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In this paper, we derive the optimal cyclical design of a target benefit (TB) pension plan that balances the sustainability and the benefit stability using the optimal control approach. The optimal design possesses a linear risk sharing structure with cyclical parameters. We observe that the optimal design should be pro-cyclical in the usual circumstances, but counter-cyclical when the pension plan is severely in deficit. We compare the TB plans with the defined benefit plans and conclude that a more aggressive investment strategy should be adopted for the TB plans. In the end, we provide a cautionary note on the optimal control approach in the study of the TB plans.
Body posture determination methods have many applications, including product design, ergonomic workplace design, human body simulation, virtual reality, and animation industry. Initiated in robotics, inverse kinematic (IK) method has been widely applied to proactive human body posture estimation. The analytic inverse kinematic (AIK) method is a convenient and time-saving type of IK methods. It is also indicated that, based on AIK methods, a specific body posture can be determined by the optimization of an arbitrary objective function. The objective of this paper is to predict the postures of human arms during reaching tasks. In this research, a human body model is established in MATLAB, where the middle rotation axis analytic kinematic method is accomplished, based on this model. The joint displacement function and joint discomfort function are selected to be initially applied in this AIK method. Results show that neither the joint displacement function nor the joint discomfort function predicts postures that are close enough to natural upper limb postures of human being, during reaching tasks. Therefore, a bi-criterion objective function is proposed by integrating the joint displacement function and joint discomfort function. The accuracy of the arm postures, predicted by the proposed objective function, is the most satisfactory, while the optimal value of the coefficient, in the proposed objective function, is determined by golden section search.
COVID-19 is erupting globally and Wuhan successfully controlled it within a month. Infections arose from infectious persons outside hospitals. After data revision, data-based and model-based analyses are implemented and the conclusions are as follows. The incubation period of most infected people may be 6-7 days. The number of infectious persons outside hospitals in Wuhan on Jan.20 is about 10000 and reached more than 20000 on the day of Lockdown, it exceeded 72000 on Feb.4. Both data-based and model-based analyses gave out the evolution of the reproduction number, which is over 2.5 in early January, then go down to 1.62 in late January and 1.20 in early February, a sudden drop to less than 0.5 due to the strict Stay-at-home management after Feb.11. Strategies of Stay-at-home, Safe-protective measures and Ark hospitals are the main contributions to control COVID-19 in Wuhan. Two inflection points of COVID-19 in Wuhan exactly correspond to Feb.5 and Feb.15, the two days when Ark hospitals were introduced and the complete implementation of Stay-at-home. Based on the expression of the reproduction number, group immunity also is discussed. It shows that only when the group immunization rate is over 75 percent can COVID-19 be under control, group immunity actually would be full infection and the total deaths will be 220,000 for a city as big as Wuhan. Sensitivity analysis suggests that 30 percent of people staying at home in combination with better behavior changes, such as social-distancing and frequent hand-washing, can effectively contain COVID-19. But only when this proportion is over 60 percent can the control effect and efficiency like Wuhan be obtained.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) possesses a strong capability to ameliorate high-fat diet (HFD)-induced nonalcoholic-fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in mice, but the underlying mechanism is still unknown. Our study aimed to clarify the involvement of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the beneficial effects of NAC on HFD-induced NAFLD. C57BL/6J mice were fed a normal-fat diet (10 % fat), a HFD (45 % fat), or a HFD plus NAC (2 g/L in the drinking water). After 14-week of intervention, NAC obviously rescued the deleterious alterations induced by HFD, including the changes in body and liver weights, hepatic triglycerides (TGs), plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT), plasma aspartate transaminase (AST), and liver histomorphology (H&E and Oil red O staining). Through whole-transcriptome sequencing, 52167 (50758 known and 1409 novel) hepatic lncRNAs were detected. Our cross-comparison data revealed the expression of 175 lncRNAs were significantly changed by HFD but reversed by NAC. Five of those lncRNAs, lncRNA-NONMMUT148902.1 (NO_902.1), lncRNA-XR_001781798.1 (XR_798.1), lncRNA-NONMMUT141720.1 (NO_720.1), lncRNA-XR_869907.1 (XR_907.1), and lncRNA-ENSMUST00000132181 (EN_181) were selected based on an absolute log2 fold change (FC) value of greater than 4, P-value < 0.01, and P-adjusted value < 0.01. Further qRT-PCR analysis showed that the levels of lncRNA-NO_902.1, lncRNA-XR_798.1, and lncRNA-EN_181 were dramatically decreased by HFD but restored by NAC, consistent with the RNA-sequencing. Finally, we constructed a ceRNA network containing lncRNA-EN_181, 3 miRNAs, and 13 mRNAs, which was associated with the NAC-ameliorated NAFLD. Overall, lncRNA-EN_181 might be a potential target in NAC-ameliorated NAFLD. This finding enhanced our understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying the beneficial role of NAC.
The fish-eye star sensor with a field of view (FOV) of 180° is an important piece of equipment for attitude determination, which improves the visibility of stars significantly. However, it also brings the star identification (star-ID) difficulties because of imprecise calibrations. Thus, a fish-eye star-ID algorithm supported by the integration of the precise point positioning/inertial navigation system (PPP/INS) is proposed. At first, a reference star map is generated in combination with the distortion model of the fish-eye camera based on the position and attitude information from the PPP/INS. Then the star points are extracted in a specific neighbourhood of the reference star points. Subsequently, the extracted star points are individually tested and identified according to angular distance error. Finally, the real-time precise attitude is determined based on the star-ID results. Experimental results show that, 270–310 stars can be identified in a fish-eye star map with an average time of 0.03 s if the initial attitude error is smaller than 1.5° and an attitude determination accuracy better than 10″ can be achieved by support from PPP/INS.
Neuromedin U (NMU) has a critical function on the regulation of food intake in mammals, while the information is little in teleost. To investigate the function of NMU on appetite regulation of Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii), this study firstly cloned nmu cDNA sequence that encoded 154 amino acids including NMU-25 peptide. Besides, the results showed that nmu mRNA was widely distributed in various tissues especially in the hypothalamus and telencephalon. The results of nutritional status (pre-feeding and post-feeding, fasting and re-feeding) experiments showed that nmu mRNA expression was significantly decreased at 1 and 3 h after feeding in different brain regions. Similarly, after feeding, the expression of nmu significantly decreased in peripheral tissues. Moreover, nmu expression in the hypothalamus was significantly increased after fasting 1 day, but decreased after fasting 17 days, which was significantly reversed after re-feeding. However, other brain regions like telencephalon and peripheral tissues like esophagus, intestinum valvula and liver have different change patterns. Further study showed that acute i.c.v. and i.p. injection of NMU and chronic i.p. injection of NMU significantly reduced the food intake in a dose dependent mode. In addition, the expressions of several critical appetite factors (nmu, aplein, cart, cck, ghrelin, npy, nucb2, pyy and ucn3) were significantly affected by acute NMU-25 administration in the hypothalamus, intestinum valvula and liver. These results indicate that NMU-25 has the anorexigenic function on food intake by affecting different appetite factors in Siberian sturgeon, which provides a foundation for further exploring the appetite regulation networks in fish.
Due to the lack of research between the inner layers in the structure of colonic mucous and the metabolism of fatty acid in the constipation model, we aim to determine the changes in the mucous phenotype of the colonic glycocalyx and the microbial community structure following treatment with Rhubarb extract in our research. The constipation and treatment models are generated using adult male C57BL/6N mice. We perform light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to detect a Muc2-rich inner mucus layer attached to mice colon under different conditions. In addition, 16S rDNA sequencing is performed to examine the intestinal flora. According to TEM images, we demonstrate that Rhubarb can promote mucin secretion and find direct evidence of dendritic structure-linked mucus structures with its assembly into a lamellar network in a pore size distribution in the isolated colon section. Moreover, the diversity of intestinal flora has noticeable changes in constipated mice. The present study characterizes a dendritic structure and persistent cross-links have significant changes accompanied by the alteration of intestinal flora in feces in models of constipation and pretreatment with Rhubarb extract.
A new system for preparing 14C samples was established for a compact accelerator mass spectrometer (GXNU-AMS) at Guangxi Normal University. This sample preparation system consists of three units: a vacuum maintenance unit, a CO2 purification unit, and a CO2 reduction unit, all of which were made of quartz glass. A series of radiocarbon (14C) preparation experiments were conducted to verify the reliability of the system. The recovery rate of graphite obtained was more than 80%. The carbon content in the commercial toner and wood sample was linearly fitted to the CO2 pressure in the measurement unit of the system. The results showed a good linear relationship, indicating that the reliability of the sample preparation system. AMS measurements were conducted on a batch of standard, wood, and dead graphite samples prepared using this system. The results showed that the beam current of 12C- for each sample was more than 40 μA, the carbon contamination introduced during the sample preparation process was ∼ 2 × 10–15, and that the new sample preparation system is compact, low-contamination, and efficient and meets the GXNU-AMS requirements for 14C samples.
Widely distributed Mid-Neoproterozoic mafic rocks of the Qilian – Qaidam – East Kunlun region record the tectonic evolution of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. This study presents whole-rock geochemistry, zircon U–Pb geochronology and Hf isotopes for the Xialanuoer gabbros of the central South Qilian Belt (SQB). Zircon laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) U–Pb dating indicates that the gabbros were emplaced at ca. 738 Ma, indicating they are contemporaneous with mafic magmatism elsewhere in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. The gabbros have low SiO2, Cr and Ni contents and Mg# values, are relatively enriched in light rare-earth elements (LREEs) and depleted in high-field-strength elements (HFSEs; e.g. Nb and Ta), have no positive Zr or Hf anomalies and have relatively high Nb/Ta but low Nb/La ratios. These data indicate that the Xialanuoer gabbros formed from calc-alkaline basaltic magmas that were originally generated by the partial melting of an enriched mantle of type-I (EMI-type) enriched region of the lithospheric mantle, underwent little to no crustal contamination prior to their emplacement, and have within-plate basalt geochemical affinities. Combining these data with the presence of widespread contemporaneous continental rift-related magmatism and sedimentation in the North Qilian, Central Qilian, South Qilian, Quanji, North Qaidam and East Kunlun regions suggests that the northeastern Tibetan Plateau underwent Mid-Neoproterozoic continental rifting, which also affected other Rodinian blocks (e.g. Tarim, South China, Australia, North America and Southern Africa).
Under global warming, many glaciers worldwide are receding. However, recent studies have suggested the extension of the Karakoram Anomaly, a region of anomalous glacier mass gain, into the western Kunlun and eastern Pamir mountains. However, the eastern limit of this anomaly in the Kunlun Mountains is unclear. This study, using changes in glacier area and surface elevation, estimates the eastern limit of the Kunlun-Pamir-Karakoram anomaly at ~85°E. Over the past 50 years, glaciers west of 85°E in the Kunlun Mountains decreased in area from 8401 to 7945 km2 at a rate of −0.12 ± 0.07% a−1, showed a reduction in the rate of retreat through time and have recently gained mass, with surface elevation changes of 0.15 ± 0.35 m a−1 over the period of 2000–2013. Glaciers east of 85°E have experienced greater rates of area change (−61 ± 12 km2 and −0.43 ± 0.13% a−1) over the past 50 years, accelerated area loss in recent years and elevation change rate of −0.51 ± 0.18 m a−1 between 2000 and 2013. These patterns of elevation and area change are consistent with regional increases in summer temperature in the eastern Kunlun Mountains and slight cooling in the western Kunlun Mountains.
This study evaluated the association between inflammatory diets as measured by the dietary inflammatory index (DII), and inflammation biomarkers, and the development of preeclampsia among the Chinese population. We followed the reporting guidelines of the STROBE statement for observational studies. A total of 466 preeclampsia cases aged over 18 years were recruited between March 2016 and June 2019, and 466 healthy controls were 1:1 ratio matched by age (± 3 years), week of gestation (± 1 week), and gestational diabetes mellitus. The energy-adjusted DII (E-DII) was computed based on dietary intake assessed using a 79-item semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Inflammatory biomarkers were analyzed by ELISA kits. The mean E-DII scores were -0.65 ± 1.58 for cases and -1.19 ± 1.47 for controls (P value <0.001). E-DII scores positively correlated with IFN-γ (rs = 0.194, P value = 0.001) and IL-4 (rs = 0.135, P value = 0.021). After multivariable adjustment, E-DII scores were positively related to preeclampsia risk (P trend <0.001). The highest tertile of E-DII was 2.18 times the lowest tertiles (95% CI = 1.52, 3.13). The odds of preeclampsia increased by 30% (95% CI= 18%, 43%, P value <0.001) for each E-DII score increase. The preeclampsia risk was positively associated with IL-2 (OR = 1.07, 95% CI = 1.03, 1.11), IL-4 (OR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.03, 1.54) and TGF-β (OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.06, 1.29). Therefore, proinflammatory diets, corresponding to higher IL-2, IL-4 and TGF-β levels, were associated with increased preeclampsia risk.
This study is performed to figure out how the presence of diabetes affects the infection, progression and prognosis of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and the effective therapy that can treat the diabetes-complicated patients with COVID-19. A multicentre study was performed in four hospitals. COVID-19 patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) or hyperglycaemia were compared with those without these conditions and matched by propensity score matching for their clinical progress and outcome. Totally, 2444 confirmed COVID-19 patients were recruited, from whom 336 had DM. Compared to 1344 non-DM patients with age and sex matched, DM-COVID-19 patients had significantly higher rates of intensive care unit entrance (12.43% vs. 6.58%, P = 0.014), kidney failure (9.20% vs. 4.05%, P = 0.027) and mortality (25.00% vs. 18.15%, P < 0.001). Age and sex-stratified comparison revealed increased susceptibility to COVID-19 only from females with DM. For either non-DM or DM group, hyperglycaemia was associated with adverse outcomes, featured by higher rates of severe pneumonia and mortality, in comparison with non-hyperglycaemia. This was accompanied by significantly altered laboratory indicators including lymphocyte and neutrophil percentage, C-reactive protein and urea nitrogen level, all with correlation coefficients >0.35. Both diabetes and hyperglycaemia were independently associated with adverse prognosis of COVID-19, with hazard ratios of 10.41 and 3.58, respectively.
The parasite Fasciola hepatica is an important zoonotic parasite. The development of an animal model of F. hepatica's life cycle is critical for studying the biological characteristics of the parasite in snails and mammals. Eggs of F. hepatica of bovine origin were cultured, and metacercariae were obtained after infection of Galba pervia snails. The life cycle system of F. hepatica was initiated in 2 different animals by orally infecting rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice with the metacercariae. The animals' survival after infection, parasite migration in the animals and pathological damage to the liver were observed. We discovered that rabbits died due to acute suppurative hepatitis 60–69 days after infection, and eggs were found in the feces on day 63 of infection. The liver of SD rats showed punctate lesions on day 3 of infection, and further changes occurred as the infection progressed. However, liver repair was observed at week 9. SD rats survived for more than a year after infection and continued the F. hepatica life cycle. The liver lesions in Kunming mice after infection were similar but more severe than those in SD rats. Death was observed on the 31st post-infection day. We discovered that while rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice can all be used as animal models of F. hepatica, SD rats are more suitable experimental animals in terms of tolerance and pathological response.
Many waterflooding oil fields, injecting water into an oil-bearing reservoir for pressure maintenance, are in their middle to late stages of development. To explore the geological conditions and improve oilfield recovery of the most important well group of the Hu 136 block, located on the border areas of three provinces (Henan, Shandong, and Hebei), Zhongyuan Oilfield, Sinopec, central China, a 14C cross-well tracer monitoring technology was developed and applied in monitoring the development status and recognize the heterogeneity of oil reservoirs. The tracer response in the production well was tracked, and the water drive speed, swept volume of the injection fluid were obtained. Finally, the reservoir heterogeneity characteristics, such as the dilution coefficient, porosity, permeability, and average pore-throat radius, were fitted according to the mathematical model of the heterogeneous multi-layer inter-well theory. The 14C-AMS technique developed in this work is expected to be a potential analytical method for evaluating underground reservoir characteristics and providing crucial scientific guidance for the mid to late oil field recovery process.
Flutter suppression is an important measure to improve fatigue life and enhance the performance of aircraft in modern aircraft design. In order to design more effective controllers for flutter suppression with high efficiency, an efficient reduced-order framework for active/passive hybrid flutter suppression is proposed. The traditional CFD-based ROMs have been successfully applied to active flutter suppression with high accuracy and efficiency. But, when a structure modification is made such as in aeroelastic tailoring and aeroelastic structural optimisation, the structural model should be updated, and the expensive, time-consuming CFD-based ROMs have to be reconstructed; such a process is impractical for passive flutter suppression. To overcome the realistic challenge, an efficient reduced-order framework for active/passive hybrid flutter suppression is proposed by extending an efficient aeroelastic CFD-based POD/ROM which we have developed. The proposed framework is demonstrated and evaluated using an improved AGARD 445.6 wing model. The results show that the proposed framework can accurately predict the aeroelastic response for active/passive hybrid flutter suppression with high efficiency. It provides a powerful tool for active/passive hybrid flutter suppression, and therefore, is ideally suited to design more effective controllers, and may have the potential to reduce the overall cost of aircraft design.
The extinct family Hylicellidae, as the ancestral group of modern cicadomorphans, had a wide distribution and a very high species-level biodiversity from the Triassic to Early Cretaceous. We herein report 11 new hylicellid specimens from the Jurassic Daohugou beds of Inner Mongolia, NE China, and execute geometric morphometric analysis (GMA) to elucidate their systematic position. Our GMA and subsequent morphometric statistics indicate that 10 of our new specimens can be compared to the holotype of Cycloscytina gobiensis, and one is new to science. Cycloscytina incompleta new species is erected based on this specimen, with the following discriminatory tegminal traits: C3 almost as long as and slightly narrower than C2, and the forking position of stem M distinctly migrates towards wing apex and much apicad of the stem CuA bifurcating. Additionally, Cycloscytina plachutai is herein transferred to the procercopid genus Procercopina, resulting in P. plachutai new combination. To date, just a few body structures of Hylicellidae have been revealed, and the new whole-bodied hylicellids reported herein provide some novel insights on the evolution of basal Clypeata. This study also emphasizes the use of morphometric analysis in the systematics of wing-bearing insects such as hylicellids.
Pneumatic muscle actuator (PMA) similar to biological muscle is a new type of pneumatic actuator. The flexible manipulator based on PMAs was constructed to simulate the actual movement of the human upper arm. Considering the model errors and external disturbances, the fuzzing sliding mode control based on the saturation function was proposed. Compared with other fuzzy control methods, fuzzy control and saturation function are used to adjust the robust terms to improve the tracking accuracy and reduce the high-frequency chattering.
The incidence of scarlet fever has increased dramatically in recent years in Chongqing, China, but there has no effective method to forecast it. This study aimed to develop a forecasting model of the incidence of scarlet fever using a seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model. Monthly scarlet fever data between 2011 and 2019 in Chongqing, China were retrieved from the Notifiable Infectious Disease Surveillance System. From 2011 to 2019, a total of 5073 scarlet fever cases were reported in Chongqing, the male-to-female ratio was 1.44:1, children aged 3–9 years old accounted for 81.86% of the cases, while 42.70 and 42.58% of the reported cases were students and kindergarten children, respectively. The data from 2011 to 2018 were used to fit a SARIMA model and data in 2019 were used to validate the model. The normalised Bayesian information criterion (BIC), the coefficient of determination (R2) and the root mean squared error (RMSE) were used to evaluate the goodness-of-fit of the fitted model. The optimal SARIMA model was identified as (3, 1, 3) (3, 1, 0)12. The RMSE and mean absolute per cent error (MAPE) were used to assess the accuracy of the model. The RMSE and MAPE of the predicted values were 19.40 and 0.25 respectively, indicating that the predicted values matched the observed values reasonably well. Taken together, the SARIMA model could be employed to forecast scarlet fever incidence trend, providing support for scarlet fever control and prevention.