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The first positive genome-wide association study on gestational length and preterm delivery showed associations with a gene involved in the selenium metabolism. In this study we examine the associations between maternal intake of selenium and selenium status with gestational length and preterm delivery in 72,025 women with singleton live births from the population based, prospective Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). A self-reported, semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire answered in pregnancy week 22 was used to estimate selenium intake during the first half of pregnancy. Associations were analysed with adjusted linear and cox regressions. Selenium status was assessed in whole blood collected in gestational week 17 (n=2,637). Median dietary selenium intake was 53 (IQR: 44-62) µg/day, supplements provided additionally 50 (30-75) µg/day for supplement-users (n=23,409). Maternal dietary selenium intake was significantly associated with prolonged gestational length (β per SD=0.25, 95% CI=0.07-0.43) and decreased risk for preterm delivery (n=3,618, HR per SD=0.92, 95% CI=0.87-0.98). Neither selenium intake from supplements nor maternal blood selenium status was associated with gestational length or preterm delivery. Hence, this study showed that maternal dietary selenium intake, but not intake of selenium containing supplements, during the first half of pregnancy was significantly associated with decreased risk for preterm delivery. Further investigations, preferably in the form of a large RCT, are needed to elucidate the impact of selenium on pregnancy duration.
Radiocarbon (14C) has become a unique and powerful tracer in source apportionment of atmospheric carbonaceous particles. In this study, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit (APEC) held in Beijing in 2014 was used as a demonstration to research the source apportionment of atmosphere PM2.5. We used a 200 kV single stage accelerator mass spectrometer recently completed at China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). The PM2.5 samples related to above case were collected, and the characteristics of radiocarbon in organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) in samples were analyzed using the AMS. The results show that the Before-APEC pollution emission mode is different from the During-APEC and After-APEC pollution emission modes. For Before-APEC, During-APEC and After-APEC, the average values of fossil carbon fraction of OC are 0.463, 0.431 and 0.615, respectively, and those of EC are 0.644, 0.561 and 0.687. The fossil source contributions of traffic activities using fossil fuels to OC and EC are 15.8 % and 21.9 %, respectively. The fossil source contributions of industrial activities to OC and EC are 38.0 % and 8.2 %, respectively. It is about 7–10 days that is needed to take to regenerate the PM2.5 pollution caused by human activities.
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.
Severe phase coarsening and separation in Sn–Bi alloys have brought increasing reliability concern in microelectronic packages. In this study, a phase field model is developed to simulate the microstructural evolution and evaluate the change in macroscopic physical properties of the flip chip Cu/Sn58Bi/Cu joint under the conditions of isothermal aging, as well as the coupled loads of elastic stress and electric current stressing. Results show that large-sized Bi-rich phase particles grow up at the expense of small-sized ones. Under the coupled loads, Bi atoms migrate along the electron flow direction, consequently Bi-rich phase segregates to form a Bi-rich phase layer at the anode. The current crowding ratio in the solder decreases rapidly first and then fluctuates slightly with time. Current density and von Mises stress exhibit inhomogeneous distribution, and both of them are higher in the Sn-rich phase than in the Bi-rich phase. Electric current transfers through the Sn-rich phase and detours the Bi-rich phase. As time proceeds, the resistance of the solder joint increases, and the average von Mises stress of the solder joint decreases. The Bi-rich phase coarsens much faster under the coupled loads than under the conditions of isothermal aging.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A priori attitude information can improve the success rate and reliability of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) multi-antennae attitude determination. However, a priori attitude information is nonlinear, and integrating a priori information into the objective function rigorously will increase the complexity of an ambiguity domain search, such as the Multivariate Constrained-Least-squares Ambiguity Decorrelation Adjustment (MC-LAMBDA) method. In this paper, a new method based on attitude domain search is presented to make use of the a priori attitude angle information with high efficiency. First, the a priori information of pitch and roll is integrated into the search process to derive the analytic search step for attitude angle, and the integer candidates are determined by traversal search in the three-dimensional attitude domain. Then, the objective function is parameterised with Euler angles, and a non-iterative approximate method is utilised to simplify the iterative computation in calculating objective function values. Experimental results reveal that compared to the MC-LAMBDA method, our new method has the same success rate and reliability, but higher efficiency in making use of a priori attitude information.
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.
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.
The hot deformation behavior of Ti–6Al–4V alloy with starting fully lamellar microstructure was investigated by conducting isothermal hot compression tests at the temperature of 700–1000 °C and strain rate of 0.001–10 s−1. The deformation activation energy is calculated to be 342 kJ/mol at temperatures from 750 to 850 °C, whereas the higher apparent activation energy of 610 kJ/mol is obtained at a high temperature regime of 900–1000 °C. The relationship between the dynamic softening behavior and deformation parameters was analyzed by power dissipation efficiency η, which shows an increasing trend as the deformation temperature increases and strain rate decreases, respectively. Processing maps were constructed. The instability flow is dominated by the presence of adiabatic shear bands, and the dynamic softening is mainly caused by a combination effect of dynamic recrystallization and dynamic recovery. Moreover, straining is found to have a positive effect on lowering the phase transformation temperature.