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The ground delay program (GDP) is a commonly used tool in air traffic management. Developing a departure flight delay prediction model based on GDP can aid airlines and control authorities in better flight planning and adjusting air traffic control strategies. A model that combines the improved sparrow search algorithm (ISSA) and Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) has been proposed to minimise prediction errors. The ISSA uses tent chaotic mapping, dynamic adaptive weights, and Levy flight strategy to enhance the algorithm’s accuracy for the sparrow search algorithm (SSA). The MLP model’s hyperparameters are optimised using the ISSA to improve the model’s prediction accuracy and generalisation performance. Experiments were performed using actual GDP-generated departure flight delay data and compared with other machine learning techniques and optimisation algorithms. The results of the experiments show that the mean absolute error (MAE) and root mean square error (RMSE) of the ISSA-MLP model are 16.8 and 24.2, respectively. These values are 5.61%, 6.3% and 1.8% higher in MAE and 4.4%, 5.1% and 2.5% higher in RMSE compared to SSA, particle swarm optimisation (PSO) and grey wolf optimisation (GWO). The ISSA-MLP model has been verified to have good predictive and practical value.
Shape memory polymers (SMPs) are a type of programmable materials capable of transforming their shapes in a pre-programmed way upon the application of an external stimulus. These materials have been tested for various potential applications particularly in the biomedical field for polymers with general and specific requirements. This review focuses on the recent advances in biomedical applications, including self-tightening sutures, pressure bandages, self-expansion stents, tissue engineering scaffolds, artificial muscles, drug delivery, and orthodontic archwires, after a brief description of the concepts, classifications, programming procedures, and material requirements of SMPs.
As a typical plasma-based optical element that can sustain ultra-high light intensity, plasma density gratings driven by intense laser pulses have been extensively studied for wide applications. Here, we show that the plasma density grating driven by two intersecting driver laser pulses is not only nonuniform in space but also varies over time. Consequently, the probe laser pulse that passes through such a dynamic plasma density grating will be depolarized, that is, its polarization becomes spatially and temporally variable. More importantly, the laser depolarization may spontaneously take place for crossed laser beams if their polarization angles are arranged properly. The laser depolarization by a dynamic plasma density grating may find application in mitigating parametric instabilities in laser-driven inertial confinement fusion.
In the present study, we investigated the influence of different mid-stage N compensation timings on agronomic and physiological traits associated with grain yield and quality in field experiments. Two japonica rice cultivars with a good tasting quality (Nangeng 9108 and Nangeng 5055) were examined under eight N compensation timings (N1–N6: one-time N compensation at 7-2 weeks before heading; N7: split N compensation at 5 and 3 weeks before heading; N8: split N compensation at 4 and 2 weeks before heading) and a control with no N compensation. The highest yield was obtained with N7, followed by N3. The yield advantage is mainly attributable to the improved population structure (higher productive tiller rate with a stable number of effective panicles), higher total number of spikelets per unit area (large panicles with more grains per panicle), larger leaf area index in the late period and higher photosynthetic production capacity (more dry matter accumulation and transportation in the middle and late periods). Delaying N compensation timing improved the processing and nutritional quality of rice, but decreased the quality of appearance and cooking/eating traits. Our results suggest that, from the perspective of achieving relative coordination between high yield and high quality of japonica rice, the optimal N compensation should be divided equally at 5 and 3 weeks before heading. However, if simplifying the number of operations and the pursuit of eating quality were considered, one-time N compensation should be conducted at 5 weeks before heading.
China plays a critical role in global biodiversity conservation, as both a biodiversity hotspot and for its role in international and domestic animal trade. Efforts to promote wildlife conservation have sparked interest in the attitudes held by Chinese citizens towards animals. Using a questionnaire, we sought to investigate the attitudes of 317 Chinese nationals across 22 provincial-level administrative units regarding their uses of animals, their perceived emotional capacities and views on exotic pets. We reduced the variables related to perceived uses of animals via Principal Component Analysis and ran Generalised Linear Models and Structural Equation Modelling to test relationships between questionnaire-derived variables. Perceptions of animals were divided into two Kellert categories — Utilitarian and Humanistic uses — and 97% of participants believed in animals’ capacities to have and express emotions. We found few interactions, with exotic pets, ie playing with or taking photographs, but the acceptability of owning an exotic pet influenced the likelihood of purchasing one. A belief that animals express emotions encouraged people to look for them as pets but thinking that pets make people happy made exotic pet ownership less acceptable. The shift in attitudes to include humanistic perceptions of animals, a belief in animals as emotive beings and understanding of terminology changed from the previous utilitarian views of pre-reform China, suggesting a readiness to embrace further conservation efforts in China. This deeper understanding of Chinese attitudes toward animals and drivers of the exotic pet trade within China may enable conservation efforts to better target future campaigns.
The effect of sheared E × B flow on the blob dynamics in the scrape-off layer (SOL) of HL-2A tokamak has been studied during the plasma current ramp-up in ohmically heated deuterium plasmas by the combination of poloidal and radial Langmuir probe arrays. The experimental results indicate that the SOL sheared E × B flow is substantially enhanced as the plasma current exceeds a certain value and the strong sheared E × B flow has the ability to slow the blob radial motion via stretching its poloidal correlation length. The locally accumulated blobs are suggested to be responsible for the increase of plasma density just outside the Last Closed Flux Surface (LCFS) observed in this experiment. The results presented here reveal the significant role played by the strong sheared E × B flow on the blob dynamics, which provides a potential method to control the SOL width by modifying the sheared E × B flow in future tokamak plasmas.
The early identification and prediction of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) play an important role in the disease prevention and control. However, suitable models are different in regions due to the differences in geography, social economy factors. We collected data associated with daily reported HFMD cases and weather factors of Zibo city in 2010~2019 and used the generalised additive model (GAM) to evaluate the effects of weather factors on HFMD cases. Then, GAM, support vectors regression (SVR) and random forest regression (RFR) models are used to compare predictive results. The annual average incidence was 129.72/100 000 from 2010 to 2019. Its distribution showed a unimodal trend, with incidence increasing from March, peaking from May to September. Our study revealed the nonlinear relationship between temperature, rainfall and relative humidity and HFMD cases and based on the predictive result, the performances of three models constructed ranked in descending order are: SVR > GAM> RFR, and SVR has the smallest prediction errors. These findings provide quantitative evidence for the prediction of HFMD for special high-risk regions and can help public health agencies implement prevention and control measures in advance.
The commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software STAR-CCM+ was used to simulate the flow and breakup characteristics of a Liquid Jet Injected into the gaseous Crossflow (LJIC) under real engine operating conditions. The reasonable calculation domain geometry and flow boundary conditions were obtained based on a civil aviation engine performance model similar to the Leap-1B engine which was developed using the GasTurb software and the preliminary design results of its low-emission combustor. The Volume of Fluid (VOF) model was applied to simulate the breakup feature of the near field of LJIC. The numerical method was validated and calibrated through comparison with the public test data at atmospheric conditions. The results showed that the numerical method can capture most of the jet breakup structure and predict the jet trajectory with an error not exceeding ±5%. The verified numerical method was applied to simulate the breakup of LJIC at the real engine operating condition. The breakup mode of LJIC was shown to be surface shear breakup at elevated condition. The trajectory of the liquid jet showed good agreement with Ragucci’s empirical correlation.
The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii (Boitard)) is an endangered carnivorous marsupial, limited to the islands of Tasmania in southern Australia. The parasites of the Tasmanian devil are understudied. This study aimed to increase the knowledge of the nematode fauna of Tasmanian devils. Ten Tasmanian devils were examined for parasites from northern and southern Tasmania. Nematodes that were collected were morphologically characterized as two separate species. Molecular sequencing was undertaken to verify the identity of these species. A new genus and species of oxyurid nematode was collected from a single Tasmanian devil from the northern part of Tasmania. The nematode is differentiated from oxyurids described from other Australian amphibians, reptiles and marsupials by the characters of the male posterior end – that is, in having three pairs of caudal papillae, two pairs peri-cloacal, one large pair post-cloacal, a long tapering tail, a stout spicule and a gubernaculum and accessory piece, as well as its much larger overall size. Molecular sequencing was unsuccessful. The remaining nematodes collected from the Tasmanian devil in this study were all identified as Baylisascaris tasmaniensis Sprent, 1970, through morphology and molecular sequencing. This paper presents the first description of a new genus and species of oxyurid nematode from the Tasmanian devil, Sarcophiloxyuris longus n. gen., n. sp. The need to undertake more sampling of the parasites of endangered hosts, such as the Tasmanian devil, to assist with a better understanding of their conservation management, is discussed.
To eliminate the effect of ocean currents for optimal path planning for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) in the underwater environment, an intelligent algorithm is designed and proposed in this paper. The algorithm consists of two parts: an artificial potential field-based algorithm that derives the shortest path and avoids collision accidents; and an adjusting function that eliminates the effect of ocean currents. The planning results of the intelligent algorithm are presented in detail, and compared with the conventional algorithm that does not consider the effect of currents. The effectiveness of the optimised path planning method given in this paper is proved.
The full-wing solar-powered UAV has a large aspect ratio, special configuration, and excellent aerodynamic performance. This UAV converts solar energy into electrical energy for level flight and storage to improve endurance performance. The UAV only uses a differential throttle for lateral control, and the insufficient control capability during crosswind landing results in a large lateral distance bias and leads to multiple landing failures. This paper analyzes 11 landing failures and finds that a large lateral distance bias at the beginning of the approach and the coupling of base and differential throttle control is the main reason for multiple landing failures. To improve the landing performance, a heading angle-based vector field (VF) method is applied to the straight-line and orbit paths following and two novel 3D Dubins landing paths are proposed to reduce the initial lateral control bias. The results show that the straight-line path simulation exhibits similar phenomenon with the practical failure; the single helical path has the highest lateral control accuracy; the left-arc to left-arc (L-L) path avoids the saturation of the differential throttle; and both paths effectively improve the probability of successful landing.
This study aimed to analyse the differences between underwater continuous drilling and traditional intermittent drilling for attic cholesteatoma.
The clinical data of 61 patients with attic cholesteatoma who underwent an endoscopic approach procedure were analysed. Forty patients underwent underwater continuous drilling (group A), and 21 patients underwent traditional intermittent drilling (group B).
The operation time was 64.61 ± 12.90 minutes in group A and 79.60 ± 16.81 minutes in group B (p < 0.05). The anaesthesia time was 102.69 ± 17.93 minutes in group A and 119.82 ± 19.28 minutes in group B (p < 0.05). The dry ear time, the hearing improvement rate and the post-operative complications were no different in the two groups.
Group A and group B had no differences in surgical outcome or hearing recovery. However, treatment in the former group resulted in a significantly shortened operation and anaesthesia time.
An acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreak caused by a norovirus occurred at a hospital in Shanghai, China, was studied for molecular epidemiology, host susceptibility and serological roles. Rectal and environmental swabs, paired serum samples and saliva specimens were collected. Pathogens were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Histo-blood group antigens (HBGA) phenotypes of saliva samples and their binding to norovirus protruding proteins were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The HBGA-binding interfaces and the surrounding region were analysed by the MegAlign program of DNAstar 7.1. Twenty-seven individuals in two care units were attacked with AGE at attack rates of 9.02 and 11.68%. Eighteen (78.2%) symptomatic and five (38.4%) asymptomatic individuals were GII.6/b norovirus positive. Saliva-based HBGA phenotyping showed that all symptomatic and asymptomatic cases belonged to A, B, AB or O secretors. Only four (16.7%) out of the 24 tested serum samples showed low blockade activity against HBGA-norovirus binding at the acute phase, whereas 11 (45.8%) samples at the convalescence stage showed seroconversion of such blockade. Specific blockade antibody in the population played an essential role in this norovirus epidemic. A wide HBGA-binding spectrum of GII.6 supports a need for continuous health attention and surveillance in different settings.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
A disruption database characterizing the current quench of disruptions with ITER-like tungsten divertor has been developed on EAST. It provides a large number of plasma parameters describing the predisruptive plasma, current quench time, eddy current, and mitigation by massive impurity injection, which shows that the current quench time strongly depends on magnetic energy and post-disruption electron temperature. Further, the energy balance and magnetic energy dissipation during the current quench phase has been well analysed. Magnetic energy is also demonstrated to be dissipated mainly by ohmic reheating and inductive coupling, and both of the two channels have great effects on current quench time. Also, massive gas injection is an efficient method to speed up the current quench and increase the fraction of impurity radiation.
To investigate the value of narrow-band imaging training for differentiating between benign and malignant vocal fold leukoplakia.
Thirty cases of vocal fold leukoplakia were selected.
Narrow-band imaging endoscopy training had a significant positive effect on the specificity of the differential diagnosis of vocal fold leukoplakia. In addition, the consistency of diagnostic typing of vocal fold leukoplakia by narrow-band imaging improved to ‘moderate agreement’ following the combination of types I and II and the combination of types IV, V and VI in the typing of vocal fold leukoplakia.
The narrow-band imaging training course may improve the ability of laryngologists to diagnose vocal fold leukoplakia. The new endoscopic diagnostic classification by narrow-band imaging needs to be further simplified to facilitate clinical application.
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed serious challenges. It is vitally important to further clarify the epidemiological characteristics of the COVID-19 outbreak for future study and prevention and control measures. Epidemiological characteristics and spatial−temporal analysis were performed based on COVID-19 cases from 21 January 2020 to 1 March 2020 in Shandong Province, and close contacts were traced to construct transmission chains. A total of 758 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported in Shandong. The sex ratio was 1.27: 1 (M: F) and the median age was 42 (interquartile range: 32–55). The high-risk clusters were identified in the central, eastern and southern regions of Shandong from 25 January 2020 to 10 February 2020. We rebuilt 54 transmission chains involving 209 cases, of which 52.2% were family clusters, and three widespread infection chains were elaborated, occurring in Jining, Zaozhuang and Liaocheng, respectively. The geographical and temporal disparity may alert public health agencies to implement specific measures in regions with different risk, and should attach importance on how to avoid household and community transmission.