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With the popularization of carbon and nitrogen stable-isotope analysis methods used on archaeological samples from Xinjiang, the ancient paleodiet there has been revealed. However, research about isotopic analysis combined with environmental factors is rare, especially in such a variable and complex climate as that of the Tianshan region. We systematically analyzed the δ13C and δ15N results from animals and humans for dietary reconstruction of nomadic pastoralists from the Tianshan region during 3900–1200 cal BP. The δ13C and δ15N values for animals (sheep/goat, horse and cattle; n = 57) have a wide range from –20.8‰ to –14.7‰ for δ13C (–19.2 ± 1.0‰) and 3.2‰ to 9.9‰ for δ15N (7.0 ± 1.2‰). The δ13C and δ15N values from humans range from –19.6 to –12.3‰ (–16.0 ± 1.5‰) and 7.1 to 16.7‰ (–13.6 ± 1.5‰), respectively. The animal δ15N results indicate that the dry environment in the Tianshan region may result in elevated δ15N values. Synthesizing animal and human isotope results suggests that the inhabitants engaged in mobile herding economies subsidized with crops and wild animal meat from the Tianshan Mountains. In conclusion, we found that the regional environment closely relates to crop types, and temporal climate change has an effect on human dietary structure. Therefore, climate condition cannot be ignored when studying human paleodiet.
For the guarantee of the long-distance transport of the bunches of China Initiative Accelerator Driven System (CIADS), a new scheme is proposed that extra magnetic field is used in the accelerator-target coupling section before the windowless target to minimize the self-modulation (SM) mechanism. Particle-in-cell simulations are carried out to study the influence of the solenoidal magnetic field on the self-modulation mechanism when long proton bunches move in the background plasmas. The long proton bunches used in the simulations are similar to these in the linear accelerator of CIADS. It is found that the presence of the solenoidal magnetic field will significantly inhibit the self-modulation process. For the strong magnetic field, the longitudinal separation and transverse focusing of the long bunches disappear. We attribute these phenomena to the reason that the strong solenoidal magnetic field restricts the transverse movement of plasma electrons. Thus, there are not enough electrons around the bunch to compensate the space charge effect. Moreover, without transverse current, the longitudinal pinched effect disappears, and the long bunch can not be separated into small pulses anymore.
To assess the prevalence and to identify the associated factors of malnutrition among elderly Chinese with physical functional dependency.
Face-to-face interviews using standardised questionnaires were conducted to collect demographic information, health-related issues and psychosocial status. Physical function was measured by the Barthel Index (BI), and nutrition status was assessed by the Mini Nutritional Assessment–Short Form. Multivariate binary logistic regression was used to assess associated factors of malnutrition.
A total of 2323 participants (aged ≥ 60 years) with physical functional dependency in five provinces in China were enrolled using a multistage cluster sampling scheme.
The prevalence of malnutrition was 17·9 % (95 % CI 16·3, 19·4). Multivariable binary logistic regression revealed the independent risk factors of poor nutrition status were being female, older age, lower educational status, poor hearing, poor physical functional status, lack of hobbies, low religious participation, poor social support, lack of social participation and changes in social participation. The study found that the most significant independent risk factor for malnutrition was complete physical functional dependence (OR 4·46, 95 % CI 2·92, 6·82).
The findings of the study confirm that malnutrition and the risk of malnutrition are prevalent in Chinese older adults with physical functional dependency. In addition to demographic and physical health-related factors, psychosocial factors, which are often overlooked, are independently associated with nutrition status in Chinese older adults with physical functional dependency. A holistic approach should be adopted to screen for malnutrition and develop health promotion interventions in this vulnerable population.
The quality of the polymer raw material used in plastic processing methods is an important characteristic because it is one of the main factors in producing quality products. Therefore, the characterization of polymeric pellets in the polymer processing industry is very important to avoid using inferior materials. In general, differences in the interiors of polymeric pellets reflect differences in their densities. In this study, a high-sensitivity magnetic levitation method was used to characterize the polymeric pellets in four different occasions. The device used has a high sensitivity that can distinguish minute differences as small as of 0.0041 g/cm3 in density between different samples. In addition, the method can obtain a sample's density without knowing the weight and volume of the sample. This method can be used to characterize materials by testing only a single pellet, which is very useful for polymeric pellet characterization.
This paper deals with stochastic comparisons of the largest order statistics arising from two sets of independent and heterogeneous gamma samples. It is shown that the weak supermajorization order between the vectors of scale parameters together with the weak submajorization order between the vectors of shape parameters imply the reversed hazard rate ordering between the corresponding maximum order statistics. We also establish sufficient conditions of the usual stochastic ordering in terms of the p-larger order between the vectors of scale parameters and the weak submajorization order between the vectors of shape parameters. Numerical examples and applications in auction theory and reliability engineering are provided to illustrate these results.
The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effect of n-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, at an EPA:DHA ratio of 150:500) and phytosterol esters (PS) on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients. We conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ninety-six NAFLD subjects were randomly assigned to the following groups: the PS group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS); the FO group (receiving 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d); the PS + FO combination group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS and 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d) and the PO group (a placebo group). The baseline clinical characteristics of the four groups were similar. The primary outcome was liver:spleen attenuation ratio (L:S ratio). The percentage increase in liver–spleen attenuation (≤1) in the PS + FO group was 36 % (P = 0·083), higher than those in the other three groups (PS group, 11 %, P = 0·519; FO group, 18 %, P = 0·071; PO group, 15 %, P = 0·436). Compared with baseline, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) was significantly decreased in the three study groups at the end of the trial (PS, P = 0·000; FO, P = 0·002; PS + FO, P = 0·001) and TNF-α was significantly decreased in the FO group (P = 0·036), PS + FO group (P = 0·005) and PO group (P = 0·032) at the end of the intervention. Notably, TGF-β was reduced significantly more in the PS + FO group than in the PO group (P = 0·032). The TAG and total cholesterol levels of the PS + FO group were reduced by 11·57 and 9·55 %, respectively. In conclusion, co-supplementation of PS and EPA + DHA could increase the effectiveness of treatment for hepatic steatosis.
P values and confidence intervals (CIs) are the most widely used statistical indices in scientific literature. Several surveys have revealed that these two indices are generally misunderstood. However, existing surveys on this subject fall under psychology and biomedical research, and data from other disciplines are rare. Moreover, the confidence of researchers when constructing judgments remains unclear. To fill this research gap, we surveyed 1,479 researchers and students from different fields in China. Results reveal that for significant (i.e., p < .05, CI does not include zero) and non-significant (i.e., p > .05, CI includes zero) conditions, most respondents, regardless of academic degrees, research fields and stages of career, could not interpret p values and CIs accurately. Moreover, the majority were confident about their (inaccurate) judgements (see osf.io/mcu9q/ for raw data, materials, and supplementary analyses). Therefore, as misinterpretations of p values and CIs prevail in the whole scientific community, there is a need for better statistical training in science.
Affective temperaments have been considered antecedents of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, little is known about how the covariation between alterations in brain activity and distinct affective temperaments work collaboratively to contribute to MDD. Here, we focus on the insular cortex, a critical hub for the integration of subjective feelings, emotions, and motivations, to examine the neural correlates of affective temperaments and their relationship to depressive symptom dimensions.
Twenty-nine medication-free patients with MDD and 58 healthy controls underwent magnetic resonance imaging scanning and completed the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS). Patients also received assessments of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). We used multivariate analyses of partial least squares regression and partial correlation analyses to explore the associations among the insular activity, affective temperaments, and depressive symptom dimensions.
A profile (linear combination) of increased fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) of the anterior insular subregions (left dorsal agranular–dysgranular insula and right ventral agranuar insula) was positively associated with an affective-temperament (depressive, irritable, anxious, and less hyperthymic) profile. The covariation between the insula-fALFF profile and the affective-temperament profile was significantly correlated with the sleep disturbance dimension (especially the middle and late insomnia scores) in the medication-free MDD patients.
The resting-state spontaneous activity of the anterior insula and affective temperaments collaboratively contribute to sleep disturbances in medication-free MDD patients. The approach used in this study provides a practical way to explore the relationship of multivariate measures in investigating the etiology of mental disorders.
We present details of on-wafer-level 16-term error model calibration kits used for the characterization of W-band circuits based on a grounded coplanar waveguide (GCPW). These circuits were fabricated on a thin gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrate, and via holes, were utilized to ensure single mode propagation (i.e., eliminating the parallel-plate mode or surface mode). To ensure the accuracy of the definition for the calibration kits, multi-line thru-reflect-line (MTRL) assistant standards were also fabricated on the same wafer and measured. The same wafer also contained passive and active devices, which were measured subject to both 16-term and conventional line-reflect-reflect-match calibrations. Measurement results show that 16-term calibration kits are capable of determining the cross-talk more accurately. Other typical calibration techniques were also implemented using the standards on the GCPW calibration kits, and were compared with the MTRL calibration using a passive device under test. This revealed that the proposed GCPW GaAs calibration substrate could be a feasible alternative to conventional CPW impedance standard substrates, for on-wafer measurements at W-band and above.
A credit default swap (CDS) is an exchange of premium payments for a compensation for the occurrence of a credit event. Counterparty risks refer to defaults of parties holding CDS contracts. In this paper we develop a valuation/pricing model for a CDS subject to counterparty risks. Using the Cox–Ingersoll–Ross (CIR) model for interest rate and first arrival times of Poisson processes with variable intensities for the occurrences of credit default and counterparty defaults, we derive a mathematical formulation and make a full theoretical investigation. In addition, we develop a full theory for the corresponding infinite horizon problem and establish its connection with the asymptotic long expiry behaviour of finite horizon problem. Furthermore, we establish a connection between two major frameworks for default times: the structure model approach and the intensity model approach. We show that a solution of the structure model can be obtained as the limit of a sequence of solutions of intensity models. Regarded as an important theoretical development, we remove a constraint typically imposed on the parameters of the CIR model; that is, the well-posedness (existence, uniqueness and continuous dependence of parameters) of the mathematical model holds for any empirically calibrated parameters for the CIR model.
In this paper we prove some one-level density results for the low-lying zeros of families of quadratic and quartic Hecke
-functions of the Gaussian field. As corollaries, we deduce that at least 94.27% and 5%, respectively, of the members of the quadratic family and the quartic family do not vanish at the central point.
This paper studies the variability of both series and parallel systems comprised of heterogeneous (and dependent) components. Sufficient conditions are established for the star and dispersive orderings between the lifetimes of parallel [series] systems consisting of dependent components having multiple-outlier proportional hazard rates and Archimedean [Archimedean survival] copulas. We also prove that, without any restriction on the scale parameters, the lifetime of a parallel or series system with independent heterogeneous scaled components is larger than that with independent homogeneous scaled components in the sense of the convex transform order. These results generalize some corresponding ones in the literature to the case of dependent scenarios or general settings of components lifetime distributions.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), characterized by deficits in memory and cognition and by behavioral impairment, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that influences more than 47 million people worldwide. Currently, no available drug is able to stop AD progression. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies need to be investigated.
We analyzed the RNA sequencing data (RNA-seq) derived from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database to identify the differentially expressed mRNAs in AD. The AD mouse model Tg2576 was used to verify the effects of IGF-2. The Morris Water Maze was administered to test the role of IGF-2 in memory consolidation. In addition, we quantified cell apoptosis by the TUNEL assay. The levels of amyloid plaques and the levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42 in the hippocampus were also determined by immunohistochemistry and ELISA, respectively.
RNA-seq analysis revealed that IGF-2 was remarkably reduced in AD. The expression of the upstream genes PI3K and AKT and the downstream gene CREB in the PI3K signaling pathway was significantly increased in the hippocampus of Tg2576 mice cells treated with IGF-2. The Morris water maze test showed that IGF-2 improved memory consolidation in Tg2576 mice. The activity of caspase-3 was decreased in Tg2576 mice treated with IGF-2. Amyloid plaques in the hippocampus were reduced, and the levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42 were decreased. The above effects of IGF-2 on AD were blocked when the PI3K signaling pathway inhibitor wortmannin was added.
IGF-2 attenuates memory decline, oxidative stress, cell apoptosis and amyloid plaques in the AD mouse model Tg2576 by activating the PI3K/AKT/CREB signaling pathway.
In this paper we treat a two-stage grouping procedure of building a k-out-of-n system from several clusters of components. We use a static framework in which the component reliabilities are fixed. Under such a framework, we address the impact of the selecting strategies, the sampling probabilities, and the component reliabilities on the constructed system’s reliability. An interesting finding is that the level of component reliabilities could be identified as a decisive factor in determining how the selecting strategies and the component reliabilities affect the system reliability. The new results generalize and extend those established earlier in the literature such as Di Crescenzo and Pellerey (2011), Hazra and Nanda (2014), Navarro, Pellerey, and Di Crescenzo (2015), and Hazra, Finkelstein, and Cha (2017). Several Monte Carlo simulation experiments are provided to illustrate the theoretical results.
A probabilistic methodology for separation loss probability assessments is proposed in this paper. The key focus is on the effect of uncertainties from multiple Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) systems on the separation loss probability assessment. First, a brief review of the ADS-B system and its associated uncertainty quantification metrics is discussed. It is found that most existing studies focus on the individual ADS-B uncertainty quantification for a single aircraft, which is not sufficient for separation loss probability assessment when two or more aircraft are involved. Next, a probabilistic positioning model with multiple aircraft is proposed and various types of uncertainties are included in the proposed model. Numerical simulations show that a navigation satellite fault can significantly affect separation error when individual aircraft see different satellite sets. Following this, several demonstration examples are illustrated to show the bounds for separation loss probability estimation. Finally, several conclusions and suggestions are discussed based on this study. One major finding is that the separation risk significantly increases when two nearby aircraft use different satellite sets to navigate. Real-time assessment of this risk should be performed.
In the context of insurance, the smallest and largest claim amounts turn out to be crucial to insurance analysis since they provide useful information for determining annual premium. In this paper, we establish sufficient conditions for comparing extreme claim amounts arising from two sets of heterogeneous insurance portfolios according to various stochastic orders. It is firstly shown that the weak supermajorization order between the transformed vectors of occurrence probabilities implies the usual stochastic ordering between the largest claim amounts when the claim severities are weakly stochastic arrangement increasing. Secondly, sufficient conditions are established for the right-spread ordering and the convex transform ordering of the smallest claim amounts arising from heterogeneous dependent insurance portfolios with possibly different number of claims. In the setting of independent multiple-outlier claims, we study the effects of heterogeneity among sample sizes on the stochastic properties of the largest and smallest claim amounts in the sense of the hazard rate ordering and the likelihood ratio ordering. Numerical examples are provided to highlight these theoretical results as well. Not only can our results be applied in the area of actuarial science, but also they can be used in other research fields including reliability engineering and auction theory.
A field study to optimize the nitrogen (N) top-dressing mode of panicle fertilization and improve rice yields was conducted in mid-eastern China. Japonica cultivar Yunongjing-6 was grown and panicle N fertilizer was applied at the beginning of the inverted fourth leaf stage using three different modes: manual broadcast application (BA) on the soil surface as a control treatment, deep application during ditching at a depth of 15 cm (DD) and manual BA on the soil surface during deep ditching (BAD). The activity of soil enzymes, including invertase, urease, phosphatase and catalase, was increased significantly at the jointing, booting and grain-filling stages with the DD and BAD treatments compared with the traditional BA mode. The DD and BAD treatments also increased basal internode and neck-panicle internode bleeding intensity. The DD treatment gave the highest crop yield, increasing the yield by 0.63 and 0.31 t/hm2 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, compared with BA. The results suggest that ditching during panicle N fertilizer application after sun-drying of the fields increases rice yields, most likely by improving the activity of soil enzymes and enhancing the physiological activity of roots and grain weight.
Brain structural connectome comprise of a minority of efficiently interconnected rich club nodes that are regarded as ‘high-order regions’. The remission of major depressive disorder (MDD) in response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment could be investigated by the hierarchical structural connectomes’ alterations of subnetworks.
Fifty-five MDD patients who achieved remission underwent diffusion tensors imaging (DTI) scanning from 3 cohorts before and after 8-weeks antidepressant treatment. Five hierarchical subnetworks namely, rich, local, feeder, rich-feeder and feeder-local, were constructed according to the different combinations of connections and nodes as defined by rich club architecture. The critical treatment-related subnetwork pattern was explored by multivariate pattern analysis with support vector machine to differ the pre-/post-treatment patients. Then, relationships between graph metrics of discriminative subnetworks/ nodes and clinical variables were further explored.
The feeder-local subnetwork presented the most discriminative power in differing pre-/post- treatment patients, while the rich-feeder subnetwork had the highest discriminative power when comparing pre-treatment patients and controls. Furthermore, based on the feeder connection, which indicates the information transmission between the core and non-core architectures of brain networks, its topological measures were found to be significantly correlated with the reduction rate of 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression.
Although pathological lesion on MDD relied on abnormal core organization, disease remission was association with the compensation from non-core organization. These results suggested that the dysfunctions arising from hierarchical subnetworks are compensated by increased information interactions between core brain regions and functionally diverse regions.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.