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The Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover 105 mm-diameter ice cores up to 1400 m depth and 41.5 mm-diameter bedrock cores up to 2 m in length. In order to ensure safe and convenient drilling, drilling auxiliaries are designed to support fieldwork and servicing. These auxiliaries are subdivided into several systems for power supply, drill tripping in the borehole, ice core and chip processing, and drill servicing and maintenance. The required equipment also includes two generators, a drilling winch with a cable, logging winch with a cable, control desk, pipe handler with a fixed clamp, chip chamber vibrator, centrifuge, emergency devices and fitting and electrical tools. Additionally, several environmental protective measures such as a new liquid-tight casing with a thermal casing shoe and a bailing device for recovering drilling fluid from the borehole were designed. Most of the auxiliaries were tested during the summer of 2018–2019 near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica while drilling to the bedrock to a depth of 198 m.
A new, modified version of the cable-suspended Ice and Bedrock Electromechanical Drill (IBED) was designed for drilling in firn, ice, debris-rich ice and rock. The upper part of the drill is almost the same for all drill variants and comprises four sections: cable termination, a slip-ring section, an antitorque system and an electronic pressure chamber. The lower part of the IBED comprises an auger core barrel, reamers, a core barrel for ice/debris-ice drilling and a conventional geological single-tube core barrel or custom-made double-tube core barrel. First, the short and full-scale field versions of the IBED were tested at an outdoor testing stand and a testing facility with a 12.5 m-deep ice well. Then, in the 2018–2019 summer season, the IBED was tested in the field at a site ~12 km south of Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, and a ~6 cm bedrock core was recovered from a 198 m-deep borehole. A total of 18 d was required to penetrate the ice sheet. The retrieved core samples of blue ice, basal ice and bedrock provided valuable information regarding the Earth's paleo-environment.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2 virus) has been sustained in China since December 2019, and has become a pandemic. The mental health of frontline medical staff is a concern. In this study, we aimed to identify the factors influencing medical worker anxiety in China during the COVID-19 outbreak. We conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the prevalence of anxiety among medical staff in China from 10 February 2020 to 20 February 2020 using the Zung Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) to assess anxiety, with the criteria of normal (⩽49), mild (50–59), moderate (60–70) and severe anxiety (⩾70). We used multivariable linear regression to determine the factors (e.g. having direct contact when treating infected patients, being a medical staff worker from Hubei province, being a suspect case) for anxiety. We also used adjusted models to confirm independent factors for anxiety after adjusting for gender, age, education and marital status. Of 512 medical staff in China, 164 (32.03%) had had direct contact treating infected patients. The prevalence of anxiety was 12.5%, with 53 workers suffering from mild (10.35%), seven workers suffering from moderate (1.36%) and four workers suffering from severe anxiety (0.78%). After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics (gender, age, education and marital status), medical staff who had had direct contact treating infected patients experienced higher anxiety scores than those who had not had direct contact (β value = 2.33, confidence interval (CI) 0.65–4.00; P = 0.0068). A similar trend was observed in medical staff from Hubei province, compared with those from other parts of China (β value = 3.67, CI 1.44–5.89; P = 0.0013). The most important variable was suspect cases with high anxiety scores, compared to non-suspect cases (β value = 4.44, CI 1.55–7.33; P = 0.0028). In this survey of hospital medical workers during the COVID-19 outbreak in China, we found that study participants experienced anxiety symptoms, especially those who had direct clinical contact with infected patients; as did those in the worst affected areas, including Hubei province; and those who were suspect cases. Governments and healthcare authorities should proactively implement appropriate psychological intervention programmes, to prevent, alleviate or treat increased anxiety.
The X-ray emissions in the interaction of 3–6 MeV Xe23+ ions into thick solid In target are measured. The projectile-to-target and target Lα/Lβ X-ray production intensity ratios are observed to strongly depend on the projectile energy. The dependence deviates from Coulomb ionization predictions, which implies the important roles of coupling between subshells and the activation of 4fσ rotational couplings for projectile energy larger than 5 MeV.
Information about seed dormancy cycling and germination in relation to temperature and moisture conditions in the natural environment is important for the conservation and restoration of rare species, including Begonia guishanensis and Paraisometrum mileense, two sympatric perennial limestone (karst) species. Dry afterripening (DAR) and wet and dry (WD) cycles at 15/5 and 25/15°C as well as moist chilling (MC) at 15/5°C were used to mimic the natural environment at different times of the year. A field experiment was conducted to monitor seasonal changes in germination responses of the seeds. About 40–65% of B. guishanensis and 5% of P. mileense seeds were dormant at maturity. DAR at 25/15 and 15/5°C as well as MC and WD cycles at 15/5°C alleviated dormancy for B. guishanensis but not P. mileense, and WD cycles at 25/15°C induced a deeper conditional dormancy for both species. Seeds of B. guishanensis exhibited dormancy cycling in the field, with increased dormancy under natural WD cycles at relatively high temperatures during the transition from the dry to the wet season in April to May and decreased dormancy during the wet season from June to October. KNO3 mitigated the dormancy-inducing effect of both artificial and natural WD cycles at relatively high temperatures for B. guishanensis. The field experiment indicated that seeds of B. guishanensis may be able to form a persistent soil seed bank, while almost all seeds of P. mileense germinate at the beginning of the wet season in the field.
The effect of holly polyphenols (HP) on intestinal inflammation and microbiota composition was evaluated in a piglet model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced intestinal injury. A total of twenty-four piglets were used in a 2 × 2 factorial design including diet type and LPS challenge. After 16 d of feeding with a basal diet supplemented with or without 250 mg/kg HP, pigs were challenged with LPS (100 μg/kg body weight) or an equal volume of saline for 4 h, followed by analysis of disaccharidase activities, gene expression levels of several representative tight junction proteins and inflammatory mediators, the SCFA concentrations and microbiota composition in intestinal contents as well as proinflammatory cytokine levels in plasma. Our results indicated that HP enhanced intestinal disaccharidase activities and reduced plasma proinflammatory cytokines including TNF-α and IL-6 in LPS-challenged piglets. Moreover, HP up-regulated mRNA expression of intestinal tight junction proteins such as claudin-1 and occludin. In addition, bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that HP altered hindgut microbiota composition by enriching Prevotella and enhancing SCFA production following LPS challenge. These results collectively suggest that HP is capable of alleviating LPS-triggered intestinal injury by improving intestinal disaccharidase activities, barrier function and SCFA production, while reducing intestinal inflammation.
The effect of maternal folate intake on small-for-gestational-age (SGA) births remains inconclusive. The present study aimed to investigate the associations of maternal folate intake from diet and supplements with the risk of SGA births using data from a cross-sectional study in Shaanxi Province of Northwest China. A total of 7307 women who were within 12 months (median 3; 10th–90th percentile 0–7) after delivery were included. Two-level models were adopted to examine the associations of folate (dietary folate, supplemental folic acid and total folate) intake with the risk of SGA births and birth weight Z score, controlling for a minimum set of confounders that were identified in a directed acyclic graph. Results showed that a higher supplemental folic acid intake during the first trimester was negatively associated with the risk of SGA births (≤60 d v. non-use: OR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·96; >60 d v. non-use: OR 0·78; 95 % CI 0·65, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per 10-d increase: OR 0·97; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·99). A higher total folate intake during pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of SGA births (highest tertile v. lowest tertile: OR 0·77; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per one-unit increase in the log-transformed value: OR 0·81; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·95). A similar pattern was observed for the birth weight Z score. Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation during the first trimester and a higher total folate intake during pregnancy were associated with a reduced risk of SGA births.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
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.
The antibacterial hydrogels can be widely used in the biomedical area owing to their excellent properties. The main limitation of antibacterial hydrogels is their poor mechanical strength. In this study, the novel hydrogels were fabricated with a mixture of silk fibroin (SF), chitosan (CH), agarose (AG), and silver nanoparticles (SNPs) via facile reaction condition without inorganic substances. The mechanical property of these fabricated hydrogels can be modulated by the concentration of SF or AG. The rheological studies demonstrated enhanced elasticity of CH-doped hydrogels. Because of the presence of CH and Ag in hydrogels, the antimicrobial property against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria was exhibited. Cytocompatibility test proved the very low toxic nature of the hydrogels. In addition, these composite hydrogels have a smaller porosity, higher swelling ratio, and good compatibility, indicating their great potential for biomedical application.
We report on a new scheme for efficient continuous-wave (CW) mid-infrared generation using difference frequency generation (DFG) inside a periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN)-based optical parametric oscillator (OPO). The pump sources were two CW fiber lasers fixed at 1018 nm and 1080 nm. One worked as the assisted laser to build parametric oscillation and generate an oscillating signal beam while the other worked at low power (
) to induce DFG between it and the signal beam. The PPLN temperature was appropriately adjusted to enable OPO and DFG to synchronously meet phase-matching conditions. Finally, both low-power 1018 nm and 1080 nm pump beams were successfully converted to
idler beams, respectively. The conversion efficiencies of the 1018 nm and 1080 nm pumped DFG reached 20% and 15%, respectively, while their slope efficiencies reached 19.6% and 15%. All these data were comparable to the OPOs pumped by themselves and never realized before in traditional CW DFG schemes. The results reveal that high-efficiency frequency down-conversion can be achieved with a low-power near-infrared pump source.
In the Venus capture period, it is difficult for celestial autonomous navigation to satisfy the requirement of high precision. To improve autonomous navigation performance, a Direction, Distance and Velocity (DDV) measurements deeply integrated navigation method is proposed. The “deeply” integrated navigation reflects the fact that the direction and velocity measurements suppress the Doppler effects in the pulsar signals. In the pulsar observation period, the direction and velocity measurements are utilised to compensate for Doppler effects in the pulsar signals. By these means, the residual effects can be ignored. When the direction, distance or velocity measurements are obtained, they are fused to improve the navigation performance. Simulation results demonstrate that the DDV measurements deeply integrated navigation filter converges very well, and provides highly accurate position estimation without a high quality requirement on navigation sensors.
Here a compact three orthogonal planes high-energy electron radiography system was proposed. One of the critical technologies, the ultra-fast beam bunches split from the bunch train are studied. The separated bunches could be transported to the three orthogonal planes of the target for dynamic radiography diagnostics. The key elements of the ultra-fast bunches split system are transverse deflecting cavity (TDC) and the twin septum magnet (TSM). The principle of TDC and TSM are briefly introduced. An example of the beam bunches split system for test experiment (40 MeV electron beam) with TDC and TSM is designed and studied by particle-tracking simulation and it confirms this method is valid and feasible. Especially with TSM, a compact three orthogonal planes radiography system can be realized. The evolution of the beam parameters along the beam line from simulation are investigated. The detailed design of the beam split system and beam dynamics simulation study are presented in this paper.
In this study, scanning electron microscope, electron backscatter diffraction, and transmission electron microscope have been used to investigate the microstructure evolution of Cu–0.2Mg alloy during continuous extrusion in mass production. The continuous extrusion could change the size and orientation of as-cast crystallite grains of the alloy. Hardness increased gently in upsetting zone and dropped sharply in adhesion zone. Hardness reached the maximum value in right-angle bending zone; and it decreased rapidly in extending extrusion zone. Upsetting zone was mainly composed of cell blocks and microbands, and adhesion zone mainly consisted of discontinuous recrystallize grain. Shear band and subgrains were formed in right-angle bending zone due to polygonization during shear deformation. In extending extrusion zone and extrusion rod zone, recrystallize microstructures were predominant.
Introduction: The mortality of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and its associated risk factors among clinically definite PD patients in China has been rarely investigated. Our study aimed to identify the mortality rates and predictors of death in PD patients in China. Methods: 157 consecutive, clinically definite PD patients from the urban area of Shanghai were recruited from a central hospital based movement disorder clinic in 2006. All patients were regularly followed up at the clinic until December 31, 2011, or death. Mortality and associations with baseline demographics, health and medical factors were then determined within the cohort. Results: After 5 years, 11(7%) patients had died. The standardised mortality ratio was 0.62 (95% CI 0.32 to 1.07, P=0.104). The main causes of death were pneumonia (54.5%, 6/11) and digestive disorders (18.2%, 2/11), respectively. Age at onset, independent living, the mini mental state examination score, the Parkinson’s disease sleep scale score and the Epworth sleepiness scale score at baseline were statistically significantly different between the survival group and the deceased group (P<0.05). Across all participants, risk factors for death included low mini mental state examination score, and high Epworth sleepiness scale score according to a binary variable logistic regression analysis. Conclusions: This study confirms the similar survival of patients with PD to the control population up to a follow-up of 5 years. Interventions tailored to potential risk factors associated with death may offer further benefits.
During the 30th Chinese Antarctic Expedition in 2013/14, the Chinese icebreaker RV Xuelong answered a rescue call from the Russian RV Akademik Shokalskiy. While assisting the repatriation of personnel from the Russian vessel to the Australian RV Aurora Australis, RV Xuelong itself became entrapped within the compacted ice in the Adélie Depression region. Analysis of MODIS and SAR imagery provides a detailed description of the regional sea-ice conditions which led to the 6 day long besetment of RV Xuelong. The remotely sensed imagery revealed four stages of sea-ice characteristics during the entrapment: the gathering, compaction, dispersion and calving stages. Four factors characterizing the local sea-ice conditions during late December 2013 and early January 2014 were identified: surface component of the coastal current; near-surface wind; ocean tides; and surface air temperature. This study demonstrates that shipping activity in ice-invested waters should be underpinned by general knowledge of the ice situation. In addition, during such activity high spatiotemporal resolution remotely sensed data should be acquired regularly to monitor local and regional sea-ice changes with a view to avoiding the besetment of vessels.
Blue-ice areas (BIAs) and their geographical distribution in Antarctica were mapped using Landsat-7 ETM+ images with 15 m spatial resolution obtained during the 1999–2003 austral summers and covering the area north of 82.5° S, and a snow grain-size image of the MODIS-based Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA) dataset with 125 m grid spacing acquired during the 2003/04 austral summer from 82.5°S to the South Pole. A map of BIAs was created with algorithms of thresholds based on band ratio and reflectance for ETM+ data and thresholds based on snow grain size for the MOA dataset. The underlying principle is that blue ice can be separated from snow or rock by their spectral discrepancies and by different grain sizes of snow and ice. We estimate the total area of BIAs in Antarctica during the data acquisition period is 234 549 km2, or 1.67% of the area of the continent. Blue ice is scattered widely over the continent but is generally located in coastal or mountainous regions. The BIA dataset presented in this study is the first map covering the entire Antarctic continent sourced solely from ETM+ and MODIS data. This dataset can potentially benefit other studies in glaciology, meteorology, climatology and paleoclimate, meteorite collection and airstrip site selection.
Blockage of pathogen transmission through water decontamination is considered an important strategy for the prevention of schistosome infection. Many believe that this strategy is feasible, but it has yet to be achieved. Silver has a long history of use as a disinfectant. With the emergence of nanotechnology, silver can be shaped into nanoparticles which have been found to possess superb antimicrobial activities. In this light, we investigated the effects of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on Schistosoma japonicum cercariae. AgNPs rapidly induced cercarial tail-shedding, agitated behaviour and a decrease in cercarial secretion in a dose-dependent manner. Prolonged treatment was found to be cercariocidal, which nevertheless might be attributable to AgNP-induced cercarial tail loss rather than to toxicity. Higher concentrations of AgNPs (125 μg mL−1 and above) completely blocked cercarial infectivity. Despite decreased infectivity, cercariae exposed to lower concentrations of AgNPs for 30 min were still found capable of infecting hosts even without their tails, suggesting that tail loss does not necessarily signify a total loss of infective ability. We also found that silver ions (Ag+) were heavily involved in the observed cercarial responses of AgNPs. Our observations provide insight into the interactions between the larvae of helminth parasites and nanoparticles.