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The extent of intertidal flats in the Yellow Sea region has declined significantly in the past few decades, resulting in severe population declines in several waterbird species. The Yellow Sea region holds the primary stopover sites for many shorebirds during their migration to and from northern breeding grounds. However, the functional roles of these sites in shorebirds’ stopover ecology remain poorly understood. Through field surveys between July and November 2015, we investigated the stopover and moult schedules of migratory shorebirds along the southern Jiangsu coast, eastern China during their southbound migration, with a focus on the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea and ‘Endangered’ Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer. Long-term count data indicate that both species regularly occur in globally important number in southern Jiangsu coast, constituting 16.67–49.34% and 64.0–80.67% of their global population estimates respectively, and it is highly likely that most adults undergo their primary moult during this southbound migration stopover. Our results show that Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank staged for an extended period of time (66 and 84 days, respectively) to complete their primary moult. On average, Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Nordmann’s Greenshanks started moulting primary feathers on 8 August ± 4.52 and 27 July ± 1.56 days respectively, and their moult durations were 72.58 ± 9.08 and 65.09 ± 2.40 days. In addition, some individuals of several other shorebird species including the ‘Endangered’ Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris, ‘Near Threatened’ Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, ‘Near Threatened’ Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata and Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii also underwent primary moult. Our work highlights the importance of the southern Jiangsu region as the primary moulting ground for these species, reinforcing that conservation of shorebird habitat including both intertidal flats and supratidal roosting sites in this region is critical to safeguard the future of some highly threatened shorebird species.
The surface energy budget over the Antarctic sea ice from 8 April 2016 through 26 November 2016 are presented. From April to October, Sensible heat flux (SH) and subsurface conductive heat flux (G) were the heat source of surface while latent heat flux (LE) and net radiation flux (Rn) were the heat sink of surface. Our results showed larger downward SH (due to the warmer air in our site) and upward LE (due to the drier air and higher wind speed in our site) compared with SHEBA data. However, the values of SH in N-ICE2015 campaign, which located at a zone with stronger winds and more advection of heat in the Arctic, were comparable to our results under clear skies. The values of aerodynamic roughness length (z0m) and scalar roughness length for temperature (z0h), being 1.9 × 10−3 m and 3.7 × 10−5 m, were suggested in this study. It is found that snow melting might increase z0m. Our results also indicate that the value of log(z0h/z0m) was related to the stability of stratification. In addition, several representative parameterization schemes for z0h have been tested and a couple of schemes were found to make a better performance.
Tianhuadong is a cave site located in the northwest of Yunnan Province, China. Since 2010, several surveys and one test excavation have yielded more than 1000 stone artifacts. The lithic assemblage shows some features of Levallois and Quina technologies, similar to those found in Middle Paleolithic sites in the Western Hemisphere. In this study, we summarize the lithic industry and propose a reliable chronology for the site using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of individual quartz grains extracted from sediments. We applied the standardized growth curve method to deal with the problem associated with the saturation in natural OSL signals in quartz. Our dating results yielded ages of 90–40 ka, suggesting that the associated lithic assemblage could be assigned to Marine Oxygen Isotope Stages 5 and 4 and could potentially represent Middle Paleolithic technologies. Because the number of Middle Paleolithic sites in southwest China is small, this site provides one of the few traces of human occupation in southwest China during the early upper Pleistocene. Thus, it is important for understanding hominin evolution and dispersal in this region.
Synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) is an abundant and important presynaptic vesicle protein that binds Ca2+ for the regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Our previous study reported its localization and function on spindle assembly in mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. The present study was designed to investigate the function of Syt1 during mouse oocyte activation and subsequent cortical granule exocytosis (CGE) using confocal microscopy, morpholinol-based knockdown and time-lapse live cell imaging. By employing live cell imaging, we first studied the dynamic process of CGE and calculated the time interval between [Ca2+]i rise and CGE after oocyte activation. We further showed that Syt1 was co-localized to cortical granules (CGs) at the oocyte cortex. After oocyte activation with SrCl2, the Syt1 distribution pattern was altered significantly, similar to the changes seen for the CGs. Knockdown of Syt1 inhibited [Ca2+]i oscillations, disrupted the F-actin distribution pattern and delayed the time of cortical reaction. In summary, as a synaptic vesicle protein and calcium sensor for exocytosis, Syt1 acts as an essential regulator in mouse oocyte activation events including the generation of Ca2+ signals and CGE.
Systematic error is one of the major factors that affect positioning accuracy owing to the changeable and complex nature of seawater environments. Based on a Global Navigation Satellite System-acoustic intelligent buoys system, whose acoustic array consists of a series of surface buoys, a single-difference method for underwater dynamic positioning is proposed to eliminate systematic error. Positioning configuration optimisation was addressed using dilution of precision (DOP). A simulation of DOP proved that for the single-difference method, a radiation network with a centre-difference reference point was superior to a regular polygon network. The positioning experiment showed that the novel method could effectively eliminate systematic error, improving vertical positioning accuracy from a metre- to a decimetre scale.
China's urbanization has revitalized grassroots governance under which millions of villagers have become increasingly keen to participate in grassroots elections and influence decision making in their village affairs. To maintain its political legitimacy over a rapidly transforming society, the authoritarian party-state has progressively promoted open, competitive grassroots elections in response to the increasing demand by villagers for more public participation. Based on in-depth field research in urbanizing villages in southern China, this article provides an empirical analysis of how the local state has adopted different interventionist strategies in elections to support villagers’ active participation while sustaining its direct leadership over daily village governance. Our findings explain why the recent development of open and transparent grassroots elections is reinforcing the ruling capacity of the socialist state rather than enhancing self-governance and grassroots democracy, although villagers now have more opportunities to defend their economic and social rights through elections.
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.
In this work, hierarchical mesoporous Zn–Ni–Co–S–rGO/NF microspheres have been prepared by hydrothermal, sulfurization, and subsequent calcination process. The effect of different sulfurization time on the morphology and capacitance of composites was tested. The high electrochemical performance of (Zn–Ni–Co–S–rGO/NF) composite was obtained when the sulfurization time was 3 h (Zn–Ni–Co–S–rGO/NF-3h), where a specific capacitance of 627.7 F/g at 0.25 A/g and excellent rate capability of about 97.8% capacitance retention at 2 A/g after 4000 cycles were achieved. Moreover, an asymmetric supercapacitor fabricated by (Zn–Ni–Co–S–rGO/NF-3h) composite and activated carbon (AC) as the positive and the negative electrodes, respectively, showed a high energy density of 75.96 W h/kg at a power density of 362.49 W/kg with a remarkable cycle stability performance of 91.2% capacitance retention over 5000 cycles. This incredible electrochemical behavior illustrates that the hierarchical mesoporous Zn–Ni–Co–S–rGO/N-3h microsphere electrodes are promising electrode materials for application in high-performance supercapacitors.
Rabbits play an important role in people’s lives due to their high nutritional value and high-quality hair that can be used as raw material for textiles. Furthermore, rabbits are an important animal model for human disease, as genome-edited animals are particularly valuable for studying gene functions and pathogenesis. Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is an important technique for producing genome-edited animals and it has great value in saving endangered species and in clone stem cell therapy. However, the low efficiency of SCNT limits its application, with the selection of suitable rabbit oocytes being crucial to its success. In the present study, we collected oocytes from ovarian follicles and stained them with 26 μM brilliant cresyl blue (BCB). We then matured the oocytes in vitro and used them for SCNT. Comparison of the BCB-positive oocytes with BCB-negative oocytes and the control group showed that the BCB-positive group had a significantly higher maturation rate (81.4% vs. 48.9% and 65.3% for the negative and control groups, respectively), cleavage rate (86.6% vs. 67.9% and 77.9%), blastocyst rate (30.5% vs. 12.8% and 19.6%), total number of blastocysts (90±7.5 vs. 65.3±6.3 and 67.5±5.7), and inner cell mass (ICM)/ trophectoderm (TE) index (42.3±4.2 vs. 30.2±2.1 and 33.9±5.1) (P<0.05). The BCB-positive group had a significantly lower apoptosis index (2.1±0.6 vs. 8.2±0.9 and 6.7±1.1 for the negative and control groups, respectively) (P<0.05). These findings demonstrate that BCB-positive oocytes have a higher maturation ability and developmental competence in vitro, indicating that BCB staining is a reliable method for selecting oocytes to enhance the efficiency of SCNT.
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.
The switching between a damped and an undamped Inertial Navigation System (INS) is an important technical method to ensure its long-term accuracy. The stability of switching is of great importance. This paper studies the switching stability problem between a damped and an undamped INS. A model of an inertial navigation switching system is established by introducing switched control. The average dwell time method is used to analyse stability and a sufficient condition of exponential stability is given. The condition is also extended to the switched system containing constant disturbance and the sufficient condition of exponential stability. The effect of introducing switched control for the smooth operation of the system is verified and the accuracy of a long-term INS is improved effectively.
Although it is crucial to improve the treatment status of people with severe mental illness (SMI), it is still unknown whether and how socioeconomic development influences their treatment status.
To explore the change in treatment status in people with SMI from 1994 to 2015 in rural China and to examine the factors influencing treatment status in those with SMI.
Two mental health surveys using identical methods and ICD-10 were conducted in 1994 and 2015 (population ≥15 years old, n = 152 776) in the same six townships of Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
Compared with 1994, individuals with SMI in 2015 had significantly higher rates of poor family economic status, fewer family caregivers, longer duration of illness, later age at first onset and poor mental status. Participants in 2015 had significantly higher rates of never being treated, taking antipsychotic drugs and ever being admitted to hospital, and lower rates of using traditional Chinese medicine or being treated by traditional/spiritual healers. The factors strongly associated with never being treated included worse mental status (symptoms/social functioning), older age, having no family caregivers and poor family economic status.
Socioeconomic development influences the treatment status of people with SMI in contemporary rural China. Relative poverty, having no family caregivers and older age are important factors associated with a worse treatment status. Culture-specific, community-based interventions and targeted poverty-alleviation programmes should be developed to improve the early identification, treatment and recovery of individuals with SMI in rural China.
In this paper, adaptive noise estimation is used along with a previously proposed Huber-based robust algorithm for cooperative localisation of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). The Huber-based robust cooperative localisation algorithm named Huber-based Iterative Divided Difference Filtering (HIDDF), proposed in our previous work, effectively achieved a robust result against abnormal measurement noise, enhanced the stability of the filtering algorithm and improved the performance of cooperative localisation state estimation. However, its performance could be significantly further improved if it could estimate the system's noise statistical properties online in real time and then adaptively adjust the filtering gain matrix accordingly. In this paper, a novel adaptive noise estimation algorithm is proposed based on a covariance matching method. The proposed algorithm is suitable for adaptively estimating Gaussian and non-Gaussian measurement as well as process noise. The efficacy of the proposed algorithm has been verified through simulation results. In order to further verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in practical systems, lake tests were conducted. Then, based on offline test data, the performance of the cooperative positioning algorithm under dual-pilot and single-pilot schemes was simulated. The advantages and feasibility of the algorithm are analysed and compared through performance comparison. Cooperative localisation accuracy of the previously proposed Huber-based robust algorithm has been enhanced significantly when used with the proposed adaptive noise estimation algorithm.
Suicidal behaviours in adolescents are prevalent and multifactorial. This study was conducted to examine the associations between exposure to suicide attempt (ESA) or suicide death (ESD) and suicidal behaviours in a large sample of Chinese adolescents.
Participants included for the analysis were 11 831 adolescent students who participated in the baseline survey of the Shandong Adolescent Behavior and Health Cohort (SABHC). Participants were sampled from five middle and three high schools in three counties of Shandong province, China. A self-administered structured questionnaire was used to collect data on demographics, behavioural and emotional problems, family environment, suicidal behaviours (suicidal thought, plan and attempt), and history of ESA or death of a family member, relative, friend or close acquaintance. Based on the sources of exposure, the participants were divided into four groups: non-exposure, exposure from relatives only, exposure from friends/close acquaintances only (EFO) and exposure from both relatives and friends (ERF). Logistic regressions were used to examine the associations between ESA or ESD and suicidal behaviours.
Mean age of the participants was 14.97 ± 1.46 years and 50.9% were boys. Of the participants, 9.4% reported having ESA, and 6.6% reported having ESD. The prevalence rates of suicidal behaviours were significantly higher in adolescents who had been exposed to suicide attempt or death than those who had not. Multivariate logistic regressions showed that ESA and ESD were both significantly associated with increased risks of suicidal thought (ESA: OR = 1.96, 95% CI = 1.66–2.31; ESD: OR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.31–1.94), plan (ESA: OR = 2.37, 95% CI = 1.84–3.05; ESD: OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.18–2.23) and attempt (ESA: OR = 2.73, 95% CI = 1.92–3.89; ESD: OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.18–2.82), respectively. When participants were exposed to suicide attempt, ERF and EFO groups had significantly higher risks of suicidal thought (ERF: OR = 2.61, 95% CI = 1.28–1.64; EFO: OR = 1.96, 95% CI = 1.64–2.36), plan (ERF: OR = 3.72, 95% CI = 2.04–6.78; EFO: OR = 2.31, 95% CI = 1.74–3.01) and attempt (ERF: OR = 4.83, 95% CI = 2.30–10.17; EFO: OR = 2.57, 95% CI = 1.73–3.81), respectively.
ESA or ESD was associated with increased risks of suicidal behaviours in adolescents. Exposure to suicidal behaviours of relatives and friends/close acquaintances appeared to have different influence on adolescent suicidal behaviours. Further research is warranted to examine the biological and psychosocial mechanisms between suicidal exposure and subsequent suicidal behaviours in adolescents.
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.
A series of novel wideband filtering power dividers (WFPDs) with wide stopband rejection performances is proposed in this paper. The proposed WFPD structure consists of a parallel-coupled line, two transmission line (TL) sections, four loading terminations, and an isolation resistor. The coupled line is applied at the input port to provide wideband impedance transformation, while different types of loading terminations and TL sections are adopted to realize various out-of-band rejection performances. To verify the proposed concepts, three WFPDs operating at 3.0 GHz are designed and fabricated with 3 dB bandwidth of 79.7, 79.0, and 74.4%. In WFPD1, the measured out-of-band rejection of better than 13.4 dB extends to 2.57f0. Moreover, the measured out-of-band rejection of better than 17 dB extends to 2.47f0 (4.75f0) in WFPD2 (WFPD3), respectively. Good agreements between the simulated and measured results validate the presented ideas.
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.