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The present study was undertaken to investigate the antiparasitic activity of extracellular products of Streptomyces albus. Bioactivity-guided isolation of chloroform extracts affording a compound showing potent activity. The structure of the compound was elucidated as salinomycin (SAL) by EI-MS, 1H NMR and 13C NMR. In vitro test showed that SAL has potent anti-parasitic efficacy against theronts of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis with 10 min, 1, 2, 3 and 4 h (effective concentration) EC50 (95% confidence intervals) of 2.12 (2.22–2.02), 1.93 (1.98–1.88), 1.42 (1.47–1.37), 1.35 (1.41–1.31) and 1.11 (1.21–1.01) mg L−1. In vitro antiparasitic assays revealed that SAL could be 100% effective against I. multifiliis encysted tomonts at a concentration of 8.0 mg L−1. In vivo test demonstrated that the number of I. multifiliis trophonts on Erythroculter ilishaeformis treated with SAL was markedly lower than that of control group at 10 days after exposed to theronts (P < 0.05). In the control group, 80% mortality was observed owing to heavy I. multifiliis infection at 10 days. On the other hand, only 30.0% mortality was recorded in the group treated with 8.0 mg L−1 SAL. The median lethal dose (LD50) of SAL for E. ilishaeformis was 32.9 mg L−1.
Several studies have suggested that higher carotenoid levels may be beneficial for atherosclerosis patients, but few studies have examined this relationship in the Chinese population. This cross-sectional study examined the association between the levels of carotenoids in diet and serum and carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) in Chinese adults aged 50–75 years in Guangzhou, China. Dietary intake was assessed using a FFQ. HPLC was used to assay the serum concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein+zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene. The IMT at the common carotid artery (CCA) and bifurcation of the carotid artery was measured by B-mode ultrasound. A total of 3707 and 2947 participants were included in the analyses of dietary and serum carotenoids. After adjustment for demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle factors, all the serum carotenoids levels except lycopene were found to be inversely associated with the IMT at the CCA and bifurcation (Ptrend<0·001 to 0·013) in both men and women. The absolute mean differences in the IMT between the subjects in the extreme quartiles of serum carotenoid levels were 0·034 mm (α-carotene), 0·037 mm (β-carotene), 0·032 mm (lutein+zeaxanthin), 0·030 mm (β-cryptoxanthin), 0·015 mm (lycopene) and 0·035 mm (total carotenoids) at the CCA; the corresponding values were 0·025, 0·053 0·043, 0·050, 0·011 and 0·042 mm at the bifurcation. The favourable associations were also observed between dietary carotenoids (except lycopene) and the CCA IMT. In conclusion, elevated carotenoid levels in diet and serum are associated with lower carotid IMT values (particular at the CCA) in Chinese adults.
LPMLN is a recent addition to probabilistic logic programming languages. Its main idea is to overcome the rigid nature of the stable model semantics by assigning a weight to each rule in a way similar to Markov Logic is defined. We present two implementations of LPMLN, lpmln2asp and lpmln2mln. System lpmln2asp translates LPMLN programs into the input language of answer set solver clingo, and using weak constraints and stable model enumeration, it can compute most probable stable models as well as exact conditional and marginal probabilities. System lpmln2mln translates LPMLN programs into the input language of Markov Logic solvers, such as alchemy, tuffy, and rockit, and allows for performing approximate probabilistic inference on LPMLN programs. We also demonstrate the usefulness of the LPMLN systems for computing other languages, such as ProbLog and Pearl's Causal Models, that are shown to be translatable into LPMLN.
The prevalence of CHD has been well described worldwide except in Tibet. This study aimed to illustrate the prevalence and composition of CHD in Tibetan children according to altitude.
Methods and results
In the first part, we prospectively recruited 7088 unselected Tibetan children (4–17 years) from south-west Tibet. The total prevalence of CHD increased from 4.6/1000 below 4200 m to 13.4/1000 above 4700 m, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.3:3.1. The total prevalence and female prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus increased more than 10-fold. Females living above 4700 m had exceptionally high prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (14.9/1000). The prevalence of atrial septal defect was comparable among different altitudes (3.3–3.8/1000). The prevalence of ventricular septal defect was 1.3/1000 below 4700 m, and no cases were found above this altitude. In the second part, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 383 CHD children in Tibet and 73 children at lower altitudes. The percentage of isolated ventricular septal defect decreased from 54.8 to 3.1%, and the percentage of isolated patent ductus arteriosus increased from 8.2 to 68.4% with elevation. Children living below 4200 m (10.4–13.7%) had a larger proportion of complex CHD than those above this altitude (2.0–3.1%). Of the 20 Tibetan children with complex CHD, 14 (70.0%) lived below 4200 m.
A wide variation in CHD prevalence and composition existed in Tibetan children among different altitudes.
In this paper, field effect transistors (FET) based on different kinds of non-graphene materials are introduced, which are MoS2, WSe2 and black phosphorus (BP). Those devices have their unique features in fabrication process compared with conventional FETs. Among them, MoS2 FET shows better electrical characteristics by applying a SiO2 protective layer; WSe2 FET is fabricated based on a new low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) method; BP FET acquires high on/off ratio and high hole mobility by using a simple dry transfer method. Those novel non-graphene materials inspire new design and fabrication process of basic logic device.
To investigate natural enemies of emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), in northeastern China, we conducted field surveys of ash (Fraxinus Linnaeus (Oleaceae)) trees in semi-natural forests and plantations at variable EAB densities from 2008 to 2013. Our surveys revealed a complex of natural enemies including eight hymenopteran parasitoids and two apparently parasitic Coleoptera, woodpeckers, and several undetermined mortality factors. Parasitoid complex abundance and its contribution to EAB mortality varied with the time of year, type of ash stands, and geographic regions. The egg parasitoid Oobius agrili Zhang and Huang (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and the larval parasitoid Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) were frequently observed in Jilin, Liaoning, and Heilongjiang provinces and in Beijing, but not in Tianjin. Spathius agrili Yang (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), however, was more prevalent near Beijing and further south in Tianjin. Larvae of two species of apparently parasitic beetle, Tenerus Laporte (Coleoptera: Cleridae) species and Xenoglena quadrisignata Mannerheim (Coleoptera: Trogossitidae), were also recovered attacking overwintering EAB in Liaoning Province, with Tenerus species being a dominant mortality agent (~13%). Our findings support the need to consider the geographic origin of insect natural enemies for EAB biocontrol, as well as an expanded foreign exploration for EAB natural enemies throughout its native range in Asia.
Previous studies have suggested that vitamin E (VE) may affect bone health, but the findings have been inconclusive. We examined the relationship between VE status (in both diet and serum) and bone mineral density (BMD) among Chinese adults. This community-based study included 3203 adults (2178 women and 1025 men) aged 40–75 years from Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China. General and dietary intake information were collected using structured questionnaire interviews. The serum α-tocopherol (TF) level was quantified by reversed-phase HPLC. The BMD of the whole body, the lumbar spine and left hip sites (total, neck, trochanter, intertrochanter and Ward’s triangle) were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. In women, the dietary intake of VE was significantly and positively associated with BMD at the lumbar spine, total hip, intertrochanter and femur neck sites after adjusting for covariates (Ptrend: 0·001–0·017). Women in quartile 3 of VE intake typically had the highest BMD; the covariate-adjusted mean BMD were 2·5, 3·06, 3·41 and 3·54 % higher, respectively, in quartile 3 (v. 1) at the four above-mentioned sites. Similar positive associations were observed between cholesterol-adjusted serum α-TF levels and BMD at each of the studied bone sites (Ptrend: 0·001–0·022). The covariate-adjusted mean BMD were 1·24–4·83 % greater in quartile 4 (v. 1) in women. However, no significant associations were seen between the VE levels (dietary or serum) and the BMD at any site in men. In conclusion, greater consumption and higher serum levels of VE are associated with greater BMD in Chinese women but not in Chinese men.
The association between serum carotenoids and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) remains uncertain, and little is known about this relationship in the Chinese population. The present study examined the association between serum carotenoid concentrations and the MetS in Chinese adults. We conducted a community-based cross-sectional study in which 2148 subjects (1547 women and 601 men) aged 50–75 years were recruited in urban Guangzhou, China. Dietary data and other covariates were collected during face-to-face interviews. Blood pressure, waist circumference, blood lipids, glucose and serum carotenoids (α-, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin) were examined. We found dose–response inverse relationships between individual serum carotenoid concentrations and total carotenoids and the prevalence of the MetS after adjusting for potential confounders (P for trend < 0·001). The OR of the MetS for the highest (v. lowest) quartile were 0·31 (95 % CI 0·20, 0·47) for α-carotene, 0·23 (95 % CI 0·15, 0·36) for β-carotene, 0·44 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·67) for β-cryptoxanthin, 0·39 (95 % CI 0·26, 0·58) for lycopene, 0·28 (95 % CI 0·18, 0·44) for lutein+zeaxanthin and 0·19 (95 % CI 0·12, 0·30) for total carotenoids. Higher concentrations of each individual carotenoid and total carotenoids were significantly associated with a decrease in the number of abnormal MetS components (P for trend < 0·001–0·023). Higher serum carotenoid levels were associated with a lower prevalence of the MetS and fewer abnormal MetS components in middle-aged and elderly Chinese adults.
We present a reconstructed lithologic column compiled from a series of lacustrine outcrops along a tributary of the Nyang River, a major tributary of the Yarlung-Tsangpo in southeast Tibet. The deposits were preserved between terraces at altitudes of 2950–3100 m asl. The stratigraphic record features at least two sets of coarsening-upward sequences depicting episodic aggradation and progradation of a glacially dammed lake related delta. Recognized facies changes illustrate the evolution cycles of depositional environments from pro-delta, delta front, to delta plain. Radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dates reveal an aging-downward trend in stratigraphic order and provide an approximate timeline for the formation of glacially dammed lakes in late Pleistocene. This result reflects that the Zelunglung Glacier had progressively advanced to block the Yarlung-Tsangpo river and the dam materials had stepwise stacked up to an altitude of 3095 m asl during Marine Oxygen Isotope Stages 4 to 2.
A 5 kW continuous wave fiber laser welding system was used to deposit INCONEL® alloy 718 (IN718) on service-exposed IN718 parent metal (PM) substrates using filler wire addition. The microstructure of the deposits was characterized in the fully heat treated condition. The service-exposed IN718 PM and the direct laser deposited (DLD) specimens were then evaluated through room temperature tensile testing. The yield and tensile strengths were well above the minimum values, as defined in the aerospace specifications AMS 5596K and 5663M. However, the ductility at room temperature of the DLD and DLD-PM samples was slightly lower than that specified in AMS 5596K and 5663M. The tensile fracture surfaces of the service-exposed IN718 PM, DLD, and DLD-PM specimens were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the tensile failure mechanisms are discussed in detail, particularly for the important roles of the secondary particles (MC carbides) and intermetallics (platelet Ni3Nb-δ and Laves phases).
Early identification of patients with bipolar disorder during their first depressive episode is beneficial to the outcome of the disorder and treatment, but traditionally this has been a great challenge to clinicians. Recently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD), but it is not clear whether BDNF levels can be used to predict bipolar disorder among patients in their first major depressive episode.
To explore whether BDNF levels can differentiate between MDD and bipolar disorder in the first depressive episode.
A total of 203 patients with a first major depressive episode as well as 167 healthy controls were recruited. After 3 years of bi-annual follow-up, 164 patients with a major depressive episode completed the study, and of these, 21 were identified as having bipolar disorder and 143 patients were diagnosed as having MDD. BDNF gene expression and plasma levels at baseline were compared among the bipolar disorder, MDD and healthy control groups. Logistic regression and decision tree methods were applied to determine the best model for predicting bipolar disorder at the first depressive episode.
At baseline, patients in the bipolar disorder and MDD groups showed lower BDNF mRNA levels (P<0.001 and P = 0.02 respectively) and plasma levels (P = 0.002 and P = 0.01 respectively) compared with healthy controls. Similarly, BDNF levels in the bipolar disorder group were lower than those in the MDD group. These results showed that the best model for predicting bipolar disorder during a first depressive episode was a combination of BDNF mRNA levels with plasma BDNF levels (receiver operating characteristics (ROC) = 0.80, logistic regression; ROC = 0.84, decision tree).
Our findings suggest that BDNF levels may serve as a potential differential diagnostic biomarker for bipolar disorder in a patient's first depressive episode.
Predator–prey interactions play major and direct roles in the structuring of zooplankton communities. Asplanchna usually predates ciliates, rotifers, cladocerans and sometimes even copepods, its predation may drive not only the ecological, but also the evolutionary dynamics of prey populations. In the present study, the life-table demography and the population growth of Asplanchna brightwelli were investigated at four temperatures (16, 20, 24 and 28°C) using Brachionus angularis as prey at four densities (10, 20, 30 and 40 ind.mL−1). The results showed that temperature affected significantly all the life-table demographic parameters (age-specific survivorship and fecundity, average lifespan, life expectancy at hatching, generation time, net reproductive rate and intrinsic rate of population increase) and the population growth rate obtained from the population growth studies, prey density affected the generation time, the net reproductive rate, the intrinsic rate of population increase and the population growth rate, and the interaction between temperature and prey density affected the generation time and the population growth rate. Both the average lifespan and the life expectancy at hatching were the longest at 16°C, the generation times were longer at lower temperatures (16 and 20°C) and higher prey densities (30 and 40 ind.mL−1), the net reproductive rates were higher at lower temperatures (16 and 20°C) and 20–40 ind.mL−1 of B. angularis, and the population growth rates were higher at 20°C under 20–40 ind.mL−1 of B. angularis.
This paper addresses the orientation-singularity analysis and the orientationability evaluation of a special class of the Stewart–Gough parallel manipulators in which the moving and base platforms are two similar semi-symmetrical hexagons. Based on the half-angle transformation, an analytical polynomial of degree 13 that represents the orientation-singularity locus of this special class of parallel manipulators at a given position is derived. Graphical representations of the orientation-singularity locus of this class of manipulators are illustrated with examples to demonstrate the results. Based on the description of the orientation-singularity and nonsingular orientation region of this class of parallel manipulators, a performance index, referred to as orientationability, which describes the orientation capability of this class of manipulators at a given position, is introduced. A discretization algorithm is proposed for computing the orientationability of the special class of parallel manipulators at a given position in the workspace. Moreover, the effects of the design parameters and position parameters on the orientationability are also investigated in detail. Based on the orientationability performance index, another performance index, referred to as practical orientationability, representing the practical orientation capability of the manipulators at a given position, is introduced. In this performance index, singularities, the limitations of active and passive joints and link interferences are all taken into consideration. Furthermore, the practical orientationability of the special class of parallel manipulators studied here is also analyzed over several plane sections of the position-workspace in detail.
The optical properties of graphene-based nanomaterials have attracted much recent attention. This article provides an overview of recent advances in the study of linear and nonlinear optical transitions associated mostly with tailored energy bandgaps. In particular, the optical absorption characteristics and photoluminescence emissions due to various induced bandgaps and, in some cases, the formation of graphene quantum dots are highlighted. Nonlinear optical properties of these materials are reviewed with an emphasis on optical limiting through both nonlinear absorption and scattering mechanisms.
In this paper, for a special class of the Stewart parallel mechanism, whose moving platform and base one are two dissimilar semi-symmetrical hexagons, the position-singularity of the mechanism for a constant-orientation is analyzed systematically. The force Jacobian matrix [J]T is constructed based on the principle of static equilibrium and the screw theory. After expanding the determinant of the simplified matrix [D], whose rank is the same as the rank of the matrix [J]T, a cubic symbolic expression that represents the 3D position-singularity locus of the mechanism for a constant-orientation is derived and graphically represented. Further research shows that the 3D position-singularity surface is extremely complicated, and the geometric characteristics of the position-singularity locus lying in a general oblique plane are very difficult to be identified. However, the position-singularity locus lying in the series of characteristic planes, where the moving platform coincides, are all quadratic curves compromised of infinite many sets of hyperbolas, four pairs of intersecting lines and a parabola. For some special orientations, the quadratic curve can degenerate into two lines or even one line, all of which are parallel to the ridgeline. Two theorems are presented and proved for the first time when the geometric characteristics of the position-singularity curves in the characteristic plane are analyzed. Moreover, the kinematic property of the position-singularity curves is obtained using the Grassmann line geometry and the screw theory. The theoretical results are demonstrated with several numeric examples.
The morphology of the dark and bright regions observed by transmission electron microscopy for the Zr64.13Cu15.75Ni10.12Al10 bulk metallic glass strongly depends on the ion beam parameters used for ion milling. This indicates that the ion beam could introduce surface fluctuation to metallic glasses during ion milling.
The workspace of a robotic manipulator is a very important issue and design criteria in the context of optimum design of robots, especially for parallel manipulators. Though, considerable research has been paid to the investigations of the three-dimensional (3D) constant orientation workspace or position workspace of parallel manipulators, very few works exist on the topic of the 3D orientation workspace, especially the nonsingular orientation workspace and practical orientation workspace. This paper addresses the orientation workspace analysis of a special class of the Stewart–Gough parallel manipulators in which the moving and base platforms are two similar semisymmetrical hexagons. Based on the half-angle transformation, a polynomial expression of 13 degree that represents the orientation singularity locus of this special class of the Stewart–Gough parallel manipulators at a fixed position is derived and graphical representations of the orientation singularity locus of this special class of the Stewart–Gough manipulators are illustrated with examples to demonstrate the result. Exploiting this half-angle transformation and the inverse kinematics solution of this special class of the Stewart–Gough parallel manipulators, a discretization method is proposed for computing the orientation workspace of this special class of the Stewart–Gough parallel manipulators taking limitations of active and passive joints and the link interference all into consideration. Based on this algorithm, this paper also presents a new discretization method for computing the nonsingular orientation workspace of this class of the manipulators, which not only can satisfy all the kinematics demand of this class of the manipulators but also can guarantee the manipulator is nonsingular in the whole orientation workspace, and the practical orientation workspace of this class of the manipulators, which not only can guarantee the manipulator is nonsingular and will never encounter any kinematic interference but also can satisfy the demand of the orientation workspace with a regular shape in practical application, respectively. Examples of a 6/6-SPS Stewart–Gough parallel manipulator of this special class are given to demonstrate these theoretical results.