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Toll-interacting protein (Tollip) participates in multiple biological processes. However, the biological functions of Tollip proteins in insects remain to be further explored. Here, the genomic sequence of tollip gene from Antheraea pernyi (named Ap-Tollip) was identified with a length of 15,060 bp, including eight exons and seven introns. The predicted Ap-Tollip protein contained conserved C2 and CUE domains and was highly homologous to those tollips from invertebrates. Ap-Tollip was highly expressed in fat body compared with other determined tissues. As far as the developmental stages were concerned, the highest expression level was found at the 14th day in eggs or the 3rd day of the 1st instar. Ap-Tollip was also obviously regulated by lipopolysaccharide, polycytidylic acid or 20E in different tissues. In addition, the interaction between Ap-Tollip and ubiquitin was confirmed by western blotting and pull-down assay. RNAi of Ap-Tollip significantly affected the expression levels of apoptosis and autophagy-related genes. These results indicated that Ap-Tollip was involved in immunity and development of A. pernyi.
Straightplasma channels are widely used to guide relativistic intense laser pulses over several Rayleigh lengths for laser wakefield acceleration. Recently, a curved plasma channel with gradually varied curvature was suggested to guide a fresh intense laser pulse and merge it into a straight channel for staged wakefield acceleration [Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 154801 (2018)]. In this work, we report the generation of such a curved plasma channel from a discharged capillary. Both longitudinal and transverse density distributions of the plasma inside the channel were diagnosed by analyzing the discharging spectroscopy. Effects of the gas-filling mode, back pressure and discharging voltage on the plasma density distribution inside the specially designed capillary are studied. Experiments show that a longitudinally uniform and transversely parabolic plasma channel with a maximum channel depth of 47.5 μm and length of 3 cm can be produced, which is temporally stable enough for laser guiding. Using such a plasma channel, a laser pulse with duration of 30 fs has been successfully guided along the channel with the propagation direction bent by 10.4°.
Coastal eutrophication and hypoxia remain a persistent environmental crisis despite the great efforts to reduce nutrient loading and mitigate associated environmental damages. Symptoms of this crisis have appeared to spread rapidly, reaching developing countries in Asia with emergences in Southern America and Africa. The pace of changes and the underlying drivers remain not so clear. To address the gap, we review the up-to-date status and mechanisms of eutrophication and hypoxia in global coastal oceans, upon which we examine the trajectories of changes over the 40 years or longer in six model coastal systems with varying socio-economic development statuses and different levels and histories of eutrophication. Although these coastal systems share common features of eutrophication, site-specific characteristics are also substantial, depending on the regional environmental setting and level of social-economic development along with policy implementation and management. Nevertheless, ecosystem recovery generally needs greater reduction in pressures compared to that initiated degradation and becomes less feasible to achieve past norms with a longer time anthropogenic pressures on the ecosystems. While the qualitative causality between drivers and consequences is well established, quantitative attribution of these drivers to eutrophication and hypoxia remains difficult especially when we consider the social economic drivers because the changes in coastal ecosystems are subject to multiple influences and the cause–effect relationship is often non-linear. Such relationships are further complicated by climate changes that have been accelerating over the past few decades. The knowledge gaps that limit our quantitative and mechanistic understanding of the human-coastal ocean nexus are identified, which is essential for science-based policy making. Recognizing lessons from past management practices, we advocate for a better, more efficient indexing system of coastal eutrophication and an advanced regional earth system modeling framework with optimal modules of human dimensions to facilitate the development and evaluation of effective policy and restoration actions.
Research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure recognizes the importance of the government and examines how firms respond to government CSR regulations. However, little attention is given to how government regulations affect firms’ disclosure strategy in multiple fields of CSR. Based on institutional theory, this study proposes that mandatory CSR disclosure increases the legitimacy management cost for firms, and thus firms disclose more CSR scope to gain legitimacy and less CSR emphasis to reduce costs. Using data from Chinese A-share listed firms in 2008–2018, this study finds that mandatory CSR disclosure is positively related to CSR scope but negatively related to CSR emphasis. In addition, firm visibility strengthens the aforementioned positive and negative relations, whereas market competition weakens the relation between mandatory CSR disclosure and CSR emphasis. This study contributes to the literature on CSR disclosure and studies on organizational responses to the government mandate.
Based on a real-world collaboration with innovators in applying early health economic modeling, we aimed to offer practical steps that health technology assessment (HTA) researchers and innovators can follow and promote the usage of early HTA among research and development (R&D) communities.
The HTA researcher was approached by the innovator to carry out an early HTA ahead of the first clinical trial of the technology, a soft robotic sock for poststroke patients. Early health economic modeling was selected to understand the potential value of the technology and to help uncover the information gap. Threshold analysis was used to identify the target product profiles. Value-of-information analysis was conducted to understand the uncertainties and the need for further research.
Based on the expected price and clinical effectiveness by the innovator, the new technology was found to be cost-saving compared to the current practice. Risk reduction in deep vein thrombosis and ankle contracture, the incidence rate of ankle contracture, the compliance rate of the new technology, and utility scores were found to have high impacts on the value-for-money of the new technology. The value of information was low if the new technology can achieve the expected clinical effectiveness. A list of parameters was recommended for data collection in the impending clinical trial.
This work, based on a real-world collaboration, has illustrated that early health economic modeling can inform medical innovation development. We provided practical steps in order to achieve more efficient R&D investment in medical innovation moving forward.
The terminal Ediacaran Shibantan biota (~550–543 Ma) from the Dengying Formation in the Yangtze Gorges area of South China represents one of the rare examples of carbonate-hosted Ediacara-type macrofossil assemblages. In addition to the numerically dominant taxa—the non-biomineralizing tubular fossil Wutubus and discoidal fossils Aspidella and Hiemalora, the Shibantan biota also bears a moderate diversity of frondose fossils, including Pteridinium, Rangea, Arborea, and Charnia. In this paper, we report two species of the rangeomorph genus Charnia, including the type species Charnia masoni Ford, 1958 emend. and Charnia gracilis new species, from the Shibantan biota. Most of the Shibantan Charnia specimens preserve only the petalodium, with a few bearing the holdfast and stem. Despite overall architectural similarities to other Charnia species, the Shibantan specimens of Charnia gracilis n. sp. are distinct in their relatively straight, slender, and more acutely angled first-order branches. They also show evidence that may support a two-stage growth model and a epibenthic sessile lifestyle. Charnia fossils described herein represent one of the youngest occurrences of this genus and extend its paleogeographic and stratigraphic distributions. Our discovery also highlights the notable diversity of the Shibantan biota, which contains examples of a wide range of Ediacaran morphogroups.
Do US Circuit Courts' decisions on criminal appeals influence sentence lengths imposed by US District Courts? This Element explores the use of high-dimensional instrumental variables to estimate this causal relationship. Using judge characteristics as instruments, this Element implements two-stage models on court sentencing data for the years 1991 through 2013. This Element finds that Democratic, Jewish judges tend to favor criminal defendants, while Catholic judges tend to rule against them. This Element also finds from experiments that prosecutors backlash to Circuit Court rulings while District Court judges comply. Methodologically, this Element demonstrates the applicability of deep instrumental variables to legal data.
This paper provides a systemic study of China's policy and legal responses to security-related actions and disputes in the international trade regime. It starts with a brief review of the law and practices relating to the security exceptions under the World Trade Organization to provide an important context for understanding the recent developments of China's approaches to national security. Based on a detailed discussion of China's approaches at international and domestic levels, we argue that China's security strategy has been shifting from being defensive to proactive: internationally by seeking to influence the development of trade rules and practices, and domestically by expanding national security to cover a wide spectrum of economic security interests and developing a comprehensive regulatory framework to protect such interests. The way in which major trading nations are taking the law into their own hands, based on ever-expanding security interests, does not bode well for the future of the multilateral trading system. There is a pressing need for collective action by all governments involved to re-design security-related rules and exceptions to confine the use of security measures to agreed parameters.
Trace fossils record foraging behaviors, the search for resources in patchy environments, of animals in the rock record. Quantification of the strength, density, and nature of foraging behaviors enables the investigation of how these may have changed through time. Here, we present a novel approach to explore such patterns using spatial point process analyses to quantify the scale and strength of ichnofossil spatial distributions on horizontal bedding planes. To demonstrate the utility of this approach, we use two samples from the terminal Ediacaran Shibantan Member in South China (between 551 and 543 Ma) and the early Cambrian Nagaur Sandstone in northwestern India (between 539 and 509 Ma). We find that ichnotaxa on both surfaces exhibited significant nonhomogeneous lateral patterns, with distinct levels of heterogeneity exhibited by different types of trace fossils. In the Shibantan, two ichnotaxa show evidence for mutual positive aggregation over a shared resource, suggesting the ability to focus on optimal resource areas. Trace fossils from the Nagaur Sandstone exhibit more sophisticated foraging behavior, with greater niche differentiation. Critically, mark correlation functions highlight significant spatial autocorrelation of trace fossil orientations, demonstrating the greater ability of these Cambrian tracemakers to focus on optimal patches. Despite potential limitations, these analyses hint at changes in the development and optimization of foraging at the Ediacaran/Cambrian transition and highlight the potential of spatial point process analysis to tease apart subtle differences in behavior in the trace fossil record.
Steam jet milling was applied for the first time to ultra-fine grind the filter cake (moisture content 23.80%) produced by a kaolin concentrator. The material was dehydrated and dried simultaneously during grinding, and the final ground sample met the moisture content requirement for powder products of <2%. The particle size of the ground kaolin samples decreased and the particle-size distribution was more concentrated, indicating that the steam jet milling was more effective for kaolin processing than the conventional dry grinding process. In addition, steam jet milling can improve the whiteness and decrease the crystal order of the samples, thus improving the kaolin properties in follow-up applications.
A few former studies suggested that there are partial overlaps in abnormal brain structure and cognitive function between hypochondriasis (HS) and schizophrenia (SZ). But their differences in brain activity and cognitive function were unclear.
Twenty-one HS patients, 23 SZ patients, and 24 healthy controls (HC) underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) with the regional homogeneity analysis (ReHo), subsequently exploring the relationship between ReHo value and cognitive functions. The support vector machines (SVM) were used on effectiveness evaluation of ReHo for differentiating HS from SZ.
Compared with HC, HS showed significantly increased ReHo values in right middle temporal gyrus (MTG), left inferior parietal lobe (IPL), and right fusiform gyrus (FG), while SZ showed increased ReHo in left insula, decreased ReHo values in right paracentral lobule. Additionally, HS showed significantly higher ReHo values in FG, MTG, and left paracentral lobule, but lower in insula than SZ. The higher ReHo values in insula were associated with worse performance in MATRICS consensus cognitive battery (MCCB) in HS group. SVM analysis showed a combination of the ReHo values in insula and FG was able to satisfactorily distinguish the HS and SZ patients.
Our results suggested that the altered default mode network (DMN), of which abnormal spontaneous neural activity occurs in multiple brain regions, might play a key role in the pathogenesis of HS, and the resting-state alterations of insula are closely related to cognitive dysfunction in HS. Furthermore, the combination of the ReHo in FG and insula was a relatively ideal indicator to distinguish HS from SZ.
Tonal carryover assimilation, whereby a tone is assimilated to the preceding one, is conditioned by prosodic boundaries in a way suggesting that its presence may signal continuity or lack of a boundary. Its possibility as a speech segmentation cue was investigated in two artificial language (AL) learning experiments. Mandarin-speaking listeners identified the “words” of a three-tone AL (e.g., [pé.tī.kù]) after listening to six long speech streams in which the words were repeated continuously without pauses. The first experiment revealed that segmentation was disrupted in an “incongruent-cues” condition where tonal carryover assimilation occurred across AL word boundaries and conflicted with statistical regularities in the speech streams. Segmentation was neither facilitated nor inhibited in a “congruent-cues” condition where tonal carryover assimilation occurred only within the AL words in 27% of the repetitions and never across word boundaries. A null effect was again found for the congruent-cues condition of the second experiment, where all AL word repetitions carried tonal carryover assimilation. These findings show that tonal carryover assimilation is exploited to resolve segmentation problems when cues conflict. Its null effect in the congruent-cues conditions might be linked to cue redundancy and suggest that it is weighted low in the segmentation cue hierarchy.
Grain refinement has been applied to enhance the materials strength for miniaturization and lightweight design of nuclear equipment. It is critically important to investigate the low-cycle fatigue (LCF) properties of grain refined 316LN austenitic stainless steels for structural design and safety assessment. In the present work, a series of fine-grained (FG) 316LN steels were produced by thermo-mechanical processes. The LCF properties were studied under a fully reversed strain-controlled mode at room temperature. Results show that FG 316LN steels demonstrate good balance of high strength and high ductility. However, a slight loss of ductility in FG 316LN steel induces a significant deterioration of LCF life. The rapid energy dissipation in FG 316LN steels leads to the reduction of their LCF life. Dislocations develop rapidly in the first stage of cycles, which induces the initial cyclic hardening. The dislocations rearrange to form dislocations cell structure resulting in cyclic softening in the subsequent cyclic deformation. Strain-induced martensite transformation appears in FG 316LN stainless steels at high strain amplitude (Δε/2 = 0.8%), which leads to the secondary cyclic hardening. Moreover, a modified LCF life prediction model for grain refined metals predicts the LCF life of FG 316LN steels well.
Bituminous limestone of the Ediacaran Shibantan Member of the Dengying Formation (551–539 Ma) in the Yangtze Gorges area contains a rare carbonate-hosted Ediacara-type macrofossil assemblage. This assemblage is dominated by the tubular fossil Wutubus Chen et al., 2014 and discoidal fossils, e.g., Hiemalora Fedonkin, 1982 and Aspidella Billings, 1872, but frondose organisms such as Charnia Ford, 1958, Rangea Gürich, 1929, and Arborea Glaessner and Wade, 1966 are also present. Herein, we report four species of Arborea from the Shibantan assemblage, including the type species Arborea arborea (Glaessner in Glaessner and Daily, 1959) Glaessner and Wade, 1966, Arborea denticulata new species, and two unnamed species, Arborea sp. A and Arborea sp. B. Arborea arborea is the most abundant frond in the Shibantan assemblage. Arborea denticulata n. sp. resembles Arborea arborea in general morphology but differs in its fewer primary branches and lower length/width ratio of primary branches. Arborea sp. A and Arborea sp. B are fronds with a Hiemalora-type basal attachment. Sealing by microbial mats and authigenic cementation may have played an important role in the preservation of Arborea in the Shibantan assemblage. The Shibantan material of Arborea extends the stratigraphic, ecological, and taphonomic ranges of this genus.
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.
In this paper, CNTs reinforced foam aluminum matrix composites with small pore diameter were prepared by powder metallurgy method. When the mass fraction of CNTs was 0.75%, the tensile strength, flexural strength and compressive yield strength of the materials were 3.4 times, 2.4 times and 2.4 times of pure foam aluminum, respectively, reaching the maximum value, which obviously improved the mechanical properties of aluminum foam. The tensile property model of foam aluminum matrix composites was built to predict the properties of the composites, and the effects of defects and reinforcement on the mechanical properties of the composites were compared. The results show that the tensile fitting is consistent with the measured results when the mass fraction of CNTs is less than 0.75%, but the weakening effect of defects on the strength of aluminum foam is much greater than the enhancement of CNTs. With the increase of CNTs mass fraction, the damping loss factor of foam aluminum composites increases, dislocation damping and grain boundary damping play a role in advance, and the damping peak moves to the low temperature region.
On 8 February 2018, the New York State Board of Regents Chancellor and Commissioner, and the Board of Regents, who are together responsible for the general supervision of all educational activities in the state,1 filed a lawsuit against the State University of New York (SUNY) Charter Schools Committee and other SUNY committees for adopting a proposal in which charter schools would not need to hire certified teachers, but could grant certification to their own novice teachers (Clukey, 2018). Such a process, Chancellor Rosa and Commissioner Elia argued, would lower standards and ‘allow inexperienced and unqualified individuals to teach those children most in need – students of color, those who are economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities – in SUNY authorized charter schools’ (Prothero, 2017). A lawsuit, in which the Chancellor, Commissioner and the Regents challenged the charter schools, would have been unthinkable until recently, if for no other reason than the fact that the previous Chancellor, Merryl Tisch, was a strong supporter of charter schools; indeed, so strong that she now sits on the SUNY Charter School Committee (State University of New York, no date) that passed the proposal to have charter schools certify their own teachers.
To understand how New York's leading policymakers came to sue several committees, including the SUNY Charter Schools Committee, one needs to understand how parents, teachers and students have reasserted the right of the public to determine or at least have a strong say about education policy against those who wish to adopt neoliberal reforms of privatisation, accountability based on scores on standardised tests and managerial techniques that shift power away from teachers and parents towards philanthropists, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, hedge fund managers and investors (Hursh, 2015). The lawsuit reflects the increasing resistance from New York State parents, students, educators and community members to neoliberal reforms, including the privatisation of education, the Common Core State Standards and assessing students, teachers and schools via standardised tests.
Our focus in this chapter is explicitly on the two most influential opt-out groups in New York State, namely, New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) and Long Island Opt Out (LIOO).
l-Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial β-oxidation and has been used as a lipid-lowering feed additive in humans and farmed animals. d-Carnitine is an optical isomer of l-carnitine and dl-carnitine has been widely used in animal feeds. However, the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine are difficult to study because of the endogenous l-carnitine background. In the present study, we developed a low-carnitine Nile tilapia model by treating fish with a carnitine synthesis inhibitor, and used this model to investigate the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine in nutrient metabolism in fish. l- or d-carnitine (0·4 g/kg diet) was fed to the low-carnitine tilapia for 6 weeks. l-Carnitine feeding increased the acyl-carnitine concentration from 3522 to 10 822 ng/g and alleviated the lipid deposition from 15·89 to 11·97 % in the liver of low-carnitine tilapia. However, as compared with l-carnitine group, d-carnitine feeding reduced the acyl-carnitine concentration from 10 822 to 5482 ng/g, and increased lipid deposition from 11·97 to 20·21 % and the mRNA expression of the genes involved in β-oxidation and detoxification in the liver. d-Carnitine feeding also induced hepatic inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis. A metabolomic investigation further showed that d-carnitine feeding increased glycolysis, protein metabolism and activity of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, l-carnitine can be physiologically utilised in fish, whereas d-carnitine is metabolised as a xenobiotic and induces lipotoxicity. d-Carnitine-fed fish demonstrates increases in peroxisomal β-oxidation, glycolysis and amino acid degradation to maintain energy homeostasis. Therefore, d-carnitine is not recommended for use in farmed animals.
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is typically used for analysis of relatively flat surfaces with topographic features smaller than the height of the AFM tip. On flat surfaces, it is relatively easy to find the object of interest and deconvolute imaging artifacts resulting from the finite size of the AFM tip. In contrast, AFM imaging of three-dimensional objects much larger than the AFM tip height is rarely attempted although it could provide topographic information that is not readily available from two-dimensional imaging, such as scanning electron microscopy. In this paper, we report AFM measurements of a vertically-mounted razor blade, which is taller and sharper than the AFM tip. In this case, the AFM height data, except for the data collected around the cutting edge of the blade, reflect the shape of the AFM tip. The height data around the apex area are effectively the convolution of the AFM tip and the blade cutting edge. Based on computer simulations mimicking an AFM tip scanning across a round sample, a simple algorithm is proposed to deconvolute the AFM height data of an object taller and sharper than the AFM tip and estimate its effective curvature.
The Inner Mongolian Plateau lies along the northern limit reached by the East Asian summer monsoon. This geographic setting makes it especially sensitive to environmental change and an excellent site for understanding Quaternary East Asian monsoon variability. In this study we present new results of hydrogen isotopic compositions of fatty acids extracted from sediments, which were used to construct Holocene paleoprecipitation (or moisture) changes in Northern China. The hydrogen isotopic composition (D/H ratio) of n-acids in the sedimentary sequence of the Duoerji peat, Inner Mongolia, was determined with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Changes in the precipitation from middle Inner Mongolia are recorded by the D/H ratio of n-C20, n-C22, n-C24, n-C26, n-C28 acids (δD). From 10–9 ka, the relatively high δD values indicate reduced precipitation in the Early Holocene. Subsequently, increased precipitation is reflected by reduced δD values from 9–5.5 ka. After 5.5 ka, gradually increasing δD values record an overall decrease in precipitation. The precipitation trends established for the Duoerji sequence are consistent with other major paleoclimate proxies in the East Asian monsoon region, especially with a distinct Holocene optimum of increased monsoonal activity from 9–5.5 ka. The δD resulting paleo-precipitation record clearly shows that the Holocene climate in Northern China is basically controlled by the insolation changes.