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To improve speech emotion recognition, a U-acoustic words emotion dictionary (AWED) features model is proposed based on an AWED. The method models emotional information from acoustic words level in different emotion classes. The top-list words in each emotion are selected to generate the AWED vector. Then, the U-AWED model is constructed by combining utterance-level acoustic features with the AWED features. Support vector machine and convolutional neural network are employed as the classifiers in our experiment. The results show that our proposed method in four tasks of emotion classification all provides significant improvement in unweighted average recall.
We perform direct numerical simulations of flows over unswept finite-aspect-ratio NACA 0015 wings at
over a range of angles of attack (from
) and (semi) aspect ratios (from 1 to 6) to characterize the tip effects on separation and wake dynamics. This study focuses on the development of three-dimensional separated flow over the wing. We discuss the flow structures formed on the wing surface as well as in the far-field wake. Vorticity is introduced from the wing surface into the flow in a predominantly two-dimensional manner. The vortex sheet from the wing tip rolls up around the free end to form the tip vortex. At its inception, the tip vortex is weak and its effect is spatially confined. As the flow around the tip separates, the tip effects extend farther in the spanwise direction, generating noticeable three dimensionality in the wake. For low-aspect-ratio wings (
), the wake remains stable due to the strong tip-vortex induced downwash over the entire span. Increasing the aspect ratio allows unsteady vortical flow to emerge away from the tip at sufficiently high angles of attack. These unsteady vortices shed and form closed vortical loops. For higher-aspect-ratio wings (
), the tip effects retard the near-tip shedding process, which desynchronizes from the two-dimensional shedding over the midspan region, yielding vortex dislocation. At high angles of attack, the tip vortex exhibits noticeable undulations due to the strong interaction with the unsteady shedding vortices. The spanwise distribution of force coefficients is found to be related to the three-dimensional wake dynamics and the tip effects. Vortical elements in the wake that are responsible for the generation of lift and drag forces are identified through the force element analysis. We note that at high angles of attack, a stationary vortical structure forms at the leading edge near the tip, giving rise to locally high lift and drag forces. The analysis performed in this paper reveals how the vortical flow around the tip influences the separation physics, the global wake dynamics, and the spanwise force distributions.
Physicians' attitudes and adoption behavior toward the delivery of prenatal tests take vital significance for its influence on their professional practice and patient acceptance. This study aimed to identify how physicians have perceived the diffusion of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) in China.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from July 2016 to October 2016 in Shanghai, and Fujian and Sichuan Provinces in China. Physicians working on prenatal screening completed a self-report questionnaire. Following Roger's diffusion of innovation model, multivariable logistic regressions were performed separately for the following key elements of the theory which influence diffusion: physician-perceived attributes of NIPT, communication channels, the nature of the social system, the extent of change agent (who introduces innovations into a society), promotion efforts, and physicians' benefits from adopting NIPT.
Most specialists had a positive attitude (53.2 percent) toward NIPT, whereas 58.9 percent of physicians had already adopted NIPT in their clinical practice. Physician adoption of NIPT was positively associated with the strength of HTA evidence (p = .03), perceived communication frequency with colleagues (p = .04), adoption by other physicians (p = .07), hospital competition (p = .06), hospital teaching status (p = .02), perceived for-profit genetic testing company's promotion (p < .001), and perceived clinical practice skill improvement (p = .02). However, the adoption behavior toward NIPT may be negatively associated with physician-perceived ethical concerns of NIPT (p = .06).
Obstetricians and gynecologists’ positive perceptions facilitate the adoption of NIPT. Combined with cost-effectiveness analysis of prenatal screening methods, health policy makers can promote the adoption of appropriate, cost-effective prenatal screening in pregnant women.
Prion diseases, or Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs), are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders associated with a conformational transformation of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a self-feplicating and proteinase K (PK)-resistant conformer, scrapie PrP (PrPSc). Aggregates of PrPSc around neurons lead to neuropathologyical change including neuronal loss, astrogliosis, spongiform degeneration and deposition of amyloid plaques. Currently no effective treatment for prion disease exists. The development of novel therapeutic strategies against prion diseases has become a priority. Several reports have demonstrated that passive and active immune-based therapy can significantly prolong the incubation period of prionoses in vivo, and also some anti-PrP monoclonal can prevent PrP peptide toxicity in vitro. In this study, we have first time identified and purified anti-PrP antibodies from human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) by using PrP peptide affinity chromatography column. The ratio of anti-PrP antibody and IVIG is about 1:1200. In vitro study indicates these anti-PrP antibodies strongly block PrP A117V peptide fibril formation and disrupt formation of fibrillar structures. Furthermore, these antibodies almost completely prevented neurotoxicity of PrP A117V peptide in cultured rat cerebellar granule neuron cultures (CGN). In contrast, immunoglobulins depleted of anti-PrP antibodies had little effect on PrP fibril formation or protection of neuronal cells. Our study suggests that human anti-PrP antibodies may interfere with the pathogenesis of prion disease and these purified antibodies may be a potential therapeutic agent to prevent or slow prion disease progression.
To study when a paratopological group becomes a topological group, Arhangel’skii et al. [‘Topological games and topologies on groups’, Math. Maced.8 (2010), 1–19] introduced the class of
-unfavourable spaces. We show that every
-complete (or normal)
-unfavourable semitopological group is a topological group. We prove that the product of a
-unfavourable space and a strongly Fréchet
-favourable space is
-unfavourable. We also show that continuous closed irreducible mappings preserve the
-unfavourableness in both directions.
Rational construction of Z-scheme photocatalysts and exploration of the Z-scheme charge transfer mechanism have drawn much attention in the field of CO2 reduction because of its great potential to alleviate energy crisis and environmental problems. In this study, a series of Z-scheme CdS/BiOI composites were constructed by depositing CdS nanoparticles on the surface of BiOI nanosheets. The synthesized materials were characterized comprehensively, and their photoreduction CO2 activities were evaluated. The results show that the composites exhibit higher photoreduction CO2 activity under visible light irradiation (λ > 400 nm) than pure CdS and BiOI. The yields of CO and CH4 for the optimal composite after 3 h irradiation are 3.32 and 0.54 μmol/g, respectively. The improved photocatalytic activity is attributed to Z-scheme transfer mode of the photogenerated charges in the composites. The mechanism of CO2 reduction is proposed and verified experimentally.
The primary aim of the Guangzhou Twin Eye Study (GTES) is to explore the impact that genes and environmental inﬂuences have on common eye diseases. Since 2006, approximately 1300 pairs of twins, aged 7–15 years, were enrolled at baseline. Progressive phenotypes, such as cycloplegic refraction, axial length, height and weight, have been collected annually. Nonprogressive phenotypes such as parental refraction, corneal thickness, fundus photo, intraocular pressure and DNA were collected once at baseline. We are collaborating with fellow international twin researchers and psychologists to further explore links with general medical conditions. In this article, we review the history, major findings and future research directions for the GTES.
The microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.
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.
The jungles of Linyun and Longlin Autonomous Prefecture, located in the heart of the southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, are home to the oldest tea trees (Camellia sinensis) in the world. In the absence of regular annual rings, radiocarbon (14C) dating is one of the most powerful tools that can assist in the determination of the ages and growth rates of these plants. In this work, cores were extracted from large ancient tea trees in a central Longlin rain forest; extraction of carbon was performed with an automated sample preparation system. The 14C levels in the tree cores were measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the University of Tsukuba. These measurements indicated that contrary to conventional views, the ages of trees in these forests range up to ~700 years, and the growth rate of this species is notably slow, exhibiting a long-term radial growth rate of 0.039±0.006 cm/yr. It was demonstrated that 14C analyses provide accurate determination of ages and growth rates for subtropical wild tea trees.
The dipeptide dl-methionyl-dl-methionine (Met-Met) has extremely low water solubility and better absorption than other methionine sources (such as dl-methionine and l-methionine) available in the market. Therefore, six diets (D1, D2, D3, D4, D5 and D6) containing 0, 0·07, 0·15, 0·21, 0·28 and 0·38 % Met-Met were formulated to investigate the effects of Met-Met in juvenile Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (17 g initial body weight). The results indicated that percentage weight gain and specific growth rate of fish fed with D2 and D3 diets were higher than those fed with D1, D4–D6 diets. The levels of total essential amino acid in whole body of fish fed with D3 and D4 diets were significantly higher than those fed the D1 diet. Superoxide dismutase activity and malondialdehyde content have no significant difference in fish fed the diet with or without Met-Met supplementation. Majority of reads derived from the fish intestine belonged to members of Fusobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Diversity of intestinal microbiota and total antioxidant capacity in fish fed with D3 diet was significantly higher than that of other groups. Based on the growth results, the authors conclude that the optimal level of Met is 0·61 % Met with the addition of 0·15 % Met-Met for grower-phase O. niloticus.
Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis) is an endangered species, listed as a grade I protected animal in China. The females rarely successfully develop their gonads from stage II to III in captivity, which handicaps the propagation of cultured Chinese sturgeon. The present study aimed to understand the effects of dietary lipid level on the ovarian development and the related regulation mechanism in female Chinese sturgeon. A 24-month feeding trial was conducted with 10-year-old Chinese sturgeons with ovaries at the developmental stage II, with three experimental diets containing 10, 14 and 18 % lipids. Ovary, muscle and serum samples were collected at four time points (6, 12, 18 and 24 months) for further analyses. Serum metabolomics and ovary transcriptomics analyses were conducted at 18 months. Results showed that only the 18 % lipid diet promoted ovary development to stage IV. Oocytes at stage II in this group also exhibited higher diameter and more lipid droplets. Serum TAG content in the 18 % group was significantly higher than in 10 and 14 % groups (both at 12 and 18 months). Oestradiol content in the 14 % group was significantly higher than in 10 and 18 % groups, except at 24 months. Metabolomic and transcriptomic results indirectly indicated that 14 % of dietary lipids benefited steroid hormone synthesis, while 18 % lipid facilitated arachidonic acid metabolism, cholesterol biosynthesis and vitellogenesis, although serum cholesterol content did not vary with dietary lipid level. In conclusion, 18 % dietary lipid is the optimal level for improving gonad development of female Chinese sturgeon.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis are the common causes of human echinococcosis in China. An accurate species identification tool for human echinococcosis is needed as the treatments and prognosis are different among species. The present work demonstrates a method for the simultaneous detection of these three Echinococcus species based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR). Specific primers of this mPCR were designed based on the mitochondrial genes and determined by extensive tests. The method can successfully detect either separated or mixed target species, and generate expected amplicons of distinct size for each species. Sensitivity of the method was tested by serially diluted DNA, showing a detection threshold as less as 0.32 pg for both E. granulosus s.s. and E. canadensis, and 1.6 pg for E. multilocularis. Specificity assessed against 18 other parasites was found to be 100% except weakly cross-react with E. shiquicus. The assay was additionally applied to 69 echinococcosis patients and 38 healthy persons, confirming the high reliability of the method. Thus, the mPCR described here has high application potential for clinical identification purposes, and can further provide a useful tool for evaluation of serology and imaging method.
Pseudo-line tensions are used in a continuum approach to simulate contact angle hysteresis. A pair of pseudo-line tensions in the receding and advancing states, respectively, are utilized to represent contact line interactions with a substrate because of the nanoscale topological and/or chemical heterogeneity on the substrate. A water droplet sitting on a horizontal or inclined substrate, whose volume is 4–30 µL, has been studied experimentally and numerically. Our simulation model predicts consistent hysteresis at four different droplet sizes compared with experiments. Meanwhile, the critical roll-off angles captured in simulations match well with experiments.
Annexin A2 (ANXA2) is reported to be associated with cancer development. To investigate the roles ANXA2 plays during the development of cancer, the RNAi method was used to inhibit the ANXA2 expression in caco2 (human colorectal cancer cell line) and SMMC7721 (human hepatocarcinoma cell line) cells. The results showed that when the expression of ANXA2 was efficiently inhibited, the growth and motility of both cell lines were significantly decreased, and the development of the motility relevant microstructures, such as pseudopodia, filopodia, and the polymerization of microfilaments and microtubules were obviously inhibited. The cancer cell apoptosis was enhanced without obvious significance. The possible regulating pathway in the process was also predicted and discussed. Our results suggested that ANXA2 plays important roles in maintaining the malignancy of colorectal and hepatic cancer by enhancing the cell proliferation, motility, and development of the motility associated microstructures of cancer cells based on a possible complicated signal pathway.
Novel NiMoO4-integrated electrode materials were successfully prepared by solvothermal method using Na2MoO4·2H2O and NiSO4·6H2O as main raw materials, water, and ethanol as solvents. The morphology, phase, and structure of the as-prepared materials were characterized by SEM, XRD, Raman, and FT-IR. The electrochemical properties of the materials in supercapacitors were investigated by cyclic voltammetry, constant current charge–discharge, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques. The effects of volume ratio of water to ethanol (W/E) in solvent on the properties of the product were studied. The results show that the pure phase monoclinic crystal NiMoO4 product can be obtained when the W/E is 2:1. The diameter and length are 0.1–0.3 µm and approximately 3 µm, respectively. As an active material for supercapacitor, the NiMoO4 nanorods material delivered a discharge specific capacitance of 672, 498, and 396 F/g at a current density of 4, 7, and 10 A/g, respectively. The discharge specific capacitance slightly decreased from 815 to 588 F/g with a retention of 72% after 1000 cycles at a current density of 1 A/g. With these superior capacitance properties, the novel NiMoO4 integrated electrode materials could be considered as promising material for supercapacitors.