discussed in detail.
Enhancing the supply of arginine (Arg), a semi-essential amino acid, has positive effects on immune function in dairy cattle experiencing metabolic stress during early lactation. Our objective was to determine the effects of Arg supplementation on biomarkers of liver damage and inflammation in cows during early lactation. Six Chinese Holstein lactating cows with similar BW (508 ± 14 kg), body condition score (3.0), parity (4.0 ± 0), milk yield (30.6 ± 1.8 kg) and days in milk (20 ± days) were randomly assigned to three treatments in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design balanced for carryover effects. Each period was 21 days with 7 days for infusion and 14 days for washout. Treatments were (1) Control: saline; (2) Arg group: saline + 0.216 mol/day l-Arg; and (3) Alanine (Ala) group: saline + 0.868 mol/day l-Ala (iso-nitrogenous to the Arg group). Blood and milk samples from the experimental cows were collected on the last day of each infusion period and analyzed for indices of liver damage and inflammation, and the count and composition of somatic cells in milk. Compared with the Control, the infusion of Arg led to greater concentrations of total protein, immunoglobulin M and high density lipoprotein cholesterol coupled with lower concentrations of haptoglobin and tumor necrosis factor-α, and activity of aspartate aminotransferase in serum. Infusion of Ala had no effect on those biomarkers compared with the Control. Although milk somatic cell count was not affected, the concentration of granulocytes was lower in response to Arg infusion compared with the Control or Ala group. Overall, the biomarker analyses indicated that the supplementation of Arg via the jugular vein during early lactation alleviated inflammation and metabolic stress.
In the manufacturing process of sophisticated and individualized large components, classical solutions to build large machine tools cannot meet the demand. A hybrid robot, which is made up of a 3 degree-of-freedom (3-DOF) parallel manipulator and a 2-DOF serial manipulator, has been developed as a plug-and-play robotized module that can be rapidly located in multi-stations where machining operations can be performed in situ. However, processing towards high absolute accuracy has become a huge challenge due to the movement of robot platform. In this paper, a human-guided vision system is proposed and integrated in the robot system to improve the accuracy of the end-effector of a robot. A handheld manipulator is utilized as a tool for human–robot interaction in the large-scale unstructured circumstances without intelligence. With 6-DOF, humans are able to manipulate the robot (end-effector) so as to guide the camera to see target markers mounted on the machining datum. Simulation is operated on the virtual control platform V-Rep, showing a high robust and real-time performance on mapping human manipulation to the end-effector of robot. And then, a vision-based pose estimation method on a target marker is proposed to define the position and orientation of machining datum, and a compensation method is applied to reduce pose errors on the entire machining trajectory. The algorithms are tested on V-Rep, and the results show that the absolute pose error reduces greatly with the proposed methods, and the system is immune to the motion deviation of the robot platform.
The Richtmyer–Meshkov (RM) instability is numerically investigated on an unperturbed interface subjected to a diffracted convergent shock created by diffracting an initially cylindrical shock over a rigid cylinder. Four gas interfaces are considered with Atwood number ranging from
0.18 to 0.67. Results indicate that the diffracted convergent shock increases its strength gradually and reduces its amplitude quickly when it propagates towards the convergence centre. After the strike of the diffracted convergent shock, the initially unperturbed interface deforms with a bulge structure at the centre and two interface steps at both sides, which can be ascribed to the non-uniformity of the pressure distribution behind the diffracted convergent shock. With the decrease of Atwood number, the bulge structure becomes more pronounced. Quantitatively, the interface amplitude experiences a fast but short growing stage and then enters a linear stage. A good collapse of the dimensionless amplitude is found for all cases, which indicates a weak dependence of the growth rate on Atwood number in the deformed shock-induced RM instability. Then the impulsive theory is modified by eliminating the Atwood number and considering the geometry convergence, which well predicts the amplitude growth for the deformed shock-induced RM instability. Finally, the underlying mechanism is decoupled into three parts, and it is found that both the impulsive pressure perturbation and the geometry convergence promote the growth of interface perturbation while the continuous pressure perturbation inhibits the growth. As the Atwood number decreases, the impulsive perturbation plays an increasingly important role, which suggests that the impulsive perturbation dominates the deformed shock-induced RM instability at the linear stage.
Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
Resistant starch (RS) was recently approved to exert a powerful influence on gut health, but the effect of RS on the cecal barrier function in meat ducks has not been well defined. Thus, the effect of raw potato starch (RPS), a widely adopted RS material, on microbial composition and barrier function of cecum for meat ducks was determined. Cherry Valley male ducks, 360,1-day-old, were randomly divided and fed diets with 0% (control), 12%, or 24% RPS for 35 d. Diets Supplemented with RPS significantly elevated villus height and villus height: crypt depth ratio in the cecum. The 16S rRNA sequence analysis indicated that the diet with 12% RPS had a higher relative abundance of Firmicutes and the butyrate-producing bacteria Faecalibacterium, Subdoligranulum, and Erysipelatoclostridium were enriched among all diets. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were significantly increased in the 24% RPS diet vs. the control diet. When compared with the control diet, the diet with 12% RPS also was found to notably increase acetate, propionate and butyrate contents, and up-regulated barrier-related genes including Claudin-1, Zonula occludens (ZO)-1, mucin-2, and proglucagon of cecum. Furthermore, addition of 12% RPS significantly reduced plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, and endotoxin concentrations. These data revealed that diets supplemented with 12% RPS partially improved cecal barrier function in meat ducks by enhancing intestinal morphology and barrier markers expression, modulating the microbiota composition, and attenuating inflammatory markers.
The evolution of an
layer surrounded by air is experimentally studied in a semi-annular convergent shock tube by high-speed schlieren photography. The gas layer with a sinusoidal outer interface and a circular inner interface is realized by the soap-film technique such that the initial condition is well controlled. Results show that the thicker the gas layer, the weaker the interface–coupling effect and the slower the evolution of the outer interface. Induced by the distorted transmitted shock and the interface coupling, the inner interface exhibits a slow perturbation growth which can be largely suppressed by reducing the layer thickness. After the reshock, the inner perturbation increases linearly at a growth rate independent of the initial layer thickness as well as of the outer perturbation amplitude and wavelength, and the growth rate can be well predicted by the model of Mikaelian (Physica D, vol. 36, 1989, pp. 343–357) with an empirical coefficient of 0.31. After the linear stage, the growth rate decreases continuously, and finally the perturbation freezes at a constant amplitude caused by the successive stagnation of spikes and bubbles. The convergent geometry constraint as well as the very weak compressibility at late stages are responsible for this instability freeze-out.
Metal oxides are promising candidates as the anodes of next-generation lithium ion batteries. However, the low electronic conductivities hinder their practical applications. Herein, through a facile calcination process using ammonium bicarbonate (NH4HCO3) as the N source, the nitrogen heteroelement was introduced into the ZnO/CoO micro-/nanospheres, which greatly improves the conductivity of the composites. As the lithium-ion battery anode, the N-doped ZnO/CoO micro-/nanosphere demonstrates much enhanced electrochemical performance. It displays a high initial capacity of 911.8 mA h/g at a current density of 0.2 A/g and long-term cycling stability, with a reversible capacity of 977.8 mA h/g remained after 500 cycles at a current density of 1 A/g. Furthermore, the N-doped ZnO/CoO composite presents an outstanding rate performance, with 605 mA h/g remained even at 5 A/g. The excellent electrochemical properties make N-doped ZnO/CoO micro-/nanospheres a promising candidate as high-performance anodes for next-generation rechargeable LIBs.
A novel shock tube is designed to investigate the nonlinear feature of convergent Richtmyer–Meshkov instability on a single-mode interface formed by a soap film technique. The shock tube employs a concave–oblique–convex wall profile which first transforms a planar shock into a cylindrical arc, then gradually strengthens the cylindrical shock along the oblique wall, and finally converts it back into a planar one. Therefore, the new facility can realize analysis on compressibility and nonlinearity of convergent Richtmyer–Meshkov instability by eliminating the interface deceleration and reshock. Five sinusoidal
interfaces with different amplitudes and wavelengths are considered. For all cases, the perturbation amplitude experiences a linear growth much longer than that in the planar geometry. A compressible linear model is derived by considering a constant uniform fluid compression, which shows a slight difference to the incompressible theory. However, both the linear models overestimate the perturbation growth from a very early stage due to the presence of strong nonlinearity. The nonlinear model of Wang et al. (Phys. Plasmas, vol. 22, 2015, 082702) is demonstrated to predict well the amplitude growth up to a normalized time of 1.0. The prolongation of the linear increment is mainly ascribed to the counteraction between the promotion by geometric convergence and the suppression by nonlinearity. Growths of the first three harmonics, obtained by a Fourier analysis of the interface contour, provide a first thorough validation of the nonlinear theory.
A Pickering emulsion was prepared via synergistic stabilization of a lipase and palygorskite particles. The optimum conditions for the stabilization of the Pickering emulsion, such as the concentrations of the palygorskite particles and lipase, were explored. The morphology of emulsion droplets was examined using digital optical microscopy and polarizing optical microscopy. The palygorskite–lipase co-stabilized Pickering emulsions were investigated by determination of the adsorption rate, pH and zeta potential of the aqueous dispersion, as well as by determining the contact angle values of the lipase solution on a palygorskite disc that was immersed in toluene. The catalytic performance of the immobilized lipase in the Pickering emulsion was studied via the investigation of its thermal stability, storage stability and reusability. The immobilized lipase showed greater stability than the free lipase. The lipase immobilized by Pickering emulsion retained a high level of activity even after seven periods of recycling.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Deformable linear objects (DLOs) have a wide variety of applications in a range of fields. Their key characteristic is that they extend much further in one of their dimensions than in the other two. Accurate motion planning is particularly important in the case of DLOs used in robotics applications. In this paper, a new strategy for planning the motions of DLOs under multiple constraints is proposed. The DLO was modeled as Cosserat elastic rods so that the deformation is simulated accurately and efficiently. The control of the motion of the DLO was enhanced by supplementing one gripper installed at each end with additional supports. This allows DLOs to undergo complex deformations, and thus avoid collisions during motion. The appropriate number of supports and their positions were determined, and then a rapidly exploring random tree algorithm was used to search for the best path to guide the DLO toward its target destination. The motion of the simulated DLO is described as it is controlled using two grippers and specific numbers of supports. To prove that the proposed DLO motion planning strategy can successfully guide relatively long DLOs through complex environments without colliding with obstacles, a case study of the strategy was conducted when guiding a DLO through a puzzle.
Difference-in-differences is a widely used evaluation strategy that draws causal inference from observational panel data. Its causal identification relies on the assumption of parallel trends, which is scale-dependent and may be questionable in some applications. A common alternative is a regression model that adjusts for the lagged dependent variable, which rests on the assumption of ignorability conditional on past outcomes. In the context of linear models, Angrist and Pischke (2009) show that the difference-in-differences and lagged-dependent-variable regression estimates have a bracketing relationship. Namely, for a true positive effect, if ignorability is correct, then mistakenly assuming parallel trends will overestimate the effect; in contrast, if the parallel trends assumption is correct, then mistakenly assuming ignorability will underestimate the effect. We show that the same bracketing relationship holds in general nonparametric (model-free) settings. We also extend the result to semiparametric estimation based on inverse probability weighting. We provide three examples to illustrate the theoretical results with replication files in Ding and Li (2019).