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Visual tracking is an essential building block for target tracking and capture of the underwater vehicles. On the basis of remotely autonomous control architecture, this paper has proposed an improved kernelized correlation filter (KCF) tracker and a novel fuzzy controller. The model is trained to learn an online correlation filter from a plenty of positive and negative training samples. In order to overcome the influence from occlusion, the improved KCF tracker has been designed with an added self-discrimination mechanism based on system confidence uncertainty. The novel fuzzy logic tracking controller can automatically generate and optimize fuzzy rules. Through Q-learning algorithm, the fuzzy rules are acquired through the estimating value of each state action pairs. An S surface based fitness function has been designed for the improvement of learning based particle swarm optimization. Tank and channel experiments have been carried out to verify the proposed tracker and controller through pipe tracking and target grasp on the basis of designed open frame underwater vehicle.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) could induce milk fat depression via regulating the body and blood fat metabolism. However, it is not completely clear how LPS might regulate triglyceride synthesis in dairy cow mammary epithelial cells (DCMECs). DCMECs were isolated and purified from dairy cow mammary tissue and treated with LPS. The level of triglyceride synthesis, the expression and activity of the liver X receptor α (LXRα), enzymes related to de novo fatty acid synthesis, and the expression of the fatty acid transporters were investigated. We found that LPS decreased the level of triglyceride synthesis via a down-regulation of the transcription, translation, and nuclear translocation level of the LXRα. The results also indicated that the transcription level of the LXRα target genes, sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1), fatty acid synthetase (FAS), acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 (ACC1), were significantly down-regulated in DCMECs after LPS treatment. Our data may provide new insight into the mechanisms of milk fat depression caused by LPS.
This Research Reflection short review presents an overview of the effects of heat stress on dairy cattle udder health and discusses existing heat stress mitigation strategies for a better understanding and identification of appropriate abatement plans for future stress management. Due to high ambient temperatures with high relative humidity in summer, dairy cows respond by changes of physical, biochemical and biological pathways to neutralize heat stress resulting in decreased production performance and poorer immunity resulting in an increased incidence of intramammary infections (IMI) and a higher somatic cell count (SCC). In vitro studies on bovine polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) suggested that heat stress reduces the phagocytosis capacity and oxidative burst of PMN and alters the expression of apoptotic genes and miRNA which, together with having a negative effect on the immune system, may explain the increased susceptibility to IMI. Although there are limited data regarding the incidence rate of clinical mastitis in many countries or regions, knowledge of SCC at the cow or bulk tank level helps encourage farmers to improve herd health and to develop strategies for infection prevention and cure. Therefore, more research into bulk tank SCC and clinical mastitis rates is needed to explain the effect of heat stress on dairy cow udder health and functions that could be influenced by abatement plans.
Identifying risk factors and mortality of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could have important implications for the clinical management of AD.
This pilot study aimed to examine the overall mortality of AD patients over a 10-year surveillance period in Shanghai, China. This study is an extension of our previous investigation on mortality of neurodegenerative diseases.
One hundred and thirty-two AD patients recruited from the memory clinics of two hospitals in Shanghai in 2007 were followed up until December 31, 2017 or death, representing a follow-up period of up to 10 years. Overall standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated, and predictors for survival at recruitment were estimated.
Sixty-seven patients had died by December 31, 2017, and the SMR at 10 years of follow-up was 1.225 (95% confidence interval 0.944–1.563). Employing Cox’s proportional hazard modeling, lower Mini-Mental State Examination score, and comorbid diabetes predicted poor survival in this cohort.
This pilot study suggests a similar survival trend of patients with AD compared to the general population in Shanghai urban region. Poor cognitive status and comorbid diabetes had a negative impact on the survival of AD patients.
Developmental dyslexia is characterized by unexpectedly low reading ability in people who have adequate nonverbal intelligence, have acquired typical schooling, and have experienced sufficient sociocultural opportunities (Gabrieli, 2009; Peterson & Pennington, 2012). It is a recognized disorder in many literate societies and has been studied in a large variety of languages (Caravolas, 2005). The Chinese writing system presents sharp contrast to the alphabetic writing system in terms of how the graphic unit maps onto phonology and semantics. Thus, the investigations into the mechanisms for Chinese reading disability are important to the understanding of the universal and language-specific mechanisms of developmental dyslexia. The behavioral and neural correlates of Chinese developmental dyslexia have been studied extensively in the past twenty years or so, providing us with a rich understanding of Chinese developmental dyslexia.
Permian faunal affinity in the Lhasa Block plays a critical role in reconstructing its paleogeographic evolution. Cisuralian and Guadalupian faunas have been described from the Lhasa Block, but very few Lopingian (late Permian) brachiopods have been reported so far. In this paper, a new diverse brachiopod fauna consisting of 17 species of 17 genera and an unidentifiable Orthotetoidea is described from the uppermost part of the Xiala Formation at the Aduogabu section in the central part of the Lhasa Block. The age of this fauna can be assigned to the Changhsingian (late Lopingian) as indicated by the associated foraminifers Colaniella parva (Colani, 1924) and Reichelina pulchra Miklukho-Maklay, 1954. Characteristic brachiopods include Spinomarginifera chengyaoyenensis Huang, 1932, Haydenella wenganensis (Huang, 1932), and Araxathyris cf. dilatatus Shen, He, and Zhu, 1992. They also generally suggest a Changhsingian age. Paleobiogeographically, this fauna is uniformly composed of typical Tethyan elements represented by Spinomarginifera Huang, 1932 and Haydenella Reed, 1944, and some cosmopolitan elements, but no typical cold-water taxa of Gondwanan affinity. This is in contrast to the contemporaneous brachiopod faunas from the Tethys Himalayan region that are characterized by typical cold-water taxa of Gondwanan affinity, e.g., Costiferina indica (Waagen, 1884), Retimarginifera xizangensis Shen et al., 2000, Neospirifer (Quadrospina) tibetensis Ding, 1962. Thus, it is strongly indicative that the Lhasa Block had drifted into a relatively warm-water regime during the Changhsingian. An analysis of the paleobiogeographic change of brachiopods in the Lhasa Block throughout the entire Permian further suggests that the Lhasa Block probably had rifted away from the northern peri-Gondwanan margin between the latest Cisuralian and middle Guadalupian, that is, the Neotethys Ocean had opened before middle Guadalupian.
Image stitching is important for the perception and manipulation of undersea robots. In spite of a well-developed technique, it is still challenging for undersea images because of their inevitable appearance ambiguity caused by the limited light in the undersea environment, and local disturbance caused by moving objects, ocean current, etc. To get a clean and stable background panorama in the undersea environment, this paper proposes an undersea image-stitching method by introducing graph-based registration and blending procedures. Specifically, in the registration procedure, matching the features in each undersea image pair is formulated and solved by graph matching, to incorporate the structural information between features. In the blending procedure, an energy function on the indirect graph Markov random field is proposed, which takes both image consistency and neighboring consistency into consideration. Coincidentally, both graph matching and energy minimization can be mathematically formulated by integer quadratic programming problems with different constraints; the recently proposed graduated nonconvexity and concavity procedure is used to optimize both problems. Experiments on both synthetic images and real-world undersea images witness the effectiveness of the proposed method.
This paper presents a hybrid strategy-based coordinate controller with a novel nonlinear disturbance observer for autonomous underwater vehicle manipulator systems (UVMSs). This method can reduce the influence from external unknown disturbances, inner coupling effects and model uncertainties by using a modified disturbance observer. Considering the natural redundancy property of the UVMS, the redundancy resolution algorithm is often utilized to give desired trajectories in the vehicle–joint space. However, because of the calibration errors, assembling errors and numerical errors, these desired trajectories may not lead the end-effector to the goal point accurately. To realize accurate motion control even when small errors exist in the planning phase, a hybrid strategy is introduced to transform the controller in the joint–vehicle space to the controller in the task space. Numerical simulations based on a UVMS have been carried out to testify the effectiveness of the proposed coordinate controller and the hybrid strategy. During the simulations, unknown disturbances are exerted upon the system. The trajectory tracking and error fixing performances are discussed in comparative analyses. The controller also maintains robust characteristics in comparison with the passivity-based controller and the proposed controller but without the disturbance observer. Experiments are also carried out to test its performance.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.
Sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1) has a central regulatory effect on milk fat synthesis. Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) can induce mastitis and cause milk fat depression in cows. SREBP1 is also known to be associated with inflammatory regulation. Thus, in the current study, we hypothesized that LPS-induced milk fat depression in dairy cow mammary epithelial cells (DCMECs) operates via decreased SREBP1 expression and activity. To examine the hypothesis, DCMECs were isolated and purified from dairy cow mammary tissue and treated with LPS (10 µg/ml). LPS treatment of DCMECs suppressed lipid-metabolism-related transcription factor SREBP1 mRNA expression, nuclear translocation and protein expression, leading to reduced triglyceride content. The transcription levels of acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 and fatty acid synthetase were significantly down-regulated in DCMECs after LPS treatment, suggesting that acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 and fatty acid synthetase involved in de novo milk fat synthesis was regulated by SREBP1. In summary, these results suggest that LPS induces milk fat depression in dairy cow mammary epithelial cells via decreased expression of SREBP1 in a time-dependent manner.
Health system reform is considered a tough issue worldwide. Great efforts have been made toward health system building and strengthening. However, it is still unclear which health system is appropriate for different countries. This study aimed to systematically compare the characteristics of the establishment periods between eighty-eight counties of National Health Service (NHS) and Social Health Insurance (SHI).
Forty-eight NHS countries and forty SHI countries with data availability were selected. The establishment years of current health systems and other eighteen indicators in economics, society, population and health during establishment periods were collected. Comparison between NHS and SHI was conducted by descriptive analysis of every indicator.
Most NHS countries were established during the cold war, while SHI had been set up since the cold war ended. The median of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, urbanization rate and aging rate of SHI were USD 1535 in current dollars, 58.2 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively; compared with USD 1387, 41.2 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively of NHS. NHS countries had a smaller total population, lower mortality rate and elderly dependency ratio, while the birth rate and children's dependency ratio were higher. SHI countries showed a higher life expectancy and lower mortality rate in infants and children. NHS countries spent less in total health expenditure and a lower proportion of GDP. The median health expenditure per capita of SHI and NHS were USD 188 and USD 131 in current dollars, respectively. There was little difference among maternal mortality rates, and public and private health expenditure proportions.
NHS and SHI countries had different characteristics during the health system establishment periods. NHS was established earlier than SHI overall, so that SHI revealed higher levels in economic and social development. Health outcomes of NHS countries were slightly lower than SHI ones, while health expenditure was more in SHI countries. Specific social, economic, demographic and health conditions should be considered when countries are building their own health systems.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
Surface texture was prepared on the ASTM1045 steel substrate before spraying. Three texturing patterns (groove pattern, square pattern, and hexagon pattern) were acquired by laser processing to investigate the influence of texturing patterns on the adhesion strength of sprayed coatings. The Ni60 coatings were prepared on the textured surface by atmosphere plasma spraying technology. Scanning electron microscopy and laser 3D microscope were used to characterize the morphology of texturing. The adhesion strength between coating and substrate was examined by the tensile test. Image pro plus software was used to calculate the contact area ratio of the textured substrate. The results show that the texturing processed substrates by laser radiation present plain area between two dimples and the protrusion around texturing, and the contact area between coating and substrate is increased. The adhesion strength of coatings with a groove pattern, a square pattern, and a hexagon pattern is 58, 33, and 47 MPa, respectively. The adhesion strength of sprayed coatings varies with the change of the texturing pattern, and it does not only depend on the contact area ratio but also on the texturing density and the texturing microstructure.
Trichinella spiralis is a parasitic helminth that can infect almost all mammals, including humans. Trichinella spiralis infection elicits a typical type 2 immune responses, while suppresses type 1 immune responses, which is in favour of their parasitism. DNA vaccines have been shown to be capable of eliciting balanced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses as well as humoral immune responses in small-animal models, which will be advantage to induce protective immune response against helminth infection. In this study, serine protease (Ts-NBLsp) was encoded by a cDNA fragment of new-born T. spiralis larvae, and was inserted after CMV promoter to construct a DNA vaccine [pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp]. Ts-NBLsp expression was demonstrated by immunofluorescence. Sera samples were obtained from vaccinated mice, and they showed strong anti-Ts-NBLsp-specific IgG response. Mice immunized with the pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp DNA vaccine showed a 77·93% reduction in muscle larvae (ML) following challenge with T. spiralis ML. Our results demonstrate that the vaccination with pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp plasmid promoted the balance of type 1 and 2 immune responses and produced a significant protection against T. spiralis infection in mice.
In this paper, we experimentally study the unique surface sensing property and enhanced sensitivity in subwavelength grating (SWG) based microring resonator biosensors versus conventional ring resonator biosensors. In contrast to a conventional ring, the effective sensing region in the SWG microring resonator includes not only the top and side of the waveguide, but also the space between the silicon pillars on the propagation path of the optical mode. It leads to an unique property of thickness-independent surface sensitivity versus common evanescent wave sensors; in other words, the surface sensitivity remains constantly high with progressive attachment of biomolecules to the sensor surface. To increase the robustness of performance of ring shaped circular SWG biosensors, we experimentally demonstrate silicon SWG racetrack resonators. A quality factor of 9800 and bulk sensitivity (S) is ∼429.7 nm/RIU (refractive index per unit) results in an intrinsic detection limit (iDL) 3.71×10-4 RIU in racetrack SWG biosensors while still retaining the accumulated surface thickness properties of circular rings.
Very high cycle bending fatigue behaviors of FV520B steel under fretting wear were studied by the ultrasonic fatigue technique. The specimen system for ultrasonic bending testing was designed and the stress distribution of fatigue specimen was obtained by finite element method. The microstructure of FV520B steel was characterized by means of optical microscope, transmission electron microscope, and energy-dispersive spectroscope. The P–S–N curve was drawn based on fatigue data. The micromorphology characteristics of fretting wear surface and fracture surface for fatigue specimen were observed. The results indicate that the microstructure of FV520B steel is mainly composed of lath martensite, ferrite, and precipitation particles, with some randomly distributed internal inclusions. The P–S–N curve shows that there exists no “conventional fatigue limit” and the fatigue life decreases continuously with the increase of applied stress Smax. Most of fatigue cracks are observed on fractography and initiate from the overlap region of fretting wear zone and stress concentration zone. The fracture failure for tested specimen is ascribed to fretting wear and bending vibration fatigue.
SG-III laser facility is now the largest laser driver for inertial confinement fusion research in China. The whole laser facility can deliver 180 kJ energy and 60 TW power ultraviolet laser onto target, with power balance better than 10%. We review the laser system and introduce the SG-III laser performance here.
Activated carbon materials are integrated into functionalization of graphene nano-sheets to serve as a high-power lithium cathode. The electrochemical performance shows that the composite displays the highest reversible capacity (c. 170 mAh g-1) comparing with functionalized graphene and activated carbon. Also, approximately 92% of its capacity can be retained after 4,000 cycles at a current of 1 A g-1. Moreover, the composite exhibits an excellent rate performance, a reversible capacity of 90 mAh g-1 even at 6 A g-1, which corresponds to the power density of 15.2 kW kg-1 and energy density of 227 Wh kg-1, respectively. The high performance of this composite can be attributed to the fact that the activated carbon particles not only reduce the graphene sheet stacking thus making it easier for ions to diffuse, but also act as an ion storage buffer against accelerating electron transfer.
Most species of the genus Eulecanium Cockerell (Hemiptera: Coccidae) are important economic pests for ornamental plants and fruit trees. Two morphologically similar species, Eulecanium giganteum Shinji and E. kuwanai Kanda, are distributed mainly in China and are quite difficult to identify because of the paucity of distinguishing characteristics, which can only be observed in slide-mounted young, adult females. Furthermore, we demonstrate here that the species occur in sympatry and on many of the same host plants. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) and the D2–D3 expansion segments of 28S rDNA were used for accurate identification of these two Eulecanium species from 19 different locations in China. The average K2P distances of COI sequences were 0.47% in E. kuwanai and 0.32% in E. giganteum, and the interspecific divergences varied from 7.23% to 8.34%. Neighbour-joining (NJ) trees of COI and 28S rDNA revealed two distinct non-overlapping clusters, respectively. Meanwhile, “best close match” analysis also showed that 100% of individuals were classified successfully using COI and 28 S sequences. Differentiating between E. giganteum and E. kuwanai is challenging when using ecological and morphological traits. In contrast, identification using DNA diagnostics appears to be very effective, especially when slide-mounted specimens are difficult to obtain.