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As rarely large flake graphite (9 mesh) was recently exploited in China, it was innovatively developed as the raw material to prepare a novel wound dressing based on large expanded graphite (EG) in this work. The EG worms were prepared in an easy oxidative intercalation and thermal expansion method. Afterward, chitosan was grafted onto the surface of EG by chemical modification, forming CS-EG worms. CS-EG sponge dressings were then obtained by pressing a number of CS-EG worms together by external force. Due to the porous structure and large specific surface area, the produced CS-EG sponges exhibited outstanding adsorption capacity for wound exudate. They could also promote blood coagulation by adsorbing the blood cells and proteins quickly and effectively, showing excellent hemostatic performance. The eminent performances and the simple preparation process ensure the great application potential of CS-EG as a dressing material. This is also the first time to report the application of the traditional carbon material, EG, to act as a dressing material after chemical modification.
Disaster can strike people in any community at any time anywhere in the world. Disasters occur with high frequency, take on multiple forms, and exert wide influence, typically causing property damage, injuries, and death. As the world’s largest developing country, China incurs great costs when a disaster hits. After the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, the Chinese government focused its attention on the construction of an emergency response system, the creation of disaster prevention and mitigation systems, and the development of a disaster medicine program. Here, we describe the current status of disaster medicine in China, focusing on the following four aspects: the Emergency Management System, Education & Training, Rescue Practices, and Research. We also discuss the future of disaster medicine in China. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:157–165)
Functionalization is critical for improving mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs)/polymer nanocomposites. A fundamental understanding of the role of the CNT/polymer interface and bonding structure is key to improving functionalization procedures for higher mechanical performance. In this study, we investigated the effects of chemical functionalization on the nanocomposite interface at atomic resolution to provide direct and quantifiable information of the interactions and interface formation between CNT surfaces and adjacent resin molecules. We observed and compared electronic structures and their changes at the interfaces of nonfunctionalized and functionalized CNT/polymer nanocomposite samples via scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) spectrum imaging techniques. The results show that the state of sp2 bonding and its distribution at the CNT/resin interface can be clearly visualized through EELS mapping. We found that the functionalized CNT/polymer samples exhibited a lower fraction of sp2 bonding and a lower π*/σ* ratio compared with the nonfunctionalized cases. A good correlation between near-edge fine structures and low-loss plasmon energies was observed.
Hypoxia is the primary stimulus for the production of erythropoietin (EPO) in both fetal and adult life. Here, we investigated fetal plasma EPO concentrations in monochorionic (MC) twin pregnancies with selective intrauterine growth restriction (sIUGR) and abnormal umbilical artery (UA) Doppler. We diagnosed sIUGR in presence of (1) birth-weight discordance >20% and (2) either twin with a birth weight <10th percentile. An abnormal UA Doppler was defined as a persistent absent-reverse end diastolic flow (AREDF). The intertwin EPO ratio was calculated as the plasma EPO level of the smaller (or small-for-gestational-age) twin divided by the EPO concentration of the larger (or appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA)) twin. Thirty-two MC twin pairs were included. Of these, 17 pairs were normal twins (Group 1), seven pairs were twins with sIUGR without UA Doppler abnormalities (Group 2), and eight pairs were twins with sIUGR and UA Doppler abnormalities (Group 3). The highest EPO ratio was identified in Group 3 (p < .001) but no significant differences were observed between Groups 1 and 2. Fetal hemoglobin levels did not differ significantly in the three groups, and fetal EPO concentration did not correlate with gestational age at birth. We conclude that fetal plasma EPO concentrations are selectively increased in MC twin pregnancies with sIUGR and abnormal UA Doppler, possibly as a result of uncompensated hypoxia.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
Titanium oxide photoelectrodes have been used for water splitting for a few decades, but have low solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies. Perovskite halides (e.g., CH3NH3PbI3) have recently emerged as an efficient light absorber system. We try to combine the two materials to create new photoelectrodes to achieve a higher efficiency for hydrogen production. The photoelectrodes are investigated for water-splitting hydrogen production under Xe light irradiation by photoelectrochemical (PEC) reaction. Since perovskite halides are favorable light harvesters under UV and visible light irradiation, the composite films of titania and perovskite halide would achieve efficient water splitting. The hydrogen production rate using the composite films is higher than that using anatase TiO2 electrode. However, the composite films are not stable in water under light irradiation and the perovskite halide gradually decomposes into lead halide.
Writing in language tests is regarded as an important indicator for assessing language skills of test takers. As Chinese language tests become popular, scoring a large number of essays becomes a heavy and expensive task for the organizers of these tests. In the past several years, some efforts have been made to develop automated simplified Chinese essay scoring systems, reducing both costs and evaluation time. In this paper, we introduce a system called SCESS (automated Simplified Chinese Essay Scoring System) based on Weighted Finite State Automata (WFSA) and using Incremental Latent Semantic Analysis (ILSA) to deal with a large number of essays. First, SCESS uses an n-gram language model to construct a WFSA to perform text pre-processing. At this stage, the system integrates a Confusing-Character Table, a Part-Of-Speech Table, beam search and heuristic search to perform automated word segmentation and correction of essays. Experimental results show that this pre-processing procedure is effective, with a Recall Rate of 88.50%, a Detection Precision of 92.31% and a Correction Precision of 88.46%. After text pre-processing, SCESS uses ILSA to perform automated essay scoring. We have carried out experiments to compare the ILSA method with the traditional LSA method on the corpora of essays from the MHK test (the Chinese proficiency test for minorities). Experimental results indicate that ILSA has a significant advantage over LSA, in terms of both running time and memory usage. Furthermore, experimental results also show that SCESS is quite effective with a scoring performance of 89.50%.
Early identification of patients with bipolar disorder during their first depressive episode is beneficial to the outcome of the disorder and treatment, but traditionally this has been a great challenge to clinicians. Recently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD), but it is not clear whether BDNF levels can be used to predict bipolar disorder among patients in their first major depressive episode.
To explore whether BDNF levels can differentiate between MDD and bipolar disorder in the first depressive episode.
A total of 203 patients with a first major depressive episode as well as 167 healthy controls were recruited. After 3 years of bi-annual follow-up, 164 patients with a major depressive episode completed the study, and of these, 21 were identified as having bipolar disorder and 143 patients were diagnosed as having MDD. BDNF gene expression and plasma levels at baseline were compared among the bipolar disorder, MDD and healthy control groups. Logistic regression and decision tree methods were applied to determine the best model for predicting bipolar disorder at the first depressive episode.
At baseline, patients in the bipolar disorder and MDD groups showed lower BDNF mRNA levels (P<0.001 and P = 0.02 respectively) and plasma levels (P = 0.002 and P = 0.01 respectively) compared with healthy controls. Similarly, BDNF levels in the bipolar disorder group were lower than those in the MDD group. These results showed that the best model for predicting bipolar disorder during a first depressive episode was a combination of BDNF mRNA levels with plasma BDNF levels (receiver operating characteristics (ROC) = 0.80, logistic regression; ROC = 0.84, decision tree).
Our findings suggest that BDNF levels may serve as a potential differential diagnostic biomarker for bipolar disorder in a patient's first depressive episode.
The manner in which technological capability and marketing capability can be successfully leveraged is an important research issue. Based on the resource-management model, this study aims to answer two research questions: (1) whether technological capability and marketing capability are complementary or supplementary capabilities; and (2) how technological capability and marketing capability can be used appropriately to respond to environmental turbulence. Based on a face-to-face interview survey of 212 Chinese firms, we find that technological capability and marketing capability have synergistic effects. We also find that technological turbulence enhances the performance effect of technological capability, but impedes that of marketing capability; whereas market turbulence advances the performance effect of marketing capability, but impedes that of technological capability. Thus, the appropriate way to leverage technological capability and marketing capability is to integrate them and to deploy technological capability to respond to technological turbulence and marketing capability to respond to market turbulence.
Porphyrins are attractive compounds for optical applications. We have been investigating the relationship between molecular structure and optical properties of a number of porphyrin compounds. Structural variations explored include insertion of metal ions, extension of conjugation, halogenation and formation of multimers. The characterization of these chromophores includes measurement of UV/Vis, fluorescence and fluorescence lifetimes. Furthermore, we have investigated their nonlinear absorption, refraction, excitation dynamics as well as oxidation/reduction behavior. Based on our observations, clear recommendations can be made for the design of optical limiting chromophores.
Two chitosan gel systems, chitosan/acetic anhydride and chitosan/glutaraldehyde, were studied as host materials for optical limiters. Both gels are transparent and have a very high laser damage threshold. The chitosan/acetic anhydride gel has a damage threshold > 540 J/cm2 while the chitosan/glutaraldehyde gel, which is slightly yellow in color, has a damage threshold > 600 J/cm2 (measurements made with 6.8 ns laser pulses at 532 nm). Different chromophore dopants, including porphyrin and CuPc, were tested. The optical limiting behavior of the guest/host gel systems was similar to their corresponding solution systems. The morphological structure of the gel systems was studied and the gelation process is discussed. Our current research explores the effect of gel morphology on the optical limiting properties of the chromophores and studies the relation between chromophores, cross-linking agents and the host materials. We have also investigated the relationship between optical properties and chemical structure of the gel/chromophore systems in order to optimize the optical behavior.
In this study, crystal orientation and polymorphism formation in electrospun poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF)/polyacrylonitrile (PAN) blend fibers after melt-recrystallization were studied. To achieve uniform alignment of electrospun fibers, mechanical stretching was applied to the as-spun nonwoven fibers at 110 °C. Pure ferroelectric β-PVDF crystals in the PAN matrix were achieved, and both polar β-PVDF and polar PAN crystals oriented with their chain axes parallel to the fiber axes. After melt-recrystallization of PVDF, a significant amount of ferroelectric β crystals was retained in addition to the formation of nonpolar α crystals. A polarized Fourier transform infrared study showed that the degree of orientation of ferroelectric β-PVDF crystals was higher than that of nonpolar α crystals, suggesting that the β-PVDF crystals should form at the PVDF/PAN interfaces because of strong dipolar and hydrogen bonding interactions between vinylidene fluoride and acrylonitrile units. The nonpolar α-PVDF crystals should form in the center of PVDF domains.
Flowerlike manganese oxide microspheres and cryptomelane-type manganese oxide nanobelts were selectively synthesized by a simple decomposition of KMnO4 under mild hydrothermal conditions without using template or cross-linking reagents. The effect of varying the hydrothermal times and temperatures on the nanostructure, morphology, compositional, and electrochemical properties of the obtained manganese oxides was investigated. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies showed that the flowerlike manganese oxide microspheres could be obtained at relatively low hydrothermal temperatures, while high hydrothermal temperatures were favorable for the formation of cryptomelane-type manganese oxide nanobelts. A morphology and crystalline evolution of the nanostructures was observed as the hydrothermal temperature was increased from 180 to 240 °C. On the basis of changing the temperatures and hydrothermal reaction times, the formation mechanism of cryptomelane-type manganese oxide nanobelts is discussed. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) was used to evaluate the electrochemical properties of the obtained manganese oxide nanostructures, and the results show that the electrochemical properties depend on their shape and crystalline structure. This easily controllable, template-free, and environmentally friendly method has the potential for being used in syntheses of manganese oxide nanomaterials with uniform morphologies and crystal structures.
We have conducted a detailed analysis of scaling for longitudinal and transverse velocity structure functions in a turbulent free shear flow. The free shear flow is generated via a mixing layer under varying conditions of upstream flow disturbances. Two velocity components are simultaneously measured with a pair of cross-wires at two spanwise locations, with varying positions of the second cross-wire, which allows us to study the statistics of two longitudinal and four transverse velocity increments. Spectra, probability density functions of the velocity increments, and scaling exponents are measured and discussed in relation to flow structures such as streamwise and spanwise vortices. Scaling exponents of the velocity structure functions are interpreted in the phenomenological framework of the hierarchical structure (HS) model of She & Leveque (Phys. Rev. Lett. vol. 72, 1994, p. 336). One HS parameter ($\beta$) specifying similarity between weak and strong vortices is shown to be universal for all structure functions, and another HS parameter ($\gamma$) related to the singularity index of the so-called most intermittent structures shows strong dependence on flow structures. The strongest intermittency occurs in the form of streamwise vortices. The results confirm that coherent small-scale flow structures are responsible for intermittency effects and anomalous scaling, and a complete set of measurements of longitudinal and transverse velocity variations are required to derive flow structural information.
Static-gap, single-spark tests were used to investigate the arc erosion behavior of newly developed silicon carbide and alumina particle reinforced silver matrix composites (SiCp/Ag, Al2O3p/Ag). Craters and hills exist on the surfaces of eroded silver matrix composites, and their depths and sizes decrease as the particle content increases and the particle size decreases. Obvious melting, flow, severe splash of molten silver, and the segregation of particles are present on the surfaces of eroded composites containing low volume percents of large particles. Easier silver flow results in smooth surfaces and reduces the total surface areas of the eroded composites containing large particles. The flow and splash of silver decreased with increasing particle content and decreasing particle size, exhibiting a better erosion resistance to single-spark tests. The static-gap, single-spark erosion behavior of silver matrix composites is dominated by the flow and splash of molten composites. A high viscosity of the liquids provides the composites a good arc erosion resistance.
Piezoelectric properties k33 and d33 of 0.67 Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3–0.33 PbTiO3 single crystals grown by a modified Bridgman method were measured in the temperature range of 20–150 °C. Recoverability of the properties after the samples were heated to 110 °C, above the ferroelectric–ferroelectric (F–F) phase transition temperature of the composition, was found. From 20 to approximately 80 °C, k33 increases slightly, while d33 is almost doubled. Between approximately 90 and 100 °C, k33 decreases sharply to roughly a level of PZT-5 ceramics and d33 decreases to about 700 pC/N. They increase again with further increase of temperature; at 140 °C they attain 0.74 and approximately 1300 pC/N, respectively, and then decrease quickly and approach zero at about 150 °C. When heating to 110 °C followed by cooling to room temperature, the property decay is small. After more than one dozen heating–cooling cycles, k33 and d33 tend to be stable at 0.89 and approximately 1220 pC/N, respectively. The results might be helpful for device design and applications of PMN–PT single crystals.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of external ear canal schwannoma in the English literature. Several detailed clinical and pathological features were demonstrated. We suggest that if a tender, encapsulated mass is found in the external ear canal, the diagnosis of schwannoma should be taken into consideration.
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