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The nucleocapsid protein NC is a crucial component in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 life cycle. It functions both in its processed mature form and as part of the polyprotein Gag that plays a key role in the formation of new viruses. NC can protect nucleic acids (NAs) from degradation by compacting them to a dense coil. Moreover, through its NA chaperone activity, NC can also promote the most stable conformation of NAs. Here, we explore the balance between these activities for NC and Gag by confining DNA–protein complexes in nanochannels. The chaperone activity is visualized as concatemerization and circularization of long DNA via annealing of short single-stranded DNA overhangs. The first ten amino acids of NC are important for the chaperone activity that is almost completely absent for Gag. Gag condenses DNA more efficiently than mature NC, suggesting that additional residues of Gag are involved. Importantly, this is the first single DNA molecule study of full-length Gag and we reveal important differences to the truncated Δ-p6 Gag that has been used before. In addition, the study also highlights how nanochannels can be used to study reactions on ends of long single DNA molecules, which is not trivial with competing single DNA molecule techniques.
Astrophysical collisionless shocks are amazing phenomena in space and astrophysical plasmas, where supersonic flows generate electromagnetic fields through instabilities and particles can be accelerated to high energy cosmic rays. Until now, understanding these micro-processes is still a challenge despite rich astrophysical observation data have been obtained. Laboratory astrophysics, a new route to study the astrophysics, allows us to investigate them at similar extreme physical conditions in laboratory. Here we will review the recent progress of the collisionless shock experiments performed at SG-II laser facility in China. The evolution of the electrostatic shocks and Weibel-type/filamentation instabilities are observed. Inspired by the configurations of the counter-streaming plasma flows, we also carry out a novel plasma collider to generate energetic neutrons relevant to the astrophysical nuclear reactions.
Training students has been proven to be the optimal way to deliver cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills. However, it is somehow unknown whether or not the current recommendations appropriate for Caucasian students are also suitable for East Asian students. The purpose of this study is to explore the best age for East Asian students to receive CPR training.
Students were recruited from six schools. Students participated in a standard CPR training program provided by tutors. Each student attended a 60-minute training session with a manikin. After being trained, within one hour, the student’s compression quality was assessed.
A total of 360 students who constituted 12 continuous grades were recruited for this study. Adequate compression depth and satisfactory compression rate with correct hand position could be achieved since the age of 12. However, successful compression rate and complete release could be achieved since the younger age of six.
Current recommendations for Caucasian students to cultivate a full-capacity CPR rescuer at the age of 12 are also appropriate for East Asian students. However, the optimal age for students to receive CPR training should be decided based on evidence and importance assessment of CPR.
He D, Huang K, Yang Y, Jiang W, Yang N, Yang H. What is the optimal age for students to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation training? Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(4):394–398.
Recently, many superflares on solar-type stars were discovered as white-light flares (WLFs). A correlation between the energies (E) and durations (t) of superflares is derived as t∝E0.39, and this can be theoretically explained by magnetic reconnection (t∝E1/3). In this study, we carried out a statistical research on 50 solar WLFs with SDO/HMI to examine the t-E relation. As a result, the t-E relation on solar WLFs (t∝E0.38) is quite similar stellar superflares, but the durations of stellar superflares are much shorter than those extrapolated from solar WLFs. We present the following two interpretations; (1) in solar flares, the cooling timescale of WL emission may be longer than the reconnection one, and the decay time can be determined by the cooling timescale; (2) the distribution can be understood by applying a scaling law t∝E1/3B−5/3 derived from the magnetic reconnection theory.
Passive intermodulation (PIM) is a complex problem in high-power microwave devices and satellite communications. In this paper, an effective calculation method is proposed for predicting PIM power levels of the cascaded microwave devices. First of all, the analytical formula of intermodulation voltage is derived based on the nonlinear I–V characteristics of microwave devices. Then, the mathematical model of point sources is constructed by the transmission line theory and extended to the cascaded microwave devices. The passive intermodulation products (PIMP) of the cascaded microwave devices are evaluated based on the point-source model. The relationship of PIM between a single microwave device and the cascaded system is revealed. Eventually, the corresponding experiments are designed to verify the accuracy of point-source model and the cascaded model to predict the third-order PIM power level, which address the problem of PIM prediction of the cascaded microwave devices.
Effects of Mo addition on the microstructure, mechanical properties, and abrasive wear properties of an oriented bulk Fe2B crystal have been investigated systematically in the present paper. Five groups of pure Fe2B samples with different Mo contents have been examined by optical microscope, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope integrated with energy disperse spectroscopy, microhardness tester, and three-point bending testing of fracture toughness. The results indicate that Mo tends to segregate on the grain boundaries after doping; with increasing Mo addition, interplanar spacing of the (002) crystal plane of Fe2B decreases firstly and then increases slightly while that of (200) increases gradually; microhardness on the transversal section changes little while that on the longitudinal section increases firstly and then decreases [possessing the opposite trend to interplanar spacing of (002)]; fracture toughness and wear resistance of both transversal and longitudinal samples can be improved to some extent with Mo addition less than 2.0 wt%. In conclusion, appropriate Mo addition plays a positive role in the improvement of mechanical properties of oriented bulk Fe2B.
To evaluate the effects of different anthropogenic activities on zooplankton and the pelagic ecosystem, we conducted seasonal cruises in 2010 to assess spatial heterogeneity among the mesozooplankton communities of Xiangshan Bay, a subtropical semi-enclosed bay in China. The evaluation included five different areas: a kelp farm, an oyster farm, a fish farm, the thermal discharge area of a power plant, and an artificial reef, and we aimed to identify whether anthropogenic activities dominated spatial variation in the mesozooplankton communities. The results demonstrated clear spatial heterogeneity among the mesozooplankton communities of the studied areas, dominantly driven by natural hydrographic properties, except in the area near the thermal discharge outlet of the power station. In the outlet area, thermal shock caused by the discharge influenced the mesozooplankton community by decreasing abundance and biomass throughout the four seasons, even causing a shift in the dominant species near the outlet during summer from Acartia pacifica to eurythermal and warm water taxa. Unique features of the mesozooplankton community in the oyster farm may be due to the combined effects of oyster culture and the natural environment in the branch harbour. However, kelp and fish culture, and the construction of an artificial reef did not exert any obvious influence on the mesozooplankton communities up to 2010, probably because of the small scale of the aquaculture and a time lag in the rehabilitation effects of the artificial reef. Thus, our results suggested that the dominant factors influencing spatial variations of mesozooplankton communities in Xiangshan Bay were still the natural hydrographic properties, but the thermal discharge was an anthropogenic activity that changed the pelagic ecosystem, and should be supervised.
Inspired by the behavior of the blind for hill-climbing using a stick to detect a higher place by drawing a circle, we propose a heuristic direct search method to solve the unconstrained optimization problems. Instead of searching a neighbourhood of the current point as done in the traditional hill-climbing, or along specified search directions in standard direct search methods, the new algorithm searches on a surface with radius determined by the motion of the stick. The significant feature of the proposed algorithm is that it only has one parameter, the search radius, which makes the algorithm convenient in practical implementation. The developed method can shrink the search space to a closed ball, or seek for the final optimal point by adjusting search radius. Furthermore our algorithm possesses multi-resolution feature to distinguish the local and global optimum points with different search radii. Therefore, it can be used by itself or integrated with other optimization methods flexibly as a mathematical optimization technique. A series of numerical tests, including high-dimensional problems, have been well designed to demonstrate its performance.
The Honggong pluton is the largest ferroan alkalic (A-type) granite intrusion emplaced along the Jiangshan–Shaoxing fault zone in southwestern Zhejiang Province, and has important implications for understanding the Late Mesozoic tectonic evolution of SE China. U–Pb ages of 138.7 ± 0.8, 134.2 ± 1.1, 128.5 ± 1.5 and 126.1 ± 0.9 Ma were obtained from zircon by laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry, indicating that the Honggong pluton formed in the Early Cretaceous. The Honggong pluton has a clear ferroan alkalic (A-type) granite geochemical signature with, for example, high total alkali contents and FeOt/(FeOt + MgO) values. The Sr–Nd–Hf isotopic compositions suggest that there was juvenile material in the magma source. Geochemical evidence indicates that the pluton was derived through extensive fractionation of melts that contained both asthenospheric mantle and Mesoproterozoic crustal components. These rare granites in southern China were emplaced during five episodes at 235–225, 190, 165–155, 100–90 and 140–120 Ma. The age of the Honggong pluton suggests that localized extension in southwestern Zhejiang Province began as early as ~138 Ma and continued to 126 Ma. This Early Cretaceous extensional event was triggered by localized rollback of the subducting Pacific Plate.
In this article, we discuss the stability of soft quasicrystalline phases in a coupled-mode Swift-Hohenberg model for three-component systems, where the characteristic length scales are governed by the positive-definite gradient terms. Classic two-mode approximation method and direct numerical minimization are applied to the model. In the latter approach, we apply the projection method to deal with the potentially quasiperiodic ground states. A variable cell method of optimizing the shape and size of higher-dimensional periodic cell is developed to minimize the free energy with respect to the order parameters. Based on the developed numerical methods, we rediscover decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystalline phases, and find diverse periodic phases and complex modulated phases. Furthermore, phase diagrams are obtained in various phase spaces by comparing the free energies of different candidate structures. It does show not only the important roles of system parameters, but also the effect of optimizing computational domain. In particular, the optimization of computational cell allows us to capture the ground states and phase behavior with higher fidelity. We also make some discussions on our results and show the potential of applying our numerical methods to a larger class of mean-field free energy functionals.
Facilitated by recent establishment of terrestrial networks and satellite constellations of Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers, ship trajectories are becoming increasingly available and the size of recorded trajectories is getting larger. Large sets of trajectories create problems of storing, transmitting and processing data. Using appropriate methods, an accurate representation of the original trajectories can be obtained by compressing redundant information, while maintaining the main characteristic elements. In this paper, a new scheme and the implementation of the Douglas-Peucker (DP) algorithm are presented, which can simplify AIS trajectories by extracting characteristic points. As for the simplification threshold, the solo parameter of the DP algorithm, a new AIS-based minimum ship domain evaluation method is proposed and acts as criteria for simplification threshold determination. Finally, a validation is made to examine the effectiveness of the DP simplification algorithm and the rationality of the simplification threshold. The result indicates that the DP algorithm can simplify AIS trajectories effectively; the simplification threshold is scientific and reasonable.
This study investigated the effects of glycinin on the growth, intestinal oxidative status, tight junction components, cytokines and apoptosis signalling factors of fish. The results showed that an 80 g/kg diet of glycinin exposure for 42 d caused poor growth performance and depressed intestinal growth and function of juvenile Jian carp (Cyprinus carpio var. Jian). Meanwhile, dietary glycinin exposure induced increases in lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation; it caused reductions in superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities; and it increased MnSOD, CuZnSOD, GPx1b and GPx4a mRNA levels, suggesting an adaptive mechanism against stress in the intestines of fish. However, dietary glycinin exposure decreased both the activity and mRNA levels of nine isoforms of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) (α, μ, π, ρ, θ, κ, mGST1, mGST2 and mGST3), indicating toxicity to this enzyme activity and corresponding isoform gene expressions. In addition, glycinin exposure caused partial disruption of intestinal cell–cell tight junction components, disturbances of cytokines and induced apoptosis signalling in the distal intestines>mid intestines>proximal intestines of fish. Glycinin exposure also disturbed the mRNA levels of intestinal-related signalling factors Nrf2, Keap1a, Keap1b, eleven isoforms of protein kinase C and target of rapamycin/4E-BP. Interestingly, glutamine was observed to partially block those negative influences. In conclusion, this study indicates that dietary glycinin exposure causes intestinal oxidative damage and disruption of intestinal physical barriers and functions and reduces fish growth, but glutamine can reverse those negative effects in fish. This study provides some information on the mechanism of glycinin-induced negative effects.
Π-conjugated porous polymers with hierarchical pore structures were synthesized via high internal phase emulsion polymerization (polyHIPE) technique. The polymers could be used as heterogeneous photocatalysts for highly selective oxidation of organic sulfides into sulfoxides and the free radical polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) under visible light irradiation.
This paper concerns the analytic structure of the self-consistent field theory (SCFT) energy functional of multicomponent block copolymer systems which contain more than two chemically distinct blocks. The SCFT has enjoyed considered success and wide usage in investigation of the complex phase behavior of block copolymers. It is well-known that the physical solutions of the SCFT equations are saddle points, however, the analytic structure of the SCFT energy functional has received little attention over the years. A recent work by Fredrickson and collaborators [see the monograph by Fredrickson, The Equilibrium Theory of Inhomogeneous Polymers, (2006), pp. 203–209] has analysed the mathematical structure of the field energy functional for polymeric systems, and clarified the index-1 saddle point nature of the problem caused by the incompressible constraint. In this paper, our goals are to draw further attention to multicomponent block copolymers utilizing the Hubbard-Stratonovich transformation used by Fredrickson and co-workers. We firstly show that the saddle point character of the SCFT energy functional of multicomponent block copolymer systems may be high index, not only produced by the incompressible constraint, but also by the Flory-Huggins interaction parameters. Our analysis will be beneficial to many theoretical studies, such as the nucleation theory of ordered phases, the mesoscopic dynamics. As an application, we utilize the discovery to develop the gradient-based iterative schemes to solve the SCFT equations, and illustrate its performance through several numerical experiments taking ABC star triblock copolymers as an example.
The genus Hypogymnia is morphologically characterized by swollen lobes, a hollow medulla, perforations in the lower surface, and the absence of rhizines. In our studies on Hypogymnia spp. we found rhizines and hapters were occasionally present on the lower surface of 35 species. Morphology and anatomy of the appendage-organs were studied using dissecting, compound, and scanning electron microscopy and compared with rhizines found in the related genus Arctoparmelia. Two types of rhizine-like structures were found in Hypogymnia: slender and elongated rhizines, and thick and short hapters, both of which were few in number and sparsely distributed on the lower surface. There are no obvious differences in the morphology of rhizines between Arctoparmelia and Hypogymnia, except that rhizines are abundant in Arctoparmelia. Within Parmeliaceae, Hypogymnia belongs to the hypogymnioid clade together with the genera Arctoparmelia, Brodoa, and Pseudevernia, most of which are considered to lack rhizines. The occurrence of rhizines in Hypogymnia is consistent with the placement of Arctoparmelia in the hypogymnioid clade based on molecular data.
We investigated the boron isotopic composition in loess–paleosol sequences in five different profiles in the Chinese Loess Plateau. Three possible boron sources are identified: atmospheric input, carbonates, and weathered silicate rocks. Variations of [Sr], [B], δ11B and the magnetic susceptibility correlate well with the pedogenetic intensity in three out of the five studied profiles, where pedogenesis under a cold–dry climate indicates lower δ11B, lower [B], lower magnetic susceptibility and higher [Sr] values. Exceptions to the variations between the δ11B and other known proxies were observed in arenaceous soils and the Red Clay sequence: the former suggested that vertical redistribution probably occurred with the boron migration, and the latter indicated an unknown mechanism of susceptibility enhancement. A better correlation between the δ11B and magnetic susceptibility and the quantitative estimation of boron budget from each source confirms the influence of paleoenvironmental changes on boron geochemical cycle. Significant positive correlations in Sr/Ca vs. B/Ca and Mg/Ca vs. B/Ca reflect consistent enrichment behavior of those mobile elements into calcium carbonate. The preliminary results imply that boron isotopic compositions in soils can be a potential geochemical proxy to reconstruct the paleoenvironmental changes in loess–paleosol sequences.
Traditionally tissue engineering entails the seeding and culturing of differentiated somatic cells onto biodegradable scaffolds, with subsequent implantation of the cell–scaffold constructs into the defective or damaged sites to regenerate tissues . In this approach, the scaffold acts as a three-dimensional (3D) framework to provide physical support and accommodate cell growth and deposition of extracellular matrices, and its biodegradability allows the scaffold material to be resorbed in pace with new tissue formation. Despite some encouraging successes in clinical trials [2, 3], two key limitations with this approach include the limited source of exogenous donor cells and the lack of adequate vascularity to maintain vitality of the newly regenerated tissues. To address these limitations, current advanced tissue engineering techniques gear toward harnessing a biomimetic scaffold that provides a synthetic regenerative microenvironment to support natural tissue regeneration and angiogenesis . In addition to providing physical support, the ideal biomimetic scaffold would preferably also deliver bioactive factors, which instruct endogenous stem cell recruitment and differentiation three-dimensionally and in a controlled manner  (Figure 20.1). Various bioactive factors, including growth factors [6–8], nucleic acids , and integrin-binding ligands , have successfully been delivered or presented on biodegradable scaffolds. Among these, growth factors are the most important soluble signals in the natural regenerative microenvironment, being actively involved in stem cell recruitment, proliferation, and differentiation, angiogenesis, and tissue morphogenesis. Although they are potent, growth factors are expensive and have short half-lives in vivo. Therefore, scaffolds with controlled-release capacity are desired in order to preserve growth factor bioactivity and to prolong their function at therapeutic levels over an extended time period. However, there remain significant challenges in delivering growth factors effectively from scaffolds, including the need to preserve the bioactivity of growth factors during the possibly harsh incorporation process, the control of their release over an extended period during tissue regeneration, and the need for release to be restricted locally so as to avoid toxic or unwanted systemic side effects. Additionally, each individual delivery strategy is related, and sometimes restricted, to the type of scaffold utilized.
The ordered patterns formed by microphase-separated block copolymer systems demonstrate periodic symmetry, and all periodic structures belong to one of 230 space groups. Based on this fact, a strategy of estimating the initial values of self-consistent field theory to discover ordered patterns of block copolymers is developed. In particular, the initial period of the computational box is estimated by the Landau-Brazovskii model as well. By planting the strategy into the whole-space discrete method, several new metastable patterns are discovered in diblock copolymers.
α-Bi2O3 thin films were deposited on different substrates by atomic layer deposition method. The results of X-ray diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscope correspond to α-Bi2O3. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analyses indicate that the reaction is rather complete during the deposition. Optical properties of the films have been investigated using ultraviolet-infrared transmittance spectra in the temperature range of 8–300 K. It is found that the band gap Eg decreases from 3.12 to 3.03 eV with the temperature. The parameters αB and ΘB of the Bose-Einstein model are 69.3 meV and 293.9 K, respectively. The band narrowing coefficient dEg/dT is −0.435 meV/K at room temperature. The present results can be considerable for future application of Bi2O3-based electro-optic and wide temperature range optoelectronic devices.
The driving mechanism of solar flares and coronal mass ejections is a topic of ongoing debate, apart from the consensus that magnetic reconnection plays a key role during the impulsive process. While present solar research mostly depends on observations and theoretical models, laboratory experiments based on high-energy density facilities provide the third method for quantitatively comparing astrophysical observations and models with data achieved in experimental settings. In this article, we show laboratory modeling of solar flares and coronal mass ejections by constructing the magnetic reconnection system with two mutually approaching laser-produced plasmas circumfused of self-generated megagauss magnetic fields. Due to the Euler similarity between the laboratory and solar plasma systems, the present experiments demonstrate the morphological reproduction of flares and coronal mass ejections in solar observations in a scaled sense, and confirm the theory and model predictions about the current-sheet-born anomalous plasmoid as the initial stage of coronal mass ejections, and the behavior of moving-away plasmoid stretching the primary reconnected field lines into a secondary current sheet conjoined with two bright ridges identified as solar flares.