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The satellite constellation with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast on-board is of great importance for air traffic surveillance due to its multiple advantages compared with traditional methods. Although some research has been conducted on satellite constellation design based on coverage performance, the findings cannot entirely satisfy all the requirements of air traffic surveillance owing to the lack of analysis on inter-satellite links and network transmission. This paper presents a novel design of a low earth orbit satellite constellation network to solve this problem. Based on the requirements of space-based surveillance, an evaluation model of constellation performance is proposed concerning coverage, link and transmission. The simulation results show that the evaluation model can reflect the performance of a satellite constellation network designed for a space-based surveillance system, and a 55-satellite constellation design scheme with fairly good performance can fulfil the function of global real-time air traffic surveillance.
As an important dimensionless parameter for the vortex formation process, the general form of the formation time defined by Dabiri (Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech., vol. 41, 2009, pp. 17–33) is refined so as to provide better normalization for various vortex generator configurations. Our proposed definition utilizes the total circulation over the entire flow domain rather than that of the forming vortex ring alone. It adopts an integral form by considering the instantaneous infinitesimal increment in the formation time so that the effect of temporally varying properties of the flow configuration can be accounted for properly. By including the effect of buoyancy, the specific form of the general formation time for the starting forced plumes with negative and positive buoyancy is derived. A theoretical prediction based on the Kelvin–Benjamin variational principle shows that the general formation time manifests the invariance of the critical time scale, i.e. the formation number, under the influence of a source–ambient density difference. It demonstrates that the general formation time, based on the circulation production over the entire flow field, could take into account the effect of various vorticity production mechanisms, such as from a flux term or in a baroclinic fluid, on the critical formation number. The proposed definition may, therefore, serve as a guideline for deriving the specific form of the formation time in other types of starting/pulsatile flows.
High inductive helical support provides a solution to controlling the alignment error of inner electrodes in magnetically insulated transmission lines (MITLs). Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations were performed to examine the current loss mechanism and the effects of structural parameters on electron flow in an MITL with a helical inductor. An empirical expression related to the ratio of electron current loss to anode current and the ratio of anode current to self-limited current was obtained. Electron current loss caused by helical inductor with different structures was displayed. The results indicate that the current loss in an MITL, near an inductive helical support, comprises both the inductor current and the electron current loss. The non-uniform structure and current of a helical inductor cause an abrupt change in the magnetic field near the helical support, which leads to anomalous behavior and current loss of electron flow. In addition, current loss in the inductive helical-supported MITL is negligible when the inductance of the support is sufficiently high. This work facilitates the estimation of electron current loss caused by the inductive helical support in MITLs.
The effect of maternal folate intake on small-for-gestational-age (SGA) births remains inconclusive. The present study aimed to investigate the associations of maternal folate intake from diet and supplements with the risk of SGA births using data from a cross-sectional study in Shaanxi Province of Northwest China. A total of 7307 women who were within 12 months (median 3; 10th–90th percentile 0–7) after delivery were included. Two-level models were adopted to examine the associations of folate (dietary folate, supplemental folic acid and total folate) intake with the risk of SGA births and birth weight Z score, controlling for a minimum set of confounders that were identified in a directed acyclic graph. Results showed that a higher supplemental folic acid intake during the first trimester was negatively associated with the risk of SGA births (≤60 d v. non-use: OR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·96; >60 d v. non-use: OR 0·78; 95 % CI 0·65, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per 10-d increase: OR 0·97; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·99). A higher total folate intake during pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of SGA births (highest tertile v. lowest tertile: OR 0·77; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per one-unit increase in the log-transformed value: OR 0·81; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·95). A similar pattern was observed for the birth weight Z score. Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation during the first trimester and a higher total folate intake during pregnancy were associated with a reduced risk of SGA births.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis are the common causes of human echinococcosis in China. An accurate species identification tool for human echinococcosis is needed as the treatments and prognosis are different among species. The present work demonstrates a method for the simultaneous detection of these three Echinococcus species based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR). Specific primers of this mPCR were designed based on the mitochondrial genes and determined by extensive tests. The method can successfully detect either separated or mixed target species, and generate expected amplicons of distinct size for each species. Sensitivity of the method was tested by serially diluted DNA, showing a detection threshold as less as 0.32 pg for both E. granulosus s.s. and E. canadensis, and 1.6 pg for E. multilocularis. Specificity assessed against 18 other parasites was found to be 100% except weakly cross-react with E. shiquicus. The assay was additionally applied to 69 echinococcosis patients and 38 healthy persons, confirming the high reliability of the method. Thus, the mPCR described here has high application potential for clinical identification purposes, and can further provide a useful tool for evaluation of serology and imaging method.
Previous studies have inferred a strong genetic component in schizophrenia. However, the genetic variants involved in the susceptibility to schizophrenia remain unclear.
To detect potential gene pathways and networks associated with schizophrenia, and to explore the relationship between common and rare variants in these pathways and abnormal white matter integrity in schizophrenia.
The analysis included 100 first-episode treatment-naïve patients with schizophrenia and 140 healthy controls. A network-based analysis was carried out on the data collected from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Phase I (PGC-I). Based on our genome-wide association study and whole-exome sequencing data-sets, we performed a gene-set analysis to detect associations between the combining effects of common and rare genetic variants and abnormal white matter integrity in schizophrenia.
Patients had significantly reduced functional anisotropy in the left and right anterior cingulate cortex, left and right precuneus and extra-nuclear (t = 4.61–5.10, PFDR < 0.01), compared with controls. Generated from co-expression network analysis of the PGC-1 summary statistics of schizophrenia, a subnetwork of 207 genes associated with schizophrenia was identified (P < 0.01), and 176 genes were co-expressed in four gene modules. Functional enrichment analysis for genes in each module revealed that the yellow module was enriched with highly co-expressed, innate immune response genes. Furthermore, rare variants of enriched genes in the yellow module were associated with reduced functional anisotropy in the left anterior cingulate cortex (P = 0.006; Padjusted = 0.024) in patients only.
The pathogenesis of schizophrenia may be substantially influenced by genes involved in the immune system, via both pathway and network.
We previously reported four heterozygous missense mutations of MYH7, KCNQ1, MYLK2, and TMEM70 in a single three-generation Chinese family with dual Long QT and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy phenotypes for the first time. However, the clinical course among the family members was various, and the potential myocardial dysfunction has not been investigated.
The objective of this study was to investigate the echocardiographic and electrocardiographic characteristics in a genetic positive Chinese family with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and further to explore the association between myocardial dysfunction and electric activity, and the identified mutations.
A comprehensive echocardiogram – standard two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography and three-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography – and electrocardiogram were obtained for members in this family.
As previously reported, four missense mutations – MYH7-H1717Q, KCNQ1-R190W, MYLK2-K324E, and TMEM70-I147T – were identified in this family. The MYH7-H1717Q mutation carriers had significantly increased left ventricular mass indices, elevated E/e’ ratio, deteriorated global longitudinal stain, but enhanced global circumferential and radial strain compared with those in non-mutation patients (all p<0.05). The KCNQ1-R190W carriers showed significantly prolonged QTc intervals, and the MYLK2-K324E mutation carriers showed inverted T-waves (both p<0.05). However, the TMEM70-I147T mutation carriers had similar echocardiography and electrocardiographic data as non-mutation patients.
Three of the identified four mutations had potential pathogenic effects in this family: MYH7-H1717Q was associated with increased left ventricular thickness, elevated left ventricular filling pressure, and altered myocardial deformation; KCNQ1-R190W and MYLK2-K324E mutations were correlated with electrocardiographic abnormalities reflected in long QT phenotype and inverted T-waves, respectively.
Valvular heart diseases lead to over 300,000 heart valve replacements worldwide each year. Bioprosthetic heart valves (BHVs), derived from glutaraldehyde (GLUT) crosslinked porcine or bovine pericardium, are often used. However, valve failure can occur within 12–15 years due to progressive degradation and/or calcification. Being innovated by previous amino reagent studies used for GLUT detoxification and carbodiimide [1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide, EDC] chemistry, in this study, we developed a new fabrication method that utilizes exogenous amino donor arginine or lysine carbodiimide combined treatments to better stabilize the extracellular matrix of porcine pericardium. The carboxyl group density, amine content, differential scanning calorimetry, collagenase and elastase degradation, calcification by rat subdermal implantation, cytotoxicity, and platelet adhesion were characterized. We demonstrated that exogenous amino donor carbodiimide combined treatment for pericardiums had better resistance to elastase degradation (1.63 ± 0.11% and 1.44 ± 0.24% in arginine or lysine versus 3.68 ± 0.16% and 3.04 ± 0.11% in GLUT and GLUT/EDC control) and calcification (0.624 ± 0.193 and 0.637 ± 0.213 Ca µg/mg tissue in arginine or lysine versus 1.610 ± 0.124 and 1.512 ± 0.075 Ca µg/mg tissue in GLUT and GLUT/EDC control). This new strategy combined arginine or lysine and carbodiimide crosslinking would be a promising method to produce more robust BHVs with better structural stability and anticalcification property.
The Bi4Te3 films with well-ordered orientation and microstructure were successfully prepared on SiO2 substrate by a vacuum thermal evaporation deposition technique for the first time. We discussed the effects of evaporation temperature and substrate temperature on the phase and its well-ordered growth of Bi4Te3 films. The formation of Bi4Te3 phase is owing to the differences of the saturated vapor pressure. The thermoelectric transport properties of the Bi4Te3 films were investigated and the (00l)-oriented nanopillars array film has a better electrical transport performance, whose value of PF is 0.032 mWm−1 K−2 at 339 K, approaching twice that of the non-oriented ordinary film. The enhanced electrical properties of Bi4Te3 films could be achieved via the high-crystallinity well-controlled (00l)-oriented nanopillars array.
This study aims to address the accuracy evaluation problem for rapid transfer alignment with the coexistence of large misalignment angles and uncertain observation noises. For the requirement of accuracy evaluation, complete information in terms of misalignment angles should be estimated during the alignment process. Thus, a fixed-interval smoothing approach is the core of solving this problem. In this paper, a new Divided Difference Filter (DDF)-based an Interacting Multiple Model Two-Filter Smoother (IMM-TFS) is developed to estimate the misalignment angles. The proposed DDF-based IMM-TFS releases the restriction of inverse nonlinearity by using the weighted statistical linearization regression method, and the resulting pseudo-linear model can be used for backward-time IMM filtering. The smoothing step takes into account the merging of estimations and the interaction of multiple models simultaneously. The new smoother is compared with the previous well-known methodologies in simulations. The results show that the DDF-based IMM-TFS can achieve better accuracy for misalignment angles estimation, and has a high efficiency for detecting the changes in a model.
First principles was carried out studying the properties of (Ti, Nb)C compounds based on density functional theory. The integration of mechanical behavior, electronic structures, and thermodynamic properties can be optimized by mediating the concentration of the titanium alloying element. The results revealed that these transition metal compounds were stable with the negative formation energy. Nb0.5Ti0.5C (29.15 GPa) demonstrated the largest hardness characterized by moduli (B, G) because of the stable shell configuration. NbC exhibited the strongest anisotropy from the universal anisotropic index (AU) and three-dimensional surface contours. TixNb1−xC compounds displayed relatively strong stress responses along the , , and  directions. Due to the weakening p–d bonding, the ideal tensile strength gradually decreased with the increasing titanium concentration. The electronic structures revealed that the bonding characteristics of the (Ti, Nb)C compounds were a mixture of metallic and covalent bonds. On the other hand, NbC and TiC exhibited a minimum (740.55 K) and maximum (919.29 K) Debye temperature, indicating the stronger metalic bonds of NbC and covalent bonds of TiC.
The degradation, alteration and depletion of riparian habitats caused by river regulation are among critical conservation concerns. Aquatic and riparian habitats support not only river-dwelling biota such as macroinvertebrates and fish, but also waterbirds, the top predators in the aquatic food web. Despite the intimate relationships between fish and waterbirds, the two groups are often investigated separately. Using an integrative approach, we examined the effects of dams on fish and scaly-sided merganser (Mergus squamatus), an endangered, iconic riverine species, where the lack of knowledge about habitat preferences greatly hampers long-term conservation efforts. Our analysis quantified three causal links: (1) water depth had direct, comparable, negative effects on both fish and waterbirds, and the path coefficients for fish and birds are –0.31 and –0.46, respectively; (2) river landscape heterogeneity directly and positively affected fish and waterbirds, and the path coefficients for fish and birds are 0.63 and 0.19, respectively; and (3) depth and river landscape also exerted indirect effects on waterbirds through their impacts on fish abundance, and the path coefficients for fish and birds are –0.15 and 0.28, respectively. Our findings could contribute to the rational spatial planning and sustainable operation of dams in that maintaining instream habitat availability and heterogeneity would benefit the whole riverine ecosystem.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
Interleukin (IL)-13-associated signal pathway plays an important role in schistosomiasis hepatic fibrosis. In this study we tried to investigate the effects of corilagin to ameliorate schistosomiasis hepatic fibrosis through regulating IL-13-associated signal pathway in vitro and in vivo. Cellular model was set up with hepatic stellate cells-T6 cells stimulated by rIL-13 and male Balb/c mice were infected with Schistosoma japonicum cercariaeas as animal model. Liver histological changes were observed with haematoxylin and eosin staining. Masson staining was employed to observe the change of egg granulomas. Expression of Col (collagen) and Col III were examined with Immunohistochemistry. Western bolt was employed to detect the JAK-1 and IL13Rα1 proteins. The mRNA expression of Col I, Col III, IL-13, JAK-1 and IL13Rα1 were tested by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. As a result, less inflammatory changes were found in all corilagin groups compared with model group and praziquantel group. The mRNA levels of Col I, Col III, IL-13, JAK-1 and IL13Rα1 were significantly decreased after corilagin intervention (P < 0·01). JAK-1 and IL-13Rα1 protein levels were also greatly decreased in the corilagin groups (P < 0·01). In conclusion, corilagin could ameliorate schistosomiasis hepatic fibrosis by down-regulating the expression of IL-13 and signal molecules in IL-13 pathway.
Cryomilling combined with laser induction hybrid cladding (LIHC) was adopted to produce NiCrAlY coatings on Ni-based superalloy. The characteristics, oxidation resistance, and mechanical properties of the cryomilled NiCrAlY coatings by LIHC were investigated. By increasing the cryomilling time, the as-received spherical powder experienced a transition from flake-shaped to polygonal structure. The particle size increased firstly and then decreased. Moreover, increasing the cryomilling time induced the columnar growth in the NiCrAlY coatings. This in turn improved the oxidation resistance and the mechanical properties of the coatings. Especially, when the cryomilling time was increased to 15 h, the oxidation resistance of the coating at 1423 K was approximately nine times than that of GH4169 superalloy. The tensile strength of the cryomilled (15 h) coating increased to 1085 MPa and the ductility was 20.7%.
Reliability is an important performance measure of navigation systems and this is particularly true in Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). GNSS positioning techniques can achieve centimetre-level accuracy which is promising in navigation applications, but can suffer from the risk of failure in ambiguity resolution. Success rate is used to measure the reliability of ambiguity resolution and is also critical in integrity monitoring, but it is not always easy to calculate. Alternatively, success rate bounds serve as more practical ways to assess the ambiguity resolution reliability. Meanwhile, a transformation procedure called decorrelation has been widely used to accelerate ambiguity estimations. In this study, the methodologies of bounding integer estimation success rates and the effect of decorrelation on these success rate bounds are examined based on simulation. Numerical results indicate decorrelation can make most success rate bounds tighter, but some bounds are invariant or have their performance degraded after decorrelation. This study gives a better understanding of success rate bounds and helps to incorporate decorrelation procedures in success rate bounding calculations.
Elevated levels of blood interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor–α (TNF–α) increase insulin resistance and result in inflammation. It is not clear whether elevated blood level of acetoacetate (ACAC) and decreased blood level of glucose, which are the predominant characteristics of clinical biochemistry in ketotic dairy cows, increase proinflammatory cytokines and subsequent inflammation. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that ACAC and glucose activate the NF-κB signalling pathway to regulate cytokines expression in bovine hepatocytes. Bovine hepatocytes were cultured with ACAC (0–4·8 mm) and glucose (0–5·55 mm) with or without NF-κB inhibitor PDTC for 24 h. The secretion and mRNA levels of cytokines were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and real-time fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The NF-κB signalling pathway activation was evaluated by western blotting. Results showed that the secretion and expression of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α increased in an ACAC dose-dependent manner. Additionally, there was an increase in the secretion and mRNA expression of these three cytokines in glucose treatment group, which increased significantly when the glucose concentrations exceed 3·33 mm. Furthermore, both ACAC and glucose upregulated NF-κB p65 protein expression and IκBα phosphorylation levels. However, these effects were reduced by PDTC. These results demonstrate that elevated levels of ACAC and glucose increase the synthesis and expression of proinflammatory factors by activating NF-κB signalling pathway in hepatocytes, which may contribute to inflammation injury in ketotic dairy cows.
Herein, we present a method for introducing β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) and Ferrocene (Fc) into the main chain of poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) to fabricate a novel supramolecular polymer, which was investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1H NMR). This polymer can self-assemble into interesting nanoparticles in aqueous solution. The redox-responsive Fc–CD host–guest interactions endow these nanoparticles with unique self-degradable and self-healable features under redox potential control. This redox behavior of the supramolecular polymer would open up an approach for redox-controlled biological materials with great application potential.