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In this work, atomic layer deposition (ALD), as a novel strategy, has been applied to deposit MgO on nano-sized porous Si (pSi) dendrites obtained by etching Al–Si alloy for LIBs. The reversible specific capacity of pSi@MgO electrode is 969.4 mA h/g after 100 cycles at 100 mA/g between 0.01 and 1.5 V, and it presents the discharge specific capacities of 1253.0, 885.5, 642.4, 366.2, and 101.4 mA h/g at 100, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 mA/g, respectively. What is more, it delivers a high reversible capacity of 765.1 mA h/g even at 500 mA/g after 200 cycles. The performance improvement can be attributed to the protection of the MgO layer and built-in space of porous Si for volume expansion upon cycling. These results illustrate that ALD derived coating is a powerful strategy to enhance electrical properties of anode materials with huge volume change for lithium-ion batteries.
Low urinary iodine concentration (UIC) is associated with dyslipidaemia in adults but is not well characterised in adolescents. Because dyslipidaemia is a cardiovascular risk factor, identifying such an association in adolescents would allow for the prescription of appropriate measures to maintain cardiovascular health. The present study addresses this question using data in the 2001–2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 1692 adolescents aged 12–19 years. Primary outcomes were UIC, cardiometabolic risk factors and dyslipidaemia. Data for subjects categorised by low and normal UIC and by sex were analysed by univariate and multivariate logistic regression. Treating UIC as the independent variable, physical activity level, apoB and lipid profiles differed significantly between subjects with low and normal UIC. Subjects with low UIC had a significantly greater risk of elevated total cholesterol (TC) (95 % CI 1·37, 2·81), elevated non-HDL (95 % CI 1·33, 2·76) and elevated LDL (95 % CI 1·83, 4·19) compared with those with normal UIC. Treating UIC as a dependent variable, the risk of low UIC was significantly greater in those with higher apoB (95 % CI 1·52, 19·08), elevated TC (≥4·4mmol/l) (95 % CI 1·37, 2·81) and elevated non-HDL (≥3·11mmol/l) (95 % CI 1·33, 2·76) than in those with normal UIC. These results show that male and female adolescents with low UIC tend to be at greater risk of dyslipidaemia and abnormal cardiometabolic biomarkers, though the specific abnormal parameters differed between sexes. These results may help to identify youth who would benefit from interventions to improve their cardiometabolic risk.
Tactical monitoring and controlling of air traffic is becoming increasingly difficult to manage for Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) owing to an increasingly complex traffic flow. A dynamic tactical complexity model, herein known as Conflict Activity Level (CAL), has been developed and is presented in this paper. This can be achieved either by establishing an overall score for an entire region or sub-regions of interest as specified by user's input location and time. This is done by evaluating the likely aircraft flight shape profile based on its current and projected position and trajectory. From the flight shape profile, CAL values are computed based on instantaneous existing traffic numbers in the overall region or sub-regions of interest. The proposed complexity approach shows good agreement with other methods in terms of ranking the order of complexity of various air traffic scenarios and the key influencing factors contributing to conflict.
MicroRNA (miR)-29b plays a crucial role during somatic cell reprogramming. The aim of the current study was to explore the effects of miR-29b on the developmental competence of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos, as well as the underlying mechanisms of action. The expression level of miR-29b was lower in bovine SCNT embryos at the pronuclear, 8-cell, and blastocyst stages compared with in vitro fertilized embryos. In addition, miR-29b regulates the expression of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmt3a/3b and Dnmt1) in bovine SCNT embryos. We further investigated SCNT embryo developmental competence and found that miR-29b overexpression during bovine SCNT embryonic development does not improve developmental potency and downregulation inhibits developmental potency. Nevertheless, the quality of bovine SCNT embryos at the blastocyst stage improved significantly. The expression of pluripotency factors and cellular proliferation were significantly higher in blastocysts from the miR-29b overexpression group than the control and downregulation groups. In addition, outgrowth potential in blastocysts after miR-29b overexpression was also significantly greater in the miR-29b overexpression group than in the control and downregulation groups. Taken together, these results demonstrated that miR-29b plays an important role in bovine SCNT embryo development.
The number of elderly individuals living in China is increasing rapidly. The aim of this study was to examine the potential risk factors of geriatric depression in rural areas.
A repeated cross-sectional study was conducted between January 2015 and October 2016 in rural China. Nine hundred forty-five elderly individuals were included in both investigations. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) was used to examine the relationships between geriatric depression and socio-demographics, the number of chronic diseases, ADL (Activity of Daily Living) disability, cognitive impairment, and anxiety.
Among the participants, the majority was female (61.4%) and illiterate (81.5%) and had a general economic status (63.0%) and more than two kinds of chronic diseases (62.9%). The bivariate analysis indicated that geriatric depression was associated with social support, education level, economic status, ADL disability, anxiety disorders, and cognitive impairment at both survey time points. The GEE results showed that poor economic status (OR = 8.294, p < 0.001), the presence of more than two chronic diseases (OR = 1.681, p = 0.048), ADL disability (OR = 2.184, p < 0.001), cognitive impairment (OR = 1.921, p < 0.001), and anxiety (OR = 5.434, p < 0.001) were risk factors for geriatric depression in rural China; better social support (OR = 0.924, 95% CI = 0.899–0.949, p < 0.001) was found to be a protective factor.
Geriatric depression in rural China was associated with several socio-demographic, physical, and mental factors. Targeted interventions are essential to improve the psychological health of aged individuals in rural China.
The transition metal compound catalysts have been taken a great part in renewable energy conversion and storage systems. Herein, we report the uniform CoFe2O4 nanoparticles with abundant oxygen vacancies and specific active surface exposed through the simple hydrothermal reaction for improving the electrocatalytic performance and stability. They show good electrocatalytic performance for hydrogen evolution reaction in 0.5 M H2SO4 with an onset potential of 20 mV, the overpotential of 45 mV (at j = 10 mA/cm2), and remarkable long-term stability more than 100 h at different current densities and better oxygen reduction reaction activity with lower overpotential in 0.1 M KOH. Moreover, the home-made primary Zn–air batteries, using CoFe2O4 nanoparticles as an air–cathode display the high open-circuit voltage of 1.47 V and the maximum power density of 142 mW/cm2. The two-series-connected batteries fabricated by CoFe2O4 nanoparticles can support a light-emitting diode to work for more than 48 h.
This paper is devoted to numerical methods for mean-field stochastic differential equations (MSDEs). We first develop the mean-field Itô formula and mean-field Itô-Taylor expansion. Then based on the new formula and expansion, we propose the Itô-Taylor schemes of strong order γ and weak order η for MSDEs, and theoretically obtain the convergence rate γ of the strong Itô-Taylor scheme, which can be seen as an extension of the well-known fundamental strong convergence theorem to the mean-field SDE setting. Finally some numerical examples are given to verify our theoretical results.
Robotic hands use rolling contact to manipulate a grasped object to a desired location, even when the finger and the palm linkage mechanisms lack degrees of freedom. This paper presents a systematic approach to the forward and inverse kinematics of in-hand manipulation. The moving frame method in differential geometry is integrated into the product of exponential formula to establish a pure geometric framework of the kinematics of a robot hand. The forward and inverse kinematics of a multifingered hand are obtained in terms of the joint rates and contact trajectories. A two-fingered planar robot hand and a three-fingered spatial robot hand are used to demonstrate the proposed approach. The proposed formulation amounts to solving a univariate polynomial, providing an alternative to the existing ones that require numerical integration.
The earliest fossil record of animal biomineralization occurs in the latest Ediacaran Period (c. 550 Ma). Cloudina and Sinotubulites are two important tubular taxa among these earliest skeletal fossils. The evolutionary fate of Cloudina-type fossils across the Ediacaran–Cambrian transition, however, remains poorly understood. Here we report a multi-layered tubular microfossil Feiyanella manica gen. et sp. nov. from a phosphorite interval of the lowest Cambrian Kuanchuanpu Formation, southern Shaanxi Province, South China. This newly discovered fossil is a conical tube with a ‘funnel-in-funnel’ construction, showing profound morphological similarities to Cloudina and Conotubus. On the other hand, the outer few layers, and particularly the outermost layer, of Feiyanella tubes are regularly to irregularly corrugated, a feature strikingly similar to the variably folded/wrinkled tube walls of Sinotubulites. The Feiyanella tubes additionally exhibit two orders of dichotomous branching, similar to branching structures reported occasionally in Cloudina and possibly indicative of asexual reproduction. Owing to broad similarities in tube morphology, tube wall construction and features presumably indicative of asexual reproduction, Cloudina, Conotubus, Sinotubulites and the here described Feiyanella may thus constitute a monophyletic group traversing the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary. The tube construction and palaeoecological strategy of Feiyanella putatively indicate evolutionary continuity in morphology and palaeoecology of benthic metazoan communities across the Ediacaran–Cambrian transition.
Changes in soil chemistry in response to varying climatic regimes can alter the equilibria of soil systems and result in different clay minerals. Variations in phyllosilicate clay composition can reflect temporal and spatial climatic changes, such as summer/winter monsoon cycles. The objective of this research was to investigate the mineralogy of the clay fractions as a proxy for determining variations in the East Asian monsoon climate, based on a section at Chaoyang in China spanning the last 0.423 Ma BP. The clay mineralogy record in the Chaoyang section was compared with other proxies as recorded in this section and with other palaeoclimatic indicators, including oxygen isotopes from oceanic sediments and loess–palaeosol sections on the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). The results from clay mineralogy and related climatic studies show that the summer monsoon has a trend of four increased stages and four decreased stages; whereas the winter monsoon displays the opposite trend. During the last 0.423 Ma BP, the strongest winter monsoon occurred around 0.243–0.311 Ma BP. During this period, which included an intense winter monsoon, the soil in the section had the least illite, one of the smallest kaolinite and illite/Chlorite (I/C) indices and an overall decreasing clay content. The period 0.225–0.243 Ma BP had the strongest summer monsoon over the last 0.423 Ma BP. This period had the greatest amount of illite, the highest I/C index, greater overall clay content and the strongest magnetic susceptibility signal. Additionally, this section contained the smallest mean grain size. The multi-monsoon climate cycles of alternating cold-dry and warm-moist conditions as recorded in the Chaoyang section corresponded well with multiple glaciation cycles based on deep sea sediments. This indicates that the Chaoyang section provides a record of palaeoclimate changes in northeast China that can be linked to mineralogical suites to assist in reconstructing the palaeoclimate over the Late Middle Pleistocene, and complements the global palaeoclimate records in the CLP.
In this study, the effects of Ag variations on dynamic recrystallization (DRX), texture, and mechanical properties of ultrafine-grained Mg–3Al–1Zn alloys are investigated. The results suggest that Ag segregation and Al–Zn–Ag clusters form in the Mg matrix with Ag addition less than 1 wt%, which retard DRX and the growth of the DRXed grains. The resulting grain size decreases from 513 to 316 nm. As the Ag addition increases to 2 wt%, the Mg54Ag17 phase precipitates along the grain boundary, which plays an important role in restricting DRXed grain growth via grain boundary pinning effect. The resulting grain size is 375 nm with a bimodal grain size distribution. The extrusion texture of the investigated alloys is in fairly scattered orientation distribution. The weak basal texture and ultrafine grain size lead to the high yield asymmetry ratio. The Ag-containing extruded alloys exhibit an increase in the tensile and compressive properties. The strengthening mechanisms due to grain refinement, dislocations, solid solution, precipitates, solute clusters, and segregation are discussed.
Apart from the well-known action of insulin, the mechanism by which soya and cows’ milk improve postprandial glycaemia control was examined. In total, twelve healthy, young, Chinese men were studied on three separate occasions, in random order with isovolumetric (322 ml) control water, soya milk and cows’ milk. Plasma total amino acid concentrations increased 30 min after test meals consumption and were higher after soya milk (230 %) and cow milk (240 %) consumption compared with water. Cows’ milk ingestion induced higher branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) (40 %) than soya milk. Postprandial incretin concentrations increased after meal consumption. Cows’ milk meal was accompanied by higher incremental AUC (iAUC) (170 %) for glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) compared with soya milk and control (P=0·06). However, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) concentrations increased to significantly greater levels after soya milk consumption (iAUC 60 % higher) compared with cows’ milk and control. Consumption of both soya and cows’ milk with carbohydrates induced a similar reduction in glycaemic response through a different mechanism, beyond insulin action. Plasma amino acids (alanine and arginine), and incretins in particular (GIP was stimulated), may be involved in the hyperinsulinaemia after soya milk meals. However, BCAA and GLP-1 release may be responsible for the reduced glycaemia after cows’ milk consumption by delaying gastric emptying. This could be the result of different milk protein/amino acid composition, but also differences in milk carbohydrate composition (i.e. lactose v. sucrose). It can be concluded that soya milk is a good alternative to cows’ milk with regard to glycaemic regulation, with different mechanisms involved.
The effect of electropulsing assisted ultrasonic surface modification (EUSM) on microstructure and surface properties of S50C steel welded components is investigated. Compared with conventional ultrasonic surface modification (USM) process, EUSM process achieves significant improvements in microstructure, including deeper strengthened layers and gradient microstructure on the surface. The EUSM-induced microstructure results in higher levels of surface compressive residual stress and greater surface microhardness and its effective depth. Conventional USM process is inevitably accompanied by some plastic damages, such as pit and crack defects. The damages, however, can be eliminated to some extent during the EUSM process. These enhancements may be attributed to the thermal and athermal effects caused by electropulsing treatment, which accelerates the mobility of dislocations in the dynamic recrystallization process.
Semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN) and fully interpenetrating polymer network (full-IPN) hydrogels composed of sodium alginate (SA) and N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) were prepared with Ca2+ and N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide (BIS) as the cross-linkers, respectively. The influence of the SA content and crosslinking degree of alginate on thermosensitive, swelling, mechanical, morphological, and thermal properties was investigated in detail. The hydrogels obtained exhibited obvious thermosensitivity and rapid swelling rate. The presence of Ca2+ contributed to the improvement of mechanical properties obviously, without altering the thermosensitivity and network porosity of the hydrogels significantly. The compressive strength of full-IPN hydrogel was improved considerably, while the tensile strength was increased by 308.5% than semi-IPN hydrogel. The Tg of full-IPN dried hydrogel ran up to 142.9 °C with respect to 97.3 °C of pure PNIPAAm, and the improvement indicated that hydrogel with more compact structure was prepared.
A defect in the intestinal barrier is one of the characteristics of Crohn's disease (CD). The tight junction (TJ) changes and death of epithelial cells caused by intestinal inflammation play an important role in the development of CD. DHA, a long-chain PUFA, has been shown to be helpful in treating inflammatory bowel disease in experimental models by inhibiting the NF-κB pathway. The present study aimed at investigating the specific effect of DHA on the intestinal barrier function in IL-10-deficient mice. IL-10-deficient mice (IL-10− / −) at 16 weeks of age with established colitis were treated with DHA (i.g. 35·5 mg/kg per d) for 2 weeks. The severity of their colitis, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, epithelial gene expression, the distributions of TJ proteins (occludin and zona occludens (ZO)-1), and epithelial apoptosis in the proximal colon were measured at the end of the experiment. DHA treatment attenuated the established colitis and was associated with reduced infiltration of inflammatory cells in the colonic mucosa, lower mean histological scores and decreased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-17, TNF-α and interferon-γ). Moreover, enhanced barrier function was observed in the DHA-treated mice that resulted from attenuated colonic permeability, rescued expression and corrected distributions of occludin and ZO-1. The results of the present study indicate that DHA therapy may ameliorate experimental colitis in IL-10− / − mice by improving the intestinal epithelial barrier function.
Purpose: To further understand genetic factors that contribute to congenital cataracts, we sought to identify early post-twinning mutational and epigenetic events that may account for the discordant phenotypes of a twin pair. Methods: A patient with a congenital cataract and her twin sister were assessed for genetic factors that might contribute to their discordant phenotypes by mutation screening of 11 candidate genes (CRYGC, CRYGD, CRYAA, CRYAB, CRYBA1, CRYBB1, CRYBB2, MIP, HSF4, GJA3, and GJA8), exome analysis followed by Sanger sequencing of 10 additional candidate genes (PLEKHO2, FRYL, RBP3, P2RX2, GSR, TRAM1, VEGFA, NARS2, CADPS, and TEKT4), and promoter methylation analysis of five representative genes (TRAM1, CRYAA, HSF4, VEGFA, GJA3, DCT) plus one additional candidate gene (FTL). Results: Mutation screening revealed no gene mutation differences between the patient and her twin sister for the 11 candidate genes. Exome sequencing analysis revealed variations between the twins in 442 genes, 10 of which are expressed in the eye. However, these differential variants could not be confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Furthermore, epigenetic discordance was not detected in the twin pair. Conclusions: The genomic DNA mutational and epigenetic events assessed in this study could not explain the discordance in the development of phenotypic differences between the twin pair, suggesting the possible involvement of somatic mutations or environmental factors. Identification of possible causes requires further research.
The objective of the present study was to determine the glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) values of standard portion sizes of Southeast Asian traditional foods. A total of fifteen popular Southeast Asian foods were evaluated. Of these foods, three were soft drinks, while the other twelve were solid foods commonly consumed in this region. In total, forty-seven healthy participants (eighteen males and twenty-nine females) volunteered to consume either glucose at least twice or one of the fifteen test foods after a 10–12 h overnight fast. Blood glucose concentrations were analysed before consumption of the test food, and 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 min after food consumption, using capillary blood samples. The GI value of each test food was calculated by expressing the incremental area under the blood glucose response curve (IAUC) value of the test food as a percentage of each participant's average IAUC value, with glucose as the reference food. Among the fifteen foods tested, six belonged to low-GI foods (Ice Green Tea, Beehoon, Pandan Waffle, Curry Puff, Youtiao and Kaya Butter Toast), three belonged to medium-GI foods (Barley Drink, Char Siew Pau and Nasi Lemak), and the other six belonged to high-GI foods (Ice Lemon Tea, Chinese Carrot Cake, Chinese Yam Cake, Chee Cheong Fun, Lo Mai Gai and Pink Rice Cake). The GI and GL values of these traditional foods provide valuable information to consumers, researchers and dietitians on the optimal food choice for glycaemic control. Moreover, our dataset provides GI values of fifteen foods that were not previously tested extensively, and it presents values of foods commonly consumed in Southeast Asia.
Mesoporous Fe3O4 nanoparticles coated with ZnO nanocrystals were successfully synthesized by a simple solution method at low temperature. The transmission electron microscopy analysis indicates that the mesoporous Fe3O4 nanoparticles are monodispersed with a mean diameter of 160 nm and the thickness of ZnO layer is 15 nm approximately. The porosity of the products was further substantiated by the nitrogen (N2) sorption measurement. The N2 adsorption-desorption isotherm curve can be identified as type IV, which is a characteristic of mesopores. Electromagnetic (EM) wave absorption properties of the as-prepared Fe3O4@ZnO mesoporous spheres-wax composites were investigated at a room temperature in the frequency range of 0.5∼18 GHz. Interestingly, the Fe3O4@ZnO mesoporous spheres exhibit an enhanced EM wave absorption due to the mesoporous structure. The multiple absorbing mechanisms result from the interface polarization induced by the special core/shell and mesoporous structures as well as dipole polarization of both Fe3O4 and ZnO. The results demonstrate that the Fe3O4@ZnO mesoporous spheres are attractive candidates for a new kind of EM wave absorption materials with wide absorption frequency band.