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Achieving the high-precision control of cable-driven parallel robots (CDPRs) is complex because of their structural properties. In this paper, a quintessential redundant CDPR is designed as the research subject, and a continuous switching sliding mode controller based on workspace vision is implemented to enhance the accuracy and stability of trajectory tracking. In addition, a virtual prototype of the CDPR with uncertainties is created in the simulation analysis software ADAMS, and co-simulation is performed with the control system designed in Simulink to validate the effectiveness of the proposed control strategy. Furthermore, a CDPR platform is established for trajectory tracking experiments using the visual-based position feedback method. The trajectory tracking performance with the three control schemes is then evaluated. The experimental results show that the continuous switching sliding mode control algorithm can significantly decrease trajectory tracking errors and exhibit superior trajectory tracking performance compared to the other control strategies.
The effects of monolaurin (ML) on the health of piglets infected with porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) have not been fully understood. This study aimed to investigate its role in blood biochemical profile, intestinal barrier function, antioxidant function and the expression of antiviral genes in piglets infected with PEDV. Thirty-two piglets were randomly divided into four groups: control group, ML group, PEDV group and ML + PEDV group. Piglets were orally administrated with ML at a dose of 100 mg/kg·BW for 7 d before PEDV infection. Results showed that PEDV infection significantly decreased D-xylose content and increased intestinal fatty acid-binding protein content, indicating that PEDV infection destroyed intestinal barrier and absorption function. While it could be repaired by ML administration. Moreover, ML administration significantly decreased plasma blood urea nitrogen and total protein content upon PEDV infection. These results suggested ML may increase protein utilisation efficiency. ML administration significantly decreased the number of large unstained cells and Hb and increased the number of leucocytes and eosinophils in the blood of PEDV-infected piglets, indicating ML could improve the immune defense function of the body. In the presence of PEDV infection, ML administration significantly increased superoxide dismutase and catalase activities in blood and colon, respectively, indicating ML could improve antioxidant capacity. Besides, ML administration reversed the expression of ISG15, IFIT3 and IL-29 throughout the small intestine and Mx1 in jejunum and ileum, indicating the body was in recovery from PEDV infection. This study suggests that ML could be used as a kind of feed additive to promote swine health upon PEDV infection.
Galls function as provide shelter for gall inducers, guarding them against their natural enemies. Previous research has illuminated the interactions between galls, gall inducers, and their corresponding parasitoids within various caltrop plants. However, less is known about these relationships within Nitraria sibirica, particularly regarding the efficacy of parasitism. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the morphometric relationships among the swollen galls, gall inducers, and their parasitoids. Two species of gall inducers and three species of parasitoids were obtained from the swollen galls of N. sibirica. The correlations of the parasitization indexes, the lifespan of gall inhabitants, and temperature and the morphometric relationships between the galls and their inhabitants were analyzed. The dominant gall inducer identified was Contarinia sp. (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Furthermore, it was observed that three solitary parasitoids attacked Contarinia sp. in the swollen galls, with only Eupelmus gelechiphagus acting as an idiobiont ectoparasitoid. The dominant parasitoids were Platygaster sp. and Cheiloneurus elegans at sites 1 and 2, respectively, with Platygaster sp. displaying greater abundance than C. elegans in the swollen galls. The lifespan of the gall inhabitants shortened gradually as the temperature increased. Moreover, the optimal number of gall chambers ranged from two to four per swollen gall with maximized fitness, which can be considered the optimal population density for the gall inducer Contarinia sp. Morphometric analysis exhibited a strong linear correlation between gall size and chamber number or the number of gall inhabitants, as well as a weak correlation between gall size and body size of the primary inhabitants of swollen galls. Our results highlight the importance of the biological investigation of parasitoids and gall inducers living in closed galls with multiple chambers and may pave the way for potential application in biological control.
The western Mongolian Lake Zone was a Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic volcanic arc where tuffs, lavas, fossiliferous siliciclastics, and carbonates accumulated during the early Cambrian. An uppermost Cambrian Series 2 (upper Stage 4) trilobite assemblage is described here from the Burgasutay Formation representing a continuous lower Cambrian succession at the Seer Ridge of the Great Lake Depression. The new assemblage is dominated by dorypygids and consists of 13 trilobite genera belonging to nine families including Catinouyia heyunensis new species. These fossils comprise the youngest and richest lower Cambrian trilobite assemblage in Mongolia. The composition of the Lake Zone fauna suggests its biogeographic affinity with the Siberian Platform and Altay-Sayan Foldbelt, but the presence of inouyiids also implies a connection of this region with East Gondwana.
The World Bank, under the stewardship of the United States, stands out as the global leader among international development organizations. Does China's establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) undermine this status? Examining this question, we focus on the borrowing practices of a special set of countries: the founding members of the AIIB. These founders openly defied the public preference of the United States, arguably to create a potential rival to the World Bank. Using a new causal inference method, Pang, Liu, and Xu's Dynamic Multilevel Latent Factor Model—as well as several well-known estimation models as robustness checks—we document at least a temporary decrease in the number of World Bank infrastructure projects that the developing AIIB founders have entered into. This study presents the first systematic evidence that China's AIIB could unsettle the political influence the United States has enjoyed over developing countries through its leadership of the World Bank. An important set of countries may be parting ways with the World Bank and looking to a Chinese institution for leadership in the world of development.
Previous research has shown that using foreign languages reduces cognitive biases. Here, we investigate whether this foreign-language effect extends to self-related cognition – in particular, the self-positivity bias, which refers to automatic association of oneself with positive information and has a facilitation role in maintaining mental health. We applied event-related brain potentials and oscillations in the implicit association test where Chinese–English bilinguals responded to category words (self vs. others) and attribute words (positive vs. negative) in either their native language Chinese or their foreign language English. In response to Chinese words, a self-positivity bias occurred, indexed by a positive D-score in reaction times as well as by smaller N200, larger P3-like/LPC responses, and lower alpha desynchronization when self words were associated with positive relative to negative traits. However, the bias was diminished in the English context. Overall, our findings provide important implications for language choices when self-protective mechanisms should be enhanced.
Hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) is one of the rate-determining enzymes in the hydrolysis of TAG, playing a crucial role in lipid metabolism. However, the role of HSL-mediated lipolysis in systemic nutrient homoeostasis has not been intensively understood. Therefore, we used CRISPR/Cas9 technique and Hsl inhibitor (HSL-IN-1) to establish hsla-deficient (hsla-/-) and Hsl-inhibited zebrafish models, respectively. As a result, the hsla-/- zebrafish showed retarded growth and reduced oxygen consumption rate, accompanied with higher mRNA expression of the genes related to inflammation and apoptosis in liver and muscle. Furthermore, hsla-/- and HSL-IN-1-treated zebrafish both exhibited severe fat deposition, whereas their expressions of the genes related to lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation were markedly reduced. The TLC results also showed that the dysfunction of Hsl changed the whole-body lipid profile, including increasing the content of TG and decreasing the proportion of phospholipids. In addition, the systemic metabolic pattern was remodelled in hsla-/- and HSL-IN-1-treated zebrafish. The dysfunction of Hsl lowered the glycogen content in liver and muscle and enhanced the utilisation of glucose plus the expressions of glucose transporter and glycolysis genes. Besides, the whole-body protein content had significantly decreased in the hsla-/- and HSL-IN-1-treated zebrafish, accompanied with the lower activation of the mTOR pathway and enhanced protein and amino acid catabolism. Taken together, Hsl plays an essential role in energy homoeostasis, and its dysfunction would cause the disturbance of lipid catabolism but enhanced breakdown of glycogen and protein for energy compensation.
The hydrodynamic mechanism of drag reduction by a flexible hairy coating was explored using the penalty immersed boundary method. A two-dimensional flexible hairy coating is constituted by multiple flexible filaments. A simulation of a cylinder without a hairy coating at a Reynolds number of 100 was also performed for comparison. The results of the simulations show good agreement with the experimental data by Niu & Hu (Phys. Fluids, vol. 23, 2011, 101701), where maximum drag reduction of 22% was attained at a particular length, bending rigidity, coating density and coating angle of the hairy coating. The hydrodynamic mechanism of drag reduction was characterized in terms of the wake pattern, shape deformation and kinetic energy of the hairy coating. The effect of a non-uniform bending rigidity of the hairy coating on drag reduction was explored. A stable streamline shape of the hairy coating was found to delay the vortex formation and stabilize the recirculation zone, resulting in decreased form drag. Active flapping of the hairy coating with enhanced vortex shedding is adverse to drag reduction. A hairy coating with a stiff base and flexible trailing edge is beneficial to maintaining a stable shape.
We examine the relationship between high-performance work system (HPWS) and job satisfaction, drawing on the ‘too much of a good thing’ theory, to establish whether a non-linear relationship can explain conflicts in previous findings. Moreover, we extend the study by exploring the mediating role of work overload and the moderating role of person–organization fit (P–O fit). Based on a cross-sectional data set of 220 employees and a longitudinal data set of 373 employees from organizations in China, the empirical findings show an inverted U-shaped relationship between HPWS and job satisfaction. Results also indicate that the relationship between HPWS and job satisfaction is fully mediated by work overload, and that P–O fit negatively moderates HPWS-work overload and HPWS-job satisfaction relationships. These results shed new light on how HPWS impacts employee outcomes and practical implications for managers are discussed.
Hyperhomocysteinaemia (HHcy) is associated with all-cause mortality in some disease states. However, the correlation between HHcy and the risk of mortality in the general population has rarely been researched. We aimed to evaluate the association between HHcy and all-cause and cause-specific mortality among adults in the USA. This study analysed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database (1999–2002 survey cycle). A multivariable Cox regression model was built to evaluate the correlation between HHcy and all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Smooth curve fitting was used to analyse their dose-dependent relationship. A total of 8442 adults aged 18–70 years were included in this study. After a median follow-up period of 14·7 years, 1007 (11·9 %) deaths occurred including 197 CVD-related deaths, 255 cancer-related deaths and fifty-eight respiratory disease deaths. The participants with HHcy had a 93 % increased risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio (HR) 1·93; 95 % CI (1·48, 2·51)), 160 % increased risk of CVD mortality (HR 2·60; 95 % CI (1·52, 4·45)) and 82 % increased risk of cancer mortality (HR 1·82; 95 % CI (1·03, 3·21)) compared with those without HHcy. For unmeasured confounding, E-value analysis proved to be robust. In conclusion, HHcy was associated with high risk of all-cause and cause-specific (CVD, cancer) mortality among adults aged below 70 years.
We have grown intermetallic ErPd2Si2 single crystals employing laser diodes with the floating-zone method. The temperature dependence of the unit-cell parameters was determined using synchrotron and in-house X-ray powder diffraction measurements from 20 to 500 K. The diffraction patterns fit well with the tetragonal I4/mmm space group (No. 139) with two chemical formulae within the unit cell. The synchrotron powder diffraction study shows that the refined unit-cell parameters are a = 4.10320(2) Å, c = 9.88393(5) Å at 298 K and a = 4.11737(2) Å, c = 9.88143(5) Å at 500 K, resulting in the unit-cell volume V = 166.408(1) Å3 (298 K) and 167.517(2) Å3 (500 K). In the whole studied temperature range, no structural phase transition was observed. Upon cooling, the unit-cell parameters a and c are shortened and elongated, respectively.
Vitamin D is engaged in various neural processes, with low vitamin D linked to depression and cognitive dysfunction. There are gender differences in depression and vitamin D level. However, the relationship between depression, gender, vitamin D, cognition, and brain function has yet to be determined.
One hundred and twenty-two patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 119 healthy controls underwent resting-state functional MRI and fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) was calculated to assess brain function. Serum concentration of vitamin D (SCVD) and cognition (i.e. prospective memory and sustained attention) were also measured.
We found a significant group-by-gender interaction effect on SCVD whereby MDD patients showed a reduction in SCVD relative to controls in females but not males. Concurrently, there was a female-specific association of SCVD with cognition and MDD-related fALFF alterations in widespread brain regions. Remarkably, MDD- and SCVD-related fALFF changes mediated the relation between SCVD and cognition in females.
Apart from providing insights into the neural mechanisms by which low vitamin D contributes to cognitive impairment in MDD in a gender-dependent manner, these findings might have clinical implications for assignment of female patients with MDD and cognitive dysfunction to adjuvant vitamin D supplementation therapy, which may ultimately advance a precision approach to personalized antidepressant choice.
Natural enemies that impact pest populations must be understood in order to build integrated pest control strategies and to understand the most important aspects affecting pest dynamics. Haloxylon ammodendron (C. A. Mey.) Bunge is an important perennial plant species extensively used in sand stabilization and wind prevention in arid areas. This study aimed to determine the main defoliators that damage H. ammodendron and the parasitoid complex associated with them. Twelve species of defoliators were found in Northern Xinjiang, and Teia dubia (Tauscher) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), Scrobipalpa sp. (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), and Eucharia festiva Hüfnagel (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) were the dominant pests. T. dubia is the predominant defoliator with three generations a year. Northwest China, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean region are potentially suitable habitats for T. dubia in the world, while Xinjiang is the primary distribution area in China. Parasitoids belonging to seven species and four families were reared from the larvae of T. dubia, they were all endoparasitoids and koinobiont. Cotesia sp. (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is the dominant parasitoid and prefer to parasitic in the 3rd–5th instar larvae. The present study provides the basis for understanding the species composition and natural enemies of lepidopteran defoliators. It will be an effective tool for the integrated pest management programs of H. ammodendron forest.
Social cognition has not previously been assessed in treatment-naive patients with chronic schizophrenia, in patients over 60 years of age, or in patients with less than 5 years of schooling.
We revised a commonly used measure of social cognition, the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET), by expanding the instructions, using both self-completion and interviewer-completion versions (for illiterate respondents), and classifying each test administration as ‘successfully completed’ or ‘incomplete’. The revised instrument (RMET-CV-R) was administered to 233 treatment-naive patients with chronic schizophrenia (UT), 154 treated controls with chronic schizophrenia (TC), and 259 healthy controls (HC) from rural communities in China.
In bivariate and multivariate analyses, successful completion rates and RMET-CV-R scores (percent correct judgments about emotion exhibited in 70 presented slides) were highest in HC, intermediate in TC, and lowest in UT (adjusted completion rates, 97.0, 72.4, and 49.9%, respectively; adjusted RMET-CV-R scores, 45.4, 38.5, and 34.6%, respectively; all p < 0.02). Stratified analyses by the method of administration (self-completed v. interviewer-completed) and by education and age (‘educated-younger’ v. ‘undereducated-older’) show the same relationship between groups (i.e. NC>TC>UT), though not all differences remain statistically significant.
We find poorer social cognition in treatment-naive than in treated patients with chronic schizophrenia. The discriminant validity of RMET-CV-R in undereducated, older patients demonstrates the feasibility of administering revised versions of RMET to patients who may otherwise be considered ineligible due to education or age by changing the method of test administration and carefully assessing respondents' ability to complete the task successfully.
The scientific application of clinical evidence-based guidelines can reduce the variability of clinical practice, and standardize clinical diagnosis and treatment pathways. At present, many evidence-based guidelines on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) prevention have been issued in countries around the world, but the procedures and evaluation strategies developed by different guidelines are not the same. This study aimed to evaluate the quality of published clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) relating to COPD using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE II) instrument.
Databases were systematically searched PubMed, EMBASE, Wan Fang, and CNKI as well as guidelines websites on COPD prevention and treatment. The search period was from inception of the database up to May 2019. The inclusion criteria for this study are as follows: (i) published and in accordance with the definition of the practice guidelines; (ii)the main target population is COPD patients with the diagnostic criteria of the 2019 edition of the global initiative for COPD (GOLD), and the content of the guideline is related to the prevention and treatment practice of COPD; (ii) the same guide is included in the latest updated version; (iv) the published language is English or Chinese. Guidelines that met these inclusion criteria were evaluated for the quality of the AGREE II guidelines. Then, a descriptive analysis was made of the consensus that exists in the guidelines.
A total of fifteen guidelines/Consensuses Statements were included in the study. Two guidelines were assessed as recommended, eleven guidelines were assessed as recommended with modifications and two guidelines were not recommended. The mean scores of the included guidelines in the six domains (scope and purpose, personnel involved in guideline development, rigor of development, clarity, applicability, independence) were 90 percent, 72 percent, 49 percent, 96 percent, 60 percent, 69 percent, respectively. Thus, the study identified a consensus that disease risk factors and recommended interventions were mentioned in the guidelines, and that they comprehensively evaluated the quality of guideline reporting to provide reference for standardizing the development of practice guidelines for COPD in China.
The overall methodological quality of COPD CPGs should be improved. The key recommended areas for improvement include standardization of guideline report writing and synthesis of the latest and best evidence, to develop CPGs for COPD to improve the quality of clinical diagnosis and treatment for COPD.