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Conventional pNIPAAm microgel synthesis utilizes surfactants to suspend pre-gel droplets in the immiscible continuous phase due to the slow polymerization required for synthesizing pNIPAAm in aqueous solvent. To improve the fabrication process and to eliminate the effects of surfactant on microgel quality, a surfactant-free and water-free method was developed. Rapid polymerization of high-quality microgels was achieved in a single-channel microfluidic device to help maintain the integrity of gel particles without the addition of surfactants. The droplet generation mechanism and the effect of flow rate of the two in-going immiscible fluid on the geometry of the produced microgels were studied. The produced microgels have low polydispersity with a dispersity index of 6.4%. The pNIPAAm hydrogels fabricated in the DMSO solvent has smaller pore size and more uniform microstructure compared to that synthesized in water. The fabricated pNIPAAm microgels show a sharp volume phase transition at ∼32 °C and high deswelling/swelling rate.
Astrophysical collisionless shocks are amazing phenomena in space and astrophysical plasmas, where supersonic flows generate electromagnetic fields through instabilities and particles can be accelerated to high energy cosmic rays. Until now, understanding these micro-processes is still a challenge despite rich astrophysical observation data have been obtained. Laboratory astrophysics, a new route to study the astrophysics, allows us to investigate them at similar extreme physical conditions in laboratory. Here we will review the recent progress of the collisionless shock experiments performed at SG-II laser facility in China. The evolution of the electrostatic shocks and Weibel-type/filamentation instabilities are observed. Inspired by the configurations of the counter-streaming plasma flows, we also carry out a novel plasma collider to generate energetic neutrons relevant to the astrophysical nuclear reactions.
The Chinese Solar and Geophysical Data (CSGD) was first issued at the Beijing Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences (now the headquarter of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences) in 1971, when China’s satellite-industry was booming. CSGD covers the observational data (observations of the sunspots, solar flares, solar radio bursts, ionospheric storm and geomagnetic storm) from a couple of domestic observatories and the forecast data. The compiler of CSGD still keeps the data exchange with other institutes worldwide. The type of the dataset includes texts, tables, figures and so on. Up to now, we have electronized all the historic archives, making them easily accessible to people who are interested in them.
This Research Communication describes the association between genetic variation within the prolactin (PRL) gene and the milk production traits of Italian Mediterranean river buffalo (Bufala mediterranea Italiana). High resolution melting (HRM) techniques were developed for genotyping 465 buffaloes. The association of genetic polymorphism with milk production traits was performed and subsequently the effects of parity and calving season were evaluated. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified at exons 2 and 5 and at introns 1 and 2. All the SNPs were in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, and statistical analysis showed that the polymorphism of intron1 was significantly (P < 0·05) associated with milk yield, milk protein content and peak milk yield. The average contribution of the intron1 genotype (r2intron1) to total phenotypic variance in milk production traits was 0·09, and the TT genotype showed lower values than CC and CT genotypes. A nonsynonymous SNP was identified in exon 2, which resulted in an amino acid change from arginine to cysteine. Moreover, the polymorphism of exon 2 was associated significantly with milk fat content (P < 0·05), and the buffaloes with TT genotype showed higher total fat content than the buffaloes with CT genotype. These findings provide evidence that polymorphisms of the buffalo PRL gene are associated with milk production traits and PRL can be used as a candidate gene for marker-assisted selection in Italian Mediterranean river buffalo breeding.
We identified human paleodietary changes from inhabitants of the Guanzhong basin since 8000 BP, based on published carbon and nitrogen isotopic measurements on bones, fauna and plant remains. We also directly measured 14C ages, δ13C and δ15N values from bones unearthed at the Zhouyuan site, west of Guanzhong, in order to reconstruct paleodietary changes of the ancient inhabitants. We found that during the Laoguantai period, animal foods were the main source of nourishment with supplementary plant-derived foods. After this period, plant-derived foods became the main food source, with supplementary animal sources. The development of dry farming led to increased consumption of foxtail millet and broomcorn millet. This trend persisted and marked a fundamental shift from hunting, gathering, and fishing to farming and animal domestication. The dietary trends of the ancient inhabitants also show pronounced regional differences through time. The use of domestic animals was proportionally higher in the eastern part of the Guanzhong region, while wild animals were more common in the west.
This article describes a new method by which azimuth and the instantaneous latitude of a meridian-prime vertical-transit instrument can be determined absolutely in mid-and low- latitude areas, and discusses some experimental observations obtained on a remodeled ZEISS transit instrument. Requirements for the development of a new type of transit circle along the lines of this new method are also presented.
To determine the effect of graft choice (allograft, bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft, or hamstring autograft) on deep tissue infections following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions.
Retrospective cohort study.
SETTING AND POPULATION
Patients from 6 US health plans who underwent ACL reconstruction from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2008.
We identified ACL reconstructions and potential postoperative infections using claims data. A hierarchical stratified sampling strategy was used to identify patients for medical record review to confirm ACL reconstructions and to determine allograft vs autograft tissue implanted, clinical characteristics, and infection status. We estimated infection rates overall and by graft type. We used logistic regression to assess the association between infections and patients’ demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and choice of graft.
On review of 1,452 medical records, we found 55 deep wound infections. With correction for sampling weights, infection rates varied by graft type: 0.5% (95% CI, 0.3%-0.8%) with allografts, 0.6% (0.1%–1.5%) with bone-patellar tendon-bone autografts, and 2.5% (1.9%–3.1%) with hamstring autograft. After adjusting for potential confounders, we found an increased infection risk with hamstring autografts compared with allografts (odds ratio, 5.9; 95% CI, 2.8–12.8). However, there was no difference in infection risk among bone-patellar tendon-bone autografts vs allografts (odds ratio, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.3–4.8).
The overall risk for deep wound infections following ACL reconstruction is low but it does vary by graft type. Infection risk was highest in hamstring autograft recipients compared with allograft recipients and bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft recipients.
The chemical extraction of soil organic carbon (SOC) fractions from soils often does not produce satisfactory results for radiocarbon dating. In this study, a sequential pyrolysis technique was investigated. The soil was pyrolyzed at temperatures of 200, 400, 600, and 800 °C to partition organic carbon into pyrolytic volatile (Py-V) and pyrolytic residue (Py-R) fractions. The preliminary results show that the 14C dates of both fractions become progressively older as the pyrolysis temperature is increased. In addition, the ages of the Py-V fractions are consistently younger than the corresponding Py-R fractions extracted at the same temperature. Experimental results of known-age paleosol samples indicate that the Py-V fractions obtained between 600 and 800 °C yield the most reliable ages. This technique provides a new approach to improve the accuracy of 14C dating of loess-paleosol sequences.
In this work, we developed a convenient way to immobilize silver nanoparticles on the aminated polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibrous mats by combing the electrospinning technology from complex-containing polymer solution, amination of PAN nanofibrous and electroless plating technique. The resultant composite nanaofibrous mats had been characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectrometer, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectra analysis. The catalytic activity and stability of these resultant composite nanofibrous mats for the catalytic reactions, including reduction of 4-nitrophenol to form 4-aminophenol, and selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol, were investigated. The resultant nanofibrous mats exhibited high-efficiency, convenient separation, recovery, and cyclic utilization properties.
To examine the acceptability and feasibility of using smartphone technology to assess beverage intake and evaluate whether the feasibility of smartphone use is greater among key sub-populations.
An acceptability and feasibility study of recording the video dietary record, the acceptability of the ecological momentary assessment (EMA), wearing smartphones and whether the videos helped participants recall intake after a cross-over validation study.
Rural and urban area in Shanghai, China.
Healthy adults (n 110) aged 20–40 years old.
Most participants reported that the phone was acceptable in most aspects, including that videos were easy to use (70 %), helped with recalls (77 %), EMA reminders helped them record intake (75 %) and apps were easy to understand (85 %). However, 49 % of the participants reported that they had trouble remembering to take videos of the beverages before consumption or 46 % felt embarrassed taking videos in front of others. Moreover, 72 % reported that the EMA reminders affected their consumption. When assessing overall acceptability of using smartphones, 72 % of the participants were favourable responders. There were no statistically significant differences in overall acceptability for overweight v. normal-weight participants or for rural v. urban residents. However, we did find that the overall acceptability was higher for males (81 %) than females (61 %, P=0·017).
Our study did not find smartphone technology helped with dietary assessments in a Chinese population. However, simpler approaches, such as using photographs instead of videos, may be more feasible for enhancing 24 h dietary recalls.
To explore the feasibility of identifying anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) allograft implantations and infections using claims.
Retrospective cohort study.
We identified ACL reconstructions using procedure codes at 6 health plans from 2000 to 2008. We then identified potential infections using claims-based indicators of infection, including diagnoses, procedures, antibiotic dispensings, specialty consultations, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations. Patients’ medical records were reviewed to determine graft type, validate infection status, and calculate sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) for indicators of ACL allografts and infections.
A total of 11,778 patients with codes for ACL reconstruction were identified. After chart review, PPV for ACL reconstruction was 96% (95% confidence interval [CI], 94%–97%). Of the confirmed ACL reconstructions, 39% (95% CI, 35%–42%) used allograft tissues. The deep infection rate after ACL reconstruction was 1.0% (95% CI, 0.7%–1.4%). The odds ratio of infection for allografts versus autografts was 0.41 (95% CI, 0.19–0.78). Sensitivity of individual claims-based indicators for deep infection after ACL reconstruction ranged from 0% to 75% and PPV from 0% to 100%. Claims-based infection indicators could be combined to enhance sensitivity or PPV but not both.
While claims data accurately identify ACL reconstructions, they poorly distinguish between allografts and autografts and identify infections with variable accuracy. Claims data could be useful to monitor infection trends after ACL reconstruction, with different algorithms optimized for different surveillance goals.
This study was designed to determine the effect of melatonin on the in vitro maturation (IVM) and developmental potential of bovine oocytes denuded of the cumulus oophorus (DOs). DOs were cultured alone (DOs) or with 10−9 M melatonin (DOs + MT), cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured without melatonin as the control. After IVM, meiosis II (MII) rates of DOs, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, apoptotic rates and parthenogenetic blastocyst rates of MII oocytes were determined. The relative expression of ATP synthase F0 Subunit 6 and 8 (ATP6 and ATP8), bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP-15) and growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) mRNA in MII oocytes and IFN-tau (IFN-τ), Na+/K+-ATPase, catenin-beta like 1 (CTNNBL1) and AQP3 mRNA in parthenogenetic blastocysts were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The results showed that: (1) melatonin significantly increased the MII rate of DOs (65.67 ± 3.59 % vs. 82.29 ± 3.92%; P < 0.05), decreased the ROS level (4.83 ± 0.42 counts per second (c.p.s) vs. 3.78 ± 0.29 c.p.s; P < 0.05) and apoptotic rate (36.99 ± 3.62 % vs. 21.88 ± 2.08 %; P < 0.05) and moderated the reduction of relative mRNA levels of ATP6, ATP8, BMP-15 and GDF-9 caused by oocyte denudation; (2) melatonin significantly increased the developmental rate (24.17 ± 3.54 % vs. 35.26 ± 4.87%; P < 0.05), and expression levels of IFN-τ, Na+/K+-ATPase, CTNNBL1 and AQP3 mRNA of blastocyst. These results indicated that melatonin significantly improved the IVM quality of DOs, leading to an increased parthenogenetic blastocyst formation rate and quality.
Toxoplasma gondii is a major cause of congenital brain disease; however, the underlying mechanism of neuropathogenesis in brain toxoplasmosis remains elusive. To explore the role of T. gondii in the development of neural stem cells (NSCs), NSCs were isolated from GD14 embryos of ICR mice and were co-cultured with tachyzoites of T. gondii RH strain. We found that apoptosis levels of the NSCs co-cultured with 1×106 RH tachyzoites for 24 and 48 h significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner, as compared with the control. Western blotting analysis displayed that the protein level of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) was up-regulated, and caspase-12 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) were activated in the NSCs co-cultured with the parasites. Pretreatment with endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) inhibitor (TUDCA) and caspase-12 inhibitor (Z-ATAD-FMK) inhibited the expression or activation of the key molecules involved in the ERS-mediated apoptotic pathway, and subsequently decreased the apoptosis levels of the NSCs induced by the T. gondii. The findings here highlight that T. gondii induced apoptosis of the NSCs through the ERS signal pathway via activation of CHOP, caspase-12 and JNK, which may constitute a potential molecular mechanism responsible for the cognitive disturbance in neurological disorders of T. gondii.
The driving mechanism of solar flares and coronal mass ejections is a topic of ongoing debate, apart from the consensus that magnetic reconnection plays a key role during the impulsive process. While present solar research mostly depends on observations and theoretical models, laboratory experiments based on high-energy density facilities provide the third method for quantitatively comparing astrophysical observations and models with data achieved in experimental settings. In this article, we show laboratory modeling of solar flares and coronal mass ejections by constructing the magnetic reconnection system with two mutually approaching laser-produced plasmas circumfused of self-generated megagauss magnetic fields. Due to the Euler similarity between the laboratory and solar plasma systems, the present experiments demonstrate the morphological reproduction of flares and coronal mass ejections in solar observations in a scaled sense, and confirm the theory and model predictions about the current-sheet-born anomalous plasmoid as the initial stage of coronal mass ejections, and the behavior of moving-away plasmoid stretching the primary reconnected field lines into a secondary current sheet conjoined with two bright ridges identified as solar flares.
The chemical oxygen–iodine laser (COIL) is the shortest-wavelength high-power chemical laser that has been demonstrated. The characteristics, such as good atmospheric propagation, short wavelength and excellent transmission through optical fibers, make the COIL a good candidate for high-power laser application. To model the complete COIL lasing interaction, a three-dimensional formulation of the fluid dynamics, species continuity and radiation transport equations is necessary. The computational effort to calculate the flow field over the entire nozzle bank with a grid fine enough to resolve the injection holes is so large as to preclude doing the calculation. The approach to modeling chemical lasers then has been to reduce the complexity of the model to correspond to the available computational capability, adding details as computing power increased. The modeling of lasing in the COIL medium is proposed, which is coupling with the effects induced by transverse injection of secondary gases, non-equilibrium chemical reactions, nozzle tail flow and boundary layer. The coupled steady solutions of the fluid dynamics and optics in a COIL complex three-dimensional cavity flow field are obtained following the proposal. The modeling results show that these effects have some influence on the lasing properties. A feasible methodology and a theoretical tool are offered to predict the beam quality for large-scale COIL devices.
We investigated the effect mouse cumulus cells (mCCs) on the in vitro maturation (IVM) and developmental potential of bovine denuded germinal vesicle oocytes (DOs). Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs), DOs and DOs cocultured with either mCCs (DOs + mCCs) or bovine cumulus cells (bCCs; DOs + bCCs) were subjected to IVM. The meiosis II (MII) rates of DOs, glutathione (GSH) contents, zona pellucida (ZP) hardening and parthenogenetic blastocyst rates of MII oocytes were determined. The relative expression levels of bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP-15) and growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) in MII oocytes were measured using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). mCCs significantly increased the MII rate of DOs from 53.5 ± 3.58% to 69.67 ± 4.72% (p < 0.05) but had no effect on the GSH content (2.17 ± 0.31 pmol/oocyte with mCCs, 2.14 ± 0.53 pmol/oocyte without mCCs). For the DOs + mCCs group, the BMP-15 and GDF-9 expression levels were significantly higher and the ZP dissolution time was significantly lower (162.49 ± 12.51 s) than that of the DOs group (213.95 ± 18.87 s; p < 0.05). The blastocyst rate of the DOs + mCCs group (32.56 ± 4.94%) was similar to that of the DOs group (31.75 ± 3.65%) but was significantly lower than that of the COCs group (43.52 ± 5.37%; p < 0.05). In conclusion, mCCs increased the MII rate of DOs and expression of certain genes in MII oocytes, and decreased the ZP hardening of MII oocytes, but could not improve their GSH content or developmental potential.
Ultrashort electron bunch trains can be used for plasma wake field acceleration (PWFA) to overcome the limit of transformer ratio of a single electron bunch, or high-power terahertz (Thz) radiation production by various radiation mechanisms. Basic facility for high-power THz radiation development based on ultrashort electron beam has been set up at accelerator lab of TUB. Using birefringent crystal serials, ultraviolet (UV) pulse shaping for photocathode radio frequency gun to produce THz-repetition-rate pulse train was realized. Driven by such pulses, ultrashort electron bunch train with picosecond (ps) spacing was obtained for THz production. Measurement of the stacked UV pulse trains was done by difference frequency generation (DFG), and the measured group velocity mismatch of α-BBO crystal at 266.7-nm wavelength was 0.8 ps/mm. This method may also be applied to form ramped electron bunch trains for PWFA.
The Hysteresis characteristics of below 400 nm- thick Pb(Zr0.52Ti0.48)O3 (PZT) thin films grown on Pt (111) /Ti/SiO2/Si substrates have showed very poor with remanent polarization of 1∼3 μC/cm2 in our previous research. To study the further scaling-down, we introduced the method of our previous research that the (Pb0.72La0.28)Ti0.94O3 (PLT) buffer layers play an important role in enhancing the ferroelectric properties of the PZT thin films. As a result, the remanent polarization of 300 nm-thick PZT thin films with the 10 nm-thick PLT buffer layers have showed 32 μC/cm2 at applied voltage of 8 V and 24 μC/cm2 at applied voltage of 5 V. Inserted the PLT seed layers between the PZT thin films and substrate, the hysteresis characteristics of PZT thin films were improved a lot. The dielectric and leakage current properties of PZT thin films were also investigated.