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Collision avoidance is critical in multirobot systems. Most of the current methods for collision avoidance either require high computation costs (e.g., velocity obstacles and mathematical optimization) or cannot always provide safety guarantees (e.g., learning-based methods). Moreover, they cannot deal with uncertain sensing data and linguistic requirements (e.g., the speed of a robot should not be large when it is near to other robots). Hence, to guarantee real-time collision avoidance and deal with linguistic requirements, a distributed and hybrid motion planning method, named Fuzzy-VO, is proposed for multirobot systems. It contains two basic components: fuzzy rules, which can deal with linguistic requirements and compute motion efficiently, and velocity obstacles (VOs), which can generate collision-free motion effectively. The Fuzzy-VO applies an intruder selection method to mitigate the exponential increase of the number of fuzzy rules. In detail, at any time instant, a robot checks the robots that it may collide with and retrieves the most dangerous robot in each sector based on the predicted collision time; then, the robot generates its velocity in real-time via fuzzy inference and VO-based fine-tuning. At each time instant, a robot only needs to retrieve its neighbors’ current positions and velocities, so the method is fully distributed. Extensive simulations with a different number of robots are carried out to compare the performance of Fuzzy-VO with the conventional fuzzy rule method and the VO-based method from different aspects. The results show that: Compared with the conventional fuzzy rule method, the average success rate of the proposed method can be increased by 306.5%; compared with the VO-based method, the average one-step decision time is reduced by 740.9%.
The codling moth Cydia pomonella is a major pest of global significance impacting pome fruits and walnuts. It threatens the apple industry in the Loess Plateau and Bohai Bay in China. Sterile insect technique (SIT) could overcome the limitations set by environmentally compatible area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) approaches such as mating disruption and attract-kill that are difficult to suppress in a high-density pest population, as well as the development of insecticide resistance. In this study, we investigated the effects of X-ray irradiation (183, 366, 549 Gy) on the fecundity and fertility of a laboratory strain of C. pomonella, using a newly developed irradiator, to evaluate the possibility of X-rays as a replacement for Cobalt60 (60Co-γ) and the expanded future role of this approach in codling moth control. Results show that the 8th-day is the optimal age for irradiation of male pupae. The fecundity decreased significantly as the dosage of radiation increased. The mating ratio and mating number were not influenced. However, treated females were sub-sterile at a radiation dose of 183 Gy (20.93%), and were almost 100% sterile at a radiation dose of 366 Gy or higher. Although exposure to a radiation dose of 366 Gy resulted in a significant reduction in the mating competitiveness of male moths, our radiation biology results suggest that this new generation of X-ray irradiator has potential applications in SIT programs for future codling moth control.
The horse played a crucial role in China through the first millennium BC, used both for military advantage and, through incorporation into elite burials, to express social status. Details of how horses were integrated into mortuary contexts during the Qin Empire, however, are poorly understood. Here, the authors present new zooarchaeological data for 24 horses from an accessory pit in Qin Shihuang's mausoleum, indicating that the horses chosen were tall, adult males. These findings provide insights into the selection criteria for animals to be included in the emperor's tomb and invite consideration of questions concerning horse breeds, husbandry practices, and the military and symbolic importance of horses in early imperial China.
The seabed in coastal regions is often covered by a dense submerged canopy formed by benthic organisms. The in-canopy flow is of great interest to coastal researchers. In this study, a semi-analytical model is proposed for the in-canopy current profile under the influence of coexisting waves. The current is driven by a mean shear stress at the canopy top and a mean streamwise pressure gradient. Wave–current interaction arises from the mean canopy drag, which is described by the conventional quadratic law. An algebraic eddy viscosity model, which accounts for the turbulence generated by a canopy-scale vortex and stem-scale wake, is proposed. The model is calibrated against unidirectional flume experiments, and is subsequently validated against a wave–current flume experiment. It is found that the mean canopy drag experienced by the current can be significantly amplified by a co-existing wave-driven oscillatory flow. Under the same current driving force, the current in wave–current flow is reduced from that in a pure-current flow. The reduction increases with canopy density and wave strength. For a wave and current at an angle, veering of the current velocity vector is suggested by the model, which makes the mean canopy drag align with the driving force of the current.
Extrinsic mortality risks calibrating fast life history (LH) represent a species-general principle that applies to almost all animals including humans. However, empirical research also finds exceptions to the LH principle. The present study proposes a maternal socialization hypothesis, whereby we argue that the more human-relevant attachment system adds to the LH principle by up- and down-regulating environmental harshness and unpredictability and their calibration of LH strategies. Based on a longitudinal sample of 259 rural Chinese adolescents and their primary caregivers, the results support the statistical moderating effect of caregiver–child attachment on the relation between childhood environmental adversities (harshness and unpredictability) and LH strategies. Our theorizing and findings point to an additional mechanism likely involved in the organization and possibly the slowdown of human LH.
Optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification is inevitably subject to high-order spatial chirp, particularly under the condition of saturated amplification and a Gaussian pump; this corresponds to an irreversible spatiotemporal distortion and consequently degrades the maximum attainable focused intensity. In this paper, we reveal that such spatial chirp distortion can be significantly mitigated in quasi-parametric chirped-pulse amplification (QPCPA) with idler absorption. Simulation results show that the quality of focused intensity in saturated QPCPA is nearly ideal, with a spatiotemporal Strehl ratio higher than 0.98. As the seed bandwidth increases, the idler absorption spectrum may not be uniform, but the Strehl ratio in QPCPA can be still high enough due to stronger idler absorption.
This retrospective study investigated the predictive value of the Controlling Nutritional Status (CONUT) score in patients with intermediate-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who received transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). Nomograms were developed to predict progression-free and overall survival (PFS, OS). The medical data of 228 patients with HCC and treated with TACE were collected. The patients were apportioned to 2 groups according to CONUT score: low or high (<4, ≥4). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using Cox regression for OS and PFS. OS and PFS were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier curve and compared with the log-rank test. Nomograms were constructed to predict patient OS and PFS. The nomograms were evaluated for accuracy, discrimination, and efficiency. The cut-off value of CONUT score was 4. The higher the CONUT score, the worse the survival; Kaplan-Meier curves showed significant differences in OS and PFS between the low and high CONUT score groups (P = 0·033, 0·047). The nomograms including CONUT, based on the prognostic factors determined by the univariate and multivariate analyses, to predict survival in HCC after TACE were generated. The CONUT score is an important prognostic factor for both OS and PFS for patients with intermediate HCC who underwent TACE. The cut-off value of the CONUT score was 4. A high CONUT score suggests poor survival outcomes. Nomograms generated based on the CONUT score were good models to predict patient OS and PFS.
Giardia duodenalis is a common zoonotic intestinal pathogen. It has been increasingly reported in humans and animals; however, genotyping information for G. duodenalis in captive animals is still limited. This study was conducted to assess the prevalence and multilocus genotyping of G. duodenalis in captive animals in zoological gardens in Shanghai, China. A total of 678 fresh fecal samples were randomly collected from captive animals including non-human primates (NHPs) (n = 190), herbivores (n = 190), carnivores (n = 151), birds (n = 138) and reptiles (n = 9) in a zoo and were examined for the presence of G. duodenalis using nested polymerase chain reaction (nested PCR). All G. duodenalis positive samples were assayed with PCR followed by sequencing at β-giardin (bg), glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) and triose phosphate isomerase (tpi) genes. In this study, 42 specimens (6.2%) were tested G. duodenalis-positive of the 678 fecal samples examined based on a single locus. A total of 30 (4.4%), 30 (4.4%) and 22 (3.2%) specimens were successfully amplified and sequenced at gdh, tpi and bg loci, respectively. Assemblages A and B were identified with assemblage B dominating in NHPs. Sequence analysis demonstrated that one, two and five new isolates were identified at bg, gdh and tpi loci. DNA sequences and new assemblage-subtypes of zoonotic G. duodenalis assemblages A and B were identified in the current study. Our data indicate the occurrence and molecular diversity of G. duodenalis and the potential zoonotic transmission in captive animals in China.
GBF1 [Golgi brefeldin A (BFA) resistance factor 1] is a member of the guanine nucleotide exchange factors Arf family. GBF1 localizes at the cis-Golgi and endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-Golgi intermediate compartment where it participates in ER-Golgi traffic by assisting in the recruitment of the coat protein COPI. However, the roles of GBF1 in oocyte meiotic maturation are still unknown. In the present study, we investigated the regulatory functions of GBF1 in mouse oocyte organelle dynamics. In our results, GBF1 was stably expressed during oocyte maturation, and GBF1 localized at the spindle periphery during metaphase I. Inhibiting GBF1 activity led to aberrant accumulation of the Golgi apparatus around the spindle. This may be due to the effects of GBF1 on the localization of GM130, as GBF1 co-localized with GM130 and inhibiting GBF1 induced condensation of GM130. Moreover, the loss of GBF1 activity affected the ER distribution and induced ER stress, as shown by increased GRP78 expression. Mitochondrial localization and functions were affected, as the mitochondrial membrane potential was altered. Taken together, these results suggest that GBF1 has wide-ranging effects on the distribution and functions of Golgi apparatus, ER, and mitochondria as well as normal polar body formation in mouse oocytes.
A 1178 J near diffraction limited 527 nm laser is realized in a complete closed-loop adaptive optics (AO) controlled off-axis multi-pass amplification laser system. Generated from a fiber laser and amplified by the pre-amplifier and the main amplifier, a 1053 nm laser beam with the energy of 1900 J is obtained and converted into a 527 nm laser beam by a KDP crystal with 62% conversion efficiency, 1178 J and beam quality of 7.93 times the diffraction limit (DL). By using a complete closed-loop AO configuration, the static and dynamic wavefront distortions of the laser system are measured and compensated. After correction, the diameter of the circle enclosing 80% energy is improved remarkably from 7.93DL to 1.29DL. The focal spot is highly concentrated and the 1178 J, 527 nm near diffraction limited laser is achieved.
The upsurge in the number of people affected by the COVID-19 is likely to lead to increased rates of emotional trauma and mental illnesses. This article systematically reviewed the available data on the benefits of interventions to reduce adverse mental health sequelae of infectious disease outbreaks, and to offer guidance for mental health service responses to infectious disease pandemic. PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, PsycINFO, WHO Global Research Database on infectious disease, and the preprint server medRxiv were searched. Of 4278 reports identified, 32 were included in this review. Most articles of psychological interventions were implemented to address the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, followed by Ebola, SARS, and MERS for multiple vulnerable populations. Increasing mental health literacy of the public is vital to prevent the mental health crisis under the COVID-19 pandemic. Group-based cognitive behavioral therapy, psychological first aid, community-based psychosocial arts program, and other culturally adapted interventions were reported as being effective against the mental health impacts of COVID-19, Ebola, and SARS. Culturally-adapted, cost-effective, and accessible strategies integrated into the public health emergency response and established medical systems at the local and national levels are likely to be an effective option to enhance mental health response capacity for the current and for future infectious disease outbreaks. Tele-mental healthcare services were key central components of stepped care for both infectious disease outbreak management and routine support; however, the usefulness and limitations of remote health delivery should also be recognized.
Mach reflection subjected to the influence of an upstream shock wave from the same side is studied here. This situation occurs when two incident shock waves induced by a double wedge reflect at the same point of the reflecting surface and when the downstream incident shock wave is stronger than the upstream one. A shock polar analysis is used to show that this configuration produces an inverted Mach stem and a type IV shock interference between the Mach stem and the upstream shock wave. This shock interference produces a jet that divides the flow stream downstream of the Mach stem into two ducts with different sonic throats, thus complicating the mechanism by which the Mach stem size is determined. A transition analysis shows that the Mach reflection of the downstream shock wave is promoted by the upstream one. Computational fluid dynamics is used to assess the flow pattern anticipated by shock polar analysis and demonstrates how the heights of Mach stem and jet depend on the inflow Mach number and wedge turning angle.
Teenagers are important carriers of Neisseria meningitidis, which is a leading cause of invasive meningococcal disease. In China, the carriage rate and risk factors among teenagers are unclear. The present study presents a retrospective analysis of epidemiological data for N. meningitidis carriage from 2013 to 2017 in Suizhou city, China. The carriage rates were 3.26%, 2.22%, 3.33%, 3.53% and 9.88% for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. From 2014 to 2017, the carriage rate in the 15- to 19-year-old age group (teenagers) was the highest and significantly higher than that in remain age groups. Subsequently, a larger scale survey (December 2017) for carriage rate and relative risk factors (population density, time spent in the classroom, gender and antibiotics use) were investigated on the teenagers (15- to 19-year-old age) at the same school. The carriage rate was still high at 33.48% (223/663) and varied greatly from 6.56% to 52.94% in a different class. Population density of the classroom was found to be a significant risk factor for carriage, and 1.4 persons/m2 is recommended as the maximum classroom density. Further, higher male gender ratio and more time spent in the classroom were also significantly associated with higher carriage. Finally, antibiotic use was associated with a significantly lower carriage rate. All the results imply that attention should be paid to the teenagers and various measures can be taken to reduce the N. meningitidis carriage, to prevent and control the outbreak of IMD.
Animal domestication represents one of the most important advances in human history. Pigs (Sus scrofa) were domesticated multiple times in prehistory and are therefore ideal for examining how geography and culture shape the domestication process. The authors integrate zooarchaeological and isotopic data from Neolithic (c. 10 000–2000 BP) pigs from central China and the Lower Yangtze Valley to demonstrate two dominant domestication trajectories. In central China, pig husbandry intensified following domestication, corresponding with population growth and a shift in socio-economic organisation. In the Lower Yangtze Valley, however, increasing urbanism was associated with a preference for wild resources supplemented by the limited exploitation of domestic pigs.
The Neolithic to Bronze Age transition (c. 5000–3500 BP) saw dramatic socio-economic developments in ancient China. Complex polities emerged in many regions, only to decline and collapse by the end of the period. In the Central Plains area, however, these centuries laid the foundations for China's first dynasties. This article presents zooarchaeological, palaeobotanical and isotopic research from key sites of the Central Plains spanning the period c. 5000–3500 BP. The results demonstrate that, contrary to narratives of the climate-induced collapse of these polities, Central Plains agricultural regimes intensified and diversified during the Neolithic to Bronze Age transition.
The COVID-19 outbreak required the significantly increased working time and intensity for health professionals in China, which may cause stress signs.
From March 2–13 of 2020, 4,618 health professionals in China were included in an anonymous, self-rated online survey regarding their concerns on exposure to the COVID-19 outbreak. The questionnaires consisted of five parts: basic demographic information and epidemiological exposure; occupational and psychological impact; concerns during the episode; coping strategies; and the Huaxi Emotional-Distress Index (HEI).
About 24.2% of respondents experienced high levels of anxiety or/and depressive symptoms since the COVID-19 outbreak. Respondents who worried about their physical health and those who had COVID-19 infected friends or close relatives were more likely to have high HEI levels, than those without these characteristics. Further, family relationship was found to have an independent protective effect against high HEI levels. Their main concerns were that their families would not be cared for and that they would not be able to work properly. Compared to respondents with clear emotional problems, those with somewhat hidden emotional issues adopted more positive coping measures.
About a quarter of medical staff experienced psychological problems during the pandemic of COVID-19. The psychological impact of stressful events was related to worrying about their physical health, having close COVID-19 infected acquaintances and family relationship issues. Therefore, the psychological supprot for medical staff fighting in the COVID-19 pandemic may be needed.
Human infections with avian influenza A (H7N9) virus are associated with exposure to poultry and live poultry markets, but the evidence of person-to-person transmission remains limited. This study reports a suspected person-to-person transmission of H7N9 virus, and explores what factors influenced this transmission.
We interviewed 2 patients with H7N9 infection and their family members as well as health-care workers. Samples from the patients and environments were tested by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.
The index patient became ill 5 to 6 days after his last exposure to the poultry bought in the market of Weimiao town. The second patient, the sister of the index patient, who had sustained intensive and unprotected close contact with the index patient, had no exposure to poultry. This study documents that the H7N9 virus was transmitted directly from the index patient to his sister.
Our findings suggest that person-to-person transmission may be associated with sustained close contact with the patient during his onset of early stage, when the H7N9 viral shedding increases sharply.
Transmission of varicella occurs frequently in schools and households. We investigated the characteristics of varicella cases derived from within-household transmission and the modes of varicella transmission between school and household settings in Shanghai, China, from 2009 to 2018. Within-household transmission occurred in 278 households, of which 134 transmission events were between children. Sixty-one household varicella transmission events may be attributed to isolation procedures for infected students during school outbreaks, and 7.6% of school outbreaks were caused by schoolchildren cases derived from within-household transmission. The frequency of ‘school-household-school’ transmission adds an additional layer of complexity to the control of school varicella outbreaks. Administration of varicella vaccine as post-exposure prophylaxis after exposure is considered to be an effective measure to control varicella spread within households and schools.
Studies have indicated that psychological stress impairs human fertility and that various stressors can induce apoptosis of testicular cells. However, the mechanisms by which psychological stress on males reduces semen quality and stressors induce apoptosis in testicular cells are largely unclear. Using a psychological (restraint) stress mouse model, we tested whether male psychological stress triggers apoptosis of spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α signalling. Wild-type or TNF-α−/− male mice were restrained for 48 h before examination for apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) in spermatozoa, epididymis, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. The results showed that male restraint significantly decreased fertilization rate and mitochondrial membrane potential, while increasing levels of malondialdehyde, active caspase-3, TNF-α and TNFR1 in spermatozoa. Male restraint also increased apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNFR1 in caudae epididymides, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. Sperm quality was also significantly impaired when spermatozoa were recovered 35 days after male restraint. The restraint-induced damage to spermatozoa, epididymis and seminiferous tubules was significantly ameliorated in TNF-α−/− mice. Furthermore, incubation with soluble TNF-α significantly reduced sperm motility and fertilizing potential. Taken together, the results demonstrated that male psychological stress induces apoptosis in spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating the TNF-α system and that the stress-induced apoptosis in spermatogenic cells can be translated into impaired quality in future spermatozoa.