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We numerically investigate the hydrodynamics of a spherical swimmer carrying a rigid cargo in a Newtonian fluid. This swimmer model, a ‘squirmer’, which is self-propelled by generating tangential surface waves, is simulated by a direct-forcing fictitious domain method (DF-FDM). We consider the effects of swimming Reynolds numbers (Re) (based on the radius and the swimming speed of the squirmers), the assembly models (related to the cargo shapes, the relative distances (ds) and positions between the squirmer and the cargo) on the assembly's locomotion. We find that the ‘pusher-cargo’ (pusher behind the cargo) model swims significantly faster than the remaining three models at the finite Re adopted in this study; the term ‘pusher’ indicates that the object is propelled from the rear, as opposed to ‘puller’, from the front. Both the ‘pusher-cargo’ and ‘cargo-pusher’ (pusher in front of the cargo) assemblies with an oblate cargo swim faster than the corresponding assemblies with a spherical or prolate cargo. In addition, the pusher-cargo model is significantly more efficient than the other models, and a larger ds yields a smaller carrying hydrodynamic efficiency η for the pusher-cargo model, but a greater η for the cargo-pusher model. We also illustrate the assembly swimming stability, finding that the ‘puller-cargo’ (puller behind the cargo) model is stable more than the ‘cargo-puller’ (puller in front of the cargo) model, and the assembly with a larger ds yields more unstable swimming.
We study the hydrodynamics of a spherical and dumbbell-shaped microswimmer in a tube. Combined with a squirmer model generating tangential surface waves for self-propulsion, a direct-forcing fictitious domain method is employed to simulate the swimming of the microswimmers. We perform the simulations by considering the variations of the swimming Reynolds numbers (Re), the blockage ratios (κ) and the relative distances (ds) between the squirmers of the dumbbell. The results show that the squirmer dumbbell weakens the inertia effects of the fluid more than an individual squirmer. The constrained tube can speed up an inertial pusher (propelled from the rear) and an inertia pusher dumbbell; a greater distance ds results in a slower speed of an inertial pusher dumbbell but a faster speed of an inertial puller (propelled from the front) dumbbell. We also illustrate the swimming stability of a puller (stable) and pusher (unstable) swimming in the tube at Re = 0. At a finite Re, we find that the inertia and the tube constraint competitively affect the swimming stability of the squirmers and squirmer dumbbells. The puller and puller dumbbells swimming in the tube become unstable with increasing Re, whereas an unstable–stable–unstable evolution is found for the pusher and pusher dumbbells. With increasing κ, the puller and puller dumbbells become stable while the pusher and pusher dumbbells become unstable. In addition, we find that a greater ds yields a higher hydrodynamic efficiency η of the inertial squirmer dumbbell.
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 aim of this study was to investigate the combined effect of n-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, at an EPA:DHA ratio of 150:500) and phytosterol esters (PS) on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients. We conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ninety-six NAFLD subjects were randomly assigned to the following groups: the PS group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS); the FO group (receiving 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d); the PS + FO combination group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS and 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d) and the PO group (a placebo group). The baseline clinical characteristics of the four groups were similar. The primary outcome was liver:spleen attenuation ratio (L:S ratio). The percentage increase in liver–spleen attenuation (≤1) in the PS + FO group was 36 % (P = 0·083), higher than those in the other three groups (PS group, 11 %, P = 0·519; FO group, 18 %, P = 0·071; PO group, 15 %, P = 0·436). Compared with baseline, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) was significantly decreased in the three study groups at the end of the trial (PS, P = 0·000; FO, P = 0·002; PS + FO, P = 0·001) and TNF-α was significantly decreased in the FO group (P = 0·036), PS + FO group (P = 0·005) and PO group (P = 0·032) at the end of the intervention. Notably, TGF-β was reduced significantly more in the PS + FO group than in the PO group (P = 0·032). The TAG and total cholesterol levels of the PS + FO group were reduced by 11·57 and 9·55 %, respectively. In conclusion, co-supplementation of PS and EPA + DHA could increase the effectiveness of treatment for hepatic steatosis.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
Several studies have suggested that higher carotenoid levels may be beneficial for atherosclerosis patients, but few studies have examined this relationship in the Chinese population. This cross-sectional study examined the association between the levels of carotenoids in diet and serum and carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) in Chinese adults aged 50–75 years in Guangzhou, China. Dietary intake was assessed using a FFQ. HPLC was used to assay the serum concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein+zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene. The IMT at the common carotid artery (CCA) and bifurcation of the carotid artery was measured by B-mode ultrasound. A total of 3707 and 2947 participants were included in the analyses of dietary and serum carotenoids. After adjustment for demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle factors, all the serum carotenoids levels except lycopene were found to be inversely associated with the IMT at the CCA and bifurcation (Ptrend<0·001 to 0·013) in both men and women. The absolute mean differences in the IMT between the subjects in the extreme quartiles of serum carotenoid levels were 0·034 mm (α-carotene), 0·037 mm (β-carotene), 0·032 mm (lutein+zeaxanthin), 0·030 mm (β-cryptoxanthin), 0·015 mm (lycopene) and 0·035 mm (total carotenoids) at the CCA; the corresponding values were 0·025, 0·053 0·043, 0·050, 0·011 and 0·042 mm at the bifurcation. The favourable associations were also observed between dietary carotenoids (except lycopene) and the CCA IMT. In conclusion, elevated carotenoid levels in diet and serum are associated with lower carotid IMT values (particular at the CCA) in Chinese adults.
China makes a unique and vital contribution to maintaining global and regional waterbird diversity and conservation. Despite considerable historical conservation efforts, the continued loss of waterbird diversity and abundance necessitates a contemporary review of Chinese sites of conservation significance. The Ecological Protection Red Line (EPRL) was proposed by China’s Central Government in 2013 to protect areas providing crucial ecosystem services and provides the opportunity for such a review to enhance waterbird conservation in China. By incorporating various sources of data, surveys and information, we identified a suite of sites of waterbird conservation significance in China, following the Ramsar Site Criteria/Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) Criteria. In total, we identified 422 sites, of which the existing 286 IBA sites formed the basis of the site safeguard network. Altogether, these sites of waterbird conservation significance constitute over 727,000 km2 (7.6% of China’s land surface). Over half of the area of these sites is outside China’s national nature reserves, thus confirming the importance and urgency of including them in the EPRL for the effective conservation of waterbird sites. We suggest that this assessment of sites of waterbird importance offers a useful model to apply to other taxa, such as terrestrial birds and mammals.
In this work, the high-performance silicon carbide particle SiCp[carbon nanotube (CNT)] hybrid reinforcement is currently explored to develop the advanced metal matrix composites. 17 wt% SiCp(CNT)/Al composites were fabricated by a powder metallurgy technique, in which SiCp(CNT) hybrid reinforcement with various CNT contents (e.g., 3, 6 and 9 wt%) were applied. Effects of CNT content on the morphology of SiCp(CNT) hybrid reinforcement, the microstructural characteristics, and the tensile mechanical behavior of SiCp(CNT)/Al composites were studied as well. Especially, the SiCp(CNT)/Al composites with 6 wt% CNT in SiCp(CNT) hybrid reinforcement exhibited the most significant enhancing effects in the elastic modulus and tensile strength. Meanwhile, the SiCp(CNT)/Al composites produced a synergistic strengthening effect of SiCp and CNT compared to SiCp/Al composites, while the SiCp(CNT)/Al composites with high CNT content in SiCp(CNT) hybrid reinforcement provided weak improvement in the tensile strength and ductility due to the forming agglomeration of CNT in the matrix.
Insect defensins, are cationic peptides that play an important role in immunity against microbial infection. In the present study, an anionic defensin from Plutella xylostella, (designated as PxDef) was first cloned and characterized. Amino acid sequence analysis showed that the mature peptide owned characteristic six-cysteine motifs with predicted isoelectric point of 5.57, indicating an anionic defensin. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that PxDef was significantly induced in epidermis, fat body, midgut and hemocytes after injection of heat-inactivated Bacillus thuringiensis, while such an induction was delayed by the injection of live B. thuringiensis in the 4th instar larvae of P. xylostella. Knocking down the expression of nuclear transcription factor Dorsal in P. xylostella by RNA interference significantly decreased the mRNA level of PxDef, and increased the sensitivity of P. xylostella larvae to the infection by live B. thuringiensis. The purified recombinant mature peptide (PxDef) showed higher activity against Gram-positive bacteria, with the minimum inhibition concentrations of 1.6 and 2.6 µM against B. thuringiensis and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report about an anionic PxDef, which may play an important role in the immune system of P. xylostella against B. thuringiensis.
Depression is closely associated with quality of life (QOL) in older adults. Being elderly and exhibiting mild depressive symptoms may not lead to a depression diagnosis, but these attributes are clinically important. However, the extent to which these factors influence QOL and its determinants in older adults remains unclear.
Questionnaires were administered to people aged 65 years or older at community senior centers in Taiwan to collect socio-demographic information and to assess results from the brief version of the World Health Organization's Quality of Life instrument (WHOQOL-BREF), Modified Barthel Index (MBI), 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Levels of depressive symptoms were classified as no depressive symptoms (NDS), lower level of depressive symptoms (LLDS), and higher level of depressive symptoms (HLDS), corresponding to GDS = 0, 1≦GDS≦5, and GDS>5, respectively. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to assess associations between the WHOQOL-BREF and its covariates for different levels of depressive symptoms.
A total of 454 older adults participated. The GDS and MBI scores significantly affected the WHOQOL-BREF physical and psychological domain scores in the LLDS group. Gender influenced the WHOQOL-BREF scores in the NDS group, and increased age demonstrated protective effects on the three domains in the HLDS group. Moreover, the association between the WHOQOL-BREF and its covariates varied for different levels of depressive symptoms.
Treatment for depressive symptoms is of high priority, and early recognition of and appropriate intervention for mild depressive symptoms may improve community-dwelling older adults’ QOLs.
Worldwide, the number of individuals with dementia is growing in an epidemic manner, with an estimated 35.6 million people affected in 2010 (Prince et al., 2013). With the population aging in Asia, dementia care will become a major public health challenge in this region in the coming decades. Over half of the patients with dementia in the world will live in Asia by 2030. In China alone, a recent review of dementia studies showed that there were 9.2 million dementia patients in 2010 (Chan et al., 2013). These figures are staggering. In many Asian countries, dementia is regarded as a shameful illness, and the local terms for dementia are derogatory. Dementia carries a stigma that may lead to patients’ reluctance in seeking treatment and delay in diagnosis. In addition, local names for dementia frequently conjure up pictures of severe stage of dementia, and may lead to therapeutic nihilism, discouraging mental health professionals from working with elderly patients with dementia. As Asia faces the challenges of a rapidly aging population and provisions of care for growing number of dementia patients, change in local names for dementia has become an issue of attention.
Representation and reasoning with qualitative spatial relations is an important problem in artificial intelligence and has wide applications in the fields of geographic information system, computer vision, autonomous robot navigation, natural language understanding, spatial databases and so on. The reasons for this interest in using qualitative spatial relations include cognitive comprehensibility, efficiency and computational facility. This paper summarizes progress in qualitative spatial representation by describing key calculi representing different types of spatial relationships. The paper concludes with a discussion of current research and glimpse of future work.
A study of the influence of mesoporous SiO2 on the dehydrogenation of NaAlH4 and TiF3-doped NaAlH4 revealed that the amount of hydrogen evolved is 3.8 wt% for the pristine NaAlH4 and around 4.2 wt% for the TiF3-doped NaAlH4, but increases to 4.9–5.0 wt% once the samples are doped with mesoporous SiO2 in the temperature range of 100–350 °C. A favorable synergistic effect on the NaAlH4 dehydrogenation is achieved as mesoporous SiO2 is added as a codopant along with TiF3, which is associated with the nanosized pores and high specific surface area of mesoporous SiO2. The catalytic mechanism of mesoporous SiO2 is more physical than chemical relative to the catalytic mechanism of TiF3.
Born in Western Australia, Xavier Herbert attended the Christian Brothers’ School in Fremantle and then studied pharmacy and medicine in Perth and Melbourne. Early on, however, he developed an intense desire to write. He wrote his first story at thirteen, one that won first prize in an Interstate State School competition; however, he did not publish his first story until he was twenty-five, under the penname Herbert Astor. From this initial publication, until his death in 1984, he published four novels, one short-story collection, Larger Than Life (1963), and one autobiography, Disturbing Element (1963). Among his four novels, the two most successful are Capricornia (1938), winner of the sesquicentenary novel competition and the Australian Literature Society’s medal in 1934, and Poor Fellow My Country (1975), winner of the Miles Franklin Award in 1975. His two previous novels, Seven Emus (1959) and Soldier’s Women (1961), did not attract as much critical attention. Indeed, until recently, much of the critical attention Herbert has received has largely ignored cultures other than white.
During his early life, Xavier Herbert worked at a pharmacist’s, and he became a pharmacist himself, but then took to writing, working at various jobs in the Government Medical Service and as Protector of the Aborigines in Darwin, as fettler and deep-sea diver, and in ships along the coast of the Northern Territory. At the age of thirty, he went to London, where he remained until 1932. According to Frances De Groen’s Xavier Herbert: ABiography, Herbert went to London “to establish his career as a novelist” (76). There he met his future wife, Sadie Norden, of Jewish parentage, who later figured large as Rifkah Rosen in his last novel, Poor Fellow MyCountry. All this and more becomes material for his fiction, which is, in various disguises, mostly autobiographical.
After writing an unsuccessful novel, Black Velvet (1930), which was rejected by a London publisher on the grounds that the characters were unredeemable, Herbert, still in London, wrote Capricornia. Massive editing was required to reduce the book from half a million words to half that length before publication.
Ceramic sintering in microwave field is a new ceramic processing method. In present paper, we detected the microstructures and boundary segregation of BaTiO3 ceramics which were sintered in microwave field. Scanning electron microscopy(SEM), and transmission electron microscopy(TEM), and chemical analysis methods were employed to detect the microstructure of BaTiO3, element distribution near the boundary of BaTiO3 ceramic. The results shown growth of grain of the ceramic was influenced by impurities such as acceptor, benefactor et al, and the element distribution near the grain boundary of BaTiO3 sintered in microwave field were different with that sintered in conventional method. The boundary segregations of BaTiO3 sintered in microwave field were not obvious as compared to the conventional method because the diffusion was enhanced due to the microwave field.
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