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Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis are the common causes of human echinococcosis in China. An accurate species identification tool for human echinococcosis is needed as the treatments and prognosis are different among species. The present work demonstrates a method for the simultaneous detection of these three Echinococcus species based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR). Specific primers of this mPCR were designed based on the mitochondrial genes and determined by extensive tests. The method can successfully detect either separated or mixed target species, and generate expected amplicons of distinct size for each species. Sensitivity of the method was tested by serially diluted DNA, showing a detection threshold as less as 0.32 pg for both E. granulosus s.s. and E. canadensis, and 1.6 pg for E. multilocularis. Specificity assessed against 18 other parasites was found to be 100% except weakly cross-react with E. shiquicus. The assay was additionally applied to 69 echinococcosis patients and 38 healthy persons, confirming the high reliability of the method. Thus, the mPCR described here has high application potential for clinical identification purposes, and can further provide a useful tool for evaluation of serology and imaging method.
Heavy metal contamination in the paddy soils of China is a serious concern because of its health risk through transfer in food chains. A field experiment was conducted in 2014–2015 to investigate the long-term effects of different biochar amendments on cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) immobilisation in a contaminated paddy field in southern China. Two types of biochar, a rice-straw-derived biochar (RB) and a coconut-by-product-derived biochar (CB), were amended separately to determine their impacts on rice yield and their efficacy in reducing Cd and As in rice. The two-year field experiment showed that biochar amendments significantly improved the rice yields and that CB is superior to RB, especially in the first growth season. Using a large amount of biochar amendment (22.5tha–1) significantly increased soil pH and total organic carbon, and concomitantly decreased the Cd content in rice grains over the four growth seasons, regardless of biochar type and application rate. Arsenic levels in rice were similar to the control, and results from this study suggest that there was a sustainable effect of biochar on Cd sequestration in soil and reduction of Cd accumulation in rice for at least two years. Biochar amendment in soil could be considered as a sustainable, reliable and cost-effective option to remediate heavy metal contamination in paddy fields for long periods.
In the field of modernised Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signal design, several Dual-frequency Constant Envelope Multiplexing (DCEM) methods have been recently proposed. However, the existing DCEM methods, such as Alternative Binary Offset Carrier (AltBOC), generalised AltBOC and Asymmetric Constant Envelope Binary Offset Carrier (ACE-BOC), are only applied in some special cases. In this paper, we present a unified DCEM design framework for GNSS signals. The existing DCEM methods can be unified in this framework. First, the signal components at two carrier frequencies are combined into two single-frequency constant envelope signals. Then, the linear sum of dual-frequency signals with non-constant envelopes is obtained. Finally, the linear sum is converted into the corresponding DCEM signal by solving an optimisation problem. The proposed design framework has no strict constraints on the number, power ratio and phase relationship of the signal components. Moreover, some special design cases under this framework are also analysed in detail. The analytical results show that the proposed design method can reach higher multiplexing efficiency compared with the existing methods. Based on the proposed method, we suggest a scheme to multiplex the BeiDou regional signals and global signals at the B2 frequency. The simulation results of correlation functions and Power Spectrum Density (PSD) verify the correctness and effectiveness of the proposed design method.
In this paper, a triple-wideband bandpass filter (BPF) with controllable bandwidths based on two multi-mode stub-loaded resonators (MMSLRs) and a triple-mode resonator is presented. The MMSLR is loaded with two identical folded open-ended stubs and a T-shaped stub. Each passband of the tri-band BPF is formed by four resonant modes, which provide sufficient bandwidths to meet various application requirement. By adjusting the lengths of open-ended stubs, three passband bandwidths can be controlled individually. The center frequencies of the triple-wideband BPF are allocated at 2.7, 3.67, and 5.44 GHz, with the 3 dB fractional bandwidths (FBWs) of 20.1, 14.7, and 26.3%. Among the three passbands, the highest one covers the 5 G WiFi band (5.15–5.85 GHz). The measured results of the proposed filter exhibit excellent agreement with simulated results.
A new genus and species of the Elcanidae (Orthoptera, Elcanoidea), Cascadelcana virginiana n. gen. n. sp., is described based on a forewing specimen from the Upper Triassic (Norian) Cow Branch Formation in the Solite Quarry Lagerstätte near the North Carolina-Virginia boundary, USA. It is distinguished from other elcanid species by its RP+MA1 with six branches, M with two branches before stem MA1 fused with RP, and short CuA almost vertical against the posterior margin. This fossil represents the earliest definitive record of the family Elcanidae and the first orthopteran described from the Triassic of North America. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analyses show that the veins and a pterostigma-like structure on the wing of C. virginiana n. gen. n. sp. are preserved as carbonaceous compressions. The presence of a pterostigma-like structure in elcanids indicates that they may have evolved a particular flight mechanism distinct from those of other orthopterans.
Five orthopteran specimens from the uppermost Middle–lowermost Upper Jurassic of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China are described and attributed to the genus Sigmaboilus Fang, Zhang & Wang, 2007 (Prophalangopsidae); and a new species, S. calophlebius sp. nov., is established herein. The diagnostic characters for Sigmaboilus are revised and a key to species of Sigmaboilus, based on male forewings, is provided. Intraspecific variation in forewings of this genus is also discussed.
The BiOBr/Ag3PO4 composites were fabricated by a facile in situ deposition of Ag3PO4 nanoparticles on the BiOBr microsheets and analyzed by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope, high resolution transmission electron microscope, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, UV–vis diffuse reflectance absorption spectra, Fourier transform infrared, Raman, photoluminescence (PL), and photoelectrochemical techniques. The photocatalytic performances of as-prepared samples were investigated and compared through degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB) solution. The results suggested that 30 wt% amount of BiOBr in the composites possessed the highest photocatalytic activity. The remarkably improved photocatalytic performances of BiOBr/Ag3PO4 composites could be ascribed to the efficient separation of electron–hole pairs, due to suitable energy band potentials between BiOBr and Ag3PO4. Furthermore, the photoelectrochemical and PL tests verified the separation and transfer efficiency of charges was promoted.
In this paper, the recent studies of laboratory astrophysics with strong magnetic fields in China have been reviewed. On the Shenguang-II laser facility of the National Laboratory on High-Power Lasers and Physics, a laser-driven strong magnetic field up to 200 T has been achieved. The experiment was performed to model the interaction of solar wind with dayside magnetosphere. Also the low beta plasma magnetic reconnection (MR) has been studied. Theoretically, the model has been developed to deal with the atomic structures and processes in strong magnetic field. Also the study of shock wave generation in the magnetized counter-streaming plasmas is introduced.
Previous epidemiological studies have revealed the anti-cancer effect of dietary circulating carotenoids. However, the protective role of specific individual circulating carotenoids has not been elucidated. The purpose of this study was to examine whether serum carotenoids, including α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin, could lower the risk for breast cancer among Chinese women. A total of 521 women with breast cancer and age-matched controls (5-year interval) were selected from three teaching hospitals in Guangzhou, China. Concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin were measured using HPLC. Unconditional logistic regression models were used to calculate OR and 95 % CI using quartiles defined in the control subjects. Significant inverse associations were observed between serum α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein/zeaxanthin and the risk for breast cancer. The multivariate OR for the highest quartile of serum concentration compared with the lowest quartile were 0·44 (95 % CI 0·30, 0·65) for α-carotene, 0·27 (95 % CI 0·18, 0·40) for β-carotene, 0·41 (95 % CI 0·28, 0·61) for lycopene and 0·26 (95 % CI 0·17, 0·38) for lutein/zeaxanthin. However, no significant association was found between serum β-cryptoxanthin and the risk for breast cancer. Stratified analysis by menopausal status and oestrogen receptor (ER)/progesterone receptor (PR) showed that serum α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin were inversely associated with breast cancer risk among premenopausal women and among all subtypes of ER or PR status. The results suggest a protective role of α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin, but not β-cryptoxanthin, in breast cancer risk.
Most species of the genus Eulecanium Cockerell (Hemiptera: Coccidae) are important economic pests for ornamental plants and fruit trees. Two morphologically similar species, Eulecanium giganteum Shinji and E. kuwanai Kanda, are distributed mainly in China and are quite difficult to identify because of the paucity of distinguishing characteristics, which can only be observed in slide-mounted young, adult females. Furthermore, we demonstrate here that the species occur in sympatry and on many of the same host plants. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) and the D2–D3 expansion segments of 28S rDNA were used for accurate identification of these two Eulecanium species from 19 different locations in China. The average K2P distances of COI sequences were 0.47% in E. kuwanai and 0.32% in E. giganteum, and the interspecific divergences varied from 7.23% to 8.34%. Neighbour-joining (NJ) trees of COI and 28S rDNA revealed two distinct non-overlapping clusters, respectively. Meanwhile, “best close match” analysis also showed that 100% of individuals were classified successfully using COI and 28 S sequences. Differentiating between E. giganteum and E. kuwanai is challenging when using ecological and morphological traits. In contrast, identification using DNA diagnostics appears to be very effective, especially when slide-mounted specimens are difficult to obtain.
0.7(0.1BiYbO3-0.9PbTiO3)-0.3 Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3 (0.7BYPT-0.3PMN) ternary piezoelectric ceramics were prepared by a columbite precursor method. The effects of sintering temperature on the crystalline phase, microstructure, and electrical properties of the ceramics were systematically investigated. There were two phases coexisting in the 0.7BYPT-0.3PMN ceramics sintered at 1100–1250 °C, one is the perovskite host phase with tetragonal symmetry and the other is Yb2Ti2O7 impurity phase. It was observed that, with increasing sintering temperature, the piezoelectric constant d33, dielectric constant εr, planar electromechanical coupling coefficient kp, and Curie temperature TC increased initially and then decreased. An apparent structure distortion could also be observed in samples synthesized at high sintering temperature due to the severe volatilization of Pb and Bi. The optimum performances of the material were obtained for samples sintered at 1150 °C with d33 = 100 pC/N, εr = 494, kp = 25.4%, and TC = 380 °C, respectively. It can be ascribed to the combined effect of a higher density, structural homogeneity with decreased tetragonality as well as a small amount of pyrochlore phase.
The first two rove beetle fossils discovered from the Late Jurassic Talbragar Fish Bed in New South Wales, Australia are described and illustrated. Juroglypholoma talbragarense n. sp. is the second fossil record for one of the smallest and latest recognized staphylinid subfamily Glypholomatinae. The other staphylinid, Protachinus minor n. gen. n. sp., is an unusual member of extant subfamily Tachyporinae (tribe Tachyporini). It significantly retains several distinct features, including entire epistomal suture, and abdominal tergites III–VI each with a pair of basolateral ridges. The discovery of a new glypholomatine in Australia, together with recently reported one from the Middle Jurassic Daohugou biota of China, suggests the subfamily Glypholomatinae was probably much more widespread in the Jurassic than previously thought.
Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) have the ability to self-renew and offer a pathway for genetic engineering of the male germ line. Cryopreservation of SSCs has potential value for the treatment of male infertility, spermatogonial transplantation, and so on. In order to investigate the cryopreservation effects of different cryoprotectants on murine SSCs, 0.2 M of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), trehalose and soybean lecithin were added to the cryoprotective medium, respectively, and the murine SSCs were frozen at −80°C or −196°C. The results indicated that the optimal recovery rates of murine SSCs in the cryoprotective medium supplemented with LDL, trehalose and soybean lecithin were 92.53, 76.35 and 75.48% at −80°C, respectively. Compared with freezing at −196°C, the optimum temperature for improvement of recovery rates of frozen murine SSCs, cryopreservation in three different cryoprotectants at −80°C, were 17.11, 6.68 and 10.44% respectively. The recovery rates of murine SSCs in the cryoprotective medium supplemented with 0.2 M LDL were significantly higher than that of other cryoprotectants (P < 0.05). Moreover, the recovery rates were demonstrated to be greater at −80°C compared with at −196°C (P < 0.05). In conclusion, 0.2 M of LDL could significantly protect murine SSCs at −80°C. In the freezing–thawing process, LDL is responsible for the cryopreservation of murine SSCs because it can form a protective film at the surface of membranes. However, more research is needed to evaluate and understand the precise role of LDL during the freezing–thawing of SSCs.
In 2008 January the 24th Chinese expedition team successfully deployed the Chinese Small Telescope ARray (CSTAR) to Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau. CSTAR consists of four 14.5cm optical telescopes, each with a different filter (g, r, i and open) and has a 4.5°×4.5° field of view (FOV). Based on the CSTAR data, initial statistics of astronomical observational site quality and light curves of variable objects were obtained. To reach higher photometric quality, we are continuing to work to overcome the effects of uneven cirrus cloud cirrus, optical “ghosts” and intra-pixel sensitivity. The snow surface stability is also tested for further astronomical observational instrument and for glaciology studies.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of osteopontin neutralization treatment on schistosome-induced liver injury in BALB/C mice. We randomly divided 100 BALB/C mice into groups A, B, C, D and group E. Mice in all groups except group A were abdominally infected with schistosomal cercariae to induce a schistosomal hepatopathological model. Mice in group C, D and group E were respectively administered with praziquantel, praziquantel plus colchicine and praziquantel plus neutralizing osteopontin antibody. We extracted mouse liver tissues at 3 and 9 weeks after the ‘stool-eggs-positive’ day, observed liver histopathological changes by haematoxylin-eosin and Masson trichrome staining and detected the expression of osteopontin, alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β1) by immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and Western blot. We found that praziquantel plus neutralizing osteopontin antibody treatment significantly decreased the granuloma dimension, the percentage of collagen and the expression of osteopontin, α-SMA and TGF-β1 compared to praziquantel plus colchicine treatment in both the acute and chronic stage of schistosomal liver damage (P<0·05). So we believe that the combined regimen of osteopontin immunoneutralization and anti-helminthic treatment can reduce the granulomatous response and liver fibrosis during the schistosomal hepatopathologic course.
In this work, we perform molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to study the linear thermal transport in suspended graphene and the nonlinear thermal transport phenomena in graphene nanoribbons (GNR). We use spectral energy density analysis to quantitatively address the relative importance of different types of phonon in thermal transport in suspended graphene. Negative differential thermal conductance (NDTC) and thermal rectification in graphene nanoribbons have been studied using nonequilibrium molecular dyanmics simulations. Ballistic transport regime, sufficient temperature nonlinearity and asymmetry are found to be necessary conditions for the onset of these behaviors.
The dimensionless thermoelectric figure-of-merit (ZT) in bulk materials has remained about 1 for many years. Here we show that a significant ZT improvement can be achieved in nanocrystalline bulk materials. These nanocrystalline bulk materials were made by hot-pressing nanopowders that are ball-milled from either crystalline ingots or elements. Electrical transport measurements, coupled with microstructure studies and modeling, show that the ZT improvement is the result of low thermal conductivity caused by the increased phonon scattering by grain boundaries and defects. More importantly, the nanostructure approach has been demonstrated in a few thermoelectric material systems, proving its generosity. The approach can be easily scaled up to multiple tons. Thermal stability studies have shown that the nanostructures are stable at the application temperature for an extended period of time. It is expected that such enhanced materials will make the existing cooling and power generation systems more efficient.
The genetic diversities of 72 individuals from three wild Lenok populations of Mudanjiang River (MD), Yalujiang River (YL) and Wusulijiang River (WSL) in the northeast of China were analysed using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. The results showed that 541 polymorphic loci out of 559 were amplified by 12 primer pairs and the percentage of polymorphic loci was 96.78%. Shannon indices for the MD, YL and WSL populations were 0.3988±0.2913, 0.3254±0.3037, 0.2125±0.2862, respectively, and Nei's gene diversity indices were 0.2737±0.2062, 0.2229±0.2129, 0.1446±0.1985, respectively. The average total genetic diversity (Ht) was 0.3512±0.0.0208 and the average genetic diversity within populations (Hs) was 0.2137±0.0152. Among the three populations, the average genetic distance (Dst) was 0.1375 and the gene differentiation coefficient (Gst) was 0.3914. The genetic diversity was 60.85% within populations and 39.15% among populations. The gene flow index (Nm) was 0.7776. The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that the average fixation index (Fst) was 0.55336. The variance was 55.16% within populations and 44.84% among populations. The highest polymorphism ratio was in the MD group and the lowest in the WSL group.