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The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
Music or other background sounds are often played in barns as environmental enrichment for animals on farms or to mask sudden disruptive noises. Previous studies looking at the effects of this practice on non-human animal well-being and productivity have found contradictory results. However, there is still a lack of discussion on whether piglets have the ability to distinguish different types of music. In this study, we exposed piglets to different music conditions to investigate whether the piglets preferred certain music types, in which case those types would have the potential to be used as environmental enrichment. In total, 30 piglets were tested for music type preference to determine whether growing pigs respond differently to different types of music. We used music from two families of instruments (S: string, W: wind) and with two tempos (S: slow, 65 beats/min (bpm); F: fast, 200 bpm), providing four music-type combinations (SS: string-slow; SF: string-fast; WS: wind-slow; WF: wind-fast). The piglets were given a choice between two chambers, one with no music and the other with one of the four types of music, and their behaviour was observed. The results showed that SS and WF music significantly increased residence time (P<0.01) compared with the other music conditions. Compared with the control group (with no music), the different music conditions led to different behavioural responses, where SS music significantly increased lying (P<0.01) and exploration behaviour (P<0.01); SF music significantly increased tail-wagging behaviour (P<0.01); WS music significantly increased exploration (P<0.01); and WF music significantly increased walking, lying, standing and exploration (all P<0.01). The results also showed that musical instruments and tempo had little effect on most of the behaviours. Fast-tempo music significantly increased walking (P=0.02), standing (P<0.01) and tail wagging (P=0.04) compared with slow-tempo music. In conclusion, the results of this experiment show that piglets are more sensitive to tempo than to musical instruments in their response to musical stimulation and seem to prefer SS and WF music to the other two types. The results also suggest a need for further research on the effect of music types on animals.
Although application of organic fertilizers has become a recommended way for developing sustainable agriculture, it is still unclear whether above-ground and below-ground crops have similar responses to chemical fertilizers (CF) and organic manure (OM) under the same farming conditions. The current study investigated soil quality and crop yield response to fertilization of a double-cropping system with rapeseed (above-ground) and sweet potato (below-ground) in an infertile red soil for 2 years (2014–16). Three fertilizer treatments were compared, including CF, OM and organic manure plus chemical fertilizer (MCF). Organic fertilizers (OM and MCF) increased the yield of both above- and below-ground crops and improved soil biochemical properties significantly. The current study also found that soil-chemical properties were the most important and direct factors in increasing crop yields. Also, crop yield was affected indirectly by soil-biological properties, because no significant effects of soil-biological activities on yield were detected after controlling the positive effects of soil-chemical properties. Since organic fertilizers could not only increase crop yield, but also improve soil nutrients and microbial activities efficiently and continuously, OM application is a reliable agricultural practice for both above- and below-ground crops in the red soils of China.
Cultivated pastures in southern China are being used to improve forage productivity and animal performance, but studies on grazing behaviour of goats in these cultivated pastures are still rare. In the current study, the grazing behaviour of Yunling black goats under low (5 goats/ha) and high (15 goats/ha) stocking rates (SRs) was evaluated. Data showed that the proportion of time goats spent on activities was: eating (0.59–0.87), ruminating (0.05–0.35), walking (0.03–0.06) and resting (0.01–0.03). Compared with low SR, goats spent more time eating and walking, and less time ruminating and resting under high SR. Goats had similar diet preferences under both SR and preferred to eat grasses (ryegrass and cocksfoot) more than a legume (white clover). The distribution of eating time on each forage species was more uniform under high v. low SR. Bites/step, bite weight and daily intake were greater under low than high SR. Results suggest that the SR affects grazing behaviour of goats on cultivated pasture, and identifying an optimal SR is critical for increasing bite weight and intake.
Precision agriculture (PA) may improve the sustainability of Chinese agriculture. Ten experts were interviewed and 34 farm workers surveyed regarding their understanding, attitudes and perceptions towards PA. PA technologies were considered inaccessible, unsuitable and unnecessary for smaller farms. High cost, lack of perceived benefits, and skills and capability required to adopt PA represented barriers to adoption. Financial incentives/subsidies, the need for tangible benefits and tailored solutions to be demonstrated to farmers, and agronomic and peer support were desired. Future research should further explore PA with Chinese stakeholders and end-users in China, to inform future socio-technological developments.
The Middle and early Late Triassic of southern China is well known for a remarkable diversity of marine vertebrates, particularly reptiles, including an abundance of intriguing new forms (e.g., Jiang et al., 2005; Hu et al., 2011; Li et al., 2016). Here we describe a new diapsid from Yunnan Province. It possesses an elongate neck that exhibits a remarkable similarity to that of many Protorosauria, yet in other respects the skull and postcranium are much less derived.
The new taxon is part of the so-called Panxian-Luoping Fauna and the deposits correspond to the Upper Member of the Guanling Formation, comprising thin to medium bedded, gray to dark-gray laminated marly limestone and limestone, with several layers of bentonite intercalated in the fossil level at Panxian (Wan, 2002; Motani et al., 2008; Jiang et al., 2009). Their age is Pelsonian (middle Anisian, Middle Triassic) as is indicated by the conodont Nicoraella kockeli Zone (Sun et al., 2006; Zhang et al., 2009). A recent U-Pb study indicates the absolute age of these middle Anisian beds to be close to 244 Ma (Wang et al., 2014).
Epidemic surveillance is an effective means to determine the characteristics of acute diarrhoea and the benefits of disease control and prevention. The epidemiological, clinical, and aetiological data of adult (aged ⩾15 years) acute diarrhoea in a general hospital in Shanghai were collected and analysed. Out of 2430 acute diarrhoea patients, 162 subjects were sampled (sample ratio 15:1). The sampled subjects had an average age (±s.d.) of 44 ± 18 years; 142 (87·7%) had a history that indicated ingestion of contaminated food; and 40 (24·7%), 54 (33·3%), and 73 (45·1%) patients had diarrhoea that was attributed to viral, bacterial, and unknown aetiological origins respectively. Viral diarrhoea is mainly prevalent during the winter and spring months, while bacterial and diarrhoea of unknown aetiology occur mainly in the summer months. The average age of the unknown aetiology group (48 ± 19 years) was significantly older than that of the viral diarrhoea group (39 ± 16 years). The number of patients with vomiting in the viral group (30·6%) was significantly higher than that in the bacterial (17·1%) and unknown aetiology (8·2%) groups. Viral and bacterial infections are the main cause of acute diarrhoea in Shanghai. However, further effective technological means are needed to improve the surveillance, control, and prevention of acute diarrhoea.
Nanosecond (ns) pulsed dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) actuator in a laminar flat plate boundary layer is investigated numerically in an attempt to gain some new insights into the understanding of ns DBD actuation mechanism. Special emphasis is put on the examination, separation and comparison of behaviors of discharge induced micro shock wave and residual heat as well as on the investigation of response of external flow to the two effects. The shock wave is found to introduce highly transient, localized perturbation to the flow and be able to significantly alter the flow pattern shortly after its initiation. The main flow tends to quickly recover to close to its undisturbed state due to the transient nature of perturbation. However, with the shock decay and final disappearance, another perturbation source in the vicinity of discharge region, which contains contribution from both residual heat and shock, becomes increasingly pronounced and eventually develops into a perturbation wave train in the boundary layer. The perturbation is relatively weak and may not be a Tollmien-Schlichting (TS) wave and not trigger the laminar-turbulent transition of boundary layer. Instead, it is more likely to manipulate the flow stability to achieve the strong control authority of this kind of actuation in the case of flow separation control. In addition, a parametric study over the different electrical and hydrodynamic parameters is also conducted.
Studies of schizophrenia at drug-naive state and on antipsychotic medication have reported a number of regions of gray-matter (GM) abnormalities but the reports have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to conduct multimodal meta-analysis to compare the cross-sectional voxel-based morphometry studies of brain GM in antipsychotic-naive first-episode schizophrenia (AN-FES) and those with antipsychotic treatment within 1 year (AT-FES) to determine the similarities and differences in these groups. We conducted two separate meta-analyses containing 24 studies with a sample size of 801 patients and 957 healthy controls. A multimodal meta-analysis method was used to compare the findings between AN-FES and AT-FES. Meta-regression analyses were done to determine the influence of different variables including age, duration of illness, and positive and negative symptom scores. Finally, jack-knife analyses were done to test the robustness of the results. AN-FES and AT-FES showed common patterns of GM abnormalities in frontal (gyrus rectus), superior temporal, left hippocampal and insular cortex. GM in the left supramarginal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus were found to be increased in AN-FES but decreased in AT-FES, whereas left median cingulate/paracingulate gyri and right hippocampus GM was decreased in AN-FES but increased in AT-FES. Findings suggest that both AN-FES and AT-FES share frontal, temporal and insular regions as common anatomical regions to be affected indicating these to be the primary regions of GM abnormalities in both groups.
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.
Lipases are ubiquitous enzymes in nature, which play a crucial role in fat metabolism by catalyzing the hydrolysis of triacylglycerol to free fatty acids and glycerol. However, reports concerning insect lipase are rare. In this study, we studied the expression and activity of a lipase-related protein from Antheraea pernyi (ApLRP). Recombinant ApLRP was expressed in Escherichia coli cells and used to raise rabbit anti-ApLRP polyclonal antibodies. ApLRP mRNA and protein expression were abundant in the midgut and malpighian tubules, respectively. After challenge with four different microorganisms (E. coli, Beauveria bassiana, Micrococcus luteus and nuclear polyhedrosis virus), the expression levels of ApLRP mRNA in midgut were inducted significantly compared with the control. The different pathogens induced different ApLRP gene expression patterns. The optimum temperature and pH for the enzyme's activity were 35°C and 7.0, respectively. ApLRP activity was stimulated in the presence of Mg2+, Na+, Ca2+ and b-mercaptoethanol; while Zn2+, Cu2+ and Fe3+ inhibited its activity. Detergents such as SDS, glycerol and Tween-20 increased the lipase activity by 20–30%. Our results indicated that ApLRP might play an important role in the innate immunity of insects.
The genetic influences in human brain structure and function and impaired functional connectivities are the hallmarks of the schizophrenic brain. To explore how common genetic variants affect the connectivities in schizophrenia, we applied genome-wide association studies assaying the abnormal neural connectivities in schizophrenia as quantitative traits.
We recruited 161 first-onset and treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia and 150 healthy controls. All the participants underwent scanning with a 3 T-magnetic resonance imaging scanner to acquire structural and functional imaging data and genotyping using the HumanOmniZhongHua-8 BeadChip. The brain-wide association study approach was employed to account for the inherent modular nature of brain connectivities.
We found differences in four abnormal functional connectivities [left rectus to left thalamus (REC.L–THA.L), left rectus to right thalamus (REC.L–THA.R), left superior orbital cortex to left thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.L) and left superior orbital cortex to right thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.R)] between the two groups. Univariate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based association revealed that the SNP rs6800381, located nearest to the CHRM3 (cholinergic receptor, muscarinic 3) gene, reached genomic significance (p = 1.768 × 10−8) using REC.L–THA.R as the phenotype. Multivariate gene-based association revealed that the FAM12A (family with sequence similarity 12, member A) gene nearly reached genomic significance (nominal p = 2.22 × 10–6, corrected p = 0.05).
Overall, we identified the first evidence that the CHRM3 gene plays a role in abnormal thalamo-orbital frontal cortex functional connectivity in first-episode treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia. Identification of these genetic variants using neuroimaging genetics provides insights into the causes of variability in human brain development, and may help us determine the mechanisms of dysfunction in schizophrenia.
Ag–reduced graphene oxide (Ag/rGO) nanoparticle composites were synthesized through a facile one-step hydrothermal reaction using GO and silver carbonate (Ag2CO3) as raw materials. The homogeneous silver nanospheres with an average size of 50 nm well dispersed on the surface of rGO were obtained without other additives. During the formation process, GO both promotes the dispersion of Ag2CO3 in aqueous solution and acts as the substrate of silver cations, and the hydrolysis of Ag2CO3 provides silver cations and alkaline condition. Moreover, GO further serves as reducing agent to generate elemental silver in the alkaline condition. The as-prepared materials exhibit excellent surface-enhanced Raman scattering activities when used to detect the Raman signals of R6G absorbed on the Ag/rGO substrate.
Stars are tidally disrupted and accreted when they approach massive black holes (MBHs) closely, producing a flare of electromagnetic radiation. The majority of the (approximately two dozen) tidal disruption events (TDEs) identified so far have been discovered by their luminous, transient X-ray emission. Once TDEs are detected in much larger numbers, in future dedicated transient surveys, a wealth of new applications will become possible. Here, we present the proposed Einstein Probe mission, which is a dedicated time-domain soft X-ray all-sky monitor aiming at detecting X-ray transients including TDEs in large numbers. The mission consists of a wide-field micro-pore Lobster-eye imager (60° × 60°), and is designed to carry out an all-sky transient survey at energies of 0.5-4 keV. It will also carry a more sensitive telescope for X-ray follow-ups, and will be capable of issuing public transient alerts rapidly. Einstein Probe is expected to revolutionise the field of TDE research by detecting several tens to hundreds of events per year from the early phase of flares, many with long-term, well sampled lightcurves.
In this paper, high temperature (>1400°C) thermal oxidation has been applied, for the first time, to 4H-SiC PiN diodes with thick (110 μm) drift regions, for the purpose of increasing the carrier lifetime in the semiconductor. PiN diodes were fabricated using 4H-SiC material that had undergone thermal oxidation performed at 1400°C, 1500°C and 1600°C, then were electrically characterized. Forward current-voltage (I-V) measurements showed that thermally oxidized PiN diodes exhibited considerably improved electrical characteristics, with devices oxidized at 1500°C having a forward voltage drop (VF) of 4.15 V and a differential on-resistance (Ron,diff) of 8.9 mΩ-cm2 at 100 A/cm2 and 25°C. Compared to typical control sample PiN diode characteristics, this equated to an improvement of 8% and 23% for VF and Ron,diff, respectively. From analysis of the reverse recovery characteristics, the carrier lifetime of the PiN diodes oxidized at 1500°C was found to be 1.05 μs, which was an improvement of around 30% compared to the control sample PiN diodes.
Although 3C-SiC has a narrower bandgap than 4H-SiC, it is the only SiC polytype that can be grown directly over large area silicon substrates. It has the potential to provide a more economical choice than 4H-SiC for intermediate power devices, such as inverters for electric vehicles. To fabricate a vertical device on 3C-SiC, the Si substrate is usually removed either by etching or polishing. Neither of these processes is economical nor efficient. In this paper we propose a lateral Schottky diode design for 3C-SiC on Si structure. 2D finite element simulations using ATLAS showed that a breakdown voltage beyond 1200 V can be achieved with a 4 μm thick epilayer. Physical models used for 3C-SiC/Si power devices simulations are introduced. Advantages of lateral 3C-SiC/Si diodes over free standing 3C-SiC are also discussed.
In this study, CeO2 nanowires–reduced graphene oxide hybrids (CeO2 NWs–RGO) were synthesized by a green hydrothermal method using CeO2 NWs and graphene oxide (GO) as raw materials. During the process of reduction of GO, hydrothermal condition with supercritical water provides thermal and chemical factors to synthesize RGO. The photocatalytic experimental results show that the CeO2 NWs–RGO hybrids exhibit enhanced photocatalytic activity for degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB) under UV-light irradiation. It is found that the degree of photocatalytic activity enhancement strongly depends on the mass ratio of RGO in the hybrids, and the remarkable photocatalytic activity is 20 times that of pristine CeO2 NWs when the loading amount of RGO is 8.0 wt%. The enhancement of photocatalytic activity can be attributed to the excellently elevated absorption ability for the dye through π–π conjugation as well as the effective inhibition of the recombination of photogenerated electrons because of the electronic interaction between CeO2 NWs and RGO sheets.
Metal Nickel(Ni) fill becomes the challeng in integrating silicide-last process into CMOS advanced technology with further contact size scaling. In this work, the specific contact resistivity (ρc) of cold titanium(Ti)/Si was investigated by the cross-bridge Kelvin resistor(CBKR) method and compared with that of Ni(Pt)Si/Si. The cold Ti/n+-Si showed comparable contact resistance(ρc∼3x10-8Ω·cm2) to Ni(Pt)Si/ n+-Si, while a larger ρc(7.5x10-1Ω·cm2) for cold Ti formed on B+ doped Si substrates. The cold Ti/Si interface was also discussed. Our results furnish a fresh perspective on the solutions to the metal fill challeng for silicide-last process.
A study about the achievement of dichromatic white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) was performed. A series of dual wavelength LEDs with different last quantum-well (LQW) structure were fabricated. The bottom seven blue light QWs (close to n-GaN layer) of the four samples were the same. The LQW of sample A was 3 nm, and that of sample B, C and D were 6 nm, a special high In content ultra-thin layer was inserted in the middle of the LQW of sample C and on top of that of sample D. XRD results showed In concentration fluctuation and good interface quality of the four samples. PL measurements showed dual wavelength emitting, the blue light peak position of the four samples were almost the same, sample A with a narrower LQW showed an emission wavelength much shorter than that of sample B, C, D. EL measurement was done at an injection current of 100 mA. Sample A only showed LQW emission due to holes distribution. Because of wider LQW, the emission wavelength of sample B, C and D was longer and peak intensity was weaker. Sample D with insert layer on top of LQW showed strongest yellow light emission with a blue peak. As the injection current increased, sample A showed highest output light power due to narrower LQW. Of the other three samples with wider LQW, sample D showed highest output power. Effective yellow light emission has always been an obstacle to the achievement of dichromatic white LED. Sample D with insert layer close to p-GaN can confine the hole distribution more effectively hence the recombination of holes and electrons was enhanced, the yellow light emission was improved and dichromatic white LED was achieved.