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When motile algal cells are exposed to gyrotactic torques, their swimming directions are guided to form radial accumulation, well known as hydrodynamic focusing. The origin of hydrodynamic focusing from the effects of active swimming, ambient flow and particle anisotropy is elucidated in the present study on the pre-asymptotic dispersion of active particles through a vertical pipe. With an extension of the Galerkin method to pipe flows, time-dependent solutions directly from the Smoluchowski equation in the position and orientation space are derived by series expansions of spherical harmonics and Bessel functions. Ballistic and diffusive scaling laws are examined with the predominance of self-propelled swimming, and computation is validated against an explicit benchmark solution and Lagrangian particle simulation. In the limit of extreme shear, the competitive roles of shear dispersion and Brownian rotation are reflected concretely in the pre-asymptotic phase of hydrodynamic focusing. For flows with various shear strengths, a concentration peak in near-wall regions with a smooth transition to hydrodynamic focusing is illustrated with richer phenomena in upwelling and downwelling flows. A newly observed regime through a vertical pipe, named transient effective trapping, is revealed as a transitional mode towards hydrodynamic focusing. The pre-asymptotic approach to hydrodynamic focusing is elaborated intensively through extensive solutions of concentration moments and macroscopic transport coefficients characterised by swimming and flow Péclet numbers. The unique findings for the origin of hydrodynamic focusing could provide insight into related micro-algae reactor technology and contribute to flow control and biomass transfer in confined environments.
Visual place recognition (VPR) in condition-varying environments is still an open problem. Popular solutions are convolutional neural network (CNN)-based image descriptors, which have been shown to outperform traditional image descriptors based on hand-crafted visual features. However, there are two drawbacks of current CNN-based descriptors: (a) their high dimension and (b) lack of generalization, leading to low efficiency and poor performance in real robotic applications. In this paper, we propose to use a convolutional autoencoder (CAE) to tackle this problem. We employ a high-level layer of a pre-trained CNN to generate features and train a CAE to map the features to a low-dimensional space to improve the condition invariance property of the descriptor and reduce its dimension at the same time. We verify our method in four challenging real-world datasets involving significant illumination changes, and our method is shown to be superior to the state-of-the-art. The code of our work is publicly available at https://github.com/MedlarTea/CAE-VPR.
Coastal eutrophication and hypoxia remain a persistent environmental crisis despite the great efforts to reduce nutrient loading and mitigate associated environmental damages. Symptoms of this crisis have appeared to spread rapidly, reaching developing countries in Asia with emergences in Southern America and Africa. The pace of changes and the underlying drivers remain not so clear. To address the gap, we review the up-to-date status and mechanisms of eutrophication and hypoxia in global coastal oceans, upon which we examine the trajectories of changes over the 40 years or longer in six model coastal systems with varying socio-economic development statuses and different levels and histories of eutrophication. Although these coastal systems share common features of eutrophication, site-specific characteristics are also substantial, depending on the regional environmental setting and level of social-economic development along with policy implementation and management. Nevertheless, ecosystem recovery generally needs greater reduction in pressures compared to that initiated degradation and becomes less feasible to achieve past norms with a longer time anthropogenic pressures on the ecosystems. While the qualitative causality between drivers and consequences is well established, quantitative attribution of these drivers to eutrophication and hypoxia remains difficult especially when we consider the social economic drivers because the changes in coastal ecosystems are subject to multiple influences and the cause–effect relationship is often non-linear. Such relationships are further complicated by climate changes that have been accelerating over the past few decades. The knowledge gaps that limit our quantitative and mechanistic understanding of the human-coastal ocean nexus are identified, which is essential for science-based policy making. Recognizing lessons from past management practices, we advocate for a better, more efficient indexing system of coastal eutrophication and an advanced regional earth system modeling framework with optimal modules of human dimensions to facilitate the development and evaluation of effective policy and restoration actions.
We reported a case of ischaemic stroke with moyamoya disease with simultaneous occurrence of patent foramen ovale. The patient underwent percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale and was scheduled for follow-up.
The staining procedure is critical for investigating intra- and extra-cellular ultrastructure of microorganisms by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Here, we propose a new ultra-low lead staining (ULLS) technique for preparing the ultrathin sections for TEM analysis. Sections of Enterobacter sp. (bacteria), Aspergillus niger (filamentous fungi), Rhodotorula mucilaginosa (fungi), and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (microalgae) were tested. Compared with the sections prepared by the typical double-staining technique, ULLS-based sections showed evident advantages: (i) the staining process only required the addition of Pb(NO3)2; (ii) the Pb level during incubation was set as low as 1 mg/L, which had negligible toxicity to most microbial cells; (iii) the Pb cations were added during microbial culture, which avoided complicated sample preparation as in typical double staining. Taking C. reinhardtii as an example, the ULLS technique allowed fine investigation of microbial ultrastructure, e.g., starch granule, mitochondrion, Golgi apparatus, vacuole, and vesicle. Meanwhile, the physiological processes of the cells such as cell lysis and exocytosis were successfully captured, with relatively high contrast. This study hence shows a bright future on preparation of the high-quality ultrathin sections of microbial cells by the ULLS technique.
Tremendous progress has been made in the field of ferroptosis since this regulated cell death process was first named in 2012. Ferroptosis is initiated upon redox imbalance and driven by excessive phospholipid peroxidation. Levels of multiple intracellular nutrients (iron, selenium, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10) are intimately related to the cellular antioxidant system and participate in the regulation of ferroptosis. Dietary intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) regulates ferroptosis by directly modifying the fatty acid composition in cell membranes. In addition, amino acids and glucose (energy stress) manipulate the ferroptosis pathway through the nutrient-sensitive kinases mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Understanding the molecular interaction between nutrient signals and ferroptosis sensors might help in the identification of the roles of ferroptosis in normal physiology and in the development of novel pharmacological targets for the treatment of ferroptosis-related diseases.
Engineered biomaterials provide unique functions to overcome the bottlenecks seen in biomedicine. Hence, a technique for rapid and routine tests of collagen is required, in which the test items commonly include molecular weight, crosslinking degree, purity, and sterilization induced structural change. Among them, the crosslinking degree mainly influences collagen properties. In this study, second harmonic generation (SHG) and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy are used in combination to explore the collagen structure at molecular and macromolecular scales. These measured parameters are applied for the classification and quantification among the different collagen scaffolds, which were verified by other conventional methods. It is demonstrated that the crosslinking status can be analyzed from SHG images and presented as the coherency of collagen organization that is correlated with the mechanical properties. Also, the comparative analyses of SHG signal and relative CARS signal of amide III band at 1,240 cm−1 to δCH2 band at 1,450 cm−1 of these samples provide information regarding the variation of the molecular structure during a crosslinking process, thus serving as nonlinear optical signatures to indicate a successful crosslinking.
The Upper Triassic Xujiahe Formation is a typical tight gas reservoir in which natural fractures determine the migration, accumulation and production capacity of tight gas. In this study, we focused on the influences of natural fractures on the tight gas migration and production. We clarified characteristics and attributes (i.e. dips, apertures, filling degree and cross-cutting relationships) of the fractures based on image logging interpretations and core descriptions. Previous studies of electron spin resonance, carbon and oxygen isotopes, homogenization temperature of fluid inclusions analysis and basin simulation were considered. This study also analysed the fracture sequences, source of fracture fillings, diagenetic sequences and tight gas enrichment stages. We obtained insight into the relationship between fracture evolution and hydrocarbon charging, particularly the effect of the apertures and intensity of natural fractures on tight gas production. We reveal that the bedding fractures are short horizontal migration channels of tight gas. The tectonic fractures with middle, high and nearly vertical angles are beneficial to tight gas vertical migration. The apertures of fractures are controlled by the direction of maximum principal stress and fracture angle. The initial gas production of the vertical wells presents a positive correlation with the fracture abundance, and the intensity and aperture of fractures are the fundamental factors that determine the tight gas production. With these findings, this study is expected to guide the future exploration and development of tight gas with similar geological backgrounds.
Based on a cohort from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS), we aimed to evaluate the relationship between sleep duration and the incidence of cognitive impairment among older Chinese adults.
We conducted a prospective analysis based on 3692 participants from the CLHLS at baseline (in 2011), and as a 3-year follow-up (till 2014), 531 participants (14.4%) had cognitive impairment, which was defined as a Mini-Mental State Examination score <24. Sleep duration was classified into three groups: short (≤5 hours/day), normal (>5 but <10 hours), and long (≥10 hours/day). A logistic regression model was used to examine the association between baseline sleep duration and cognitive impairment after adjusting for sociodemographic data, living habits, and health conditions.
Five hundred sixty-two participants (15.2%) were in the short-duration group, and 608 participants (16.5%) were in the long-duration group. After adjusting for multiple potential confounders, compared with normal sleep duration, long sleep duration was associated with the incidence of cognitive impairment (OR = 1.309, 95% CI: 1.019–1.683), especially among men (OR = 1.527, 95% CI: 1.041–2.240) and those having a primary and above education level (OR = 1.559, 95% CI: 1.029–2.361). No significant association was observed between short sleep duration and cognitive impairment (OR = 0.860, 95% CI: 0.646–1.145).
Excessive sleep may increase the risk of cognitive impairment in older individuals. It may be a suggestive sign of early neurodegeneration and may be a useful clinical tool to identify those at a higher risk of progressing to cognitive impairment.
Mach reflection subjected to the influence of an upstream shock wave from the same side is studied here. This situation occurs when two incident shock waves induced by a double wedge reflect at the same point of the reflecting surface and when the downstream incident shock wave is stronger than the upstream one. A shock polar analysis is used to show that this configuration produces an inverted Mach stem and a type IV shock interference between the Mach stem and the upstream shock wave. This shock interference produces a jet that divides the flow stream downstream of the Mach stem into two ducts with different sonic throats, thus complicating the mechanism by which the Mach stem size is determined. A transition analysis shows that the Mach reflection of the downstream shock wave is promoted by the upstream one. Computational fluid dynamics is used to assess the flow pattern anticipated by shock polar analysis and demonstrates how the heights of Mach stem and jet depend on the inflow Mach number and wedge turning angle.
The present study was conducted to evaluate the impact of dietary fully oxidised β-carotene (OxBC, C40H60O15) supplementation during the perinatal period on immune status and productivity in a sow model. At day 85 of pregnancy, 150 sows were allocated to one of three dietary treatments with fifty sows per treatment. The three experimental diets were supplemented with 0, 4 or 8 mg/kg OxBC in the basal diet. The feeding trial was conducted from gestation day 85 until day 21 of lactation. Dietary OxBC supplementation greatly enhanced colostrum IgM, IgA and IgG levels, and the IgM and IgG content of 14-d milk. Dietary OxBC supplementation decreased the TNF-α and IL-8 levels in colostrum, as well as the TNF-α and IL-18 levels in 14-d milk. There was also a tendency towards an increase in the soluble CD14 level in 14-d milk. Although dietary treatments did not affect average daily feed intake nor backfat thickness loss during lactation, dietary OxBC supplementation tended to enhance litter weight and individual piglet weight at weaning. There was a trend towards increased lactose concentration in 14-d milk with increasing dietary OxBC. It is concluded that dietary supplementation with OxBC during the perinatal period enhances the lactose concentration of sow milk and the immune status of sows, which is reflected by improved cytokine status and immunoglobulin concentrations in colostrum and milk, and thus tending to increase litter weight and individual piglet weight at weaning. The results also provide a scientific nutritional reference for perinatal mothers due to the biological similarity between pigs and humans.
Ketosis is a metabolic disease of dairy cows often characterized by high concentrations of ketone bodies and fatty acids, but low milk protein and milk production. The Janus kinase 2 (JAK2)-signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) and the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways are central for the regulation of milk protein synthesis. The effect of high levels of fatty acids on these pathways and β-casein synthesis are unknown in dairy cows with clinical ketosis. Mammary gland tissue and blood samples were collected from healthy (n = 15) and clinically-ketotic (n = 15) cows. In addition, bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMEC) were treated with fatty acids, methionine (Met) or prolactin (PRL), respectively. In vivo, the serum concentration of fatty acids was greater (P > 0.05) and the percentage of milk protein (P > 0.05) was lower in cows with clinical ketosis. The JAK2-STAT5 and mTOR signaling pathways were inhibited and the abundance of β-casein was lower in mammary tissue of cows with clinical ketosis (P > 0.05). In vitro, high levels of fatty acids inhibited the JAK2-STAT5 and mTOR signaling pathways (P > 0.05) and further decreased the β-casein synthesis (P > 0.05) in BMEC. Methionine or PRL treatment, as positive regulators, activated the JAK2-STAT5 and mTOR signaling pathways to increase the β-casein synthesis. Importantly, the high concentration of fatty acids attenuated the positive effect of Met or PRL on mTOR, JAK2-STAT5 pathways and the abundance of β-casein (P > 0.05). Overall, these data indicate that the high concentrations of fatty acids that reach the mammary cells during clinical ketosis inhibit mTOR and JAK2-STAT5 signaling pathways, and further suppress β-casein synthesis.
There seems to be geographical differences in decisions about breast conserving surgery (BCS) in breast cancer patients. This study was to evaluate patients’ attitude to BCS and to assess the factors affecting cancer practice in West China.
A structured questionnaire was distributed to 184 patients, eliciting information about the patients’ characteristics, occupation, education, family life, recognition of illness, knowledge about BCS, the main means of gaining surgery information, selecting surgery approaches, preferences to breast reservation.
In all, 163 patients completed the questionnaire. The results indicated that only 7.4% of patients received BCS and 23% of the remaining patients desired to have BCS and the affecting factors were significantly associated with their family life, recognition of illness and the main means of gaining surgery information (P < 0.05). No associations were between BCS selecting and the other variables studied. The most frequent reasons for selecting BCS were keeping the female shape and improving quality of life (71%), the second most were postoperative recovery, minimal influence of physical function (47%) and patients’ knowledge about BCS (42%). The most frequent reasons for not selecting BCS were uncertainty about BCS results and worry about recurrence (81%), the second most was the elderly age unnecessary for BCS (40%).
The findings indicate that breast cancer patients in West China do not take BCS as the first choice as the best treatment method. It is warranted that further study of more patients, attitude of patients’ partners and physicians to BCS.
The mammary gland, a unique exocrine organ, is responsible for milk synthesis in mammals. Neonatal growth and health are predominantly determined by quality and quantity of milk production. Amino acids are crucial maternal nutrients that are the building blocks for milk protein and are potential energy sources for neonates. Recent advances made regarding the mammary gland further demonstrate that some functional amino acids also regulate milk protein and fat synthesis through distinct intracellular and extracellular pathways. In the present study, we discuss recent advances in the role of amino acids (especially branched-chain amino acids, methionine, arginine and lysine) in the regulation of milk synthesis. The present review also addresses the crucial questions of how amino acids are transported, sensed and transduced in the mammary gland.
We compared the electrical conductivity from two different aggregates of whey protein concentrates (WPC) film: conventional amorphous aggregation at natural pH (pH 6.5) and amyloid fibrils at a low pH (pH 2.0) far away from the isoelectric point. The two types of film fabricated by these solutions with different aggregate structures showed large variations in electrical conductivity and other properties. The WPC fibril film (pH 2.0) exhibited higher electrical conductivity than that of the conventional WPC film (pH 6.5), improved mechanical properties and oil resistance, due to varying morphology, higher surface hydrophobicity and more (absolute value) surface charge of film-forming solutions. The evidence from this study suggests that fibrilized WPC with high-ordered and β-sheets-rich structures fabricated high electrical conductivity film, which broadens the potential application of fibrils as functional bio-nanomaterials.
Mach reflection in steady supersonic flow with two incident shock waves that reflect at the same point on the reflecting surface has been studied recently. Under some conditions we have pre-Mach reflection, where the first incident shock wave produces Mach reflection, the reflected shock wave of which intersects the second incident shock wave, leading to a type I shock interference structure. In this study, we find that a critical condition exists to have a double solution of this shock interference, i.e. we may either have type I interference or type II interference. However, numerical simulation shows that, for inverted Mach reflection, the double solution domain is below the theoretical one and for usual Mach reflection, the double solution domain is above the theoretical one. This discrepancy is found to be due to secondary Mach waves on the initial segment of the slipline of the Mach reflection, thus demonstrating for the first time a case where the transition criterion is modified by secondary Mach waves developed over the primary flow structure.
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) provide a renewable source of energy through the redox reaction of hydrogen and oxygen gas; however, operation relies on a costly platinum catalyst layer. This study investigates how electrospun catalyst layers may be employed to increase the surface area:volume ratio for catalysis to optimize PEMFC performance. When preparing electrospinning solutions, several base polymers were evaluated in varying concentrations to optimize fiber formation, with poly(acrylic acid) found to be preferable at a 12 wt% concentration. Ultimately, PEMFCs with electrospun catalyst layers achieved a 108% increase in power output compared to those air-sprayed.
A greater understanding of the rumen microbiota and its function may help find new strategies to improve feed efficiency in cattle. This study aimed to investigate whether the cattle breed affects specific ruminal taxonomic microbial groups and functions associated with feed conversion ratio (FCR), using two genetically related Angus breeds as a model. Total RNA was extracted from 24 rumen content samples collected from purebred Black and Red Angus bulls fed the same forage diet and then subjected to metatranscriptomic analysis. Multivariate discriminant analysis (sparse partial least square discriminant analysis (sPLS-DA)) and analysis of composition of microbiomes were conducted to identify microbial signatures characterizing Black and Red Angus cattle. Our analyses revealed relationships among bacterial signatures, host breeds and FCR. Although Black and Red Angus are genetically similar, sPLS-DA detected 25 bacterial species and 10 functions that differentiated the rumen microbial signatures between those two breeds. In Black Angus, we identified bacterial taxa Chitinophaga pinensis, Clostridium stercorarium and microbial functions with large and small subunits ribosomal proteins L16 and S7 exhibiting a higher abundance in the rumen microbiome. In Red Angus, nonetheless, we identified the poorly characterized bacterial taxon Oscillibacter valericigenes with a higher abundance and pathways related to carbohydrate metabolism. Analysis of composition of microbiomes revealed that C. pinensis and C. stercorarium exhibited a higher abundance in Black Angus compared to Red Angus associated with FCR, suggesting that these bacterial species may play a key role in the feed conversion efficiency of forage-fed bulls. This study highlights how the discovery of signatures of bacterial taxa and their functions can be used to harness the full potential of the rumen microbiome in Angus cattle.
Malnutrition and acute kidney injury (AKI) are common complications in hospitalised patients, and both increase mortality; however, the relationship between them is unknown. This is a retrospective propensity score matching study enrolling 46 549 inpatients, aimed to investigate the association between Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002) and AKI and to assess the ability of NRS-2002 and AKI in predicting prognosis. In total, 37 190 (80 %) and 9359 (20 %) patients had NRS-2002 scores <3 and ≥3, respectively. Patients with NRS-2002 scores ≥3 had longer lengths of stay (12·6 (sd 7·8) v. 10·4 (sd 6·2) d, P < 0·05), higher mortality rates (9·6 v. 2·5 %, P < 0·05) and higher incidence of AKI (28 v. 16 %, P < 0·05) than patients with normal nutritional status. The NRS-2002 showed a strong association with AKI, that is, the risk of AKI changed in parallel with the score of the NRS-2002. In short- and long-term survival, patients with a lower NRS-2002 score or who did not have AKI achieved a significantly lower risk of mortality than those with a high NRS-2002 score or AKI. Univariate Cox regression analyses indicated that both the NRS-2002 and AKI were strongly related to long-term survival (AUC 0·79 and 0·71) and that the combination of the two showed better accuracy (AUC 0·80) than the individual variables. In conclusion, malnutrition can increase the risk of AKI and both AKI and malnutrition can worsen the prognosis that the undernourished patients who develop AKI yield far worse prognosis than patients with normal nutritional status.