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The dipeptide DL-methionyl-DL-Methionine (Met-Met) has extremely low water solubility and better absorption than other methionine sources (such as DL-methionine and L-methionine) available in the market. Therefore, six diets (D1, D2, D3, D4, D5 and D6) containing 0 %, 0.07%, 0.15%, 0.21%, 0.28% and 0.38% Met-Met were formulated to investigate the effects of Met-Met on Oreochromis niloticus. The results indicated that percent weight gain and specific growth rate of fish fed with D2 and D3 diets were higher than those fed with D1, D4-D6 diets. The levels of total essential amino acid in whole body of fish fed with D3 and D4 diets were significantly higher than those fed the D1 diet. Superoxide dismutase activity and malondialdehyde content were no significant difference in fed the diet with or without Met-Met supplementation. Majority of reads derived from the fish intestines belonged to members of Fusobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria. Diversity of intestinal microbiota and total antioxidant capacity in fish fed with D3 diet was significantly higher than that of other groups. Since due to the growth results the authors conclude the optimal proportion of Met was 0.61%, and the addition of Met-Met was 0.15% in O. niloticus.
Needles of Juniperus rigida are used in Chinese traditional medicine for the treatment of brucellosis, dropsy, skin disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. This is the first study that reports anatomical structures of the J. rigida needles collected at different altitudes. The most common anatomical, phytochemical, and histochemical techniques and methods are used. The results show that anatomical structures and chemical composition change significantly at different altitudes. The main anatomical characters are significant xeromorphic structures (thick epidermis, hypodermis, and cuticle), a stomatal band, a developed vascular bundle, and a marginal resin duct. The xeromorphic structures become more pronounced with increasing altitude. The phytochemical and histochemical results demonstrate that the content of the main chemical compounds (phenols and terpenoids) basically increases at a higher elevation. Histochemical analysis localizes the phenols in epidermal cells, sponge tissue, endothelial layer cells, and stomatal bands, and the terpenoids in palisade tissue, sponge tissue, and the edge of the resin duct. This work reveals the relation between anatomy and chemistry in J. rigida needles, contributes to the quality control of its ethno-medicine, and provides the evidence to develop the commercial cultivation.
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).
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Image stitching is important for the perception and manipulation of undersea robots. In spite of a well-developed technique, it is still challenging for undersea images because of their inevitable appearance ambiguity caused by the limited light in the undersea environment, and local disturbance caused by moving objects, ocean current, etc. To get a clean and stable background panorama in the undersea environment, this paper proposes an undersea image-stitching method by introducing graph-based registration and blending procedures. Specifically, in the registration procedure, matching the features in each undersea image pair is formulated and solved by graph matching, to incorporate the structural information between features. In the blending procedure, an energy function on the indirect graph Markov random field is proposed, which takes both image consistency and neighboring consistency into consideration. Coincidentally, both graph matching and energy minimization can be mathematically formulated by integer quadratic programming problems with different constraints; the recently proposed graduated nonconvexity and concavity procedure is used to optimize both problems. Experiments on both synthetic images and real-world undersea images witness the effectiveness of the proposed method.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
Immune cells can be genetically engineered with a synthetic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) to eliminate cancer cells, but clinical efficacy in solid tumors has been disappointing due in part to the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). Additionally, the cost and logistical issues of personalized medicine necessitate the creation of an off-the-shelf CAR therapy. Synthetic biology tools were implemented in addressing these problems: an anti-mesothelin CAR, membrane-bound IL-15/IL-15Rα complex, and inducible caspase 9 “kill switch” were expressed in natural killer cells for tumor-targeting capabilities, immunostimulatory effects, and safety in treating a preclinical model of ovarian cancer with a renewable, allogenic cell therapy.
This study aimed to reveal the associated risk factors for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) detected by T-SPOT.TB assay among health care workers (HCWs) at different working locations or job categories in China. This cross-sectional study included 934 HCWs who underwent the T-SPOT.TB assay. Demographic and social characteristics of the participants, including age, sex, job categories, department/ward and duration of healthcare service, were recorded. Among 934 HCWs, 267 (28.5867%) were diagnosed as having LTBI with positive T-SPOT.TB assay. HCWs working in inpatient tuberculosis (TB) (odds ratio (OR) 2.917; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.852–4.596; P < 0.001) and respiratory wards (OR 1.840; 95% CI 1.124–3.011; P = 0.015), and with longer duration of healthcare service (OR 1.048; 95% CI 1.016–1.080; P = 0.003) were risk factors for positive T-SPOT.TB result. Furthermore, longer working duration increased the positive rate of T-SPOT.TB results for physicians and nurses, and physicians had higher risks than nurses for the same working duration. Inpatient TB and respiratory wards were high-risk working locations for HCWs with LTBI, and longer duration of healthcare service also increased the risk of LTBI among HCWs. A complete strategy for TB infection control and protection awareness among HCWs should be enhanced.
This study presents an experimental investigation on the internal flow of a ventilated supercavity using fog flow visualization and particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements. The ventilated supercavity is generated on a backward-facing cavitator and studied in the high-speed water tunnel at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory. Fog particles are introduced into the supercavity through the ventilation line, and then illuminated by a laser sheet for flow visualizations and PIV measurements. The experiments are performed on the supercavities with two closure types, i.e. the re-entrant jet (RJ) and the twin vortex (TV), under the same water tunnel flow condition but different ventilation rates. The flow visualization revealed three distinct regions within the supercavity, including the ventilation influence region near the cavitator, the extended internal boundary layer along the liquid–gas interface and the reverse flow region occupying a large centre portion of the supercavity. The streamwise and vertical extent of the ventilation influence region, the streamwise growth of the internal boundary layer and the reverse flow within the supercavity are then quantified through PIV flow measurements. Compared to the RJ case, the results indicate that the TV supercavity yields a longer vertical extent of the ventilation influence region, a thinner internal boundary layer and a stronger reverse flow. The internal flow results suggest that at the upstream of the location of the maximum cavity diameter, the gas enters the forward flow (including the internal boundary layer and the forward moving portion of the ventilation influence region) from the reverse flow, while at the downstream of that location, the gas is stripped from the internal boundary layer and enters the reverse flow due to the increasing adverse pressure gradient in the streamwise direction. The above results are combined with visualization results of the supercavity geometry and closure patterns to further explain the influence of gas leakage mechanisms on cavity growth and closure transition. Specifically, visualization of the cavity geometry change during the RJ to TV supercavity transition indicates external flow separation associated with a critical incline angle of the bottom liquid–gas interface at the closure contributes to the onset of RJ closure. The closure visualization shows the coexistence of the toroidal vortex and twin-vortex tubes for the RJ supercavity leads to two gas leakage mechanisms: one associated with the shedding of toroidal vortices (
) and the other due to the gas entrained by the internal boundary layer and leaking from the twin-vortex tubes (
). For the RJ supercavity, with increasing ventilation input, due to the reduction of
, the supercavity needs to elongate to increase the gas entrained by the internal boundary layer (i.e.
) to balance the ventilation increase. The elongation of the supercavity leads to reduced flow separation, and eventually a transition to the TV supercavity with ventilation above a critical value. For the TV supercavity,
is absent. An increase of ventilation input can be balanced by the increase of
associated with the widening of the twin-vortex tubes, and therefore, no appreciable elongation of cavity length is observed.
Super-large-scale particle image velocimetry (SLPIV) and the associated flow visualization technique using natural snowfall have been shown to be effective tools to probe the turbulent velocity field and coherent structures around utility-scale wind turbines (Hong et al.Nat. Commun., vol. 5, 2014, article 4216). Here, we present a follow-up study using the data collected during multiple deployments from 2014 to 2016 around the 2.5 MW turbine at the EOLOS field station. These data include SLPIV measurements in the near wake of the turbine in a field of view of 115 m (vertical)
66 m (streamwise), and the visualization of tip vortex behaviour near the elevation corresponding to the bottom blade tip over a broad range of turbine operational conditions. The SLPIV measurements provide velocity deficit and turbulent kinetic energy assessments over the entire rotor span. The instantaneous velocity fields from SLPIV indicate the presence of intermittent wake contraction states which are in clear contrast with the expansion states typically associated with wind turbine wakes. These contraction states feature a pronounced upsurge of velocity in the central portion of the wake. The wake velocity ratio
, defined as the ratio of the spatially averaged velocity of the inner wake to that of the outer wake, is introduced to categorize the instantaneous near wake into expansion (
) and contraction states (
). Based on the
criterion, the wake contraction occurs 25 % of the time during a 30 min time duration of SLPIV measurements. The contraction states are found to be correlated with the rate of change of blade pitch by examining the distribution and samples of time sequences of wake states with different turbine operation parameters. Moreover, blade pitch change is shown to be strongly correlated to the tower and blade strains measured on the turbine, and the result suggests that the flexing of the turbine tower and the blades could indeed lead to the interaction of the rotor with the turbine wake, causing wake contraction. The visualization of tip vortex behaviour demonstrates the presence of a state of consistent vortex formation as well as various types of disturbed vortex states. The histograms corresponding to the consistent and disturbed states are examined over a number of turbine operation/response parameters, including turbine power and tower strain as well as the fluctuation of these quantities, with different conditional sampling restrictions. This analysis establishes a clear statistical correspondence between these turbine parameters and tip vortex behaviours under different turbine operation conditions, which is further substantiated by examining samples of time series of these turbine parameters and tip vortex patterns. This study not only offers benchmark datasets for comparison with the-state-of-the-art numerical simulation, laboratory and field measurements, but also sheds light on understanding wake characteristics and the downstream development of the wake, turbine performance and regulation, as well as developing novel turbine or wind farm control strategies.
Liquid films can be entrained when the dewetting velocity attains a threshold, and this dynamical wetting transition has been well studied in the situation of plane substrates. We investigate the forced dewetting in a capillary tube using diffuse-interface simulations and lubrication analysis, focusing on the onset of wetting transition and subsequent interface evolution. Results show that the meniscus remains stable when the displacing rate is below a threshold, beyond which film entrainment occurs and eventually leads to the formation of Taylor bubbles separated by liquid slugs, as has also been observed in the recent experiments of Zhao et al. (Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 120, 2018, 084501). We derive an analytical solution of the critical capillary number, and demonstrate that the wetting transition is accompanied by a vanishing apparent contact angle and an abrupt drop of the contact-line velocity. Both the bubble and slug lengths are found to depend on the capillary number and the wettability of the wall. A theoretical formula for the bubble length is also proposed and compares favourably with numerical and experimental results.
Using super-large-scale particle image velocimetry (SLPIV), we investigate the spatial structure of the near-wall region in the fully rough atmospheric surface layer with Reynolds number
. The field site consists of relatively flat, snow-covered farmland, allowing for the development of a fully rough turbulent boundary layer under near-neutral thermal stability conditions. The imaging field of view extends from 3 m to 19 m above the ground and captures the top of the roughness sublayer and the bottom of an extensive logarithmic region. The SLPIV technique uses natural snowfall as seeding particles for the flow imaging. We demonstrate that SLPIV provides reliable measurements of first- and second-order velocity statistics in the streamwise and wall-normal directions. Our results in the logarithmic region show that the structural features identified in laboratory studies are similarly present in the atmosphere. Using instantaneous vector fields and two-point correlation analysis, we identify vortex structures sharing the signature of hairpin vortex packets. We also evaluate the zonal structure of the boundary layer by tracking uniform momentum zones (UMZs) and the shear interfaces between UMZs in space and time. Statistics of the UMZs and shear interfaces reveal the role of the zonal structure in determining the mean and variance profiles. The velocity difference across the shear interfaces scales with the friction velocity, in agreement with previous studies, and the size of the UMZs scales with wall-normal distance, in agreement with the attached eddy framework.
Northeastern China is a region of high tick abundance, multiple tick-borne pathogens and likely human infections. The spectrum of diseases caused by tick-borne pathogens has not been objectively evaluated in this region for clinical management and for comparison with other regions globally where tick-transmitted diseases are common. Based on clinical symptoms, PCR, indirect immunofluorescent assay and (or) blood smear, we identified and described tick-borne diseases from patients with recent tick bite seen at Mudanjiang Forestry Central Hospital. From May 2010 to September 2011, 42% (75/180) of patients were diagnosed with a specific tick-borne disease, including Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, human babesiosis and spotted fever group rickettsiosis. When we compared clinical and laboratory features to identify factors that might discriminate tick-transmitted infections from those lacking that evidence, we revealed that erythema migrans and neurological manifestations were statistically significantly differently presented between those with and without documented aetiologies (P < 0.001, P = 0.003). Twelve patients (6.7%, 12/180) were co-infected with two tick-borne pathogens. We demonstrated the poor ability of clinicians to identify the specific tick-borne disease. In addition, it is necessary to develop specific laboratory assays for optimal diagnosis of tick-borne diseases.
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.
We numerically investigate the mechanism leading to the entrapment of spheres at the gas–liquid interface after impact. Upon impact onto a liquid pool, a hydrophobic sphere is seen to follow one of the three regimes identified in the experiment (Lee & Kim, Langmuir, vol. 24, 2008, pp. 142–145): sinking, bouncing or being entrapped at the interface. It is important to understand the role of wettability in this process of flow–structure interaction with dynamic wetting, and in particular, to what extent the wettability can determine whether the sphere is entrapped at the interface. For this purpose, a diffuse-interface immersed boundary method is adopted in the numerical simulations. We expand the parameter space considered previously, provide the phase diagrams and identify the key phenomena in the impact dynamics. Then, we propose the scaling models to interpret the critical conditions for the occurrence of sphere entrapment, accounting for the wettability of the sphere. The models are shown to provide a good correlation among the impact inertia of the drop, the surface tension, the wettability and the density ratio of the sphere to the liquid.
The lichen family Ophioparmaceae contains three genera: Boreoplaca, Hypocenomyce and Ophioparma. The genus Hypocenomyce is reported here for the first time for China, being represented by the species Hypocenomyce scalaris which is distributed in south-western China. For the genus Ophioparma, one new species is described in this paper, namely Ophioparma pruinosa Li S. Wang & Y. Y. Zhang sp. nov., which is characterized by a pruinose thallus and the presence of usnic acid. Ophioparma araucariae is also reported as new for the Chinese lichen biota. Previous reports of O. lapponica in China are recognized as misidentifications of O. ventosa. Descriptions, keys and phylograms are provided for these species.
Since 2010, Jankowski’s Bunting Emberiza jankowskii has been listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, because no comprehensive surveys had been conducted, it was not known whether undiscovered populations existed elsewhere, so the population status of the species could not be assessed accurately. The aim of this study was to assess the breeding distribution and population size of Jankowski’s Bunting in China. Fifty sites in Inner Mongolia, and Jilin, Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Hebei Provinces were surveyed to locate suitable habitat and breeding populations of Jankowski’s Bunting. The surveyed sites included historical breeding distribution areas, wintering sites, and regions adjacent to historical breeding distribution areas. We confirmed that Jankowski’s Bunting has disappeared from most of its former breeding distributions, with the exceptions of Dagang, Xiergen and Tumiji. Additionally, 13 new breeding sites were discovered in Inner Mongolia. All currently known populations breed in Mongolian steppe-vegetation zones, with shrubs dominated by the natural Siberian apricot Prunus sibirica, indicating that this type of habitat is crucial for the survival of the species. Based on remote sensing, the suitable breeding habitat for Jankowski’s Bunting is estimated to be approximately 280 km2. The population size of Jankowski’s Bunting could range between 9,800 and 12,500 individuals, which is much higher than the numbers estimated in previous reports that were based on partial surveys. The suitable habitat remaining in Inner Mongolia would highly benefit from the implementation of the National Key Public Forest Protection Project. The population size of Jankowski’s Bunting is larger than previously estimated, but it is still threatened by habitat degradation and fragmentation, and our survey results reinforce the need for more research. The status of Jankowski’s Bunting in China still meets the IUCN criteria B2ab for an ‘Endangered’ species.
A foundation diet, an intermediate blend and a summit diet were formulated with different levels of soyabean meal, casein and crystalline amino acids to compare ‘slow’ and ‘rapid’ protein diets. The diets were offered to male Ross 308 chicks from 7 to 28 d post-hatch and assessed parameters included growth performance, nutrient utilisation, apparent digestibility coefficients and disappearance rates of starch and protein (N) in four small intestinal segments. Digestibility coefficients and disappearance rates of sixteen amino acids in three small intestinal segments and amino acid concentrations in plasma from portal and systemic circulations from the foundation and summit diets were determined. The dietary transition significantly accelerated protein (N) disappearance rates in the distal jejunum and ileum. The transition from foundation to summit diets significantly increased starch digestibility coefficients in the ileum and disappearance rates in all four small intestinal segments. These starch responses were associated with significant enhancements in nutrient utilisation. The dietary transition linearly increased digestibility coefficients and disappearance rates of amino acids in the majority of cases. The summit diet increased plasma concentrations of five amino acids but decreased those of four amino acids relative to the foundation diet to significant extents. Plasma concentrations of free amino acids were higher in the portal than systemic circulations. Rapid protein disappearance rates advantaged poultry performance and influenced post-enteral availability of amino acids. If the underlying mechanisms are to be identified, further research into the impact of protein digestive dynamics on broiler performance is required but appears justified.
In this paper, drop impact onto a sphere is numerically investigated at moderate Reynolds and Weber numbers. It is naturally expected that the aspect ratio of the sphere to the drop,
, would make a big difference to drop spreading and retraction on the sphere, compared with drop impact onto a flat substrate. To quantitatively assess the effect of
, a diffuse-interface immersed-boundary method is adopted after being validated against experiments. With the help of numerical simulations, we identify the key regimes in the spreading and retraction, analyse the results by scaling laws, and quantitatively evaluate the effect of
on the impact dynamics. We find that the thickness of the liquid film spreading on the sphere can be well approximated by
represents the film thickness of drop impact on a flat substrate. At the early stage of spreading, the temporal variation of the wetted area is independent of
when the time is rescaled by the thickness of the liquid film. Drops are observed to retract on the sphere at a roughly constant speed, and the predictions of theoretical analysis are in good agreement with numerical results.