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Multi-legged robots with rigid-flexible coupling grippers have appealing applications to asteroid exploration with the microgravity. However, these robots usually have significantly complicated structures, which leads to a great challenge for the kinematic design.This paper proposes the kinematic design method for a novel multi-legged robot with the microspine gripper. First, the structure of the multi-legged asteroid exploration robot and the microspine gripper are demonstrated. Second, four performance evaluation indices, which are used to evaluate the stiffness, velocity, motion / force transfer efficiency and gripper attachment efficiency of the robot, are derived from the kinematic model. Non-dimensional design spaces of parameters to be optimized are drawn, and performance atlases are presented in design spaces. Third, the stiffness model of the microspine is derived. In addition, the constraint condition of the restoring spring is established, and the stiffness of restoring springs are optimized using the genetic algorithm. Several experiments are conducted to verify the stiffness model of the microspine. Finally, the prototype is developed and the experimental results validates the kinematic design method.
Resistant starch (RS) has received increased attention due to its potential health benefits. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of dietary corn RS on immunological characteristics of broilers. A total of 320 broiler chicks were randomly allocated to five dietary treatments: normal corn–soyabean (NC) diet group, corn starch diet group, 4 %, 8 % and 12 % RS diet groups. This trial lasted for 42 d. The relative weights of spleen, thymus and bursa, the concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) and IL-4 in plasma at 21 d of age, as well as the activities of total nitric oxide synthase (TNOS) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in plasma at 21 and 42 d of age showed positive linear responses (P < 0·05) to the increasing dietary RS level. Meanwhile, compared with the birds from the NC group at 21 d of age, birds fed 4 % RS, 8 % RS and 12 % RS diets exhibited higher (P < 0·05) relative weight of bursa and concentrations of NO and interferon-γ in plasma. Birds fed 4 % RS and 8 % RS diets showed higher (P < 0·05) number of IgA-producing cells in the jejunum. While compared with birds from the NC group at 42 d of age, birds fed 12 % RS diet showed higher (P < 0·05) relative weight of spleen and activities of TNOS and iNOS in plasma. These findings suggested that dietary corn RS supplementation can improve immune function in broilers.
Microtubule-severing protein (MTSP) is critical for the survival of both mitotic and postmitotic cells. However, the study of MTSP during meiosis of mammalian oocytes has not been reported. We found that spastin, a member of the MTSP family, was highly expressed in oocytes and aggregated in spindle microtubules. After knocking down spastin by specific siRNA, the spindle microtubule density of meiotic oocytes decreased significantly. When the oocytes were cultured in vitro, the oocytes lacking spastin showed an obvious maturation disorder. Considering the microtubule-severing activity of spastin, we speculate that spastin on spindles may increase the number of microtubule broken ends by severing the microtubules, therefore playing a nucleating role, promoting spindle assembly and ensuring normal meiosis. In addition, we found the colocalization and interaction of collapsin response mediator protein 5 (CRMP5) and spastin in oocytes. CRMP5 can provide structural support and promote microtubule aggregation, creating transportation routes, and can interact with spastin in the microtubule activity of nerve cells (30). Knocking down CRMP5 may lead to spindle abnormalities and developmental disorders in oocytes. Overexpression of spastin may reverse the abnormal phenotype caused by the deletion of CRMP5. In summary, our data support a model in which the interaction between spastin and CRMP5 promotes the assembly of spindle microtubules in oocytes by controlling microtubule dynamics, therefore ensuring normal meiosis.
Since December 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been discovered in Wuhan and spread rapidly across China and worldwide. Characteristics of infected patients are needed to get insight into the full spectrum of the disease.
Epidemiological and clinical information of 1738 diagnosed patients during February 7-26, 2020 in Wuhan Dongxihu Fangcang Hospital were analyzed. A total of 709 patients were followed up on symptom, mental health, isolation site, and medication after discharge.
There were 852 males and 886 females in the cohort. The average age of the patients was 48.8 y. A total of 79.98% of the patients were from Wuhan, Hubei Province. The most common initial symptoms were fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Among all the patients, 1463 had complications, with respiratory distress as the most common complication. The average duration of hospitalization was 15.95 ± 14.69 d. The most common postdischarge symptom is cough. After discharge, most patients were full of energy and chose hotel as their self-isolation site. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Chinese medicine No.2 prescription is the medication used most commonly by the patients after discharge.
The population is generally susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. After receiving aggressive treatment of combined Chinese and Western medicine, most patients had a good prognosis and mental health after discharge.
The Dayao Paleolithic site, located in Inner Mongolia on the eastern margin of China's vast northwestern drylands, was a lithic quarry-workshop utilized by Pleistocene human migrants through the region. Determining the age of this activity has previously yielded controversial results. Our magnetostratigraphic and OSL dating results suggest the two artifact-bearing paleosols are correlated with MIS 5 and 7, respectively. Correlating paleoclimatic data with marine δ18O records leads us to conclude that two sandy gravel layers containing many artifacts in the lower part of the Dayao sequence were formed during MIS 9 and 11, if not earlier. Our results reveal that the earliest human occupation at the Dayao site occurred before ca. 400 ka during a relatively warm and moist interglacial period, similar to several subsequent occupations, documenting the earliest and northernmost archaeological assemblage yet reported in China's arid northwest. We conclude that the northward and southward displacements of the East Asian summer monsoon rain belt during past interglacial-glacial cycles were responsible for the discontinuous human occupation detected at the Dayao site. The penetration of this precipitation regime into dryland ecologies via the Huanghe (Yellow River) Valley effectively created a corridor for hominin migration into China's arid northwest.
More than 50% patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have severe functional impairment. The restoration of patient functioning is a critical therapeutic goal among patients with MDD. We conducted a systematic review and network meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of pharmacological treatments on self-rated functional outcomes using the Sheehan Disability Scale in adults with MDD in randomized clinical trials.
PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, and ClinicalTrials.gov were searched from inception to December 10, 2019. Summary statistics are reported as weighted mean differences with 95% confidence intervals. Interventions were ranked using the surface under the cumulative ranking probabilities.
We included 42 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (n = 18 998) evaluating the efficacy of 13 different pharmacological treatments on functional outcomes, as measured by the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS). Duloxetine was the most effective pharmacological agent on functional outcomes, followed by (ranked by efficacy): paroxetine, levomilnacipran, venlafaxine, quetiapine, desvenlafaxine, agomelatine, escitalopram, amitriptyline, bupropion, sertraline, vortioxetine, and fluoxetine. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors were more effective than other drug classes. Additionally, the comparison-adjusted funnel plot suggested the publication bias between small and large studies was relatively low.
Our results indicate that there may be differences across antidepressant agents and classes with respect to self-reported functional outcomes. Validation and replication of these findings in large-scale RCTs are warranted. Our research results will be clinically useful for guiding psychiatrists in treating patients with MDD and functional impairment. PROSPERO registration number CRD42018116663.
A multidisciplinary fieldwork and research project was recently begun at the Yangshang site (220–140 ka), a late Early Paleolithic locale in the western Chinese Loess Plateau. 1696 lithic artifacts and 337 faunal remains were recovered during the excavation. Sedimentological and paleoenvironmental investigations indicate the site preserves a relatively long and minimally disturbed archaeological sequence associated with paleoenvironmental changes during MIS 7–6. A detailed techno-typological analysis of Yangshang's lithic assemblages was undertaken to examine the influence of glacial cycles on late Middle Pleistocene hominin technological strategies in the western Chinese Loess Plateau. The results show that while the Yangshang site is dominated by quartz-based core/flake assemblages typical of most Early Paleolithic sites in North China, the lithic assemblages provide evidence that different provisioning systems existed during the penultimate glaciation. We argue that these shifts reflect changes in land use and mobility that were tied to climate change. Our results suggest that theoretically informed statistical analyses of so-called unchanging and crude lithic technology can yield meaningful evidence for behavioral shifts.
We present a theoretical study of mode evolution in high-power distributed side-coupled cladding-pumped (DSCCP) fiber amplifiers. A semi-analytical model taking the side-pumping schemes, transverse mode competition, and stimulated thermal Rayleigh scattering into consideration has been built, which can model the static and dynamic mode evolution in high-power DSCCP fiber amplifiers. The mode evolution behavior has been investigated with variation of the fiber amplifier parameters, such as the pump power distribution, the length of the DSCCP fiber, the averaged coupling coefficient, the number of the pump cores and the arrangement of the pump cores. Interestingly, it revealed that static mode evolution induced by transverse mode competition is different from the dynamic evolution induced by stimulated thermal Rayleigh scattering. This shows that the high-order mode experiences a slightly higher gain in DSCCP fiber amplifiers, but the mode instability thresholds for DSCCP fiber amplifiers are higher than those for their end-coupled counterparts. By increasing the pump core number and reducing the averaged coupling coefficient, the mode instability threshold can be increased, which indicates that DSCCP fibers can provide additional mitigation strategies of dynamic mode instability.
This study aimed to explore the impacts of COVID-19 outbreak on mental health status in general population in different affected areas in China.
This was a comparative study including two groups of participants: (1) general population in an online survey in Ya'an and Jingzhou cities during the COVID-19 outbreak from 10–20 February 2020; and (2) matching general population selected from the mental health survey in Ya'an in 2019 (from January to May 2019). General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) were used.
There were 1775 participants (Ya'an in 2019 and 2020: 537 respectively; Jingzhou in 2020: 701). Participants in Ya'an had a significantly higher rate of general health problems (GHQ scores ⩾3) in 2020 (14.7%) than in 2019 (5.2%) (p < 0.001). Compared with Ya'an (8.0%), participants in Jingzhou in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of anxiety (SAS scores ⩾50, 24.1%) (p < 0.001). Participants in Ya'an in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of depression (SDS scores ⩾53, 55.3%) than in Jingzhou (16.3%) (p < 0.001). The risk factors of anxiety symptoms included female, number of family members (⩾6 persons), and frequent outdoor activities. The risk factors of depression symptoms included participants in Ya'an and uptake self-protective measures.
The prevalence of psychological symptoms has increased sharply in general population during the COVID-19 outbreak. People in COVID-19 severely affected areas may have higher scores of GHQ and anxiety symptoms. Culture-specific and individual-based psychosocial interventions should be developed for those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The disease burden of infectious diarrhea cannot be underestimated. Its seasonal patterns indicate that weather patterns may play an important role and have an important effect on it. The objective of this study was to clarify the relationship between temperature and infectious diarrhea, and diarrhea-like illness.
Distributed lag non-linear model, which was based on the definition of a cross-basis, was used to examine the effect.
Viral diarrhea usually had high incidence in autumn-winter and spring with a peak at -6°C; Norovirus circulated throughout the year with an insignificant peak at 8°C, while related bacteria usually tested positive in summer and peaked at 22°C. The lag-response curve of the proportion of diarrhea-like cases in outpatient and emergency cases revealed that at -6°C, with the lag days increasing, the proportion increased. Similar phenomena were observed at the beginning of the curves of virus and bacterial positive rate, showing that the risk increased as the lag days increased, peaking on days 16 and 9, respectively. The shape of lag-response curve of norovirus positive rate was different from others, presenting m-type, with 2 peaks on day 3 and day 18.
Weather patterns should be taken into account when developing surveillance programs and formulating relevant public health intervention strategies.
The FNDC5 gene encodes the fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 that is a membrane protein mainly expressed in skeletal muscle, and the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism may be associated with liver disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the influence of the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the relationship between sarcopenia and the histological severity of NAFLD. A total of 370 adult individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD were studied. The association between the key exposure sarcopenia and the outcome liver histological severity was investigated by binary logistic regression. Stratified analyses were undertaken to examine the impact of FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the association between sarcopenia and the severity of NAFLD histology. Patients with sarcopenia had more severe histological grades of steatosis and a higher prevalence of significant fibrosis and definite non-alcoholic steatohepatitis than those without sarcopenia. There was a significant association between sarcopenia and significant fibrosis (adjusted OR 2·79, 95 % CI 1·31, 5·95, P = 0·008), independent of established risk factors and potential confounders. Among patients with sarcopenia, significant fibrosis occurred more frequently in the rs3480 AA genotype carriers than in those carrying the FNDC5 rs3480 G genotype (43·8 v. 17·2 %, P = 0·031). In the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis, there was a significant interaction between the FNDC5 genotype and sarcopenia status (P value for interaction = 0·006). Sarcopenia is independently associated with significant liver fibrosis, and the FNDC5 rs3480 G variant influences the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
The docking simulators are significant ground test equipment for aerospace projects. The fidelity of docking simulation highly depends on the accuracy performance. This paper investigates the kinematic accuracy for the developed docking simulator. A novel kinematic calibration method which can reduce the number of parameters for error modeling is presented. The principle of parameters separation is studied. A simplified error model is derived based on Taylor series. This method can contribute to the simplification of the error model, fewer measurements, and easier convergence during the parameters identification. The calibration experiment validates this method for further accuracy enhancement.
To determine which set of BMI cut-offs is the most appropriate to define child and adolescent obesity in urban China.
A cross-sectional study was carried out between 1 November and 31 December in 2017.
Community Healthcare Center in Minhang District, Shanghai, China.
A total of 12 426 children and adolescents aged 7–17 years were selected by cluster random sampling. Bioelectrical impedance analysis was the gold standard to measure body composition.
Comparisons of three sets of BMI cut-offs by sensitivity and κ value revealed that the Working Group on Obesity in China (WGOC) (sensitivity 39·9–84·0 %; κ 0·51–0·79) and WHO (sensitivity 25·5–74·5 %; κ 0·35–0·78) cut-offs were not superior to the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) (sensitivity 47·9–92·4 %; κ 0·58–0·85) cut-offs across all subgroups. The WGOC and WHO cut-offs yielded higher misclassification rates, in the worst case, categorising 11·2 % of girls with high adiposity as normal and 44·4 % of them as overweight, while the IOTF cut-offs categorised 2·3 % as normal and 30·7 % as overweight. Individuals who were classified by the IOTF cut-offs as overweight had the lowest ratios of high adiposity (4·2–41·6 %) than by the BMI cut-offs for each subgroup. Among pubertal girls, none of the BMI-based cut-offs indicated excellent agreement with body fat percentage, and κ value of the WHO cut-offs (0·35 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·41)) was lower than the other two sets of BMI cut-offs (all P < 0·001).
The IOTF cut-offs for Asian should be recommended for child obesity screening in urban China. Pubertal individuals need a more accurate indicator of obesity screening.
Since the first report of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, the outbreak of the disease has been continuously evolving. Until March 17, 2020, 185, 178 cases had been confirmed, including 81,134 cases in China and 104,044 cases outside of China. In this comment, we report the unexpected beneficial effect of a deployable rapid-assembly shelter hospital on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. We describe the shelter hospital maintenance, treatment mode and primary treatment methods, which will provide a valuable experience in dealing with public health emergencies, such as COVID-19, for other countries and areas.
As an emerging infectious disease, COVID-19 has involved many countries and regions. With the further development of the epidemic, the proportion of clusters has increased.
In our study, we collected information on COVID-19 clusters in Qingdao City. The epidemiological characteristics and clinical manifestations were analyzed.
Eleven clusters of COVID-19 were reported in Qingdao City between January 29, and February 23, 2020, involving 44 confirmed cases, which accounted for 73.33% of all confirmed cases. From January 19 to February 2, 2020, the cases mainly concentrated in the district that had many designated hospitals. Patients aged 20-59 y old accounted for the largest proportion (68.18%) of cases; the male-to-female sex ratio was 0.52:1. Three cases were infected from exposure to confirmed cases. The average incubation period was 6.28 d. The median number of cases per cluster was 4, and the median duration time was 6 d. The median cumulative number of exposed persons was 53.
More attention should be paid to the epidemic of clusters in prevention and control of COVID-19. In addition to isolating patients, it is essential to track, screen, and isolate those who have come in close contact with patients. Self-isolation is the key especially for healthy people in the epidemic area.
This study aimed to examine the efficacy of combining paroxetine and mirtazapine v. switching to mirtazapine, for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have had an insufficient response to SSRI monotherapy (paroxetine) after the first 2 weeks of treatment.
This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, three-arm study recruited participants from five hospitals in China. Eligible participants were aged 18–60 years with MDD of at least moderate severity. Participants received paroxetine during a 2-week open-label phase and patients who had not achieved early improvement were randomized to paroxetine, mirtazapine or paroxetine combined with mirtazapine for 6 weeks. The primary outcome was improvement on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression 17-item (HAMD-17) scores 6 weeks after randomization.
A total of 204 patients who showed early non-response to paroxetine monotherapy were randomly assigned to receive either mirtazapine and placebo (n = 68), paroxetine and placebo (n = 68) or mirtazapine and paroxetine (n = 68), with 164 patients completing the outcome assessment. At week 8, the least squares (LS) mean change of HAMD-17 scores did not significantly differ among the three groups, (12.98 points) in the mirtazapine group, (12.50 points) in the paroxetine group and (13.27 points) in the mirtazapine plus paroxetine combination group. Participants in the paroxetine monotherapy group were least likely to experience adverse effects.
After 8 weeks follow-up, paroxetine monotherapy, mirtazapine monotherapy and paroxetine/mirtazapine combination therapy were equally effective in non-improvers at 2 weeks. The results of this trial do not support a recommendation to routinely offer additional treatment or a switch in treatment strategies for MDD patients who do not show early improvement after 2 weeks of antidepressant treatment.
Repetitive sequence elements in proteins and nucleic acids are often signatures of adaptive or reprogrammable systems in nature. Known examples of these systems, such as transcriptional activator-like effectors (TALE) and CRISPR, have been harnessed as powerful molecular tools with a wide range of applications including genome editing. The continued expansion of genomic sequence databases raises the possibility of prospectively identifying new such systems by computational mining. By leveraging sequence repeats as an organizing principle, here we develop a systematic genome mining approach to explore new types of naturally adaptive systems, five of which are discussed in greater detail. These results highlight the existence of a diverse range of intriguing systems in nature that remain to be explored and also provide a framework for future discovery efforts.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was frequent in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients in Yunnan province. We studied the epidemic characteristics of HCV in HIV/HCV co-infected patients. Serum from 894 HIV-1 patients was collected, together with basic information and biochemical features. All samples were infected with HIV through injecting drug users (IDUs) and sexual transmission (ST). The NS5B gene was amplified and sequenced to affirm HCV genotype. In total, 202 HIV patients were co-infected with HCV, and most (81.19%) of co-infected patients were IDUs. Genotype 3b was predominant (37.62%) in these samples, and its frequency was similar in patients with IDU and ST. The frequencies of genotypes 1a, 1b, 3a, 6a, 6n, 2a and 6u were 3.96%, 16.34%, 23.76%, 6.93%, 10.40%, 0.50% and 0.50%, respectively. However, genotype 3a showed significantly different frequency in HCV patients with IDU and ST (P = 0.019). When HCV patients were divided into subgroups, the haemoglobin (HGB) level was significantly higher in patients with genotype 3a than in patients with 3b (P = 0.033), 6a (P = 0.006) and 6n (P = 0.007), respectively. Although no difference existed among HCV subgroups, HIV-viral load was identified to be positively correlated with the HGB level and CD4+ cells when dividing HCV/HIV co-infected persons into male and female groups. In conclusion, genotype 3b was the predominant HCV genotype in Yunnan HIV/HCV co-infected persons. The HGB level was higher in patients with genotype 3a than others. HIV-viral load was positively correlated with the HGB level and CD4+ cells in the male or female HCV-infected group.
Phase retrieval is necessary for propagation-based phase-contrast imaging (PB-PCI). Arhatari established a model for predicting the impact of the sample-to-detector distance and the system noise on the phase retrieval performance. We have extended Arhatari's model to account for the parameters of excessive source size, finite detector resolution, and geometrical magnification for more practical cases. However, there exist interaction effects among these parameters resulting in difficulty of predicting the phase retrieval performance. In this study, we found that optimizing the trade-off among these parameters for phase retrieval is consistent with the improvement of edge enhancement to noise ratio (EE/N) in the “forward problem” of the PB-PCI. Hence, we engaged in establishing a relationship between EE/N and phase retrieval performance in terms of the “forward problem” and “inverse problem” of the PB-PCI, respectively. Our results showed that, at fixed detector resolution, phase retrieval from the phase-contrast projections at the same EE/N level resulted in the consistent phase retrieval performance. Therefore, the performance of phase retrieval can be predicted based on the EE/N level and be quantitatively optimized by increasing EE/N.
This study examines the relationship between filial piety (adult children's filial behaviours and attitudes as well as elderly mothers’ overall evaluation of children's filial piety) and elderly mothers’ reports of intergenerational ambivalence (positive feelings, negative feelings and combined ambivalence) in rural China. We analysed the data from a survey in 2016 covering 2,203 adult children and 802 elderly mothers in Sichuan Province using a two-level mixed-effects modelling analysis. The results indicate that most components of filial piety are associated with mothers’ ambivalence, in that less ambivalence was reported by mothers when their adult children provided more emotional support to, had less conflict with and were evaluated as more filial by their mothers. Interestingly, mothers demonstrated greater positive feelings when their children were more filial in behaviour and attitude, but they also reported greater negative feelings and ambivalence when their children were more obedient, implying that absolute obedience to elderly parents might no longer be accepted by people. These findings may provide further understanding about the correlation between the culture of filial piety and intergenerational relationships in rural China.