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The density–depth relationship of the Antarctic ice sheet is important for establishing a high-precision surface mass balance model and predicting future ice-sheet contributions to global sea levels. A new algorithm is used to reconstruct firn density and densification rate by inverting monostatic radio wave echoes from ground-operated frequency-modulated continuous wave radar data collected near four ice cores along the transect from Zhongshan Station to Dome A. The inverted density profile is consistent with the core data within 5.54% root mean square error. Due to snow redistribution, the densification rate within 88 km of ice core DT401 is correlated with the accumulation rate and varies greatly over horizontal distances of <5 km. That is, the depth at which a critical density of 830 kg m−3 is reached decreases and densification rate increases in high-accumulation regions but decreases in low-accumulation regions. This inversion technique can be used to analyse more Antarctic radar data and obtain the density distribution trend, which can improve the accuracy of mass-balance estimations.
In the laser plasma interaction of quantum electrodynamics (QED)-dominated regime, γ-rays are generated due to synchrotron radiation from high-energy electrons traveling in a strong background electromagnetic field. With the aid of 2D particle-in-cell code including QED physics, we investigate the preplasma effect on the γ-ray generation during the interaction between an ultraintense laser pulse and solid targets. We found that with the increasing preplasma scale length, the γ-ray emission is enhanced significantly and finally reaches a steady state. Meanwhile, the γ-ray beam becomes collimated. This shows that, in some cases, the preplasmas will be piled up acting as a plasma mirror in the underdense preplasma region, where the γ-rays are produced by the collision between the forward electrons and the reflected laser fields from the piled plasma. The piled plasma plays the same role as the usual reflection mirror made from a solid target. Thus, a single solid target with proper scale length preplasma can serve as a manufactural and robust γ-ray source.
We report on the generation of a mid-infrared (mid-IR) frequency comb with a maximum average output power of 250 mW and tunability in the 2.7–4.0 μm region. The approach is based on a single-stage difference frequency generation (DFG) starting from a compact Yb-doped fiber laser system. The repetition rate of the near-infrared (NIR) comb is locked at 75 MHz. The phase noise of the repetition rate in the offset-free mid-IR comb system is measured and analyzed. Except for the intrinsic of NIR comb, environmental noise at low frequency and quantum noise at high frequency from the amplifier chain and nonlinear spectral broadening are the main noise sources of broadening the linewidth of comb teeth, which limits the precision of mid-IR dual-comb spectroscopy.
The bacterial foraging optimisation (BFO) algorithm is a commonly adopted bio-inspired optimisation algorithm. However, BFO is not a proper choice in coping with continuous global path planning in the context of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs). In this paper, a grid partition-based BFO algorithm, named AS-BFO, is proposed to address this issue in which the enhancement is contributed by the involvement of the A* algorithm. The chemotaxis operation is redesigned in AS-BFO. Through repeated simulations, the relative optimal parameter combination of the proposed algorithm is obtained and the most influential parameters are identified by sensitivity analysis. The performance of AS-BFO is evaluated via five size grid maps and the results show that AS-BFO has advantages in USV global path planning.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), characterized by deficits in memory and cognition and by behavioral impairment, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that influences more than 47 million people worldwide. Currently, no available drug is able to stop AD progression. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies need to be investigated.
We analyzed the RNA sequencing data (RNA-seq) derived from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database to identify the differentially expressed mRNAs in AD. The AD mouse model Tg2576 was used to verify the effects of IGF-2. The Morris Water Maze was administered to test the role of IGF-2 in memory consolidation. In addition, we quantified cell apoptosis by the TUNEL assay. The levels of amyloid plaques and the levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42 in the hippocampus were also determined by immunohistochemistry and ELISA, respectively.
RNA-seq analysis revealed that IGF-2 was remarkably reduced in AD. The expression of the upstream genes PI3K and AKT and the downstream gene CREB in the PI3K signaling pathway was significantly increased in the hippocampus of Tg2576 mice cells treated with IGF-2. The Morris water maze test showed that IGF-2 improved memory consolidation in Tg2576 mice. The activity of caspase-3 was decreased in Tg2576 mice treated with IGF-2. Amyloid plaques in the hippocampus were reduced, and the levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42 were decreased. The above effects of IGF-2 on AD were blocked when the PI3K signaling pathway inhibitor wortmannin was added.
IGF-2 attenuates memory decline, oxidative stress, cell apoptosis and amyloid plaques in the AD mouse model Tg2576 by activating the PI3K/AKT/CREB signaling pathway.
Annexin A2 (ANXA2) is reported to be associated with cancer development. To investigate the roles ANXA2 plays during the development of cancer, the RNAi method was used to inhibit the ANXA2 expression in caco2 (human colorectal cancer cell line) and SMMC7721 (human hepatocarcinoma cell line) cells. The results showed that when the expression of ANXA2 was efficiently inhibited, the growth and motility of both cell lines were significantly decreased, and the development of the motility relevant microstructures, such as pseudopodia, filopodia, and the polymerization of microfilaments and microtubules were obviously inhibited. The cancer cell apoptosis was enhanced without obvious significance. The possible regulating pathway in the process was also predicted and discussed. Our results suggested that ANXA2 plays important roles in maintaining the malignancy of colorectal and hepatic cancer by enhancing the cell proliferation, motility, and development of the motility associated microstructures of cancer cells based on a possible complicated signal pathway.
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.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus strykeri was discovered in 2010 on the western slopes of the Gaoligong Mountains in the Irrawaddy River basin in Myanmar and subsequently in the same river basin in China, in 2011. Based on 2 years of surveying the remote and little disturbed forest of the Gaoligong Mountains National Nature Reserve in China, with outline transect sampling and infrared camera monitoring, a breeding group comprising > 70 individuals was found on the eastern slopes of the Gaoligong Mountains in the Salween River Basin. Given the Critically Endangered status of this primate (a total of < 950 individuals are estimated to remain in the wild), efforts to protect the relatively undisturbed habitat of this newly discovered population and to prevent hunting are essential for the long-term survival of this species.
Feeding regime is an important concern for sea urchin aquaculture. However, optimal feed regimes have not been established for land-based sea urchin ventures using a formulated feed. In this study, we investigated the effects of short-term continuous and intermittent feeding regimes on food consumption, growth, gonad production and quality of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius (54.90 ± 2.28 mm of test diameter) fed a formulated feed. The results showed that (1) compared with initial conditions, all involved traits except a* (test diameter, test height, body weight, gonad weight, gonad index, gonad moisture, L* and b*) showed significant increase at the end of the experiments; (2) only the longest term feed regime tested in this trial (S2) significantly negatively affected growth and gonad production of S. intermedius fed a formulated feed; (3) there was a trend but this was not significant for inhibiting gonad development of S. intermedius in intermittent feeding regimes and there was no change in the gonad colour and sweetness; (4) S0.5 (fasting half day and then feeding half day) is the optimal intermittent feeding regime for S. intermedius fed a formulated feed. To our knowledge, the present study is the first report of finding an effective intermittent feeding regime for land-based cultured sea urchins of relatively large size, and thus has direct application potential in the field of aquaculture.
We designed a clamped beam bending test using a nanoindentation holder with help of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and focused ion beam specimen fabrication. The microstructure evolution and crack propagation in nanocrystalline TiN were studied by electron imaging and load–displacement measurements during mechanical loading. By measuring the loads under which the crack starts and stops propagating and the time, we obtained the film's fracture toughness using the finite element method and crack propagation speed. Among these, we identified three types of crack propagation pathways, namely bridging, intergranular and a mixed mode of transgranular and intergranular fracture, and the associated microstructure changes. The measured fracture toughness is in agreement with the reported values. Thus, our in situ TEM bending test provides the first direct measurement of fracture toughness in a TEM and a correlation of fracture toughness with fracture toughening mechanisms in nanocrystalline TiN. The method is general and can be applied to other nanocrystalline materials.
ZrO2:Eu3+ hollow spheres were successfully fabricated with the resin microspheres as the template. The sample characterizations were carried out by means of x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and photoluminescence spectra. XRD results revealed that Eu3+-doped samples were pure t-ZrO2 phase after being calcined at 873 K. SEM results exhibited that this Eu3+ doped ZrO2 was hollow spheres; the diameter and thickness of which were about 450 and 50 nm, respectively. Upon excitation at 394 nm, the orange-red emission bands at the wave length longer than 570 nm were from 5D0 → 7FJ (J = 1, 2) transitions. The asymmetry ratio of (5D0 → 7F2)/(5D0 → 7F1) intensity is about 1.61, 1.26, 1.42, 1.42, 1.40, and 1.38 for the Eu3+ concentration 0.4, 0.7, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 mol%, respectively. These values suggest that the asymmetry ratio of Eu3+ ions is independent of the doping concentration. The optimal doping concentration of Eu3+ ions in ZrO2 is 1.5 mol%. According to Dexter's theory, the critical distance between Eu3+ ions for energy transfer was determined to be 16 Å.
The existence of black holes with masses of about one billion solar masses in quasars at redshifts z > 6 presents significant challenges to theories of the formation and growth of black holes and the black hole/galaxy co-evolution in the early Universe. Here we report a recent discovery of an ultra-luminous quasar at redshift z = 6.30, which has an observed optical and near-infrared luminosity a few times greater than those of previously known z > 6 quasars. With near-infrared spectroscopy, we obtain a black hole mass of about 12 billion solar masses, which is well consistent with the mass derived by assuming an Eddington-limited accretion. This ultra-luminous quasar with at z > 6 provides a unique laboratory to the study of the mass assembly and galaxy formation around the most massive black holes at cosmic dawn. It raises further challenges to the black hole/galaxy co-evolution in the epoch of cosmic reionization because the black hole needs to grow much faster than the host galaxy.
Canola (Brassica napus L.) meal is widely used in animal feed as a protein source, and its quality relies on protein and amino acid content. However, little information is available regarding amino acid regulation in canola seed with nitrogen (N) application. The present study is aimed to evaluate the effect of N rate and genotype on canola seed amino acid concentrations under field conditions. A split-plot design comprising four N rates (0, 120, 240 and 360 kg N/ha) and three genotypes differing in seed protein content were used in 2010/11 and 2011/12. The results showed that increasing N rate decreased seed oil content linearly but increased seed protein content in all of the genotypes. The total amino acid concentration and absolute concentrations of individual amino acids in canola seed also improved significantly with the N rates in all of the genotypes. Regarding the proportions of amino acids, a group that included glutamic acid (Glu), proline (Pro) and arginine (Arg) dominated and occupied > 0·30 compared with other amino acids. The ratio of amino acids in this group increased by 8·3% with 360 kg N/ha compared with the control. However, the proportions of the other amino acids showed negative responses to the N rates. The results of regression analysis of the responses of individual amino acids to N rate indicated that Glu, Pro and Arg had a greater improvement potential with application of N fertilizer, as revealed by higher slopes in the linear equations compared with the other amino acids. Additionally, the concentrations of sulphur-containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine, were also a potential target for improving with N application because these are always deficient in major crops. In conclusion, N application cannot only improve seed protein content but also enhance deposition of amino acids such as Glu, Pro and Arg.