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The extent of intertidal flats in the Yellow Sea region has declined significantly in the past few decades, resulting in severe population declines in several waterbird species. The Yellow Sea region holds the primary stopover sites for many shorebirds during their migration to and from northern breeding grounds. However, the functional roles of these sites in shorebirds’ stopover ecology remain poorly understood. Through field surveys between July and November 2015, we investigated the stopover and moult schedules of migratory shorebirds along the southern Jiangsu coast, eastern China during their southbound migration, with a focus on the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea and ‘Endangered’ Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer. Long-term count data indicate that both species regularly occur in globally important number in southern Jiangsu coast, constituting 16.67–49.34% and 64.0–80.67% of their global population estimates respectively, and it is highly likely that most adults undergo their primary moult during this southbound migration stopover. Our results show that Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank staged for an extended period of time (66 and 84 days, respectively) to complete their primary moult. On average, Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Nordmann’s Greenshanks started moulting primary feathers on 8 August ± 4.52 and 27 July ± 1.56 days respectively, and their moult durations were 72.58 ± 9.08 and 65.09 ± 2.40 days. In addition, some individuals of several other shorebird species including the ‘Endangered’ Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris, ‘Near Threatened’ Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, ‘Near Threatened’ Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata and Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii also underwent primary moult. Our work highlights the importance of the southern Jiangsu region as the primary moulting ground for these species, reinforcing that conservation of shorebird habitat including both intertidal flats and supratidal roosting sites in this region is critical to safeguard the future of some highly threatened shorebird species.
Previous studies have shown conflicting findings regarding the relationship between maternal vitamin D deficiency (VDD) and fetal growth restriction (FGR). We hypothesised that parathyroid hormone (PTH) may be an underlying factor relevant to this potential association. In a prospective birth cohort study, descriptive statistics were evaluated for the demographic characteristics of 3407 pregnancies in the second trimester from three antenatal clinics in Hefei, China. The association of the combined status of vitamin D and PTH with birth weight and the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) was assessed by a multivariate linear and binary logistic regression. We found that declined status of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with lower birth weight (for moderate VDD: adjusted β = −49·4 g, 95 % CI −91·1, −7·8, P < 0·05; for severe VDD: adjusted β = −79·8 g, 95 % CI −127·2, −32·5, P < 0·01), as well as ascended levels of PTH (for elevated PTH: adjusted β = −44·5 g, 95 % CI −82·6, −6·4, P < 0·05). Compared with the non-VDD group with non-elevated PTH, pregnancies with severe VDD and elevated PTH had the lowest neonatal birth weight (adjusted β = −124·7 g, 95 % CI −194·6, −54·8, P < 0·001) and the highest risk of SGA (adjusted risk ratio (RR) = 3·36, 95 % CI 1·41, 8·03, P < 0·01). Notably, the highest risk of less Ca supplementation was founded in severe VDD group with elevated PTH (adjusted RR = 4·67, 95 % CI 2·78, 7·85, P < 0·001). In conclusion, elevated PTH induced by less Ca supplementation would further aggravate the risk of FGR in pregnancies with severe VDD through impaired maternal Ca metabolism homoeostasis.
SmTaO4 ceramics have excellent high-temperature phase stabilities and mechanical properties and show great potential for use as next-generation thermal barrier coating (TBC) materials. CeO2–SmTaO4 ceramics are prepared via high-temperature solid–state reaction. It retains a single monoclinic phase structure. Ce4+ was reduced to Ce3+ by high-temperature deoxidation, and the Ce3+ ions substitute for an equal number of Sm3+ ions. The CeO2–SmTaO4 ceramics had lower thermal conductivities [1.09–2.75 W/(m K)] than yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) [2.1–2.7 W/(m K)] at 100–800 °C, which decreased dramatically with increasing temperature. SmTaO4 doped with 2% CeO2 had lower thermal conductivity [1.09 W/(m K), 800 °C] than SmTaO4 [1.42 W/(m K), 800 °C] and 2% ZrO2-doped SmTaO4 ceramics [1.22 W/(m K), 800 °C]. The low thermal conductivity is attributed to Ce3+ substitution for an equal number of Sm3+ ions, and because Ce3+ ions are the strongest phonon scattering centers, they can decrease the phonon mean free path effectively. The thermal expansion coefficient of 8% CeO2–SmTaO4 ceramics is approximately 10.3 × 10−6 K−1 at 1200 °C, which is slightly higher than that of both YSZ (10.0 × 10−6 K−1) and SmTaO4 (9.58 × 10−6 K−1). The outstanding thermophysical properties indicate that CeO2–SmTaO4 ceramics are potential TBC materials.
Establishment of cellular polarity is one of the key events during oocyte maturation. Inscuteable (Insc) has been identified as a key regulator of cell polarity during asymmetric division in Drosophila. However, the function of its evolutionarily conserved mammalian homologue, mInscuteable (mInsc), in mouse meiotic maturation is not clear. In this study, we investigated the roles of mInsc in mouse oocyte maturation. mInsc was detected at all stages of oocyte maturation. The protein level of mInsc was slightly higher at the germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) stage and remained constant during mouse oocyte maturation. The subcellular localization of mInsc overlapped with spindle microtubules. Disruption of microtubules and microfilaments caused changes in the localization of mInsc. Depletion or overexpression of mInsc significantly decreased the maturation rates of mouse oocytes. Depletion of mInsc significantly affected asymmetric division, spindle assembly, alignments of chromosomes and actin cap formation. Taken together, our results demonstrated that mInsc regulates meiotic spindle organization during mouse meiotic maturation.
A credit default swap (CDS) is an exchange of premium payments for a compensation for the occurrence of a credit event. Counterparty risks refer to defaults of parties holding CDS contracts. In this paper we develop a valuation/pricing model for a CDS subject to counterparty risks. Using the Cox–Ingersoll–Ross (CIR) model for interest rate and first arrival times of Poisson processes with variable intensities for the occurrences of credit default and counterparty defaults, we derive a mathematical formulation and make a full theoretical investigation. In addition, we develop a full theory for the corresponding infinite horizon problem and establish its connection with the asymptotic long expiry behaviour of finite horizon problem. Furthermore, we establish a connection between two major frameworks for default times: the structure model approach and the intensity model approach. We show that a solution of the structure model can be obtained as the limit of a sequence of solutions of intensity models. Regarded as an important theoretical development, we remove a constraint typically imposed on the parameters of the CIR model; that is, the well-posedness (existence, uniqueness and continuous dependence of parameters) of the mathematical model holds for any empirically calibrated parameters for the CIR model.
A Pickering emulsion was prepared via synergistic stabilization of a lipase and palygorskite particles. The optimum conditions for the stabilization of the Pickering emulsion, such as the concentrations of the palygorskite particles and lipase, were explored. The morphology of emulsion droplets was examined using digital optical microscopy and polarizing optical microscopy. The palygorskite–lipase co-stabilized Pickering emulsions were investigated by determination of the adsorption rate, pH and zeta potential of the aqueous dispersion, as well as by determining the contact angle values of the lipase solution on a palygorskite disc that was immersed in toluene. The catalytic performance of the immobilized lipase in the Pickering emulsion was studied via the investigation of its thermal stability, storage stability and reusability. The immobilized lipase showed greater stability than the free lipase. The lipase immobilized by Pickering emulsion retained a high level of activity even after seven periods of recycling.
The plerocercoid (sparganum) of Spirometra erinaceieuropaei is the main aetiological agent of human sparganosis. To improve the current knowledge on S. erinaceieuropaei evolution, we performed multi-locus microsatellite typing of sparganum isolates from China for the first time. All available expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences for the Spirometra were downloaded from the GenBank. The identification and localization of microsatellites in ESTs was accomplished by MISA. Based on the selected microsatellites, the genetic structure of 64 sparganum isolates collected from 11 geographical locations in southwest China were investigated through principal component analysis, STRUCTURE analysis and neighbour-joining clustering. A total of 522 non-redundant ESTs containing 915 simple sequence repeats were identified from 12 481 ESTs screened. Five primer pairs were finally selected. Using these loci, a total of 12 alleles were detected in 64 sparganum isolates. Little variability was observed within each of geographical population, especially among isolates derived from Kunming of Yunnan (YN-KM) province. Both STRUCTURE analysis and the clustering analysis supported that two genotypes existed among the sparganum isolates from southwest China. In conclusion, five microsatellite markers were successfully developed, and sparganum population was observed to harbour low genetic variation, further investigation with deeper sampling was needed to elucidate the population structure.
The cyclic oxidation experiment of yttria-stabilized zirconia coatings deposited on NiCoCrAlYHf alloys by air plasma spraying was investigated at 1050 °C in air and in air containing water vapor. The results revealed that water vapor has a great influence on the oxidation resistance of the thermal barrier coatings (TBCs). Compared with the samples oxidized in air atmosphere, TBCs oxidized in air containing water vapor had a longer lifetime. It was also found that different atmospheres could lead to different HfO2 formation positions, which could decrease the rumpling in the oxide layer. In particular, after the coatings on Hf-doped NiCoCrAlY were first pretreated in air containing water vapor for 24 h at 1050 °C, the lifetime of the pretreated coating was doubled compared to the coating in laboratory air only. The water vapor pretreatment of the coatings could be an important method for optimizing the lifetime of TBCs.
A field study to optimize the nitrogen (N) top-dressing mode of panicle fertilization and improve rice yields was conducted in mid-eastern China. Japonica cultivar Yunongjing-6 was grown and panicle N fertilizer was applied at the beginning of the inverted fourth leaf stage using three different modes: manual broadcast application (BA) on the soil surface as a control treatment, deep application during ditching at a depth of 15 cm (DD) and manual BA on the soil surface during deep ditching (BAD). The activity of soil enzymes, including invertase, urease, phosphatase and catalase, was increased significantly at the jointing, booting and grain-filling stages with the DD and BAD treatments compared with the traditional BA mode. The DD and BAD treatments also increased basal internode and neck-panicle internode bleeding intensity. The DD treatment gave the highest crop yield, increasing the yield by 0.63 and 0.31 t/hm2 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, compared with BA. The results suggest that ditching during panicle N fertilizer application after sun-drying of the fields increases rice yields, most likely by improving the activity of soil enzymes and enhancing the physiological activity of roots and grain weight.
Hepatitis B constitutes a severe public health challenge in China. The Community-based Collaborative Innovation hepatitis B (CCI-HBV) project is a national epidemiological study of hepatitis B and has been conducting a comprehensive intervention in southern Zhejiang since 2009.
The comprehensive intervention in CCI-HBV areas includes the dynamic hepatitis B screening in local residents, the normalised treatment for hepatitis B infections and the upcoming full-aged hepatitis B vaccination. After two rounds of screening (each round taking for 4 years), the initial epidemiological baseline of hepatitis B in Qinggang was obtained, a coastal community in east China. By combining key data and system dynamics modelling, the regional hepatitis B epidemic in 20 years was predicted.
There were 1041 HBsAg positive cases out of 12 228 people in Round 1 indicating HBV prevalence of 8.5%. Of the 13 146 people tested in Round 2, 1171 people were HBsAg positive, with a prevalence of 8.9%. By comparing the two rounds of screening, the HBV incidence rate of 0.192 per 100 person-years was observed. By consulting electronic medical records, the HBV onset rate of 0.533 per 100 person-years was obtained. We generated a simulated model to replicate the real-world situation for the next two decades. To evaluate the effect of interventions on regional HBV prevalence, three comparative experiments were conducted.
In this study, the regional hepatitis B epidemic in 20 years was predicted and compared with HBV prevalence under different interventions. Owing to the existing challenges in research methodology, this study combined HBV field research and simulation to provide a system dynamics model with close-to-real key data to improve prediction accuracy. The simulation also provided a prompt guidance for the field implementation.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.
High-power femtosecond lasers beyond
are attractive for strong-field physics with mid-infrared (IR) fields but are difficult to scale up. In optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) at mid-IR wavelengths, a nonlinear crystal is vital, and its transmittance, dispersion, nonlinear coefficient and size determine the achievable power and wavelength. OPCPA beyond
routinely relies on semiconductor crystals because common oxide crystals are not transparent in this spectral range. However, the small size and low damage threshold of semiconductor crystals fundamentally limit the peak power to gigawatts. In this paper, we design a terawatt-class OPCPA system at
based on a new kind of oxide crystal of
(LGN). The extended transparent range, high damage threshold, superior phase-matching characteristics and large size of LGN enable the generation of 0.13 TW seven-cycle pulses at
. This design fully relies on the state-of-the-art OPCPA technology of an octave-spanning ultrafast Ti:sapphire laser and a thin-disk Yb:YAG laser, offering the performance characteristics of high power, a high repetition rate and a stable carrier–envelope phase.
Discounting rate refers to people’s tendency to reduce the rate of subjective value from delayed benefit over time. The current study investigates the relationship among belief in a just world (BJW), sense of control, and discounting rate, especially the mediating effect of sense of control between BJW and discounting rate. The study recruited 412 undergraduates to complete a BJW scale, Sense of Control scale, and the Monetary Choice Questionnaire. The results show that (1) BJW positively predicted sense of control, (2) BJW and sense of control were negatively correlated with discounting rate, and (3) sense of control completely mediated the associations between BJW and discounting rate. These findings extend those of prior studies and indicate that a sense of control underlies the association between BJW and discounting rate.
Ca2+-sensing receptor (CaSR) represents a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory bowel diseases and strongly prefers aromatic amino acid ligands. We investigated the regulatory effects of dietary supplementation with aromatic amino acids – tryptophan, phenylalanine and tyrosine (TPT) – on the CaSR signalling pathway and intestinal inflammatory response. The in vivo study was conducted with weanling piglets using a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement in a randomised complete block design. Piglets were fed a basal diet or a basal diet supplemented with TPT and with or without inflammatory challenge. The in vitro study was performed in porcine intestinal epithelial cell line to investigate the effects of TPT on inflammatory response using NPS-2143 to inhibit CaSR. Dietary supplementation of TPT alleviated histopathological injury and decreased myeloperoxidase activity in intestine challenged with lipopolysaccharide. Dietary supplementation of TPT decreased serum concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, TNF-α), as well as the mRNA abundances of pro-inflammatory cytokines in intestine but enhanced anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and transforming growth factor-β mRNA levels compared with pigs fed control diet and infected by lipopolysaccharide. Supplementation of TPT increased CaSR and phospholipase Cβ2 protein levels, but decreased inhibitor of NF-κB kinase α/β and inhibitor of NF-κB (IκB) protein levels in the lipopolysaccharide-challenged piglets. When the CaSR signalling pathway was blocked by NPS-2143, supplementation of TPT decreased the CaSR protein level, but enhanced phosphorylated NF-κB and IκB levels in IPEC-J2 cells. To conclude, supplementation of aromatic amino acids alleviated intestinal inflammation as mediated through the CaSR signalling pathway.
This article describes emerging misogynistic labels involving the morpheme biăo ‘slut’ as a gendered personal suffix in the Chinese cyber lexicon. We analyze the morphological, semantic, and cognitive processes behind their coinage, and the way they are used across gender lines in Chinese social media as a community of discourse practice. Our findings show that women participate in female pejoration as much as men do, and that men are more inclined than women to use pejorative labels that specifically attack female empowerment. Additionally, men construct masculinity and power by using certain misogynistic labels as generics. We argue that verbal misogyny is part and parcel of a larger gender ideology by illuminating the mutual constitution of the linguistic pejoration of women and the gender order in postreform China. This study has implications for research on women's conditions in contemporary China, raises awareness of gender inequality, and lays the groundwork for social actions toward gender equality. (Gender, sexism, neologism, social media, Chinese)*
Pulse contrast is a crucial parameter of high peak-power lasers since the prepulse noise may disturb laser–plasma interactions. Contrast measurement is thus a prerequisite to tackle the contrast challenge in high peak-power lasers. This paper presents the progress review of single-shot cross-correlator (SSCC) for real-time contrast characterization. We begin with the key technologies that enable an SSCC to simultaneously possess high dynamic range (
), large temporal window (50–70 ps) and high fidelity. We also summarize the instrumentation of SSCC prototypes and their applications on five sets of petawatt laser facilities in China. Finally, we discuss how to extend contrast measurements from time domain to spatiotemporal domain. Real-time and high-dynamic-range contrast measurements, provided by SSCC, can not only characterize various complex noises in high peak-power lasers but also guide the system optimization.
Auto-alignment is a basic technique for high-power laser systems. Special techniques have been developed for laser systems because of their differing structures. This paper describes a new sensor for auto-alignment in a laser system, which can also serve as a reference in certain applications. The authors prove that all of the beam transfer information (position and pointing) can theoretically be monitored and recorded by the sensor. Furthermore, auto-alignment with a single lens sensor is demonstrated on a simple beam line, and the results indicate that effective auto-alignment is achieved.
Scabies is a parasitic disease caused by the ectoparasite Sarcoptes scabiei, affecting different mammalian species, including rabbits, worldwide. In the present study, we cloned and expressed a novel inorganic pyrophosphatase, Ssc-PYP-1, from S. scabiei var. cuniculi. Immunofluorescence staining showed that native Ssc-PYP-1 was localized in the tegument around the mouthparts and the entire legs, as well as in the cuticle of the mites. Interestingly, obvious staining was also observed on the fecal pellets of mites and in the integument of the mites. Based on its good immunoreactivity, an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using recombinant Ssc-PYP-1 (rSsc-PYP-1) as the capture antigen was developed to diagnose sarcoptic mange in naturally infected rabbits; the assay had a sensitivity of 92·0% and specificity of 93·6%. Finally, using the rSsc-PYP-1-ELISA, the Ssc-PYP-1 antibody from 10 experimentally infected rabbits could be detected from 1 week post-infection. This is the first report of S. scabiei inorganic pyrophosphatase and the protein could serve as a potential serodiagnostic candidate for sarcoptic mange in rabbits.
The Cu–S compounds have been reported as promising thermoelectric materials with abundant element composition, low price, and low toxicity. In this work, SnxCu1.8−xS samples with different Sn contents (x = 0.005, 0.01, 0.03, and 0.05) were fabricated by mechanical alloying combined with spark plasma sintering. The phase structure and microstructure of all the bulk samples were checked by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and field emission scanning electron microscopy respectively. The thermoelectric transport properties, such as electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, carrier concentration, carrier mobility, and thermal conductivity, were measured. The effect of second phase introduced by Sn addition on the thermoelectric properties of Cu–S system was investigated. The thermoelectric properties of samples were improved by the precipitations of two different second phases (Cu2SnS3 and Cu4SnS4). The second phase species depend on the Sn contents. Finally, the Sn0.01Cu1.79S bulk sample obtained the highest ZT value of 0.81 at 773 K, which is 1.6-fold higher than that of the pristine Cu1.8S sample due to the significantly reduced thermal conductivity by second phase and nanopores scattering.