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Superior and inferior rice grains have different weights and are located on the upper primary branch and lower secondary branches of the panicle, respectively. To study differences in germination vigour of these two types of grain, a number of factors were investigated from 0 to 48 h of germination. The present study demonstrated that in inferior grains the starch granule structure was looser at 0 h, with full water absorption at 48 h, while in superior grains the structure was tight and dense. Relative water content increased, and dry matter decreased, more rapidly in inferior grains than in superior ones. Abscisic acid and gibberellin levels, as well as α-amylase activity, also changed more rapidly in inferior grains, while soluble sugar content and amylase coding gene expression increased more rapidly in inferior than superior grains during early germination. The expression of OsGAMYB was higher in inferior grains at 24 h but higher in superior grains at 48 h. The phenotypic index of seedlings was higher in seedlings from superior grains at the two-leaf stage. However, the thousand-grain weight and yield per plant in superior and inferior plants showed no significant difference at harvest. The present study indicates that inferior grains germinate faster than superior ones in the early germination stage. Although inferior grains produced weaker seedlings, it is worthwhile using them in rice production due to their comparative yield potential over that of superior grains.
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.
Athetis lepigone (Möschler) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a new outbreak pest in China. Consequently, it is unclear whether the emergence and spread of the outbreak of this pest are triggered by rapid in situ population size increases in each outbreak area, or by immigrants from a potential source area in China. In order to explore the outbreak process of this pest through a population genetics approach, we developed ten novel polymorphic expressed sequence tags (EST)-derived microsatellites. These new microsatellites had moderately high levels of polymorphism in the tested population. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 3 to 19, with an average of 8.6, and the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.269 to 0.783. A preliminary population genetic analysis using these new microsatellites revealed a lack of population genetic structure in natural populations of A. lepigone. The estimates of recent migration rate revealed strong gene flow among populations. In conclusion, our study developed the first set of EST-microsatellite markers and shed a new light on the population genetic structure of this pest in China.
Information on morbidity burden of seasonal influenza in China is limited. A multiplier model was used to estimate the incidence and number of outpatient visits for seasonal influenza by age group for the 2015–2016 season in Beijing, the capital of China, based on reported numbers of influenza-like illness consultations and proportions of positive cases from influenza surveillance systems in Beijing, general consultation rates and other parameters from previous studies, surveys and surveillance systems. An estimated total of 1 190 200 (95% confidence interval (CI) 830 400–1 549 900) cases of influenza virus infections occurred in Beijing, 2015–2016 season, with an attack rate of 5·5% (95% CI 3·9–7·2%). These infections resulted in an estimated 468 280 (95% CI 70 700–606 800) outpatient visits, with an attack rate of 2·2% (95% CI 0·3–2·8%). The attack rate of influenza virus infections was highest among children aged 0–4 years (31·9% (95% CI 21·9–41·9%)), followed by children aged 5–14 years (18·7% (95% CI 12·9–24·5%)). Our study demonstrated a substantial influenza-related morbidity in Beijing, China, especially among the preschool- and school-aged children. This suggests that development or modification of seasonal influenza targeted vaccination strategies need to recognize that incidence is highest in children.
In this note, Föppl-Hencky membrane equation in the case of axisymmetric deformation was derived, and its power series solution was presented by using the displacement-based solution method. The result shows that both the displacement-based solution method and the stress-based solution method are effective for the solution to Föppl-Hencky equation. But in comparison with the latter, the former makes the solving process some more concise. In addition, some issues concerned were also discussed.
Previous research has shown that childhood body size is associated with blood pressure in adulthood, and that early and rapid growth rates are correlated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Our objectives are to estimate associations between childhood body size growth parameters and adult blood pressure, and to examine the effect of early attainment of critical growth milestones on adult blood pressure, relative to normal or late attainment. Lifetime height and body mass index (BMI) measurements in childhood, and systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) measurements in adulthood are taken from participants in the Fels Longitudinal Study. Childhood growth curves are estimated separately for stature and BMI using the Preece–Baines and third-degree polynomial models, respectively. Associations between the resulting parameter estimates and adult blood pressure are then examined using linear mixed models. Our findings show that the ages of achievement of the stature-based growth onset and peak velocity, as well as the age of achievement of the BMI-based adiposity rebound, are negatively associated with adult blood pressure, implying that early height or BMI growth can lead to increased blood pressure in adulthood. There were subtle differences in these relationships based on age and gender, and also between SBP and DBP. These results expand on the existing literature, showing that not only childhood body size, but also the timing of childhood growth can have a deleterious effect on adult cardiovascular health.
Research in Celestial Mechanics, for the past three years, has mainly focused on the understanding of Chaos on all its aspects. The always larger number of potential applications (meteors, KBO, NEA, asteroids of the main belt but also exoplanets or galactic motions) and the development of new efficient tools, like the symplectic integrators, have allowed the passage from QUALITATIVE models (for example the transfer mechanisms) to real QUANTITATIVE results (like the calculation of lifetimes). This important step has contributed to (re)create collaborations between theoreticians and observers (for example, in the prediction of catastrophic impacts) and to situate the Celestial Mechanics in a wider scientific context.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and breast feeding on childhood overweight and obesity in a mainland Chinese population. The incidence of and factors associated with overweight and obesity were compared between children of mothers with (n=1068) and without (n=1756) GDM. The independent roles of the associated factors were examined by multiple logistic regression analysis. The incidence of overweight was higher (16.6 v. 12.6%, P=0.002) in the GDM group, but that of obesity was not different (10.7 v. 12.0%, P=0.315). At age 1–2 and 2–5 years, no difference in overweight (11.0 v. 12.0%, P=0.917, and 15.7 v. 14.6%, P=0.693, respectively) was found, while obesity (8.0 v. 13.6%, P=0.019, and 8.4 v. 13.4%, P=0.014, respectively) was less frequent in the GDM offspring. At age 5–10 years, increased overweight (22.2 v. 12.1%, P<0.001) and obesity (15.9 v. 9.0%, P=0.001) were found in the GDM group, which was associated with maternal obesity, being born large-for-gestational age, male gender and formula feeding. After adjusting for confounding factors, GDM remained an independent determinant of offspring overweight and obesity (aOR 2.28, 95% CI 1.61–3.22), suggesting that the effects of GDM were independent of breast feeding, as well as of maternal obesity and birth size.
The effects of WO3 doping in 4,4’-bis-9-carbozyl biphenyl (CBP) were studied through detailed electrical device characterization. A series of hole-only devices have been fabricated, where the doping level was varied from 10-40mol% and the doped CBP thickness was varied from 5-40 nm. It was found that, to achieve effective doping for improved hole injection and transport, the doping level should be greater than 20mol% and the doped layer should be at least 10 nm thick. It was also found that an energy barrier exists at the doped and undoped CBP interface, resulting in an additional voltage drop. This finding was explained by a large downward shift of the Fermi level in WO3-doped CBP, which causes band bending and depletion at the interface. Finally, simplified green phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) with CBP as the hole transport and host material were fabricated. With a WO3-doped hole transport layer, the OLEDs attained brightness above 105 cd/m2 at 20 mA/cm2, and exhibited an improved reliability under constant-current stressing as compared to undoped OLEDs.
Carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas that is a bi-product of industrial approaches to energy production. Forests and nonagricultural lands act as a natural sink for CO2 removal from the atmosphere; however, the amount of emitted CO2 is significantly larger than the capacity of these natural sinks. This is particularly problematic as two cornerstones of our modern world, electricity generation and transportation, hold the largest share in greenhouse gas (such as CO2) emission. This leads to malignant impacts on the natural environment and human life, such as global warming. The obvious approach to reduce the amount of generated CO2 is to limit the use of fossil fuels. However, coal-fired power plants remain the largest source of electricity generation in 2014 and an equally potent and financially reasonable source is yet to be fully developed. Hence, new systems and strategies are crucial for the remediation of CO2. In this work, we present novel TiO2 nanoparticles, synthesized via a facile solution-phase method, which show a significant visible light absorption. The synthesized nanoparticles can be applied towards photoreduction of CO2 for hydrocarbon solar fuels production. A thorough photoemission spectroscopy analysis outlined the energy structure of the materials which uncovered a sub-bandgap absorption in the visible range due to the presence of intragap states. The origins of intragap states were investigated in greater detail using various characterization techniques. An in-depth chemical composition study of the developed material using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated that the synthesized material is considerably un-doped. Further structural analysis using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that distances between visible lattice fringes are matched with ordered crystalline phases of TiO2. The core emission study using XPS revealed that the oxygen vacancy defects in the structure--i.e. likely due the synthesis--are responsible for intragap states formation. Charge dynamics were investigated using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. EPR spectra were dominated by signals from oxygen-centered surface hole trapping sites with principle g values [2.003, 2.010, 2.023]--i.e. Ti4+ ˗ O2- on anatase. A faint signal was also observed as a function of visible light illumination at 5 K with principle g value of 1.975 that is suggestive of Ti3+ in rutile, a typical product of UV light exposure. In general, this study demonstrates the potential of a relatively inexpensive material for photoreduction of CO2 and generation of solar fuels.
The unique properties of silicon oxide materials, no matter intrinsic or doped, utilized in thin film solar cells (TFSCs) in the area of photovoltaic (PV) are making TFSCs one of the most attractive photovoltaic technologies for the development of high-performing electricity production units to be integrated in everyday life. In comparison to other silicon materials, the particular diphasic structure of silicon oxide materials, in which hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) crystallites are surrounded by an oxygen-rich hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) phase, causes them present excellent photoelectrical material properties, such as a low-parasitic absorption in the broadband spectral range, independent controllability of longitudinal and lateral conductivity, refractive indices (3.5-2.0), band gap (2.0-2.6 eV) and conductivity tenability (with orders of 1-10-9 S/cm) with oxygen doping, and so on. Various types of silicon oxide materials, including intrinsic, p- or n- type, further applied in TFSCs have also played significant roles in improving the efficiency of various types of single-, dual-, and triple-junction thin-film solar cells from both the optical and electrical points of view. In this paper, we present our latest progress in studying the performance improvement role of intrinsic or doped silicon oxide materials in pin-type a-Si:H, a-SiGe:H, and μc-Si:H single-junction solar cells. By effectively tuning the band gap values of intrinsic a-SiOx:H materials with oxygen doping and adopting the layers with a suitable band gap (1.86 eV) as the P/I buffer layers of a-Si:H solar cells fabricated on metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) boron-doped zinc oxide (ZnO:B) substrates, a significant Voc increases up to 909 mV and an excellent external quantum efficiency (EQE) response of 75% at the 400 nm typical wavelength can be achieved by matching the band gap discontinuity between the p-type nc-SiOx:H window and a-Si:H intrinsic layers. The serious leakage current characteristics of pin-type narrow-gap (Eg<1.5 eV) a-SiGe:H single-junction solar cells can also be finely tuned by integrating an n-type μc-SiOx:H layer with a small oxygen content in addition to improving the long-wavelength response, an effective approach gives rise to the highest FF of 70.62% for pin-type a-SiGe:H single-junction solar cells with an average band gap of 1.48 eV. In addition, our studies proved that the application of p-type μc-SiOx:H window layers in μc-Si:H single-junction solar cells can effectively improve the short-wavelength light coupling by suppressing the parasitic absorption and promoting the anti-reflectivity with a graded refractive index profile. On the basis of the optimum single-junction solar cells with omnipotent silicon oxide materials, an initial efficiency of 16.07% has been achieved for pin-type a-Si:H/a-SiGe:H/μc-Si:H triple-junction solar cells with an active area of 0.25 cm2. The omnipotent properties of silicon oxide layers in TFSCs, including effective optical coupling and trapping, suitability in compensating for the band gap discontinuity, the shunt-quenching capacity, and so on, make them likely to be extended to other types of solar cells such as polycrystalline chalcopyrite Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) and perovskite-sensitized solar cells, opening up new opportunities for acquiring solar cells with higher performance.
This research implements a recently proposed framework for meander migration, in order to explore the coevolution of planform and channel width in a freely meandering river. In the model described here, width evolution is coupled to channel migration through two submodels, one describing bank erosion and the other describing bank deposition. Bank erosion is modelled as erosion of purely non-cohesive bank material damped by natural armouring due to basal slump blocks, and bank deposition is modelled in terms of a flow-dependent rate of vegetal encroachment. While these two submodels are specified independently, the two banks interact through the medium of the intervening channel; the morphodynamics of which is described by a fully nonlinear depth-averaged morphodynamics model. Since both banks are allowed to migrate independently, channel width is free to vary locally as a result of differential bank migration. Through a series of numerical runs, we demonstrate coevolution of local curvature, width and streamwise slope as the channel migrates over time. The correlation between the local curvature, width and bed elevation is characterized, and the nature of this relationship is explored by varying the governing parameters. The results show that, by varying a parameter representing the ratio between a reference bank erosion rate and a reference bank deposition rate, the model is able to reproduce the broad range of river width–curvature correlations observed in nature. This research represents a step towards providing general metrics for predicting width variation patterns in river systems.
Active symptom surveillance was applied to three selected communities ( 160 147 persons) in Tianjin from 2010 to 2012. We examined 1089 individuals showing pertussis-like symptoms, of which 1022 nasopharyngeal specimens were tested for pertussis by polymerase chain reaction and 802 sera for anti-pertussis toxin antibodies. Of the total cases tested, 113 were confirmed, and their demographic, clinical, and vaccination-related data were collected. The annual incidence was 23·52 cases/100 000 persons among communities, which was 16·22 times that obtained via hospital reports for the same period (P < 0·001). The actual incidence in the 15–69 years age group was most significantly underestimated by hospitals, given that it was 43·08 times that of the reported hospital rate. Among the cases aged <15 years, 84·5% were individuals who had been fully vaccinated. The misdiagnosis rate was as high as 94·69%, and only 5·31% of the confirmed pertussis cases were properly diagnosed as pertussis at their first medical visit. Pertussis incidence in China has been severely underestimated and this was in part due to a high misdiagnosis rate. Adolescents and adults have become new high-risk populations. Future work should focus on reinforcing immunization programmes, especially among adolescents and adults.
Water scarcity is a major constraint of agricultural production in arid and semi-arid areas. In the face of future water scarcity, one possible way the agricultural sector could be adapted is to change cropping patterns and make adjustments for available water resources for irrigation. The present paper analyses the temporal evolution of cropping pattern from 1960 to 2008 in the Hetao Irrigation District (HID), China. The impact of changing cropping patterns on regional agricultural water productivity is evaluated from the water footprint (WF) perspective. Results show that the area under cash crops (e.g. sunflower and melon) has risen phenomenally over the study period because of increased economic returns pursued by farmers. Most of these cash crops have a smaller WF (high water productivity) than grain crops in HID. With the increase of area sown to cash crops, water productivity in HID increased substantially. Changing the cropping pattern has significant effects on regional crop water productivity: in this way, HID has increased the total crop production without increasing significantly the regional water consumption. The results of this case study indicate that regional agricultural water can be used effectively by properly planning crop areas and patterns under irrigation water limitations. However, there is a need to foster a cropping pattern that is multifunctional and sustainable, which can guarantee food security, enhance natural resource use and provide stable and high returns to farmers.
For a better understanding of the population structure and dispersal rates of Sogatella furcifera, we developed 21 novel polymorphic expressed sequence tags (EST) derived microsatellites, which were successfully amplified in four multiplex polymerase chain reaction sets. These new microsatellites were firstly assessed in 20 individuals sampled from Wenshan in China. The results showed that all 21 loci were highly polymorphic; the number of alleles ranged from 3 to 9, with an average of 4.8 alleles per locus. The observed and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.200 to 0.900 and from 0.184 to 0.799, respectively. Nineteen of the 21 microsatellites without null allele, were subsequently used for population genetic structure analyses of five S. furcifera populations sampled in south region of China (sites up to 1314 kilometers apart). The observed and expected heterozygosity for each population ranged from 0.436 to 0.494 and from 0.454 to 0.482, respectively. The level of population differentiation was very low, with an average pairwise FST of 0.002. Bayesian cluster analysis result suggested that the five S. furcifera populations formed one genetic cluster. Discriminant analysis of principle components detected three genetic clusters. The spread of the three clusters across the five populations explained the lack of population differentiation and the Bayesian cluster result. All the results indicated that long-distance migration of this pest allowed genetic mixing between populations from remote geographical origins. These new microsatellites will be powerful tools for population genetics studies of S. furcifera.
To study the interactive influence of implanted nano platinum black electrodes (as compared with pure platinum electrodes) on rabbit orbicularis oculi muscle morphology and function.
The influence of the two types of electrode on the orbicularis oculi muscle was monitored in a rabbit model of facial paralysis. Biological electric current and exciting current were administered to biological tissue, and morphological and functional changes were identified. Changes in orbicularis oculi muscle contraction, electrode configuration and performance associated with long-term electrical stimulation were observed over 28 days of implantation.
The nano platinum black electrode was superior to the pure platinum electrode in the following aspects: morphology and functionality, electrical excitation function of the orbicularis oculi muscle (as assessed by electromyography), muscle contraction function and biological tissue changes. Furthermore, the nano platinum black electrode features had good stability.
Microelectrode surface modification with nano platinum black can effectively increase the microelectrode surface area and improve electrode performance, and is associated with good tissue compatibility.
Fatty acid synthase (FASN) is known as a crucial enzyme of cellular de novo fatty acid synthesis in mammary gland which has been proved as the main source of short and medium-chain fatty acids of milk. However, the regulatory role of FASN in goat-specific milk fatty acids composition remains unclear. We cloned and analyzed the full-length of FASN gene from the mammary gland of Capra hircus (Xinong Saanen dairy goat) (DQ 915966). Comparative gene expression analysis suggested that FASN is predominantly expressed in fat, small intestine and mammary gland tissues, and expresses higher level at lactation period. Inhibition of FASN activity by different concentrations (0, 5, 15, 25 and 35 μM) of orlistat, a natural inhibitor of FASN, resulted in decreased expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase α (ACCα), lipoprotein lipase and heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP) in a concentration-dependent manner in goat mammary gland epithelial cells (GMEC). Similar results were also obtained by silencing of FASN. Additionally, reduction of FASN expression also led to apparent decline of the relative content of decanoic acid (C10:0) and lauric acid (C12:0) in GMEC. Our study provides a direct evidence for inhibition of FASN reduces cellular medium-chain fatty acids synthesis in GMEC.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.