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Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis are the common causes of human echinococcosis in China. An accurate species identification tool for human echinococcosis is needed as the treatments and prognosis are different among species. The present work demonstrates a method for the simultaneous detection of these three Echinococcus species based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR). Specific primers of this mPCR were designed based on the mitochondrial genes and determined by extensive tests. The method can successfully detect either separated or mixed target species, and generate expected amplicons of distinct size for each species. Sensitivity of the method was tested by serially diluted DNA, showing a detection threshold as less as 0.32 pg for both E. granulosus s.s. and E. canadensis, and 1.6 pg for E. multilocularis. Specificity assessed against 18 other parasites was found to be 100% except weakly cross-react with E. shiquicus. The assay was additionally applied to 69 echinococcosis patients and 38 healthy persons, confirming the high reliability of the method. Thus, the mPCR described here has high application potential for clinical identification purposes, and can further provide a useful tool for evaluation of serology and imaging method.
Let φ : ℝn × [0, ∞) → [0, ∞) satisfy that φ(x, · ), for any given x ∈ ℝn, is an Orlicz function and φ( · , t) is a Muckenhoupt A∞ weight uniformly in t ∈ (0, ∞). The (weak) Musielak–Orlicz Hardy space Hφ(ℝn) (WHφ(ℝn)) generalizes both the weighted (weak) Hardy space and the (weak) Orlicz Hardy space and hence has wide generality. In this paper, two boundedness criteria for both linear operators and positive sublinear operators from Hφ(ℝn) to Hφ(ℝn) or from Hφ(ℝn) to WHφ(ℝn) are obtained. As applications, we establish the boundedness of Bochner–Riesz means from Hφ(ℝn) to Hφ(ℝn), or from Hφ(ℝn) to WHφ(ℝn) in the critical case. These results are new even when φ(x, t): = Φ(t) for all (x, t) ∈ ℝn × [0, ∞), where Φ is an Orlicz function.
This paper introduces a scheme for waypoint-based path-following control for an Unmanned Robot Sailboat (URS) in the presence of actuator gain uncertainty and unknown environment disturbances. The proposed scheme has two components: intelligent guidance and an adaptive neural controller. Considering upwind and downwind navigation, an improved version of the integral Line-Of-Sight (LOS) guidance principle is developed to generate the appropriate heading reference for a URS. Associated with the integral LOS guidance law, a robust adaptive algorithm is proposed for a URS using Radial Basic Function Neural Networks (RBF-NNs) and a robust neural damping technique. In order to achieve a robust neural damping technique, one single adaptive parameter must be updated online to stabilise the effect of the gain uncertainty and the external disturbance. To ensure Semi-Global Uniform Ultimate Bounded (SGUUB) stability, the Lyapunov theory has been employed. Two simulated experiments have been conducted to illustrate that the control effects can achieve a satisfactory performance.
Repetitive motion planning and control (RMPC) is a significant issue in the research of redundant robot manipulators. Moreover, noise from rounding error, truncation error, and robot uncertainty is an important factor that greatly affects RMPC schemes. In this study, the RMPC of redundant robot manipulators in a noisy environment is investigated. By incorporating the proportional and integral information of the desired path, a new RMPC scheme with pseudoinverse-type (P-type) formulation is proposed. Such a P-type RMPC scheme possesses the suppression of constant and bounded time-varying noises. Comparative simulation results based on a five-link robot manipulator and a PUMA560 robot manipulator are presented to further validate the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed P-type RMPC scheme over the previous one.
To study physical activity and sleep in Fontan patients and healthy controls before and after an endurance training program, and after 1 year.
Fontan patients (n = 30) and healthy controls (n = 25) wore accelerometers for seven consecutive days and nights during a school week before and after a 12-week endurance training program and after 1 year.
Patients had similar sleep duration and sleep efficiency as healthy controls. Latency to sleep onset in minutes was longer for patients than controls (22.4 (4.3–55.3) minutes versus 14.8 (8.6–29.4) minutes, p < 0.01). More time in moderate-to-vigorous activity daytime was correlated with increased sleep time (p < 0.05; r2 = 0.20), improved sleep efficiency (p < 0.01; r2 = 0.24) and less time as wake after sleep onset (p < 0.05; r2 = 0.21) for patients but not controls. Sleep variables did not change after the exercise intervention for patients or controls. After 1 year, patients had decreased total sleep time, decreased sleep efficiency, increased accelerometer counts during sleep and more time as wake after sleep onset during sleep time, but not controls.
Fontan patients have prolonged latency to sleep onset compared with controls. More time in physical activities was correlated with better sleep quality for the patients. Also, subjects with low sleep efficiency and long latency to sleep onset may benefit most from physical exercise. These patients should be encouraged to engage in individually designed physical exercise as this could improve sleep quality.
For spectrally negative Lévy processes, we prove several fluctuation results involving a general draw-down time, which is a downward exit time from a dynamic level that depends on the running maximum of the process. In particular, we find expressions of the Laplace transforms for the two-sided exit problems involving the draw-down time. We also find the Laplace transforms for the hitting time and creeping time over the running-maximum related draw-down level, respectively, and obtain an expression for a draw-down associated potential measure. The results are expressed in terms of scale functions for the spectrally negative Lévy processes.
Coupled with the social practice of female hypergamy, the male surplus within the never-married population means that today's Chinese marriage market is extremely tight in particular for men from a rural background and the least privileged socio-economic categories. Drawing on quantitative data from a survey conducted in 2014–2015, this article sheds light on the situation of single men who are past prime marriage age in three rural districts of Shaanxi particularly affected by this phenomenon. It compares single men's characteristics to those of their married counterparts and offers insights into the heterogeneity of single men with the aim of challenging some commonly accepted assumptions about bachelorhood in rural China. Results suggest a strong internalization of the various characteristics, centred on being able to offer social mobility to a potential wife, that a man is expected to have to be attractive to women in a context where women have more choice in mate selection. We conclude that mate selection is highly marked by class, social norms, social interactions, health, generation and age, and requires the mobilization of certain amounts of individual, social and economic resources. Unwanted bachelorhood would thus be better understood using an intersectional approach rather than mainly in numeric terms.
In January 2016, static GPS measurements were carried out in a 30 × 30 km2 area centered around Kunlun station at Dome Argus (Dome A), East Antarctica, to acquire high-precision 3-D geodetic coordinates at 49 sites. By comparing the coordinates with previous GPS measurements in 2008 and 2013 at the same sites, we constructed a detailed and long-term record of the ice-surface velocity field, 2008–2016, around Dome A. During this time span, the estimated ice-surface velocity ranges from 0.8 ± 0.3 to 28.7 ± 1.6 cm a−1, with a mean of 10.4 ± 0.3 cm a−1. From 2013 to 2016, the surface elevation of most Dome A areas exhibits a rising trend, and the maximum increase of snow surface elevation is 84.8 cm. The mean snow surface elevation change rate at Dome A is estimated to be 6.6 ± 0.7 cm a−1. The difference of 1.0 cm a−1 between the snow surface change rate derived from GPS and pole-height change rate from surface mass balance is suspected to be a result of a combination of firn densification and basal melt under Dome A.
To examine urban–rural disparity in childhood stunting, wasting and malnutrition at national and subnational levels in Chinese primary-school children in 2010 and 2014.
Data were obtained from two nationwide cross-sectional surveys conducted in 2010 and 2014. Malnutrition was classified using the Chinese national ‘Screening Standard for Malnutrition of Children’.
All twenty-seven mainland provinces and four municipalities of mainland China.
Children aged 7–12 years (n 215 214; 107 741 in 2010 and 107 473 in 2014) from thirty-one provinces.
Stunting, wasting and malnutrition prevalence were 1·9, 12·3 and 13·7 % in 2010, but decreased to 1·0, 9·4 and 10·2 % in 2014, respectively. The prevalence of stunting, wasting and malnutrition in both urban and rural children was higher in western provinces, while lower in eastern provinces. Although the prevalence of wasting and malnutrition was higher in rural children than their urban counterparts, the urban–rural disparity in both wasting and malnutrition decreased from 2010 to 2014 (prevalence OR: wasting, 1·35 to 1·16; malnutrition, 1·50 to 1·27). A reversal occurred in 2014 in several eastern provinces where the prevalence of wasting and malnutrition in urban children surpassed their rural peers. The urban–rural disparity was larger in western provinces than eastern provinces.
The shrinking urban–rural disparity and the reversal in wasting and malnutrition suggest that the malnutrition situation has improved during the post-crisis period, especially in the western provinces. Region-specific policies and interventions can be useful to sustainably mitigate malnutrition in Chinese children, especially in rural areas and the western provinces.
Process parameters (laser power and scanning speed) for H13 steel specimens produced by selective laser melting (SLM) are optimized, and microstructural characteristics and mechanical properties are investigated. The optimum process parameters are a laser power of 170 W and a scanning speed of 400 mm/s according to the maximum relative density of 99.2%. The microstructure consists of cellular grains and columnar crystal, which are composed of lath martensite and retained austenite, and there are no carbides or other second-phase particles present. The size of cellular grains is 1 μm. Compared with the common processed (forged and heat-treated) H13, SLM H13 has similar microhardness (561 HV) and tensile strength (1909 MPa) values. However, the elongation (12.4%) is a factor of ∼3 times higher and the impact energy (14.4 J) of the SLM specimen is somewhat lower. The relationship between the microstructure and mechanical properties is discussed. Fine grains and no second-phase precipitation determine the strength and plasticity of SLM samples.
Previous studies have inferred a strong genetic component in schizophrenia. However, the genetic variants involved in the susceptibility to schizophrenia remain unclear.
To detect potential gene pathways and networks associated with schizophrenia, and to explore the relationship between common and rare variants in these pathways and abnormal white matter integrity in schizophrenia.
The analysis included 100 first-episode treatment-naïve patients with schizophrenia and 140 healthy controls. A network-based analysis was carried out on the data collected from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Phase I (PGC-I). Based on our genome-wide association study and whole-exome sequencing data-sets, we performed a gene-set analysis to detect associations between the combining effects of common and rare genetic variants and abnormal white matter integrity in schizophrenia.
Patients had significantly reduced functional anisotropy in the left and right anterior cingulate cortex, left and right precuneus and extra-nuclear (t = 4.61–5.10, PFDR < 0.01), compared with controls. Generated from co-expression network analysis of the PGC-1 summary statistics of schizophrenia, a subnetwork of 207 genes associated with schizophrenia was identified (P < 0.01), and 176 genes were co-expressed in four gene modules. Functional enrichment analysis for genes in each module revealed that the yellow module was enriched with highly co-expressed, innate immune response genes. Furthermore, rare variants of enriched genes in the yellow module were associated with reduced functional anisotropy in the left anterior cingulate cortex (P = 0.006; Padjusted = 0.024) in patients only.
The pathogenesis of schizophrenia may be substantially influenced by genes involved in the immune system, via both pathway and network.
In this work, we demonstrate a size-controlled synthesis of CuNi octahedral nanocrystals (NCs) using a hot colloidal solution approach. Two different sizes of CuNi nano-octahedra are chosen and investigated. It is determined that the reagent concentration remarkably plays a key role in the formation of the size-defined CuNi octahedral NCs. In terms of the reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP), it uncovers that the obtained CuNi octahedral NCs (in both sizes) exhibit higher catalytic activity than those of CuNi spherical NCs reported previously. It further indicates that the catalytic performance is strongly size-dependent due to their devise specific surface areas of the exposed crystallographic planes.
We present a study of absolute and convective instabilities in electrohydrodynamic flow subjected to a Poiseuille flow (EHD-Poiseuille). The electric field is imposed on two infinite flat plates filled with a non-conducting dielectric fluid with unipolar ion injection. Mathematically, the dispersion relation of the linearised problem is studied based on the asymptotic response of an impulse disturbance imposed on the base EHD-Poiseuille flow. Transverse, longitudinal and oblique rolls are investigated to identify the saddle point satisfying the pinching condition in the corresponding complex wavenumber space. It is found that when the ratio of Coulomb force to viscous force increases, the transverse rolls can transit from convective instability to absolute instability. The ratio of hydrodynamic mobility to electric mobility, which exerts negligible effect on the linear stability criterion when the cross-flow is small, has significant influence on the convective–absolute instability transition, especially when the ratio is small. As we change the value of the mobility ratio, a saddle point shift phenomenon occurs in the case of transverse rolls. The unstable longitudinal rolls are convectively unstable as long as there is a cross-flow, a result which is deduced from a one-mode Galerkin approximation. Longitudinal rolls have a larger growth rate than transverse rolls except for a small cross-flow. Finally, regarding the oblique rolls, a numerical search for the saddle point simultaneously in the complex streamwise and transverse wavenumber spaces always yields an absolute transverse wavenumber of zero, implying that oblique rolls give way to transverse rolls when the flow is unstable.
In the synthesis of metallic nanocrystals (NCs) using a high-temperature colloidal approach, the competition between deposition and diffusion of “free atom (or clusters)” plays an important role as it can direct the morphology of NCs during their evolution. This competition is closely associated with some dynamic conditions such as heat and mass transfer. Stirring speed and ramp rate of heating are two factors that greatly impact the heat and mass transfer processes and consequently determine the morphology of the products but rarely discussed in most synthetic protocols. Herein, we study the syntheses of Pt-M (M = Ni, Fe) NCs as model reactions, showing that a low stirring speed and high ramp rate of heating result in ununiform pod-like NCs, whereas the inverse conditions promote NCs in a uniform shape. This observation can be plausibly explained using a competition mechanism between the deposition and diffusion of the newly reduced atoms during a stage of the NC’s growth.
In inertial confinement fusion experiments that involve short-laser pulses such as fast ignition (FI), diagnosis of neutrons is usually very challenging because high-intensity γ rays generated by short-laser pulses would mask the much weaker neutron signal. In this paper, fast-response scintillators with low afterglow and gated microchannel plate photomultiplier tubes are combined to build neutron time-of-flight (nTOF) spectrometers for such experiments. Direct-drive implosion experiments of deuterium-gas-filled capsules were performed at the Shenguang-II Upgrade (SG-II-UP) laser facility to study the compressed fuel areal density (〈ρR〉) and evaluate the performance of such nTOF diagnostics. Two newly developed quenched liquid scintillator detectors and a gated ultrafast plastic scintillator detector were used to measure the secondary DT neutrons and primary DD neutrons, respectively. The secondary neutron signals were clearly discriminated from the γ rays from (n, γ) reactions, and the compressed fuel areal density obtained with the yield-ratio method agrees well with the simulations. Additionally, a small scintillator decay tail and a clear DD neutron signal were observed in an integrated FI experiment as a result of the low afterglow of the oxygen-quenched liquid scintillator.
Ca2+-sensing receptor (CaSR) represents a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory bowel diseases and strongly prefers aromatic amino acid ligands. We investigated the regulatory effects of dietary supplementation with aromatic amino acids – tryptophan, phenylalanine and tyrosine (TPT) – on the CaSR signalling pathway and intestinal inflammatory response. The in vivo study was conducted with weanling piglets using a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement in a randomised complete block design. Piglets were fed a basal diet or a basal diet supplemented with TPT and with or without inflammatory challenge. The in vitro study was performed in porcine intestinal epithelial cell line to investigate the effects of TPT on inflammatory response using NPS-2143 to inhibit CaSR. Dietary supplementation of TPT alleviated histopathological injury and decreased myeloperoxidase activity in intestine challenged with lipopolysaccharide. Dietary supplementation of TPT decreased serum concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, TNF-α), as well as the mRNA abundances of pro-inflammatory cytokines in intestine but enhanced anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and transforming growth factor-β mRNA levels compared with pigs fed control diet and infected by lipopolysaccharide. Supplementation of TPT increased CaSR and phospholipase Cβ2 protein levels, but decreased inhibitor of NF-κB kinase α/β and inhibitor of NF-κB (IκB) protein levels in the lipopolysaccharide-challenged piglets. When the CaSR signalling pathway was blocked by NPS-2143, supplementation of TPT decreased the CaSR protein level, but enhanced phosphorylated NF-κB and IκB levels in IPEC-J2 cells. To conclude, supplementation of aromatic amino acids alleviated intestinal inflammation as mediated through the CaSR signalling pathway.
The evolution of fatigue performance and surface mechanical properties of AISI 304 stainless steel induced by the electropulsing-assisted ultrasonic surface rolling process (EP-USRP) was systematically investigated by integrating instrumented indentation, scanning electron microscopy with electron backscatter diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy. The results indicate that higher hardness, greater strength, finer ultra-refined grains, and higher residual compressive stress are formed within the strengthened layer compared with the original ultrasonic surface rolling process (USRP). EP-USRP with the optimized experimental parameters can produce a higher average rotating bending fatigue strength for AISI 304 stainless steel than USRP. Anomalously and noteworthily, all fatigue specimens treated by EP-USRP showed an incomplete fracture, revealing a higher reservation of safety in practical engineering applications. The further modified structure strengthening and stress strengthening induced by EP-USRP are likely the primary intrinsic reasons for the observed phenomena. Furthermore, the influence mechanism of EP-USRP was discussed scrupulously.
A compact dual-wideband (DWB) bandpass filter utilizing open-shorted coupled lines (OSCL) is proposed in this paper. The introduction of the folded structure not only reduces the overall size but also contribute to the split of the transmission zero (TZ), which improves the selectivity effectively. Six transmission poles and five TZs are realized utilizing the shorted-circuit stub and OSCL. The characteristic of the flexible adjustment method of TZs guarantees an independently wide adjustable range of the bandwidth. For demonstration, a DWB filter (3 dB bandwidth 120 and 28%, respectively) is designed and fabricated. The filter is compact and has the characteristics of extraordinary wide bandwidth, low insertion loss, as well as high selectivity.
Astrophysical collisionless shocks are amazing phenomena in space and astrophysical plasmas, where supersonic flows generate electromagnetic fields through instabilities and particles can be accelerated to high energy cosmic rays. Until now, understanding these micro-processes is still a challenge despite rich astrophysical observation data have been obtained. Laboratory astrophysics, a new route to study the astrophysics, allows us to investigate them at similar extreme physical conditions in laboratory. Here we will review the recent progress of the collisionless shock experiments performed at SG-II laser facility in China. The evolution of the electrostatic shocks and Weibel-type/filamentation instabilities are observed. Inspired by the configurations of the counter-streaming plasma flows, we also carry out a novel plasma collider to generate energetic neutrons relevant to the astrophysical nuclear reactions.