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We report on environmentally stable long-cavity ultrashort erbium-doped fiber lasers, which self-start mode-locking at quite low thresholds by using spectrally filtered and phase-biased nonlinear amplifying long-loop mirrors. By employing 100-m polarization-maintaining fiber (PMF) in the nonlinear loop, the fundamental repetition rate reaches 1.84 MHz and no practical limitation is found to further decrease the repetition rate. The filter used in the long loop not only suppresses Kelly sidebands of the solitons, but also eliminates the amplified spontaneous emission which exists widely in low-repetition-rate ultrafast fiber lasers. The bandwidth of the filter is optimized by using a numerical model. The laser emits approximately 3-ps pulses with an energy of 17.4 pJ, which is further boosted to
by using a fiber amplifier.
With the development of remote sensing and geostatistical technology, complex environmental variables are increasingly easily quantified and applied in modelling soil organic carbon (SOC). However, this emphasizes data redundancy and multicollinearity problems adding to the difficulty in selecting dominant influential auxiliary variables and uncertainty in estimating SOC stocks. The current paper considers the spatial characteristics of SOC density (SOCD) to construct prediction models of SOCD on the basis of reducing the data dimensionality and complexity using the principal component analysis (PCA) method. A total of 260 topsoil samples were collected from Chahe town, China. Eight environmental variables (elevation, aspect, slope, normalized difference vegetation index, normalized difference moisture index, nearest distance to construction area and road, and land use degree comprehensive index) were pre-analysed by PCA and then extracted as the main principal component variables to construct prediction models. Two geostatistical approaches (ordinary kriging and ordinary co-kriging) and two regression approaches (ordinary least squares and geographically weighted regression (GWR)) were used to estimate SOCD. Results showed that PCA played an important role in reducing the redundancy and multicollinearity of the auxiliary variables and GWR achieved the highest prediction accuracy in these four models. GWR considered not only the spatial characteristics of SOCD but also the related valuable information of the auxiliary attributes. In summary, PCA-GWR is a promising spatial method used here to predict SOC stocks.
The topological insulator/superconductor heterostructure is one of the most promising platforms to create and manipulate Majorana bound states. Here, we used molecular beam epitaxy to grow high-quality (Bi0.5Sb0.5)2Te3 films on Nb surfaces. To promote proper (Bi0.5Sb0.5)2Te3 film nucleation in the early growth stage, we developed a two-step growth method. Bi, Sb, and Te clusters were first evaporated at a low temperature of 180 °C, which is below the typical growth temperature and then annealed to form a crystalized passivation layer. Second, a standard (Bi0.5Sb0.5)2Te3 film was grown under the normal deposition temperature of 280 °C. We used reflection high-energy electron diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction to further characterize the (Bi0.5Sb0.5)2Te3 film and passivation layer quality. Finally, the top Nb film was laid down by magnetron sputtering at room temperature. The hetero-Nb/epitaxial (Bi0.5Sb0.5)2Te3/Nb stacks were further fabricated into micro-Josephson junctions and showed clear Josephson currents demonstrating an excellent material quality.
Due to the special crystal structures and electron configurations, high-entropy alloys (HEAs) are expected to have favorable activities for electrocatalytic reactions. In this paper, a set of oxygen evolution reaction (OER) criteria are applied for the HEA-based electrocatalyst design. Specifically, FeNiMnCrCu HEA is predicted to have a better OER performance than the baseline FeCoNiCrAl HEA. To demonstrate this design approach, both FeNiMnCrCu and FeCoNiCrAl samples are prepared and tested. Their crystal structures and electrocatalytic performance are examined. This paper demonstrates the potential of using finely tuned HEAs for OER applications.
Auto-alignment is a basic technique for high-power laser systems. Special techniques have been developed for laser systems because of their differing structures. This paper describes a new sensor for auto-alignment in a laser system, which can also serve as a reference in certain applications. The authors prove that all of the beam transfer information (position and pointing) can theoretically be monitored and recorded by the sensor. Furthermore, auto-alignment with a single lens sensor is demonstrated on a simple beam line, and the results indicate that effective auto-alignment is achieved.
A numerical comparison of the Monte Carlo (MC) simulation and the finite-difference method for pricing European options under a regime-switching framework is presented in this paper. We consider pricing options on stocks having two to four volatility regimes. Numerical results show that the MC simulation outperforms the Crank–Nicolson (CN) finite-difference method in both the low-frequency case and the high-frequency case. Even though both methods have linear growth, as the number of regimes increases, the computational time of CN grows much faster than that of MC. In addition, for the two-state case, we propose a much faster simulation algorithm whose computational time is almost independent of the switching frequency. We also investigate the performances of two variance-reduction techniques: antithetic variates and control variates, to further improve the efficiency of the simulation.
The degradation, alteration and depletion of riparian habitats caused by river regulation are among critical conservation concerns. Aquatic and riparian habitats support not only river-dwelling biota such as macroinvertebrates and fish, but also waterbirds, the top predators in the aquatic food web. Despite the intimate relationships between fish and waterbirds, the two groups are often investigated separately. Using an integrative approach, we examined the effects of dams on fish and scaly-sided merganser (Mergus squamatus), an endangered, iconic riverine species, where the lack of knowledge about habitat preferences greatly hampers long-term conservation efforts. Our analysis quantified three causal links: (1) water depth had direct, comparable, negative effects on both fish and waterbirds, and the path coefficients for fish and birds are –0.31 and –0.46, respectively; (2) river landscape heterogeneity directly and positively affected fish and waterbirds, and the path coefficients for fish and birds are 0.63 and 0.19, respectively; and (3) depth and river landscape also exerted indirect effects on waterbirds through their impacts on fish abundance, and the path coefficients for fish and birds are –0.15 and 0.28, respectively. Our findings could contribute to the rational spatial planning and sustainable operation of dams in that maintaining instream habitat availability and heterogeneity would benefit the whole riverine ecosystem.
In this paper, we first construct a preconditioned two-parameter generalized Hermitian and skew-Hermitian splitting (PTGHSS) iteration method based on the two-parameter generalized Hermitian and skew-Hermitian splitting (TGHSS) iteration method for non-Hermitian positive definite linear systems. Then a class of PTGHSS-based iteration methods are proposed for solving weakly nonlinear systems based on separable property of the linear and nonlinear terms. The conditions for guaranteeing the local convergence are studied and the quasi-optimal iterative parameters are derived. Numerical experiments are implemented to show that the new methods are feasible and effective for large scale systems of weakly nonlinear systems.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed an approach to ventilator-associated events (VAE) surveillance. Using these methods, this study was performed to investigate VAE incidences and to test whether VAEs are associated with poorer outcomes in China.
A 4-month, prospective multicenter surveillance study between April and July 2013.
Our study included 15 adult intensive care units (ICUs) of 15 hospitals in China.
Patients admitted to ICUs during the study period
Patients on mechanical ventilation (MV) were monitored for VAEs: ventilator-associated conditions (VACs), infection-related ventilator-associated complications (IVACs), and possible or probable ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Patients with and without VACs were compared with regard to duration of MV, ICU length of stay (LOS), overall hospital LOS, and mortality rate.
During the study period, 2,356 of the 5,256 patients admitted to ICUs received MV for 8,438 ventilator days. Of these patients, 636 were on MV >2 days. VACs were identified in 94 cases (4.0%; 11.1 cases per 1,000 ventilator days), including 31 patients with IVACs and 16 with possible VAP but none with probable VAP. Compared with patients without VACs, patients with VACs had longer ICU LOS (by 6.2 days), longer duration on MV (by 7.7 days), and higher hospital mortality rate (50.0% vs 27.3%). The mortality rate attributable to VACs was 11.7%. Compared with those with VACs alone, patients with IVACs had longer duration on MV and increased ICU LOS but no higher mortality rates.
In China, surveillance of VACs and IVACs is able to identify MV patients with poorer outcomes. However, surveillance of possible and probable VAP can be problematic.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1388–1395
To examine the association of 24 h urinary Na excretion and Na:K with obesity in Chinese adults.
Population-based cross-sectional study using a four-stage stratified sampling strategy.
Shandong Province, China.
Chinese adults (n 1906) aged 18–69 years who provided complete 24 h urine samples.
Odds of obesity increased significantly across increasing quartiles of urinary Na excretion (1·00, 1·54, 1·69 and 2·52, respectively, for overweight; 1·00, 1·20, 1·50, and 2·03, respectively, for obesity; 1·00, 1·44, 1·85 and 2·53, respectively, for abdominal obesity (assessed by waist circumference); and 1·00, 1·28, 1·44 and 1·75, respectively, for abdominal obesity (assessed by waist-to-height ratio); P for linear trend <0·001 for all). In addition, odds of abdominal obesity, but not odds of overweight and obesity, increased significantly with successive Na:K quartiles. Additionally, for each increment in urinary Na excretion of 100 mmol, odds of overweight, obesity, abdominal obesity (by waist circumference) and abdominal obesity (by waist-to-height ratio) increased significantly by 46 %, 39 %, 55 % and 33 %, respectively. Similarly, with a 1 sd increase in Na:K, odds of abdominal obesity (by waist circumference) and abdominal obesity (by waist-to-height ratio) increased significantly by 12 % and 15 %, respectively.
These findings suggest that 24 h urinary Na excretion and Na:K might be important risk factors for obesity in Chinese adults.
The association of 24 h urinary Na and potassium excretion with the risk of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) has not been studied in China. The aim of the present study was to examine this association by analysing the data from 1906 study participants living in north China. To this end, 24 h urine samples were collected. Of the 1906 participants, 471 (24·7 %) had the MetS. The mean urinary Na and K excretion was 228·7 and 40·8 mmol/d, respectively. After multivariate adjustment, the odds of the MetS significantly increased across the increasing tertiles of urinary Na excretion (1·00, 1·40 and 1·54, respectively). For the components of the MetS, the odds of central obesity, elevated blood pressure and elevated TAG, but not the odds of low HDL-cholesterol and elevated fasting glucose, significantly increased with the successive tertiles of urinary Na excretion. Furthermore, for every 100 mmol/d increase in urinary Na excretion, the odds of the MetS, central obesity, elevated blood pressure and elevated TAG was significantly increased by 29, 63, 22 and 21 %, respectively. However, urinary K excretion was not significantly associated with the risk of the MetS. These findings suggest that high Na intake might be an important risk factor for the MetS in Chinese adults.
The robust spines and sclerites of the early to middle Cambrian ‘mollusc’ Wiwaxia are ubiquitous in suitably preserved deposits, but are strikingly absent from the Chengjiang Lagerstätte (Cambrian Stage 3, Yunnan Province, SW China). Here we provide the first record of Wiwaxia sclerites from this rich deposit, extending the record of the genus to the earliest Cambrian Series 2. This reinforces the cosmopolitan distribution of this iconic Cambrian lophotrochozoan and demonstrates the strong faunal continuity that unites distant Cambrian Lagerstätten.
Neurosyphilis (NS) may present with neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive impairment, personality disorders, and confusion, among others. Very few studies have focused on neuropsychiatric disorders secondary to NS in elderly people.
A retrospective chart review was performed to characterize the psychiatric findings, clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory findings, and brain magnetic resonance imaging results of ten elderly inpatients with NS.
In these ten patients, the most common presenting symptoms included a wide variety of psychiatric manifestations. The serum rapid plasma regain (RPR) and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay (TPPA) of the ten patients were positive, with positive CSF TPPA and RPR rates of 100% and 60%, respectively. In addition, 90% of the patients demonstrated abnormal imaging, including cerebral atrophy, infarct ischemic stroke, and hydrocephalus.
Our findings support the importance of serological tests for syphilis as a routine component of the evaluation of patients with clinically evident neurological or psychiatric symptoms. If the serology is positive, all of the patients should be examined with a lumbar puncture. Moreover, psychiatric illnesses secondary to NS in the elderly also deserve medical attention.
Tigridiopalma magnifica, a perennial herb and the only species in the genus Tigridiopalma (Family Melastomataceae) is rare and endemic to China where it is categorized as Critically Endangered on the national Red List. Twelve locations with populations of T. magnifica have been identified (1 extinct, 11 extant). T. magnifica only grows in the surface soil on stone walls or rocks under the canopy of secondary forests and plantations and has no specific associated plant species. Canopy closure, soil water content and the distance to the closest stream are the main factors influencing the distribution of T. magnifica. We reintroduced T. magnifica plantlets produced by tissue culture into three locations: one within the species' original range, and 11.5 and 400 km from the species' original range. After 11 months survival rate was 40–58% but survival was higher and plantlet crowns were larger at the location within the species' original range than at the other two sites. The combination of advanced propagation techniques and ecological restoration could facilitate reintroduction and conservation of T. magnifica and other rare and threatened plants. This example of the successful reintroduction of a rare, threatened herb has implications for human-assisted migration and colonization of rare plant species under future climate change scenarios.
We studied the microstructures of hydroxyapatite (HA) ceramics which were sintered under three different conditions. It was found that all the ceramics were of sub-micrometer structure. The synthetic HA ceramics were also compared with human enamel. It is concluded that human enamel has higher strength because of its unique microstructure.
The objective of the present study is to measure basal energy expenditure (BEE) using the Cosmed K4b2 portable metabolic system (Rome, Italy) and to develop a new predictive equation for BEE in southern Chinese adults. A total of 165 healthy Chinese adults aged 18–45 years with normal body weight were involved in the present study. BEE was measured by Cosmed K4b2. Body composition was determined by body composition analysers (ImpediMed DF50, QLD, Australia). Multiple linear regression analysis and correlation analysis were applied to develop a new optimal equation for predicting BEE of southern healthy Chinese adults. Measured BEE (mBEE) of southern Chinese healthy adults was 5513 (sem 96) kJ/d, which was similar to the results predicted by the equation developed by of Liu 5579 (sem 57) kJ/d (P = 0·37) and significantly lower than those from equations developed by Henry (5763 (sem 54) kJ/d), Schofield (5898 (sem 58) kJ/d) and Harris–Benedict (HB; 5863 (sem 51) kJ/d) (all P = 0·001). The optimal equation developed by our data was BEE (kJ/d) = 277+89 weight (kg)+600 sex (male = 1 and female = 0) (r2 = 0·48, n 165). For males, BEE (kJ/d) = 105 weight (kg) − 58 (r2 = 0·27, n 79); for females, BEE (kJ/d) = 69 weight (kg)+1335 (r2 = 0·24, n 86). In conclusion, the mBEE of southern Chinese healthy adults was 5513 (sem 96) kJ/d. The BMR of Chinese adults of normal weight is overestimated by widely used prediction equations developed by Henry, Schofield and HB. The equation developed in the present study (equation 7) can be used in predicting BEE for Chinese adults aged 18–45 years with normal body weight.
The Khanka Massif is a crustal block located along the eastern margin of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) and bordered to the east by Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous circum-Pacific accretionary complexes of the Eastern Asian continental margin. It consists of graphite-, sillimanite- and cordierite-bearing gneisses, carbonates and felsic paragneisses, in association with various orthogneisses. Metamorphic zircons from a sillimanite gneiss from the Hutou complex yield a weighted mean 206Pb/238U age of 490 ± 4 Ma, whereas detrital zircons from the same sample give ages from 934–610 Ma. Magmatic zircon cores in two garnet-bearing granite gneiss samples, also collected from the Hutou complex, yield weighted mean 206Pb/238U ages of 522 ± 5 Ma and 515 ± 8 Ma, whereas their metamorphic rims record 206Pb/238U ages of 510–500 Ma. These data indicate that the Hutou complex in the Khanka Massif records early Palaeozoic magmatic and metamorphic events, identical in age to those in the Mashan Complex of the Jiamusi Massif to the west. The older zircon populations in the sillimanite gneiss indicate derivation from Neoproterozoic sources, as do similar rocks in the Jiamusi Massif. These data confirm that the Khanka Massif has a close affinity with other major components of the CAOB to the west of the Dun-Mi Fault. Based on these results and previously published data, the Khanka Massif is therefore confirmed as having formed a single crustal entity with the Jiamusi (and possibly the Bureya) massif since Neoproterozoic time.
Pentobarbital and ketamine are commonly used in animal experiments, including studies on the effects of ageing on the central nervous system. The electroencephalogram is a sensitive measure of brain activity. The present study investigated, under anaesthesia induced by the two drugs, whether cortical electroencephalogram in aged rats differs from that in young rats.
Electroencephalogram was recorded for young (2–3 months) and aged (15–17 months) rats before and during pentobarbital (40 mg kg−1) or ketamine (100 mg kg−1) anaesthesia. The relative power in five frequency bands (delta: 2–4 Hz; theta: 4–8 Hz; alpha: 8–12 Hz; beta: 12–20 Hz; gamma: 20–100 Hz) was analysed, and then compared between the two age groups.
In both age groups, pentobarbital anaesthesia induced an increase in relative power in alpha and beta bands and a decrease in the theta band, but the degree of these power variations was more marked in aged rats. Ketamine anaesthesia increased relative power in the delta band and decreased that in the theta band; these effects were significantly different between the two age groups, with aged rats showing more markedly decreased power in the theta band.
(a) Pentobarbital and ketamine modified cortical electrical activity in a different manner as a function of age; (b) the modification of electroencephalogram relative power with anaesthesia was identical in young and aged rats but quantitatively more marked in aged rats. These findings will be useful in designing experiments that assess pathological changes in the central nervous system during ageing.
To investigate the wheat transcriptional profile under drought stress, a drought-tolerant variety of wheat (Triticum aestivum), Hanxuan 10, was treated with polyethylene glycol (PEG6000) and samples were collected at 0, 1, 6 and 24 h. Complementary DNA was labelled with fluorescent dye and hybridized with the BGI-RiceChip, a whole genome rice gene chip platform, which contains over 60 000 oligos based on the rice genome sequence. Data analysis detected 166, 207 and 328 differentially expressed genes (DGs), respectively, at 1, 6 and 24 h, indicating that the number of DGs increased with the length of the PEG treatment. Functional category analysis showed that the number of DGs related to energy metabolism pathways increased – 4.2%, 8.2% and 16.8%, respectively, as a proportion of the total number of DGs. Most of the photosynthesis-related genes were up-regulated. It is interesting to note that Psbr and ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase (Rubisco)-coding genes were down-regulated, suggesting their potential role in the response to drought tolerance.
The bone morphogenetic protein receptor IB (BMPR-IB) gene, which controls the fecundity of Booroola Merino ewes, was studied as a candidate gene for the prolificacy of Small Tail Han and Hu ewes. A single nucleotide polymorphism of the BMPR-IB gene was detected in both high (Small Tail Han and Hu) and low (Suffolk and Dorset) fecundity sheep breeds by polymerase chain reaction–single-strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analysis. The results indicated the presence of the same mutation (A746G) of the BMPR-IB gene in both Small Tail Han and Hu ewes and in Booroola Merino ewes, but not in both Suffolk and Dorset ewes. In Small Tail Han ewes, frequencies of BB, B+ and ++ genotypes were 0.524, 0.383 and 0.093, respectively. In Hu ewes, these frequencies were 0.882, 0.118 and 0.000. The BMPR-IB genotype distributions were significantly different (P<0.001) among high- and low-fecundity sheep breeds. Small Tail Han ewes with genotype BB had 0.92 (P<0.01) and 1.02 (P<0.01) lambs more than those with genotype ++ in the first and second parity, respectively. These results demonstrated that the BMPR-IB gene is a major gene affecting the prolificacy in both Small Tail Han and Hu ewes, and could be used as a molecular genetic marker to select the litter size in sheep.