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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Recent advances in techniques to generate static ultra-high pressure (>100 GPa) in the diamond anvil cell have significantly enhanced our understanding of the properties of solids under these extreme conditions. In order to characterize the structure of solids at these pressures, X-ray diffraction using synchrotron radiation has become an invaluable tool. Since the highest pressures are attained at the expense of sample volume (~ 100 μm3) , it is best to use the intense radiation available from a synchrotron to study the very small samples used in ultra-high pressure studies. Even with the intense x-ray beams currently available, it is still often desirable to focus the x-ray beam to increase the available flux. We have developed a focusing system which uses multilayer coated spherical mirrors. With this system, intense x-ray beams with sizes smaller than 10 μm by 10 μm can be achieved at a synchrotron radiation beamline. Previously, we used the focusing system for x-ray microprobe experiments.
Latrophilin (LPH) is known as an adhesion G-protein-coupled receptor which involved in multiple physiological processes in organisms. Previous studies showed that lph not only involved the susceptibility to anticholinesterase insecticides but also affected fecundity in Tribolium castaneum. However, its regulatory mechanisms in these biological processes are still not clear. Here, we identified two potential downstream carboxylesterase (cce) genes of Tclph, esterase4 and esterase6, and further characterized their interactions with Tclph. After treatment of T. castaneum larvae with carbofuran or dichlorvos insecticides, the transcript levels of Tcest4 and Tcest6 were significantly induced from 12 to 72 h. RNAi against Tcest4 or Tcest6 led to the higher mortality compared with the controls after the insecticides treatment, suggesting that these two genes play a vital role in detoxification of insecticides in T. castaneum. Furthermore, with insecticides exposure to Tclph knockdown beetles, the expression of Tcest4 was upregulated but Tcest6 was downregulated, indicating that beetles existed a compensatory response against the insecticides. Additionally, RNAi of Tcest6 resulted in 43% reductions in female egg laying and completely inhibited egg hatching, which showed the similar phenotype as that of Tclph knockdown. These results indicated that Tclph affected fecundity by positively regulating Tcest6 expression. Our findings will provide a new insight into the molecular mechanisms of Tclph involved in physiological functions in T. castaneum.
Feeding ruminants a high-grain (HG) diet is a widely used strategy to improve milk yield and cost efficiency. However, it may cause certain metabolic disorders. At present, information about the effects of HG diets on the systemic metabolic profile of goats and the correlation of such diets with rumen bacteria is limited. In the present study, goats were randomly divided into two groups: one was fed the hay diet (hay; n = 5), while the other was fed HG diets (HG; n = 5). On day 50, samples of rumen contents, peripheral blood serum and liver tissues were collected to determine the metabolic profiles in the rumen fluid, liver and serum and the microbial composition in rumen. The results revealed that HG diets reduced (P < 0.05) the community richness and diversity of rumen microbiota, with an increase in the Chao 1 and Shannon index and a decrease in the Simpson index. HG diets also altered the composition of rumen microbiota, with 30 genera affected (P < 0.05). Data on the metabolome showed that the metabolites in the rumen fluid, liver and serum were affected (variable importance projection > 1, P <0.05) by dietary treatment, with 47, 10 and 27 metabolites identified as differentially metabolites. Pathway analysis showed that the common metabolites in the shared key pathway (aminoacyl-transfer RNA biosynthesis) in the rumen fluid, liver and serum were glycine, lysine and valine. These findings suggested that HG diets changed the composition of the rumen microbiota and metabolites in the rumen fluid, liver and serum, mainly involved in amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide new insights into the understanding of diet-related systemic metabolism and the effects of HG diets on the overall health of goats.
The rapid shift to high-grain (HG) diets in ruminants can affect the function of the rumen epithelium, but the dynamic changes in the composition of the epithelium-associated (epimural) bacterial community in sheep still needs further investigation. Twenty male lambs were randomly allocated to four groups (n = 5). Animals of the first group received hay diet and represented a control group (CON). Simultaneously, animals in the other three groups (HG groups) were rapidly shifted to an HG diet (60% concentrate)which continued for 7 (HG7), 14 (HG14) and 28 (HG28) days, correspondingly. Results showed that ruminal pH dramatically decreased due to the rapid shift to the HG diet (P <0.001), while, the concentrations of butyrate (P <0.001), lactate (P = 0.001), valerate (P = 0.008) and total volatile fatty acids (P = 0.001) increased. Diversity estimators showed a dramatic decrease after the shift without recovering as the HG feeding continued. The principal coordinates analysis showed that CON group clustered separately from all HG groups with the presence of significant difference only between HG7 and HG28 (P = 0.034). The non-parametric multivariate analysis (npmv R-package) deduced that the primary significant differences in phyla and phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt)-predicted Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGGs) was attributed mainly to the diet composition (P <0.001, P = 0.001) compared to its application period (P = 0.140, 0.545) which showed a significant effect only on the genus (P = 0.001) and the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) level (P = 0.011). The Kruskal–Wallis test deduced that six phyla showed a significant effect due to the shift in diet composition. At the genus level, HG feeding altered the abundance of 12 taxa, four of which showed a significant variation due to the duration of the HG diet application. Similarly, we found that 21 OTUs showed significant variations due to the duration of the HG diet application. Furthermore, the genes abundance predicted by PICRUSt revealed that the HG feeding significantly affected seven metabolic pathways identified in the KEGG. Particularly, the abundance of gene families associated with carbohydrates metabolism were significantly higher in HG feeding groups (P = 0.027). Collectively, these results revealed that the rapid transition to an HG diet causes dramatic alterations in ruminal fermentation and the composition and function of ruminal epithelium-associated microbiome in sheep, while, the duration of the HG diet application causes drastic alterations to the abundance of some species.
Previously, we reported a phylogenetic study of 98 Burkholderia pseudomallei clinical isolates from Hainan, China. Here, we update the B. pseudomallei strain library with 52 strains from newly identified cases dating from 2014 to 2017, analysed by multilocus sequence typing. Twenty-two sequence types (STs) were identified from the 52 cases, illustrating high genetic diversity; five of them (ST1480, ST1481, ST1482, ST1483 and ST1484) were novel. ST46, ST50 and ST58 predominated (34.6%) as was the case in the previous study (35.7%). An e-BURST map of the ST profiles of the two collections of isolates showed their genetic foundation to be largely unchanged. Neighbour-joining tree analysis was suggestive of a close phylogenetic relationship between the novel STs from this series and those first reported from Hainan (ST1105, ST1099, ST55 and ST1095). Moreover, the two novel STs (1481 and 1483) showed close similarity to ST58 which originated in Thailand indicating a close relationship between B. pseudomallei strains from both countries. The previously described allele profiles gmhD-36 and lepA-68 were found for the first time in our strain collections. Our study emphasises the importance of monitoring the epidemiological status and evolutionary trends of B. pseudomallei in China.
Pathogenesis of pregnancy toxemia (PT) is believed to be associated with the disruption of lipid metabolism. The present study aimed to explore the underlying mechanisms of lipid metabolism disorder in the livers of ewes with PT. In total, 10 pregnant ewes were fed normally (control group) whereas another 10 were subjected to 70% level feed restriction for 15 days to establish a pathological model of PT. Results showed that, as compared with the controls, the levels of blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) and cholesterol were greater (P<0.05) and blood glucose level was lower (P<0.05) in PT ewes. The contents of NEFAs, BHBA, cholesterol and triglyceride were higher (P<0.05) and glycerol content was lower (P<0.05) in hepatic tissues of PT ewes than those of the controls. For ewes with PT, excessive fat vacuoles were observed in liver sections stained with hematoxylin–eosin; furthermore, inner structures of hepatocytes including nuclei, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum were damaged seriously according to the results of transmission electron microscope. Real-time PCR data showed that compared with the controls, the expression of hepatic genes involved in fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and triglyceride synthesis (TGS) was enhanced (P<0.05) whereas that related to acetyl-CoA metabolism (ACM) was repressed (P<0.05) in PT ewes. Generally, our results showed that negative energy balance altered the expression of genes involved in FAO, ACM and TGS, further caused lipid metabolism disorder in livers, resulting in PT of ewes. Our findings may provide the molecular basis for novel therapeutic strategies against this systemic metabolic disease in sheep.
The dynamics of two rectangular, flexible plates of low aspect ratio
(height/width = 4) was experimentally investigated in tandem arrangements under uniform flows at various Cauchy numbers
is the fluid density,
is the incoming flow velocity,
is the Young’s modulus and
is the second moment of the area) and spacings
, 1 and 2. Planar particle image velocimetry (PIV) and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) were used to characterize the surrounding flow field and oscillations of the wall-mounted structures. Results show that the oscillations of the upstream plate were dominated by its natural frequency. However, the motions of the downstream plate were significantly modulated by the induced flow and coherent motions shed from the upstream structure. Such modulation led to highly correlated motions between the plates with similar amplitude in the case
, to comparatively larger oscillation amplitude of the downstream plate in the intermediate separation
, and roughly decoupled interaction for
. Despite that the intensity of the oscillations of the upstream plate increased monotonically with
, this was not the case for the downstream plate at
and 2 due to flow fluctuations, vortex shedding and large structure deformation; as a result, it exhibited a local minimum. Supported with measurements, a mathematical model was derived to quantitatively explain this behaviour.
In the current intensive production system, ruminants are often fed high-grain (HG) diets. However, this feeding pattern often causes rumen metabolic disorders and may further trigger laminitis, the exact mechanism is not clear. This study investigated the effect of HG diet feeding on fermentative and microbial changes in the rumen and on the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the lamellar tissue. In all, 12 male goats were fed a hay diet (0% grain; n=6) or an HG diet (56.5% grain; n=6). On day 50 of treatment, samples of blood, rumen content, and lamellar tissue of hooves of goats were collected. The data showed that compared with the hay group, HG-fed goats had lower (P<0.05) rumen pH but higher (P<0.05) total volatile fatty acids and lactate in the rumen and higher (P<0.05) lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels in the rumen and blood. HG diet feeding altered the composition of rumen bacterial community, and correspondingly, the results suggested that their functions in the HG group were also altered. HG diet feeding increased (P<0.05) the expression of interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-α and MMP-2 mRNA in the lamellar tissues compared with the hay group. Correlation analysis indicated that the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines were positively correlated with MMP-2 expression in lamellar tissues. Overall, these results revealed that HG feeding altered the patterns of rumen fermentation and the composition and functions of rumen bacterial community, and lead to higher levels of LPS in the peripheral blood, and further activated the inflammatory response in lamellar tissues, which may progress to the level of laminar damage.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The production of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is affected by crop population structures and field microclimates. This 3-year study assessed the effect of different precision planting patterns and irrigation conditions on relative humidity (RH), air and soil temperature within the canopy, intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (iPAR), evapotranspiration (ET), water productivity (WP) and grain yields. Field experiments were conducted from 2011 to 2014 on a two-factor split-plot design with three replicates. The experiments involved three precision planting patterns (single row, alternating single and twin rows [hereafter ‘single–twin’] and twin row) and three irrigation treatments (0 mm (I0), 90 mm (I90) and 180 mm (I180)). Planting patterns and irrigation treatments exerted a significant effect on RH, air and soil temperature, iPAR, ET, WP and grain yield. The lowest RH and iPAR levels were detected in the single row pattern. When the irrigation treatment was identical, the highest soil and air temperatures were detected in the single row pattern, followed by the single–twin row and twin row patterns. Compared with the single row, the single–twin and twin row patterns increased ET by 0·3 and 1·4, WP by 4·7 and 5·7% and yields by 6·0 and 7·9%, respectively. Compared with I0, the I90 and I180 irrigation treatments increased ET by 0·3 and 1·4%, and WP by 4·7 and 5·7%, respectively. The grain yields of the twin row pattern were 5·8 and 1·7% higher than those of the single row and single–twin row patterns, respectively. Compared with I0, I90 increased yield by 19·3%. The twin row pattern improved crop structure and farmland microclimate by increasing RH and iPAR, and reducing soil and air temperatures, thus increasing grain yield. These results indicated that a twin row pattern effectively improved grain yield at I0. On the basis of iPAR, WP and grain yield, it was concluded that a twin row pattern combined with an I90 irrigation treatment provided optimal cropping conditions for the North China plain.
Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) is a frequently occurring epidemic and has been an important cause of childhood mortality in China. Given the disease's significant impact nationwide, the epidemiological characteristics and spatio-temporal clusters in Fuyang from 2008 to 2013 were analysed in this study. The disease exhibits strong seasonality with a rising incidence. Of the reported HFMD cases, 63·7% were male and 95·2% were preschool children living at home. The onset of HFMD is age-dependent and exhibits a 12-month periodicity, with 12-, 24- and 36-month-old children being the most frequently affected groups. Across the first 60 months of life, children born in April [relative risk (RR) 8·18], May (RR 9·79) and June (RR 8·21) exhibited an elevated infection risk of HFMD relative to January-born children; the relative risk compared with the reference (January-born) group was highest for children aged 24 months born in May (RR 34·85). Of laboratory-confirmed cases, enterovirus 71 (EV71), coxsackie A16 (Cox A16) and other enteroviruses accounted for 60·1%, 7·1% and 32·8%, respectively. Spatio-temporal analysis identified one most likely cluster and several secondary clusters each year. The centre of the most likely cluster was found in different regions in Fuyang. Implications of our findings for current and future public health interventions are discussed.
We perform photometric measurements on a large HST snapshot imaging survey sample of 97 ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs). We classify all the sources into three categories with multiple, double and single nucleus/nuclei, mainly based on a quantitative criterion of I-band luminosity. The resultant fractions of multiple, double and single nucleus/nuclei ULIRGs are 18%, 39% and 43%, respectively. This supports the multiple merger scenario as a possible origin of ULIRGs, in addition to the commonly-accepted pair merger model. Further statistical studies indicate that the fraction of AGN increases from multiple (18%) to double (39%) and then to single (43%) nucleus/nuclei ULIRGs. For the single nucleus category, there is a high luminosity tail in the luminosity distribution, which corresponds to a Seyfert 1/QSO excess. This supports the statement that active galactic nuclei tend to appear at final merging stage. For multiple and double mergers, we also find a considerably high fraction of very close nucleus pairs (e.g., 2/3 for those separated by less than 5 kpc). This strengthens the conclusion that systems at late merging phase preferentially host ULIRGs.
The phylogenetic and epidemiological relationships of 102 Burkholderia pseudomallei clinical isolates from different geographical and population sources in China were investigated by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The MLST data were analysed using the e-BURST algorithm, and an unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean dendrogram was constructed based on the pair-wise differences in the allelic profiles of the strains. Forty-one sequence types (STs) were identified, of which eight were novel (ST1341, ST1345, ST1346, ST1347, ST1348, ST1349, ST1350, ST1351). No geographical-specific or host population-specific phylogenetic lineages were identified. ST46, ST50, ST55, ST58, ST70 and ST1095 predominated, but ~44% of isolates were assigned to 45 STs illustrating high genetic diversity in the strain collection. Additionally, the phylogenetic relationships of the dominant STs in China showed significant linkeage with B. pseudomallei isolates from Thailand. Analysis of the gmhD allele suggests high genetic variation in B. pseudomallei in China.
People with schizophrenia recognize speech poorly under multiple-people-talking (informational masking) conditions. In reverberant environments, direct-wave signals from a speech source are perceptually integrated with the source reflections (the precedence effect), forming perceived spatial separation (PSS) between different sources and consequently improving target-speech recognition against informational masking. However, the brain substrates underlying the schizophrenia-related vulnerability to informational masking and whether schizophrenia affects the unmasking effect of PSS are largely unknown.
Using psychoacoustic testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively, the speech recognition under either the PSS or perceived spatial co-location (PSC) condition and the underlying brain substrates were examined in 20 patients with schizophrenia and 16 healthy controls.
Speech recognition was worse in patients than controls. Under the PSS (but not PSC) condition, speech recognition was correlated with activation of the superior parietal lobule (SPL), and target speech-induced activation of the SPL, precuneus, middle cingulate cortex and caudate significantly declined in patients. Moreover, the separation (PSS)-against-co-location (PSC) contrast revealed (1) activation of the SPL, precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex in controls, (2) suppression of the SPL and precuneus in patients, (3) activation of the pars triangularis of the inferior frontal gyrus and middle frontal gyrus in both controls and patients, (4) activation of the medial superior frontal gyrus in patients, and (5) impaired functional connectivity of the SPL in patients.
Introducing the PSS listening condition efficiently reveals both the brain substrates underlying schizophrenia-related speech-recognition deficits against informational masking and the schizophrenia-related neural compensatory strategy for impaired SPL functions.
Our investigations with silane-modified TiO2 have revealed a beneficial effect of functionalization on the photoelectrochemical performance on spin-coated electrodes. However, in order to produce large area photoelectrodes, a more scalable manufacturing technology is required. Inkjet printing can fulfil this role and furthermore allow a finer control over coating morphologies. In this work, inkjet-printed photoelectrodes were prepared with silane-functionalized TiO2 nanoparticles, and investigated as electrodes for photoactivated water splitting. The catalyst layers, having thickness around 700 nm, were printed on FTO-coated glass supports, from cellulose stabilized dispersions. For comparison, electrodes of similar thicknesses were also prepared by spin-coating. After removing the stabilizer at 300 °C under air atmosphere, the electrodes were characterized in photoelectrochemical cells containing 0.5 M H2SO4 as electrolyte and a platinum ring as counter electrode. Under simulated sunlight, the best photocurrent densities for the oxygen evolution reaction were obtained for the inkjet-printed electrodes prepared with functionalized particles (up to 0.26 mA cm-2 at 1.2 V against the standard hydrogen electrode (SHE), compared to 0.18 mA cm-2 for spin coated). Microscopy of the printed electrodes shows structurally homogenous coatings with evenly distributed roughness. Under continuous illumination at 0.7 V (SHE), the electrodes showed no significant drop in photocurrent within five hours.
Pin/pin “micromorph” tandem solar cells were manufactured by the industrial production line of Hunan Gongchuang PV Science & Technology Co., Ltd. Based on this kind of solar cells, a n-doped amorphous silicon layer deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique (PECVD) was inserted between the microcrystalline silicon intrinsic layer and n-doped layer. The result showed that the introduced n-type amorphous silicon layer well improved the solar cells performance by reducing the bad effects caused by microcrystalline silicon growth defects. Compared with the solar cells without inserting the n-doped amorphous silicon layer, the open voltage and efficiency increased remarkably. When the thickness of n-doped amorphous silicon layer is 8nm, the open voltage increased from 72.9V to 73.6V and efficiency increased from 10.63% to 10.74%.