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Sn–Sb alloy is an ideal candidate for lead-free solder; however, its performance has been inferior to that of Sn–Pb alloy. Here, the authors used ab initio molecular dynamics simulation to investigate the interatomic interaction in Sn–Sb-based lead-free solders. By calculating the electron density distribution, bond population, and partial density of states, the authors found that the Sn–Sb bonds are a mixture of nonlocalized metal and localized covalent bonds. The covalent bond between Sn and Sb is easy to break at higher temperatures, so Sn–Sb (6.4 wt%) had better fluidity than other studied Sn–Sb alloys. Furthermore, adding Cu or Ag into Sn–Sb alloys can decrease the strength of covalent bonds and stabilize the metal bonds, which improves the metallicity and wettability of the Sn–Sb–Cu and Sn–Sb–Cu–Ag systems when the temperature increases. These results are all in good agreement with experimental findings and have significant value for the development of new solder alloys.
This research paper addresses the hypothesis that Septin6 is a key regulatory factor influencing amino acid (AA)-mediated cell growth and casein synthesis in dairy cow mammary epithelial cells (DCMECs). DCMECs were treated with absence of AA (AA−), restricted concentrations of AA (AAr) or normal concentrations of AA (AA+) for 24 h. Cell growth, expression of CSN2 and Septin6 were increased in response to AA supply. Overexpressing or inhibiting Septin6 demonstrated that cell growth, expression of CSN2, mTOR, p-mTOR, S6K1 and p-S6K1 were up-regulated by Septin6. Furthermore, overexpressing or inhibiting mTOR demonstrated that the increase in cell growth and expression of CSN2 in response to Septin6 overexpression were inhibited by mTOR inhibition, and vice versa. Our hypothesis was supported; we were able to show that Septin6 is an important positive factor for cell growth and casein synthesis, it up-regulates AA-mediated cell growth and casein synthesis through activating mTORC1 pathway in DCMECs.
Many studies have demonstrated that vocabulary size plays a key role in learning English as a foreign language (EFL). In recent years, mobile game-based learning (MGBL) has been considered a promising scheme for successful acquisition and retention of knowledge. Thus, this study applies a mixed methodology that combines quantitative and qualitative approaches to assess the effects of PHONE Words, a novel mobile English vocabulary learning app (application) designed with game-related functions (MEVLA-GF) and without game-related functions (MEVLA-NGF), on learners’ perceptions and learning performance. During a four-week experiment, 20 sophomore students were randomly assigned to the experimental group with MEVLA-GF support or the control group with MEVLA-NGF support for English vocabulary learning. Analytical results show that performance in vocabulary acquisition and retention by the experimental group was significantly higher than that of the control group. Moreover, questionnaire results confirm that MEVLA-GF is more effective and satisfying for English vocabulary learning than MEVLA-NGF. Spearman rank correlation results show that involvement and dependence on gamified functions were positively correlated with vocabulary learning performance.
A facile one-pot and environmentally friendly method was developed to synthesize multi-branched flowerlike gold (Au) nanostructures by reducing chlorate gold (HAuCl4) with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the presence of sodium citrate. The multibranched Au nanostructures were characterized by transmission electron microscopy and Ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) absorption spectroscopy. The molar ratio of sodium citrate to HAuCl4 and the concentrations of the reacted reagents play important roles in the formation of multibranched Au nanostructures. The multibranched Au nanostructures with sharp tips exhibit excellent surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) ability of 4-aminothiophenol (PATP). The experimental and simulated results both confirm that the photoinduced catalytic coupling reaction of PATP transformation to 4,4′-dimercaptoazobenzene occurs on the surface of multibranched Au nanostructures at a high power during the SERS measurement. It is believed that these multibranched Au nanostructures may find potential applications in SERS, biosensors, and the photoinduced surface catalytic application fields.
Due to a large number of redundant degrees of freedom (DOFs), the hyper-redundant manipulator shows outstanding dexterity and adaptability in avoiding the obstacles in confined space. In this paper, a hybrid obstacle-avoidance method of spatial hyper-redundant manipulators is proposed, with both efficiency and accuracy considered. The space around an obstacle is classified into safe, warning, and dangerous zones. A two-level protection strategy is then addressed to handle the obstacle-avoidance problem from qualitative (i.e., pseudo-distance based on super-quadric function) and quantitative (i.e., Euclidean distance based on practical geometry function) perspectives, respectively. The only condition for switching between the two-level protections is the value of pseudo-distance. Then, a modified modal method, which is a trajectory planning method, is presented to plan the collision-free trajectory of the manipulator by maximizing the minimum pseudo-distance or Euclidean distance in different zones. Some parameters, including the arm-angle parameters and the equivalent link length parameters, are defined to represent the manipulator configuration. They are adjusted to avoid the obstacle, singularity, and joint limit. The simulations of 12-DOF manipulator and an experiment of 18-DOF manipulator verify the proposed methods.
The aim of this article was to investigate the mechanism of appetite suppression induced by high-fat diets (HFD) in blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala). Fish (average initial weight 40·0 (sem 0·35) g) were fed diets with two fat levels (6 and 11 %) with four replicates. HFD feeding for 30 d could significantly increase the weight gain rate, but feeding for 60 d cannot. Food intake of M. amblycephala began to decline significantly in fish fed the HFD for 48 d. HFD feeding for 60 d significantly reduced the expression of neuropeptide Y and elevated the expression of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), actions both in favour of suppression of appetite. The activation of fatty acid sensing was partly responsible for the weakened appetite. In addition, inflammatory factors induced by the HFD may be involved in the regulation of appetite by increasing the secretion of leptin and then activating the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 2·0 mg/kg of fish weight) was administered to induce inflammation, and sampling was performed after 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24 and 48 h of LPS injection. Within 6–24 h of LPS injection, the food intake and appetite of M. amblycephala decreased significantly, whereas the mRNA expression of leptin and mTOR increased significantly. Our results indicate that inflammatory cytokines may be the cause of appetite suppression in M. amblycephala fed a HFD.
A low-temperature synthesis method for Mn3O4/graphene is described in this research. Adjusting the reaction time and temperature allows control over the phase and morphology of the synthesized manganese oxide, and therefore the microwave absorbing properties. X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and vector network analysis are used to characterize the phase, morphology, and electromagnetic properties. The results reveal that long reaction time can increase the particle size and high temperature can destroy the initial structure of graphene both of which have negative impact on the microwave absorbing properties. The Mn3O4–graphene composite synthesized in 140 °C for 4 h shows a maximum reflection loss (RL) reaching −20 dB at 14.4 GHz with absorber thickness of 2 mm, as well as an effective absorption bandwidth of more than 5 dB corresponding to RL below −10 dB.
The hyper-redundant manipulators are suitable for working in the constrained on-orbit servicing environment due to the extreme flexibility. However, its modelling and control are very challenging due to the characteristics of non-linearity and strong coupling. In this paper, considering the multi-level mapping among the motors, cables, joints, and end-effector, a proportional derivative (PD) with dynamic feedforward compensation control system is designed. The corresponding control system is divided into five parts: controller, planner, actuator, manipulator, and sensor. The actual control torque consisting of the desired feedforward torque and the feedback torque is generated by the controller. In order to improve the tracking accuracy and maintain rapid response, the torque, which is calculated by the dynamics model of the traditional joint-driven manipulator, is regarded as the desired feedforward torque. The parameters of interest are the angle and velocity of the universal joint and motors. The planner plans and converts the desired parameters of the universal joint to corresponding motors. Combining with the feedback angles and velocities signals of the corresponding motors, the feedback torque can be calculated by the PD control module. Finally, typical cases of six universal joints (12DOFs) manipulators are simulated and experimented. The results demonstrate that the method is very efficient for controlling spatial cable-driven hyper-redundant manipulators.
Recent research at Liangzhu in China documents the settlement as a fortified town dating from 3300–2300 BC, accompanied by an impressive system of earthen dams for flood control and irrigation. An earthen platform in the centre of the town probably supported a palace complex, and grave goods from the adjacent Fanshan cemetery include finely worked jades accompanying high-status burials. These artefacts were produced by a complex society more than a millennium before the bronzes of the Shang period. The large-scale public works and remarkable grave goods at Liangzhu are products of what may be the earliest state society in East Asia.
Previous studies have indicated that some food items and nutrients are associated with uric acid metabolism in humans. However, little is known about the role of dietary patterns in hyperuricaemia. We designed this case–control study to evaluate the associations between dietary patterns and newly diagnosed hyperuricaemia in Chinese adults. A total of 1422 cases and 1422 controls were generated from 14 538 participants using the 1:1 ratio propensity score matching methods. Dietary intake was assessed using a validated self-administered FFQ. Dietary patterns were derived by factor analysis. Hyperuricaemia was defined as concentrations of serum uric acid higher than 7 mg/dl (416·5 μmol/l) for men and 6 mg/dl (357 μmol/l) for women. Three dietary patterns were derived by factor analysis: sweet pattern; vegetable pattern; animal foods pattern. The animal foods pattern characterised by higher intake of an animal organ, seafood and processed meat products was associated with higher prevalence of newly diagnosed hyperuricaemia (Pfor trend<0·01) after adjustment. Compared with the participants in the lowest quartile of the animal foods pattern, the OR of newly diagnosed hyperuricaemia in the highest quartile was 1·50 (95 % CI 1·20, 1·87). The other two dietary patterns were not associated with the prevalence of newly diagnosed hyperuricaemia after adjustment. In conclusion, a diet rich in animal organ, seafood and processed meat products is associated with higher prevalence of newly diagnosed hyperuricaemia in a Chinese population. Further cohort studies and randomised controlled trials are required to clarify these findings.
Previous studies have demonstrated adverse mental health effects of Pb exposure. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between consumption of preserved egg (PE), a high-Pb-containing food and depressive symptoms among adults in China. A sample of 25 213 adults (mean age 41·4 (sd 11·8) years; males, 53·9 %) in Tianjin, China, was studied in a cross-sectional analysis. Dietary intake including PE was assessed using a valid self-administered FFQ. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS). The association was estimated by OR using logistic regression models adjusted for multiple confounders. The prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms was 6·6 % (SDS≥50). Compared with the least frequent PE consumption (<once/week), multivariable adjusted OR for elevated depressive symptoms were 1·52 (95 % CI 1·28, 1·81), 2·24 (95 % CI 1·76, 2·81) and 3·31 (95 % CI 2·52, 4·30) for consumption of once, 2–3 times and ≥4 times/week, respectively (Pfor trend<0·0001), indicating a clear dose–response relationship. The results suggested that higher consumption of PE was strongly associated with depressive symptoms among adults in China. These findings underscore the need to consider dietary Pb exposure as a risk factor for psychological distress.
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.
A facile synthesis procedure of nitrogen-self-doped porous carbon (NPC) derived from abundant natural biological materials has been presented. The pyrolysis temperature and the weight ratio of Co3O4 to carbon play a key role in determining microscopic structure and electrochemical performances of the final materials. The ordered mesostructures with nanopores in the channel walls provided support for immobilization of well-dispersed Co3O4 nanoparticles. They also served as a highly conductive substrate for effectively alleviating severe particle aggregation during the charge/discharge processes, which prevented capacity fading from deteriorated electric contact between the components. Taking advantage of the interconnected porous structures and high specific surface area (1799 m2/g) of carbon substrate, the Co3O4/NPC composite as anode in lithium-ion battery delivers a stable reversible capacity of 903 mA h/g after 400 cycles. It is expected that by loading other electrode active materials on such carbon material, the manufacture of the promising anode materials with excellent cycle stability is highly possible.
In this paper the asymmetric shock reflection configurations in two-dimensional steady flows have been studied theoretically. For an overall Mach reflection, it is found that the horizontal distance between both triple points in the Mach stem is related to the angles of two slip streams. Based on the features of the converging stream tube, several assumptions are put forward to perform better the wave configurations near the slip streams. Therefore, we present an analytical model here to describe the asymmetric overall Mach reflection configurations which agrees well with the computational and experimental results.
It is common knowledge that chromophore aggregation usually quenches light emission. The concept of aggregation-induced emission (AIE) changes this general belief and provides a new stage for the exploration of practical luminescent materials. The weak emission of AIE fluorogens (AIEgens) as molecular species and their bright fluorescence as nanoscopic aggregates distinguishes them from conventional organic luminophores and inorganic nanoparticles, making them ideal candidates for high-tech applications. This article summarizes the impact of AIEgens in biomedical applications.
Although the brittle material in analogue models is characterized by a linear Navier-Coulomb behaviour and rate-independent deformation, the geometry and style of deformation in accretionary wedges is sensitive to shortening velocity. In this study we have constructed a series of analogue models with various shortening velocities in order to study the influence of shortening velocity on the geometry and kinematics of accretionary wedges. Model results illustrate how shortening velocity has an important influence on the geometry and kinematics of the resulting wedge. In general, for models having similar bulk shortening, the accretionary wedges with higher velocities of shortening are roughly steeper, higher and longer, as well as having larger critical wedge angles and height. It accommodates a number of foreland-vergent thrusts, larger fault spacing and displacement rates than those of low- to medium-velocity shortening, which indicates a weak velocity-dependence in geometry of the wedge. Moreover, models with a high velocity of shortening undergo larger amounts of volumetric strain and total layer-parallel shortening than models with low- to medium-velocity shortening. The former accommodate a greater development of back thrusts and asymmetric structures; a backwards-to-forwards style of wedge growth therefore occurs in the frontal zone under high-velocity shortening.
In this paper, we study the numerical solution of singularly perturbed time-dependent convection-diffusion problems. To solve these problems, the backward Euler method is first applied to discretize the time derivative on a uniform mesh, and the classical upwind finite difference scheme is used to approximate the spatial derivative on an arbitrary nonuniform grid. Then, in order to obtain an adaptive grid for all temporal levels, we construct a positive monitor function, which is similar to the arc-length monitor function. Furthermore, the ε-uniform convergence of the fully discrete scheme is derived for the numerical solution. Finally, some numerical results are given to support our theoretical results.