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Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
Radio-echo sounding (RES) can be used to understand ice-sheet processes, englacial flow structures and bed properties, making it one of the most popular tools in glaciological exploration. However, RES data are often subject to ‘strip noise’, caused by internal instrument noise and interference, and/or external environmental interference, which can hamper measurement and interpretation. For example, strip noise can result in reduced power from the bed, affecting the quality of ice thickness measurements and the characterization of subglacial conditions. Here, we present a method for removing strip noise based on combined wavelet and two-dimensional (2-D) Fourier filtering. First, we implement discrete wavelet decomposition on RES data to obtain multi-scale wavelet components. Then, 2-D discrete Fourier transform (DFT) spectral analysis is performed on components containing the noise. In the Fourier domain, the 2-D DFT spectrum of strip noise keeps its linear features and can be removed with a ‘targeted masking’ operation. Finally, inverse wavelet transforms are performed on all wavelet components, including strip-removed components, to restore the data with enhanced fidelity. Model tests and field-data processing demonstrate the method removes strip noise well and, incidentally, can remove the strong first reflector from the ice surface, thus improving the general quality of radar data.
One-dimensional zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructure arrays show unique semiconducting, piezoelectric, and wetting properties, and how they interact with cells is critical for their biomedical applications. In this work, we prepare ZnO nanorod arrays (ZnO NRAs) and study their interactions with neonatal rat cardiomyocytes either as a substrate or patch. We find that ZnO NRAs can (1) inhibit cell adhesion and spreading as a substrate and (2) selectively kill underneath cells as a patch. We further identify surface nanomorphology as the dominant factor responsible for the inhibitory effect. These discoveries suggest potential application of ZnO NRAs as a cell inhibitory biointerface.
Pathogenesis of pregnancy toxemia (PT) is believed to be associated with the disruption of lipid metabolism. The present study aimed to explore the underlying mechanisms of lipid metabolism disorder in the livers of ewes with PT. In total, 10 pregnant ewes were fed normally (control group) whereas another 10 were subjected to 70% level feed restriction for 15 days to establish a pathological model of PT. Results showed that, as compared with the controls, the levels of blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) and cholesterol were greater (P<0.05) and blood glucose level was lower (P<0.05) in PT ewes. The contents of NEFAs, BHBA, cholesterol and triglyceride were higher (P<0.05) and glycerol content was lower (P<0.05) in hepatic tissues of PT ewes than those of the controls. For ewes with PT, excessive fat vacuoles were observed in liver sections stained with hematoxylin–eosin; furthermore, inner structures of hepatocytes including nuclei, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum were damaged seriously according to the results of transmission electron microscope. Real-time PCR data showed that compared with the controls, the expression of hepatic genes involved in fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and triglyceride synthesis (TGS) was enhanced (P<0.05) whereas that related to acetyl-CoA metabolism (ACM) was repressed (P<0.05) in PT ewes. Generally, our results showed that negative energy balance altered the expression of genes involved in FAO, ACM and TGS, further caused lipid metabolism disorder in livers, resulting in PT of ewes. Our findings may provide the molecular basis for novel therapeutic strategies against this systemic metabolic disease in sheep.
Developing metallic materials with a good combination of strength and ductility has been an unending pursuit of materials scientists. The emergence of high/medium-entropy alloys (HEA/MEA) provided a novel strategy to achieve this. Here, we further strengthened a strong-and-ductile MEA using a traditional solid solution strengthening theory. The selection of solute elements was assisted by mechanical property and microstructure predictive models. Extensive microstructural characterizations and mechanical tests were performed to verify the models and to understand the mechanical behavior and deformation mechanisms of the designated CoCrNi–3W alloy. Our results show good experiment-model agreement. The incorporation of 3 at.% W into the ternary CoCrNi matrix increased its intrinsic strength by ∼20%. External strengthening through microstructural refinement led to a yield strength nearly double that of the parent alloy, CoCrNi. The increase in strength is obtained with still good ductility when tested down to 77 K. Nanoscale twin boundaries are observed in the post-fracture microstructure under 77 K. The combination of strength and ductility after W additions deviate from the traditional strength-ductility-trade-off contour.
The present study aim to explore temporal–spatial patterns of water use (WU) efficiency and its influencing factors of maize production in China during 1998–2010. WU and productivity (WP) were quantified by taking irrigation loss into account and the links between WP and nine selected indicators were revealed by the partial least squares regression (PLSR) model. Results showed that national WU and WP in maize production were 138.56 cubic gigametres (Gm3; 0.755 green and 0.245 blue) and 1.079 kg/m3, respectively. WP was enhanced in the present study due to an increase in irrigated crop yield. Provinces located in the middle–lower part of the Yellow River had high proportions of green water and WP, while high proportions of irrigation water and low WP were found in Northwest China. The dosage of pesticides per unit area, relative humidity, average temperature and precipitation were the dominant factors that affected WP. However, the relationships between WP and solar radiation, fertilizer, agricultural machinery power, irrigation proportion and irrigated efficiency were not significant. Findings of the present research may also provide a reference for regional agricultural water management.
The Chinese Solar and Geophysical Data (CSGD) was first issued at the Beijing Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences (now the headquarter of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences) in 1971, when China’s satellite-industry was booming. CSGD covers the observational data (observations of the sunspots, solar flares, solar radio bursts, ionospheric storm and geomagnetic storm) from a couple of domestic observatories and the forecast data. The compiler of CSGD still keeps the data exchange with other institutes worldwide. The type of the dataset includes texts, tables, figures and so on. Up to now, we have electronized all the historic archives, making them easily accessible to people who are interested in them.
The ability to synthesise sufficient vitamin D through sunlight in human subjects can be limited. Thus, diet has become an important contributor to vitamin D intake and status; however, there are only a few foods (e.g. egg yolk, oily fish) naturally rich in vitamin D. Therefore, vitamin D-enriched foods via supplementing the animals’ diet with vitamin D or vitamin D fortification of foods have been proposed as strategies to increase vitamin D intake. Evidence that cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and calcifediol (25(OH)D3) content of eggs, fish and milk increased in response to vitamin D3 supplementation of hens, fish or cows’ diets was identified when vitamin D-enrichment studies were reviewed. However, evidence from supplementation studies with hens showed only dietary 25(OH)D3, not vitamin D3 supplementation, resulted in a pronounced increase of 25(OH)D3 in the eggs. Furthermore, evidence from randomised controlled trials indicated that a 25(OH)D3 oral supplement could be absorbed faster and more efficiently raise serum 25(OH)D concentration compared with vitamin D3 supplementation. Moreover, evidence showed the relative effectiveness of increasing vitamin D status using 25(OH)D3 varied between 3·13 and 7·14 times that of vitamin D3, probably due to the different characteristics of the investigated subjects or study design. Therefore, vitamin D-enrichment or fortified foods using 25(OH)D3 would appear to have advantages over vitamin D3. Further well-controlled studies are needed to assess the effects of 25(OH)D3 enriched or fortified foods in the general population and clinical patients.
The dynamic ground effect enhances the swimming of fish. The dynamic ground effect affects the kinematic conditions of fish, causing them to swim more efficiently. However, predicting the degree to which the dynamic ground effect can improve the swimming performance of fish is difficult. The dynamic ground effect can potentially save energy for biomimetic underwater vehicles. Therefore, a theoretical model was developed to investigate the effect of a planar boundary on the swimming performance of a two-dimensional undulating plate. General expressions for the thrust, power input, efficiency, and energy loss of the plate were obtained. As examples, cases in which an undulating plate with linearly varying amplitude swam far from and close to a wall under a range of different kinematic conditions were studied. The dynamic ground effect improved the swimming performance of the plate by reducing the power input while maintaining an almost constant thrust; the degree of improvement depended on the kinematic conditions of the plate. Furthermore, the swimming performance of the plate was improved over a range of distances from the wall; this range of distances also depended on the kinematic conditions of the plate.
Optimal nitrogen (N) management for maize in the film-mulched production systems that are widely used in dryland agriculture is difficult because top-dressing N is impractical. The current research determined how matching N supply and demand was achieved before and after silking stages, when single applications of controlled release urea (CRU) were combined with conventional urea in film-mulched maize production. The CRU: urea mixture was applied in a 1 : 2 or 2 : 1 ratio and all three fertilizer regimes (urea alone and CRU: urea at 1 : 2 or 2 : 1) were applied at N rates of 180 and 240 kg/ha over 2 years. The 1 : 2 CRU: urea mixture, applied once at 180 kg N/ha, was found to synchronize N supply with demand, thereby reducing N losses. The highest grain yields (11·8–12·0 t/ha), N uptake (232–239 kg/ha), N recovery (65·8–67·7%) and high net economic return were achieved with this regime. These results indicate that a single application of a mixture of CRU and urea can synchronize N supply with demand and provide higher yields and profits than conventional N fertilization in film-mulched maize systems.
This manuscript describes, defines, and discusses the process of cold sintering, which can consolidate a broad set of inorganic powders between room temperature and 300 °C using a standard uniaxial press and die. This temperature range is well below that needed for appreciable bulk diffusion, indicating immediately the distinction from the well-known and thermally driven analogue, allowing for an unconventional method for densifying these inorganic powders. Sections of this report highlight the general background and history of cold sintering, the current set of known compositions that exhibit compatibility with this process, the basic experimental techniques, the current understanding of physical mechanisms necessary for densification, and finally opportunities and challenges to expand the method more generically to other systems. The newness of this approach and the potential for revolutionary impact on traditional methods of powder-based processing warrants this discussion despite a nascent understanding of the operative mechanisms.
Lutein benefits human health significantly, including that of the eyes, skin and heart. Therefore, increasing lutein content in soybean seeds is an important objective for breeding programmes. However, no information about soybean lutein-related quantitative trait loci (QTL) has been reported, as of 2016. The aim of the present study was to identify QTLs underlying the lutein content in soybean seeds. A population including 129 recombinant inbred lines was developed from the cross between ‘Dongnong46’ (lutein 13·10 µg/g) and ‘L-100’ (lutein 23·96 µg/g), which significantly differed in seed lutein contents. This population was grown in ten environments including Harbin in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015; Hulan in 2013, 2014 and 2015; and Acheng in 2013, 2014 and 2015. A total of 213 simple sequence repeat markers were used to construct the genetic linkage map, which covered approximately 3623·39 cM, with an average distance of 17·01 cM between markers. In the present study, eight QTLs associated with lutein content were found initially, which could explain 1·01–19·66% of the observed phenotypic variation in ten different tested environments. The phenotypic contribution of qLU-1 (located near BARC-Satt588 on chromosome 9 (Chr 9; linkage group (LG) K)) was >10% across seven tested environments, while qLU-2 (located near Satt192 of Chr 12 (LG H)) and qLU-3 (located near Satt353 of Chr12 (LGH)) could explain 5–10% of the observed phenotypic variation in more than seven environments, respectively. qLU-5, qLU-6, qLU-7 and qLU-8 could be detected in more than four environments. These eight QTLs were novel, and have considerable potential value for marker-assistant selection of higher lutein content in soybean lines.
This study aimed to develop a simple and accurate method to diagnose paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome.
A total of 311 children with suspected paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome were included in the study. Multiple clinical parameters, including sex, age, body mass index, history of snoring or gasping, history of nasal obstruction, history of running nose, palatine tonsil size, adenoid to nasopharynx ratio, and tympanogram type, were compared with polysomnography results using relevant correlation and regression analyses. A diagnostic scale was established using the regression equation and the correlation between the polysomnography result and scale result was determined.
The apnoea–hypopnea index correlated significantly with a history of snoring or gasping, palatine tonsil size, and tympanogram type. Stepwise logistic regression analysis revealed that the polysomnography result correlated significantly with a history of snoring or gasping, palatine tonsil size, and the adenoid to nasopharynx ratio. The percentage correlation between the scale and polysomnography results was 77.8 per cent.
The diagnostic scale can be used to diagnose paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome for clinical application when polysomnography cannot be performed. However, it is not suitable for assessing the severity of paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome.
Worldwide 350 million people suffer from major depression, with the majority of cases occurring in low- and middle-income countries. We examined the patterns, correlates and care-seeking behaviour of adults suffering from major depressive episode (MDE) in China.
A nationwide study recruited 512 891 adults aged 30–79 years from 10 provinces across China during 2004–2008. The 12-month prevalence of MDE was assessed by the Modified Composite International Diagnostic Interview-short form. Logistic regression yielded adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of MDE associated with socio-economic, lifestyle and health-related factors and major stressful life events.
Overall, 0.7% of participants had MDE and a further 2.4% had major depressive symptoms. Stressful life events were strongly associated with MDE [adjusted OR 14.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 13.7–15.7], with a dose–response relationship with the number of such events experienced. Family conflict had the highest OR for MDE (18.9, 95% CI 16.8–21.2) among the 10 stressful life events. The risk of MDE was also positively associated with rural residency (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.4–1.7), low income (OR 2.3, 95% CI 2.1–2.4), living alone (OR 2.6, 95% CI 2.3–3.0), smoking (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.3–1.6) and certain other mental disorders (e.g. anxiety, phobia). Similar, albeit weaker, associations were observed with depressive symptoms. Among those with MDE, about 15% sought medical help or took psychiatric medication, 15% reported having suicidal ideation and 6% reported attempting suicide.
Among Chinese adults, the patterns and correlates of MDE were generally consistent with those observed in the West. The low rates of seeking professional help and treatment highlight the great gap in mental health services in China.
Alnico alloys have long been used as strong permanent magnets because of their ferromagnetism and high coercivity. Understanding their structural details allows for better prediction of the resulting magnetic properties. However, quantitative three-dimensional characterization of the phase separation in these alloys is still challenged by the spatial quantification of nanoscale phases. Herein, we apply a dual tomography approach, where correlative scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic (EDS) tomography and atom probe tomography (APT) are used to investigate the initial phase separation process of an alnico 8 alloy upon non-magnetic annealing. STEM-EDS tomography provides information on the morphology and volume fractions of Fe–Co-rich and Νi–Al-rich phases after spinodal decomposition in addition to quantitative information of the composition of a nanoscale volume. Subsequent analysis of a portion of the same specimen by APT offers quantitative chemical information of each phase at the sub-nanometer scale. Furthermore, APT reveals small, 2–4 nm Fe-rich α1 phases that are nucleated in the Ni-rich α2 matrix. From this information, we show that phase separation of the alnico 8 alloy consists of both spinodal decomposition and nucleation and growth processes. The complementary benefits and challenges associated with correlative STEM-EDS and APT are discussed.