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A one-dimensional steady-state model for stimulated Raman backscatter (SRS) and stimulated Brillouin backscatter (SBS) processes in laser-irradiated plasmas is presented. Based on a novel “predictor-corrector” method, the model is capable to deal with broadband scattered light and inhomogeneous plasmas, exhibiting robustness and high efficiency. Influences of the electron density and temperature on the linear gains of both SRS and SBS are investigated, which indicates that the SRS gain is more sensitive to the electron density and temperature than that of the SBS. For the low-density case, the SBS dominates the scattering process, while the SRS exhibits much higher reflectivity in the high-density case. The nonlinear saturation mechanisms and competition between SRS and SBS are included in our model by a phenomenological method. The typical anti-correlation between SRS and SBS versus electron density is reproduced in the model. Calculations of the reflectivities are qualitatively in agreement with the typical results of experiments and simulations.
Several epidemiological studies have investigated that Na or K intakes might be associated with the metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, little evidence has evaluated the association between Na:K ratio and the MetS. In this study, we assessed the association between the dietary Na:K ratio and the MetS. The cross-sectional study was conducted among adults aged 18 years and older in Nanjing, using a multi-stage random sampling method, which resulted in a sample size of 1993 participants. Dietary Na and K intakes were assessed by 3 consecutive days of dietary recollection combined with condiments weighing method. Health-related data were obtained by standardised questionnaires, as well as physical examinations and laboratory assessments. The prevalence rate of the MetS was 36·5 % (728/1993). After adjusting for various lifestyle and dietary factors of the MetS, participants in the highest quartile of dietary Na:K ratio were at a higher risk of developing MetS (OR=1·602; 95 % CI 1·090, 2·353) compared with those in the lowest quartile. Each 1-sd increase in dietary Na:K ratio was associated with a higher risk of prevalent MetS (OR=1·166; 95 % CI: 1·018, 1·336). Among the components of the MetS, dietary Na:K ratio was positively associated with high blood pressure (quartile 3 v. quartile 1: OR=1·656; 95 % CI 1·228, 2·256) and hypertriacylglycerolaemia (quartile 4 v. quartile1: OR=1·305; 95 % CI 1·029, 1·655) in multivariate analysis. These results revealed that higher dietary Na:K ratio significantly increased the risk of the MetS in Chinese adults. Further studies are needed to verify this association.
Northeastern China is a region of high tick abundance, multiple tick-borne pathogens and likely human infections. The spectrum of diseases caused by tick-borne pathogens has not been objectively evaluated in this region for clinical management and for comparison with other regions globally where tick-transmitted diseases are common. Based on clinical symptoms, PCR, indirect immunofluorescent assay and (or) blood smear, we identified and described tick-borne diseases from patients with recent tick bite seen at Mudanjiang Forestry Central Hospital. From May 2010 to September 2011, 42% (75/180) of patients were diagnosed with a specific tick-borne disease, including Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, human babesiosis and spotted fever group rickettsiosis. When we compared clinical and laboratory features to identify factors that might discriminate tick-transmitted infections from those lacking that evidence, we revealed that erythema migrans and neurological manifestations were statistically significantly differently presented between those with and without documented aetiologies (P < 0.001, P = 0.003). Twelve patients (6.7%, 12/180) were co-infected with two tick-borne pathogens. We demonstrated the poor ability of clinicians to identify the specific tick-borne disease. In addition, it is necessary to develop specific laboratory assays for optimal diagnosis of tick-borne diseases.
To investigate the effects of heat stress on broiler metabolism, we assigned 144 broilers to normal control (NC), heat stress (HS) or pair-fed (PF) groups and then monitored the effects using growth performance, carcass characteristics, biochemical assays and GC-MS-based metabolomics. The up-regulation of cloacal temperature confirmed that our experiment was successful in inducing chronic heat stress. The average daily gain and average daily feed intake of the HS group were significantly lower than those of the NC group, by 28·76 and 18·42 %, respectively (P<0·001), whereas the feed:gain ratio was significantly higher, by 14·49 % (P=0·003), and heat stress also increased leg proportion (P=0·027) and intramuscular fat proportion (P<0·001) and decreased breast proportion (P=0·009). When comparing the HS and NC groups and HS and PF groups, our metabolomics approach identified seventy-eight and thirty-four metabolites, respectively, with significantly different levels (variable importance in the projection values >1 and P<0·05). The greater feed:gain ratio of the HS group was significantly positively correlated with the leg, abdominal fat, subcutaneous fat and intramuscular fat proportions and levels of some free amino acids (proline, l-cysteine, methionine and threonine) but was negatively correlated with breast proportion and levels of some NEFA (stearic acid, arachidonic acid, palmitic acid and oleic acid). These findings indicated that the heat-stressed broilers were in negative energy balance and unable to effectively mobilise fat, thereby resulting in protein decomposition, which subsequently affected growth performance and carcass characteristics.
Structural distortions at the nanoscale are delicately linked with many exotic properties for ferroic thin films. Based on advanced aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy, we observe BiFeO3 thin films with variant tensile strain states and demonstrate at an atomic scale the interplay of intrinsic spontaneous structural distortions with external constraints. Structural parameters (the rhombohedral distortion and domain wall shear distortion) under zero (BiFeO3/GdScO3) and 1.5% (BiFeO3/PrScO3) lateral strain states are quantitatively analyzed which are suppressed within a few unit cells near the film/substrate interfaces. In particular, an interfacial layer with asymmetrical lattice distortions (enhanced and reduced out-of-plane lattice spacing) on the two sides of 109° domain wall is resolved. These structural distortions near the film/substrate interface in ferroic thin films reveal intense tanglement of intrinsic distortions of BiFeO3 with external boundary conditions, which could provide new insights for the development of nanoscale ferroelectric devices.
Brief cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is an emerging treatment for
schizophrenia in community settings; however, further trials are needed,
especially in non-Western countries.
To test the effects of brief CBT for Chinese patients with schizophrenia
in the community (trial registration: ChiCTR-TRC-13003709).
A total of 220 patients with schizophrenia from four districts of Beijing
were randomly assigned to either brief CBT plus treatment as usual (TAU)
or TAU alone. Patients were assessed at baseline, post-treatment and at
6- and 12-month follow-ups by raters masked to group allocation.
At the post-treatment assessment and the 12-month follow-up, patients who
received brief CBT showed greater improvement in overall symptoms,
general psychopathology, insight and social functioning. In total, 37.3%
of those in the brief CBT plus TAU group experienced a clinically
significant response, compared with only 19.1% of those in the TAU alone
group (P = 0.003).
Brief CBT has a positive effect on Chinese patients with schizophrenia in
Among domesticated traits, pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) caused by the early breakage of dormancy leads to severe economic losses. Therefore, regulating PHS is important for cereal crop improvement against changes in climate. In this study, we surveyed naturally occurring variations in seed germination in diverse rice germplasm for the available resources of this trait, and investigated the changes of abscisic acid (ABA) levels during grain development by the distinguished PHS-resistant groups. We discovered wide variations in germination among the 205 rice accessions examined and found that 90 accessions are resistant (germination <20%) to PHS. Tropical and subtropical accessions, which are subjected to long wet periods, are more resistant to PHS than the other accessions. We detected an increase in germination of detached seeds from the panicle compared with intact seeds in panicle at harvesting time. This might be attributed to a weakening of the mechanical barrier that prevents water imbibition and radical emergence. ABA levels were maximal at 10 d after flowering and decreased thereafter. Interestingly, PHS-susceptible accessions maintained higher or similar ABA levels compared with PHS-resistant accessions, suggesting that the key factors for seed dormancy and its breakage are ABA perception and signal transduction rather than total ABA content. The diversity of germination ability detected in this study could be sustainably used for crop improvement and to help unveil the genetic and physiological basis of this quantitative trait.
The present study was conducted to evaluate the anti-parasitic activity of a pure compound from Streptomyces sp. HL-2-14 against fish parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, and elucidate its chemical structure. By electron ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrum (1H NMR and 13C NMR), the compound was identified as amphotericin B (AmB). The in vitro trials revealed that AmB can effectively kill the theronts and tomonts of I. multifiliis with the median lethal concentration (LC50) of 0·8 mg L−1 at 30 min for the theronts and 4·3 mg L−1 at 2 h for the tomonts, respectively. AmB at 5 mg L−1 significantly reduced I. multifiliis infectivity prevalence and intensity on grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), and consequently decreased fish mortality, from 100% in control group to 30% in treated group. The 72 h acute toxicity (LC50) of AmB on grass carp was 20·6 mg L−1, but fish mortality was occurred when exposure to 13·0 mg L−1. These results indicated that AmB was effective in the therapy of I. multifiliis infection, but the safety concentration margin is relatively narrow. Further efforts aiming to decrease the toxicity and improve the therapeutic profile remain to be needed.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of hyperhomocysteinaemia (HHCY; total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) concentration >15 μmol/l) and its major determinants in healthy Chinese northerners. A descriptive and cross-sectional study was conducted in Shaanxi Province, China. The study sample included 2645 participants (1042 men and 1603 women) aged >20 years. Demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors were assessed via questionnaire interviews and physical examination. Plasma levels of homocysteine and folate and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphism were determined according to standard methods. The prevalence of HHCY was 67·7 % (81·4 % in men and 58·8 % in women). The geometric mean of tHcy concentration was 19·1 μmol/l. The OR of HHCY were 0·44 (95 % CI 0·34, 0·57) for women v. men; 1·95 (95 % CI 1·41, 2·70), 1·41 (95 % CI 1·05, 1·88) and 0·76 (95 % CI 0·64, 0·89) for participants with smoking and alcohol drinking cessation and improved physical activity levels, respectively; 0·25 (95 % CI 0·17, 0·38), 0·33 (95 % CI 0·22, 0·49) and 0·56 (95 % CI 0·36, 0·88) for participants with an education level of elementary school, secondary school and university v. illiterate, respectively; 1·41 (95 % CI 1·13, 1·75) and 3·05 (95 % CI 2·35, 3·97) for participants with CT and TT v. CC genotype at MTHFR 677C → T polymorphism, respectively. These results demonstrate that the prevalence of HHCY is considerably high in Chinese northerners, especially in TT subjects, suggesting that implementation of tHcy-lowering strategies, such as lifestyle changes, is necessary.
There is a limited understanding about the ecological mechanisms that enable certain plant species to become successful invaders of natural areas. This study was conducted to determine the soil and landscape characteristics that correlate with invasion of Chinese privet (CHP), and to develop a model to predict the probability of CHP invasion in Piedmont forests. A landscape ecosystem classification (LEC) system—based on the percentage of clay in the B horizon, depth to maximum clay (cm), exposure, terrain shape, and aspect (degrees)—was used to determine the soil moisture characteristics of invaded and uninvaded plots. Additional measurements included the cover classes of CHP and other species, litter depth (cm), slope (degrees), overstory basal area (m2 ha−1), and soil chemical properties. CHP invasion was negatively correlated with overstory basal area and slope and positively with litter depth and pH. A stepwise logistic regression model containing these four variables was highly sensitive, with an overall accuracy of 78%. Given the accuracy of this model, we propose that it can be used to calculate the probability of invasion in a given area, provided that some basic, readily obtainable site characteristics are known.
A crucial problem is the risk that a manipulator arm would be damaged by twisting or bending during and after contacting a target satellite. This paper presents a solution to minimize the risk of damage to the arm and thereby enhance contact performance. First, a hand-eye servo controller is proposed as a method for accurately tracking and capturing a target satellite. Next, a motion planning strategy is employed to obtain the best-fit contacting moments. Also, an impedance control law is implemented to increase protection during operation and to ensure more accurate compliance. Finally, to overcome the challenge of verifying algorithms for a space manipulator while on the ground, a novel experimental system with a 6-DOF (degree of freedom) manipulator on a chaser field robot is presented and implemented to capture a target field robot; the proposed methods are then validated using the experimental platform.
An ion beam has the unique feature of being able to deposit its main energy inside a human body to kill cancer cells or inside material. However, conventional ion accelerators tend to be huge in size and cost. In this paper, a future intense-laser ion accelerator is discussed to make the laser-based ion accelerator compact and controllable. The issues in the laser ion accelerator include the energy efficiency from the laser to the ions, the ion beam collimation, the ion energy spectrum control, the ion beam bunching, and the ion particle energy control. In the study, each component is designed to control the ion beam quality by particle simulations. The energy efficiency from the laser to ions is improved by using a solid target with a fine sub-wavelength structure or a near-critical-density gas plasma. The ion beam collimation is performed by holes behind the solid target or a multi-layered solid target. The control of the ion energy spectrum and the ion particle energy, and the ion beam bunching are successfully realized by a multi-stage laser–target interaction.
Low-cost La(FexSi1-x)13 alloys exhibiting the large magnetocaloric effect (MCE) are one of the most promising magnetic refrigerant candidates for room temperature magnetic refrigeration. The NaZn13-type phase (hereinafter 1:13 phase) is believed to play a key role in the MCE of these alloys. While the formation of the 1:13 phase directly from the melt upon cooling was challenging, in this paper we demonstrate that the 1:13 phase can be formed directly during solidification. We found that three kinds of solidification microstructure were formed because a competitive nucleation occurred between the 1:13 and α-(Fe,Si) phase during the solidification of LaFe11.5Si1.5 alloy. In case of a high cooling speed, a large amount of NaZn13–type phase with equiaxed grains and a small amount of α-(Fe,Si) phase were formed because of a dominant nucleation rate of 1:13 phase. When the cooling rate was small, a large number of α-(Fe,Si) phase with dendrites were formed because the nucleation rate of α-(Fe,Si) phase is larger than that of the 1:13 phase. These results revealed that nucleation rates of phases is very important to the composition formation and microstructure of LaFe11.5Si1.5 alloys.
A complex nature conservation scheme has been taking shape in China since 1965. After the first national park made its debut in 2007 in Yunnan Province in southwest China, the gap between this new model and existing conservation tools became apparent. This article attempts to analyze the degree to which a model of national parks can contribute to and remedy the defects within the existing nature conservation scheme in China, and to reveal the obstacles that impede the national parks from reaching their full potential. These are main findings of this report: (a) The model of the national park has not fully delivered the desirable outcome that its initiators had anticipated (i.e., a more effective balance between conservation and use of natural resources). (b) A gap exists between national parks envisioned and national parks in practice in terms of objectives, institutional capacity, community development, and legislation. (c) The new model does not fundamentally solve the existing problems, such as the funding shortage, overlapping authorities, and implementation deficiencies; rather, it has revealed new problems, such as central-local conflicts. (d) The obstacles that national parks face are foreseeable, such as the adverse effects of tourism and economic pressure on nature conservation, the constrained role of nongovernmental organizations, and the government bureaucratic structure in China. (e) The legality of the national parks has been challenged, and conflicts have arisen between legislation on national parks and superordinate law existing in terms of the rezoning within national parks.
An enduring question with regard to the voluntary sector is how it can nurture civic engagement and provide public goods. A World Heritage listing for Penang highlights this question by revealing a vibrant civil society network that has made heritage conservation an issue for public discourse and policy agenda. This paper discusses how the marginalized trajectory of Penang is related to the development of its civic realm, social cohesion and local identity, which are sources of Penang's voluntarism. It then examines the engagement pattern of the Penang Heritage Trust, a leading association, which has mounted resistance against the state's failure in heritage provision. This bottom-up approach has preserved Penang's cultural heritage and associated identity, and reveals the distinct nature and capacity of Penang's voluntary sector that goes against the general pattern in Malaysia.