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The Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR), initiated in 2001, has now become the largest twin registry in Asia. From 2015 to 2018, the CNTR continued to receive Chinese government funding and had recruited 61,566 twin-pairs by 2019 to study twins discordant for specific exposures such as environmental factors, and twins discordant for disease outcomes or measures of morbidity. Omic data, including genetics, genomics, metabolomics, and proteomics, and gut microbiome will be tested. The integration of omics and digital technologies in public health will advance our understanding of precision public health. This review introduces the updates of the CNTR, including study design, sample size, biobank, zygosity assessment, advances in research and future systems epidemiologic research.
To investigate a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak event involving multiple healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; to characterize transmission; and to explore infection control implications.
Cases presented in 4 healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a tertiary-care hospital, a specialty pulmonary hospital, an outpatient clinic, and an outpatient dialysis unit.
Contact tracing and testing were performed following reports of cases at 2 hospitals. Laboratory results were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and/or genome sequencing. We assessed exposures and determined seropositivity among available healthcare personnel (HCP) cases and HCP contacts of cases.
In total, 48 cases were identified, involving patients, HCP, and family members across 2 hospitals, an outpatient clinic, and a dialysis clinic. At each hospital, transmission was linked to a unique index case. Moreover, 4 cases were associated with superspreading events (any interaction where a case patient transmitted to ≥5 subsequent case patients). All 4 of these patients were severely ill, were initially not recognized as MERS-CoV cases, and subsequently died. Genomic sequences clustered separately, suggesting 2 distinct outbreaks. Overall, 4 (24%) of 17 HCP cases and 3 (3%) of 114 HCP contacts of cases were seropositive.
We describe 2 distinct healthcare-associated outbreaks, each initiated by a unique index case and characterized by multiple superspreading events. Delays in recognition and in subsequent implementation of control measures contributed to secondary transmission. Prompt contact tracing, repeated testing, HCP furloughing, and implementation of recommended transmission-based precautions for suspected cases ultimately halted transmission.
Previously known to form only under high pressure synthetic conditions, here we report that the T′-type 214-structure cuprate based on the rare earth atom Tb is stabilized for ambient pressure synthesis through partial substitution of Pd for Cu. The new material is obtained in purest form for mixtures of nominal composition Tb1.96Cu0.8Pd0.2O4. The refined formula, in orthorhombic space group Pbca, with a = 5.5117(1) Å, b = 5.5088(1) Å, and c = 11.8818(1) Å, is Tb2Cu0.83Pd0.17O4. An incommensurate structural modulation is seen along the a axis by electron diffraction and high resolution imaging. Magnetic susceptibility measurements reveal long-range antiferromagnetic ordering at 7.9 K, with a less pronounced feature at 95 K; a magnetic moment reorientation transition is observed to onset at a field of approximately 1.1 T at 3 K. The material is an n-type semiconductor.
Physical and chemical properties of graphene-metal interfaces have been largely examined with the objective of producing nanostructured carbon-based electronic devices. Although electronic properties are key to such devices, appropriate structural, thermal and mechanical properties are important for device performance as well. One of the most studied is the graphene-titanium (G-Ti) interface. Titanium is a low density, high strength versatile metal that can form alloys with desirable properties for applications ranging from aerospace to medicine. Small clusters and thin films of titanium deposited on graphene have also been examined. However, while some experiments show that thin films of titanium on graphene can be removed without damaging graphene hexagonal structure, others reported the formation of titanium-carbide (TiC) at G-Ti interfaces. In a previous work [ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9 (38), pp 33288-33297], we have shown that pristine G-Ti interfaces are resilient to large thermal fluctuations even when G-Ti structures lie on curved or kinked substrates. Here, using classical molecular dynamics with the third-generation Charge Optimized Many Body (COMB3) potential, we show that di-interstitial defective G-Ti structures on a copper substrate with a relatively large curvature kink, present signs of TiC formation. This result might help explain the different experimental results mentioned above.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
A new polymorph of iodic acid, δ-HIO3, synthesized via aerosol spray pyrolysis was characterized with powder X-ray diffraction and its crystal structure was solved. We find that a previously misidentified phase of I4O9 hydrate is in fact a new polymorph of HIO3, which crystalizes in the orthorhombic space group P212121.
A stalagmite with high 238U content from Yangkou Cave, China, revealed the evolution of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) between 49.1 and 59.5 ka, and the δ18O values recorded Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) events 13–17. The Yangkou record shows a relatively gradual transition into the D/O 14 and 16 events. The discrepancy between the abrupt and gradual transitions of D/O 14 in the records from northern and southern China, respectively, suggests different responses of the ASM to climate changes in the high northern latitudes. The higher resolution δ18O record and more precise 230Th dating indicate that the timing of D/O 14 and 17 in the Hulu records at 53 and 58 ka should be shifted to 54.3 and 59 ka, respectively. The gradual strengthening of the ASM at the onsets of D/O 16 and 14 in our record is different from the abrupt temperature rise in the northern high latitudes. Some other factors must contribute to this relatively gradual ASM change in southern China, but the actual reason is still unknown.
High iodine containing oxides are of interest as biocidal components in energetic applications requiring fast exothermic reactions with metallic fuels. Aerosol techniques offer a convenient route and potentially direct route for preparation of small particles with high purity, and are a method proven to be amenable and economical to scale-up. Here, we demonstrate the synthesis of various iodine oxide/iodic acid microparticles by a direct one-step aerosol method from iodic acid. By varying temperature and humidity, we produced near phase pure δ-HIO3, HI3O8, and I2O5 as determined by X-ray diffraction. δ-HIO3, a previously unknown phase, was confirmed in this work. In addition, scanning electron microscopy was used to examine the morphology and size of those prepared iodine oxide/iodic acid particles and the results show that all particles have an irregularly spherical shape. Thermogravimetric/differential scanning calorimetry measurement results show that HIO3 dehydrates endothermically to HI3O8, and then to I2O. I2O5 decomposes to I2 and O2.
Tiny, pelagic arthropods from the Anisian Luoping Biota exposed in two quarries near Luoping, Yunnan Province, China, represent the numerically most abundant organisms in the assemblage. They form the basis for definition of two, and possibly three, species referred to the order Lophogastrida, family Eucopiidae. Yunnanocopia grandis new genus new species and Y. longicauda n. gen. new species represent the oldest occurrence of mysidaceans in the fossil record. Their anatomy allies them with the Ladinian species Schimperella acanthocercus Taylor, Schram, and Shen, 2001, from Guizhou Province, China, which previously was thought to be the oldest lophogastrid, and with extant species of Eucopiidae. Their appearance in the Anisian represents one additional element of the early faunal radiation within the Luoping Biota following the end-Permian extinction event. Presence of well-preserved oostegites, along with other morphological features, documents a conservative bauplan expressed in Eucopiidae.
Feeding a high concentrate (HC) diet is a widely used strategy for supporting high milk yields, yet it may cause certain metabolic disorders. This study aimed to investigate the changes in milk production and hepatic metabolism in goats fed different proportions of concentrate in the diet for 10 weeks. In total, 12 mid-lactating goats were randomly assigned to an HC diet (65% concentrate of dry matter, n=6) or a low concentrate (LC) diet (35% concentrate of dry matter, n=6). Compared with LC, HC goats produced greater amounts of volatile fatty acids and produced more milk and milk lactose, fat and protein (P<0.01). HC goats showed a greater concentration of ATP, NAD, plasma non-esterified fatty acids and hepatic triglycerides than LC goats (P<0.05). Real-time PCR results showed that messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of gluconeogenic genes, namely, glucose-6-phosphatase, pyruvate carboxylase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase were significantly up-regulated and accompanied greater gluconeogenic enzyme activities in the liver of HC goats. Moreover, the expression of hepatic lipogenic genes including sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c, fatty acid synthase and diacylglycerol acyltransferase mRNA was also up-regulated by the HC diet (P<0.05). HC goats had greater hepatic phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase than LC (P<0.05). Furthermore, histone-3-lysine-27-acetylation contributed to this elevation of gluconeogenic gene expression. These results indicate that lactating goats fed an HC diet for 10 weeks produced more milk, which was associated with up-regulated gene expression and enzyme activities involved in hepatic gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis.
The impact of nanostructured broadband antireflection (AR) coatings on solar panel performance has been projected for a broad range of panel tilt angles at various locations. AR coated films have been integrated on test panels and the short-circuit current has been measured for the entire range of panel tilts. The integration of the AR coatings resulted in an increase in short-circuit current of the panels by eliminating front sheet reflection loss for a broad spectrum of light and wide angle of light incidence. The short-circuit current enhancement is 5% for normal light incidence and approximately 20% for off-angle light incidence. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) System Advisor Model (SAM) predicts that this AR coating can yield at least 6.5% improvement in solar panel annual power output. The greatest enhancement, approximately 14%, is predicted for vertical panels. The AR coating’s contributions to vertical mount panels and building-integrated solar panels are significant. This nanostructured broadband AR coating thus has the potential to lower the cost per watt of photovoltaic solar energy.
Flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells on lightweight substrates can deliver high specific powers. Flexible lightweight CIGS solar cells are also primary candidates for building-integrated panels. In all applications, CIGS cells can greatly benefit from the application of broadband and wide-angle AR coating technology. The AR coatings can significantly improve the transmittance of light over the entire CIGS absorption band spectrum. Increased short-circuit current has been observed after integrating AR coated films onto baseline solar panels. NREL’s System Advisor Model (SAM) has predicted up to 14% higher annual power output on AR integrated vertical or building-integrated panels. The combination of lightweight flexible substrates and advanced device designs employing nanostructured optical coatings together have the potential to achieve flexible CIGS modules with enhanced efficiencies and specific power.
The addition of a CdMgTe (CMT) layer at the back of a CdTe solar cell should improve its performance by reflecting both photoelectrons and forward-current electrons away from the rear surface. Higher collection of photoelectrons will increase the cell’s current, and reduction of forward current will increase its voltage. To achieve electron reflection, conformal CMT layers were deposited at the back of CdTe cells, and a variety of measurements including performance curves, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy were performed. Oxidation of magnesium in the CMT layer was addressed by adding a CdTe capping layer. MgCl2 passivation was substituted for CdCl2 in some cases, but little difference was seen.
We report experiments and molecular dynamics calculations on the kinetics of electrodeposited lithium dendrites relaxation as a function of temperature and time. We found that the experimental average length of dendrite population decays via stretched exponential functions of time toward limiting values that depend inversely on temperature. The experimental activation energy derived from initial rates as Ea∼ 6-7 kcal/mole, which is closely matched by MD calculations, based on the ReaxFF force field for metallic lithium. Simulations reveal that relaxation proceeds in several steps via increasingly larger activation barriers. Incomplete relaxation at lower temperatures is therefore interpreted a manifestation of cooperative atomic motions into discrete topologies that frustrate monotonic progress by ‘caging’.
The long-wavelength quantum efficiency (QE) response of photovoltaic absorbers is determined by the length scales for minority carrier collection. However, extracting quantitative measurements of minority carrier mobility-lifetime product (μτ) is complicated by uncertainty in other factors such as the depletion width, electric field, and the absorption coefficient. We apply previously developed methods to obtain estimates for μτ in a tin(II) sulfide (SnS) solar cell. We compare three analytic models for the minority carrier collection probability as a function of absorber depth to determine which model most accurately captures the behavior in our devices. For models in which multiple parameters are unconstrained, a random numerical search is used to optimize the fit to experimental QE for SnS. To identify sources of error, we perform a sensitivity analysis by fitting with SCAPS-1D. Our analysis shows that changes in absorption most strongly affect estimates for μτ, highlighting the need to obtain accurate, device-specific absorption data. Further modeling and experimental constraints are required to obtain self-consistent values for μτ that correspond to actual device performance.
Trichogrammatoidea bactrae Nagaraja (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) is an important natural enemy of many species of lepidopterous pests. The effects of heat stress temperature (33, 36, and 39 °C), duration of exposure (2, 4, 6, and 8 h), and developmental stage during exposure (embryo-first instar larvae, second instar larvae, prepupae, and pupae) on the development and reproduction of parasitoid T. bactrae were investigated in the laboratory. When exposed to 39 °C for 8 h during pupal stage, only 19.90% adults emerged from host eggs, and more than 14% were deformed (wings were folded or incomplete). Parasitoid females exposed to 39 °C for 8 h as prepupae only lived for 1.45 days and parasitized about 23.5 host eggs. Moreover, life-table parameters of T. bactrae were also influenced by exposure to heat stress temperatures during each preimaginal developmental stage. Based on these results, we propose that T. bactrae is susceptible to high temperatures, especially at 39 °C. Thus, this parasitoid may be more effectively controlling lepidopterous pests during cooler weather conditions.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
Bisphenol A (BPA), a monomer of polycarbonate plastics and epoxide resin, is a high-production-volume chemical implicated in asthma pathogenesis when exposure occurs to the developing fetus. However, few studies have directly examined the effect of in utero and early-life BPA exposure on the pathogenesis of asthma in adulthood. This study examines the influence of perinatal BPA exposure through maternal diet on allergen sensitization and pulmonary inflammation in adult offspring. Two weeks before mating, BALB/c dams were randomly assigned to a control diet or diets containing 50 ng, 50 μg or 50 mg BPA/kg of rodent chow. Dams remained on the assigned diet throughout gestation and lactation until postnatal day (PND) 21 when offspring were weaned onto the control diet. Twelve-week-old offspring were sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) and subsequently challenged with aerosolized OVA. Sera, splenocytes, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and whole lungs were harvested to assess allergen sensitization and pulmonary inflammation after OVA challenge. Serum anti-OVA IgE levels were increased two-fold in offspring exposed to 50 μg and 50 mg BPA/kg diet, compared with control animals. In addition, production of interleukin-13 and interferon-γ were increased in OVA-stimulated splenocytes recovered from BPA-exposed mice. Pulmonary inflammation, as indicated by total and differential leukocyte counts, cytokines, chemokines and pulmonary histopathology inflammatory scores, however, was either not different or was reduced in offspring exposed to BPA. Although these data suggest that perinatal BPA exposure beginning before gestation enhances allergen sensitization by increasing serum IgE and splenocyte cytokine production, a substantial impact of BPA on OVA-induced pulmonary inflammation in adulthood was not observed.
The oxidation of CO to CO2 is necessary in the operation of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) since even a small amount of CO that is formed when the PEMFC is operated under ambient conditions is sufficient to poison the Pt catalyst in the electrodes and degrade the performance. Operation using higher loads of Pt catalysts or increasing the purity of the H2 input gas significantly adds to the cost, adversely impacting the commercial development of PEMFCs. We combined graphene oxide (GO) with metallic salts and partially reduced the mixture with sodium borohydride, yielding a metallized form of partially reduced graphene oxide (prGO) platelets that remained in solution. When these platelets were coated on the Nafion membrane of a PEMFC, a 72% increase in the power output was observed, whereas a 62% increase was observed when the membrane was coated with partially reduced graphene oxide without the metallic salts. Results will be presented for AuGO/prGO, PtGO/prGO, and AuPtGO/prGO combinations.
The present investigation involves the synthesis of chitosan based composite sponges in view of their applications in wound dressing, antibacterial and haemostatic. A facile CO2 bubbles template freeze-drying method was developed for the fabrication of macroporous chitosan- poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) composite sponges with a typical porosity of 50% and pore size of 100-300 µm. The composite sponges show a high water absorption rate up to 60 times of its weight and a water vapor transmission rate of 30 ∼ 70g/m2 • h. Effects of the content of cross-linking agent and PVA on mechanical properties and moisture permeability were examined. Improved strength and flexibility of the chitosan sponges were observed with the presence of PVA. Further, the antibacterial and haemostatic activities have been demonstrated. The Chitosan/PVA sponges of high liquid absorption, appropriate moisture permeability, excellent antimicrobial and haemostatic activities have a great potential for wound dressing applications.