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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.
More mobile devices such as mobile phones and robots are wirelessly charged for convenience, simplicity, and safety, and it would be desirable to achieve three-dimensional (3D) wireless charging with high spatial freedom and long range. This paper proposes a 3D wireless charging cube with three orthogonal coils and supporting magnetic cores to enhance the magnetic flux outside the cube. The proposed system is simulated by Ansoft Maxwell and implemented by a downsized prototype. Both simulation and experimental results show that the magnetic cores can strengthen the magnitude of B-field outside the cube. The final prototype demonstrates that the power transfer distance outside the cube for getting the same induced electromotive force in the receiver coil is extended approximately by 50 mm using magnetic cores with a permeability of 2800. It is found that the magnitude of B-field outside the cube can be increased by increasing the width and the permeability of the magnetic cores. The measured results show that when the permeability of the magnetic cores is fixed, the induced electromotive force in the receiver coil at a point 300 mm away from the center of the cube is increased by about 2V when the width of the magnetic cores is increased from 50 to 100 mm. The increase in the induced electromotive force at an extended point implies a greater potential of wireless power transfer capability to the power pickup.
A coaxial-output rolled strip pulse-forming line (RSPFL) with a dry structure is researched for the purpose of miniaturization and all-solid state of pulse-forming lines (PFL). The coaxial-output RSPFL consists of a coaxial-output electrode (COE) and a rolled strip line (RSL). The COE is characterized by quasi-coaxial structure, making the output pulse propagate along the axial direction with a small output inductance. The RSL is rolled on the COE, whose transmission characteristics are analyzed theoretically. It shows that the RSL can be regarded as a planar strip line when the rolling radius of the strip line is larger than 60 times of the thickness of the insulation dielectric layer of RSL. CST modeling was carried out to simulate the discharging characteristic of the coaxial-output RSPFL. It shows that the coaxial-output RSPFL can deliver a discharging pulse with a rise time <6 ns when the impedance of the RSL matches that of the COE, which confirms the theoretical analysis. A prototype of the coaxial-output RSPFL was developed. A 49-kV discharging pulse on a matched load was achieved when it was charged to 100 kV. The discharging waveform has a pulse width of 32 ns, with a rise time of 6 ns, which is consistent with the simulation waveform. An energy-storage density of 1.9 J/L was realized in the coaxial-output RSPFL. By the method of multi-stage connection in series, a much higher output voltage is convenient to be obtained.
Previous neuroimaging studies demonstrated that retinal detachment (RD) subjects were associated with abnormal spontaneous brain activities; however, whether the altered interhemispheric functional connectivity (FC) occurred in RD patients remains unknown. The current study tried to explore the alternations of interhemispheric FC of the whole brain in unilateral RD patients using the voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) method and their connections to clinical features. Methods: We recruited 30 patients with RD (16 males and 14 females) and 30 healthy controls (HCs) (16 males and 14 females) whose age and sex were closely matched. All subjects underwent the rs-fMRI scans. The VMHC method was applied to directly assess the hemispheres’ functional interaction. The VMHC in these brain areas, which could be used as biomarkers to differentiate RD from HC, was identified by the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses. The relations between these patients’ clinical features and their mean VMHC signal values in multiple brain regions were calculated by Pearson correlation analysis. Results: RD patients had significantly lower VMHC values than HCs in the bilateral occipital lobe (Brodmann areas, BA 18), bilateral superior temporal gyrus (BA 39), and bilateral cuneus (BA 19). Moreover, the mean VMHC signal values of the bilateral cuneus were in positive correlation with the duration of the RD (r = 0.446, P = 0.013). Conclusion: Our results provided an evidence of disturbed interhemispheric FC in the visual area occurred in RD patients, which might provide some useful information to understand the neural mechanism of RD patients with acute vision loss. Furthermore, the VMHC values might indicate the progress of the RD.
Intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) impairs postnatal growth and skeletal muscle development in neonatal infants. This study evaluated whether dietary β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate Ca (HMB-Ca) supplementation during the early postnatal period could improve muscle growth in IUGR neonates using piglets as a model. A total of twelve pairs of IUGR and normal-birth-weight (NBW) male piglets with average initial weights (1·85 (sem 0·36) and 2·51 (sem 0·39) kg, respectively) were randomly allotted to groups that received milk-based diets (CON) or milk-based diets supplemented with 800 mg/kg HMB-Ca (HMB) during days 7–28 after birth. Blood and longissimus dorsi (LD) samples were collected and analysed for plasma amino acid content, fibre morphology and the expression of genes related to muscle development. The results indicate that, regardless of diet, IUGR piglets had a significantly decreased average daily weight gain (ADG) compared with that of NBW piglets (P<0·05). However, IUGR piglets fed HMB-Ca had a net weight and ADG similar to that of NBW piglets fed the CON diet. Irrespective of body weight (BW), HMB-Ca supplementation markedly increased the type II fibre cross-sectional area and the mRNA expression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), insulin-like growth factor-1 and myosin heavy-chain isoform IIb in the LD of piglets (P<0·05). Moreover, there was a significant interaction between the effects of BW and HMB on mTOR expression in the LD (P<0·05). In conclusion, HMB-Ca supplementation during the early postnatal period could improve skeletal muscle growth and maturity by accelerating fast-twitch glycolytic fibre development in piglets.
Conventional retrogression and re-aging (RRA) treatment could not be put to good use for combination property of Al–Zn–Mg–Cu alloys. The new RRA treatment fitted for spray formed Al–Zn–Mg–Cu alloy was investigated by transmission electron microscope, tensile, and conductivity tests. The results show that the pre-aging treatment with under aging of 120 °C for 16 h is beneficial for the redissolution of matrix precipitates during retrogression treatment. With the retrogression of 200 °C for 8 min, grain boundary precipitates are discrete and the corrosion resistance of the alloy is drastically increased. After re-aging (120 °C for 24 h) the strength of the alloy is increased again. According to the above-mentioned new RRA treatment, the ultimate tensile strength, yield strength, elongation, and conductivity of the alloy are 791 MPa, 736 MPa, 8.5%, and 39.5% IACS respectively, which is higher than that after conventional RRA treatment.
A congruent melting compound LiNaV2O6 has been synthesized by high-temperature solution reaction and it has been grown with sizes up to 11 × 6 × 2 mm3 by the top-seeded growth method for the first time. LiNaV2O6 crystallizes in the monoclinic system with space group C2/c, with a = 10.184(2) Å, b = 9.067(2) Å, c = 5.8324(11) Å, β = 108.965(14)°. UV–Vis–NIR diffuse reflectance spectrum of LiNaV2O6 shows that it has a wide transmittance range from 385 to 2500 nm. The ab initio calculations show that the birefringence of LiNaV2O6 is 0.136 at 589.3 nm. Therefore, LiNaV2O6 may be a new birefringent material. Based on the analysis of the relationship between crystal structure and linear optical properties, it is found that the large birefringence is attributed to the particular arrangement of V–O anionic groups.
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.
The high repetition rate 10 J/10 ns Yb:YAG laser system and its key techniques are reported. The amplifiers in this system have a multi-pass V-shape structure and the heat in the amplifiers is removed by means of laminar water flow. In the main amplifier, the laser is four-pass, and an approximately 8.5 J/1 Hz/10 ns output is achieved in the primary test. The far-field of the output beam is approximately 10 times the diffraction limit. Because of the higher levels of amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) in the main amplifier, the output energy is lower than expected. At the end we discuss some measures that can improve the properties of the laser system.
The mesoporous and nanorods SnO2 are synthesized by controlling the state of SnCl2·2H2O precursor with SBA-15 as hard template, and the possible formation mechanisms at different assembling modes inside the ordered mesoporous silica templates are proposed. In addition, SnO2 nanoparticles are synthesized by hydrolysis depositing method. The electrochemical tests of as-prepared samples indicate that the reticular stacking structure of the nanorods would limit the Li+ ions to intercalate, but the effect of volume expansion in this case upon cycling is insignificant. The mesostructure SnO2 tends to be stable after partial structural collapse at first few cycles. And the Li+ ions can readily intercalate and de-intercalate into/from its ordered channels structure, which provides a high capacity and an improved cycle property. Although SnO2 nanoparticles deliver high capacity at an early stage, the agglomeration may induce the capacity to drop rapidly after a certain number of cycles.
Catalyst-free vapor phase transport was applied for the growth of ZnO nanoemitters. A single-crystalline ZnO:Al seed layer was deposited and used as a pseudo-catalyst. The desired morphology of nanostructures can be achieved by means of modifying the growth rates of crystal planes via adjustment in the growth conditions. The field emission characteristics of ZnO nanoemitters satisfied the Fowler-Nordheim relationship. The high aspect ratio of nanoemitters had a low turn-on electric field of 0.18 MV/m at emission current density of 0.1 μA/cm2. A stable electron emission with a variation of less than 14% was measured.
In order to determine the transference of Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bacillaceae) (Bt) insecticidal protein in the food chain, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect Bt insecticidal protein levels in transgenic Bt cotton (GK12, New variety 33B and SGK321), Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) fed on the Bt cotton varieties, and two natural enemies of S. exigua, Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) and Microplitis pallidipes Szépligeti (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). The results showed that Bt insecticidal protein was found not only in cotton leaves, but also in the body and excrement of S. exigua and the bodies of both C. carnea and M. pallidipes. Bt toxin was detected in S. exigua larvae of all the examined instars (second, third, fourth, and fifth) that fed on transgenic cotton varieties and the Bt toxin level was the highest in the body of the second instar. In addition, the Bt toxin content in the excrement of the second instar was lower than that in the older ones. After the natural enemies C. carnea and M. pallidipes preyed/parasitised the S. exigua larvae that fed on transgenic cotton, Bt toxin was found in both the predator and parasite. This research indicates that Bt protein can be transferred through the food chain and to natural enemies of various predatory habits.
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.
Alligatorweed is well known for its potassium (K+)-accumulating
capabilities and its strong resistance to undesired growth conditions. The
results of this study revealed properties of K+ accumulation and
its contribution to drought stress in alligatorweed. In addition, we
attempted to characterize the molecular mechanisms of K+
accumulation in this plant. Alligatorweed plants showed a consistent
increase in biomass in response to external K+ concentrations,
ranging from micromolar levels up to 50 mmol L−1; K+
was also accumulated accordingly in the plants. The stem was the most
K+-accumulating organ, accumulating up to 13% of the
K+. Moreover, this K+ superaccumulation caused
improved resistance to drought stress. The apparent K+ uptake by
the roots showed a typical high-affinity property, and the Michaelis
constant increased at higher rates of plant K+ in the starting
materials. Furthermore, three putative, K+-uptake transporter
complementary DNAs (cDNAs) were isolated from alligatorweed (ApKUP1,
ApKUP2, and ApKUP3, respectively) using
degenerated primers and rapid amplification of cDNA end techniques. The
expression of ApKUP1 and ApKUP3 was
predominately localized to the leaves, whereas ApKUP2 was
expressed throughout the entire plant. The expression of
ApKUP1 and ApKUP3 was stimulated in the
stems and roots when K+ was depleted from the external medium.
Moreover, ApKUP3 expression was enhanced in the stem in
response to abscisic acid treatment and drought stress. In conclusion, our
findings provide further insight into the mechanisms of K+
accumulation linked to K+ uptake in alligatorweed.
In our Spitzer 24 μm survey of hot white dwarfs (WDs) we found 9 WDs with IR excesses, 7 of them are still central stars of planetary nebulae (CSPNs). We have thus carried out a Spitzer archival survey of CSPNs, and found additional objects with IR excesses. To date, a total of 13 CSPNs show IR excesses from Spitzer observations. These mid-IR excesses are indicative of the presence of circumstellar dust, which could be produced by collisions or disruption of sub-planetary objects. To further assess the nature of these IR excesses, we have obtained Spitzer IRS, Gemini NIRI and Michelle, and KPNO 4m echelle spectra of these objects. In this poster, we summarize the spectroscopic observations and discuss the nature of these IR excesses.
Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) are widely used in diets for patients with obesity. To develop a delivery system for suppressing dietary fat accumulation into adipose tissue, MCFA were encapsulated in nanoliposomes (NL), which can overcome the drawbacks of MCFA and keep their properties unchanged. In the present study, crude liposomes were first produced by the thin-layer dispersion method, and then dynamic high-pressure microfluidisation (DHPM) and DHPM combined with freeze–thawing methods were used to prepare MCFA NL (NL-1 and NL-2, respectively). NL-1 exhibited smaller average size (77·6 (sd 4·3) nm), higher zeta potential ( − 40·8 (sd 1·7) mV) and entrapment efficiency (73·3 (sd 16·1) %) and better stability, while NL-2 showed narrower distribution (polydispersion index 0·193 (sd 0·016)). The body fat reduction property of NL-1 and NL-2 were evaluated by short-term (2 weeks) and long-term (6 weeks) experiments of mice. In contrast to the MCFA group, the NL groups had overcome the poor palatability of MCFA because the normal diet of mice was maintained. The body fat and total cholesterol (TCH) of NL-1 (1·54 (sd 0·30) g, P = 0·039 and 2·33 (sd 0·44) mmol/l, P = 0·021, respectively) and NL-2 (1·58 (sd 0·69) g, P = 0·041 and 2·29 (sd 0·38) mmol/l, P = 0·015, respectively) significantly decreased when compared with the control group (2·11 (sd 0·82) g and 2·99 (sd 0·48) mmol/l, respectively). The TAG concentration of the NL-1 group (0·55 (sd 0·14) mmol/l) was remarkably lower (P = 0·045) than the control group (0·94 (sd 0·37) mmol/l). No significant difference in weight and fat gain, TCH and TAG was detected between the MCFA NL and MCFA groups. Therefore, MCFA NL could be potential nutritional candidates for obesity to suppress body fat accumulation.
To identify the disease-causing gene for a large multi-generational Chinese family affected by familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHCM), genome-wide screening was carried out in a Chinese family with FHCM using micro-satellite markers, and linkage analysis was performed using the MLINK program. The disease locus was mapped to 1q32 in this family. Screening for a mutation in the cardiac troponin T (cTnT) gene was performed by a PCR and sequencing was done with an ABI Prism 3700 sequencer. A novel C→G transition located in the ninth exon of the cTnT gene, leading to a predicted amino acid residue change from Ile to Met at codon 90, was identified in all individuals with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The results presented here strongly suggest that Ile90Met, a novel mutation in the cTnT gene, is causative agent of HCM in this family.