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Synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) is an abundant and important presynaptic vesicle protein that binds Ca2+ for the regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Our previous study reported its localization and function on spindle assembly in mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. The present study was designed to investigate the function of Syt1 during mouse oocyte activation and subsequent cortical granule exocytosis (CGE) using confocal microscopy, morpholinol-based knockdown and time-lapse live cell imaging. By employing live cell imaging, we first studied the dynamic process of CGE and calculated the time interval between [Ca2+]i rise and CGE after oocyte activation. We further showed that Syt1 was co-localized to cortical granules (CGs) at the oocyte cortex. After oocyte activation with SrCl2, the Syt1 distribution pattern was altered significantly, similar to the changes seen for the CGs. Knockdown of Syt1 inhibited [Ca2+]i oscillations, disrupted the F-actin distribution pattern and delayed the time of cortical reaction. In summary, as a synaptic vesicle protein and calcium sensor for exocytosis, Syt1 acts as an essential regulator in mouse oocyte activation events including the generation of Ca2+ signals and CGE.
Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
Combinational creativity is a significant element of design in supporting designers to generate creative ideas during the early phases of design. There exists three driven approaches to combinational creativity: problem-, similarity- and inspiration-driven. This study provides further insights into the three combinational creativity driven approaches, exploring which approach could lead to ideas that are more creative in the context of practical product design. The results from a case study reveal that the problem- driven approach could lead to more creative and novel ideas or products compared with the similarity- and inspiration-driven approach. Products originating from the similarity- and inspiration-driven approach are at comparable levels. This study provides better understanding of combinational creativity in practical design. It also delivers benefits to designers in improving creative idea generation, and supports design researchers in exploring future ideation methods and design support tools employing the concept of 'combination'.
Maternal one-carbon metabolism during pregnancy is crucial for fetal development and programming by DNA methylation. However, evidence on one-carbon biomarkers other than folate is lacking. We, therefore, investigated whether maternal plasma methyl donors, that is, choline, betaine and methionine, are associated with birth outcomes. Blood samples were obtained from 115 women during gestation (median 26·3 weeks, 90 % range 22·7–33·0 weeks). Plasma choline, betaine, methionine and dimethylglycine were measured using HPLC-tandem MS. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between plasma biomarkers and birth weight, birth length, the risk of small-for-gestational-age and large-for-gestational-age (LGA). Higher level of maternal betaine was associated with lower birth weight (–130·3 (95 % CI –244·8, –15·9) per 1 sd increment for log-transformed betaine). Higher maternal methionine was associated with lower risk of LGA, and adjusted OR, with 95 % CI for 1 sd increase in methionine concentration was 0·44 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·89). Stratified analyses according to infant sex or maternal plasma homocysteine status showed that reduction in birth weight in relation to maternal betaine was only limited to male infants or to who had higher maternal homocysteine status (≥5·1 µmol/l). Higher maternal betaine status was associated with reduced birth weight. Maternal methionine was inversely associated with LGA risk. These findings are needed to be replicated in future larger studies.
The influence of the nozzle aspect ratio (
, 2 and 4), stroke length (
, 3.7 and 5.55) and Reynolds number (
, 158, 316 and 632) on the behaviour of elliptic synthetic jets is studied experimentally. Laser-induced fluorescence and two-dimensional and stereoscopic particle image velocimetry are used to analyse the vortex dynamics and evolution mechanism. It is found that the fluid elements around the major axis of an elliptic vortex ring move downstream faster and tend to approach the centreline, while the fluid elements around the minor axis move downstream at a slower speed and away from the centreline, thereby resulting in the occurrence of the well-known axis-switching phenomenon for elliptic synthetic jets. During this process, a pair of arc-like vortices forms ahead of the primary vortex ring, and they are constituted by streamwise vortices in the leg part and spanwise vortices in the head part; two pairs of streamwise vortices form from the inside of the primary vortex ring and develop in the tails. The streamwise vortices are pushed away progressively from the centreline by the synthetic jet vortex rings that are formed during the subsequent periods. These additional vortical structures for non-circular synthetic jets show regular and periodic characteristics, which are quite different from the previous findings for non-circular jets. Their mutual interaction with the vortex ring causes significant changes in the topology of elliptic synthetic jets, which further results in the variation of the statistical characteristics. Increasing the aspect ratio, stroke length and Reynolds number will make the evolution of the synthetic jet become more unstable and complex. In addition, the entrainment rate of an elliptical synthetic jet is larger than that of a circular synthetic jet and it increases with the nozzle aspect ratio (
) and Reynolds number. It is indicated that the formation of streamwise vortices could enhance the entrainment rate. This finding provides substantial evidence for the potential application of elliptic synthetic jets for effective flow control.
Analogy is a core cognition process used to produce inferences as well as new ideas using previous knowledge and experience. Ontology is a formal representation of a set of domain concepts and their relationships. The use of analogy and ontology in design activities to support design creativity have previously been explored. This paper explores an approach to construct ontologies with sufficient richness and coverage to support reasoning over real-world datasets for prompting creative idea generation. This approach has been implemented into a computational tool for assisting designers in generating creative ideas during the early stages of design. The tool, called “the Retriever”, has been developed based on ontology by embracing the aspects of analogical reasoning. A case study has indicated that the tool can be effective and useful for idea generation. The results have indicated that the tool, in its current formulation, can significantly improve the fluency and flexibility of idea generation and the usefulness of ideas, as well as slightly increase the originality of ideas, for the case study concerned.
(1 − x)Ba(Mg1/3Ta2/3)O3–xBa(Co1/3Nb2/3)O3 (BMT–BCN, x = 0.0, 0.20, 0.25, 0.30, 0.40) ceramics were prepared using the traditional solid-state reaction method. X-ray diffraction patterns have shown that the intensities of (001) and (100) super-lattices decrease with the increase in the BCN content. Seven main Raman vibrational modes are observed, assigned, and illustrated, in particular. Raman shifts of Eg(O) modes and the FWHM values of F2g(O)/A1g(O) modes have close relationship with the dielectric properties. The calculated values by the four-parameter semiquantum model based on IR reflectivity match well with the measured data (@3.8 GHz), which means that most of dielectric contribution to the system may be ascribed to the absorption of structural phononic oscillations at the infrared region, and the contribution from the scattering of the defective phonons is small. The contributions of each vibrational mode on the dielectric responses were investigated in detail, indicating that the low-frequency modes (A2u(1) and Eu(1)) have a decisive role to the dielectric properties.
Idea generation is significant in design, but coming up with creative ideas is often challenging. This paper presents a computer-based tool, called the Combinator, for assisting designers to produce creative ideas. The tool is developed based on an approach simulating aspects of human cognition in achieving combinational creativity. It can generate combinational prompts in text and image forms through combining unrelated ideas. A case study has been conducted to evaluate the Combinator. The study results indicate that the Combinator, in its current formulation, has assisted the tool users involved in the case study in improving the fluency of idea generation, as well as increasing the originality, usefulness, and flexibility of the ideas generated. The results also indicate that the tool could benefit its users in generating high-novelty and high-quality ideas effectively. The Combinator is considered to be beneficial in expanding the design space, increasing better idea occurrence, improving design space exploration, and enhancing the design success rate.
Binary transition metal oxides, such as NiCo2O4 (NCO) electrode have been demonstrated to be promising candidates for high-performance supercapacitors. However, their low electrical conductivity and poor stability made the electrochemical performance of most current NCO electrodes yet below the expectation. Herein, a novel electrode (NCC) consisting of binary transition metal (Ni–Co) nanoparticles embedded N-doped porous carbon matrix on graphite papers (GPs) has been developed with a high specific capacitance of 933.5 F/g at 1 mA/cm2 which is substantially 10 times than that of the NCO electrode (99.3 F/g) and much higher than those of most reported NCO based electrode. Moreover, this NCC electrode has an ultrahigh rate capability of 725.5 F/g at 10 mA/cm2 with excellent electrochemical durability (no capacitance decreases after 10,000 cycles). These results indicate a promising potential application of Ni–Co metal composite embedded carbon matrix for using as an effective electrode material in supercapacitors.
Excited by the great success of metal halide perovskites in the optoelectronic and electro-optic fields and the interesting emerging physics (Rashba splitting, quantum anomalous hall effect) of layered metal halides, metal halides have recently been attracting significant attentions from both research and industrial communities. It is shown that most progresses have been made when these materials are obtained at reduced dimensions. Among several growth methods, vapor phase epitaxy has been demonstrated with a universal control on morphology, phase, and composition. We thus believe that a thorough understanding on the physical properties and on the growth of general metal halide compounds at reduced dimensions would be very beneficial in the study of recent perovskites and layered metal halide materials. This review covers the physical properties of most studied metal halides and summarizes the vapor phase epitaxial growth knowledge collected in the past century. We hope that this comprehensive review could be helpful in designing new physical properties and in planning growth parameters for emerging metal halide crystals.
The ice cover on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau plays an important role in the environmental and ecological systems. We analyze the in situ measurements of ice growth and examine the thermal diffusivity of thermokarst lake ice in the Beiluhe basin. We evaluate numerically the change of thermal diffusivity of thermokarst lake ice with changing ice temperature using an optimal control model. In a higher ice temperature regime (–3 to 0°C), the thermal diffusivity of thermokarst lake ice decreases exponentially with increasing ice temperature, and approaches the thermal diffusivity value of fresh water near the freezing-point temperature. In a lower ice temperature regime (–15 to –3°C), the thermal diffusivity increases slowly with decreasing ice temperature.
This article outlines the evolution of a rescue team in responding to adenovirus prevention with a deployable field hospital. The local governments mobilized a shelter hospital and a rescue team consisting of 59 members to assist with rescue and response efforts after an epidemic outbreak of adenovirus. We describe and evaluate the challenges of preparing for deployment, field hospital maintenance, treatment mode, and primary treatment methods. The field hospital established at the rescue scene consisted of a medical command vehicle, a computed tomography shelter, an X-ray shelter, a special laboratory shelter, an oxygen and electricity supply vehicle, and epidemic prevention and protection equipment. The rescue team comprised paramedics, physicians, X-ray technicians, respiratory therapists, and logistical personnel. In 22 days, more than 3000 patients with suspected adenovirus infection underwent initial examinations. All patients were properly treated, and no deaths occurred. After emergency measures were implemented, the spread of adenovirus was eventually controlled. An emergency involving infectious diseases in less-developed regions demands the rapid development of a field facility with specialized medical personnel when local hospital facilities are either unavailable or unusable. An appropriate and detailed prearranged action plan is important for infectious diseases prevention. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:109–114)
Cherts and silicified dolostones of the ca. 1600 Ma Dahongyu Formation (uppermost Changcheng Group) from North China contain well-preserved microfossils. Cyanobacteria filaments and coccoids dominate the studied Dahongyu microbiota in the Jixian section. These microfossils show the characteristics of endobenthic, epibenthic, and allochthonous microfossils, which illustrated well a vertical distributional view of an intertidal microbiota. Large numbers and size of allochthonous microfossils are the distinguishing characteristics of this new microbiota. A few of these possess ornaments or odd morphology, which suggest their potential eukaryotic nature. Through regional comparisons, it is revealed that there was significant regional disparity within the Yanshan Basin of microbiotas during deposition of the Dahongyu Formation. The newly studied Dahongyu microbiota is similar to the microbiota from the underlying Changcheng Group, with only slight differences. The absence of typical eukaryotes and the emergence of unique microfossils (especially small fusiform microfossils) make the Dahongyu Formation and the subsequent strata of the Jixian Group distinct from contemporaneous eukaryote-bearing strata.
In the Dahongyu assemblage, 19 species were recognized, six species were identified informally and seven species were identified in open nomenclature. One new taxon of microfossil was described: Xiaohongyuia sinica Shi and Feng new genus new species.
Improving technical efficiency in agriculture can play an important role in meeting present and future demands for agricultural products, at the same time enhancing the long-term sustainability of land and water use. This paper examines the impact of household perceptions of land tenure security on technical efficiency using detailed household-level data collected in Minle County in northwest China. The authors find that the (perceived) tenure security provided by land certificates encourages part-time farming with relatively low technical efficiency. The renting out of land by households with migrant members can only partly make up for this negative effect, because land rental markets are thin and highly fragmented. Therefore, the provision of land certificates to rural households has a negative impact on technical efficiency. For tenure security provided by the expected absence of land reallocations in the near future, on the other hand, the authors find that it reduces temporary migration and thereby contributes to higher technical efficiency.
The metadynamic recrystallization (MDRX) behavior of a Nb–V microalloyed nonquenched and tempered steel was investigated by isothermal hot compression tests on Gleeble-1500 thermal-mechanical simulator. Compression tests were performed using double hit schedules at temperatures of 1273–1423 K, strain rates of 0.01–5 s−1, initial grain sizes of 92–149 μm and an inter-pass time of 0.5–10 s. The experimental results show that MDRX softening fraction increases with the increasing of deformation temperature, strain rate, and inter-pass time, while it decreases with the increasing of initial grain size. Based on the experimental results, the MDRX softening fraction kinetic model and recrystallized grain size model of the tested steel was established. Besides, using the above mathematic models, a finite element model was built to simulate the MDRX process of the tested steel. The simulation results show good agreement with the experimental ones, which indicates that finite element method is an effective approach to analyze the MDRX behavior and the established that mathematic models of the tested steel are reliable and accurate.
SrZrO3 ceramic with perovskite-type structure was synthesized by a conventional solid-state reaction method at 1500 °C for 3 h. The crystal structures were studied by x-ray diffraction (XRD), and lattice vibrational modes were obtained by Raman and Fourier transform far-infrared (FTIR) reflection spectroscopy. The dielectric properties of the samples were also measured. According to XRD data, the SrZrO3 ceramic displayed the orthorhombic structure Pbnm (62). The Raman spectrum with ten active vibrators can be fitted by the Lorentzian function, and the vibrators were assigned. Far-infrared spectrum with six infrared active modes was fitted by the four-parameter semiquantum models. Consequently, the modes were assigned as F1u(1) (102 cm−1), F2u(2) (120 cm−1), F1u(3) (140 cm−1), F3u(4)′ (228 cm−1), F3u(4)″ (287 cm−1), F1u(5) (326 cm−1), and F1u(6) (527 cm−1). The infrared mode F1u(1), that can be represented as the Sr–ZrO6 inverted translational vibration, has the highest contribution to the dielectric properties (permittivity and dielectric loss). The calculated data agree well with the measured values.
is a prime with
. A relation between the support weight distribution of a linear code
and the dual code