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The epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) began in China and had spread rapidly to many other countries. This study aimed to identify risk factors associated with delayed negative conversion of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 patients. In this retrospective single-centre study, we included 169 consecutive patients with confirmed COVID-19 in Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University from 15th January to 2nd March. The cases were divided into two groups according to the median time of SARS-CoV-2 negative conversion. The differences between groups were compared. In total, 169 patients had a median virus negative conversion time of 18 days (interquartile range: 11–25) from symptom onset. Compared with the patients with short-term negative conversion, those with long-term conversion had an older age, higher incidence of comorbidities, chief complaints of cough and chest distress/breath shortness and severer illness on admission, higher level of leucocytes, neutrophils, aspartate aminotransferase, creatine kinase and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), lower level of CD3+CD4+ lymphocytes and albumin and more likely to receive mechanical ventilation. In multivariate analysis, cough, leucocytes, neutrophils and ESR were positively correlated with delayed virus negative conversion, and CD3+CD4+ lymphocytes were negatively correlated. The integrated indicator of leucocytes, neutrophils and CD3+CD4+ lymphocytes showed a good performance in predicting the negative conversion within 2 weeks (area under ROC curve (AUC) = 0.815), 3 weeks (AUC = 0.804), 4 weeks (AUC = 0.812) and 5 weeks (AUC = 0.786). In conclusion, longer quarantine periods might be more justified for COVID-19 patients with cough, higher levels of leucocytes, neutrophils and ESR and lower levels of CD3+CD4+ lymphocytes.
Parabronema skrjabini is one of the most harmful nematodes to camels and is responsible for economic losses in animal husbandry industry. There is an urgent need for in-depth studies of potential vectors of the nematode due to its scant regarding information. As previous studies indicated that flies may be the vectors of P. skrjabini, we captured flies in the main camel-producing areas of Inner Mongolia. After autopsy of the specimens of two species of horn flies, we observed the morphology of the suspected nematode larvae found in them. Internal transcribed spacer ribosomal-DNA gene sequences were considered the best candidate to confirm the species of the larvae found. Our results showed that the homology compared with P. skrjabini was 99.5% in GenBank. Subsequently, we preliminarily identified two species of horn flies through morphological observation and then sequenced the mitochondrial-DNA-gene cytochrome oxidase subunit I obtained from two species of horn flies, with 100 and 99.2% similarity to sequences deposited in GenBank, respectively. Thus, we identified Haematobia titillans and Haematobia irritans and provided evidence for their potential role as vectors of parabronemosis. Our study provides reference for future research on the life history of the nematode and the vectors of parabronemosis.
Disabilities in physical activity and functional independence affect the early rehabilitation of stroke survivors. Moreover, a good instrument for assessing activity disability allows accurate assessment of physical disability and assists in prognosis determination.
To compare three assessment tools for physical activity in acute-phase stroke survivors.
We conducted this prospective observational study at an affiliated hospital of a Medical University in Shanghai, China, from June 2018 to November 2019. We administered three instruments to all patients during post-stroke days 5–7, including the Modified Barthel Index (MBI), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL), and modified Rankin scale (mRs). We analyzed correlations among the aforementioned scales and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) using Spearman’s rank-order correlations test. Univariate analyses were performed using the Mann–Whitney U test. We used a binary logistic regression model to assess the association between the NIHSS (30 days) and patient-related variables. Finally, we used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves to assess the predictive value of the multivariate regression models.
There was a high correlation among the three instruments; furthermore, the MBI had a higher correlation with the NIHSS (days 5–7). The NIHSS (day 30) was correlated with thrombolysis. ROC analysis revealed that the mRs-measured disability level had the highest predictive value of short-term stroke severity (30 days).
The MBI was the best scale for measuring disability in physical activity, whereas the mRs showed better accuracy in short-term prediction of stroke severity.
This study aimed to gain insight into how adipose tissue of Tibetan sheep regulates energy homoeostasis to cope with low energy intake under the harsh environment of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). We compared Tibetan and Small-tailed Han sheep (n 24 of each breed), all wethers and 1·5 years of age, which were each divided randomly into four groups and offered diets of different digestible energy (DE) densities: 8·21, 9·33, 10·45 and 11·57 MJ DE/kg DM. When the sheep lost body mass and were assumed to be in negative energy balance: (1) adipocyte diameter in subcutaneous adipose tissue was smaller and decreased to a greater extent in Tibetan than in Small-tailed Han sheep, but the opposite occurred in the visceral adipose tissue; (2) Tibetan sheep showed higher insulin receptor mRNA expression and lower concentrations of catabolic hormones than Small-tailed Han sheep and (3) Tibetan sheep had lower capacity for glucose and fatty acid uptake than Small-tailed Han sheep. Moreover, Tibetan sheep had lower AMPKα mRNA expression but higher mammalian target of rapamycin mRNA expression in the adipocytes than Small-tailed Han sheep. We concluded that Tibetan sheep had lower catabolism but higher anabolism in adipose tissue and reduced the capacity for glucose and fatty acid uptake to a greater extent than Small-tailed Han sheep to maintain energy homoeostasis when in negative energy balance. These responses provide Tibetan sheep with a high ability to cope with low energy intake and with the harsh environment of the QTP.
A CoNiCrAlTaHfY/Co composite coating was prepared on the etched C/C composites by using duplex vapor phase surface alloying treatments, i.e., Co alloying and Co–Ni–Cr–Al–Ta–Hf–Y alloying. Microstructures and oxidation behavior of the coated C/C composites were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The result showed that the CoNiCrAlTaHfY/Co composite coating, 25 μm in thickness, was compact and composed of CrCoTa, AlCo2Ta, AlxCry, AlxNiy, and Co. The coating adhesion can be enhanced by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition etching of matrix surface and adding a Co intermediate layer between the CoNiCrAlTaHfY top layer and C/C composites substrate. The honeycomb structure after etching was helpful to alloying element absorb and diffuse into substrate surface, and the composite coating continuation was improved by the Co buffer layer. After exposing in air for 180 min at 1000 °C, the bulk C/C composites volatilized while the loss rate of coated C/C composites was 0.82%, showing an improved oxidation resistance. Mixed oxides mainly containing Al2O3 and Cr2O3 were formed in the composite coating surface and protected the C/C composites from oxidation in air.
The nutritional intake of Tibetan sheep on the harsh Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau is often under maintenance requirements, especially during the long, cold winter. However, they have adapted well and even thrive under these conditions. The aim of the present study was to gain insight into how the rumen epithelium of Tibetan sheep has adapted to the consumption of low-energy-level diets. For this purpose, we compared Tibetan and small-tailed Han sheep (n 24 of each breed, all wethers and 1·5 years of age), which were divided randomly into one of four groups and offered ad libitum diets of different digestible energy (DE) densities: 8·21, 9·33, 10·45 and 11·57 MJ DE/kg DM. The Tibetan sheep had higher rumen concentrations of total SCFA, acetate, butyrate and iso-acids but lower concentrations of propionate than small-tailed Han sheep. The Tibetan sheep had higher absorption capability of SCFA due to the greater absorption surface area and higher mRNA expression of the SCFA absorption relative genes than small-tailed Han sheep. For the metabolism of SCFA in the rumen epithelium, the small-tailed Han sheep showed higher utilisation of the ketogenesis pathway than Tibetan sheep; however, Tibetan sheep had greater regulation capacity in SCFA metabolism pathways. These differences between breeds allowed the Tibetan sheep to have greater capability of absorbing SCFA and better capacity to regulate the metabolism of SCFA, which would allow them to cope with low energy intake better than small-tailed Han sheep.
Porous TiAl3 intermetallics were synthesized by the thermal explosion (TE) reaction from TiH2–75 at.% Al elemental powders combining with carbamide as the space holder. The results showed that the space holder particles were removed completely by dissolving in water before sintering and the violent exothermic reaction occurred from the temperature of 672–1193 °C within a few seconds. After TE, TiAl3 was the dominant phase in sintered products and the open porosity of 60.8% was obtained without space holder, while the porosity considerably increased to 81.4% with the addition of 60 vol% carbamide particles. The pore-forming mechanism can be concluded as follows: the sphere large pores replicated from carbamide particles and the small pores generated by the TE reaction. Moreover, porous TiAl3 intermetallics possess the excellent oxidation resistance at 650 °C in air, which enabled them good candidate materials for improving the service life and the accuracy of filtration under special conditions.
In this paper, we review the status of the multifunctional experimental platform at the National Laboratory of High Power Laser and Physics (NLHPLP). The platform, including the SG-II laser facility, SG-II 9th beam, SG-II upgrade (SG-II UP) facility, and SG-II 5 PW facility, is operational and available for interested scientists studying inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and a broad range of high-energy-density physics. These facilities can provide important experimental capabilities by combining different pulse widths of nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond scales. In addition, the SG-II UP facility, consisting of a single petawatt system and an eight-beam nanosecond system, is introduced including several laser technologies that have been developed to ensure the performance of the facility. Recent developments of the SG-II 5 PW facility are also presented.
Based on polyhedral splines, some multivariate splines of different orders with given supports over arbitrary topological meshes are developed. Schemes for choosing suitable families of multivariate splines based on pre-given meshes are discussed. Those multivariate splines with inner knots and boundary knots from the related meshes are used to generate rational spline shapes with related control points. Steps for up to C2-surfaces over the meshes are designed. The relationship among the meshes and their knots, the splines and control points is analyzed. To avoid any unexpected discontinuities and get higher smoothness, a heart-repairing technique to adjust inner knots in the multivariate splines is designed.
With the theory above, bivariate C1-quadratic splines over rectangular meshes are developed. Those bivariate splines are used to generate rational C1-quadratic surfaces over the meshes with related control points and weights. The properties of the surfaces are analyzed. The boundary curves and the corner points and tangent planes, and smooth connecting conditions of different patches are presented. The C1–continuous connection schemes between two patches of the surfaces are presented.
White sponge nevus (WSN) in the oral mucosa is a rare autosomal dominant genetic disease. The involved mucosa is white or greyish, thickened, folded and spongy. The genes associated with WSN include mutant cytokeratin keratin 4 (KRT4) and keratin 13 (KRT13). In recent years, new cases of WSN and associated mutations have been reported. Here, we summarise the recent progress in our understanding of WSN, including clinical reports, genetics, animal models, treatment, pathogenic mechanisms and future directions. Gene-based diagnosis and gene therapy for WSN may become available in the near future and could provide a reference and instruction for treating other KRT-associated diseases.
Abundant kiddcreekite grains were identified in the Zijinshan Cu-Au epithermal deposit in Fujian Province, China. The mineral occurs as polycrystalline grains, 5–300 μm in size, associated with colusite, enargite, stannoidite, mawsonite, vinciennite, hemusite, tennantite and wolframite in a predominantly covellite ore. Based on electron microprobe analysis, the empirical formula of the kiddcreekite is Cu6.2Sn0.97W0.95S7.83, without significant Se or Te contents. The crystal structure of kiddcreekite was solved using the direct-space method (EPCryst) from laboratory micro X-ray diffraction (μXRD) data and refined by the Rietveld method. The R values of the final Rietveld refinement were Rp = 9.06%, Rwp = 8.31%, RB = 3.16 and RF = 2.17%. Kiddcreekite has a cubic structure, space group F3m and lattice parameter a = 10.8178(3) Å (Z = 4, V = 1265.95(6) Å3). In the unit cell, W, Sn and Cu atoms occupy the 4a, 4c and 24f Wyckoff positions, respectively, and S atoms occupy two sets of 16e Wyckoff positions. The structure of kiddcreekite consists of stacked double MeS4 layers (giving a W–Sn–Cu tier and a Cu–vacancy tier) as in the sphalerite substructure. This study also demonstrates the possibility of using laboratory µXRD data coupled with the direct-space method to solve inorganic structures in cases where samples are too small for conventional powder and single-crystal diffraction.
Site selection for Antarctic research stations is of great importance and is necessary to support Antarctic expeditions. Site selection is affected by both the scientific investigations planned and the expected life of stations following construction. In the site allocation process, an efficient spatial data management system is required to manage various criteria and a robust allocation method is important to handle decision uncertainties. The aim of this study was to build a criteria system and to conduct a site selection process with aid from geographical information systems (GIS) and the fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (FAHP). In considering the natural environment and building conditions, fifteen factors were used as multiple evaluation sub-criteria and grouped into four main criteria: scientific research, environment, logistical support and topography. Comparisons were made between potentially suitable areas and the locations of existing stations and camps to demonstrate fitness-for-use of the allocation results. Finally, the suitability map was applied to identify candidate sites for a new Chinese research station by considering the position of current stations and areas of scientific interest. This model offers a comprehensive methodology for decision-makers in the assessment of potential Antarctic research station sites.
Most of the research on silicon-on-insulator integrated circuits has been focused on applications for telecommunication. By using the large refractive index of silicon, compact complex photonic functions have been integrated on a silicon chip. However, the transparency of silicon up to 8.5 μm enables the use of the platform for the mid infrared wavelength region, albeit limited by the absorption in silicon oxide from 4 μm on. This could lead to a whole new set of integrated photonics circuits for sensing, given the distinct absorption bands of many molecules in this wavelength region. These long wavelength integrated photonic circuits would preferably need broadband or widely tunable sources to probe these absorption bands.
We propose the use of nonlinear optics in silicon wire waveguides to generate light in this wavelength range. Nonlinear interactions in just a few cm of silicon wire waveguides can be very efficient as a result of both the high nonlinear index of silicon and the high optical confinement obtained in these waveguides. We demonstrate the generation of a supercontinuum spanning from 1.53 μm up to 2.55 μm in a 2 cm dispersion engineered silicon nanowire waveguide by pumping the waveguide with strong picoseconds pulses at 2.12 μm . Furthermore we demonstrate broadband nonlinear optical amplification in the mid infrared up to 50 dB  in these silicon waveguides. By using this broadband parametric gain a silicon-based synchronously pumped optical parametric oscillator (OPO) is constructed . This OPO is tunable over 70 nm around a central wavelength of 2080 nm.
Finally, we also demonstrate the use of higher order dispersion terms to get phase matching between optical signals at very different optical frequencies in silicon wire waveguides. In this way we demonstrate conversion of signals at 2.44 μm to the telecommunication band with efficiencies up to +19.5 dB . One particularly attractive application of such wide conversion is the possibility of converting weak signals in the mid-IR to the telecom window after which they can be detected by a high-sensitivity telecom-band optical receiver.
The proper transmission of wave variables rather than power variables in teleoperation with time delays ensures system passivity – rendering the entire system stable, but the introduction of wave variables leads to distortion between the velocities/positions of the master and slave, and the performance deteriorates significantly with the increase of time delays. This paper presents a new compensating scheme implemented at the slave side to remove or cancel partially the distortion. The system passivity can still be maintained by tuning a properly designed low-pass filter. Compared with previous work, the main contribution of this work exists in two points: first, it is the actual velocity/trajectory of the slave rather than the reference velocity/trajectory of the slave that tracks the master one, so the quality of tracking is better and converges faster; second, the proposed compensator does not require any additional signal from the master side, minimizing the amount of data transmitted over the channel, which is very important from the practical point of view. The simulation and experiment results show that the velocity (or trajectory) tracking is significantly improved under the condition of stability, and the force presented to the user is close to the environment one, meaning a high degree of system transparency is achieved.
We present new estimates on evaporation and groundwater recharge in the Badain Jaran Desert, western Inner Mongolia of northwestern China, based on a modified Penman Equation suitable for lakes in China. Geochemical data and water balance calculations suggest that local rainfall makes a significant contribution to groundwater recharge and that past lake-level variations in this desert environment should reflect palaeoclimatic changes. The chronology of lake-level change, established by radiocarbon and U-series disequilibrium dating methods, indicates high lake levels and a wetter climate beginning at ca. 10 ka and lasting until the late mid-Holocene in the Badain Jaran Desert. The greatest extension of lakes in the inter-dune depressions indicates that the water availability was greatest during the mid-Holocene. Relicts of Neolithic tools and pottery of Qijia Culture (2400–1900 BC) suggest relatively intensive human activity in the Badain Jaran Desert during the early and middle Holocene, supporting our interpretation of a less harsh environment. Wetter climates during the Holocene were likely triggered by an intensified East Asian summer monsoon associated with strong insolation.
Taurine has been shown to be tissue protective in many models of oxidant-induced injury. However, its protective role against retinal damage induced by photochemical stress is less well known. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether dietary taurine reduced retinal photochemical damage in Sprague–Dawley rats and to further explore the underlying molecular mechanisms of this action. Twenty rats fed AIN-93 formulation and maintained in the dark for 48 h were used as controls (n 20). Another forty rats were randomly divided into two groups and then treated with (n 20) or without 4 % taurine (n 20) for 15 d respectively. After treatment, these two groups were exposed to fluorescent light (3000 ± 200 lux and 25°C), and the protective effects of dietary taurine were then evaluated. The present results showed that dietary taurine effectively prevented retinal photochemical damage as assessed by changes of morphology. Also, the supplementation caused an increase of taurine in the retina, a decrease of malondialdehyde (P < 0·01), and elevation of superoxide dismutase (P < 0·01) and glutathione peroxidase activities in the retina (P < 0·01). Moreover, dietary taurine inhibited activator protein-1 (AP-1) (c-fos/c-jun subunits) expression (P < 0·05), up regulated NF-κB (p65) expression (P < 0·05), and decreased caspase-1 expression (P < 0·05) so as to reduce the apoptosis of photoreceptors in the retina (P < 0·05). These results suggest that dietary taurine reduced retinal damage produced by photochemical stress via antioxidant and anti-AP-1–NF-κB–caspase-1 apoptotic mechanisms in rats.
To assess the impact of urbanisation on the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in Chinese adults.
As part of a community-based cross-sectional survey conducted in 2002, a sample from rural and urban populations in East China was obtained. The metabolic syndrome is defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria (ATP III) and the modified ATP III, which recommended a lower waist circumference cut-off for Asians.
Field sites in Jiangxi and Anhui provinces and the Jing'an District of Shanghai, China.
A total of 529 non-pregnant, non-lactating urban and rural adults, aged 20–64 years without diagnosed diabetes.
Dwelling in urban areas was associated with higher dietary fat intake and slightly lower total energy intake, and with significantly lower occupational physical activity. Using the ATP III criteria, the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was significantly higher for urban than rural men (12.7 vs. 1.7%, P < 0.001), and was similar between urban and rural women (10.1 vs. 9.7%, P = 0.17). These urban–rural differences were greatly enhanced when the modified ATP III criteria for the syndrome were used, for men (34.3 vs. 2.7%, P < 0.01) and women (24.1 vs. 11.4%, P = 0.07). The Asian waist circumference cut-offs (90 and 80 cm for men and women, respectively) had a better combination of sensitivity and specificity in identifying other metabolic disorders, which included high glucose, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, for this population.
For the Chinese population, urban dwelling was associated with higher prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, especially in men.
With shrinking interconnect dimensions, as a result of scaling, resistance variations in percentage terms are increasing. Quick and reliable measurements on the interconnect structures are the first step to the detection and implementation of a process-control strategy in order to reduce process related variations. This paper discusses the application of Optical Digital Profilometry (ODP) to the measurement of BEOL parameters, specifically the measurement of post copper-CMP metal dimensions with the intention of understanding CMP related contribution to resistance variations. Traditionally a combination of electrical test, optical metrology and profilometry is needed to understand the contribution of CMP to the interconnect and inter-layer-dielectric (ILD) dimensions. This paper discusses the successful use of ODP to model and measure the dimensions of both the metal and the dielectric in nested patterned structures with different pattern densities for a single level patterned build. Hence this technique could potentially simplify and replace multiple measurement techniques and help in quickly providing relevant information for process monitoring and control.
The last remaining population of the Crested Ibis Nipponia nippon in the wild was studied in the Qinling Mountains, Yangxian County, Shaanxi Province, central China, over 24 breeding seasons with particular attention being paid to the nesting behaviour and breeding success. The average clutch size varied significantly among years (2.84 ± 0.77; n = 271), suggesting that food abundance, which was distinct in different areas, was indeed a limiting factor. The mean hatching success was 80.2%, and ranged from 35.7% to 100%. Egg losses were due to three reasons: infertility or the eggs being addled, predation, and human disturbance. Three reasons accounting for chick death were highlighted: shortage of food, predation, and disturbance from local inhabitants. However, the overall breeding success of the Crested Ibis, which averaged 65.6%, was much higher than that of many nidicolous birds and was clearly dependent not only on the stability of pair maintenance but also on human conservation and protection measures. The relatively higher proportion of unsuccessful nests at altitudes between 500–700 m and 701–900 m was linked with the more frequent human activities, predation and lower stability of nest-trees in such areas. The fact that there was no significant variation in the number of successful nests or breeding success across different altitudinal zones demonstrated that, to a large degree, habitats used by the Crested Ibis were now suitable for breeding. The rapid increase in the species' numbers in recent years has been achieved through effective protection measures, including legislation, management of population and habitat, and regular surveys and monitoring. A reintroduction programme has been put into effect, protecting the population from a chance catastrophe such as communicable diseases within its limited range.
We demonstrate that a multi-technology approach enables the accurate characterization of the thickness and optical properties of Amorphous Carbon (α-C) films used in semiconductor manufacturing. Because the material is found to be highly birefringent, with its measured refractive index and extinction coefficient depending strongly upon the polarization and angle-of-incidence of the optical probe beam that is used, conventional single angle-of-incidence Spectroscopic Ellipsometry (SE) has insufficient information-content to detect the ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices with sufficient accuracy. On the other hand, Beam Profile Reflectometry® (BPR®) is particularly strong in this case because it measures the actual reflectances for both polarization components (rather than just the difference between them) at multiple angles-of-incidence. Furthermore, the fact that BPR is a single-wavelength technique means that no assumptions must be made about the optical dispersion of the film and an absolute measurement can be made. It is then possible to combine this with other, spectral technologies to obtain ordinary and extraordinary n and k at all wavelengths. We show that, to first order, the birefringence can be modeled by assuming a single “anisotropy parameter”, the ratio between the ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices (or, more correctly, the complex dielectric functions). Using this approach in combination with a simple Bruggeman effective-medium dispersion model enables robust characterization of these films for production.