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The target backsheath field acceleration mechanism is one of the main mechanisms of laser-driven proton acceleration (LDPA) and strongly depends on the comprehensive performance of the ultrashort ultra-intense lasers used as the driving sources. The successful use of the SG-II Peta-watt (SG-II PW) laser facility for LDPA and its applications in radiographic diagnoses have been manifested by the good performance of the SG-II PW facility. Recently, the SG-II PW laser facility has undergone extensive maintenance and a comprehensive technical upgrade in terms of the seed source, laser contrast and terminal focus. LDPA experiments were performed using the maintained SG-II PW laser beam, and the highest cutoff energy of the proton beam was obviously increased. Accordingly, a double-film target structure was used, and the maximum cutoff energy of the proton beam was up to 70 MeV. These results demonstrate that the comprehensive performance of the SG-II PW laser facility was improved significantly.
Crowdfunding is becoming increasingly popular for funding projects, particularly in the domain of product design, by asking a large group of people. Previous studies have indicated that creativity plays a significant role in product design and is considered an important factor of success for new product design and development. However, these studies have not explicitly explored the role of creativity in crowdfunding product design projects. This paper investigates this issue by conducting a case study employing expert evaluations of selected successful and unsuccessful crowdfunding product design project samples. The results of the study show there is a positive relationship between the creativity of a product and the success of its crowdfunding campaign. Therefore, creativity can be considered a success factor of crowdfunding. The study also suggests creative products, especially useful ones, might have more potential to attract people's willingness to fund them. This paper has contributed to the research on design, creativity, product design and development, and funding business models. Most importantly, this paper has raised the significance of creativity in design and business.
In adults with Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), higher stool concentrations of toxins A and B are associated with severe baseline disease, CDI-attributable severe outcomes, and recurrence. We evaluated whether toxin concentration predicts these presentations in children with CDI.
We conducted a prospective cohort study of inpatients aged 2–17 years with CDI who received treatment. Patients were followed for 40 days after diagnosis for severe outcomes (intensive care unit admission, colectomy, or death, categorized as CDI primarily attributable, CDI contributed, or CDI not contributing) and recurrence. Baseline stool toxin A and B concentrations were measured using ultrasensitive single-molecule array assay, and 12 plasma cytokines were measured when blood was available.
We enrolled 187 pediatric patients (median age, 9.6 years). Patients with severe baseline disease by IDSA-SHEA criteria (n = 34) had nonsignificantly higher median stool toxin A+B concentration than those without severe disease (n = 122; 3,217.2 vs 473.3 pg/mL; P = .08). Median toxin A+B concentration was nonsignificantly higher in children with a primarily attributed severe outcome (n = 4) versus no severe outcome (n = 148; 19,472.6 vs 429.1 pg/mL; P = .301). Recurrence occurred in 17 (9.4%) of 180 patients. Baseline toxin A+B concentration was significantly higher in patients with versus without recurrence: 4,398.8 versus 280.8 pg/mL (P = .024). Plasma granulocyte colony-stimulating factor concentration was significantly higher in CDI patients versus non-CDI diarrhea controls: 165.5 versus 28.5 pg/mL (P < .001).
Higher baseline stool toxin concentrations are present in children with CDI recurrence. Toxin quantification should be included in CDI treatment trials to evaluate its use in severity assessment and outcome prediction.
The effect of vitamin D (VD) on the risk of preeclampsia (PE) is uncertain. Few of previous studies focused on the relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk. Therefore, we conducted this 1:1 matched case–control study to explore the association of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk in Chinese pregnant women. A total of 440 pairs of participants were recruited during March 2016 to June 2019. Dietary information was obtained using a seventy-eight-item semi-quantitative FFQ. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 were measured by liquid chromatography–tandem MS. Multivariate conditional logistic regression was used to estimate OR and 95 % CI. Restricted cubic splines (RCS) were plotted to evaluate the dose–response relationship of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk. Compared with the lowest quartile, the OR of the highest quartile were 0·45 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·71, Ptrend = 0·001) for VD dietary intake and 0·26 (95 % CI 0·11, 0·60, Ptrend = 0·003) for serum levels after adjusting for confounders. In addition, the RCS analysis suggested a reverse J-shaped relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). A similar association was also found between serum concentrations of total 25(OH)D and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). In conclusion, this study provides evidence that higher dietary intake and serum levels of VD are associated with the lower risk of PE in Chinese pregnant women.
To examine the prevalence and nutrient composition of menu offerings targeted to customers with dietary restrictions at US fast casual and full-service chain restaurants.
We used 2018 data from MenuStat, a database of nutrient information for menu items at large US chain restaurants. Five alternative diets were examined: gluten-free, low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, low-fat and vegetarian. Diet offerings were identified by searching MenuStat item descriptions and reviewing online menus. For each diet, we reported counts and proportions. We used bootstrapped multilevel models to examine differences in predicted mean kilojoules, saturated fat, Na and sugars between diet and non-diet menu items.
Forty-five US fast casual and full-service chain restaurants in 2018 (including 6419 items in initial analytic sample across small plates, salads and main dishes).
The most prevalent diets were gluten-free (n 631, 9·8 % of menu items), low-calorie (n 306, 4·8 %) and vegetarian (n 230, 3·6 %). Compared with non-diet counterparts, low-calorie main dishes had significantly lower levels of all nutrients examined and vegetarian main dishes had significantly lower levels of all nutrients except saturated fat. Gluten-free small plates had significantly fewer kilojoules, grams of saturated fat and milligrams of Na compared with non-diet small plates.
A small proportion of fast casual and full-service restaurant menus are targeted towards customers with dietary restrictions. Compared with non-diet items, those classified as gluten-free, low-calorie or vegetarian generally have healthier nutrient profiles, but overall nutrient values are still too high for most menu items, regardless of dietary label.
Combinational creativity can play a significant role in supporting designers to produce creative ideas during the early stages of new product development. This paper explores conceptual distances in combinational creativity from computational perspectives. A study conducted indicates that different computational measurements show different conceptual distance results. However, the study suggests far-related ideas could lead to outcomes that are more creative than closely-related ones. This paper provides useful insights into exploring future computational design support tools.
Combinational creativity is a significant element of design in supporting designers to generate creative ideas during the early phases of design. There exists three driven approaches to combinational creativity: problem-, similarity- and inspiration-driven. This study provides further insights into the three combinational creativity driven approaches, exploring which approach could lead to ideas that are more creative in the context of practical product design. The results from a case study reveal that the problem- driven approach could lead to more creative and novel ideas or products compared with the similarity- and inspiration-driven approach. Products originating from the similarity- and inspiration-driven approach are at comparable levels. This study provides better understanding of combinational creativity in practical design. It also delivers benefits to designers in improving creative idea generation, and supports design researchers in exploring future ideation methods and design support tools employing the concept of 'combination'.
We present possible conceptual designs of a laser system for driving table-top free-electron lasers based on terahertz acceleration. After discussing the achievable performances of laser amplifiers with Yb:YAG at cryogenic and room temperature and Yb:YLF at cryogenic temperature, we present amplification modules with available results and concepts of amplifier chains based on these laser media. Their performances are discussed in light of the specifications for the tasks within the table-top light source. Technical and engineering challenges, such as cooling, control, synchronization and diagnostics, are outlined. Three concepts for the laser layout feeding the accelerator are eventually derived and presented.
In this study, we sought to evaluate the performance of the Xpert MTB/RIF (Cepheid) assay for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) complex DNA on fresh and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue specimens from oncology patients in an area with a low prevalence of tuberculosis. We also aimed to retrospectively assess the potential impact of Xpert MTB/RIF on the duration of airborne infection isolation (AII).
A 473-bed, tertiary-care cancer center in New York City.
A total of 203 tissue samples (101 FFPE and 102 fresh) were tested using Xpert MTB/RIF, including 133 pulmonary tissue samples (65.5%) and 70 extrapulmonary tissue samples (34.5%). Acid-fast bacilli (AFB) culture was used as the diagnostic gold standard. The limit of detection (LOD) and reproducibility were also evaluated for both samples types using contrived specimens. The potential impact of the Xpert MTB PCR assay on tissue samples from AII patients on AII duration was retrospectively assessed.
Using the Xpert MTB/RIF for fresh tissue specimens, the sensitivity was 50% (95% CI, 1.3%–98.7%) and the specificity was 99% (95% CI, 94.5%–99.9%). For FFPE tissue specimens, the sensitivity was 100% (95% CI, 63.1%–100%) and the specificity was 98.3% (95% CI, 95.5%–100%. The LOD was 103 colony-forming units (CFU)/mL for both fresh and FFPE tissue specimens, and the Xpert MTB/RIF was 100% reproducible at concentrations 10 times that of the LOD. With an expected turnaround time of 24 hours, the Xpert MTB PCR could decrease the duration of AII from a median of 8 days to a median of 1 day.
The Xpert MTB/RIF assay offers a valid option for ruling out Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) on tissue samples from oncology patients and for minimizing AII resource utilization.
The pressure oscillation and terminal shock motion in a two dimensional inlet, which was designed for tandem configuration turbine-based combined cycle propulsion systems was investigated experimentally and numerically, respectively. The inlet was characterised by a bleed cavity upstream the inlet throat, an S-shape rectangular-to-circular diffuser and flowpaths for a turbine and a ramjet engine. The terminal shock motion was calculated through a second-order unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes scheme. The pressure and the terminal shock were unsteady when the combined cycle inlet operated at different conditions. With the terminal shock located in the throat and at the shoulder of the third ramp of the TBCC inlet, the pressure oscillation was significant and the shock exhibited unsteady streamwise motion with an oscillatory pattern. The amplitude of shock oscillation at these two conditions was 6mm and 12mm, respectively. When the shock was located downstream of the throat and upstream of the cowl lip, it oscillated in a small range. We defined this motion as the “shake” of the shock. This unsteady behaviour of the shock was caused by flow separation in the combined cycle inlet diffuser.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
This study aimed to explore adenoid regrowth after transoral power-assisted adenoidectomy down to the pharyngobasilar fascial surface.
Transoral adenoidectomy down to the pharyngobasilar fascia surface was performed on 39 patients under endoscopic guidance, using a power-assisted system. The operation time, amount of blood loss and iatrogenic injury, presence of complications, and success and regrowth rates were recorded to assess the feasibility, safety and effectiveness of our surgical technique.
In this adenoidectomy procedure, the pharyngobasilar fascia was left intact. The estimated blood loss was 5–50 ml (mean 15 ml), and the success rate was 97.3 per cent. Early complications occurred in 2.3 per cent of patients, while no long-term complications occurred in the cohort. No regrowth was found in the follow-up assessments, which were performed for 18–36 months after surgery.
Adenoid regrowth was rare after adenoidectomy down to the pharyngobasilar fascial surface. The pharyngobasilar fascia can therefore be considered a surgical boundary for adenoidectomy.
Little is known about HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) in newly diagnosed HIV-infected adults in eastern China where the HIV epidemic is spreading predominantly through sexual contact. During 2008–2011, newly HIV-diagnosed adults in Taizhou prefecture, Zhejiang province in eastern China were examined for HIVDR by amplifying and sequencing the HIV-1 pol gene. Of 447 genotyped participants, 53·7% were infected with CRF01_AE, 20·1% with CRF07_BC, 12·5% with subtype B, and 11·6% with CRF08_BC. Most of the participants had one or more minor genetic mutations in the pol gene that are associated with HIVDR. Twelve (2·7%) participants met the standard guidelines of having low to high HIVDR, suggesting that the prevalence of HIVDR in newly HIV-diagnosed adults was low in the study area and current antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens are likely to remain effective. However, given high frequency of minor HIVDR in HIV patients and the scaling up of ART programmes in China, larger HIVDR surveillance programmes are needed.
The ability of silver (Ag)-containing borate bioactive glass (BG) coatings to improve the biocompatibility and antibacterial properties of titanium (Ti) implants was investigated in vitro and in vivo in a rabbit tibial fracture model. Dense coatings of borate BG (thickness ≈ 20 μm) containing 0, 0.75, and 1.0 wt% Ag2O were prepared by depositing a layer of particles on Ti plates, followed by sintering at 900 °C. The as-prepared coatings had an adhesive strength of 10 ± 1 MPa, and when immersed in an aqueous phosphate (K2HPO4) solution, the coatings converted to hydroxyapatite, releasing Ag+ ions continuously for over 4 wk. After implantation of BG-coated Ti constructs in a rabbit tibial fracture model and of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-induced osteomyelitis, the BG coating doped with 1.0 wt% Ag2O was most effective for the simultaneous eradication of the infection and fracture fixation. Implants coated with Ag-containing BG coatings could provide an approach for reducing implant-related bone infection.
As a newly described member of the apolipoprotein gene family, apolipoprotein A5 (APOA5) has been suggested to play a key role in the triglyceride metabolism in both human and mice. The aim of this study was to identify the porcine (Sus scrofa) APOA5 gene, determine its mRNA and its mutations that are associated with lipid accumulation. The porcine APOA5 cDNA was amplified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction using the information of the mouse or other mammals. It had been determined that the open reading frame of the porcine APOA5 gene consists of 1092 bp, which encodes a predicted protein composed of 363 amino acids with a similarity to bovine (80.43%) and to human (78.47%). The expression analysis indicated that the porcine APOA5 gene was expressed in hypophysis, fat and liver. Twelve single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including 4 SNPs in the 5′ end, 1 SNP in second intron, 1 SNP in third exon and 6 SNPs in the 3′ end, were identified in the porcine APOA5 gene and genotyped on the Jinhua × Pietrain F2 reference population, it had revealed that the SNP of C1834T was significantly associated with average backfat thickness and leaf fat weight (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). In conclusion, this study has got basic information of the porcine APOA5 gene and provides evidence that the APOA5 gene could be a potential candidate gene for fat deposition.
Ni/Al nanostructured multilayer foils were machined with femtosecond pulse-length laser irradiation at various fluences. Scanning electron microscopy, back-scattered electron detection, and atomic force microscopy were used to characterize the resulting laser modified regions. We show that material removal at the micron scale is possible with no ignition of a self-propagation reaction emanating from the irradiated areas, a danger minimized by the fact that the extremely short time duration of the pulse produces negligible heat dissipation into the multilayer system. Nevertheless, initial AFM and BSE results give indication that multilayers may be intermixing and reacting locally in areas smaller than the laser beam diameter, though the exact ignition mechanism is still to be determined.
This study was designed to examine the effects of extracellular reduced glutathione on development of pig embryos, produced by in vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF), in a chemically defined North Carolina State University (NCSU) 23 medium or in NCSU 23 medium with bovine serum albumin (BSA). Microfilament distribution, as a marker of embryo quality, was also examined by immunocytochemical staining and confocal microscopy. When the inseminated oocytes were cultured in the defined medium containing 0-0.5 mM glutathione, blastocyst formation as observed only in the media with glutathione (8.5-16.0%). Increased numbers of blastomeres were observed in the blastocysts as the concentration of glutathione was increased (18.8±7.2 to 31.0±8.6). In NCSU 23 medium with 4 mg BSA/ml, addition of glutathione at concentrations of 0.125-0.5 mM significantly increased the proportions of oocytes that developed to blastocysts (39.2-52.5%) compared with the control (29.5%). However, no difference was observed in the average cell number in the blastocysts (41.9±15.6 to 49.1±15.5). There were no significant differences in the microfilament distribution in the embryos produced in the defined medium and in the BSA-containing medium. These results indicate that pig embryos produced by IVM/IVF can develop to the blastocyst stage in a defined medium. BSA and glutathione have a synergistic effect on pig embryo development.
The present study examined the effect of low culture temperature during in vitro maturation (IVM) of pig oocytes on their nuclear maturation, fertilisation and subsequent embryo development. In experiment 1, oocytes were cultured at 35 or 39 °C for 44 h in modified tissue culture medium 199 supplemented with 10 ng/ml epidermal growth factor, 0.57 mM cysteine, 75 μg/ml potassium penicillin G, 50 μg/ml streptomycin sulphate, 0.5 μg/ml LH and 0.5 μg/ml FSH to examine the nuclear maturation status. In experiment 2, oocytes were cultured at 35 °C for 44 or 68 h and nuclear maturation was examined. In experiment 3, oocytes matured for 44 or 68 h at 39 °C and for 68 h at 35 °C were co-incubated with frozen-thawed spermatozoa for 5-6 h. Putative embryos were transferred into North Carolina State University (NCSU) 23 medium containing 0.4% bovine serum albumin. At 12 h after insemination, some oocytes were fixed to examine the fertilisation rate and the remaining embryos were examined at 48 and 144 h for cleavage and blastocyst formation rate, respectively. Compared with 39 °C, culture of oocytes at 35 °C for 44 h significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the metaphase II (M II) rate (79% vs 12%). However, extension of culture time to 68 h at 35 °C significantly increased (p < 0.05) the M II rate (7% vs 58%). In experiment 3, compared with other groups, fewer (p < 0.05) oocytes reached M II when cultured at 35 °C for 68 h (69-81% vs 49%). Extension of culture duration to 68 h at 39 °C stimulated spontaneous activation (28%) of oocytes. No difference in cleavage rates was observed among different groups. Compared with oocytes matured for 44 h at 39 °C (31%), the proportion of blastocysts obtained was low (p < 0.05) for oocytes matured at 35 °C (13%) or 39 °C (3%) for 68 h. The results indicate that lower culture temperature can delay nuclear maturation of pig oocytes. However, extension of culture time can stimulate nuclear maturation and these oocytes are capable of fertilisation and development to the blastocyst stage at moderate rates.
Our previous study indicated that thimerosal is one of the most effective artificial activators to mimic sperm-induced increases in the intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) and other activation events in pig oocytes (Macháty et al., 1997). The present study was conducted to examine the temporal relationship between intracellular calcium transients, cortical granule (CG) exocytosis and the zona reaction induced by thimerosal. When pig oocytes matured in vitro were exposed to 200 μM thimerosal the first intracellular calcium transient, with a mean peak ratio of 4.97 ± 1.14, was observed 509.64 ± 122.03 s after addition of thimerosal. The density of CGs fell significantly from 63.3 ± 11.7 CGs/100 μm2 of cortex in control oocytes to 25.7 ± 19.2 CGs/100 μm2 of cortex (59.4% release) at 2 min after the first intracellular calcium transient. At 5 min after the calcium transient the residual CG density had been reduced to 10.7 ± 10.4 CGs/100 μm2 of cortex (83.1% release). This degree of CG exocytosis was the same as that in oocytes penetrated by sperm (9.5 ± 5.1 CGs/100 μm2 of cortex). No further decrease in residual CG density was observed at 10 min (10.3 ± 14.8 CGs/100 μm2 of cortex). Whereas 77.4% (120/155) of control oocytes were penetrated by spermatozoa only 1.4% (2/144) of thimerosal-treated oocytes were penetrated. Further experimental results obtained by in vitro fertilisation of oocytes with preincubated (capacitated) spermatozoa suggested that the zona block to sperm penetration in thimerosal-treated oocytes occurred within 35 min after CG exocytosis and 40 min after the first calcium transient. These results indicate that polyspermic penetration of pig oocytes inseminated in vitro is not due to delayed or incomplete CG exocytosis but more likely to a delayed zona reaction and/or simultaneous sperm penetration.