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Calcified cyanobacteria are of considerable research value for reconstructing the ecology of Paleozoic and Mesozoic benthic communities on carbonate platforms due to their ability to produce oxygen and fix nitrogen and CO2. The diversity and abundance of calcified cyanobacteria was initially suggested to have declined in the Middle and Late Ordovician, although more recent work suggests that complex and diverse assemblages persisted throughout the Ordovician. Here, calcified cyanobacteria and associated microfossil flora from the Middle and Late Ordovician of the Ordos Basin, North China Block, are systematically described for the first time based on 1330 thin sections from seven outcrop profiles and four drill cores. In total, there are 18 species belonging to 16 genera, including a new species, Proaulopora ordosia n. sp. Girvanella, Subtifloria, Acuasiphonoria, Xianella, and Oscillatoriaceae gen. indet. are assigned to Osillatoriales of cyanobacteria; Ortonella, Hedstroemia, Cayeuxia, Zonotrichites, Proaulopora, and Phacelophyton are assigned to Nostocales of cyanobacteria; and Garwoodia, Renalcis, Izhella, Rothpletzella, and Wetheredella are assigned to calcified Microproblematica. A literature survey of Ordovician microfloral assemblages shows that cyanobacteria and associated microfossils occur in reef, open platform, lagoon, and tidal facies. Most genera occur on at least two independent blocks, and many have a cosmopolitan distribution in similar sedimentary facies. Our research suggests that calcified cyanobacteria and associated microfossils formed complex ecosystems and played greater ecological roles on carbonate platforms during the late Middle and Late Ordovician than was previously thought.
Solid solution 0.94Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3–6BaTiO3 (NBT–6BT) is considered to be one kind of lead-free piezoelectric materials with excellent electrical properties due to the existence of morphotropic phase boundary (MPB). However, its relatively lower depolarization temperature is a long-standing bottleneck for the application of NBT-based piezoelectric ceramics. In this work, the influence of thermal quenching on depolarization temperature and electrical properties of rare-earth Ho-doped NBT–6BT lead-free ceramics was investigated. It was shown that the relative high piezoelectric performance, as well as an improvement of depolarization temperature (Td), can be realized by thermal quenching. The results showed that the quenching process induced high concentration of oxygen vacancy, giving rise to the change of octahedra mode and enhanced lattice distortion, which is benefit to the temperature stability of piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties. Furthermore, up-conversion photoluminescence (PL) of Ho-doped NBT–6BT could be effectively tuned by the introduction of oxygen vacancy, suggesting a promising potential in optical–electrical multifunctional devices.
The Wulian complex is located on the northern margin of the Sulu orogenic belt, and was formed by collision between the North China Craton (NCC) to the north and South China Craton (SCC) to the south. It consists of the metasedimentary Wulian Group, gneissic granite and meta-diorite. The U–Pb analyses for the detrital zircons from the Wulian Group exhibit one predominant age population of 2600–2400 Ma with a peak at c. 2.5 Ga and several secondary age populations of > 3000, 3000–2800, 2800–2600, 2200–2000, 1900–1800, 1500–1300 and 1250–950 Ma; some metamorphic zircons have metamorphic ages of c. 2.7, 2.55–2.45, 2.1–2.0 and 1.95–1.80 Ga, which are consistent with magmatic-metamorphic events in the SCC. Additionally, the Wulian Group was intruded by the gneissic granite and meta-diorite at c. 0.76 Ga, attributed to Neoproterozoic syn-rifting bimodal magmatic activity in the SCC and derived from partial melting of Archaean continental crust and depleted mantle, respectively. The Wulian Group therefore has tectonic affinity to the SCC and was mainly sourced from the SCC. The detrital zircons have positive and negative ϵHf(t) values, indicating that their source rocks were derived from reworking of both ancient and juvenile crustal rocks. The major early Precambrian crustal growth took place during c. 3.4–2.5 Ga with a dominant peak at 2.96 Ga and several secondary peaks at 3.27, 2.74 and 2.52 Ga. The two oldest zircons with ages of 3307 and 3347 Ma record the recycling of ancient continental crust (> 3.35 Ga) and crustal growth prior to c. 3.95 Ga in the SCC.
Electrospun membranes have potential applications in the field of waterproof and breathable textile products. However, challenges still exist to improve the breathability, and waterproof and mechanical properties of these microporous membranes. In this paper, a novel hydrophobic microporous nanofiber membrane was prepared via side-by-side electrospinning of fluorosilane-modified silica nanoparticles (F–SiO2) blended with synthesized polyurethane (PU) solution and composited with the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) solution. To prepare F–SiO2, SiO2 nanoparticles were hydrophobically modified by fluorosilane. Composite nanofiber membranes with different blending ratios of PU(F–SiO2)/PAN were fabricated via side-by-side electrospinning by controlling the extruding speed of two spinnerets. Experimental results indicated that regarding F–SiO2 as hydrophobic inorganic particle can improve the hydrophobic properties of PU nanofiber membrane. The prepared PAN/(F–SiO2/PU) nanofiber microporous membranes exhibit relatively excellent waterproof and mechanical properties as that robust tensile strength (19.5 MPa), preferable water vapor permeability [10.3 kg/(m2 d)], favorable water contact angle (137.2°), and superior mechanical properties. It was believed that the reinforced PAN/(F–SiO2/PU) nanofibrous composite membranes have potential applications in chemical protective clothing, army combat uniforms, self-cleaning materials, and other medical products.
There seems to be geographical differences in decisions about breast conserving surgery (BCS) in breast cancer patients. This study was to evaluate patients’ attitude to BCS and to assess the factors affecting cancer practice in West China.
A structured questionnaire was distributed to 184 patients, eliciting information about the patients’ characteristics, occupation, education, family life, recognition of illness, knowledge about BCS, the main means of gaining surgery information, selecting surgery approaches, preferences to breast reservation.
In all, 163 patients completed the questionnaire. The results indicated that only 7.4% of patients received BCS and 23% of the remaining patients desired to have BCS and the affecting factors were significantly associated with their family life, recognition of illness and the main means of gaining surgery information (P < 0.05). No associations were between BCS selecting and the other variables studied. The most frequent reasons for selecting BCS were keeping the female shape and improving quality of life (71%), the second most were postoperative recovery, minimal influence of physical function (47%) and patients’ knowledge about BCS (42%). The most frequent reasons for not selecting BCS were uncertainty about BCS results and worry about recurrence (81%), the second most was the elderly age unnecessary for BCS (40%).
The findings indicate that breast cancer patients in West China do not take BCS as the first choice as the best treatment method. It is warranted that further study of more patients, attitude of patients’ partners and physicians to BCS.
Autonomous ships are gaining in importance and are expected to shape the future of the global shipping industry. This evolutionary shift raises serious issues about compliance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs). This paper reviews the literature on autonomous ships from the perspective of the obligations of good seamanship imposed by COLREGs. The authors conclude that to facilitate the introduction of autonomous ships, the application barriers presented by COLREGs need to be analysed. With this goal, this paper presents a perspective from navigational practice. Four nautical scientists and two deck officers were invited to give their opinions. The analysis indicates that COLREGs require further elaboration and amendments to eliminate uncertainty of interpretation. In particular, the paper highlights the need to amend the ‘look-out’ rule (COLREGs Rule 5) to permit look-out by ‘computer vision’ alone while, at the same time, preserving the distinction between vessels navigating in restricted visibility and in sight of one another.
In this work, hierarchical mesoporous Zn–Ni–Co–S–rGO/NF microspheres have been prepared by hydrothermal, sulfurization, and subsequent calcination process. The effect of different sulfurization time on the morphology and capacitance of composites was tested. The high electrochemical performance of (Zn–Ni–Co–S–rGO/NF) composite was obtained when the sulfurization time was 3 h (Zn–Ni–Co–S–rGO/NF-3h), where a specific capacitance of 627.7 F/g at 0.25 A/g and excellent rate capability of about 97.8% capacitance retention at 2 A/g after 4000 cycles were achieved. Moreover, an asymmetric supercapacitor fabricated by (Zn–Ni–Co–S–rGO/NF-3h) composite and activated carbon (AC) as the positive and the negative electrodes, respectively, showed a high energy density of 75.96 W h/kg at a power density of 362.49 W/kg with a remarkable cycle stability performance of 91.2% capacitance retention over 5000 cycles. This incredible electrochemical behavior illustrates that the hierarchical mesoporous Zn–Ni–Co–S–rGO/N-3h microsphere electrodes are promising electrode materials for application in high-performance supercapacitors.
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.
Since 2010, Jankowski’s Bunting Emberiza jankowskii has been listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, because no comprehensive surveys had been conducted, it was not known whether undiscovered populations existed elsewhere, so the population status of the species could not be assessed accurately. The aim of this study was to assess the breeding distribution and population size of Jankowski’s Bunting in China. Fifty sites in Inner Mongolia, and Jilin, Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Hebei Provinces were surveyed to locate suitable habitat and breeding populations of Jankowski’s Bunting. The surveyed sites included historical breeding distribution areas, wintering sites, and regions adjacent to historical breeding distribution areas. We confirmed that Jankowski’s Bunting has disappeared from most of its former breeding distributions, with the exceptions of Dagang, Xiergen and Tumiji. Additionally, 13 new breeding sites were discovered in Inner Mongolia. All currently known populations breed in Mongolian steppe-vegetation zones, with shrubs dominated by the natural Siberian apricot Prunus sibirica, indicating that this type of habitat is crucial for the survival of the species. Based on remote sensing, the suitable breeding habitat for Jankowski’s Bunting is estimated to be approximately 280 km2. The population size of Jankowski’s Bunting could range between 9,800 and 12,500 individuals, which is much higher than the numbers estimated in previous reports that were based on partial surveys. The suitable habitat remaining in Inner Mongolia would highly benefit from the implementation of the National Key Public Forest Protection Project. The population size of Jankowski’s Bunting is larger than previously estimated, but it is still threatened by habitat degradation and fragmentation, and our survey results reinforce the need for more research. The status of Jankowski’s Bunting in China still meets the IUCN criteria B2ab for an ‘Endangered’ species.
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.
Facilitated by recent establishment of terrestrial networks and satellite constellations of Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers, ship trajectories are becoming increasingly available and the size of recorded trajectories is getting larger. Large sets of trajectories create problems of storing, transmitting and processing data. Using appropriate methods, an accurate representation of the original trajectories can be obtained by compressing redundant information, while maintaining the main characteristic elements. In this paper, a new scheme and the implementation of the Douglas-Peucker (DP) algorithm are presented, which can simplify AIS trajectories by extracting characteristic points. As for the simplification threshold, the solo parameter of the DP algorithm, a new AIS-based minimum ship domain evaluation method is proposed and acts as criteria for simplification threshold determination. Finally, a validation is made to examine the effectiveness of the DP simplification algorithm and the rationality of the simplification threshold. The result indicates that the DP algorithm can simplify AIS trajectories effectively; the simplification threshold is scientific and reasonable.
In recent decades, in silico absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion (ADME), and toxicity (T) modelling as a tool for rational drug design has received considerable attention from pharmaceutical scientists, and various ADME/T-related prediction models have been reported. The high-throughput and low-cost nature of these models permits a more streamlined drug development process in which the identification of hits or their structural optimization can be guided based on a parallel investigation of bioavailability and safety, along with activity. However, the effectiveness of these tools is highly dependent on their capacity to cope with needs at different stages, e.g. their use in candidate selection has been limited due to their lack of the required predictability. For some events or endpoints involving more complex mechanisms, the current in silico approaches still need further improvement. In this review, we will briefly introduce the development of in silico models for some physicochemical parameters, ADME properties and toxicity evaluation, with an emphasis on the modelling approaches thereof, their application in drug discovery, and the potential merits or deficiencies of these models. Finally, the outlook for future ADME/T modelling based on big data analysis and systems sciences will be discussed.
Charged particle diagnostics is one of the required techniques for implosion areal density diagnostics at the SG-III facility. Several proton spectrometers are under development, and some preliminary areal density diagnostics have been carried out. The response of the key detector, CR39, to charged particles was investigated in detail. A new track profile simulation code based on a semi-empirical model was developed. The energy response of the CR39 detector was calibrated with the accelerator protons and alphas from a 241Am source. A proton spectrometer based on the filtered CR39 detector was developed, and D–D primary proton measurements were implemented. A step range filter spectrometer was developed, and preliminary areal density diagnostics was carried out. A wedged range filter spectrometer array made of Si with a higher resolution was designed and developed at the SG-III facility. A particle response simulation code by the Monte Carlo method and a spectra unfolding code were developed. The capability was evaluated in detail by simulations.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) has been prevalent for some time in China and it was first identified in 2010. However, the seroprevalence of SFTSV in the general population in southeastern China and risk factors associated with the infection are currently unclear. Blood samples were collected from seven counties across Zhejiang province and tested for the presence of SFTSV-specific IgG antibodies by ELISA. A total of 1380 blood samples were collected of which 5·51% were seropositive for SFTSV with seroprevalence varying significantly between sites. Seroprevalence of SFTSV in people who were family members of the patient, lived in the same village as the patient, or lived in a different village than the patient varied significantly. There was significant difference in seroprevalence between participants who bred domestic animals and participants who did not. Domestic animals are probably potential reservoir hosts and contact with domestic animals may be a transmission route of SFTSV.
A model for predicting the austenite grain growth during a common heating process including continuous and isothermal heating processes in medium carbon alloy steel 42CrMo was developed. The isothermal austenite grain growth kinetics were studied with conditions involving soaking time and soaking temperature. The time exponent n in the model was obtained considering the influence of the initial grain size rather than simply utilizing Beck’s equation. The results showed that the value of the time exponent n is 3.55 ± 0.30 when the temperature is above 1000 °C, while the value is 8.33 when the temperature is below 1000 °C. When the temperature is below 1000 °C, the pinning effect of carbides contributes to the higher value of the time exponent. Based on the isothermal model and the rule of additivity, a model for predicting the grain growth occurring during continuous heating was proposed. A reasonable agreement between the calculations and experimental measurements of grain size was obtained. According to the model, the effect of the initial austenite grain size on the final austenite grain size during induction quenching was analyzed. The initial austenite grain size has a significant effect on the final austenite grain size. In order to obtain a refined quenched microstructure, it is necessary to refine the microstructure at room temperature.
A novel graphene-modified LiMnPO4 composite as a performance-improved cathode material for lithium-ion batteries has been prepared with LiH2PO4, Mn(CH3COO)2·4H2O, and graphite oxide (GO) suspension by spray-drying method. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and galvanostatic charge–discharge tests are applied to characterize these materials. The structure analysis shows that LiMnPO4 sheets with width of 100–200 nm and thickness of 20–30 nm are attached to the graphene sheets in pieces. The graphene sheets with good electrical conductivity serve as a conducting network for fast electron transfer between the active materials and charge collector, as well as buffered spaces to accommodate the volume expansion/contraction during the discharge/charge process. The electrochemical tests show that the composite cathode material could deliver a capacity of 105.1 mAh/g at 0.05 C in the voltage range of 2.5–4.4 V. Moreover, the cells showed fair good cycle ability over 50 cycles.
The porous Li1.2Ni0.13Co0.13Mn0.54O2 nanoplate is prepared by colloidal crystal template assembled by the poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) beads. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy results show that the nanoplates of porous solid solution cathodes are composed of nanoparticles with a size range of 30 nm, which interweave together forming an open porous structure. Electrochemical tests show that porous Li1.2Ni0.13Co0.13Mn0.54O2 cathode could deliver higher discharge capacity than that of bulk Li1.2Ni0.13Co0.13Mn0.54O2 cathode at all C-rates. The enhanced structural stability reflected by high ratios of integrated Intensity I(003)/I(104) and lattice parameters c/a, high specific surface area, a fast reaction and ionic diffusion kinetics of the nanoplates are considered attributable to the improved electrochemical properties.
The long-lived radioisotope 59Ni is of interest in various research fields including neutron dosimetry, radioactive waste management, and astrophysics. In order to achieve the sensitivity required for such applications, the technique of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 59Ni measurement has been developed at the AMS facility at China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). Based on the AE-Q3D detection system in the CIAE AMS facility, the interference in 59Ni counting from the isobar 59Co has been reduced by a factor of 8 × 106. A series of laboratory reference samples and a blank sample were measured to check the performance of 59Ni measurement. A detection sensitivity of about 5 × 10−13 (59Ni/Ni) has been obtained.
Drug research and development (R&D) is a comprehensive, expensive, and time-consuming enterprise, full of risk throughout the process . In general, the pipeline for drug discovery is composed of three major steps: drug target identification and validation, lead compound discovery and optimization, and preclinical research (Figure 20.1). In the last decades, a lot of new technologies have been developed and applied in drug R&D to shorten the research cycle and reduce the expenses. Among them, computational approaches have revolutionized the pipeline of the discovery and development . In the past forty years, computational technologies for drug R&D have been evolving very quickly, especially in recent decades with the unprecedented development of biology, biomedicine, and computer capabilities. In the postgenomic era, because of the dramatic increase of small molecule and biomacromolecule information, computational tools have been applied in almost every stage of drug R&D, greatly changing the strategy and pipeline for drug discovery . Computational approaches span almost all stages in the discovery and development pipeline, from target identification to lead discovery and from lead optimization to preclinical or clinical trials (Figure 20.1).
As shown in Figure 20.1, the target identification and validation are the first two key stages in the drug discovery pipeline. By 2000, only about 500 drug targets had been reported [3, 4]. The completion of human genome project and numerous pathogen genomes unveiled that there are thirty thousand to forty thousand genes and at least the same number of proteins, and many of these proteins are potential targets for drug discovery. However, it is still a challenging task to identify and validate those druggable targets from thousands of candidate macromolecules .