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Aggressive behaviour is common in animals and typically has lifetime consequences. As younger males have higher residual reproductive value than older males and lose more from injuries than older males do, the propensity for fighting tends to increase with age in many empirical reports and species. However, fighting patterns in those empirical reports cannot confirm the hypothesis that individuals cannot readily inflict injuries on their opponents. To address this shortcoming, a parasitoid wasp species, Anastatus disparis (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae), was used as an experimental model to explore the characteristics of aggression from a life-history perspective; this wasp exhibits extreme fighting, resulting in contestants experiencing injury and death. Results showed that the energetic costs of fighting to injury significantly shortened life and caused the loss of most mating ability. Inconsistent with general predictions, the frequency and intensity of fighting in A. disparis significantly decreased with male age. Further study results showed significantly more young males were received by and successfully mated with virgin females, and most genes related to energy metabolism were downregulated in aged males. Our study provided supporting evidence that young A. disparis males show more aggression likely because of their resource holding potential and sexual attractiveness decline with age.
Chinese sprangletop [Leptochloa chinensis (L.) Nees] is one grass weed severely affecting rice (Oryza sativa L.) growth in paddies in China. Cyhalofop-butyl is the main herbicide used to control grass weeds in Chinese paddy fields, especially for controlling L. chinensis; however, L. chinensis has evolved resistance to cyhalofop-butyl due to continuous and extensive application. To investigate cyhalofop-butyl resistance levels and mechanisms in L. chinensis in some of the Chinese rice areas, 66 field populations were collected and treated with cyhalofop-butyl. Of these tested populations, 10 showed a high level of resistance to cyhalofop-butyl; the 50% effective dose ranged within 108.4 to 1,443.5 g ai ha−1 with resistance index values of 9.1 to 121.8 when compared with the susceptible population. Acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase genes (ACCase) of susceptible and all 10 resistant populations were amplified and sequenced. Among them, Ile-1781-Leu, Trp-2027-Cys, Trp-2027-Ser, and Ile-2041-Asn mutations were found in five resistant populations. No known resistance-related mutations were found in the other five resistant populations, indicating that resistance to cyhalofop-butyl in these populations was likely to be endowed by non–target site resistance mechanisms. Notably, the Ile-1781-Leu and Trp-2027-Cys substitutions have previously been reported, but this is the first report of Trp-2027-Ser and Ile-2041-Asn mutations in L. chinensis. Furthermore, three derived cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence methods were developed to rapidly detect these mutations in L. chinensis.
The uncertainty and information asymmetry that surround initial public offering firms (IPOs) often introduce difficulties for potential investors to discern organizational value, thereby leading to ‘underpricing’. Using the signaling theory, we investigate the role of organizational reputation in the underpricing of IPOs. We analyze 463 initial public offerings in China from the period of 2010 to 2016 and find that being known for quality and generalized favorability dimensions of reputation are negatively related with underpricing on the first day of trading. In addition, we find that the negative effects of organizational reputation on underpricing are mediated by investor attention.
We report on a new scheme for efficient continuous-wave (CW) mid-infrared generation using difference frequency generation (DFG) inside a periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN)-based optical parametric oscillator (OPO). The pump sources were two CW fiber lasers fixed at 1018 nm and 1080 nm. One worked as the assisted laser to build parametric oscillation and generate an oscillating signal beam while the other worked at low power (
) to induce DFG between it and the signal beam. The PPLN temperature was appropriately adjusted to enable OPO and DFG to synchronously meet phase-matching conditions. Finally, both low-power 1018 nm and 1080 nm pump beams were successfully converted to
idler beams, respectively. The conversion efficiencies of the 1018 nm and 1080 nm pumped DFG reached 20% and 15%, respectively, while their slope efficiencies reached 19.6% and 15%. All these data were comparable to the OPOs pumped by themselves and never realized before in traditional CW DFG schemes. The results reveal that high-efficiency frequency down-conversion can be achieved with a low-power near-infrared pump source.
Owing to lack of a definitive correlation between carbon supports and catalytic activity of single-atom Fe-active sites, rational design and preparation of single-atom Fe catalysts have so far been elusive. Herein we designed and prepared one-dimensional core–shell nanostructured single-atom Fe catalysts, in which carbon nanofibers and carbon nanotubes with different crystallinities and electrical conductivities were used as supports to host single-atom Fe-active sites. It was found that the carbon supports with higher electrical conductivity accelerate charge transfer and enhance the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of single-atom Fe-active sites as well as the ORR durability of the final catalyst.
The development of electrocatalysts with high activity and low cost has attracted growing attentions in recent years. Herein, we reported the Mn-doped CoP nanosheet arrays on flexible activated carbon cloth (Mn–CoP/CC) for the effective oxygen evolution reaction (OER) at low overpotential and high current density. Due to the novel 3D nanostructures of the carbon cloth and doping effect of the Mn element, the Mn doped CoP/CC electrode delivered the best overpotential of 317 mV for water splitting with the current density of 10 mA/cm2, a Tafel slope of ∼65.1 mV/dec, and excellent stability over 16 h in 1.0 mol/L KOH, which is superior or comparable to the most of the reported cobalt-based catalysts. Thus outstanding electrocatalytic performance originates from the Mn doping effect, which resulted in increased surface area and fast charge-transfer. It is believed that these findings would help us to develop high effective and stable electrocatalysts for water splitting.
We present radiocarbon (14C) measurements of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) from surface waters of 11 lakes, widely distributed in China. Surface lake water DIC F14C values show distinct differences, and we relate these to the physical exchange character (“open” or “closed”) of each lake. Open lakes studied here generally have lower DIC F14C values than closed lakes. We present a simple model of a lake water cycle to calculate an average residence time for each lake. Comparisons between lake DIC F14C and average residence time shows that the DIC F14C increases with the average residence time and reflects a steady-state.
High-quality carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) have unique one- and two-dimensional structures made up of sp2-hybridized carbon atoms and excellent physical and chemical properties. They have shown potential for use in electronics, optoelectronics, energy-storage devices, composites, and sensors. In this article, we review important milestones in these uses of CNTs and graphene produced by CVD, with special emphasis on the latest advances and remaining challenges. The key characteristics and advantages of CNTs and graphene synthesized by CVD for different applications are compared, and future trends in the use of these nanocarbons are discussed.
Cryptorchidism represents one of the most common human congenital anomalies. In most cases, its etiology remains unclear and seems to be multifactorial. In the present study, a pair of monozygotic twins discordant for cryptorchidism was identified. Twin zygosity was confirmed by microsatellite genotyping. Whole exome sequencing and methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-Seq) of DNA extract from leucocytes were performed to, respectively, evaluate their exomes and epigenomes. No differences in exome sequencing data were found between the twins after validation. MeDIP-Seq analysis detected 5,410 differentially hypermethylated genes and 2,383 differentially hypomethylated genes. Bioinformatic analysis showed that these genes belonged to several biological processes and signaling pathways, including regulation of actin cytoskeleton, which has been previously implicated in the etiology of cryptorchidism. The findings of the present study suggest that non-genetic factors might contribute to the pathogenesis of cryptorchidism.
In recent decades, in silico absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion (ADME), and toxicity (T) modelling as a tool for rational drug design has received considerable attention from pharmaceutical scientists, and various ADME/T-related prediction models have been reported. The high-throughput and low-cost nature of these models permits a more streamlined drug development process in which the identification of hits or their structural optimization can be guided based on a parallel investigation of bioavailability and safety, along with activity. However, the effectiveness of these tools is highly dependent on their capacity to cope with needs at different stages, e.g. their use in candidate selection has been limited due to their lack of the required predictability. For some events or endpoints involving more complex mechanisms, the current in silico approaches still need further improvement. In this review, we will briefly introduce the development of in silico models for some physicochemical parameters, ADME properties and toxicity evaluation, with an emphasis on the modelling approaches thereof, their application in drug discovery, and the potential merits or deficiencies of these models. Finally, the outlook for future ADME/T modelling based on big data analysis and systems sciences will be discussed.
In this study we report changes in Indian summer monsoon (ISM) intensity during the past ~ 3500 yr inferred from proxy indices at Lake Erhai, southwestern China. Both the pollen concentrations and other proxy indices, including sediment grain size, total organic carbon contents (TOC), and elemental contents (e.g., Fe, Al), clearly indicate a long term decreasing trend in ISM intensity over the late Holocene. During the period from approximately AD 750 to AD 1200, pollen concentrations of conifer and broadleaf trees, and herbs reached the lowest levels over the past ~ 3500 yr; while the pollen percentages of both herbs and broadleaf trees increased, suggesting a significant medieval drought. The grain size, TOC, and elemental contents also support an arid climate during the medieval period. The Little Ice Age (LIA) at Lake Erhai was characterized as cold and wet. The medieval and LIA climatic patterns at Lake Erhai were similar to those over most of the ISM areas, but anti-phase with those over East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) areas. We suspect that sea surface temperature variations in the Indo-Pacific oceans and the related land-sea thermal contrasts may be responsible for such hydroclimatic differences between EASM and ISM areas.
Clathrin heavy chain 1 (CLTC) has been considered a “moonlighting protein” which acts in membrane trafficking during interphase and in stabilizing spindle fibers during mitosis. However, its roles in meiosis, especially in mammalian oocyte maturation, remain unclear. This study investigated CLTC expression and function in spindle formation and chromosome congression during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. Our results showed that the expression level of CLTC increased after germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and peaked in the M phase. Immunostaining results showed CLTC distribution throughout the cytoplasm in a cell cycle-dependent manner. Appearance and disappearance of CLTC along with β-tubulin (TUBB) could be observed during spindle dynamic changes. To explore the relationship between CLTC and microtubule dynamics, oocytes at metaphase were treated with taxol or nocodazole. CLTC colocalized with TUBB at the enlarged spindle and with cytoplasmic asters after taxol treatment; it disassembled and distributed into the cytoplasm along with TUBB after nocodazole treatment. Disruption of CLTC function using stealth siRNA caused a decreased first polar body extrusion rate and extensive spindle formation and chromosome congression defects. Taken together, these results show that CLTC plays an important role in spindle assembly and chromosome congression through a microtubule correlation mechanism during mouse oocyte maturation.
Proper dry cow management is critical not only for subsequent milk production and fertility but also for mastitis control. A phenomenon of immunosuppression was commonly observed in transition cows, an example being the high susceptibility of the mammary gland during early the dry period to new infectious agents. Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) play important defence roles in the mammary gland of newly dried cows. One of the bactericidal mechanisms of PMN is through producing reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can be efficiently quantified by chemiluminescence (CL) assay. In the current study, the potential of intramammary application of a commercial Enterococcus faecium SF68 (SF68) product to enhance the local innate immunity of newly dried mammary glands was evaluated based on the CL assay. The preliminary experiments in vitro indicated virtual dose-responsiveness of ROS generation from three different cell preparations, bovine blood PMN, bovine blood PMN pre-conditioned with cow milk, and the post-diapedesis model somatic cells from cow milk, on their exposure to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), viable SF68, and ultrasonicated SF68, but not dry-heated SF68. Because ultrasonication treatment was found to profoundly enhance the immunogenicity of SF68 in vitro, in the following animal trial, single infusion of either 5 or 10×107 original cfu of ultrasonicated SF68 was randomly applied to the front quarters and phosphate-bufferedsaline (PBS) applied to the rear quarters of each of the four experimental cows on the first day of milk stasis. The results showed that within the first post-infusion week, ultrasonicated SF68 induced a faster and greater (P<0·05) recruitment of PMN into mammary lumen with no apparent local or systemic inflammatory sign. Meanwhile, ultrasonicated SF68 also induced a greater (P<0·05) ROS production in response to PMA challenge by in situ somatic cells of mammary secretion. Taken together, ultrasonicated SF68 modulated ROS generation of bovine neutrophils, and would be a potential enhancer of udder innate immunity in drying-off dairy cows. More thorough work is warranted.
A novel parallel hip joint simulator, called 3SPS+1PS bionic parallel test platform, with 4 degrees of freedom including three rotations and one translation is designed to represent three-dimensional motion and compound friction movement of a human hip joint and to be a better simulator for testing the tribology performance of biomaterials for hip joint prosthesis. Stiffness is one of the most important performances of parallel manipulators, as well as for the 3SPS+1PS parallel manipulator with higher speeds. First, the differential kinematic/static model was derived based on the kinematics model. The relationship between the elastic deformation of each active leg and the variation of position/orientation deformation of the moving platform was described based on the virtual work principle. Then, a 6 × 6 global stiffness matrix of the 3SPS+1PS parallel manipulator was derived. The maximum versus minimum eigenvalues of the global stiffness matrix were obtained as its two evaluation indexes. By letting the 3SPS+1PS bionic parallel test platform represent three rotation motions and the dynamic loading of the human hip joint as described by ISO 14242 Part-1, the forces acted on each active leg and their responding elastic deformations were analyzed. The distributions for maximum and minimum stiffness in different workspace were detected. Finally, the results showed that the minimum stiffness in the whole workspace should be larger than the allowable stiffness of the 3SPS+1PS parallel manipulator.
A sample with a radiocarbon concentration estimated to be greater than 105 times Modern was inadvertently graphitized and measured in the Xi'an AMS system last year. Both the sample preparation lines and the ion source system were seriously contaminated and a series of cleaning procedures were carried out to remove the contamination from them. After repeated and careful cleaning as well as continuous flushing with dead CO2 gas, both systems have recovered from the contamination event. The machine background is back to 2.0 x 10–16 and the chemical blank is beyond 50 kyr.
Sb-rich Si-Sb-Te phase change materials with different Si contents were proposed and fabricated, and the role of Si and Sb in the Si-Sb-Te alloys was discussed. The resistance-temperature and retention properties of the Sb-rich Si-Sb-Te alloys were studied. Devices based on the Sb-rich Si-Sb-Te alloys were fabricated by a 0.18 μm CMOS technology and device properties were studied by pulsed mode resistance-voltage (R-V) measurements. Experimental results show that the crystallization temperature and data retention ability of the Sb-rich Si-Sb-Te alloys were obviously improved with increasing Si content, but the electrical properties degenerate if too much Si was added. Sb is helpful to promote the crystallization process, but excessive Sb decreases the thermal stability. So, in order to obtain practicable Sb-rich Si-Sb-Te phase change materials, suitable Si and Sb contents are required to balance the device performances between electrical switching property and thermal stability or data retention ability.
Efforts to extract weak geomagnetic excursion signals from Chinese loess-paleosol 10Be have generally been unsuccessful due to the complexities of its accumulation, because the geomagnetic and climate (precipitation and dust) signals contained in loess-paleosol sequence are tightly overprinted. Here, we present a reconstruction of geomagnetic relative paleointensities for the past 130 kyr from 10Be records in 2 Chinese loess-paleosol sections using a correction based on the correlation of 10Be with magnetic susceptibility (SUS) to remove the climatic contamination. Both these records reveal the Laschamp and Blake events, which lie in the loess and paleosol (L1SS1 and S1SS3) horizons corresponding to mid-MIS 3 and 5e, respectively. The good agreement between our results and other geomagnetic intensities reconstructions from Atlantic and Pacific sediments indicates that our method is robust. Our study suggests the potential application of loess-paleosol 10Be for reconstructing geomagnetic intensity variations spanning the whole Quaternary.
The strategies of repair of tetralogy of Fallot change with the age of patients. In children older than 4 years and adults, the optimal strategy may be to use different method of reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract from those followed in younger children, so as to avoid, or reduce, the pulmonary insufficiency that is increasingly known to compromise right ventricular function.
From April, 2001, through May, 2008, we undertook complete repair in 312 patients, 180 male and 132 female, with a mean age of 11.3 years ±0.4 years, and a range from 4 to 48 years, with typical clinical and morphological features of tetralogy of Fallot, including 42 patients with the ventriculo-arterial connection of double outlet right ventricle. The operation was performed under moderate hypothermia using blood cardioplegia. The ventricular septal defect was closed with a Dacron patch. When it was considered necessary to resect the musculature within the right ventricular outflow tract, or perform pulmonary valvotomy, we sought to preserve the function of the pulmonary valve by protecting as far as possible the native leaflets, or creating a folded monocusp of autologous pericardium.
The repair was achieved completely through right atrium in 192, through the right ventricular outflow tract in 83, and through the right atrium, the outflow tract, and the pulmonary trunk in 36 patients. A transjunctional patch was inserted in 169 patients, non-valved in all but 9. There were no differences regarding the periods of aortic cross-clamping or cardiopulmonary bypass. Of the patients, 5 died (1.6%), with no influence noted for the transjunctional patch. Of those having a non-valved patch inserted, three-tenths had pulmonary regurgitation of various degree, while those having a valved patch had minimal pulmonary insufficiency and good right ventricular function postoperatively, this being maintained after follow-up of 8 to 24-months.
Based on our experience, we suggest that the current strategy of repair of tetralogy of Fallot in older children and adults should be based on minimizing the insertion of transjunctional patches, this being indicated only in those with very small ventriculo-pulmonary junctions. If such a patch is necessary, then steps should be taken to preserve the function of the pulmonary valve.
A 3MV multi-element accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) has been installed in Xi'an, China, and preliminary tests have been completed. The results of both background and precision tests for 4 nuclides are 3.1 × 10–16, 0.2% (14C); 1.8 × 10–14, 1.4% (10Be); 2.3 × 10–15, 1.14% (26Al); and 2.0 × 10–14, 1.75% (129I). The unique features of this facility are the newly developed ion source accepting solid and CO2 samples; the specially designed low-energy injector, including a “beam blanking unit” and “Q-snout”; the acceleration tube structure with the combined magnetic and electrostatic suppression; and the function of the slit stabilization in the post-acceleration system. These features are discussed in terms of the end-user's point of view.
By simply controlling temperature and atmosphere, tetraleg ZnO nanostructures with different morphologies and sizes have been fabricated respectively through pure zinc powder evaporation without catalysts at temperature of 600∼800 oC. The growth mechanisms of the nanostructures were proposed and discussed. Photoluminescence spectra showed a UV and green emission peaks at room temperature. Field emission measurements revealed that the turn-on field is very low and the emission current density is relative to the morphology and size. Such ZnO nanostructures are likely to be candidates as building blocks for constructing photonic and field emission crystals.