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A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of
in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity
at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of
focused to intensities
Chilling injury is an important natural stress that can threaten cotton production, especially at the sowing and seedling stages in early spring. It is therefore important for cotton production to improve chilling tolerance at these stages. The current work examines the potential for glycine betaine (GB) treatment of seeds to increase the chilling tolerance of cotton at the seedling stage. Germination under cold stress was increased significantly by GB treatment. Under low temperature, the leaves of seedlings from treated seeds exhibited a higher net photosynthetic rate (PN), higher antioxidant enzyme activity including superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase and catalase, lower hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) content and less damage to the cell membrane. Enzyme activity was correlated negatively with H2O2 content and degree of damage to the cell membrane but correlated positively with GB content. The experimental results suggested that although GB was only used to treat cotton seed, the beneficial effect caused by the preliminary treatment of GB could play a significant role during germination that persisted to at least the four-leaf seedling stage. Therefore, it is crucial that this method is employed in agricultural production to improve chilling resistance in the seedling stage by soaking the seeds in GB.
A novel freeze-cast porous chitosan conduit for peripheral nerve repair with highly-aligned, double layered porosity, which provides the ideal mechanical and chemical properties was designed, manufactured, and assessed in vivo. Efficacies of the conduit and the control inverted nerve autograft were evaluated in bridging 10-mm Lewis rat sciatic nerve gap at 12 weeks post-implantation. Biocompatibility and regenerative efficacy of the porous chitosan conduit were evaluated through the histomorphometric analysis of longitudinal and transverse sections. The porous chitosan conduit was found to have promising regenerative characteristics, promoting the desired neovascularization, and axonal ingrowth and alignment through a combination of structural, mechanical and chemical cues.
The pathophysiology of cognitive impairment in patients with the major depressive disorder (MDD) may involve neuroinflammation mediated by cytokines.
The aim of this study was to examine the serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels, sustained attention, and their association in patients with MDD.
Thirty patients with MDD and 30 healthy controls were enrolled in this case-control study. Sustained attention was measured using the Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP) task in the Cambridge Neuropsychological Tests Automated Battery. The serum IL-6 levels of all subjects were assessed by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
There were significant differences in the log10RVP total hits, log10RVP total misses, and log10RVP mean latency between patients with MDD and healthy controls (F = 6.04, p = 0.017; F = 19.77, p < 0.0001; F = 14.42, p < 0.0001, respectively). The serum levels of Log10IL-6 were significantly higher in patients with MDD than in healthy controls (F = 192.27, p < 0.0001). The log10IL-6 levels were also positively correlated with the log10RVP mean latency in patients with MDD (r = 0.45, p = 0.013). A further stepwise multivariate regression analysis indicated that the log10IL-6 levels were significantly associated with the log10RVP mean latency in patients with MDD (β = 0.31, t = 2.41, p = 0.025).
Our data suggested that increased IL-6 levels were associated with the psychopathology of MDD, and that abnormal IL-6 levels were implicated in the impairment of sustained attention in patients with MDD.
The present study investigated the effect of hydrothermic maize processing and supplementation of amino acids (AA) in two experiments. In total, 60 barrows and 384 broilers were fed four diets including either unprocessed (T1), or hydrothermically processed maize, that is short- (T2), or long-term conditioned (LC) (T3), and subsequently expanded maize of the same batch. Assuming a higher metabolizable energy (ME) content after processing, the fourth diet (T4) contains maize processed as treatment T3, but AA were supplemented to maintain the ideal protein value. Performance, digestibility and product quality in both species were assessed. Results show that in pigs receiving T4 the average daily feed intake was lower compared with the other treatments, whereas no difference was observed in broilers. The T3 improved the feed conversion rate compared with T1 (P<0.10) for both species. In contrast, average daily gain (ADG) (1277 g/day for T2 and 1267 g/day for T3 v. 971 g/day for T1) was only altered in pigs. The hydrothermic maize processing increased the apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of dry matter, starch and ether extract after acid hydrolysis. This may be a consequence of higher ATTD of gross energy in the finishing phase for both animal species, suggesting a higher ME content in diets with processed maize. The higher ME content of diets with processed maize is supported also by measurements of product quality. Supplementation of AA in T4 enhanced the loin depth in pigs as well as the amount of breast meat in broilers. Further effects of processing maize on meat quality were the reduced yellowness and antioxidative capacity (P<0.10) for broilers, likely due to the heat damage of xanthophylls and tocopherols. Processing also increased springiness and chewiness (P<0.10) of the broilers breast meat, whereas the loin meat of pigs showed a decreased lightness and yellowness (P<0.10) in meat when hydrothermic processed maize was used (for T2, T3 and T4). LC processed maize (T3) showed the lowest springiness in pork, however the supplementation of AA in T4 did not show differences between the treatments. Shown results demonstrated positive effects of hydrothermic processing of maize on animal performance and digestibility in both species. However, effects on carcass characteristics and product quality differed. The negative effects on product quality could be partly compensated with the AA supplementation, whereas a change in meat colour and reduced antioxidative capacity was observed in all groups fed hydrothermic maize processing.
To effectively shape mental healthcare policy in modern-day China, up-to-date epidemiological data on mental disorders is needed. The objective was to estimate the prevalence, age-of-onset (AOO) and sociodemographic correlates of mental disorders in a representative household sample of the general population (age ⩾ 18) in the Tianjin Municipality in China.
Data came from the Tianjin Mental health Survey (TJMHS), which was conducted between July 2011 and March 2012 using a two-phase design. 11 748 individuals were screened with an expanded version of the General Health Questionnaire and 4438 subjects were selected for a diagnostic interview by a psychiatrist, using the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – fourth edition (SCID).
The lifetime and 1-month prevalence of any mental disorder were 23.6% and 12.8%, respectively. Mood disorders (lifetime: 9.3%; 1-month: 3.9%), anxiety disorders (lifetime: 4.5% 1-month: 3.1%) and substance-use disorders (lifetime: 8.8%; 1-month: 3.5%) were most prevalent. The median AOO ranged from 25 years [interquartile range (IQR): 23–32] for substance-use disorders to 36 years (IQR: 24–50) for mood disorders. Not being married, non-immigrant status (i.e. local ‘Hukou’), being a farmer, having <6 years of education and male gender were associated with a higher lifetime prevalence of any mental disorder.
Results from the current survey indicate that mental disorders are steadily reported more commonly in rapidly-developing urban China. Several interesting sociodemographic correlates were observed (e.g. male gender and non-immigrant status) that warrant further investigation and could be used to profile persons in need of preventive intervention.
Australia's National Immunisation Program (NIP) provides free influenza vaccination for children at high risk of severe influenza; a pilot-funded programme for vaccine in all children aged 6 months to <5 years in one of eight states, has seen poor vaccine impact, related to recent vaccine safety concerns. This retrospective review examined influenza hospitalizations in children aged <16 years from three seasons (2011–2013) at two paediatric hospitals on opposite sides of the country. Comparisons of this cohort were made with state-based data on influenza-coded hospitalizations and national immunization register data on population-level immunization coverage. Of 740 hospitalizations, the majority were aged <5 years (476/740, 64%), and a substantial proportion (57%) involved healthy children, not currently funded for influenza vaccine. Intensive care unit admission occurred in 8·5%, and 1·5% of all children developed encephalitis. Use of antiviral therapy was uncommon (20·5%) and decreasing. Of those hospitalized, only 5·0% of at-risk children, who are currently eligible for free vaccine, and 0·7% of healthy children were vaccinated prior to hospitalization. This was consistent with low population-wide estimates of influenza vaccine uptake. It highlights the need to examine alternative strategies, such as universally funded paediatric influenza vaccination, to address disease burden in Australian children.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
Ectropis grisescens Warren and Ectropis obliqua (Prout) are two morphologically similar sibling species with overlapping ranges. In this study, manipulative laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the possibility of reproductive interference in sympatric populations of E. grisescens and E. obliqua and the potential consequences of the mating interaction. Our results showed that the presence of males or females of different species could incur mating interference and significant reduction of F1 offspring. The reduction was not significant relevant to the initial relative abundance of E. grisescens and E. obliqua. Detailed observations of mating opportunity showed that female mating frequencies of both species were not significantly affected by the absolute species density, but the mating success of E. obliqua females with conspecific males depended on species ratio. In addition, adding males to the other species resulted in lower number of offspring suggesting that the males’ behaviour might be linked with mating interference. Males of both E. grisescens and E. obliqua could interfere the intraspecific mating of the other species, but the impact of the mating interference differed. These combined data indicated that asymmetric reproductive interference existed in E. grisescens and E. obliqua under laboratory conditions, and the offspring of the mixed species were significantly reduced. The long term outcome of this effect is yet to be determined since additional reproductive factors such as oviposition rate and progeny survival to adulthood may reduce the probability of demographic displacement of one species by the other in overlapping niches.
In endangered and local pig breeds of small population sizes, production has to focus on alternative niche markets with an emphasis on specific product and meat quality traits to achieve economic competiveness. For designing breeding strategies on meat quality, an adequate performance testing scheme focussing on phenotyped selection candidates is required. For the endangered German pig breed ‘Bunte Bentheimer’ (BB), no breeding program has been designed until now, and no performance testing scheme has been implemented. For local breeds, mainly reared in small-scale production systems, a performance test based on in vivo indicator traits might be a promising alternative in order to increase genetic gain for meat quality traits. Hence, the main objective of this study was to design and evaluate breeding strategies for the improvement of meat quality within the BB breed using in vivo indicator traits and genetic markers. The in vivo indicator trait was backfat thickness measured by ultrasound (BFiv), and genetic markers were allele variants at the ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) locus. In total, 1116 records of production and meat quality traits were collected, including 613 in vivo ultrasound measurements and 713 carcass and meat quality records. Additionally, 700 pigs were genotyped at the RYR1 locus. Data were used (1) to estimate genetic (co)variance components for production and meat quality traits, (2) to estimate allele substitution effects at the RYR1 locus using a selective genotyping approach and (3) to evaluate breeding strategies on meat quality by combining results from quantitative-genetic and molecular-genetic approaches. Heritability for the production trait BFiv was 0.27, and 0.48 for backfat thickness measured on carcass. Estimated heritabilities for meat quality traits ranged from 0.14 for meat brightness to 0.78 for the intramuscular fat content (IMF). Genetic correlations between BFiv and IMF were higher than estimates based on carcass backfat measurements (0.39 v. 0.25). The presence of the unfavorable n allele was associated with increased electric conductivity, paler meat and higher drip loss. The allele substitution effect on IMF was unfavorable, indicating lower IMF when the n allele is present. A breeding strategy including the phenotype (BFiv) combined with genetic marker information at the RYR1 locus from the selection candidate, resulted in a 20% increase in accuracy and selection response when compared with a breeding strategy without genetic marker information.
We present a reconstructed lithologic column compiled from a series of lacustrine outcrops along a tributary of the Nyang River, a major tributary of the Yarlung-Tsangpo in southeast Tibet. The deposits were preserved between terraces at altitudes of 2950–3100 m asl. The stratigraphic record features at least two sets of coarsening-upward sequences depicting episodic aggradation and progradation of a glacially dammed lake related delta. Recognized facies changes illustrate the evolution cycles of depositional environments from pro-delta, delta front, to delta plain. Radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dates reveal an aging-downward trend in stratigraphic order and provide an approximate timeline for the formation of glacially dammed lakes in late Pleistocene. This result reflects that the Zelunglung Glacier had progressively advanced to block the Yarlung-Tsangpo river and the dam materials had stepwise stacked up to an altitude of 3095 m asl during Marine Oxygen Isotope Stages 4 to 2.
We present rational computational design of phenothiazine dyes for dye-sensitized solar cells containing different five-membered rings (thiophene, furan, and selenophene) by a combined strategy of modified conjugation order and functionalization leading to the quinoidization of the ring. We predict that it is possible to lower the excitation energy by 20% vs. the parent dye by the combination of: change in the conjugation order of the methine unit, its functionalization by the CN group, and replacement of the thiophene ring by furan.
Pedogenic alteration of illite from red earth sediments in Jiujiang in subtropical China was investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). Illite, hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite (HIV), kaolinite and mixed-layer illite-HIV (I-HIV) are present in the soils. The characteristic reflections of the clay phases were 14 Å, 10–14 Å, 10 Å, and 7 Å, respectively. After Mg-glycerol saturations, the 14 Å peak of the samples did not expand, and after heating at 350°C and 550°C it shifted to 13.8 Å and 12 Å respectively, with no residual 14 Å reflection, suggesting the occurrence of hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite. The randomly interstratified I-HIV clays were characterized by a broad peak at 10–14 Å, which did not change its position after Mg-glycerol saturation, but collapsed to 10 Å after heating at 350°C and 550°C. HRTEM analysis showed different lattice fringes of 12 Å, 10 Å and 7 Å . Mixed-layer I-HIV, HIV-K and illite-kaolinite (I-K) were observed in the HRTEM images which represented the intermediate phases during illite alteration. The merging of two 10 Å illite layers into a 12 Å HIV layer, lateral transformation of one HIV layer into one kaolinite layer and alteration of one illite layer into two kaolinite layers illustrated the mechanisms of illite-to-HIV, HIV-to-kaolinite and illite-tokaolinite transformation, respectively. The proposed pedogenic alteration of illite and the weathering sequence of the clay minerals in Jiujiang is illite → I-HIV → HIV → HIV-K → kaolinite. In addition, illite may transform directly to kaolinite.
An electrical and analytical study was carried out to investigate TiW/ZnO Schottky contacts with 30 nm ZnO thin film layers deposited by pulsed laser deposition (PLD), plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD), and thermal atomic layer deposition (TALD). Devices with ZnO layer deposited by TALD exhibit approximately linear behavior in their I-V measurements. However, both devices with ZnO layers deposited by PEALD and PLD behaved like Schottky rectifiers with barrier heights between TiW and ZnO of 0.51 eV and 0.45 eV respectively and ideality factors of 2.0 and 2.3 respectively. The PEALD deposited ZnO Schotty diodes demonstrated an on/off rectifying ratio of about 25 at ±1 V. The leakage current values of the PLD deposited ZnO Schottky diodes are significantly larger than those of PEALD, leading to a poor on/off rectifying ratio of ∼4. Due to the small thickness, a critical breakdown strength of 1.3 MV/cm was estimated for PEALD-ZnO thin films.
The seasonal variation and spatial distribution of chaetognaths were studied based on samples collected from July to August 2006 (summer), December 2006 to January 2007 (winter), and in April 2007 (spring) on the north-west continental shelf of the South China Sea. A total of 19 species of chaetognaths were identified. The average chaetognath abundances (mean ±SD) were 54.0 ± 44.5, 36.8 ±16.7 and 48.9 ± 95.5 ind. m−3 in summer, winter and spring, respectively. Flaccisagitta enflata and Serratosagitta pacifica were the dominant species during the whole sampling period, and F. enflata determined the spatial distribution of total chaetognath abundance. According to the topography and hydrological conditions, the survey area was divided into three sub-regions: inshore waters of the western Guangdong (Region I), inshore waters to the east of Hainan Island (Region II) and offshore waters from the western Guangdong to Hainan Island (Region III). The community structure and abundance distribution of chaetognaths varied significantly between the three sub-regions. The species richness was significantly different among the three sub-regions, with the lowest in Region I and the highest in Region III. The species richness was correlated positively with temperature and salinity. The abundance of chaetognaths was significantly higher in Region I than in both Regions II and III in summer and spring. The increasing food availability caused by the cold eddy, coastal upwelling and the western Guangdong coastal current was able support a greater abundance of chaetognaths during warm seasons on the north-west continental shelf of the South China Sea.
We report a simple synthesis technique to attached poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) on magnetic nanoparticles. Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles were prepared using co-precipitation method. Nearly monodisperse nanoparticles were separated by terminating surface of Fe3O4 with dopamine followed by careful centrifugation and decantation. NHS/EDC coupling chemistry was employed to attached the carboxylic acid terminated poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) to amine end of dopamine on surface of the magnetic particles. Analysis of the polymer brush layers was conducted using UV-Vis spectroscopy, ATR−FTIR, and Transmission electron microscopy techniques. The magnetic property was investigated using direct current superconducting quantum interference device (DC-SQUID) method.
In this work Carrageenan type κ was used as electrosteric stabilizer in order to prepare a biocompatible colloidal dispersion of novel metal nanoparticles. Gold and silver nanoparticles were synthesized by reducing the metal precursor using sodium borohydride in presence of Carrageenan type κ. The growth mechanism of metal nanoparticles and stabilization behavior by Carrageenan type κ was analyzed by UV-Vis spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The morphology and particle size distribution were also studied as a function of reaction parameters and the particle size was dependent of the pH of the reaction media. The Ag nanoparticles with sphere-like morphology and average size of 10 nm were obtained. The morphology of Au nanoparticles was strongly affected by the pH value resulting in particles with snake-like morphology at alkaline conditions. The UV-Vis spectra showed that Ag nanoparticles were highly stable at alkaline conditions and for long period of time. Au nanoparticles dispersion showed a better stability for long period of time at acidic conditions. The nanoparticles dispersion electrosterically stabilized were used to prepare hydrogels by poured into a plastic mold and frozen with liquid nitrogen and then lyophilized. The morphology and thermal stability of resulting composites were analyzed by using scanning electronic microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry respectively. The degradation temperature of Carrageenan type κ was increased due to the presence of metal nanoparticles.