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Synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) is an abundant and important presynaptic vesicle protein that binds Ca2+ for the regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Our previous study reported its localization and function on spindle assembly in mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. The present study was designed to investigate the function of Syt1 during mouse oocyte activation and subsequent cortical granule exocytosis (CGE) using confocal microscopy, morpholinol-based knockdown and time-lapse live cell imaging. By employing live cell imaging, we first studied the dynamic process of CGE and calculated the time interval between [Ca2+]i rise and CGE after oocyte activation. We further showed that Syt1 was co-localized to cortical granules (CGs) at the oocyte cortex. After oocyte activation with SrCl2, the Syt1 distribution pattern was altered significantly, similar to the changes seen for the CGs. Knockdown of Syt1 inhibited [Ca2+]i oscillations, disrupted the F-actin distribution pattern and delayed the time of cortical reaction. In summary, as a synaptic vesicle protein and calcium sensor for exocytosis, Syt1 acts as an essential regulator in mouse oocyte activation events including the generation of Ca2+ signals and CGE.
Previous studies have shown that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet might contribute to managing risk factors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but evidence is limited. We examined the association of DASH diet score (DASH-DS) with NAFLD, as well as the intermediary effects of serum retinol-binding protein-4 (RBP4), serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), serum TAG, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and BMI.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. Dietary data and lifestyle factors were assessed by face-to-face interviews and the DASH-DS was then calculated. We assessed serum RBP4, hs-CRP and TAG and calculated HOMA-IR. The presence and degree of NAFLD were determined by abdominal sonography.
Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study participants, aged 40–75 years at baseline (n 3051).
After adjusting for potential covariates, we found an inverse association between DASH-DS and the presence of NAFLD (Ptrend = 0·009). The OR (95 % CI) of NAFLD for quintiles 2–5 were 0·78 (0·62, 0·98), 0·74 (0·59, 0·94), 0·69 (0·55, 0·86) and 0·77 (0·61, 0·97), respectively. Path analyses indicated that a higher DASH-DS was associated with lower serum RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI, which were positively associated with the degree of NAFLD.
Adherence to the DASH diet was independently associated with a marked lower prevalence of NAFLD in Chinese adults, especially in women and those without abdominal obesity, and might be mediated by reducing RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI.
Languages differ typologically in motion event encoding (Talmy, 2000). Furthermore, the cross-linguistic variations in lexicalization modulate cognition in a dynamic and task-dependent manner (Slobin, 1996a). This study aims to investigate whether early Cantonese–English bilinguals behave differently from monolinguals in each language when lexicalizing and categorizing voluntary motion in different language contexts. Specifically, monolinguals were instructed and narrated in their native languages. We assigned bilinguals to a monolingual and a bilingual context by manipulating immediate language use in their oral descriptions. Results from monolinguals suggested an effect of language on event conceptualization. However, results from bilinguals showed that their performances patterned with English monolinguals in both event lexicalization and conceptualization regardless of the language context. These findings indicate that early exposure to a second language has motivated speakers to converge to a single lexicalization pattern compatible for both languages. And the degree of convergence is modulated by the amount of language contact with each language. The study demonstrates that participants draw on their linguistic knowledge during the non-verbal task and provides evidence for L2-biased cognitive restructuring within the framework of thinking-for-speaking.
A novel solid-clad-by-liquid method was developed to form a 10-m long by 10-mm wide by 80-μm thick Ni–5 at.% W/Ni–9.3 at.% W/Ni–5 at.% W composite tape. Three deformation routes (cold rolling, cold rolling with intermediate annealing, and cold rolling combined with warm rolling) have been investigated in short Ni–5 at.% W/Ni–9.3 at.% W/Ni–5 at.% W composite substrate. To optimize the dynamic continuous annealing parameters for the long composite substrates, air-cooled and furnace-cooled annealing procedures were compared in short Ni–5 at.% W/Ni–9.3 at.% W/Ni–5 at.% W composite substrates. Improved cube texture of 98.7% in a 10-m long by 10-mm wide by 80-μm thick Ni–5 at.% W/Ni–9.3 at.% W/Ni–5 at.% W composite substrate was achieved via warm rolling deformation at 550 °C and two-step dynamic continuous annealing (750 °C for 1 h followed by 1200 °C for 1 h). The yield strength, Curie temperature, and saturation magnetization of 176 MPa, 324 K, and 18 emu/g, respectively, were obtained.
To be responsive to dynamically changing real-world environments, an intelligent agent needs to perform complex sequential decision-making tasks that are often guided by commonsense knowledge. The previous work on this line of research led to the framework called interleaved commonsense reasoning and probabilistic planning (icorpp), which used P-log for representing commmonsense knowledge and Markov Decision Processes (MDPs) or Partially Observable MDPs (POMDPs) for planning under uncertainty. A main limitation of icorpp is that its implementation requires non-trivial engineering efforts to bridge the commonsense reasoning and probabilistic planning formalisms. In this paper, we present a unified framework to integrate icorpp’s reasoning and planning components. In particular, we extend probabilistic action language pBC+ to express utility, belief states, and observation as in POMDP models. Inheriting the advantages of action languages, the new action language provides an elaboration tolerant representation of POMDP that reflects commonsense knowledge. The idea led to the design of the system pbcplus2pomdp, which compiles a pBC+ action description into a POMDP model that can be directly processed by off-the-shelf POMDP solvers to compute an optimal policy of the pBC+ action description. Our experiments show that it retains the advantages of icorpp while avoiding the manual efforts in bridging the commonsense reasoner and the probabilistic planner.
Evaluation of Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se in humans is challenged by the potentially high within-individual variability of these elements in biological specimens, which are poorly characterised. This study aimed to evaluate their within-day, between-day and between-month variability in spot samples, first-morning voids and 24-h collections. A total of 529 spot urine samples (including eighty-eight first-morning voids and 24-h collections) were collected from eleven Chinese adult men on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 30, 60 and 90 and analysed for these five elements using inductively coupled plasma-MS. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were utilised to characterise the reproducibility, and their sensitivity and specificity were analysed to assess how well a single measurement classified individuals’ 3-month average exposures. Serial measurements of Zn in spot samples exhibited fair to good reproducibility (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·47) over five consecutive days, which became poor when the samples were gathered months apart (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·33). The reproducibility of Cr, Mn, Fe and Se in spot samples was poor over periods ranging from days to months (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·01–0·12). Two spot samples were sufficient for classifying 60 % of the men who truly had the highest (top 33 %) 3-month average Zn concentrations; for Cr, Mn, Fe and Se, however, at least three specimens were required to achieve similar sensitivities. In conclusion, urinary Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se concentrations showed a strong within-individual variability, and a single measurement is not enough to efficiently characterise individuals’ long-term exposures.
Laser pulses of 200 ps with extremely high intensities and high energies are sufficient to satisfy the demand of shock ignition, which is an alternative path to ignition in inertial confinement fusion (ICF). This paper reports a type of Brillouin scheme to obtain high-intensity 200-ps laser pulses, where the pulse durations are a challenge for conventional pulsed laser amplification systems. In the amplification process, excited Brillouin acoustic waves fulfill the nonlinear optical effect through which the high energy of a long pump pulse is entirely transferred to a 200-ps laser pulse. This method was introduced and achieved within the SG-III prototype system in China. Compared favorably with the intensity of
in existing ICF laser drivers, a 6.96-
pulse with a width of 170 ps was obtained in our experiment. The practical scalability of the results to larger ICF laser drivers is discussed.
We investigated climate niches of grasses at regional scales and quantitatively reconstruct Asian monsoon precipitation at the sand-loess transitional zone in northern China. Our results provide direct evidence that certain grass lineages have been specialized in specific habitats: Pooideae grasses stand out and occupy a much cooler environment than all other subfamilies; Pooideae, Aristidoideae, and Chloridoieae occupy dry environments. Pooideae grasses occupy the coldest and driest environments compared to all other subfamilies, with a mean annual temperature (MAT) and precipitation (MAP) of ~13.6 to ~15.3°C and 224 to ~1674 mm, respectively, at a regional scale. We built a database for grasses and their corresponding climate parameters. Based on this database, past climate parameters at the margin of the Asian summer monsoon since ~70 ka were quantitatively reconstructed by phytolith assemblages. They show that this area was dominated by cold- and dry-adapted grasses since ~70 ka with a MAT and MAP of ~3.3 to ~11.0 °C and ~442 to ~900 mm, respectively, generally consistent with the results of phytolith-based transfer function reconstructions and with the results of previous nearby pollen-based quantitative reconstructions. With the improvement of the species-climate and ecosystem dataset, our database-based method is a promising quantitative reconstruction approach to past climatic change in the monsoon region.
The base of the Emsian, which is defined by the first appearance of the conodont Polygnathus kitabicus, has never been successfully demonstrated in the South China Block (including Guangxi and eastern Yunnan). As a result, we studied conodonts from the lowermost part of the Shizhou Member of the Yukiang Formation at the Dacun-1 section in the Liujing area, Guangxi. This new investigation has revealed a conodont fauna only consisting of Polygnathus pireneae, P. sokolovi, P. kitabicus, P. sp. and Pandorinellina exigua philipi, which can be assigned to the uppermost part of the pireneae Zone and the lowermost part of the kitabicus Zone in ascending order. The Pragian/Emsian boundary at the Dacun-1 section is located in the highest thick-bedded limestone bed that can be observed in the lowermost part of the Shizhou Member. Therefore, this is the first time that the lower boundary of the Emsian defined by the lowest occurrence of P. kitabicus is reported in the South China Block. However, the scarcity of suitable limestone samples for conodont analysis in the middle and upper parts of the Shizhou Member precludes definitive identification of the upper boundary of the kitabicus Zone in the Liujing area.
Dalian, China, is a city free of rabies in recent 20 years, but the annual cost for rabies vaccination still brings an economic burden on society and individuals. We did a retrospective descriptive analysis to analyse the reason for this and try to find some ways to resolve it. A total of 10 028 post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) cases were recorded from January 2016 to December 2017. According to the exposure grades, 32 cases were grade I; 7712 cases were grade II; 2284 cases were grade III. All the patients in the cases were injured by pet dogs without abnormal clinical signs, and 80% of them were home pet dogs. Fifty-two per cent of the pet dogs were vaccinated. All the dogs survived during the PEP vaccination period. The data showed that a considerable proportion of people who did not have exposure risk for rabies had received vaccination. The underlying reasons included social, medical and personal factors. So here we proposed to replace the current ‘five-course’ intramuscular injection with intradermal injection method in the cities free of rabies in China, this can not only achieve effective vaccination but also save resources and eliminate the fear of rabies from victims. Meanwhile we should strengthen communication on rabies knowledge and make a routine evaluation of rabies surveillance system to improve understanding of the risk for rabies from biting animals.
Employing atomic-scale simulations, the response of a high-angle grain boundary (GB), the soft/hard GB, against external loading was systematically investigated. Under tensile loading close to the hard orientation, strain-induced dynamic recrystallization was observed to initiate through direct soft-to-hard grain reorientation, which was triggered by stress mismatch, inhibited by surface tension from the soft-hard GB, and proceeded by interface ledges. Such grain reorientation corresponds with expansion and contraction of the hard grain along and perpendicular to the loading direction, respectively, accompanied by local atomic shuffling, providing relatively large normal strain of 8.3% with activation energy of 0.04 eV per atom. Tensile strain and residual dislocations on the hard/soft GB facilitate the initiation of dynamic recrystallization by lowering the energy barrier and the critical stress for grain reorientation, respectively.
Maternal one-carbon metabolism during pregnancy is crucial for fetal development and programming by DNA methylation. However, evidence on one-carbon biomarkers other than folate is lacking. We, therefore, investigated whether maternal plasma methyl donors, that is, choline, betaine and methionine, are associated with birth outcomes. Blood samples were obtained from 115 women during gestation (median 26·3 weeks, 90 % range 22·7–33·0 weeks). Plasma choline, betaine, methionine and dimethylglycine were measured using HPLC-tandem MS. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between plasma biomarkers and birth weight, birth length, the risk of small-for-gestational-age and large-for-gestational-age (LGA). Higher level of maternal betaine was associated with lower birth weight (–130·3 (95 % CI –244·8, –15·9) per 1 sd increment for log-transformed betaine). Higher maternal methionine was associated with lower risk of LGA, and adjusted OR, with 95 % CI for 1 sd increase in methionine concentration was 0·44 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·89). Stratified analyses according to infant sex or maternal plasma homocysteine status showed that reduction in birth weight in relation to maternal betaine was only limited to male infants or to who had higher maternal homocysteine status (≥5·1 µmol/l). Higher maternal betaine status was associated with reduced birth weight. Maternal methionine was inversely associated with LGA risk. These findings are needed to be replicated in future larger studies.
BeiDou signals are modulated with a Neumann-Hofman (NH) code of 1 kbps. The frequent bit transitions lead to a sensitivity attenuation of classic acquisition algorithms. In order to increase acquisition sensitivity for weak BeiDou signals, a novel algorithm based on modified zero-padding and differential correlation is proposed. First, a zero-padding method is used to weaken the effect of NH code. Second, the differential coherent delay time is modified to 20 ms to remove the influence of data bit transitions. The integration time is extended to 10 ms to increase acquisition sensitivity. Finally, Monte Carlo simulations and real data tests are conducted to analyse the performance of the proposed algorithm. Simulated results show that the proposed acquisition algorithm outperforms traditional algorithms under a Carrier-to-Noise ratio (C/N0s) of 20~38 dB-Hz. The sensitivity of the proposed algorithm is about 10dB higher than traditional 6 ms repeated search algorithms. Real data test results show that the proposed algorithm outperforms the traditional method with weak signals. This algorithm can remove the effect of NH code and effectively increase the acquisition sensitivity. The proposed algorithm is suitable for acquisition of weak BeiDou signals.
Fractal features of the turbulent/non-turbulent interface (TNTI) in shock wave/turbulent boundary-layer interaction (SWBLI) flows are essential in understanding the physics of the SWBLI and the supersonic turbulent boundary layer, yet have received almost no attention previously. Accordingly, this study utilises a high spatiotemporal resolution visualisation technique, ice-cluster-based planar laser scattering (IC-PLS), to acquire the TNTI downstream of the reattachment in a SWBLI flow. Evolution of the fractal features of the TNTI in this SWBLI flow is analysed by comparing the parameters of the TNTI acquired in this study with those from a previous result (Zhuang et al.J. Fluid Mech., vol. 843, 2018a).