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This article presents a brief review of our case studies of data-driven Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) for intelligently discovering advanced structural metal materials, including light-weight materials (Ti, Mg, and Al alloys), refractory high-entropy alloys, and superalloys. The basic bonding in terms of topology and electronic structures is recommended to be considered as the building blocks/units constructing the microstructures of advanced materials. It is highlighted that the bonding charge density could not only provide an atomic and electronic insight into the physical nature of chemical bond of materials but also reveal the fundamental strengthening/embrittlement mechanisms and the local phase transformations of planar defects, paving a path in accelerating the development of advanced metal materials via interfacial engineering. Perspectives on the knowledge-based modeling/simulations, machine-learning knowledge base, platform, and next-generation workforce for sustainable ecosystem of ICME are highlighted, thus to call for more duty on the developments of advanced structural metal materials and enhancement of research productivity and collaboration.
The present study investigated the effects of condensed tannins (CT) on intestinal immune function in on-growing grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). A total of 540 healthy grass carp were fed six diets containing different levels of CT (0, 10·00, 20·00, 30·00, 40·00 and 50·00 g/kg diet) for 70 d and then challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 d. The results showed that, compared with the control group, dietary CT (1) induced intestinal histopathological lesions and aggravated enteritis; (2) decreased lysozyme and acid phosphatase activities, complement 3 (C3), C4 and IgM contents and down-regulated the Hepcidin, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide (LEAP)-2A, LEAP-2B, Mucin2 and β-defensin-1 mRNA levels in the proximal intestine (PI), mid intestine (MI) and distal intestine (DI) (P < 0·05); (3) down-regulated the mRNA levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2 (not in MI and DI), IL-4/13A (not IL-4/13B), IL-10 and IL-11 partly correlated with target of rapamycin (TOR) signalling; and (4) up-regulated the mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines interferon-γ2, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 (not in PI), IL-12p35, IL-12p40, IL-15 and IL-17D partly related to NF-κB signalling in the intestine of on-growing grass carp. Overall, the results indicated that CT could impair the intestinal immune function, and its potential regulation mechanisms were partly associated with the TOR and NF-κB signalling pathways. Finally, based on the percentage weight gain and enteritis morbidity, the maximum allowable levels of CT for on-growing grass carp (232·22–890·11 g) were estimated to be 18·6 and 17·4 g/kg diet, respectively.
We aimed to investigate the association between plasma retinol and incident cancer among Chinese hypertensive adults. We conducted a nested case–control study, including 231 patients with incident cancer and 231 matched controls during a median 4·5-year follow-up of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. There was a significant, inverse association between retinol levels and digestive system cancer (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91). When compared with participants in the first quartile of retinol (< 52·3 μg/dl), a significantly lower cancer risk was found in participants in quartile 2–4 ( ≥ 52·3 μg/dl: OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·71). However, there was a U-shaped association between retinol levels and non-digestive system cancers where the risk of cancers decreased (although not significantly) with each increment of plasma retinol (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·89; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·31) in participants with retinol < 68·2 μg/dl, and then increased significantly with retinol (per 10 μg/dl increase: OR 1·65; 95 % CI 1·12, 2·44) in participants with retinol ≥ 68·2 μg/dl. In conclusion, there was a significant inverse dose–response association between plasma retinol and the risk of digestive system cancers. However, a U-shaped association was observed between plasma retinol and the risk of non-digestive cancers (with a turning point approximately 68·2 μg/dl).
Much effort has been devoted to improving the efficiency of animal cloning. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of BRG1 contained in Xenopus egg extracts on the development of cloned mouse embryos. The results showed that mouse NIH/3T3 cells were able to express pluripotent genes after treatment with egg extracts, indicating that the egg extracts contained reprogramming factors. After co-injection of Xenopus egg extracts and single mouse cumulus cells into enucleated mouse oocytes, statistically higher pronucleus formation and development rates were observed in the egg Extract− co-injected group compared with those in the no egg extract-injected (NT) group (38–66% vs 18–34%, P<0.001). Removal of BRG1 protein from Xenopus egg extracts was conducted, and the BRG1-depleted extracts were co-injected with single donor cells into recipient oocytes. The results showed that the percentages of pronucleus formation were significantly higher in both BRG1-depleted and BRG1-intact groups than that in the nuclear transfer (NT) group (94, 64% vs 50%, P<0.05). Furthermore, percentages in the BRG1-depleted group were even higher than in the BRG1-intact group (94% vs 64%). More confined expression of Oct4 in the inner cell mass (ICM) was observed in the blastocyst derived from the egg extract-injected groups. However, Nanog expression was more contracted in the ICM of cloned blastocysts in the BRG1-depleted group than in the BGR1-intact group. Based on the present study, BRG1 might not play an essential role in reprogramming, but the factors enhancing pronucleus formation and development of cloned mouse embryos are contained in Xenopus egg extracts.
Incurred but not reported (IBNR) loss reserving is of great importance for Property & Casualty (P&C) insurers. However, the temporal dependence exhibited in the claim arrival process is not reflected in many current loss reserving models, which might affect the accuracy of the IBNR reserve predictions. To overcome this shortcoming, we proposed a marked Cox process and showed its many desirable properties in Badescu et al. (2016).
In this paper, we consider the model estimation and applications. We first present an expectation–maximization (EM) algorithm which guarantees the efficiency of the estimators unlike the moment estimation methods widely used in estimating Cox processes. In addition, the proposed fitting algorithm can be implemented at a reasonable computational cost. We examine the performance of the proposed algorithm through simulation studies. The applicability of the proposed model is tested by fitting it to a real insurance claim data set. Through out-of-sample tests, we find that the proposed model can provide realistic predictive distributions.
The hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (nHAPs) were synthesized rapidly by the self-assembled dual-frequency ultrasonic method. The ultrasonic time and power effect on the morphology and phase composition of nHAPs were investigated through field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), X-ray diffraction, energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) spectrometer, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, which showed that the most uniform nanoparticles were obtained when the ultrasonic time was 30 min and the ultrasonic power was 280 W. Cytotoxicity and hemolysis tests showed that an indistinctive cytotoxic effect was within the concentration of 25–400 μg/mL and the hemolytic ratio was below 2.0% at concentration of 25–200 μg/mL, respectively, revealing a good biocompatibility of nHAPs. By loading tetracycline hydrochloride onto nHAPs spheres, the drug release results showed that the drug loading and encapsulation efficiency were (26.34 ± 2.99)% and (52.68 ± 5.98)%, respectively. The drug-loaded sample shows a slow-release property, indicating that nHAPs may be promising as drug carriers.
To revise an abbreviated version of the Silhouettes subtest of the Visual Object and Space Perception (VOSP) battery in order to recognize mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and determine the optimal cutoffs to differentiate among cognitively normal controls (NC), MCI, and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in the Chinese elderly.
A cross-sectional validation study.
Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
A total of 591 participants: Individuals with MCI (n = 211), AD (n = 139) and NC (n = 241) were recruited from the Memory Clinic, Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
Baseline neuropsychological battery (including VOSP) scores were collected from firsthand data. An abbreviated version of silhouettes test (Silhouettes-A) was revised from the original English version more suitable for the elderly, including eight silhouettes of animals and seven silhouettes of inanimate objects, with a score ranging from 0 to 15.
Silhouettes-A was an effective test to screen MCI in the Chinese elderly with good sensitivity and specificity, similar to the Montreal cognitive assessment and superior to other single tests reflecting language, spatial, or executive function. However, it had no advantage in distinguishing MCI from AD. The corresponding optimal cutoff scores of Silhouettes-A were 10 for screening MCI and 8 for AD.
Silhouettes-A is a quick, simple, sensitive, and dependable cognitive test to distinguish among NC, MCI, and AD patients.
Although parasites and microbial pathogens are both detrimental to insects, little information is currently available on the mechanism involved in how parasitized hosts balance their immune responses to defend against microbial infections. We addressed this in the present study by comparing the immune response between unparasitized and parasitized pupae of the chrysomelid beetle, Octodonta nipae (Maulik), to Escherichia coli invasion. In an in vivo survival assay, a markedly reduced number of E. coli colony-forming units per microliter was detected in parasitized pupae at 12 and 24 h post-parasitism, together with decreased phagocytosis and enhanced bactericidal activity at 12 h post-parasitism. The effects that parasitism had on the mRNA expression level of selected antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) of O. nipae pupae showed that nearly all transcripts of AMPs examined were highly upregulated during the early and late parasitism stages except defensin 2B, whose mRNA expression level was downregulated at 24 h post-parasitism. Further elucidation on the main maternal fluids responsible for alteration of the primary immune response against E. coli showed that ovarian fluid increased phagocytosis at 48 h post-injection. These results indicated that the enhanced degradation of E. coli in parasitized pupae resulted mainly from the elevated bactericidal activity without observing the increased transcripts of target AMPs. This study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the immune responses of a parasitized host to bacterial infections.
We consider generalised metrisability and cardinal invariants in quasitopological groups. We construct examples to show that some equalities of cardinal invariants in topological groups cannot be extended to quasitopological groups.
The evolution of fatigue performance and surface mechanical properties of AISI 304 stainless steel induced by the electropulsing-assisted ultrasonic surface rolling process (EP-USRP) was systematically investigated by integrating instrumented indentation, scanning electron microscopy with electron backscatter diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy. The results indicate that higher hardness, greater strength, finer ultra-refined grains, and higher residual compressive stress are formed within the strengthened layer compared with the original ultrasonic surface rolling process (USRP). EP-USRP with the optimized experimental parameters can produce a higher average rotating bending fatigue strength for AISI 304 stainless steel than USRP. Anomalously and noteworthily, all fatigue specimens treated by EP-USRP showed an incomplete fracture, revealing a higher reservation of safety in practical engineering applications. The further modified structure strengthening and stress strengthening induced by EP-USRP are likely the primary intrinsic reasons for the observed phenomena. Furthermore, the influence mechanism of EP-USRP was discussed scrupulously.
In this study, wideband bandpass power divider with good out-of-band performance is proposed. Two bandpass filters (BPFs) are utilized to substitute the quarter-wavelength transmission line in conventional Wilkinson power divider. A resistor is specially arranged between two BPFs for a good isolation. Four transmission zeros (TZs) are found to be distributed in the lower and upper stopband of the power divider. Moreover, the locations of two TZs can be shifted by tuning the impedance ratio of the center-loaded open stub, which is propitious to improve the frequency selectivity. Even- and odd-mode methods are applied to analyze the proposed power divider and closed-form design formulas are obtained. Finally, two prototype power dividers with measured rejection level in the upper stopband larger than 29.1 and 32 dB till to 2.7f0 and 2.69f0, respectively, are designed and fabricated to testify the proposed design concept. Good agreement between the simulated and measured results is observed, validating the validity of the proposed design principle.
End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is a life-threatening illness that presents significant healthcare challenges. About 90% of ESRD patients receive hemodialysis treatment, but the currently available hemodialysis systems are bulky and prone to complications. We report the design of a microfluidic hemodialysis device composed of two polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) chambers separated by a cellulose ester (CE) membrane. The polyethylene glycol-passivated PDMS and CE surfaces reduced platelet adhesion by 74% and 86%, respectively. Moreover, the device exhibited a higher urea clearance rate per unit area than a healthy kidney. The reported design sets the foundation for a next-generation biomimetic portable hemodialysis device.
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.
Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) is considered as a promising heterogeneous catalyst for photocatalytic H2 evolution from water under visible light illustration, and its photocatalytic performance could be controlled through its texture and optical/electronic properties. Herein, we present a facile one-step heating method for the synthesis of B/P/F doped g-C3N4 photocatalysts (BCN, PCN, and FCN). The prepared photocatalysts were characterized by XRD, SEM, UV-vis absorption, FTIR, BET, XPS, PL, and photocurrent measurement. The results show that the B/P/F doping increased the interplanar stacking distance of g-C3N4, enlarged the optical absorption range, and improved the photocatalytic activity of H2 evolution. FCN exhibits the highest photocatalytic activity, followed by BCN, and PCN that has the lowest performance. This work studies the doping effects of the nonmetal elements on the photocatalytic activities, the electronic structures as well as the band gaps of g-C3N4, to provide a feasible modification pathway to design and synthesize highly efficient photocatalysts.
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.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) has been shown to be involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced immune responses in many mammal cells. Here, we suggest that the mTOR pathway is involved in the intestinal inflammatory responses evoked by LPS treatment in chicken embryos. The intestinal tissue from Specific pathogen free chick embryos was cultured in the presence of LPS for 2 h. Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) concentrations, messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of cytokines, and protein levels of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), mTOR and p70 ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6K) were determined. The results showed that LPS treatment increased sIgA concentrations in a dose-dependent manner. The mRNA levels of interleukine (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α and Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 were upregulated by LPS treatment (P<0.05). Lipopolysaccharide increased the phosphorylation of Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), p38 MAPK and NF-κB (P<0.05) while decreasing the phosphorylation level of mTOR (P<0.05). Supplementation of leucine at doses of 10, 20 and 40 mM dose-dependently decreased sIgA production. Leucine supplementation at 40 mM restored the phosphorylation level of mTOR and p70S6K while suppressing the phosphorylation levels of NF-κB (P<0.05) and partially down-regulating the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and JNK. The transcription of IL-6 was significantly decreased by leucine supplementation. These results suggested that leucine could alleviate LPS-induced inflammatory responses by down-regulating NF-κB signaling pathway and evoking mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway, which may involve in the regulation of the intestinal immune system in chicken embryos.