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Combining optics and microfluidics to create a portable optofluidic photonic crystal (PhC) biosensor is an approach with promising applications in the fields of counter-terrorism, agricultural sciences, and health sciences. Presented here are fabrication processes of a gallium nitride (GaN)-based PhC biosensor with a resonance-enhanced fluorescence detection mechanism that shows potential for meeting the single molecule detection requirements of these application areas. GaN is being targeted as the photonic crystal slab material for two main reasons: its transparency in the visible spectral range, within which the excitation and emission wavelengths of the commercial fluorescent-labeling dyes fall, and its intrinsic thermal stability which provides an increased flexibility of operating in different environments. Optical modeling efforts indicate a 25-fold enhancement of the fluorescent emission in this portable fluorescentbased PhC biosensor.
While assessing the environmental impact of nuclear power plants, researchers have focused their attention on radiocarbon (14C) owing to its high mobility in the environment and important radiological impact on human beings. The 10 MW high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR-10) is the first pebble-bed gas-cooled test reactor in China that adopted helium as primary coolant and graphite spheres containing tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) coated particles as fuel elements. A series of experiments on the 14C source terms in HTR-10 was conducted: (1) measurement of the specific activity and distribution of typical nuclides in the irradiated graphite spheres from the core, (2) measurement of the activity concentration of 14C in the primary coolant, and (3) measurement of the amount of 14C discharged in the effluent from the stack. All experimental data on 14C available for HTR-10 were summarized and analyzed using theoretical calculations. A sensitivity study on the total porosity, open porosity, and percentage of closed pores that became open after irradiating the matrix graphite was performed to illustrate their effects on the activity concentration of 14C in the primary coolant and activity amount of 14C in various deduction routes.
Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei is the largest urban agglomeration in northern China, but the spatiotemporal patterns and risk factors concerning hepatitis B virus (HBV) incidence in this area have been unclear. The present study aimed to reveal the spatiotemporal epidemiological features of HBV infection and quantify the association between HBV infection and socio-economic risk factors. The data on HBV cases in Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei from 2007 to 2012 was collected for each county. The Bayesian space–time hierarchy model and the GeoDetector method were used to reveal spatiotemporal patterns and detect risk factors. High-risk regions were mainly distributed in the underdeveloped rural areas in the north and mid-south of the study region, while low-risk regions were mainly distributed in the urban and western areas. The HBV annual incidence rate decreased substantially over the 6-year period, dropping from 7.34/105 to 5.51/105. Compared with this overall trend, 38.5% of high-risk counties showed a faster decrease, and 35.9% of high-risk counties exhibited a slower decrease. Meanwhile, 29.7% of low-risk counties had a faster decrease, and 44.6% of low-risk counties exhibited a slower decrease. Socio-economic factors were strongly associated with the spatiotemporal patterns and variation. The population density and gross domestic product per capita were negatively associated with HBV transmission, with determinant powers of 0.17 and 0.12, respectively. The proportion of primary industry and the number of healthcare workers were positively associated with the disease incidence, with determinant powers of 0.11 and 0.8, respectively. The interactive effect between population density and the other factors exerted a greater influence on HBV transmission than that of these factors measured independently.
Marteilia refringens causes marteiliosis in oysters, mussels and other bivalve molluscs. This parasite previously comprised two species, M. refringens and Marteilia maurini, which were synonymized in 2007 and subsequently referred to as M. refringens ‘O-type’ and ‘M-type’. O-type has caused mass mortalities of the flat oyster Ostrea edulis. We used high throughput sequencing and histology to intensively screen flat oysters and mussels (Mytilus edulis) from the UK, Sweden and Norway for infection by both types and to generate multi-gene datasets to clarify their genetic distinctiveness. Mussels from the UK, Norway and Sweden were more frequently polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive for M-type (75/849) than oysters (11/542). We did not detect O-type in any northern European samples, and no histology-confirmed Marteilia-infected oysters were found in the UK, Norway and Sweden, even where co-habiting mussels were infected by the M-type. The two genetic lineages within ‘M. refringens’ are robustly distinguishable at species level. We therefore formally define them as separate species: M. refringens (previously O-type) and Marteilia pararefringens sp. nov. (M-type). We designed and tested new Marteilia-specific PCR primers amplifying from the 3’ end of the 18S rRNA gene through to the 5.8S gene, which specifically amplified the target region from both tissue and environmental samples.
Previous studies showed that spermine could protect the organism from oxidative damage in vivo. However, in vivo information on the antioxidant-related underlying molecular mechanism of spermine is limited. In this experiment, we further evaluated the effects of spermine supplementation and extended spermine administration on the antioxidant status and antioxidant-related signaling molecules gene expression in the liver and longissimus dorsi of piglets. A total of 80 piglets were randomly distributed to two groups, that is, those with adequate nutrient intake administrated with spermine (0.4 mmol/kg BW) or those with restricted nutrient intake supplemented by saline. The piglets were fed in pairs for 7 h or 3, 6, or 9 days. The results are as follows: (1) spermine can promote the antioxidant capacity by increasing enzymatic antioxidant capacity, glutathione content and clearance of oxygen radicals; (2) spermine significantly increased the mRNA levels of enzymatic antioxidant substances, NF-E2-related nuclear factor 2, Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1, and the mammalian target of rapamycin but decreased the mRNA levels of ribosomal p70 S6 kinase in the liver and longissimus dorsi of the piglets.
The primary objective of this study was to investigate the effect of dietary fiber on methanogenic diversity and community composition in the hindgut of indigenous Chinese Lantang gilts to explain the unexpected findings reported earlier that Lantang gilts fed low-fiber diet (LFD) produced more methane than those fed high-fiber diet (HFD). In total, 12 Lantang gilts (58.7±0.37 kg) were randomly divided into two dietary groups (six replicates (pigs) per group) and fed either LFD (NDF=201.46 g/kg) or HFD (NDF=329.70 g/kg). Wheat bran was the main source of fiber for the LFD, whereas ground rice hull (mixture of rice hull and rice bran) was used for the HFD. Results showed that the methanogens in the hindgut of Lantang gilts belonged to four known species (Methanobrevibacter ruminantium, Methanobrevibacter wolinii, Methanosphaera stadtmanae and Methanobrevibacter smithii), with about 89% of the methanogens belonging to the genus Methanobrevibacter. The 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene copies of Methanobrevibacter were more than three times higher (P<0.05) for gilts fed LFD (3.31×109 copies/g dry matter (DM)) than gilts fed HFD (1.02×109 copies/g DM). No difference (P>0.05) was observed in 16S rRNA gene copies of Fibrobacter succinogenes between the two dietary groups, and 18S rRNA gene copies of anaerobic fungi in gilts fed LFD were lower than (P<0.05) those fed HFD. To better explain the effect of different fiber source on the methanogen community, a follow-up in vitro fermentation using a factorial design comprised of two inocula (prepared from hindgut content of gilts fed two diets differing in their dietary fiber)×four substrates (LFD, HFD, wheat bran, ground rice hull) was conducted. Results of the in vitro fermentation confirmed that the predominant methanogens belonged to the genus of Methanobrevibacter, and about 23% methanogens was found to be distantly related (90%) to Thermogymnomonas acidicola. In vitro fermentation also seems to suggest that fiber source did change the methanogens community. Although the density of Methanobrevibacter species was positively correlated with CH4 production in both in vivo (P<0.01, r=0.737) and in vitro trials (P<0.05, r=0.854), which could partly explain the higher methane production from gilts fed LFD compared with those in the HFD group. Further investigation is needed to explain how the rice hull affected the methanogens and inhibited CH4 emission from gilts fed HFD.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) has caused public health concerns worldwide. We aimed to investigate the effect of meteorological factors on the HFMD epidemic in Qingdao, a port city in China. A total of 78641 cases were reported in Qingdao between January 2007 and December 2014. Of those, 71084 (90·39%) occurred in children aged 0–5 years, with an incidence of 1691·2/100000. The incidence increased from early spring, peaked between spring and summer, and decreased in late summer. Aetiological agents in all severe cases and selected mild cases were characterized by examining throat swabs. Except for enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16), other EVs caused >50% of the HFMD cases between 2011 and 2014. EV71 was more frequent in the off-peak months than in the peak months and prone to causing more severe cases compared to CA16 (χ2 = 46·3, P < 0·001). CA10 caused more severe HFMD than did CA6 (χ2 = 20·49, P < 0·001) and all non-CA10 EVs (χ2 = 41·01, P < 0·001). Community-derived HFMD cases accounted for 65·11%. Spearman rank correlation analysis showed that HFMD incidence in children aged 0–5 years was positively correlated with atmospheric temperature (rs = 0·77, P < 0·001), relative humidity (rs = 0·507, P < 0·001), and precipitation (rs = 0·328, P < 0·001). Climate changes and CA10 surveillance in communities should be integrated into the current prophylactic programme.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease that was caused by a novel bunyavirus, SFTSV. The study aimed to disclose the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of SFTSV infection in China so far. An integrated clinical database comprising 1920 SFTS patients was constructed by combining first-hand clinical information collected from SFTS sentinel hospitals (n = 1159) and extracted data (n = 761) from published literature. The considered variables comprised clinical manifestations, routine laboratory tests of acute infection, hospitalization duration and disease outcome. SFTSV-IgG data from 19 119 healthy subjects were extracted from the published papers. The key clinical variables, case-fatality rate (CFR) and seroprevalence were estimated by meta-analysis. The most commonly seen clinical manifestations of SFTSV infection were fever, anorexia, myalgia, chill and lymphadenopathy. The major laboratory findings were elevated lactate dehydrogenase, aminotransferase, followed by thrombocytopenia, lymphocytopenia, elevated alanine transaminase and creatine kinase. A CFR of 12·2% was estimated, significantly higher than that obtained from national reporting data, but showing no geographical difference. In our paper, the mortality rate was about 1·9 parts per million. Older age and longer delay to hospitalization were significantly associated with fatal outcome. A pooled seroprevalence of 3·0% was obtained, which increased with age, while comparable for gender. This study represents a clinical characterization on the largest group of SFTS patients up to now. A higher than expected CFR was obtained. A wider spectrum of clinical index was suggested to be used to identify SFTSV infection, while the useful predictor for fatal outcome was found to be restricted.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is an acute contagious condition caused by a spectrum of human enteroviruses. HFMD reinfection is common in the absence of cross-protection from other virus subtypes. This study focused on reinfection in children in Anhui province, China between 2008 and 2013 using surveillance system data. We classified 8960 cases as reinfected, corresponding to a rate of 2·02%. The reinfection rate was higher in boys than in girls [odds ratio (OR) 1·27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·21–1·32, P < 0·001], children aged < 3 years (OR 3·82, 95% CI 3·58–4·07, P < 0·001), and children living in rural areas (OR 1·09, 95% CI 1·04–1·14, P = 0·001). The reinfection rate in children who were originally infected with non-enterovirus A71 (non-EVA71) enteroviruses was higher than those infected with EVA71 (OR 1·36, 95% CI 1·02–1·80, P = 0·034). Influential factors of reinfection rate included annual incidence (β coefficient = 0·715, P = 0·002) and the proportion of EVA71 in patients with mild HFMD (β coefficient = −0·509, P = 0·018). These results demonstrate that boys aged <3 years, especially those in rural areas or regions with a lower EVA71 proportion are more prone to reinfection, and specific health education programmes should be developed to protect these susceptible populations.
Flat grain beetles of the genus Cryptolestes (Coleoptera: Laemophloeidae) are one of the economically most important stored-product pests which feed on many kinds of agricultural products, especially grains. Nine of more than 40 described Cryptolestes species are recognized as stored-product pests and two of the pest species have a cosmopolitan distribution. Given the rapid growth in global trade of food products, ecological barriers to the spread of pests are easily overcome. Therefore, development of reliable systems for routine quarantine inspection and early infestation detection is vital. In the present study, we established a new rapid and accurate cytochrome c oxidase subunit I-based system for molecular identification of five common stored-product Cryptolestes species, namely, Cryptolestes capensis, Cryptolestes ferrugineus, Cryptolestes pusilloides, Cryptolestes pusillus and Cryptolestes turcicus. Five species-specific primer pairs for traditional uniplex polymerase chain reaction assay are described and their specificity and sensitivity for the identification process is evaluated using larval samples of 12 different populations from three continents (Asia, Europe and North America).
Mesa and planar geometry GaN Schottky rectifiers were fabricated on 3-12µm thick epitaxial layers. In planar diodes utilizing resistive GaN, a reverse breakdown voltage of 3.1 kV was achieved in structures containing p-guard rings and employing extension of the Schottky contact edge over an oxide layer. In devices without edge termination, the reverse breakdown voltage was 2.3 kV. Mesa diodes fabricated on conducting GaN had breakdown voltages in the range 200-400 V, with on-state resistances as low as 6m Ω·cm−2.
GaN implanted with donor(Si, S, Se, Te) or acceptor (Be, Mg, C) species was annealed at 900-1500 °C using AlN encapsulation. No redistribution was measured by SIMS for any of the dopants and effective diffusion coefficients are ≤2 × 10−13 cm2. s−1 at 1400 °C, except Be, which displays damage-enhanced diffusion at 900 °C and is immobile once the point defect concentration is removed. Activation efficiency of ∼90% is obtained for Si at 1400 °C. TEM of the implanted material shows a strong reduction in lattice disorder at 1400-1500 °C compared to previous results at 1100 °C. There is minimal interaction of the sputtered AlN with GaN under our conditions, and it is readily removed selectively with KOH.
Different ions (Ti+, O+, Fe+, Cr+) were implanted at multiple energies into GaN field effect transistor structures (n and p-type). The implantation was found to create deep states with energy levels in the range EC −0.20 to 0.49 eV in n-GaN and at EV +0.44 eV in p-GaN after annealing at 450-650 °C. The sheet resistance of the GaN was at a maximum after annealing at these temperatures, reaching values of ∼4×1012 Ω/□ in n-GaN and ∼1010 Ω/□ in p-GaN. The mechanism for the implant isolation was damage-related trap formation for all of the ions investigated, and there was no evidence of chemically induced isolation.
To study the activation of caspase-9 and its potential influence in conditioning, longissimus thoracis (LT), semitendinosus (STN) and psoas minor (PMi) muscles were used to analyze the ratio of pro-apoptotic bax to anti-apoptotic bcl-2 in fresh tissues and observe the changes in ATP, cytosolic cytochrome c and caspase-9 activity levels during storage at 4°C. Caspase-9 activity at 5 h is higher than the activity at 0 and 24 h in the muscles (P<0.001). The ATP content decreased between 0 and 3 h, between 8 and 14 h in the PMi and LT muscles (P<0.0001), whereas between 0 and 5 h, between 8 and 14 h in the STN muscle (P<0.0001). There is 60.2%, 55.3% and 43.1% available ATP in the STN, LT and PMi muscles at 5 h, respectively. The cytosolic cytochrome c level increased during 5 and 24 h storage in the LT and PMi muscles (P<0.0001), during 5 and 96 h in the STN muscle (P<0.0001). The cytosolic cytochrome c at 24 h (P<0.001) and ratio of bax to bcl-2 (P<0.05) was higher in the PMi than in other muscles. We concluded that the increase in cytosolic cytochrome c and available intracellular ATP should be responsible for the increase in caspase-9 activity; the activation of caspase-9 could be limited by the subsequent depletion of ATP; the postmortem release level of cytochrome c could be determined by the ratio of bax to bcl-2 in fresh tissues.
We present the studies of Terahertz (THz) Semiconductor-Insulator-Semiconductor (SIS) Planar Plasmonic waveguide of Indium Antimonide (InSb) with cavities along the waveguide acting as resonator. The Surface Plasmon Polariton (SPP) modes were confined in the SI interface and resonance behavior and filtering functionality of the device were demonstrated. The transmission characteristic of the structure depends on the interference effects between the SPP mode passing through the cavity and the one returning from the cavity. These effects were observed by studying the transmission from the SIS waveguide as a function of frequency and cavity length and proving analytically using the analogy with microwave transmission line network. Furthermore, we present the SIS cavity resonator’s transmission characteristics which vary with changes in the dielectric constant of the insulator region. Such a study was proposed to incorporate in the structure for sensing of biomolecules in THz region.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
Carbonaceous cosmic dust is mainly observed through infrared spectroscopy either in
absorption or in emission. Laboratory soot analogues of this interstellar or circumstellar
dust were produced in fuel-rich, low-pressure, premixed and flat, flames. The particles
were investigated by infrared absorption spectroscopy in the 2–15 μm
spectral region. The details of the spectral features shed some light on the structure of
the material and enable the study of its life cycle. In particular, the 8
μm band position is tentatively attributed to defects at the edge or in
the polyaromatic units of the materials, revealing these structural changes in