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For acquiring a broad view in an unknown environment, we proposed a control strategy based on the Bézier curve for the snake robot raising its head. Then, an improved discretization method was developed to accommodate the backbone curves with more complex shapes. Besides, in order to determine the condition of using the improved discretization method, energy of framed space curve is introduced originally to estimate the shape complexity of the backbone curve. At last, based on degree elevation of the Bézier curve, an obstacle avoidance strategy of the head-raising motion was proposed and validated through simulation.
The Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover 105 mm-diameter ice cores up to 1400 m depth and 41.5 mm-diameter bedrock cores up to 2 m in length. In order to ensure safe and convenient drilling, drilling auxiliaries are designed to support fieldwork and servicing. These auxiliaries are subdivided into several systems for power supply, drill tripping in the borehole, ice core and chip processing, and drill servicing and maintenance. The required equipment also includes two generators, a drilling winch with a cable, logging winch with a cable, control desk, pipe handler with a fixed clamp, chip chamber vibrator, centrifuge, emergency devices and fitting and electrical tools. Additionally, several environmental protective measures such as a new liquid-tight casing with a thermal casing shoe and a bailing device for recovering drilling fluid from the borehole were designed. Most of the auxiliaries were tested during the summer of 2018–2019 near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica while drilling to the bedrock to a depth of 198 m.
A new, modified version of the cable-suspended Ice and Bedrock Electromechanical Drill (IBED) was designed for drilling in firn, ice, debris-rich ice and rock. The upper part of the drill is almost the same for all drill variants and comprises four sections: cable termination, a slip-ring section, an antitorque system and an electronic pressure chamber. The lower part of the IBED comprises an auger core barrel, reamers, a core barrel for ice/debris-ice drilling and a conventional geological single-tube core barrel or custom-made double-tube core barrel. First, the short and full-scale field versions of the IBED were tested at an outdoor testing stand and a testing facility with a 12.5 m-deep ice well. Then, in the 2018–2019 summer season, the IBED was tested in the field at a site ~12 km south of Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, and a ~6 cm bedrock core was recovered from a 198 m-deep borehole. A total of 18 d was required to penetrate the ice sheet. The retrieved core samples of blue ice, basal ice and bedrock provided valuable information regarding the Earth's paleo-environment.
In many cases, the efficiency and safety of a drilling project depend on the reliability of the electrical and electronic control system, as the process progresses without visual access of the operator. The electrical and electronic system provides and regulates the power supply for the drill, collects and monitors the drill data during the whole operating process, and sends and receives the control instructions and feedback signals. The entire system is composed of the surface, borehole and software subsystems. The surface subsystem serves for operating the drilling process, transmitting the drilling and environmental data, and supplying power for the drill motor and downhole control system. The borehole subsystem is generally intended for borehole data acquisition, drill motor control, power regulation and communication. The software subsystem is designed for human–computer interaction, data processing and storage, and programming of signal acquisition and transmission of data. The control system of Antarctic subglacial drilling rig was tested during the 2018–2019 summer season near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, in the course of drilling to the bedrock at a depth of 198 m. It exhibited a steady and efficient performance without significant system failures.
To investigate homocysteine (Hcy) and folate levels, prevalence of hyperhomocysteinaemia (HHcy) and folate deficiency, which are affected by lifestyles in urban, agricultural and stock-raising populations.
This is a cross-sectional study.
Urban, agricultural and stock-raising regions in Emin, China.
Totally 1926 subjects – 885 (45·9 %) from urban, 861 (44·7 %) from agricultural and 180 (9·4 %) from stock-raising regions – were obtained using multistage stratified random sampling. Inclusion criteria encompassed inhabitants aged ≥15 years who resided at the current address for ≥6 months and agreed to participate in the study. Surveys on health behaviour questionnaires and physical examinations were conducted and blood samples collected.
The folate level of subjects from the stock-raising region was the lowest, followed by those from the agricultural region, and the highest in those from the urban region (3·48 v. 6·50 v. 7·12 ng/ml, P < 0·001), whereas mean Hcy showed no significant difference across regions. The OR for HHcy in stock-raising regions was 1·90 (95 % CI 1·11, 3·27) compared with the urban region after adjusting for all possible covariates. The OR for folate deficiency in stock-raising and agriculture regions was 11·51 (95 % CI 7·09, 18·67) and 1·91 (95 % CI 1·30, 2·82), respectively, compared with the urban region after adjusting for all possible covariates.
HHcy and folate deficiency are highly prevalent in stock-raisers, which is of important reference for HHcy control in Xinjiang, with a possibility of extension to others with approximate lifestyles.
Hypertension is a common comorbidity in COVID-19 patients. However, the association of hypertension with the severity and fatality of COVID-19 remain unclear. In the present meta-analysis, relevant studies reported the impacts of hypertension on SARS-CoV-2 infection were identified by searching PubMed, Elsevier Science Direct, Web of Science, Wiley Online Library, Embase and CNKI up to 20 March 2020. As the results shown, 12 publications with 2389 COVID-19 patients (674 severe cases) were included for the analysis of disease severity. The severity rate of COVID-19 in hypertensive patients was much higher than in non-hypertensive cases (37.58% vs 19.73%, pooled OR: 2.27, 95% CI: 1.80–2.86). Moreover, the pooled ORs of COVID-19 severity for hypertension vs. non-hypertension was 2.21 (95% CI: 1.58–3.10) and 2.32 (95% CI: 1.70–3.17) in age <50 years and ⩾50 years patients, respectively. Additionally, six studies with 151 deaths of 2116 COVID-19 cases were included for the analysis of disease fatality. The results showed that hypertensive patients carried a nearly 3.48-fold higher risk of dying from COVID-19 (95% CI: 1.72–7.08). Meanwhile, the pooled ORs of COVID-19 fatality for hypertension vs. non-hypertension was 6.43 (95% CI: 3.40–12.17) and 2.66 (95% CI: 1.27–5.57) in age <50 years and ⩾50 years patients, respectively. Neither considerable heterogeneity nor publication bias was observed in the present analysis. Therefore, our present results provided further evidence that hypertension could significantly increase the risks of severity and fatality of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
This study focuses on the process of the circulation deposition in the Richtmyer–Meshkov instability (RMI). The growth rate of circulation and its sources are theoretically and numerically studied to reveal the physical mechanism of the viscosity in the circulation deposition process. We derive a predicting model of the circulation rate for RMI. More importantly, all the contributing sources are separately predicted. Particularly, the viscous source, which previously lacked theoretical or numerical investigations, is efficiently predicted. The RMI problems in a large range of initial conditions are simulated with the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method to verify our predicting model and further reveal the circulation deposition mechanism. The DSMC simulations provide reliable quantification of the circulation deposition (especially viscous contribution) for RMI due to its molecular nature. Our model predicts the circulation rate, baroclinic and viscous sources accurately for all the cases in comparison with the simulations. A new physical insight into the mechanism of viscosity in RMI is provided. Unlike the previous understandings that nearly all circulation deposition in RMI comes from the baroclinic source, this study reveals the hidden positive contribution of the viscous source, especially for high Mach number conditions (up to 11 % of total circulation rate). For RMI, the large viscosity gradient inside the shock waves plays a crucial role in the circulation deposition even under high Reynolds number conditions. Our study also provides exciting opportunities to further understand the viscous contribution to the vorticity dynamics in the reshocked RMI and shock wave–turbulence interactions.
In this work, we propose a broadband, polarization-insensitive and wide incident angle stable metamaterial absorber (MA) based on the resistive film. The absorber consists of a three-layer structure with each layer of dielectric substrate printed with different shapes of resistive film. The multilayer structure not only extends the absorption bandwidth but also maintains high absorption under large wave incident angles. Numerical simulation shows that the absorptivity of a normal incident wave is above 90% in the frequency range 2.34–18.95 GHz, corresponding to a relative absorption bandwidth of 156%. Moreover, the whole MA structure has a total thickness of 11.3 mm, corresponding to 0.09 λ0 at its lowest absorption frequency. Due to the high symmetry of the structure, the absorber has good polarization insensitivity. In addition, for both transverse electric and transverse magnetic incidence, the proposed absorber achieves an absorptivity of more than 80% at incident angles of up to 45° and thus has good stability for wide incident angles. The absorption principle of the absorber is analyzed by the surface current and power loss density distribution. Parameter analysis is also performed for bandwidth optimization. Due to its advantages of wideband absorption with high efficiency, the proposed absorber has the potential to be applied to the energy-harvesting and electromagnetic stealth fields.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness, satisfaction, and acceptance of a low-cost Lombard-response (LR) device in a group of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (IWPD) and their communication partners (CPs).
Sixteen IWPD and hypophonia and their CPs participated in the study. The IWPD wore a LR device that included a small MP3 player (Sony Walkman) and headphones playing a multi-talker noise audio file at 80 dB during lab-based speech tasks and during their daily conversational speech over a 2-week device trial period. Outcome measures included average conversational speech intensity and scores on a questionnaire related to speech impairment, communication effectiveness, and device satisfaction.
Conversational speech intensity of the IWPD is increased by 7 to 10 dB with the LR device. Following a 2-week trial period, eight of the IWPD (50%) gave the LR device moderate-to-high satisfaction and effectiveness ratings and decided to purchase the device for long-term daily use. At the 4-month follow-up, none of the IWPDs were still using the LR device. Device rejection was related to discomfort (loudness), headaches, interference with cognition, and difficulty controlling device.
Short-term acceptance and satisfaction with the LR device was moderate, but long-term acceptance, beyond 4 months, was absent. Future studies are required to determine if other types of low-cost LR devices can be developed that improve long-term efficacy and device acceptance in IWPD and hypophonia.
Cruciferous vegetables contain high levels of glucosinolates (GSL) and isothiocyanates (ITC). ITC are known to induce glutathione S-transferases (GST) and thus exert their anticarcinogenic effects. This study explored the combined effects of cruciferous vegetable, GSL and ITC intake and GST polymorphisms on breast cancer risk. A total of 737 breast cancer cases and 756 controls were recruited into this case–control study. OR and 95 % CI were assessed by multivariable logistic regression. Higher cruciferous vegetable, GSL and ITC intakes were inversely associated with breast cancer risk, with adjusted OR of 0·48 (95 % CI 0·35, 0·65), 0·54 (95 % CI 0·40, 0·74) and 0·62 (95 % CI 0·45, 0·84), respectively. Compared with women carrying the GSTP1 rs1695 wild AA genotype and high cruciferous vegetable, GSL or ITC intake, carriers of the AA genotype with low cruciferous vegetable, GSL and ITC intake had greater risk of breast cancer, with adjusted OR of 1·43 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·87), 1·34 (95 % CI 1·02, 1·75) and 1·37 (95 % CI 1·05, 1·80), respectively. Persons with the GSTM1-null genotype and lower intake of cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC had higher risk of breast cancer than those with the GSTM1-present genotype and higher intake, with OR of 1·42 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·95), 1·43 (95 % CI 1·05, 1·96) and 1·45 (95 % CI 1·06, 1·98), respectively. Among women possessing the GSTT1-present genotype, low intake of cruciferous vegetables, GSL or ITC was associated with higher risk of breast cancer. But these interactions were non-significant. This study indicated that there were no significant interactions between cruciferous vegetable, GSL or ITC intake and GST polymorphisms on breast cancer risk.
To investigate the association of folic acid (FA) supplementation with birth weight, the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) and low birth weight (LBW) in singleton and twin pregnancy.
A population-based cross-sectional survey.
Twenty counties and ten districts in Shaanxi Province of northwestern China, 2013.
28 174 pregnant women with their infants, covering 27 818 single live births and 356 twin live births.
The prevalence of FA supplementation in singletons and twins was 63·9 and 66·3 %. The mean birth weight was 3267 (sd 459·1) g, 2525 (sd 534·0) g and 2494 (sd 539·5) g; the prevalence of SGA was 14·3, 51·4 and 53·4 %; the prevalence of LBW was 3·4, 42·4 and 46·6 % among singleton, twin A and twin B, respectively. Compared with non-users, women with FA supplementation were (β 17·3, 95 % CI 6·1, 28·4; β 166·3, 95 % CI 69·1, 263·5) associated with increased birth weight, lower risk of SGA (OR 0·85, 95 % CI 0·80, 0·92; OR 0·45, 95 % CI 0·30, 0·68) and LBW (OR 0·82, 95 % CI 0·71, 0·95; OR 0·50, 95 % CI 0·33, 0·75) in singletons and twins, and more prominent effects in twins. Moreover, there were significant interactions between FA supplementation and plurality on birth weight, SGA and LBW.
The present study suggests the association of periconceptional 0·4 mg/d FA supplementation with increased birth weight and reduced risk of SGA and LBW in both singletons and twins, and this association may be more prominent in twins.
Multiple neurotrophic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2, nerve growth factor (NGF) and insulin-like growth factor(IGF)-1, have been shown to play important roles in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. However, insufficient clinical data supporting the importance of these neurotrophic factors in mood disorders, especially manic episode, have made inconclusive to make a connection between these factors and the disorder.
This study intended to investigate possible peripheral biomarkers in serum of manic episode of bipolar disorder.
We aimed to investigate whether or not serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 varied in manic state.
Serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were examined in 70 drug-naïve patients with manic episode of bipolar disorder (BM) as well as 50 healthy controls, using an ELISA method.
The mean serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were 168.13±225.61pg/ml, 279.09±378.62pg/ml, 61.38±171.67pg/ml and 162.01±72.00ng/ml in BM patients, and 140.80±143.71pg/ml, 275.46±235.29pg/ml, 36.34±15.14pg/ml and 138.90±80.11ng/ml in healthy controls, respectively. Serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in patients were significantly higher than those in healthy controls (Z=−2.896, P=0.004; Z=− 2.050, P=0.040; Z=−2.188, P=0.029; respectively), although there was no statistical difference in the serum levels of VEGF between two groups (Z=-0.468, P=0.639). Moreover, serum levels of NGF in patients correlated with the duration of disorder (rs=−0.241, P=0.044).
The increase in serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in manic state may reflect a neuroprotective role for these factors, and these factors may be considered biological markers for manic episode.
Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatry disorder with high heritability. Schizophrenic patients with early age at onset trend to have more genetic component and thus may be an attractive subpopulation for genetic studies. Brain-derived neurotrophimc factor (BDNF) is considered as candidate gene for schizophrenia. A single nucleotide polymorphism (BDNF Val66Met) was reported to be associated with schizophrenia, although discrepancy remains. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and schizophrenia using an early onset sample in Chinese Han population. Our sample consisted of 353 schizophrenic patients with onset before age 18 and 394 healthy age and sex matched controls. All subjects were ethnically homogenous Han Chinese origin. No significant differences of genotype or allele distribution were identified between the patients and controls. However, the Met allele was significantly associated with an earlier age at onset in male schizophrenic patients (Kaplan-Meier log-rank test P = 0.005), but not in females (P = 0.289). The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism has an important effect on the age at onset of schizophrenia in a gender-specific manner, and this may provided a significant genetic clue for the etiology of schizophrenia. Therefore, further studies are required to uncover the exact role of BDNF in the development of schizophrenia.
To study the relationship between insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R)and subsyndromal symptomatic depression (SSD).
In this case-control study, real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) with TaqMan MGB was used to analyzing the differences of IGF1R gene mRNA expression in peripheral leukocytes between subsyndromal symptomatic depression group(n = 47) and healthy controls(n = 52). At the same time Hamilton Depression Rating Scale -17(HAMD17) were assessed.
IGF1R gene mRNA expression was 0.21 ± 0.11 in SSD group, 0.56 ± 0.37 in healthy group, and there was significant difference between both groups on IGF1R expression(z = 39.54, P < 0.001). the expression levels of IGF1R in SSD patients was not correlated with Hamilton score(r = −0.292, p = 0.275).
This study suggested that the decreased expression of IGF1R were related with the pathophysiology of SSD.
The recent outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, China, has imposed challenges on the Chinese medical system. Not only the dramatically increasing number of infected cases and insufficient medical resources, but also the peoples’ panic throughout the whole country have made medical services extremely difficult. To respond to these challenges effectively, our hospital implemented an urgent response strategy, including human resources and medical resources preparation and re-allocation, immediate fever screening, strict patient-visiting flow management, and reasonable information communication. Our experience and response measures could provide a reference for other hospitals in the current situation.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure is becoming increasingly important for modern corporations. Focusing on voluntary CSR disclosure and drawing on upper echelons theory, we propose that voluntary CSR disclosure is the manifestation of managerial preferences (e.g., managers’ professional ethical values and standards). Specifically, we argue that top executives with an academic background tend to have higher professional and ethical standards than their non-academic counterparts. These standards lead them to act with self-restraint and to perceive CSR disclosure as an opportunity rather than a threat. Compared with non-academic executives, therefore, top executives with an academic background provide stakeholders with more CSR information. Based on a sample of publicly listed firms in China, we find a significant difference in voluntary CSR disclosure between firms led by academic executives and firms without academic top executives. This difference is smaller for firms that are state-owned, firms that are audited by large audit firms, and firms with greater analyst coverage. We contribute to the literature on CSR voluntary disclosure by providing an in-depth analysis of the effects of top management teams’ academic backgrounds.
Previous studies have shown conflicting findings regarding the relationship between maternal vitamin D deficiency (VDD) and fetal growth restriction (FGR). We hypothesised that parathyroid hormone (PTH) may be an underlying factor relevant to this potential association. In a prospective birth cohort study, descriptive statistics were evaluated for the demographic characteristics of 3407 pregnancies in the second trimester from three antenatal clinics in Hefei, China. The association of the combined status of vitamin D and PTH with birth weight and the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) was assessed by a multivariate linear and binary logistic regression. We found that declined status of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with lower birth weight (for moderate VDD: adjusted β = −49·4 g, 95 % CI −91·1, −7·8, P < 0·05; for severe VDD: adjusted β = −79·8 g, 95 % CI −127·2, −32·5, P < 0·01), as well as ascended levels of PTH (for elevated PTH: adjusted β = −44·5 g, 95 % CI −82·6, −6·4, P < 0·05). Compared with the non-VDD group with non-elevated PTH, pregnancies with severe VDD and elevated PTH had the lowest neonatal birth weight (adjusted β = −124·7 g, 95 % CI −194·6, −54·8, P < 0·001) and the highest risk of SGA (adjusted risk ratio (RR) = 3·36, 95 % CI 1·41, 8·03, P < 0·01). Notably, the highest risk of less Ca supplementation was founded in severe VDD group with elevated PTH (adjusted RR = 4·67, 95 % CI 2·78, 7·85, P < 0·001). In conclusion, elevated PTH induced by less Ca supplementation would further aggravate the risk of FGR in pregnancies with severe VDD through impaired maternal Ca metabolism homoeostasis.
Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection has been a major public health threat globally. Monitoring and prediction of CT epidemic status and trends are important for programme planning, allocating resources and assessing impact; however, such activities are limited in China. In this study, we aimed to apply a seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model to predict the incidence of CT infection in Shenzhen city, China. The monthly incidence of CT between January 2008 and June 2019 in Shenzhen was used to fit and validate the SARIMA model. A seasonal fluctuation and a slightly increasing pattern of a long-term trend were revealed in the time series of CT incidence. The monthly CT incidence ranged from 4.80/100 000 to 21.56/100 000. The mean absolute percentage error value of the optimal model was 8.08%. The SARIMA model could be applied to effectively predict the short-term CT incidence in Shenzhen and provide support for the development of interventions for disease control and prevention.