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Environmental public interest litigation (EPIL) by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emerged in China over the last decade amidst the growing focus on environmental issues and the increasing political need to bring greater public participation to the area. This article examines the current practice of EPIL by NGOs in order to understand the potential flaws and deficiencies of NGO participation in this relatively new field of environmental litigation. The article sets out by exploring EPIL as a legal pathway for the public to become involved in China's environmental governance. It then analyzes the legal provision of environmental litigation in China before critically examining several instances of EPIL initiated by NGOs between 2015 and 2019. The article finds that NGOs show weaknesses in their current EPIL practice, including in case selection and litigation risk assessment, but are willing to test and potentially expand the scope of EPIL into new areas of environmental protection such as noise pollution and renewable energy. It concludes that these weaknesses and strengths of NGO involvement in EPIL reflect the constantly evolving landscape of environmental governance and environmental litigation in China.
A 1178 J near diffraction limited 527 nm laser is realized in a complete closed-loop adaptive optics (AO) controlled off-axis multi-pass amplification laser system. Generated from a fiber laser and amplified by the pre-amplifier and the main amplifier, a 1053 nm laser beam with the energy of 1900 J is obtained and converted into a 527 nm laser beam by a KDP crystal with 62% conversion efficiency, 1178 J and beam quality of 7.93 times the diffraction limit (DL). By using a complete closed-loop AO configuration, the static and dynamic wavefront distortions of the laser system are measured and compensated. After correction, the diameter of the circle enclosing 80% energy is improved remarkably from 7.93DL to 1.29DL. The focal spot is highly concentrated and the 1178 J, 527 nm near diffraction limited laser is achieved.
Preferential flow that leads to non-uniform displacement, especially in heterogeneous porous media, is usually unwelcome in most practical processes. We propose a self-adaptive preferential flow control mechanism by using dispersed polymers, which is supported strongly by experimental and numerical evidence. Our experiments are performed on a microchip with heterogeneous porous structures where oil is displaced by dispersed polymer microsphere particles. Even though the size of the particles is much smaller than the pore-throat size, the diversion effect by the dispersed microspheres is still proved. Therefore, the plugging effect is not the major mechanism for preferential flow control by dispersed polymers. The mechanisms are further investigated by pore-scale modelling, which indicates that the dispersed polymers exhibit an adaption ability to pressure and resistance in the porous flow field. In such an intelligent way, the displacing fluid with dispersed polymers smartly controls the preferential flow by inducing pressure fluctuations, and demonstrates better performance in both efficiency and economic aspects than the traditional method by simply increasing the viscosity. These insights can be applied to improve techniques in the field, such as enhanced oil recovery and soil wetting.
Hubei province in China has had the most confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and has reported sustained transmission of the disease. Although Lu'an city is adjacent to Hubei province, its community transmission was blocked at the early stage, and the impact of the epidemic was limited. Therefore, we summarised the overall characteristics of the entire epidemic course in Lu'an to help cities with a few imported cases better contain the epidemic. A total of 69 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11 asymptomatic carriers were identified in Lu'an during the epidemic from 12 January to 21 February 2020. Fifty-two (65.0%) cases were male, and the median age was 40 years. On admission, 56.5% of cases had a fever as the initial symptom, and pneumonia was present in 89.9% of cases. The mean serial interval and the mean duration of hospitalisation were 6.5 days (95% CI: 4.8–8.2) and 18.2 days (95% CI: 16.8–19.5), respectively. A total of 16 clusters involving 60 cases (17 first-generation cases and 43 secondary cases) were reported during the epidemic. We observed that only 18.9% (7/37) index cases resulted in community transmission during the epidemic in Lu'an, indicating that the scale of the epidemic was limited to a low level in Lu'an city. An asymptomatic carrier caused the largest cluster, involving 13 cases. Spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic carriers represents an enormous challenge for countries responding to the pandemic.
We recently reported Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao in Tang et al., 2019, from the early Cambrian Hetang Formation in South China and interpreted it as a problematic animal fossil, possibly related to either sponges or bivalved arthropods (Tang et al., 2019). Slater and Budd (2019) contested our taxonomic identification and phylogenetic interpretation; instead, they claimed that Cambrowania ovata is a large acritarch referable to morphotaxon Leiosphaeridia Eisenack, 1958, and thus is not an animal. Here we refute their criticisms, clarify the differences between Cambrowania and Leiosphaeridia and other acritarchs, and reiterate why an animal affinity for Cambrowania cannot be ruled out.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), characterized by deficits in memory and cognition and by behavioral impairment, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that influences more than 47 million people worldwide. Currently, no available drug is able to stop AD progression. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies need to be investigated.
We analyzed the RNA sequencing data (RNA-seq) derived from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database to identify the differentially expressed mRNAs in AD. The AD mouse model Tg2576 was used to verify the effects of IGF-2. The Morris Water Maze was administered to test the role of IGF-2 in memory consolidation. In addition, we quantified cell apoptosis by the TUNEL assay. The levels of amyloid plaques and the levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42 in the hippocampus were also determined by immunohistochemistry and ELISA, respectively.
RNA-seq analysis revealed that IGF-2 was remarkably reduced in AD. The expression of the upstream genes PI3K and AKT and the downstream gene CREB in the PI3K signaling pathway was significantly increased in the hippocampus of Tg2576 mice cells treated with IGF-2. The Morris water maze test showed that IGF-2 improved memory consolidation in Tg2576 mice. The activity of caspase-3 was decreased in Tg2576 mice treated with IGF-2. Amyloid plaques in the hippocampus were reduced, and the levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42 were decreased. The above effects of IGF-2 on AD were blocked when the PI3K signaling pathway inhibitor wortmannin was added.
IGF-2 attenuates memory decline, oxidative stress, cell apoptosis and amyloid plaques in the AD mouse model Tg2576 by activating the PI3K/AKT/CREB signaling pathway.
The lower-middle Hetang Formation (Cambrian Stage 2–3) deposited in slope-basinal facies in South China is well known for its preservation of the earliest articulated sponge fossils, providing an important taphonomic window into the Cambrian Explosion. However, the Hetang Formation also hosts a number of problematic animal fossils that have not been systematically described. This omission results in an incomplete picture of the Hetang biota and limits its contribution to the understanding of the early evolution of animals. Here we describe a new animal taxon, Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, new genus new species, from the middle Hetang Formation in the Lantian area of southern Anhui Province, South China. Specimens are preserved as carbonaceous compressions, although some are secondarily mineralized. A comprehensive analysis using reflected light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and micro-CT reveals that the new species is characterized by a spheroidal to fusoidal truss-like structure consisting of rafter-like crossbars, some of which are secondarily baritized and may have been internally hollow. Some specimens have aperture-like structures that are broadly similar to oscula of sponges, whereas others show evidence of a medial split reminiscent of gaping carapaces. While the phylogenetic affinity of Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, n. gen. n. sp. remains problematic, we propose that it may represent carapaces of bivalved arthropods or more likely sponges in early life stages. Along with other problematic metazoan fossils such as hyolithids and sphenothallids, Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, n. gen. n. sp. adds to the diversity of the sponge-dominated Hetang biota in an early Cambrian deepwater slope-basinal environment.
We study the shape and motion of gas bubbles in a liquid flowing through a horizontal or slightly inclined thin annulus. Experimental data show that in the horizontal annulus, bubbles develop a unique ‘tadpole-like’ shape with a semi-circular cap and a highly stretched tail. As the annulus is inclined, the bubble tail tends to vanish, resulting in a significant decrease of bubble length. To model the bubble evolution, the thin annulus is conceptualised as a ‘Hele-Shaw’ cell in a curvilinear space. The three-dimensional flow within the cell is represented by a gap-averaged, two-dimensional model, which achieved a close match to the experimental data. The numerical model is further used to investigate the effects of gap thickness and pipe diameter on the bubble behaviour. The mechanism for the semi-circular cap formation is interpreted based on an analogous irrotational flow field around a circular cylinder, based on which a theoretical solution to the bubble velocity is derived. The bubble motion and cap geometry is mainly controlled by the gravitational component perpendicular to the flow direction. The bubble elongation in the horizontal annulus is caused by the buoyancy that moves the bubble to the top of the annulus. However, as the annulus is inclined, the gravitational component parallel to the flow direction becomes important, causing bubble separation at the tail and reduction in bubble length.
In this paper, we review the status of the multifunctional experimental platform at the National Laboratory of High Power Laser and Physics (NLHPLP). The platform, including the SG-II laser facility, SG-II 9th beam, SG-II upgrade (SG-II UP) facility, and SG-II 5 PW facility, is operational and available for interested scientists studying inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and a broad range of high-energy-density physics. These facilities can provide important experimental capabilities by combining different pulse widths of nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond scales. In addition, the SG-II UP facility, consisting of a single petawatt system and an eight-beam nanosecond system, is introduced including several laser technologies that have been developed to ensure the performance of the facility. Recent developments of the SG-II 5 PW facility are also presented.
The neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.
In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.
Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.
Four isonitrogenous and isoenergetic purified diets containing free arachidonic acid (ARA) or EPA (control group), 0·30 % ARA, 0·30 % EPA and 0·30 % ARA+EPA (equivalent) were designed to feed juvenile grass carp (10·21 (sd 0·10) g) for 10 weeks. Only the EPA group presented better growth performance compared with the control group (P<0·05). Dietary ARA and EPA were incorporated into polar lipids more than non-polar lipids in hepatopancreas but not intraperitoneal fat (IPF) tissue. Fish fed ARA and EPA showed an increase of serum superoxide dismutase and catalase activities, and decrease of glutathione peroxidase activity and malondialdehyde contents (P<0·05). The hepatopancreatic TAG levels decreased both in ARA and EPA groups (P<0·05), accompanied by the decrease of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity in the ARA group (P<0·05). Fatty acid synthase (FAS), diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase and apoE gene expression in the hepatopancreas decreased in fish fed ARA and EPA, but only the ARA group exhibited increased mRNA level of adipose TAG lipase (ATGL) (P<0·05). Decreased IPF index and adipocyte sizes were found in the ARA group (P<0·05). Meanwhile, the ARA group showed decreased expression levels of adipogenic genes CCAAT enhancer-binding protein α, LPL and FAS, and increased levels of the lipid catabolic genes PPARα, ATGL, hormone-sensitive lipase and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT-1) in IPF, whereas the EPA group only increased PPARα and CPT-1 mRNA expression and showed less levels than the ARA group. Overall, dietary EPA is beneficial to the growth performance, whereas ARA is more potent in inducing lipolysis and inhibiting adipogenesis, especially in IPF. Meanwhile, dietary ARA and EPA showed the similar preference in esterification and the improvement in antioxidant response.
Al–Zn–Mg–Cu–Zr alloys are very important aeronautical materials because of their low density, high strength, and high ductility. Corrosion failure is a significant factor causing aviation accidents, which should be investigated to develop an aeronautical material but has not been done yet. In this work, the effects of aging mechanisms on the exfoliation corrosion behavior of a spray deposited Al–Zn–Mg–Cu–Zr alloy were investigated. Natural aging (NA), single-stage aging (SA), and retrogression and re-aging (RRA) were treated on specimens before exfoliation corrosion testing. Corrosion attacks were evaluated using the optical microscope (OM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Corrosion mechanisms were deduced on the basis of polarization curve results and an equivalent circuit. The RRA sample exhibited the smallest corrosion attack among the three samples, while the NA sample showed the largest corrosion attack. Intergranular corrosion on grain boundaries was discussed to understand the exfoliation corrosion process in the RRA sample. The amount and size of precipitates in grain interior and grain boundary of RRA samples are larger than those in SA and NA samples, leading to the low corrosion susceptibility of the RRA sample.
Tungstate based phosphors have efficient absorption in the UV region and can be used for UV-pumped light emitting. For novel and effective materials and synthesis methods in this system, a series of Eu3+ and Tb3+ co-doped NaY(WO4)2 phosphors have been synthesized via the molten salt method. The powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) patterns, scanning electronic microscope (SEM), and photoluminescent spectra have been characterized for the prepared samples. The results show the flux (NaCl) not only decreases the reaction temperature (700–900 °C) than the normal solid state synthesis (∼1000 °C), but also controls the morphology of the products. The shape and size of products can be changed simply and effectively by the reaction conditions, such as temperature and heating time. It is also found that the emission colors of the samples can be tuned from red to green by simply adjusting the doping concentrations of Eu3+ and Tb3+ ions under the same wave length excitation, which has potential applications for multi-color display and illumination as a single-component phosphor.
Aerial photography was conducted in the high Arctic Ocean during a Chinese research expedition in summer 2010. By partitioning the images into three distinct surface categories (sea ice/snow, water and melt ponds), the areal fraction of each category, ice concentration and the size and geometry of individual melt ponds, are determined with high-spatial resolution. The ice concentration and melt pond coverage have large spatial deviations between flights and even between images from the marginal ice zone to the pack ice zone in the central Arctic. Ice concentration and pond coverage over high Arctic (from 84°N to north) was ~75% and ~6.8%, respectively, providing ‘ground truth’ for the unusual transpolar reduction strip of ice indicated concurrently by AMSR-E data and for the regions (north of 88°N) where no passive microwave sensors can cover. Melt pond size and shape distributions are examined in terms of pond area (S), perimeter (P), mean caliper dimension (MCD) (L), roundness (R), convex degree (C), the ratio of P/S and fractal dimension (D). Power-law relationships are developed between pond size and number. Some general trends in geometric metrics are identified as a function of pond area including R, C, P/S and D. The scale separation of pond complexity is demonstrated by analyzing area-perimeter data. The results will potentially help the modelling of melt pond evolution and the determination of heterogeneity of under-ice transmitted light fields.
We present results of a regional comparative study of surface mass changes from 2004 to 2008 based on Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), The Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and CHINARE observations over the Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf system (LAS). Estimation of the ICESat mass change rates benefitted from the density measurements along the CHINARE traverse and a spatial density adjustment method for reducing the effect of spatial density variations. In the high-elevation inland region, a positive trend was estimated from both ICESat and GRACE data, which is in line with the CHINARE accumulation measurements. In the coastal region, there were areas with high level accumulations in both ICESat and GRACE trend maps. In many high flow-speed glacier areas, negative mass change rates may be caused by dynamic ice flow discharges that have surpassed the snow accumulation. Overall, the mass change rate estimate in the LAS of 2004–2008 from the GRACE, ICESat and CHINARE data is 5.41 ± 4.59 Gt a−1, indicating a balanced to slightly positive mass trend. Along with other published results, this suggests that a longer-term positive mass trend in the LAS may have slowed in recent years.
There is an ongoing relationship between host plants and herbivores. The nutrient substances and secondary compounds found in the host plant can not only impact the growth and development process of herbivores, but, more importantly, may also affect their survival and reproductive fitness. Vitellogenesis is the core process of reproductive regulation and is generally considered as a reliable indicator for evaluating the degree of ovarian development in females. Vitellogenin (Vg) plays a critical role in the synthesis and secretion of yolk protein. In this study, the full-length cDNA of the Vg gene in an alien invasive species, the nipa palm hispid beetle Octodonta nipae Maulik (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) (OnVg) was cloned and, the effect of host plant on the OnVg expression level and ovarian development was investigated. The results revealed that the OnVg was highly and exclusively expressed in adult females, but barely detectable in larvae, pupae and adult males. The relative expression level of OnVg and egg hatchability were much higher in females fed on Phoenix canariensis (their preferred host) than those fed on Phoenix roebelenii. A positive correlation relationship between OnVg expression and egg hatchability was also detected. Additionally, the anatomy of the female reproductive system showed that the ovaries of individuals fed on P. canariensis were considerably more developed than in females fed on P. roebelenii. The results may be applicable to many pest management situations through reproductive disturbance by alternating host plant species or varieties or by reproductive regulation through vitellogenesis mediated by specific endocrine hormones.
We recently fabricated and characterized a new class of multilayer dielectric elastomer films comprising alternating layers of two different polymers, at least one of which is an elastomer. The films discussed here contain THV (a terpolymer of poly(vinylidene fluoride)) and poly(ethylene octene) [EO] elastomer. The multilayer structure provides improved dielectric and electromechanical performance relative to monolithic films of THV or EO. These properties are controlled by the composition and the layer structure. For example, increasing the concentration of the elastomeric EO component increases the maximum axial strain (sz). Layering EO with THV also increases the breakdown strength (EB ∼ 265 - 300 V/µm) relative to monolithic EO (EB ∼ 150 V/µm) or THV (EB ∼ 245 V/µm) control films. This enhancement in breakdown strength is consistent with a barrier effect that is also observed in multilayer polymer capacitor films. The increase in breakdown strength allows 512-layer 75 vol% EO / 25 vol% THV films to achieve maximum axial strains of sz nearly 4%, higher than can be attained by either EO or THV films alone. In addition, layering reduces remnant strain and electromechanical hysteresis by limiting the effective field within the THV layers. The 75% EO/ 25% THV films show robust operational longevity with little loss in axial strain when subjected to repeated actuation at Emax = 225 V/µm (producing sz = 2.2%). Under these conditions, we observe 3,000 consecutive actuation cycles with no electrical breakdown. In comparison, single component EO control films undergo electrical breakdown at this field and THV control films survive only a few hundred actuation cycles under these conditions. The results demonstrate that multilayering is an effective technique to increase the dielectric strength of elastomer materials and in turn improve upon strain and operational longevity (repeated actuation cycles) characteristics.
An all-solid-state single-frequency 1064 nm laser with a
pulse width, 500 Hz repetition rate and 700 mJ single pulse energy is designed using seed injection and a three-stage master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) construction. Using this as a basis, research on long-pulse laser frequency doubling is carried out. By designing and optimizing the lithium triborate (LBO) crystal, the theoretically calculated maximum conversion efficiency
reaches 68% at
is 33% at
. Generation of 212 mJ pulses of green light with a repetition rate as high as 500 Hz is obtained from a fundamental energy of 700 mJ. The experimental conversion efficiency reaches 31% and the power stability is better than
The fabrication of Ce3+-doped lutetium oxyorthosilicate (Lu2SiO5:Ce, LSO:Ce) scintillation ceramics was investigated by pressureless sintering starting from synthetic submicrometer polycrystalline LSO:Ce powder. It was found that translucent LSO ceramics were densified successfully with relative density of 99.5% under sintering condition of 1720 °C for 4 h. As-sintered LSO ceramics were pore-free with average grain size of 5 μm and exhibited a translucent state. The broad emission spectra centered at 419 nm of the LSO:Ce ceramics under vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and UV excitation at room temperature. Under x-ray excitation, the overall emission intensity of obtained LSO ceramics achieved twice of that of bismuth germanium oxide (also known as bismuth germanate) single crystal at room temperature. Under excitation of 356 nm and emission of 420 nm, the luminescence decay time of the obtained LSO scintillation ceramics reached only 21.2 ns. The light yield of the LSO ceramics was 21,300 ph/MeV, which reached 91% of that of LSO single crystal.