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Phase-change materials (PCMs) have demonstrated a wide range of potential applications ranging from electronic memories to photonic devices. These applications are enabled by the unconventional portfolio of properties that characterizes crystalline PCMs. Here, we address the origin of these unusual properties and how they are related to the application potential of these materials. Evidence will be presented that the properties are related to an unconventional bonding mechanism. Employing a novel map, which separates solids according to the number of electrons transferred and shared between adjacent atoms, it is shown that PCMs occupy a well-defined region. Depicting physical properties such as the optical dielectric constant as the third dimension in the map reveals systematic property trends. Such trends can be utilized to unravel the origins of the unconventional materials properties or alternatively, as a means to optimize them.
The exploitation of phase-change materials (PCMs) in diverse technological applications can be greatly aided by a better understanding of the microscopic origins of their functional properties. Over the last decade, simulations based on electronic-structure calculations within density functional theory (DFT) have provided useful insights into the properties of PCMs. However, large simulation cells and long simulation times beyond the reach of DFT simulations are needed to address several key issues of relevance for the performance of devices. One way to overcome the limitations of DFT methods is to use machine learning (ML) techniques to build interatomic potentials for fast molecular dynamics simulations that still retain a quasi-ab initio accuracy. Here, we review the insights gained on the functional properties of the prototypical PCM GeTe by harnessing such interatomic potentials. Applications and future challenges of the ML techniques in the study of PCMs are also outlined.
The co-occurrence of hepatic cystic echinococcosis (CE) and alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is extremely rare. Here, we present the clinical manifestations and treatment outcomes of three cases with co-occurring CE and AE in the liver. Computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging and 18FFluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography-CT were used for preoperative diagnosis. Specimens were taken intraoperatively and sent for pathological studies to confirm the coexistence of CE and AE by laminated membrane, daughter cysts or germinal layer and infiltration structure. Albendazole was prescribed after operation for 12 months. All patients were completely recovered and showed no recurrence at last follow-up. Therefore, surgical intervention and postoperative application of albendazole are recommended for patients with concurrence of hepatic AE and CE.
Crystal structure and electronic structure of YMnO3 were investigated by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy related techniques. According to the density of states (DOS), the individual interband transitions to energy loss peaks in the low energy loss spectrum were assigned. The hybridization of O 2p with Mn 3d and Y 4d analyzed by the partial DOS was critical to the ferroelectric nature of YMnO3. From the simulation of the energy loss near-edge structure, the fine structure of O K-edge was in good agreement with the experimental spectrum. The valence state of Mn (+3) in YMnO3 was determined by a comparison between experiment and calculations.
l-Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial β-oxidation and has been used as a lipid-lowering feed additive in humans and farmed animals. d-Carnitine is an optical isomer of l-carnitine and dl-carnitine has been widely used in animal feeds. However, the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine are difficult to study because of the endogenous l-carnitine background. In the present study, we developed a low-carnitine Nile tilapia model by treating fish with a carnitine synthesis inhibitor, and used this model to investigate the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine in nutrient metabolism in fish. l- or d-carnitine (0·4 g/kg diet) was fed to the low-carnitine tilapia for 6 weeks. l-Carnitine feeding increased the acyl-carnitine concentration from 3522 to 10 822 ng/g and alleviated the lipid deposition from 15·89 to 11·97 % in the liver of low-carnitine tilapia. However, as compared with l-carnitine group, d-carnitine feeding reduced the acyl-carnitine concentration from 10 822 to 5482 ng/g, and increased lipid deposition from 11·97 to 20·21 % and the mRNA expression of the genes involved in β-oxidation and detoxification in the liver. d-Carnitine feeding also induced hepatic inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis. A metabolomic investigation further showed that d-carnitine feeding increased glycolysis, protein metabolism and activity of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, l-carnitine can be physiologically utilised in fish, whereas d-carnitine is metabolised as a xenobiotic and induces lipotoxicity. d-Carnitine-fed fish demonstrates increases in peroxisomal β-oxidation, glycolysis and amino acid degradation to maintain energy homeostasis. Therefore, d-carnitine is not recommended for use in farmed animals.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
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.
To compare and validate neurocognitive tests in the Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HCAP) for the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), and to identify appropriate tests to be administered in future waves of CHARLS.
We recruited 825 individuals from the CHARLS sample and 766 subjects from hospitals in six provinces and cities in China. All participants were administered the HCAP-neurocognitive tests, and their informants were interviewed regarding the respondents’ functional status. Trained clinicians administered the Clinical Dementia Rating scale (CDR) to assess the respondents’ cognitive status independently.
The testing protocol took an average of 58 minutes to complete. Refusal rates for tests of general cognition, episodic memory, and language were less than 10%. All neurocognitive test scores significantly correlated with the CDR global score (correlation coefficients ranged from 0.139 to 0.641). The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) - telephone interview for cognitive status (TICS), community screening instrument for dementia (CSI-D) for respondent, episodic memory and language tests each accounted for more than 20% of the variance in global CDR score (p < 0.001) in bivariate tests. In the CHARLS subsample, age and education were associated with neuropsychological performance across most cognitive domains, and with functional status.
A brief set of the CHARLS-HCAP neurocognitive tests are feasible and valid to be used in the CHARLS sample and hospital samples. It could be applied in the future waves of the CHARLS study, and it allows estimating the prevalence of dementia in China through the population-based CHARLS.
The order Onchoproteocephalidea (Eucestoda) was recently erected to accommodate the hook-bearing tetraphyllideans and the proteocephalideans, which are characterized by internal proglottization and a tetra-acetabulate scolex. The recognized subfamilies in the Proteocephalidae appeared to be non-monophyletic based on 28S recombinant DNA (rDNA) sequence data. Other molecular markers with higher phylogenetic resolution, such as large mitochondrial DNA fragments and multiple genes, are obviously needed. Thus the mitochondrial genome of Gangesia oligonchis, belonging to the putative earliest diverging group of the Proteocephalidae, was sequenced. The circular mitogenome of G. oligonchis was 13,958 bp in size, and contained the standard 36 genes: 22 transfer RNA genes, two rRNA genes and 12 protein-coding genes, as well as two major non-coding regions. A short NCR and a large NCR (lNCR) region were 216 bp and 419 bp in size, respectively. Highly repetitive regions in the lNCR region were detected with that of 11 repeat units. The mitogenome of G. oligonchis shared 71.1% nucleotide identity with Testudotaenia sp. WL-2016. Phylogenetic analyses of the complete mitochondrial genomes with Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods indicated that G. oligonchis formed a sister clade with Testudotaenia sp. WL-2016 with maximum support. The ordinal topology is (Caryophyllidea, (Diphyllobothriidea, (Bothriocephalidea, (Onchoproteocephalidea, Cyclophyllidea)))). The mitogenomic gene arrangement of G. oligonchis was identical to that of Testudotaenia sp. WL-2016. Both mitogenomic and nuclear sequence data for many more taxa are required to effectively explore the inter-relationships among the Onchoproteocephalidea.