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Giant panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca exhibits are popular attractions for zoos and wildlife parks. However, it remains to be investigated whether such exhibits enhance visitor knowledge about pandas and broader conservation issues. We conducted questionnaire surveys at giant panda exhibits at three city zoos and five wildlife parks in China. Although visitors were generally interested in the giant panda, this was not reflected in their post-exhibit knowledge of giant panda biology. Socio-demographically, men were more knowledgeable of giant panda biology than women. Knowledge correlated positively with respondent level of education. Younger respondents (< 45 years) knew most about giant pandas and expressed an interest in learning more about them using social media. The most informed respondents had visited other giant panda exhibits previously. Respondents were generally satisfied with the giant panda exhibits (mean score 4.44/5). Wildlife parks delivered a better educational outcome than city zoos. We recommend approaches to improve the visitor experience further and to leverage public interest in broader conservation engagement and action in China.
Preeclampsia (PE) is a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. PE patients were reported to have higher serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) than those in healthy controls. However, whether the expressions of these inflammation biomarkers have a causal relationship with PE is unspecified. We applied the Mendelian randomization method to infer the causal relationship between inflammation biomarkers (e.g., CRP, IL-6, interleukin 1 receptor antagonist [IL-1ra] and TNF-α) and PE. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) strongly related to inflammation biomarkers were used as instrumental variables. CRP, IL-1ra and IL-6 levels showed no significant effect on PE progression, while the genetic predicted higher level of TNF-α significantly increased the risk of PE (OR per 1-SD increase in TNF-α: 4.33; 95% CI [1.99, 9.39]; p = .00021). The findings suggest that pro-inflammatory activity of TNF-α could be a determinant for PE progression. More antenatal care should be given to those pregnant women with higher level of inflammation biomarkers, especially TNF-α.
In this study, a toroidal quartz (
) crystal is designed for monochromatic X-ray imaging at 72.3°. The designed crystal produces excellent images of a laser-produced plasma emitting He-like Ti X-rays at 4.75 keV. Based on the simulations, the imaging resolutions of the spherical and toroidal crystals in the sagittal direction are found to be 15 and 5 μm, respectively. Moreover, the simulation results show that a higher resolution image of the source can be obtained by using a toroidal crystal. An X-ray backlight imaging experiment is conducted using 4.75 keV He-like Ti X-rays, a 3 × 3 metal grid, an imaging plate and a toroidal quartz crystal with a lattice constant of 2d = 0.2749 nm. The meridional and sagittal radii of the toroidal α-quartz crystal are 295.6 and 268.5 mm, respectively. A highly resolved image of the microgrid, with a spatial resolution of 10 μm, is obtained in the experiment. By using similar toroidal crystal designs, the application of a spatially resolved spectrometer with high-resolution X-ray imaging ability is capable of providing imaging data with the same magnification ratio in the sagittal and meridional planes.
In this work, an all-fiberized and narrow-linewidth fiber amplifier with record output power and near-diffraction-limited beam quality is presented. Up to 6.12 kW fiber laser with the conversion efficiency of approximately 78.8% is achieved through the fiber amplifier based on a conventional step-index active fiber. At the maximum output power, the 3 dB spectral linewidth is approximately 0.86 nm and the beam quality factor is Mx2 = 1.43, My2 = 1.36. We have also measured and compared the output properties of the fiber amplifier employing different pumping schemes. Notably, the practical power limit of the fiber amplifier could be estimated through the maximum output powers of the fiber amplifier employing unidirectional pumping schemes. Overall, this work could provide a good reference for the optimal design and potential exploration of high-power narrow-linewidth fiber laser systems.
The subduction model of the Neo-Tethys during the Early Cretaceous has always been a controversial topic, and the scarcity of Early Cretaceous magmatic rocks in the southern part of the Gangdese batholith is the main cause of this debate. To address this issue, this article presents new zircon U–Pb chronology, zircon Hf isotope, whole-rock geochemistry and Sr–Nd isotope data for the Early Cretaceous quartz diorite dykes with adakite affinity in Liuqiong, Gongga. Zircon U–Pb dating of three samples yielded ages of c. 141–137 Ma, indicating that the Liuqiong quartz diorite was emplaced in the Early Cretaceous. The whole-rock geochemical analysis shows that the Liuqiong quartz diorite is enriched in large-ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and light rare-earth elements (LREEs) and is depleted in high-field-strength elements (HFSEs), which are related to slab subduction. Additionally, the Liuqiong quartz diorite has high SiO2, Al2O3 and Sr contents, high Sr/Y ratios and low heavy rare-earth element (HREE) and Y contents, which are compatible with typical adakite signatures. The initial 87Sr/86Sr values of the Liuqiong adakite range from 0.705617 to 0.705853, and the whole-rock ϵNd(t) values vary between +5.78 and +6.24. The zircon ϵHf(t) values vary from +11.5 to +16.4. Our results show that the Liuqiong adakite magma was derived from partial melting of the Neo-Tethyan oceanic plate (mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) + sediment + fluid), with some degree of subsequent peridotite interaction within the overlying mantle wedge. Combining regional data, we favour the interpretation that the Neo-Tethyan oceanic crust was subducted at a low angle beneath the Gangdese during the Early Cretaceous.
In this paper, effects of discharge parameters and modulation frequency on the signal of laser-induced fluorescence measurements of ion velocity distribution functions are investigated in the LIF Test Source. A maximum modulation frequency is found for each given set of parameters, beyond which the signal gradually declines. Meanwhile, this maximum modulation frequency occurred consistently at ~1/10 of the theoretical frequency limit and photon counts received by a photomultiplier tube, which indicates that as modulation frequency and the associated per-pulse-excitation-event count decrease, the transition from the macroscopic statistical signal to the microscopic probabilistic signal is a gradual process.
Athetis lepigone Möschler (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) is a common maize pest in Europe and Asia. However, there is no long-term effective management strategy is available yet to suppress its population. Adults rely heavily on olfactory cues to locate their optimal host plants and oviposition sites. Pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) are believed to be responsible for recognizing and transporting different odorant molecules to interact with receptor membrane proteins. In this study, the ligand-binding specificities of two AlepPBPs (AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3) for sex pheromone components and host plant (maize) volatiles were measured by fluorescence ligand-binding assay. The results demonstrated that AlepPBP2 had a high affinity with two pheromones [(Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.11 ± 0.1 μM, (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.32 ± 0.15 μM] and ten plant volatiles, including (-)-limonene, α-pinene, myrcene, linalool, benzaldehyde, nonanal, 2-hexanone, 3-hexanone, 2-heptanone and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one. In contrast, we found that none of these chemicals could bind to AlepPBP3. Our results clearly show no significant differences in the functional characterization of the binding properties between AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3 to sex pheromones and host plant volatiles. Furthermore, molecular docking was employed for further detail on some crucial amino acid residues involved in the ligand-binding of AlepPBP2. These findings will provide valuable information about the potential protein binding sites necessary for protein-ligand interactions which appear as attractive targets for the development of novel technologies and management strategies for insect pests.
Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) elicits a range of different responses in patients and can manifest into mild to very severe cases in different individuals, depending on many factors. We aimed to establish a prediction model of severe risk in COVID-19 patients, to help clinicians achieve early prevention, intervention and aid them in choosing effective therapeutic strategy. We selected confirmed COVID-19 patients who were admitted to First Hospital of Changsha city between 29 January and 15 February 2020 and collected their clinical data. Multivariate logical regression was used to identify the factors associated with severe risk. These factors were incorporated into the nomogram to establish the model. The ROC curve, calibration plot and decision curve were used to assess the performance of the model. A total of 228 patients were enrolled and 33 (14.47%) patients developed severe pneumonia. Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that shortness of breath, fatigue, creatine kinase, lymphocytes and h CRP were independent factors for severe risk in COVID-19 patients. Incorporating age, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and these factors, the nomogram achieved good concordance indexes of 0.89 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.832–0.949] and well-fitted calibration plot curves (Hosmer–Lemeshow test: P = 0.97). The model provided superior net benefit when clinical decision thresholds were between 15% and 85% predicted risk. Using the model, clinicians can intervene early, improve therapeutic effects and reduce the severity of COVID-19, thus ensuring more targeted and efficient use of medical resources.
The southeastern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) records the assembly process between several micro-continental blocks and the North China Craton (NCC), with the consumption of the Paleo-Asian Ocean (PAO), but whether the S-wards subduction of the PAO beneath the northern NCC was ongoing during Carboniferous–Permian time is still being debated. A key issue to resolve this controversy is whether the Carboniferous magmatism in the northern NCC was continental arc magmatism. The Alxa Block is the western segment of the northern NCC and contiguous to the southeastern CAOB, and their Carboniferous–Permian magmatism could have occurred in similar tectonic settings. In this contribution, new zircon U–Pb ages, elemental geochemistry and Sr–Nd isotopic analyses are presented for three early Carboniferous granitic plutons in the southwestern Alxa Block. Two newly identified aluminous A-type granites, an alkali-feldspar granite (331.6 ± 1.6 Ma) and a monzogranite (331.8 ± 1.7 Ma), exhibit juvenile and radiogenic Sr–Nd isotopic features, respectively. Although a granodiorite (326.2 ± 6.6 Ma) is characterized by high Sr/Y ratios (97.4–139.9), which is generally treated as an adikitic feature, this sample has highly radiogenic Sr–Nd isotopes and displays significantly higher K2O/Na2O ratios than typical adakites. These three granites were probably derived from the partial melting of Precambrian continental crustal sources heated by upwelling asthenosphere in lithospheric extensional setting. Regionally, both the Alxa Block and the southeastern CAOB are characterized by the formation of early Carboniferous extension-related magmatic rocks but lack coeval sedimentary deposits, suggesting a uniform lithospheric extensional setting rather than a simple continental arc.
This study aimed to investigate the association of nasal nitric oxide and olfactory function.
A cross-sectional study was performed in 117 adults, including 91 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and 26 healthy controls. Scores on the 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcomes Test, Lund-Mackay scale and Lund-Kennedy scale were recorded to assess severity of disease. All participants were screened for common inhaled and food allergens. Nasal nitric oxide and fractional exhaled nitric oxide testing, acoustic rhinometry and anterior rhinomanometry testing were performed to measure nasal function. The validated Sniffin’ Sticks test battery was used to assess olfactory function.
Higher nasal nitric oxide was an independent protective factor for odour discrimination and odour threshold in participants with chronic rhinosinusitis after adjusting for age, gender, drinking, smoking, 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcomes Test, Lund-Mackay score, Lund-Kennedy score, immunoglobulin E and the second minimal cross-sectional area by acoustic rhinometry. Nasal nitric oxide also showed high discrimination in predicting impaired odour discrimination. In addition, nasal nitric oxide was lower in older participants, those with higher Lund-Mackay or Lund-Kennedy scores and higher with elevated total serum immunoglobulin E concentrations above a threshold of 0.35 kU/l.
Higher nasal nitric oxide is associated with better odour discrimination in chronic rhinosinusitis and is modulated by age, degree of allergy and severity of chronic rhinosinusitis.
We demonstrated a 202 W Tm:YLF slab laser using a reflecting volume Bragg grating (VBG) as an output coupler at room temperature. Two kinds of active heat dissipation methods were used for the VBG to suppress the shift of wavelength caused by its increasing temperature. The maximum continuous wave (CW) output power of 202 W using the microchannel cooling was obtained under the total incident pump power of 553 W, the corresponding slope efficiency and optical-to-optical conversion efficiency were 39.7% and 36.5%, respectively. The central wavelength was 1908.5 nm with the linewidth (full width at half maximum) of 0.57 nm. Meanwhile, with the laser output increasing from 30 to 202 W, the total shift was about 1.0 nm, and the wavelength was limited to two water absorption lines near 1908 nm. The beam quality factors M2 were measured to be 2.3 and 4.0 in x and y directions at 202 W.
Spodoptera litura is an important pest that causes significant economic damage to numerous crops worldwide. Sex pheromones (SPs) mediate sexual communication in S. litura and show a characteristic degree of rhythmic activity, occurring mainly during the scotophase; however, the specific regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we employed a genome-wide analysis to identify eight candidate circadian clock genes in S. litura. Sequence characteristics and expression patterns were analyzed. Our results demonstrated that some circadian clock genes might regulate the biosynthesis and perception of SPs by regulating the rhythmic expression of SP biosynthesis-related genes and SP perception-related genes. Interestingly, all potential genes exhibited peak expression in the scotophase, consistent with the SP could mediate courtship and mating behavior in S. litura. Our findings are helpful in elucidating the molecular mechanism by which circadian clock genes regulate sexual communication in S. litura.
Microglia, the main immune cell of the central nervous system (CNS), categorized into M1-like phenotype and M2-like phenotype, play important roles in phagocytosis, cell migration, antigen presentation, and cytokine production. As a part of CNS, retinal microglial cells (RMC) play an important role in retinal diseases. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the most common complications of diabetes. Recent studies have demonstrated that DR is not only a microvascular disease but also retinal neurodegeneration. RMC was regarded as a central role in neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation. Therefore, in this review, we will discuss RMC polarization and its possible regulatory factors in early DR, which will provide new targets and insights for early intervention of DR.
The tobacco cutworm Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a polyphagous pest with a highly selective and sensitive chemosensory system involved in complex physiological behaviors such as searching for food sources, feeding, courtship, and oviposition. However, effective management strategies for controlling the insect pest populations under threshold levels are lacking. Therefore, there is an urgent need to formulate eco-friendly pest control strategies based on the disruption of the insect chemosensory system. In this study, we identified 158 putative chemosensory genes based on transcriptomic and genomic data for S. litura, including 45 odorant-binding proteins (OBPs, nine were new), 23 chemosensory proteins (CSPs), 60 odorant receptors (ORs, three were new), and 30 gustatory receptors (GRs, three were new), a number higher than those reported by previous transcriptome studies. Subsequently, we constructed phylogenetic trees based on these genes in moths and analyzed the dynamic expression of various genes in head capsules across larval instars using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Nine genes–SlitOBP8, SlitOBP9, SlitOBP25, SlitCSP1, SlitCSP7, SlitCSP18, SlitOR34, SlitGR240, and SlitGR242–were highly expressed in the heads of 3- to 5-day-old S. litura larvae. The genes differentially expressed in olfactory organs during larval development might play crucial roles in the chemosensory system of S. litura larvae. Our findings substantially expand the gene inventory for S. litura and present potential target genes for further studies on larval feeding in S. litura.
Skin carotenoid status (SCS) measured by resonance Raman spectroscopy (RRS) may serve as an emerging alternative measurement for dietary carotenoid, fruit and vegetable (FV) intake although its application had not been assessed in a middle-aged and older population in Asia. This cross-sectional study aims to concurrently examine the use of SCS and plasma carotenoids to measure FV and carotenoid intake in a middle-aged and older population, taking into consideration potential socio-demographic and nutritional confounders. The study recruited 103 middle-aged and older adults (mean age: 58 years) in Singapore. Dietary carotenoids and FV, plasma carotenoid concentration and SCS were measured using 3-d food records, HPLC and a biophotonic scanner which utilised RRS, respectively. Adjusted for statistically defined socio-demographic covariates sex, age, BMI, prescription medication and cigarette smoking, plasma carotenoids and SCS showed positive associations with dietary total carotenoids (βplasma: 0·020 (95 % CI 0·000, 0·040) µmol/l/mg, P = 0·05; βskin: 265 (95 % CI 23, 506) arbitrary units/mg, P = 0·03) and FV (βplasma: 0·076 (95 % CI 0·021, 0·132) µmol/l per FV serving, P = 0·008; βskin: 1036 (95 % CI 363, 1708) arbitrary units/FV serving, P = 0·003). The associations of SCS with dietary carotenoid and FV intake were null with the inclusion of dietary PUFA, fibre and vitamin C as nutritional covariates (P > 0·05). This suggests a potential influence of these nutritional factors on carotenoid circulation and deposition in the skin. In conclusion, SCS, similar to plasma carotenoids, may serve as a biomarker for both dietary carotenoid and FV intake in a middle-aged and older Singaporean population.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
The outbreak of COVID-19 generated severe emotional reactions, and restricted mobility was a crucial measure to reduce the spread of the virus. This study describes the changes in public emotional reactions and mobility patterns in the Chinese population during the COVID-19 outbreak.
We collected data on public emotional reactions in response to the outbreak through Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, between 1st January and 31st March 2020. Using anonymized location-tracking information, we analyzed the daily mobility patterns of approximately 90% of Sichuan residents.
There were three distinct phases of the emotional and behavioral reactions to the COVID-19 outbreak. The alarm phase (19th–26th January) was a restriction-free period, characterized by few new daily cases, but a large amount public negative emotions [the number of negative comments per Weibo post increased by 246.9 per day, 95% confidence interval (CI) 122.5–371.3], and a substantial increase in self-limiting mobility (from 45.6% to 54.5%, changing by 1.5% per day, 95% CI 0.7%–2.3%). The epidemic phase (27th January–15th February) exhibited rapidly increasing numbers of new daily cases, decreasing expression of negative emotions (a decrease of 27.3 negative comments per post per day, 95% CI −40.4 to −14.2), and a stabilized level of self-limiting mobility. The relief phase (16th February–31st March) had a steady decline in new daily cases and decreasing levels of negative emotion and self-limiting mobility.
During the COVID-19 outbreak in China, the public's emotional reaction was strongest before the actual peak of the outbreak and declined thereafter. The change in human mobility patterns occurred before the implementation of restriction orders, suggesting a possible link between emotion and behavior.
During the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), people are under the dual pressure of interpersonal isolation and concerns about infection. An evaluation of people’s psychological status and risk factors is needed to conduct target interventions.
This was a nationwide, multicenter, cross-sectional study using quota and snowball sampling methods during the COVID-19 epidemic in China. Participants’ characteristics and experiences were obtained by an online questionnaire and telephone review. Psychological distress and sleep problems were measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and the Insomnia Severity Index.
A total of 23,500 participants were recruited, and 19,372 valid questionnaires were received from 11 centers. Overall, 11.0–13.3% of the participants had anxiety, depression, or insomnia symptoms, and 1.9–2.7% had severe symptoms. The prevalence of psychological and sleep problems has increased. Working as frontline medical staff (Odds Ratio OR = 3.406), living in Hubei Province (OR = 2.237), close contacts with COVID-19 (OR = 1.808), and age 35–49 years (OR = 1.310) were risk factors for anxiety symptoms; no outside activity for 2 weeks (OR = 2.167) and age 35–49 years (OR = 1.198) were risk factors for depression symptoms; and living in Hubei Province (OR = 2.376), no outside activity for 2 weeks (OR = 1.927), and age 35–49 years (OR = 1.262) were risk factors for insomnia symptoms. Only 1.9% of participants received counseling during the epidemic.
Psychological and sleep problems increased during interpersonal isolation due to COVID-19. Current psychological interventions are far from sufficient.
This work investigates the influence of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) within a nanocomposite coating solution constituted by silica nanoparticles and toluene on mechanical properties, surface wettability, and surface morphology. The developed coating's hardness and elastic modulus were studied in detail. A variation in mechanical properties was observed as the amount of PDMS was varied. Also, the average surface roughness, skewness, and kurtosis values show the influence of the amount of PDMS on the surface roughness characteristics of the coating. Furthermore, it was observed that the water contact angles were linked with the proportion of PDMS.
In the present study, we use direct numerical simulation to investigate the density-driven convection in a two-dimensional anisotropic heterogeneous porous media associated with significant laminated formation. At first, the heterogeneous porous media are randomly generated to represent laminated structure, in which the horizontal correlation length of permeability field is much longer than the vertical counterpart. Then, a highly accurate pseudo-spectral method and compact finite difference scheme with higher order of accuracy are employed to numerically reproduce the convection flow in the laminated porous media. The results show that the laminated structures restrict interactions among the downward plumes of heavier fluid. The plumes tend to descend more straightly in a laminated porous medium associated with a slower growth rate. As a result, the laminated distribution of permeability is considered having an inhibiting effect on the convection flow.