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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.
The Weibel instability and the induced magnetic field are of great importance for both astrophysics and inertial confinement fusion. Because of the stochasticity of this magnetic field, its main wavelength and mean strength, which are key characteristics of the Weibel instability, are still unobtainable experimentally. In this paper, a theoretical model based on the autocorrelation tensor shows that in proton radiography of the Weibel-instability-induced magnetic field, the proton flux density on the detection plane can be related to the energy spectrum of the magnetic field. It allows us to extract the main wavelength and mean strength of the two-dimensionally isotropic and stochastic magnetic field directly from proton radiography for the first time. Numerical calculations are conducted to verify our theory and show good consistency between pre-set values and the results extracted from proton radiography.
In traditional Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms based on Extended Kalman Filtering (EKF-SLAM), the uncertainty of state estimation will increase rapidly with the development of the exploration process and the increase of map area. Likewise, the computational complexity of the EKF-SLAM is proportional to the square of the number of feature points contained in the state variables in a single filtering process. A new SLAM algorithm combining the local submaps and the body-fixed coordinates of the rover is presented in this paper. The algorithm can reduce the computational complexity and enhance computational speed in consideration of the processing capability of the onboard computer. Due to the introduction of local submaps, the algorithm represented in this paper is able to reduce the number of feature points contained in the state variables in each single filtering process. Therefore, the algorithm could reduce the computational complexity and improve the computational speed. In addition, rover body-fixed SLAM could improve the navigation accuracy of a rover and decrease the cumulative linearization error by coordinates transformation during the update process, which is shown in the simulation results.
A varactor-based fully reconfigurable microstrip bandpass-to-bandpass-with-embedded-stopband filter is presented in this paper. This filter offers wide center frequency and bandwidth tuning flexibility under both bandpass mode and bandpass-with-embedded-stopband mode. The entire tuning ability is based on multiple mode resonator theory and external quality factor tuning structure for bandpass mode and the introduction of transmission zeros (TZs) for bandpass-with-embedded-stopband mode. Under the bandpass mode, the center frequency tuning range is 0.96–1.45 GHz and the bandwidth can be tuned from 0.09 to 1.41 GHz with a fixed center frequency at 1.22 GHz. Under bandpass-with-embedded-stopband mode, the center frequency and bandwidth can be tuned from 0.94 to 1.61 GHz and 0.2–0.33 GHz, respectively. Good agreements are shown between simulated and measured results.
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.
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.
Heavy metal contamination in the paddy soils of China is a serious concern because of its health risk through transfer in food chains. A field experiment was conducted in 2014–2015 to investigate the long-term effects of different biochar amendments on cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) immobilisation in a contaminated paddy field in southern China. Two types of biochar, a rice-straw-derived biochar (RB) and a coconut-by-product-derived biochar (CB), were amended separately to determine their impacts on rice yield and their efficacy in reducing Cd and As in rice. The two-year field experiment showed that biochar amendments significantly improved the rice yields and that CB is superior to RB, especially in the first growth season. Using a large amount of biochar amendment (22.5tha–1) significantly increased soil pH and total organic carbon, and concomitantly decreased the Cd content in rice grains over the four growth seasons, regardless of biochar type and application rate. Arsenic levels in rice were similar to the control, and results from this study suggest that there was a sustainable effect of biochar on Cd sequestration in soil and reduction of Cd accumulation in rice for at least two years. Biochar amendment in soil could be considered as a sustainable, reliable and cost-effective option to remediate heavy metal contamination in paddy fields for long periods.
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.
As a promising new way to generate a controllable strong magnetic field, laser-driven magnetic coils have attracted interest in many research fields. In 2013, a kilotesla level magnetic field was achieved at the Gekko XII laser facility with a capacitor–coil target. A similar approach has been adopted in a number of laboratories, with a variety of targets of different shapes. The peak strength of the magnetic field varies from a few tesla to kilotesla, with different spatio-temporal ranges. The differences are determined by the target geometry and the parameters of the incident laser. Here we present a review of the results of recent experimental studies of laser-driven magnetic field generation, as well as a discussion of the diagnostic techniques required for such rapidly changing magnetic fields. As an extension of the magnetic field generation, some applications are discussed.
We present laboratory measurement and theoretical analysis of silicon K-shell lines in plasmas produced by Shenguang II laser facility, and discuss the application of line ratios to diagnose the electron density and temperature of laser plasmas. Two types of shots were carried out to interpret silicon plasma spectra under two conditions, and the spectra from 6.6 Å to 6.85 Å were measured. The radiative-collisional code based on the flexible atomic code (RCF) is used to identify the lines, and it also well simulates the experimental spectra. Satellite lines, which are populated by dielectron capture and large radiative decay rate, influence the spectrum profile significantly. Because of the blending of lines, the traditional
value are not applicable in diagnosing electron temperature and density of plasma. We take the contribution of satellite lines into the calculation of line ratios of He-
lines, and discuss their relations with the electron temperature and density.
We report a new pulsed chemical vapor deposition (PCVD) process to deposit nickel (Ni) and nickel carbide (Ni3Cx) thin films, using bis(1,4-di-tert-butyl-1,3-diazabutadienyl)nickel(II) precursor and either H2 gas or H2 plasma as the coreactant, at a temperature from 140 to 250 °C. All the PCVD films are fairly pure with low levels of N and O impurities. The films deposited with H2 gas at ≤200 °C are faced centered cubic-phase Ni metal films with low C content; but at ≥220 °C, another phase of rhombohedral Ni3C is formed and the C content increases. However, when H2 plasma is used, the films are always in rhombohedral Ni3C phase for the entire temperature range.
SCN5A encodes sodium-channel α-subunit Nav1.5. The mutations of SCN5A can lead to hereditary cardiac arrhythmias such as the long-QT syndrome type 3 and Brugada syndrome. Here we sought to identify novel mutations in a family with arrhythmia.
Genomic DNA was isolated from blood of the proband, who was diagnosed with atrial flutter. Illumina Hiseq 2000 whole-exome sequencing was performed and an arrhythmia-related gene-filtering strategy was used to analyse the pathogenic genes. Sanger sequencing was applied to verify the mutation co-segregated in the family.
Results and conclusions
A novel missense mutation in SCN5A (C335R) was identified, and this mutation co-segregated within the affected family members. This missense mutation was predicted to result in amplitude reduction in peak Na+ current, further leading to channel protein dysfunction. Our study expands the spectrum of SCN5A mutations and contributes to genetic counselling of families with arrhythmia.
Eating away from home is associated with poor diet quality, in part due to less healthy food choices and larger portions. However, few studies account for the potential additional contribution of differences in food composition between restaurant- and home-prepared dishes. The present study aimed to investigate differences in nutrients of dishes prepared in restaurants v. at home.
Eight commonly consumed dishes were collected in twenty of each of the following types of locations: small and large restaurants, and urban and rural households. In addition, two fast-food items were collected from ten KFC, McDonald’s and food stalls. Five samples per dish were randomly pooled from every location. Nutrients were analysed and energy was calculated in composite samples. Differences in nutrients of dishes by preparation location were determined.
Hunan Province, China.
Na, K, protein, total fat, fatty acids, carbohydrate and energy in dishes.
On average, both the absolute and relative fat contents, SFA and Na:K ratio were higher in dishes prepared in restaurants than households (P < 0·05). Protein was 15 % higher in animal food-based dishes prepared in households than restaurants (P<0·05). Quantile regression models found that, at the 90th quantile, restaurant preparation was consistently negatively associated with protein and positively associated with the percentage of energy from fat in all dishes. Moreover, restaurant preparation also positively influenced the SFA content in dishes, except at the highest quantiles.
These findings suggest that compared with home preparation, dishes prepared in restaurants in China may differ in concentrations of total fat, SFA, protein and Na:K ratio, which may further contribute, beyond food choices, to less healthy nutrient intakes linked to eating away from home.