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In this article, we investigate the horizontal trajectory tracking problem for an underactuated stratospheric airship subject to nonvanishing external disturbances and model uncertainties. By transforming the tracking errors into new virtual error variables, we can specify the transient and steady-state tracking performance of the resulting nonlinear system quantitatively, which means that under the proposed control scheme, the tracking errors will converge to prescribed residual sets around the origin before a preselected finite time with decay rates no less than a preassignable value. To address unknown items, minimal learning parameter (MLP) techniques for neural networks (NNs) approximation are employed, which efficaciously relax the computational burden, enhance the robustness against dynamics uncertainties and provide an improved property for disturbances rejection. A finite-time convergent observer (FTCO) is incorporated into the control framework to realise output-feedback control, ensuring that estimation errors are bounded during operation and approach zero within a finite time. Stability analysis proves that all the closed-loop signals are uniformly bounded. The effectiveness and advantages of the proposed control strategy are verified by simulation results.
This study aimed to investigate the clinical characteristics and to analyse the epidemiological features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients during convalescence. In this study, we enrolled 71 confirmed cases of COVID-19 who were discharged from hospital and transferred to isolation wards from 6 February to 26 March 2020. They were all employees of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University or their family members of which three cases were <18 years of age. Clinical data were collected and analysed statistically. Forty-one cases (41/71, 57.7%) comprised medical faculty, young and middle-aged patients (aged ⩽60 years) accounted for 81.7% (58/71). The average isolation time period for all adult patients was 13.8 ± 6.1 days. During convalescence, RNA detection results of 35.2% patients (25/71) turned from negative to positive. The longest RNA reversed phase time was 7 days. In all, 52.9% of adult patients (36/68) had no obvious clinical symptoms, and the remaining ones had mild and non-specific clinical symptoms (e.g. cough, sputum, sore throat, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract etc.). Chest CT signs in 89.7% of adult patients (61/68) gradually improved, and in the others, the lesions were eventually absorbed and improved after short-term repeated progression. The main chest CT manifestations of adult patients were normal, GGO or fibre streak shadow, and six patients (8.8%) had extrapulmonary manifestations, but there was no significant correlation with RNA detection results (r = −0.008, P > 0.05). The drug treatment was mainly symptomatic support therapy, and antibiotics and antiviral drugs were ineffective. It is necessary to re-evaluate the isolation time and standard to terminate isolation for discharged COVID-19 patients.
The present study was designed to detect three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located on 22q11 that was thought as being of particularly importance for genetic research into schizophrenia. We recruited a total of 176 Chinese family trios of Han descent, consisting of mothers, fathers and affected offspring with schizophrenia for the genetic analysis. The transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) showed that of three SNPs, rs10314 in the 3′-untranslated region of the CLDN5 locus was associated with schizophrenia (χ2 = 4.75, P = 0.029). The other two SNPs, rs1548359 present in the CDC45L locus centromeric of rs10314 and rs739371 in the 5′-flanking region of the CLDN5 locus, did not show such an association. The global chi-square (χ2) test showed that the 3-SNP haplotype system was not associated with schizophrenia although the 1-df test for individual haplotypes showed that the rs1548359(C)-rs10314(G)-rs739371(C) haplotype was excessively non-transmitted (χ2 = 5.32, P = 0.02). Because the claudin proteins are a major component for barrier-forming tight junctions that could play a crucial role in response to changing natural, physiological and pathological conditions, the CLDN5 association with schizophrenia may be an important clue leading to look into a meeting point of genetic and environmental factors.
Post-stroke depression (PSD) is the most common psychiatric complication facing stroke survivors and has been associated with increased distress, physical disability, poor rehabilitation, and suicidal ideation. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PSD remain unknown, and no objective laboratory-based test is available to aid PSD diagnosis or monitor progression.
Here, an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomic approach was performed to identify differentially expressed proteins in plasma samples obtained from PSD, stroke, and healthy control subjects.
The significantly differentiated proteins were primarily involved in lipid metabolism and immunoregulation. Six proteins associated with these processes – apolipoprotein A-IV (ApoA-IV), apolipoprotein C-II (ApoC-II), C-reactive protein (CRP), gelsolin, haptoglobin, and leucine-rich alpha-2-glycoprotein (LRG) – were selected for Western blotting validation. ApoA-IV expression was significantly upregulated in PSD as compared to stroke subjects. ApoC-II, LRG, and CRP expression were significantly downregulated in both PSD and HC subjects relative to stroke subjects. Gelsolin and haptoglobin expression were significantly dysregulated across all three groups with the following expression profiles: gelsolin, healthy control > PSD > stroke subjects; haptoglobin, stroke > PSD > healthy control.
Early perturbation of lipid metabolism and immunoregulation may be involved in the pathophysiology of PSD. The combination of increased gelsolin levels accompanied by decreased haptoglobin levels shows promise as a plasma-based diagnostic biomarker panel for detecting increased PSD risk in post-stroke patients.
Many MRI studies have cited major depression, with or without anti-depressive treatment, associated with structural plasticity changing in several brain regions. Few of these studies researched the effect of the anti-depressive treatment, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), on depression.
To assess the influence of ECT on the brain structure change during the treatment process by utilizing the voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis.
To determine whether ECT alter brain structure.
We performed HAMD ratings and MRI scans on 12 depressive patients during ECT, analyzing the data by VBM with SPM8 software's family-wise error correction (FWE).
The researchers found volumes changes in white matter in 37 regions between pre-ECT and post-ECT1, but only one region changing between pre-ECT and post-ECT8. Seven regions changing in grey matter between pre-ECT and post-ECT 1⌧but none regions changing between pre-ECT and post-ECT8.
The density changes in several brain regions after a single ECT stimuli, but return to the original level after completing the eighth ECT. Our finding supports that ECT may play a temporary role in treating major depression but do not permanently alter the structures of brain.
The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is related to dopamine degradation and has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, how this gene affects brain function properties in MDD is still unclear.
Fifty patients with MDD and 35 cognitively normal participants underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. A voxelwise and data-drive global functional connectivity density (gFCD) analysis was used to investigate the main effects and the interactions of disease states and COMT rs4680 gene polymorphism on brain function.
We found significant group differences of the gFCD in bilateral fusiform area (FFA), post-central and pre-central cortex, left superior temporal gyrus (STG), rectal and superior temporal gyrus and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC); abnormal gFCDs in left STG were positively correlated with severity of depression in MDD group. Significant disease × COMT interaction effects were found in the bilateral calcarine gyrus, right vlPFC, hippocampus and thalamus, and left SFG and FFA. Further post-hoc tests showed a nonlinear modulation effect of COMT on gFCD in the development of MDD. Interestingly, an inverted U-shaped modulation was found in the prefrontal cortex (control system) but U-shaped modulations were found in the hippocampus, thalamus and occipital cortex (processing system).
Our study demonstrated nonlinear modulation of the interaction between COMT and depression on brain function. These findings expand our understanding of the COMT effect underlying the pathophysiology of MDD.
In recent years, outbreaks of hand–foot–mouth disease (HFMD) in China, Singapore and other Western Pacific Region, involving millions of children, have become a big threat to public health. This study aimed to quantitatively assess all qualified studies and identify the risk factors for HFMD death. A systematic search of the databases PubMed, Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library was performed. Study heterogeneity and publication bias were estimated. Seven case–control studies involving 1641 participants (634 died and 1007 survived) were included in the meta-analysis. Human enterovirus 71 infection, male, age ⩽3 years, vomiting, cyanosis, convulsion, duration of fever ⩾3 days, atypical rashes and abdominal distention were not significantly related to HFMD death (P ⩽ 0.05). Lethargy (odds ratio (OR) = 6.62; 95% CI 3.61–12.14; I2 = 0%; P < 0.0001), pneumonoedema/pneumorrhagia (OR = 4.09; 95% CI 2.44–6.87; I2 = 0%; P < 0.0001), seizures (OR = 6.85; 95% CI 2.37–19.74; I2 = 0%; P = 0.0004), dyspnoea (OR = 8.24; 95% CI 2.05–33.19; I2 = 83%; P = 0.003) and coma (OR = 3.76; 95% CI 1.85–7.67; I2 = 0%; P = 0.0003) were significantly associated with HFMD death, which were risk factors for HFMD death.
The coronal heating problem is a long-standing perplexing issue. In this study, 13 solar activity indexes are used to investigate their phase relation with the sunspot number (SSN). Only three of them are found to statistically significantly lag the SSN (large-scale magnetic activity) by about one solar rotation period; the three indexes are total solar irradiance (TSI), the modified coronal index, and the solar wind velocity; the former two indexes may represent the long-term variation of energy quantity of the heated photosphere and corona, respectively. The Mount Wilson Sunspot Index (MWSI) and the Magnetic Plage Strength Index (MPSI), which reflect the large- and small-scale magnetic field activities, respectively, are also utilised to investigate their phase relations with the three indexes. The three indexes are found to be much more intimately related to MPSI than to MWSI, and MWSI statistically significantly leads TSI by about one rotation period. The heated corona is found to pulse perfectly in step with the small-scale magnetic activity rather than the large-scale magnetic activity; furthermore, combined with observations, our statistical evidence should thus attribute coronal heating firmly to small-scale magnetic activity phenomena, such as spicules, micro-flares, nano-flares, and others. The photosphere and the corona are synchronously heated, which should seemingly prefer magnetic reconnection heating to wave heating. In the long term, such a coronal heating way is inferred effective. Statistically, it is also small-scale magnetic activity phenomena that produce TSI enhancement. Coronal heating and solar wind acceleration are found to be synchronous, as standard models require.
Feathers play a critical role in thermoregulation and directly influence poultry production. Poor feathering adversely affects living appearance and carcass quality, thus reducing profits. However, producers tend to ignore the importance of feather development and do not know the laws of feather growth and development. The objective of this study was to fit growth curves to describe the growth and development of feathers in yellow-feathered broilers during the embryonic and posthatching periods using different nonlinear functions (Gompertz, logistic and Bertalanffy). Feather mass and length were determined during the embryonic development and posthatching stages to identify which growth model most accurately described the feather growth pattern. The results showed that chick embryos began to grow feathers at approximately embryonic (E) day 10, and the feathers grew rapidly from E13 to E17. There was little change from E17 to the day of hatching (DOH). During the embryonic period, the Gompertz function (Y = 798.48e−203 431exp(−0.87t), Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) = −0.950 × 103, Bayesian information criterion (BIC) = −0.711 × 103 and mean square error (MSE) = 559.308) provided the best fit for the feather growth curve compared with the other two functions. After hatching, feather mass and length changed little from the DOH to day (D) 14, increased rapidly from D21 to D91 and then grew slowly after D91. The first stage of feather molting occurred from 2 to 3 weeks of age when the down feathers were mostly shed and replaced with juvenile feathers, and the second stage occurred at approximately 13 to 15 weeks of age. The three nonlinear functions could overall fit the feather growth curve well, but the Bertalanffy model (Y = 116.88 × (1−0.86e−0.02t)3, AIC = 1.065 × 105, BIC = 1.077 × 105 and MSE = 11.308) showed the highest degree of fit among the models. Therefore, the Gompertz model exhibited the best goodness of fit for the feather growth curve during the embryonic development, while the Bertalanffy model was the most suitable model due to its accurate ability to predict the growth and development of feathers during the growth period, which is an important commercial characteristic of yellow-feathered chickens.
The association between eosinophil count and cholelithiasis among people with Clonorchis sinensis infection is still uncertain. We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the associations among Clonorchis sinensis infection, eosinophil count and cholelithiasis. The study included 4628 participants from January to December 2018. The levels of eosinophil count were divided into four groups according to the quartiles of eosinophil count. Spearman's rank correlation was performed to assess the association between eosinophil counts and Clonorchis sinensis egg counts. Multiple regression analysis was performed to evaluate the relationships among C. sinensis infection, eosinophil count and cholelithiasis after adjusting for three models. The prevalence of C. sinensis infection was 38.72% (1792/4628), and the prevalence of cholelithiasis was 6.03% (279/4628). The infection rate of C. sinensis was higher in the cholelithiasis group than in the non-cholelithiasis group (63.08% vs. 37.16%, P < 0.001). Significant differences were found among various eosinophil count quartiles for C. sinensis infection, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (γ-GT), triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), creatinine (CRE), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), uric acid (UA) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) (all P < 0.001). A significant positive correlation was found between eosinophil count and log-transformed C. sinensis egg count (r = 0.9477, P < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that light and moderate intensities of C. sinensis infection were associated with cholelithiasis (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively), and C. sinensis infection with eosinophil count ranging from 0.05 to 0.5 × 109/l were associated with cholelithiasis (P < 0.05). In conclusion, our findings suggest that the light and moderate infections of C. sinensis with eosinophil count ranging from 0.05 to 0.5 × 109/l may be associated with a higher risk of cholelithiasis.
This study aimed to classify the pre-auricular sinus before performing radical dissection, so as to achieve optimal aesthetic results.
The recent five-year clinical data of 53 patients with a congenital pre-auricular sinus and infection treated in the hospital were reviewed. According to the sinus course, pre-auricular and post-auricular types were defined, and regional dissection was performed using the modified supra-auricular or post-auricular approach.
All patients achieved primary intention healing of the incision, and were followed up for six months to five years. No recurrence was found, and the incision scar was completely concealed.
Surgical approaches for regional dissection might be adopted based on the different types of pre-auricular sinuses, and further radical dissection might be performed to achieve optimal aesthetic results.
We study the shape and motion of gas bubbles in a liquid flowing through a horizontal or slightly inclined thin annulus. Experimental data show that in the horizontal annulus, bubbles develop a unique ‘tadpole-like’ shape with a semi-circular cap and a highly stretched tail. As the annulus is inclined, the bubble tail tends to vanish, resulting in a significant decrease of bubble length. To model the bubble evolution, the thin annulus is conceptualised as a ‘Hele-Shaw’ cell in a curvilinear space. The three-dimensional flow within the cell is represented by a gap-averaged, two-dimensional model, which achieved a close match to the experimental data. The numerical model is further used to investigate the effects of gap thickness and pipe diameter on the bubble behaviour. The mechanism for the semi-circular cap formation is interpreted based on an analogous irrotational flow field around a circular cylinder, based on which a theoretical solution to the bubble velocity is derived. The bubble motion and cap geometry is mainly controlled by the gravitational component perpendicular to the flow direction. The bubble elongation in the horizontal annulus is caused by the buoyancy that moves the bubble to the top of the annulus. However, as the annulus is inclined, the gravitational component parallel to the flow direction becomes important, causing bubble separation at the tail and reduction in bubble length.
Good canopy structure is essential for optimal maize (Zea mays L.) production. However, creating appropriate maize canopy structure can be difficult, because the characteristics of individual plants are altered by changes in plant age, density and interactions with neighbouring plants. The objective of the current study was to find a reliable method for building good maize canopy structure by analysing changes in canopy structure, light distribution and grain yield (GY). A modern maize cultivar (ZhengDan958) was planted at 12 densities ranging from 1.5 to 18 plants/m2 at two field locations in Xinjiang, China. At the silking stage (R1), plant and ear height increased with plant density as well as leaf area index (LAI), whereas leaf area per plant decreased logarithmically. The fraction of light intercepted by the plant (F) increased with increasing plant density, but the light extinction coefficient (K) decreased linearly from 0.61 to 0.39. Taking the optimum value of F (95%) as an example, and using measured values of K for each plant density at R1 and the equation from Beer's law, the corresponding (theoretical) LAI for each plant density was calculated and optimum plant density (9.72 plants/m2) obtained by calculating the difference between theoretical LAIs and actual observations. Further analysis showed that plant density ranging from 10.64 to 11.55 plants/m2 yielded a stable GY range. Therefore, taking into account the persistence time for maximum LAI, the plant density required to obtain an ideal GY maize canopy structure should be increased by 10–18% from 9.72 plants/m2.
The triplite LiFeSO4F displays both the highest potential ever reported for an Fe-based compound, as well as a comparable specific energy with that of popular LiFePO4. The synthesis is still a challenge because the present approaches are connected with long time, special equipments or organic reagents, etc. In this work, the triplite LiFeSO4F powder was synthesized through an ambient two-step solid-state route. The reaction process and phase purity were analyzed, coupled with structure refinement and electrochemical test.
Four complete platysiagid fish specimens are described from the Luoping Biota, Anisian (Middle Triassic), Yunnan Province, southwest China. They are small fishes with bones and scales covered with ganoine. All characters observed, such as nasals meeting in the midline, a keystone-like dermosphenotic, absence of post-rostral bone, two infraorbitals between dermosphenotic and jugal, large antorbital, and two postcleithra, suggest that the new materials belong to a single, new Platysiagum species, P. sinensis sp. nov. Three genera are ascribed to Platysiagidae: Platysiagum, Helmolepis and Caelatichthys. However, most specimens of the first two genera are imprints or fragmentary. The new, well-preserved specimens from the Luoping Biota provide more detailed anatomical information than before, and thus help amend the concept of the Platysiagidae. The Family Platysiagidae was previously classed in the Perleidiformes. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the Platysiagidae is a member of basal Neopterygii, and its origin seems to predate that of Perleidiformes. Moreover, platysiagid fishes are known from the Middle Triassic of the western Tethys region. The newly found specimens of platysiagids from Luoping provide additional evidence that both eastern and western sides of the Tethys Ocean were biogeographically more connected than previously thought.
The study of the mechanical properties of polycrystalline alloy materials under dynamic impact, namely, the prediction of mechanical behavior after yield stress and the establishment of a constitutive model, has attracted much attention in the field of engineering. The stress-strain curves of 5083 aluminum alloy were obtained under strain rates varying from 0.0002 s-1 to 7130 s-1 through uniaxial compression experiments. The equipment used included a CRIMS RPL100 tester, Instron tester, and split Hopkinson test system. In addition, based on dislocation dynamics and the strengthening mechanism of metals, the plastic flow of the 5083 aluminum alloy was systematically analyzed under a wide range of strain rates. It was found that the abnormal yield behavior of the 5083 aluminum alloy under a wide range of strain rates increased, and the experimental phenomenon of hardening rate decreased with an increase in strain rate. This study also revealed that the abnormal yield behavior is caused by the different dislocation mechanisms of two-phase alloy elements under different strain rates. Based on the thermal activation theory and the experimental data, a constitutive model was developed. A comparison showed good agreement between the experimental and model curves. This indicates that this model has good plastic flow stress prediction ability for such types of materials.
In this work, we investigate electromagnetohydrodynamic (EMHD) flow of Powell-Eyring fluid through a slit confinement. The approximate analytical solution and numerical result of EMHD velocity are obtained by using homotopy perturbation method and Chebyshev spectral method, respectively. The analytical solutions are found to be in good agreement with numerical results under the same conditions. The influences of Hartmann number Ha, electrical field strength parameter S, the Powell-Eyring fluid parameters γ and β on velocity are discussed in detail. It is found that the volume flow rate of Newtonian fluid is always larger than that of Powell-Eyring fluid. The results reveal the intricate interaction between EMHD effect and fluid rheology involving non-Newtonian fluid. Therefore, the results are useful in dealing with some non-Newtonian biomicrofluidic systems.
At the end of 2013, China reported a countrywide outbreak of measles. From January to May 2014, we investigated the clinical and immunological features of the cases of the outbreak admitted to our hospital. In this study, all 112 inpatients with clinically diagnosed measles were recruited from the 302 Military Hospital of China. The virus was isolated from throat swabs from these patients, and cytokine profiles were examined. By detecting the measles virus of 30 of the 112 patients, we found that this measles outbreak was of the H1 genotype, which is the major strain in China. The rates of complications, specifically pneumonia and liver injury, differed significantly in patients aged <8 months, 8 months to 18 years, and >18 years: pneumonia was more common in children, while liver injury was more common in adults. Pneumonia was a significant independent risk factor affecting measles duration. Compared to healthy subjects, measles patients had fewer CD4+IL-17+, CD4+IFN-γ+, and CD8+IFN-γ+ cells in both the acute and recovery phases. In contrast, measles patients in the acute phase had more CD8+IL-22+ cells than those in recovery or healthy subjects. We recommend that future studies focus on the age-related distribution of pneumonia and liver injury as measles-related complications as well as the association between immunological markers and measles prognosis.