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We use apatite fission track ages from sediments recovered by the International Ocean Discovery Program in the Laxmi Basin, Arabian Sea, to constrain exhumation rates in the western Himalaya and Karakoram since 15.5 Ma. With the exception of a Triassic population in the youngest 0.93 Ma samples supplied from western Peninsular India, apatite fission track ages are overwhelmingly Cenozoic, largely <25 Ma, consistent with both a Himalaya–Karakoram source and rapid erosion. Comparison of the minimum cooling age of each sample with depositional age (lag time) indicates an acceleration in exhumation between 7.8 and 7.0 Ma, with lag times shortening from ∼6.0 Myr at 8.5–7.8 Ma to being within error of zero between 7.0 and 5.7 Ma. Sediment supply at 7.0–5.7 Ma was largely from the Karakoram, and to a lesser extent the Himalaya, based on U–Pb zircon ages from the same samples. This time coincides with a period of drying in the Himalayan foreland caused by weaker summer monsoons and Westerly winds. It also correlates with a shift of erosion away from the Karakoram, Kohistan and the Tethyan Himalaya towards more erosion of the Lesser and Greater Himalaya and Nanga Parbat, as shown by zircon U–Pb provenance data, and especially after 5.7 Ma based on Nd isotope data. Samples younger than 5.7 Ma have lag times of ∼4.5 Myr, similar to Holocene Indus delta sediments.
The late Miocene is a time of strong environmental change in SW Asia. Himalayan foreland stable isotope data show a shift in the dominant vegetation of the flood plains away from trees and shrubs towards more C4 grasslands at a time when oceanic upwelling increased along the Oman margin. We present integrated geochemical and colour spectral records from International Ocean Discovery Program Site U1456 in the eastern Arabian Sea to reconstruct changing chemical weathering and erosion, as well as relative humidity during this climatic transition. Increasing hematite/goethite ratios derived from spectral data are consistent with long-term drying after c. 7.7 Ma. Times of dry conditions are largely associated with weaker chemical alteration measured by K/Rb and reduced coarse clastic flux, constrained by Si/Al and Zr/Al. A temporary phase of increased humidity from 6.3 to 5.95 Ma shows a reversal to stronger weathering and erosion. Wetter conditions can result in both more and less alteration due to the nonlinear relationship between weathering rates, precipitation and sediment transport times. Trends in relative aridity do not follow existing palaeoceanographic records and are not apparently linked to changes in Tibetan or Himalayan elevation, but more closely correlate with global cooling. An apparent opposing trend in the humidity evolution in the Indus compared to southern China, as tracked by spectrally estimated hematite/goethite, likely reflects differences in the topography in the Indus compared to the Pearl River drainage basins, as well as the generally wetter climate in southern China.
We report on a novel processing route to prepare La0.8Ce0.2(Fe0.95Co0.05)11.8Si1.2/Cu bulk composites by low-temperature hot pressing. With increasing copper content, the compressive strength of the composites first decrease and then increase owing to the buffering effect of copper, but the magnetocaloric effect reduces to some extent. Copper addition improves the thermal conductivity of the composites, which compensates for the decrease in thermal conductivity due to porosity. A relatively large entropy change of 5.75–7.19 J/(kg K) at 2 T near the Curie temperature (249 K), good thermal conductivity of 7.51–15.55 W/(m·K), and improved compressive strength of 151.1–248.0 MPa make these composites attractive magnetic refrigeration materials.
The question of causality is pervasive to fluid–structure interactions, where it finds its most alluring instance in the study of fish swimming in coordination. How and why fish align their bodies, synchronize their motion, and position in crystallized formations are yet to be fully understood. Here, we posit a model-free approach to infer causality in fluid–structure interactions through the information-theoretic notion of transfer entropy. Given two dynamical units, transfer entropy quantifies the reduction of uncertainty in predicting the future state of one of them due to additional knowledge about the past of the other. We demonstrate our approach on a system of two tandem airfoils in a uniform flow, where the pitch angle of one airfoil is actively controlled while the other is allowed to passively rotate. Through transfer entropy, we seek to unveil causal relationships between the airfoils from information transfer conducted by the fluid medium.
Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) is an acute infectious disease caused by serotypes of the enterovirus (EV) family. HFMD reinfection occurs commonly in lack of cross-protection between different EV serotypes. In this study, we investigated the hazards of HFMD reinfection using Cox-proportional hazard model. Retrospective data of 95 209 HFMD cases in Wuhan during 2008–2015 was used. Kaplan–Meier survival methods and Cox-proportional hazard model were used to estimate the hazard probabilities. Of the all HFMD cases, about 2% experienced reinfection (1842/95 209). Kaplan–Meier curves revealed the reinfection risk sharply increased before 40 months from first infection. Higher hazards of reinfection were detected among those who were males, aged 3 years and below, scattered children, belonging to urban areas and first infected with coxsackievirus (CV)-A16 compared with their respective counterparts. Cox-proportional hazard model suggested that gender, age, group, living area and serotypes of first infection had significant effect on reinfection even after adjusting for potential confounding effects of other selected factors considered in the study. These results indicate that boys aged 3 years and below, especially those living in urban areas and first infected with CV-A16 are more prone to reinfection. Interventions should be imposed on these high-risk populations.
This paper reports the measurement of the energy loss of protons at the energy of 100 keV penetrating a partially ionized hydrogen plasma. The plasma of ne ≈ 1015–16 cm−3; Te ≈ 1–2 eV and lifetime of about 8 µs is created by the hydrogen gas discharge. The experimental results show an increase of a factor of 2.8 in the energy loss, which are in good agreement with the Bethe, Standard Stopping Model, Li–Petrasso and Vlasov models’ predictions within the error limit. The Bethe–Bloch Coulomb logarithm term is found to increase by a factor of 4.0 for free electrons as compared with the situation where bound electrons prevail. The potential application of protons energy loss for diagnosing the electron density in plasma is proposed too.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
Social networks facilitate the transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in people who inject drugs (PWID). The aim of this study was to assess how certain network structural characteristics are related to HCV infections in PWID and to determine the most susceptible individuals for HCV transmission in a network of PWID. PWID (N = 80) from central China were recruited from a previous follow-up case-control study. Demographic and behavioural information was obtained from a computerized database for each group. HCV RNA was extracted from blood specimens. Sequences were used to construct a phylogenetic tree and to determine genetic distances. Socio-metric social links were established between participants. Network measures were calculated using UCINET. Three HCV genotypes were identified, covering five subtypes. The density of the social networks for the whole sample (N = 80), case group (n = 31) and control group (n = 49) was 0.038, 0.054 and 0.008, respectively. PWID infected with HCV were in frequent contact with others within their group. There were four pairs of nodes with genotypic distances of 0.000 that were identified and clustered in subtypes 6a and 1b; each subject pair was linked and found in one clique. Three of the five most active nodes were infected with HCV. These three nodes served as a bridge, contributing to the connection of other nodes. These findings identify susceptible individuals for HCV transmission in PWID based on their frequent contact with others in the network. These results provide data that could be used for modelling HCV transmission patterns and in public health policies.
The objective of this study was to determine if a moderate or high reduction of dietary CP, supplemented with indispensable amino acids (IAA), would affect growth, intestinal morphology and immunological parameters of pigs. A total of 40 barrows (initial BW=13.50±0.50 kg, 45±2 day of age) were used in a completely randomized block design, and allocated to four dietary treatments containing CP levels at 20.00%, 17.16%, 15.30% and 13.90%, respectively. Industrial AA were added to meet the IAA requirements of pigs. After 4-week feeding, blood and tissue samples were obtained from pigs. The results showed that reducing dietary CP level decreased average daily gain, plasma urea nitrogen concentration and relative organ weights of liver and pancreas (P<0.01), and increased feed conversion ratio (P<0.01). Pigs fed the 13.90% CP diet had significantly lower growth performance than that of pigs fed higher CP at 20.00%, 17.16% or 15.30%. Moreover, reducing dietary CP level decreased villous height in duodenum (P<0.01) and crypt depth in duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0.01). The reduction in the dietary CP level increased plasma concentrations of methionine, alanine (P<0.01) and lysine (P<0.05), and decreased arginine (P<0.05). Intriguingly, reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 13.90% resulted in a significant decrease in plasma concentration of IgG (P<0.05), percentage of CD3+T cells of the peripheral blood (P<0.01), also down-regulated the mRNA abundance of innate immunity-related genes on toll-like receptor 4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (P<0.01) and nuclear factor kappa B (P<0.05) in the ileum. These results indicate that reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 15.30%, supplemented with IAA, had no significant effect on growth performance and had a limited effect on immunological parameters. However, a further reduction of dietary CP level up to 13.90% would lead to poor growth performance and organ development, associated with the modifications of intestinal morphology and immune function.
We first very briefly introduce the major radio facilities for astronomical research in China, and then report on the present interference situation at major radio observatories. Some of the radio interference problems are caused by paging services, mobile phone satellites, telemetry services for power supply, waterpower and earthquake activity, or radar systems, but some causes are unknown. In the worst case, harmful to radio astronomy, the Sesan VLBI station has not been able to do any observations at 92 cm due to serious radio interference problems since 1992. Still more serious interference coming from satellites can be expected in the next decade. International efforts on frequency protection should be urgently pursued if ground-based radio astronomy is to survive.
The study of supernovae (SNe) and their environments in host galaxies at the highest possible angular resolution in a number of wavelength regimes is providing vital clues to the nature of their progenitor stars. We are observing SNe in the radio using the Very Large Array (VLA) and VLBI, in the X-rays with Chandra, and in the optical at the subarcsecond resolution of HST.
Pathogens utilize type III secretion systems to deliver effector proteins, which facilitate bacterial infections. The Escherichia coli type III secretion system 2 (ETT2) which plays a crucial role in bacterial virulence, is present in the majority of E. coli strains, although ETT2 has undergone widespread mutational attrition. We investigated the distribution and characteristics of ETT2 in avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) isolates and identified five different ETT2 isoforms, including intact ETT2, in 57·6% (141/245) of the isolates. The ETT2 locus was present in the predominant APEC serotypes O78, O2 and O1. All of the ETT2 loci in the serotype O78 isolates were degenerate, whereas an intact ETT2 locus was mostly present in O1 and O2 serotype strains, which belong to phylogenetic groups B2 and D, respectively. Interestingly, a putative second type III secretion-associated locus (eip locus) was present only in the isolates with an intact ETT2. Moreover, ETT2 was more widely distributed in APEC isolates and exhibited more isoforms compared to ETT2 in human extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli, suggesting that APEC might be a potential risk to human health. However, there was no distinct correlation between ETT2 and other virulence factors in APEC.
To investigate familial influences on the full range of variability in attention and activity across adolescence, we collected maternal ratings of 339 twin pairs at ages 12, 14, and 16, and estimated the transmitted and new familial influences on attention and activity as measured by the Strengths and Weaknesses of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms and Normal Behavior Scale. Familial influences were substantial for both traits across adolescence: genetic influences accounted for 54%–73% (attention) and 31%–73% (activity) of the total variance, and shared environmental influences accounted for 0%–22% of the attention variance and 13%–57% of the activity variance. The longitudinal stability of individual differences in attention and activity was largely accounted for by familial influences transmitted from previous ages. Innovations over adolescence were also partially attributable to familial influences. Studying the full range of variability in attention and activity may facilitate our understanding of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder's etiology and intervention.
Based on SDSS and South Galactic Cap U-band Sky Survey (SCUSS) photometry, we try to study the photometric metallicity of the Sagittarius (Sgr) stream in the south Galactic cap. We find that the Sgr stream has a wider metallicity distribution, and that its median metallicity is richer than that of the field halo stars. The neighboring field halo stars in our studied fields can be modeled by a two-Gaussian model, with peaks at [Fe/H]= −1.9 and [Fe/H]= −1.5. The metallicity distribution function (MDF) of the mixed population (Sgr stream and halo stars) has peaks at [Fe/H]= −1.9, [Fe/H]= −1.5 and [Fe/H]= −0.5, respectively.
At the center of the nearest galaxy cluster, the Virgo cluster, lies the massive cD galaxy, M87 (NGC 4486). Using data from the Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey, we investigate the relationship between M87, its globular clusters (GCs), and satellite dwarf galaxies. We find that the kinematics of GCs and ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs) are different, indicating that UCDs are not simply massive GCs. We also identify a morphological sequence of envelope fraction around UCDs correlated with cluster-centric distance that suggest UCDs are the result of tidal stripping. Lastly, we find that the [α/Fe] abundance ratios of low-mass early-type galaxies in Virgo exhibit a strong negative gradient within ~ 400 kpc of M87, where the galaxies closest to M87 have the highest values. These satellite galaxies are likely the surviving counterparts of accreted dwarfs that contribute stars to the metal-poor, α-rich stellar halos of massive galaxies. Together, these results describe a dense environment that has had a strong and continuing impact on the evolution of its low-mass neighbors.
Gold nanoclusters with precisely controlled atomic composition have emerged as promising materials for applications in nanotechnology because of their unique optical, electronic and catalytic properties. The recent discovery of a 20-gold-atom nanocluster protected by 16 organothiolate molecules, Au20(SR)16, is the smallest member in a surprising series of small gold−thiolate nanoclusters with a face-centered cubic (FCC) ordered core structures. A fundamental challenge facing gold nanocluster research is being able to understand the composition-dependent properties from a site-specific perspective in order to confidently establish structure-property relationships. A step in this direction is to examine the influence of various structural features (core geometry and thiolate-gold bonding motifs) on the bonding properties of gold-thiolate nanoclusters. In this work, ab initio simulations were conducted to systematically study the local structure and electronic properties of Au20(SR)16 from each unique Au and S atomic site using Au L3-edge extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS), projected density of states (l-DOS) and S K-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectra. Two larger FCC-like gold-thiolate nanoclusters (Au28(SR)20 and Au36(SR)24) were used for a comparative study with Au20(SR)16, providing further predictions about the cluster size effect on the bonding properties of gold-thiolate nanoclusters with FCC-like core structures. Through this comparison, the smaller core size of Au20(SR)16 produces an EXAFS scattering signature that is non-FCC-like but shows very similar electronic properties with a larger FCC-like gold-thiolate nanocluster.
Thermoelectric CuIn1-xAlxTe2 compounds (x=0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.15, 0.50) have been synthesized by solid state reaction followed by spark plasma sintering. The influence of Al substitution on electrical and thermal transport properties has been investigated in the CuInTe2 compounds. It was found that the Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity is reduced by isovalent replacement of In with Al. Our first principle calculation indicates Al substitution leads to the widen band gap, the reduction in the number of degeneracy of valence band and the effective mass. Furthermore, a large reduction in thermal conductivity is achieved through the enhanced phonon scattering via point defect as well as the nano-sized particles observed between grain boundaries and on the grain surface. In spite of the reduced charge transport properties, an improved figure-of- merit ZT is achieved, reaching 0.8 at 800 K, 33% higher in comparison to the pure CuInTe2 compound.