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Phase retrieval is necessary for propagation-based phase-contrast imaging (PB-PCI). Arhatari established a model for predicting the impact of the sample-to-detector distance and the system noise on the phase retrieval performance. We have extended Arhatari's model to account for the parameters of excessive source size, finite detector resolution, and geometrical magnification for more practical cases. However, there exist interaction effects among these parameters resulting in difficulty of predicting the phase retrieval performance. In this study, we found that optimizing the trade-off among these parameters for phase retrieval is consistent with the improvement of edge enhancement to noise ratio (EE/N) in the “forward problem” of the PB-PCI. Hence, we engaged in establishing a relationship between EE/N and phase retrieval performance in terms of the “forward problem” and “inverse problem” of the PB-PCI, respectively. Our results showed that, at fixed detector resolution, phase retrieval from the phase-contrast projections at the same EE/N level resulted in the consistent phase retrieval performance. Therefore, the performance of phase retrieval can be predicted based on the EE/N level and be quantitatively optimized by increasing EE/N.
Molluscan shells showing phenotypic variations are ideal models for studying evolution and plasticity. In north-eastern Asia, genetic and morphological diversity of the gastropod, Monodonta labio, were assumed to be influenced by both palaeoclimatic changes and current ecological factors. In this study, we examined spatial variations in shell shape of M. labio using general measurement and geometric morphometric analysis. We also investigated whether shell shape variation is best explained by environmental gradients or by genetic structuring, based on our prior molecular phylogeographic study. Two common morphological forms were observed among Chinese populations and in the adjacent Asian areas. Both the analyses revealed separation patterns in morphological variations of shell shape among the clades and populations. Environmental modelling analysis showed a significant correlation between shape variations and local maximum temperatures of the warmest month, indicating the role of natural selection in the evolution of this species. Data obtained in this study, combined with the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) molecular phylogenetic data from the prior study, showed that morphological variations in M. labio were constrained by both local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. We hypothesized that geographic separation by the Dongshan Landbridge was the first step towards its diversification, and that the temperature gradient between the East China Sea and South China Sea probably was the selective force driving the divergence of its morphological variations.
Electrospun coaxial fibers are used to create core/sheath fiber structures to act as growth-promoting scaffolds for in vitro dorsal root ganglia (DRG) cell cultures. The core was a conducting polymer, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), and the sheath was poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), which created coaxial fibers with a conductive core and an insulating sheath. SEM analysis confirmed the conductivity of the core and insulation of the sheath. Several coaxial spinneret designs were tested with the best results obtained by using various annular spinning needle combinations. Using a 22G/16G and 22G/17G combination, fibers with diameters of 6.1 ± 2.4 µm and 3.3 ± 0.9 µm were spun, respectively. The fibers showed a Young’s modulus and hardness of 0.16 ± 0.13 and 0.02 ± 0.01 GPa for the larger diameters, and 0.7 ± 0.4 and 0.03 ± 0.03 GPa for the smaller diameter fibers. In vitro test cultures showed the fibers successfully directed chick DRG axonal outgrowth with low biotoxicity.
Subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) can increase the level of inflammation and induce rumenitis in dairy cows. Berberine (BBR) is the major active component of Rhizoma Coptidis, which is a type of Chinese anti-inflammatory drug for gastrointestinal diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of BBR on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated rumen epithelial cells (REC) and the underlying molecular mechanisms. REC were cultured and stimulated with LPS in the presence or absence of different concentrations of BBR. The results showed that cell viability was not affected by BBR. Moreover, BBR markedly decreased the concentrations and mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6 in the LPS-treated REC in a dose-dependent manner. Importantly, Western blotting analysis showed that BBR significantly suppressed the protein expression of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and myeloid differentiation primary response protein (MyD88) and the phosphorylation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), inhibitory kappa B (IκBα), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in LPS-treated REC. Furthermore, the results of immunocytofluorescence showed that BBR significantly inhibited the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 induced by LPS treatment. In conclusion, the protective effects of BBR on LPS-induced inflammatory responses in REC may be due to its ability to suppress the TLR4-mediated NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. These findings suggest that BBR can be used as an anti-inflammatory drug to treat inflammation induced by SARA.
The design and engineering of the size and shapes of photoactive building blocks enable the fabrication of functional nanocrystals, especially for applications in light harvesting, photocatalytic synthesis, water splitting, and photodegradation. Synthesis of such nanocrystals has been demonstrated recently through noncovalent interactions such as π–π stacking and ligand coordination using optically active porphyrin as a functional building block. Depending on the kinetic conditions, the resulting nanocrystals exhibit well-defined one- to three-dimensional shapes such as spheres, nanowires, and nano-octahedra. These well-defined porphyrin nanocrystals show interesting size- and shape-dependent photocatalytic activity. This article reviews the synthesis and formation of porphyrin nanocrystals with controlled size and shape. Important photocatalytic processes such as photodegradation of organic pollutants, photocatalytic water splitting and hydrogen production, and photosynthesis of metallic fuel-cell catalysts are highlighted. Insights on size- and shape-dependent properties are discussed.
Direct determination of barrier height (ΦBH) value between Ir and single crystal (001) hydrogen-terminated diamond with lightly boron doped has been performed using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy technique. 70 nm Ir islands were formed on hydrogen-terminated diamond surface using anodic aluminum oxide. The ΦBH value for Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was −0.43 ± 0.14 eV, indicating that Ir was a suitable metal for ohmic contact with hydrogen-terminated diamond. The band diagram of Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was obtained. The experimental ΦBH was compared with the theoretical ΦBH in this work.
Identifying the relative importance of urban and non-urban land-use types for potential denitrification derived N2O at a regional scale is critical for quantifying the impacts of human activities on nitrous oxide (N2O) emission under changing environments. In this study we used a regional dataset from China including 197 soil samples and six land-use types to evaluate the main predictors (land use, heavy metals, soil pH, soil moisture, substrate availability, functional and broad microbial abundances) of potential denitrification using multivariate and pathway analysis. Our results provide empirical evidence that soils on farms have the greatest potential denitrifying ability (PDA) (10.92±6.08ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1) followed by urban soil (6.80±5.35ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1). Our models indicate that land use (low vs. high human activity), followed by total nitrogen (TN) and heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd) was the most important driver of PDA. In addition, our path analysis suggests that at least part of the impacts of land use on potential denitrification were mediated via microbial abundance, soil pH and substrates including TN, dissolved organic carbon and nitrate. This study identifies the main predictors of denitrification at a regional scale which is needed to quantify the impact of human activities on ecosystem functionality under changing conditions.
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.
Real-time Precise Point Positioning (PPP) has been evolved as a cost-effective technique for highly precise maritime positioning. For a long period, maritime PPP technology has mainly relied on the Global Positioning System (GPS). With the revitalisation of GLONASS and the emerging BeiDou navigation satellite system (BDS), it is now feasible to investigate real-time navigation performance of multi-constellation maritime PPP with GPS, BDS and GLONASS. In this contribution, we focus on maritime PPP performance using real world maritime kinematic data and real-time satellite correction products. The results show that BDS has lower position accuracy and slower convergence time than GPS. The BDS and GPS combination has the best performance among the dual-constellation configurations. Meanwhile, the integration of BDS, GLONASS and GPS significantly improves the position accuracy and the convergence time. Some outliers in the single constellation configuration can be mitigated when multi-constellation observations are utilised.
(1 − x)Ba(Mg1/3Ta2/3)O3–xBa(Co1/3Nb2/3)O3 (BMT–BCN, x = 0.0, 0.20, 0.25, 0.30, 0.40) ceramics were prepared using the traditional solid-state reaction method. X-ray diffraction patterns have shown that the intensities of (001) and (100) super-lattices decrease with the increase in the BCN content. Seven main Raman vibrational modes are observed, assigned, and illustrated, in particular. Raman shifts of Eg(O) modes and the FWHM values of F2g(O)/A1g(O) modes have close relationship with the dielectric properties. The calculated values by the four-parameter semiquantum model based on IR reflectivity match well with the measured data (@3.8 GHz), which means that most of dielectric contribution to the system may be ascribed to the absorption of structural phononic oscillations at the infrared region, and the contribution from the scattering of the defective phonons is small. The contributions of each vibrational mode on the dielectric responses were investigated in detail, indicating that the low-frequency modes (A2u(1) and Eu(1)) have a decisive role to the dielectric properties.
Single-crystal-like TiO2 is claimed to be a very promising material among various catalysts. In this study, the (N,F)-co-doped single-crystal-like TiO2 was prepared by a new molten mixing process in which the mixed nitrates were used both as a morphology modifier and an N-doping agent at the same time. The prepared samples also had well-developed (001) facet due to the addition of HF. The HF can also be an F doping agent to the material. The co-doping of N and F can diminish the band gap of TiO2 from 3.05 to 2.93 eV, therefore visible light can be used effectively by the material. In addition, NO and fluorine ions existing on the surface of the sample can also help its photocatalyticity. Therefore, the photocatalytic performance of the as-prepared sample was effectively improved.
The Megamaser Cosmology Project (MCP) measures the Hubble Constant by determining geometric distances to circumnuclear 22 GHz H2O megamasers in galaxies at low redshift (z < 0.05) but well into the Hubble flow. In combination with the recent, exquisite observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background by WMAP and Planck, these measurements provide a direct test of the standard cosmological model and constrain the equation of state of dark energy. The MCP is a multi-year project that has recently completed observations and is currently working on final analysis. Based on distance measurements to the first four published megamasers in the sample, the MCP currently determines H0 = 69.3 ± 4.2 km s−1 Mpc−1. The project is finalizing analysis for five additional galaxies. When complete, we expect to achieve a ~4% measurement. Given the tension between the Planck prediction of H0 in the context of the standard cosmological model and astrophysical measurements based on standard candles, the MCP provides a critical and independent geometric measurement that does not rely on external calibrations or a distance ladder.
This research was designed for the first time to investigate the photocatalytic activities of MoO3/g-C3N4 composite in converting CO2 to fuels under simulated sunlight irradiation. The composite was synthesized using a simple impregnation-heating method and MoO3 nanoparticles was in situ decorated on the g-C3N4 sheet. Characterization results indicated that the introduction of MoO3 nanoparticles into g-C3N4 fabricated a direct Z-scheme heterojunction structure. The effective interfacial charge-transfer across the heterojunction significantly promoted the separation efficiency of charge carriers. The optimal CO2 conversion rate of the composite reached 25.6 μmol/(h gcat), which was 2.7 times higher than that of g-C3N4. Additionally, the synthesized MoO3/g-C3N4 also presented excellent photoactivity in RhB degradation under visible-light irradiation.
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.
Excavation of the Han Dynasty chambered tomb at Laoguanshan in Chengdu, south-west China, has provided the earliest known evidence of pattern loom technology. Four model looms, along with accompanying artefacts and figurines relating to the weaving process, give insight into the technique of jin silk production. The discovery is hugely significant as it provides the first direct evidence of pattern-weave textile production in ancient China. Jin silk, made using this method, was both valuable and widely distributed, and the design of the machine influenced the invention of later looms and the spread of technology throughout Eurasia and Europe, representing great technological accomplishment for the second century BC.
Palaeoproterozic metasedimentary rocks, also referred to as khondalites, characterized by Al-rich minerals, are extensively exposed in the nucleus of the Yangtze craton, South China block. Samples of garnet–sillimanite gneiss in the khondalite suite were collected from the Kongling complex for Nd isotopic and elemental geochemical study. These rocks are characterized by variable SiO2 contents ranging from 35.71 to 58.07 wt%, and have low CaO (0.45–0.84 wt%) but high Al2O3 (18.56–29.04 wt%), Cr (174–334 ppm) and Ni (42.5–153 ppm) contents. They have high CIW (Chemical Index of Weathering) values (90.4–94.7), indicating intense chemical weathering of the source material. The samples display light rare earth elements (LREE) enrichment with negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu*=0.40–0.68), and have flat heavy rare earth elements (HREE) patterns. The high contents of transition elements (e.g. Cr, Ni, Sc, V) and moderately radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions suggest that the paragneisses might be those of first-cycle erosion products of predominantly mafic rocks mixing with small amounts of felsic moderately evolved Archaean crustal source. Geochemical and Nd isotopic compositions reveal that at least some of the protoliths of Kongling khondalite were sourced from local pre-existing mafic igneous rocks in a continental arc tectonic setting. Combined with documented zircon U–Pb geochronological data, we propose that the Palaeoproterozoic high-pressure granulite-facies metamorphism, rapid weathering, erosion and deposition of the khondalites in the interior of the Yangtze craton might be related to a Palaeoproterozoic collisional orogenic event during 2.1–1.9 Ga, consistent with the worldwide contemporary orogeny, implying that the Yangtze craton may have been an important component of the Palaeoprotorozoic Columbia supercontinent.
Elder self-neglect (ESN) has become a public health issue globally. Limited studies have focused on ESN, as well as the relationship between ESN and quality of life (QoL) in developing countries. The study's objective is to explore the association between ESN and QoL among rural elderly in China.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 3,182 elder adults aged 60 years or older, using a cluster-sampling technique in one township in Dangtu, a county in Anhui province. All participants completed face-to-face interview in their household. QoL was assessed using a brief form of the World Health Organization's quality of life questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF), and ESN was assessed using the Scale of the Elderly Self-neglect (SESN). Hierarchical linear regression models were used to analyze the associations between the ESN scores and QoL scores after adjusting for sociodemographic, social support, and physical and psychological variables.
The scores of overall ESN and five domains were significantly correlated with the scores of four QoL domains (p < 0.001). After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, social support, and physical and psychological health characteristics, elders who reported higher overall self-neglect scores had significantly lower scores in the four QoL domains (p < 0.001). Education, economic level, physical health, ADL, depression, and cognitive function are consistent predictors across all QoL domains.
ESN is an independent risk factor for poor QoL in elderly people in rural China. Understanding the role of ESN and its influence on QoL is important for the management of and intervention in ESN.
For the prevention and control of newly emergent or sudden infectious diseases, we built an on-site, modularized prevention and control system and tested the equipment by using the clustering analysis method. On the basis of this system, we propose a modular equipment allocation method and 4 applications of this method for different types of infectious disease prevention and control. This will help to improve the efficiency and productivity of anti-epidemic emergency forces and will provide strong technical support for implementing more universal and serialized equipment in China. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:375–382)