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Southern China is affected by multi-stage tectonic activities, with strong fold deformation, complex fault systems and poor shale gas preservation conditions. Here, we used shale samples from the lower Silurian Longmaxi shale in the complex tectonic area of Southern China, to study the relationship between differential structural deformation, and pore structure and adsorption capacity. According to the deformation mechanism of the shale, it is further divided into brittle-slip rheological deformation (BD) and ductile-slip rheological deformation (DD). The results show that all micro-fractures can be observed under scanning electron microscopy in deformed shale samples, but in shale samples with different types of rheological deformation, the micro-fractures have large differences in scale, fracture length and lateral connectivity. The micro-fractures developed in DD shales are small in scale and short in fracture length, but have strong local connectivity. In contrast, brittle minerals are more developed in BD shales, and interlayer shearing has formed micro-fractures with large fracture length and good lateral connectivity, which is beneficial for later fracturing. In these two types of deformed shales, pores in organic matter are rare, and sporadic organic pores have small pore size and poor connectivity. The total pore volume (1.8–2.4 × 10−2 cm3 g–1) of BD shale samples is higher than that of DD shale samples (0.8–1.6 × 10−2 cm3 g–1). There is a positive correlation between total pore volume and quartz content. In addition, the specific surface area (12–18 m2 g–1) of DD shale samples is larger than that of BD shale samples (6–12 m2 g–1).
The link between schizophrenia and cigarette smoking has been well established through observational studies. However, the cause–effect relationship remains unclear.
We conducted Mendelian randomisation analyses to assess any causal relationship between genetic variants related to four smoking-related traits and the risk of schizophrenia.
We performed a two-sample Mendelian randomisation using summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of smoking-related traits and schizophrenia (7711 cases, 18 327 controls) in East Asian populations. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) correlated with smoking behaviours (smoking initiation, smoking cessation, age at smoking initiation and quantity of smoking) were investigated in relation to schizophrenia using the inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method. Further sensitivity analyses, including Mendelian randomisation-Egger (MR-Egger), weighted median estimates and leave-one-out analysis, were used to test the consistency of the results.
The associated SNPs for the four smoking behaviours were not significantly associated with schizophrenia status. Pleiotropy did not inappropriately affect the results.
Cigarette smoking is a complex behaviour in people with schizophrenia. Understanding factors underlying the observed association remains important; however, our findings do not support a causal role of smoking in influencing risk of schizophrenia.
The various vision-based tactile sensors have been developed for robotic perception in recent years. In this paper, the novel soft robotic finger embedded with the visual sensor is proposed for perception. It consists of a colored soft inner chamber, an outer structure, and an endoscope camera. The bending perception algorithm based on image preprocessing and deep learning is proposed. The boundary of color regions and the position of marker dots are extracted from the inner chamber image and label image, respectively. Then the convolutional neural network with multi-task learning is trained to obtain bending states of the finger. Finally, the experiments are implemented to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method.
The plasma in the scrape-off layer (SOL) has an important effect on the coupling of the waves in the ion cyclotron range of frequencies (ICRF). The high-frequency B-dot (HFB) probes have been installed to investigate the behaviour of ICRF waves on EAST. The fast and slow ICRF wave field amplitudes are measured and a domain parallel wavenumber is deduced. Results of measurements on a test experimental platform and EAST experiments are presented, which include vacuum and plasma situations. In vacuum it is found that field amplitudes increase linearly with ICRF power. Besides, during plasma operation, field amplitudes measured were decreased by an order of magnitude and no linear relation with power was observed. Fast and slow wave power densities fluctuate strongly with plasma density. The experimental results in the laboratory coincide with the simulation results and allow for validating of the measurement method.
Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM) provides an integrity service for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). The conventional RAIM algorithm is based on the assumption of a single fault and typically uses the forward-backward method, which is based on the w-test or correlation analysis methods, to exclude the faults. It is suitable for single fault detection and exclusion, while it can lead to inefficiency, can be misleading and can even fail in the exclusion of multiple faults. To solve this problem, an improved method based on consensus voting of the w-test and correlation analysis methods is presented. To verify the performance of the improved method, tests using Global Positioning System (GPS)/BeiDou System (BDS) data have been carried out in comparison with the conventional methods in terms of false and correct faults exclusion rate and computational complexity in the case of a different number of faults. Results show that the improved method has almost the same correct exclusion rate compared to the conventional RAIM in the case of a single fault. It is worth noting that the improved method has a higher correct exclusion probability and computational efficiency as well as a lower possibility of false exclusion in the case of multiple faults.
Ring artifacts are undesirable and complicate the analysis and interpretation of microstructures in synchrotron X-ray microtomography. Here, we propose a new method to improve the image quality of an object by removing the ring artifacts and investigate the efficiency of this process with tomographic images of a dried Tenebrio molitor. In this method, before the tomographic reconstruction, ring artifacts were identified and located in the sinograms as line artifacts. Then, the identified line artifacts were corrected as single point noise via image processing of the original projections. Eventually, the corresponding line artifacts were removed, resulting in reduced ring artifacts in the reconstructed tomographic images. Simulations verified the efficiency of the proposed method. This method was successfully applied for the structural analysis of the insect T. molitor, showing superior performance in reducing ring artifacts in the tomographic image without noticeable loss of structural information.
Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and major depressive disorder
(MDD) are likely to be caused by multiple susceptibility genes, each with
small effects in increasing the risk of illness. Identifying DNA variants
associated with schizophrenia and MDD is a crucial step in understanding
the pathophysiology of these disorders.
To investigate whether the SP4 gene plays a significant
role in schizophrenia or MDD in the Han Chinese population.
We focused on nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) harbouring the
SP4 gene and carried out case–control studies in 1235
patients with schizophrenia, 1045 patients with MDD and 1235 healthy
controls recruited from the Han Chinese population.
We found that rs40245 was significantly associated with schizophrenia in
both allele and genotype distributions (Pallele = 0.0005, Pallele = 0.004 after Bonferroni correction; Pgenotype = 0.0023, Pgenotype = 0.0184 after Bonferroni correction). The rs6461563
SNP was significantly associated with schizophrenia in the allele
distributions (Pallele = 0.0033, Pallele = 0.0264 after Bonferroni correction).
Our results suggest that common risk factors in the SP4
gene are associated with schizophrenia, although not with MDD, in the Han
Fractures are important for shale-gas reservoirs with low matrix porosity because they increase the effective reservoir space and migration pathways for shale gas, thus favouring an increased volume of free gas and the adsorption of gases in shale reservoirs, and they increase the specific surface area of gas-bearing shales which improves the adsorption capacity. We discuss the characteristics and dominant factors of fracture development in a continental organic matter-rich shale reservoir bed in the Yanchang Formation based on observations and descriptions of fracture systems in outcrops, drilling cores, cast-thin sections and polished sections of black shale from the Upper Triassic Yanchang Formation in the SE Ordos Basin; detailed characteristics and parameters of fractures; analyses and tests of corresponding fracture segment samples; and the identification of fracture segments with normal logging. The results indicate that the mineral composition of the continental organic-matter-rich shale in the Yanchang Formation is clearly characterized by a low brittle mineral content and high clay mineral content relative to marine shale in the United States and China and Mesozoic continental shale in other basins. The total content of brittle minerals, such as quartz and feldspar, is c. 41%, with quartz and feldspar accounting for 22% and 19% respectively, and mainly occurring as plagioclase with small amounts of carbonate rocks. The total content of clay minerals is high at up to 52%, and mainly occurs as a mixed layer of illite-smectite (I/S) which accounts for more than 58% of the total clay mineral content. The Upper Triassic Yanchang Formation developed two groups of fracture (joint) systems: a NW–SE-trending system and near-E–W-trending system. Multiple types of fractures are observed, and they are mainly horizontal bedding seams and low-dip-angle structural fractures. Micro-fractures are primarily observed in or along organic matter bands. Shale fractures were mainly formed during Late Jurassic – late Early Cretaceous time under superimposed stress caused by regional WNW–ESE-trending horizontal compressive stress and deep burial effects. The extent of fracture development was mainly influenced by multiple factors (tectonic factors and non-tectonic factors) such as the lithology, rock mechanical properties, organic matter abundance and brittle mineral composition and content. Specifically, higher sand content has been observed to correspond to more rapid lithological changes and more extensive fracture development. In addition, higher organic matter content has been observed to correspond to greater fracture development, and higher quartz, feldspar and mixed-layer I/S contents have been observed to correspond to more extensive micro-fracture development. These results are consistent with the measured mechanical properties of the shale and silty shale, the observations of fractures in cores and thin-sections from more than 20 shale-gas drilling wells, and the registered anomalies from gas logging.
To evaluate vitamin D deficiency prevalence and risk factors among pregnant Chinese women.
A descriptive cross-sectional analysis.
China National Nutrition and Health Survey (CNNHS) 2010–2013.
A total of 1985 healthy pregnant women participated. Possible predictors of vitamin D deficiency were evaluated via multiple logistic regression analyses.
The median serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was 15·5 (interquartile range 11·9–20·0, range 3·0–51·5) ng/ml, with 74·9 (95 % CI 73·0, 76·7) % of participants being vitamin D deficient (25-hydroxyvitamin D <20 ng/ml). According to the multivariate logistic regression analyses, vitamin D deficiency was positively correlated with Hui ethnicity (P=0·016), lack of vitamin D supplement use (P=0·021) and low ambient UVB level (P<0·001). In the autumn months, vitamin D deficiency was related to Hui ethnicity (P=0·012) and low ambient UVB level (P<0·001). In the winter months, vitamin D deficiency was correlated with younger age (P=0·050), later gestational age (P=0·035), higher pre-pregnancy BMI (P=0·019), low ambient UVB level (P<0·001) and lack of vitamin D supplement use (P=0·007).
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among pregnant Chinese women. Residing in areas with low ambient UVB levels increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency, especially for women experiencing advanced stages of gestation, for younger pregnant women and for women of Hui ethnicity; therefore, vitamin D supplementation and sensible sun exposure should be encouraged, especially in the winter months. Further studies must determine optimal vitamin D intake and sun exposure levels for maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels in pregnant Chinese women.
The prevalence and factors associated with delays in help seeking for people with dementia in China are unknown.
Within 1,010 consecutively registered participants in the Clinical Pathway for Alzheimer's Disease in China (CPAD) study (NCT01779310), 576 persons with dementia (PWDs) and their informants reported the estimated time from symptom onset to first medical visit seeking diagnosis. Univariate analysis of general linear model was used to examine the potential factors associated with the delayed diagnosis seeking.
The median duration from the first noticeable symptom to the first visit seeking diagnosis or treatment was 1.77 years. Individuals with a positive family history of dementia had longer duration (p = 0.05). Compared with other types of dementia, people with vascular dementia (VaD) were referred for diagnosis earliest, and the sequence for such delays was: VaD < Alzheimer's disease (AD) < frontotemporal dementia (FTD) (p < 0.001). Subtypes of dementia (p < 0.001), family history (p = 0.01), and education level (p = 0.03) were associated with the increased delay in help seeking.
In China, seeking diagnosis for PWDs is delayed for approximately 2 years, even in well-established memory clinics. Clinical features, family history, and less education may impede help seeking in dementia care.
Charged particle diagnostics is one of the required techniques for implosion areal density diagnostics at the SG-III facility. Several proton spectrometers are under development, and some preliminary areal density diagnostics have been carried out. The response of the key detector, CR39, to charged particles was investigated in detail. A new track profile simulation code based on a semi-empirical model was developed. The energy response of the CR39 detector was calibrated with the accelerator protons and alphas from a 241Am source. A proton spectrometer based on the filtered CR39 detector was developed, and D–D primary proton measurements were implemented. A step range filter spectrometer was developed, and preliminary areal density diagnostics was carried out. A wedged range filter spectrometer array made of Si with a higher resolution was designed and developed at the SG-III facility. A particle response simulation code by the Monte Carlo method and a spectra unfolding code were developed. The capability was evaluated in detail by simulations.
In this paper, high-k hafnium–aluminum oxide (HAO) films were synthesized by the sol–gel technique. The effects of the ratio of Hf and Al on the properties of the HAO films were investigated thoroughly. The average optical transmittance of the HAO films was above 88% within the visible light range and Al incorporation in HfO2 can enlarge the band gap of HAO films. X-ray diffraction (XRD) results showed that Al additive can suppress the crystallization of HfO2 and the HAO films were amorphous in structure. The refractive index of HAO films can be modulated with the ratio of Hf and Al in the HAO films. The HAO films with the ratio of Hf and Al = 2:1 obtained excellent performance including the root mean square (RMS) roughness of 0.26 nm, the relative permittivity of 12.1, the leakage current density of 1.69 × 10−7 A/cm2 at 2 MV/cm, and the etching rate in dilute HF solution less than 1 nm/s.
It is widely accepted that oxygen will severely deteriorate the glass-forming ability (GFA) of an alloy. In this work, we report that the GFA of a Fe76Si9B10P5 glassy alloy can be significantly improved (the critical diameter for fully glass formation is increased from 1 to 3 mm) under oxygen casting atmosphere. Furthermore, the pressure of oxygen atmosphere gives an obvious enhancement in the critical diameter of Fe76Si9B10P5 glassy alloy. A dependence of GFA on casting atmosphere species (argon, nitrogen, air, and oxygen) is also observed for this glassy alloy, and its critical diameter is 1, 1.5, 2.5, and 3 mm, respectively. In addition, the Fe-based glassy alloy exhibits excellent soft magnetic properties regardless of the applied casting atmosphere. The mechanism for such an unusual oxygen effect on the GFA of Fe76Si9B10P5 glassy alloy is attributed to the reduced nucleation rate caused by the enhancement of surface tension of the alloy melt.
To determine if matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-28 mediates cardiac aging, wild-type (WT) and MMP-28−/− young (7 ± 1 months, n = 9 each) and old (20 ± 2 months, n = 7 each) female mice were evaluated. MMP-28 expression in the left ventricle (LV) increased 42% in old WT mice compared to young controls (p < 0.05). By Doppler echocardiography, LV function declined at 20 ± 2 months of age for both groups. However, dobutamine stress responses were similar, indicating that cardiac reserve was maintained. Plasma proteomic profiling revealed that macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1 α, MIP-1β and MMP-9 plasma levels did not change in WT old mice but were significantly elevated in MMP-28−/− old mice (all p < 0.05), suggestive of a higher inflammatory status when MMP-28 is deleted. RT2-PCR gene array and immunoblotting analyses demonstrated that MIP-1α and MMP-9 gene and protein levels in the LV were also higher in MMP-28−/− old mice (all p < 0.05). Macrophage numbers in the LV increased similarly in WT and MMP-28−/− old mice, compared to respective young controls (both p < 0.05). Collagen content was not different among the WT and MMP-28−/− young and old mice. In conclusion, LV inflammation increases with age, and MMP-28 deletion further elevates inflammation and extracellular matrix responses, without altering macrophage numbers or collagen content.
Gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (LdMNPV) has been registered as a microbial pest-control product in the United States (Gypchek®) and Canada (Disparvirus®). Similarly, Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata (McDunnough) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (OpMNPV) is registered in the United States and Canada as TM BioControl-1® and a product derived from TM BioControl-1 (Virtuss®) is also registered in Canada. To determine changes that may have occurred in these products over time, we compared DNA from Gypchek with Disparvirus and DNA from TM BioControl-1 with Virtuss using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Gypchek and Disparvirus showed the same RFLP banding patterns when viral genomic DNA was digested with BamH I, EcoR V, and Hind III and only a single band difference at approximately 1.6 kilobase (kb) when digested with Bgl II. TM BioControl-1 and Virtuss showed no differences in genomic DNA when digested with Bgl II, Sam I or Hind III. Twelve viral open reading frames (ORFs) were amplified from Gypchek and Disparvirus and nine from TM BioControl-1 and Virtuss by polymerase chain reactions (PCR). The amplified ORFs ranged from highly conserved (polyhedrin) to least conserved (vp91 capsid associated protein). The products were sequenced and the deduced protein products compared. Amino acid sequences deduced from the sequenced PCR products indicated that 8 of the 12 proteins were identical in the two LdMNPV products. The four proteins showing minor sequence variations were DNA polymerase, LEF-8, P74 envelope protein, and VP 91 capsid associated protein. No differences were detected in the protein products deduced from the nine sequenced ORFs from TM BioControl-1 and Virtuss. Comparative RFLP and protein phylogenetic analyses of Gypchek with Disparvirus and TM BioControl-1 with Virtuss revealed little difference between the respective LdMNPV and OpMNPV populations that make up these product pairs.
This study aimed to explore the associations between breast-feeding, dietary intakes and other related factors and subclinical vitamin A deficiency (SVAD) in children aged 0–5 years in an area in China where mild vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is found.
Data were from a population-based cross-sectional study with 1052 children aged 0–5 years. SVAD cases were identified by the indicator of serum retinol ≤ 20 μg dl− 1. Breast-feeding status, dietary intakes and other factors were collected through a pre-designed questionnaire.
The prevalence of SVAD in children aged 0–5 years was 6.9%. Logistic regression analysis showed that the odds ratio of SVAD for breastfeeding was 3.56 (95% confidence limits (95% CL) 2.17–5.82). After adjustment for sex, age in categories, residence, mother's education, mother's occupation, vitamin A preparation supplements, rank in siblings and diarrhoea, the odds ratio for breast-feeding fell to 2.38 (95% CL 1.13–4.95). The odds ratios for breast-feeding within children aged 1 year were 5.46 (95% CL 2.07–15.03) and 4.6 (95% CL 1.72–12.82) before and after adjustment of other confounders, respectively. The odds ratios for breast-feeding did not show statistical significance within children aged 0 or 2 years. The odds ratios decreased, but remained statically significant after further adjustments for individual dietary factor or all dietary factors.
Breast-feeding was a risk factor of SVAD for children, especially for those aged 1 year. The differences in dietary intakes and other established risk factors could not fully explain the increased risk. This finding implies that prolonged breast-feeding alone may not ensure protection of children from VAD in an area with mild SVAD.
Apoptosis plays an important role in many physiological and
pathological processes. The initiation and execution of the cell death
program requires activation of multiple caspases in a stringently
temporal order. Here we describe a method that allows real-time
observation of caspase activation in situ in live cells based on
fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurement using the
prism and reflector imaging spectroscopy system (PARISS). When a fusion
protein consisting of CFP connected to YFP via an intervening caspase
substrate that has been targeted to a specific subcellular location is
excited with a light source whose wavelength matches the cyan
fluorescent protein (CFP) excitation peak, the energy absorbed by the
CFP fluorophore is not emitted as fluorescence. Instead, the excitation
energy is absorbed by the nearby yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)
fluorophore that is covalently linked to CFP through a short peptide
containing the caspase substrate. Cleavage of the linker peptide by
caspases results in loss of FRET due to the separation of CFP and YFP
fluorophores. Using a mitochondrially targeted CFP–caspase 3
substrate–YFP construct (mC3Y), we demonstrate for the first time
that there is caspase-3-like activity in the mitochondrial matrix of
some cells at very late stage of apoptosis.
Eu(DBM)3phen-doped poly(methyl methacryate) (PMMA) with different doping concentration were prepared. The highest doping concentration sample (10000 ppm) was examined by near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) with a resolution of 50 nm; and the result showed that there were no aggregates larger than 50 nm in the doped polymer. This result was further confirmed by optical properties of the doping material. Concentration quenching was not detected by metastable-state lifetime measurements, indicating that no aggregates existed. According to the fluorescence spectra analysis, the relative intensity ratio (R) of 5D0→7F2 to 5D0→7F1 transition was not shown to be significantly changed with the increasing of Eu3+ content. The analysis reflected that the local structure and asymmetry in the vicinity of europium ions were not changed, and that the Eu3+ ions in PMMA were homogeneously dispersed.