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Explosive dispersal of granular media widely occurs in nature across various length scales, also enabling engineering applications ranging from commercial or military explosive systems to the loss prevention industry. However, the complex particle–flow coupling makes the explosive dispersal behaviour of particles difficult to control or even characterize. Here, we study the central explosion-driven dispersal of dense particle layers using the coarse-grained computational fluid dynamics–discrete element method and present a comprehensive investigation of both macroscale dispersal behaviours and particle-scale pattern formation. Employing three independent dimensionless parameters that characterize the efficiency, homogeneity and completeness of explosive dispersal, we categorize the dispersal behaviours into ideal, partial, retarded and failed modes, and propose the corresponding thresholds. As the mass ratio of granular materials to central pressurized gases (M/C) spans four orders of magnitude, the dispersal mode transitions from ideal to partial, then to retarded and finally to failed mode. The transitions of dispersal modes correspond to the particle–flow coupling regime crossovers, which change from decoupling to weak, medium and finally to strong coupling as the dispersal mode undergoes corresponding transitions. We proceed to develop continuum models accounting for the shock compaction and the ensuing pulsation of the particle ring that are capable of identifying the ideal dispersal mode from various dispersal systems. We also provide insights into the origins of diverse particle-scale patterns that are strongly correlated with macroscale dispersal modes and critical for the accurate prediction of dispersal modes.
The epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) has become a major concern in global TB control. This study aimed to investigate the patterns and trend of DR-TB epidemic between different time periods in Chongqing.
A total of 985 and 835 culture positive TB patients with drug susceptibility testing (DST) results admitted to the hospital in 2016 and 2019, respectively, were included. Chi-square testing was used to compare the prevalence and trends of DR-TB in 2016 and 2019.
The proportion of previously treated TB cases with culture positivity was 45.7% in 2019, significantly higher than that in 2016 (39.1%, P = 0.004). The overall rate of drug resistance in 2019 was 43.1%, higher than that in 2016 (40.2%). The rates of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and pre-extensively drug resistant TB (pre-XDR-TB) increased significantly from 2016 to 2019 among all TB cases (MDR: 25% vs 33.4%, P < 0.001 and pre-XDR: 7.1% vs 12.8%, P < 0.001, respectively) and previously treated TB cases (MDR: 46.5% vs 56%, P = 0.008 and pre-XDR: 13.2% vs 21.5%, P = 0.003, respectively).
Our findings indicated that the prevalence of DR-TB remains high in Chongqing. The trend of resistance to anti-TB drugs beccame worse between 2016 and 2019. Moreover, acquired MDR may play a major role in MDR-TB epidemic in Chongqing. Therefore, rapid diagnosis and effective treatment of TB patients will be important to reduce the burden of DR-TB in Chongqing.
The staining procedure is critical for investigating intra- and extra-cellular ultrastructure of microorganisms by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Here, we propose a new ultra-low lead staining (ULLS) technique for preparing the ultrathin sections for TEM analysis. Sections of Enterobacter sp. (bacteria), Aspergillus niger (filamentous fungi), Rhodotorula mucilaginosa (fungi), and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (microalgae) were tested. Compared with the sections prepared by the typical double-staining technique, ULLS-based sections showed evident advantages: (i) the staining process only required the addition of Pb(NO3)2; (ii) the Pb level during incubation was set as low as 1 mg/L, which had negligible toxicity to most microbial cells; (iii) the Pb cations were added during microbial culture, which avoided complicated sample preparation as in typical double staining. Taking C. reinhardtii as an example, the ULLS technique allowed fine investigation of microbial ultrastructure, e.g., starch granule, mitochondrion, Golgi apparatus, vacuole, and vesicle. Meanwhile, the physiological processes of the cells such as cell lysis and exocytosis were successfully captured, with relatively high contrast. This study hence shows a bright future on preparation of the high-quality ultrathin sections of microbial cells by the ULLS technique.
The present study evaluated whether fat mass assessment using the triceps skinfold (TSF) thickness provides additional prognostic value to the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) framework in patients with lung cancer (LC). We performed an observational cohort study including 2672 LC patients in China. Comprehensive demographic, disease and nutritional characteristics were collected. Malnutrition was retrospectively defined using the GLIM criteria, and optimal stratification was used to determine the best thresholds for the TSF. The associations of malnutrition and TSF categories with survival were estimated independently and jointly by calculating multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR). Malnutrition was identified in 808 (30·2 %) patients, and the best TSF thresholds were 9·5 mm in men and 12 mm in women. Accordingly, 496 (18·6 %) patients were identified as having a low TSF. Patients with concurrent malnutrition and a low TSF had a 54 % (HR = 1·54, 95 % CI = 1·25, 1·88) greater death hazard compared with well-nourished individuals, which was also greater compared with malnourished patients with a normal TSF (HR = 1·23, 95 % CI = 1·06, 1·43) or malnourished patients without TSF assessment (HR = 1·31, 95 % CI = 1·14, 1·50). These associations were concentrated among those patients with adequate muscle mass (as indicated by the calf circumference). Additional fat mass assessment using the TSF enhances the prognostic value of the GLIM criteria. Using the population-derived thresholds for the TSF may provide significant prognostic value when used in combination with the GLIM criteria to guide strategies to optimise the long-term outcomes in patients with LC.
This paper uses population synthesis to investigate the possible origin of isolated millisecond pulsars as born from the coalescence of a neutron star and a white dwarf. Results show that the galactic birth rate of isolated millisecond pulsars is likely to lie between 5.8×10−5 yr−1 and 2.0×10−4 yr−1, depending on critical variables, such as the stability of mass transfer via the Roche lobe and the value of kick velocity. In addition to this, this paper estimates that the solar mass of isolated millisecond pulsars can range from 1.5 and 2.0 Mʘ, making them more massive than other ‘normal’ pulsars. Finally, the majority of isolated millisecond pulsars in our simulations have spin periods ranging from several to 20 ms, which is consistent with previous observations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed an approach to ventilator-associated events (VAE) surveillance. Using these methods, this study was performed to investigate VAE incidences and to test whether VAEs are associated with poorer outcomes in China.
A 4-month, prospective multicenter surveillance study between April and July 2013.
Our study included 15 adult intensive care units (ICUs) of 15 hospitals in China.
Patients admitted to ICUs during the study period
Patients on mechanical ventilation (MV) were monitored for VAEs: ventilator-associated conditions (VACs), infection-related ventilator-associated complications (IVACs), and possible or probable ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Patients with and without VACs were compared with regard to duration of MV, ICU length of stay (LOS), overall hospital LOS, and mortality rate.
During the study period, 2,356 of the 5,256 patients admitted to ICUs received MV for 8,438 ventilator days. Of these patients, 636 were on MV >2 days. VACs were identified in 94 cases (4.0%; 11.1 cases per 1,000 ventilator days), including 31 patients with IVACs and 16 with possible VAP but none with probable VAP. Compared with patients without VACs, patients with VACs had longer ICU LOS (by 6.2 days), longer duration on MV (by 7.7 days), and higher hospital mortality rate (50.0% vs 27.3%). The mortality rate attributable to VACs was 11.7%. Compared with those with VACs alone, patients with IVACs had longer duration on MV and increased ICU LOS but no higher mortality rates.
In China, surveillance of VACs and IVACs is able to identify MV patients with poorer outcomes. However, surveillance of possible and probable VAP can be problematic.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1388–1395
For low-temperature firing of Pb0.94Sr0.06(Ni1/2W1/2)0.02(Mn1/3Nb2/3)0.07(Zr0.51Ti0.49)0.91O3 (PNW–PMN–PZT) system, BiFeO3 is selected as the sintering agent. In this study, the effects of BiFeO3 addition and sintering temperature on the microstructures and piezoelectric properties of the ceramics were investigated in detail. The ceramic with 10 mol% BiFeO3 sintered at 950 °C possesses optimal microstructure and piezoelectric properties. However, with the increase of sintering temperature the lower relative density, abnormal grain growth, and secondary phase accumulated at grain boundaries are observed, which deteriorates the piezoelectric properties. For the ceramics with different BiFeO3 addition sintered at 950 °C, the densification process and the grain growth are improved by suitable BiFeO3, while the morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) moving to the Ti-rich direction and the shrinkage of crystal cell occur. However, extra BiFeO3 inhabits the grain growth and introduces more cavities into the materials. Because of the microstructural changes that accompany the addition of BiFeO3 and the resulting decrease in sintering temperature, the maximum values of the piezoelectric properties are attained. By doping with 10 mol% BiFeO3, the sintering temperature of the PNW–PMN–PZT system can be lowered successfully from 1200 to 950 °C, while the excellent electric properties are kept.
In this study, we report an interesting phenomenon of “melt fracture” which was observed when a high viscosity film dewets from a film of lower viscosity. We propose that this phenomena is similar to the “melt fracture” or “shark skin” that is observed when extruding bulk polymer. We hypothesized that the “melt fracture” occurs as a result of shear which is imposed by the dewetting layer on the visco-elastic lower layer. The dewetting layer is adhered to the lower layer via entanglements across the polymer/polymer interface. When the other interface of the liquid film is adsorbed to an attractive substrate interface, a velocity gradient occurs in the film and therefore can result in the shear gradient. We proposed that if this shear rate exceeds the natural reptation time, melt fracture of thin film resulted. Screening the substrate interaction by first deposition a very thin layer of immiscible polymer such as poly (vinyl-pyridine) PVP reduced the degree of melt fracture. A DI 3000 Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) was used to quantify the depth and the dynamics of the melt facture process.
Thermal gelation and structure properties of high concentration triblock copolymer poly (ethylene oxide)99-poly(propylene oxide)69-poly(ethylene oxide)99 (Pluronic F127)-clay aqueous solutions were characterized by rheological measurements and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The sol-gel transition temperature, as well as the viscosity of the F127 solution was found to depend both on the concentration of polymer and clay filler. In all cases, Pluronic F127 gels are pseudoplastic, showing the shear-thinning behavior. Above the gel transition, the viscosity of the solutions increased with increasing the clay concentration. The corresponding macrostructure of the gels was studied by lyophilizing thick samples and scanning them with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). A well-ordered network of porosity was observed as a function of polymer concentration and orientation.
Previously, we reported that the viscosity of a polymer film can be measured in situ by observing the liquid-liquid dewetting of polymer bilayer films. In this study, we use the technique to investigate the effect of film thickness and surface interactions on the effective viscosity of polymer thin films. We found that the effective viscosity increases dramatically with decreasing the film thickness. We attribute this to the pinning of the polymer chains at the strongly interacting polymer/Silicon interface.
The dynamics of surface fluctuations in thin supported polystyrene films have been investigated using x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS) in reflection geometry. The results from the films thicker than four times of the radius of gyration (Rg) of polystyrene show the behavior of the capillary waves expected in viscous liquid. However, thinner films show a deviation indicating the need to account for viscoelasticity. Theoretical considerations with viscoelastic liquid model has been performed by introducing frequency dependent viscosity and compared with Fredrickson’s brush model (Macromolecules, 25, 2882 (1992)). The theory has been extended to the surface and interfacial modes in a bilayer film system. The results will be discussed in terms of surface tension, viscosity, and shear modulus.
Within the tumor suppressor protein INK4 (inhibitor
of cyclin-dependent kinase 4) family, p15INK4B
is the smallest and the only one whose structure has not
been determined previously, probably due to the protein's
conformational flexibility and instability. In this work,
multidimensional NMR studies were performed on this protein.
The first tertiary structure was built by comparative modeling
with p16INK4A as the template, followed by restrained
energy minimization with NMR constraints (NOE and H-bonds).
For this purpose, the solution structure of p16INK4A,
whose quality was also limited by similar problems, was
refined with additional NMR experiments conducted on an
800 MHz spectrometer and by structure-based iterative NOE
assignments. The nonhelical regions showed major improvement
with root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) improved from 1.23
to 0.68 Å for backbone heavy atoms. The completion
of p15INK4B coupled with refinement of p16INK4A
made it possible to compare the structures of the four
INK4 members in depth, and to compare the structures of
p16INK4A in the free form and in the p16INK4A-CDK6
complex. This is an important step toward a comprehensive
understanding of the precise functional roles of each INK4
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