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Neutron powder diffraction techniques have been used to characterize the pseudo-macro (PM) residual stresses in ZrO2(CeO2)/Al2O3 ceramic composites as a function of ZrO2(CeO2) volume fraction and fabrication procedures. The diffraction data were analyzed using the Rietveld structure refinement technique. From the refinement, we found that the CeO2 stabilized tetragonal ZrO2 particles were in tension and the Al2O3 matrix was in compression. Different sintering time had little impact on the PM stresses. On the other hand, the magnitude of the PM stresses in both ZrO2 and Al2O3 decreased linearly with the increase of their volume fractions.
Activated carbon (AC) has been widely used as catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Here we demonstrate a new method to improve the AC air-cathode by blending it with reduced graphene oxide (rGO). rGO sheets are first deposited on Ni foam and AC is then brushed onto it with controlled mass loading. rGO sheets not only improve the electrical conductivity of AC, but also provide a large number of ORR areas. Rotating ring disk electrode measurements reveal that the number of transferred electrons at rGO-AC cathode is 3.5, indicating the four-electron pathway is the dominant process. Significantly, the MFC with rGO-AC cathode delivers a maximum power density of 2.25 ± 0.05 W/m2, which is substantially higher than that of plain AC cathode (1.35 ± 0.07 W/m2) and those for other air-cathode MFCs using AC as ORR catalyst under the same mass loading.
The therapeutic effect of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been investigated in various clinical applications, in which their functional benefits are mainly attributed to the secretion of soluble factors. The enhancement of their therapeutic potential by physical and chemical properties of cell culture substrate is a safe and effective strategy, since they are highly sensitive to their microenvironment such as the elasticity and surface topography. In this study, we demonstrated that the geometry of polymeric substrate regulated the interleukin-6 (IL-6) secretion of human adipose derived MSCs. Polystyrene substrates comprising arrays of square-shaped (S50) or round-shaped (R50) microwells (side length or diameter of 50 μm and depth of 10 μm) were prepared by injection molding. Cellular apoptototic rate of MSCs was not affected by the microwell geometry, while the upregulated secretion of IL-6 and the enhancement of nuclear transcription factor STAT3 were detected in MSCs seeded on S50 substrate. The geometry-dependent modulatory effect was highly associated with ROCK signaling cascade. The inhibition of ROCK abolished the disparity in IL-6 secretion. These findings highlight the possibility to steer the secretion profile of stem cells via microwell geometry in combination with the manipulation of ROCK signaling pathway.
In this paper, we deal with the relation between the characteristic functions of meromorphic functions that share three values CM. As applications of our main results, we shall affirmatively settle two conjectures proposed by Mues and Osgood-Yang.
Schistosoma japonicum, a human blood fluke, causes a parasitic disease affecting millions of people in Asia. Thioredoxin–glutathione system of S. japonicum plays a critical role in maintaining the redox balance in parasite, which is a potential target for development of novel antischistosomal agents. Here we cloned the gene of S. japonicum thioredoxin (SjTrx), expressed and purified the recombinant SjTrx in Escherichia coli. Functional assay shows that SjTrx catalyses the dithiothreitol (DTT) reduction of insulin disulphide bonds. The coupling assay of SjTrx with its endogenous reductase, thioredoxin glutathione reductase from S. japonicum (SjTGR), supports its biological function to maintain the redox homeostasis in the cell. Furthermore, the crystal structure of SjTrx in the oxidized state was determined at 2·0 Å resolution, revealing a typical architecture of thioredoxin fold. The structural information of SjTrx provides us important clues for understanding the maintenance function of redox homeostasis in S. japonicum and pathogenesis of this chronic disease.
We use Zalcman’s lemma to study a uniqueness question for meromorphic functions where certain associated nonlinear differential polynomials share a nonzero value. The results in this paper extend Theorem 1 in Yang and Hua [‘Uniqueness and value-sharing of meromorphic functions’, Ann. Acad. Sci. Fenn. Math. 22 (1997), 395–406] and Theorem 1 in Fang [‘Uniqueness and value sharing of entire functions’, Comput. Math. Appl. 44 (2002), 823–831]. Our reasoning in this paper also corrects a defect in the reasoning in the proof of Theorem 4 in Bhoosnurmath and Dyavanal [‘Uniqueness and value sharing of meromorphic functions’, Comput. Math. Appl. 53 (2007), 1191–1205].
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of lutein and lycopene supplementation on carotid artery intima–media thickness (CAIMT) in subjects with subclinical atherosclerosis. A total of 144 subjects aged 45–68 years were recruited from local communities. All the subjects were randomly assigned to receive 20 mg lutein/d (n 48), 20 mg lutein/d+20 mg lycopene/d (n 48) or placebo (n 48) for 12 months. CAIMT was measured using Doppler ultrasonography at baseline and after 12 months, and serum lutein and lycopene concentrations were determined using HPLC. Serum lutein concentrations increased significantly from 0·34 to 1·96 μmol/l in the lutein group (P< 0·001) and from 0·35 to 1·66 μmol/l in the combination group (P< 0·001). Similarly, serum lycopene concentrations increased significantly from 0·18 to 0·71 μmol/l in the combination group at month 12 (P< 0·001), whereas no significant change was observed in the placebo group. The mean values of CAIMT decreased significantly by 0·035 mm (P= 0·042) and 0·073 mm (P< 0·001) in the lutein and combination groups at month 12, respectively. The change in CAIMT was inversely associated with the increase in serum lutein concentrations (P< 0·05) in both the active treatment groups and with that in serum lycopene concentrations (β = − 0·342, P= 0·031) in the combination group. Lutein and lycopene supplementation significantly increased the serum concentrations of lutein and lycopene with a decrease in CAIMT being associated with both concentrations. In addition, the combination of lutein and lycopene supplementation was more effective than lutein alone for protection against the development of CAIMT in Chinese subjects with subclinical atherosclerosis, and further studies are needed to confirm whether synergistic effects of lutein and lycopene exist.
The driving mechanism of solar flares and coronal mass ejections is a topic of ongoing debate, apart from the consensus that magnetic reconnection plays a key role during the impulsive process. While present solar research mostly depends on observations and theoretical models, laboratory experiments based on high-energy density facilities provide the third method for quantitatively comparing astrophysical observations and models with data achieved in experimental settings. In this article, we show laboratory modeling of solar flares and coronal mass ejections by constructing the magnetic reconnection system with two mutually approaching laser-produced plasmas circumfused of self-generated megagauss magnetic fields. Due to the Euler similarity between the laboratory and solar plasma systems, the present experiments demonstrate the morphological reproduction of flares and coronal mass ejections in solar observations in a scaled sense, and confirm the theory and model predictions about the current-sheet-born anomalous plasmoid as the initial stage of coronal mass ejections, and the behavior of moving-away plasmoid stretching the primary reconnected field lines into a secondary current sheet conjoined with two bright ridges identified as solar flares.
The material characterization toolbox has recently experienced a number of parallel revolutionary advances, foreshadowing a time in the near future when material scientists can quantify material structure evolution across spatial and temporal space simultaneously. This will provide insight to reaction dynamics in four-dimensions, spanning multiple orders of magnitude in both temporal and spatial space. This study presents the authors’ viewpoint on the material characterization field, reviewing its recent past, evaluating its present capabilities, and proposing directions for its future development. Electron microscopy; atom probe tomography; x-ray, neutron and electron tomography; serial sectioning tomography; and diffraction-based analysis methods are reviewed, and opportunities for their future development are highlighted. Advances in surface probe microscopy have been reviewed recently and, therefore, are not included [D.A. Bonnell et al.: Rev. Modern Phys. in Review]. In this study particular attention is paid to studies that have pioneered the synergetic use of multiple techniques to provide complementary views of a single structure or process; several of these studies represent the state-of-the-art in characterization and suggest a trajectory for the continued development of the field. Based on this review, a set of grand challenges for characterization science is identified, including suggestions for instrumentation advances, scientific problems in microstructure analysis, and complex structure evolution problems involving material damage. The future of microstructural characterization is proposed to be one not only where individual techniques are pushed to their limits, but where the community devises strategies of technique synergy to address complex multiscale problems in materials science and engineering.
We studied nanoprecipitates (NPs) and defects in p-type filled skutterudite CeFe4Sb12 prepared by a nonequilibrium melt spinning plus spark plasma sintering method using transmission electron microscopy. NPs with mostly spherical shapes and different sizes (from several nanometers to several tens of nanometers) have been observed. Among these, two types of NPs were most commonly observed, Sb-rich superlattices and CeSb2. The Sb-rich superlattices with a periodicity of about 3.6 nm were induced by the ordering of excessive Sb atoms along the c-direction. These NPs typically share coherent interfaces with the surrounding matrix and induce anisotropic strain fields in the matrix. NPs with compositions close to CeSb2, on the other hand, have been shown to be much larger in size (∼30 nm) and have orthorhombic structures. Various defects were typically observed on the interfaces between these NPs and the matrix. The strain fields induced by these NPs are less distinct, possibly because part of the strain has been released by defect formation.
Formation and electronic structure of the Mn/GaAs(100) interface grown at room temperature are studied by photoemission. The growth at early stage is identified to be in two-dimensional mode. The chemical reaction and the interface diffusion happened between Mn and GaAs are explored in some details. A ferromagnetic phase of Mn overlayer at early stage is deduced from the change of electron density of states near the Fermi edge.
Observational studies have indicated that soya food consumption is inversely associated with blood pressure (BP). Evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCT) on the BP-lowering effects of soya protein intake is inconclusive. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of soya protein intake in lowering BP. The PubMed database was searched for published RCT in the English language through to April 2010, which compared a soya protein diet with a control diet. We conducted a random-effects meta-analysis to examine the effects of soya protein on BP. Subgroup and meta-regression analyses were performed to explore possible explanations for heterogeneity among trials. Meta-analyses of twenty-seven RCT showed a mean decrease of 2·21 mmHg (95 % CI − 4·10, − 0·33; P = 0·021) for systolic BP (SBP) and 1·44 mmHg (95 % CI − 2·56, − 0·31; P = 0·012) for diastolic BP (DBP), comparing the participants in the soya protein group with those in the control group. Soya protein consumption significantly reduced SBP and DBP in both hypertensive and normotensive subjects, and the reductions were markedly greater in hypertensive subjects. Significant and greater BP reductions were also observed in trials using carbohydrate, but not milk products, as the control diet. Meta-regression analyses further revealed a significantly inverse association between pre-treatment BP and the level of BP reductions. In conclusion, soya protein intake, compared with a control diet, significantly reduces both SBP and DBP, but the BP reductions are related to pre-treatment BP levels of subjects and the type of control diet used as comparison.
We have developed a new electrochemical passivation method to obtain a quite stable sulfide layer on GaAs surface. This layer is very thick and contains a mixture of Ga, As, S, O and H compounds. The photoluminescence (PL) spectrum of such anodic sulfurized GaAs surface shows big intensity enhancement as compared with that of as-etched GaAs samples; No visual intensity decay occurs under laser beam illumination, which maintains for more than seven months. The structure and composition of the passivation layers are investigated by the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and the mechanism of the layer formation is suggested.
CN1 thin films have been synthesized by ion-beam-assisted laser ablation of graphite. Films with N-concentration of 45% are obtained, indicated by high energy backseattering spectrum (HEBS). Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) data confirm the existence of carbon-nitrogen bonds. Polycrystallites beta-CjNi structure has been detected in the amorphous matrix of the films, as indicated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron diffraction. Qualitative tests indicate that the films are relatively hard and adhesive.
A new sulfur passivation technique for GaAs surface by using S2Cl2 instead of (NH4)2Sx has been developed. Auger electron spectroscopy verifies the passivated surface is almost completely free of oxygen. The results of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy indicate a relatively strong bonding between S and substrate atoms. A clean surface can be achieved by annealing in vacuum at 600°C. ZnSe thin films grown by hot wall epitaxy on S2Cl2 passivated GaAs show improved crystalline quality compared with those treated by conventional method, as indicated by Raman scattering measurements.
ZnTe/Zn1-xMnxTe superlattices were grown on GaAs (001) substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. The multi-phonon processes including overtones and combinations of optical phonons have been studied by near resonant Raman scattering in the temperature range 13 K to 300 K. The strain arising from lattice mismatch gives rise to a shift in the optical-phonon frequencies. A two-phonon interface mode of superlattice has been observed and identified for the first time. Strain-induced red shifts of exciton energies related to transitions from the conduction subband to the light-hole and heavy-hole subband have been found by photoreflectance measurements. Experimental results agree well with the calculated strain-induced shift in superlattices.
Photoreflectance spectroscopy has been peformed on a series of Cd1−xMnxTe/Cd1−yMnyTe superlattices. Samples were grown on (001) GaAs substrates by molecular-beam epitaxy with different barriers (x=0.3 to 0.8) and wells (y=0 to 0.01). After taking into consideration the strain-induced and quantum confinement effects, the exciton transition energies of the heavy and light holes can be determined using envelope-function calculations. The calculations are in good agreement with the photoreflectance measurement results. These results show that photoreflectance is a powerful probe for the study of quantized state structures in superlattices.
We report recent progress in 2G-HTS wire technology at Superpower Inc. The throughputs of 4mm-wide tape have reached 750m/h for sputtering AlO3+Y2O3 base layer, 360m/h for IBAD MgO template, 345m/h for sputtering Homo-epi MgO+LMO buffer, 180m/h for MOCVD REBCO. Critical current (Ic) of 813A/cm-width at 77K and self-field has been achieved on 1 meter length of 12mm-wide tape in which the thickness of GdYBCO film is 3.3 microns. Ic in a magnetic field has been significantly improved through composition modification, doping and MOCVD condition optimization. Ic of 185.6A/cm-width at 77K and 1Tesla has been obtained. For Ic on long lengths, 314A/cm-width on 202m, 221A/cm-width on 610m and 170A/cm-width on 935m have been achieved. A coil of 19.1mm diameter we made with our 2G wires generated 26.8T magnetic field in the magnet. A 30m-long cable made with nearly 10,000 meters of Superpower 2G wires showed excellent overall performance and has been installed and energized in the power grid.