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Shoulder exoskeletons (SEs) can assist the shoulder joint of workers during overhead work and are usually passive for good portability. However, current passive SEs face the challenge that their torque generators are often attached to the human arm, which adds a significant amount of weight to the user’s arms, resulting in additional energy consumption of the user. In this paper, we present a novel passive SE whose torque generator is attached to the user’s back and assists the shoulder joint through Bowden cables. Our approach greatly reduces the weight on the user’s arms and can accommodate complex shoulder joint movements with simple and lightweight mechanical structure based on Bowden cables. In addition, to match the nonlinear torque requirements of the shoulder joint, a unique spring-cam mechanism is proposed as the torque generator. To verify the effectiveness of the device, we conducted a usability test based on muscle activations of 10 healthy subjects. When assisting overhead work, the SE significantly reduced the mean and maximum electromyography signals of the shoulder-related muscles by up to 25%. The proposed SE contributes to further research on passive SE design to improve usability, especially in terms of reducing weight on human arms.
Microorganisms can efficiently navigate in anisotropic complex fluids, but the precise swimming mechanisms remain largely unexplored. Their dynamics is determined by the interplay between multiple effects, including the fluid's orientation order, swimmer's undulatory gait and the finite length. Here, we extend the numerical study of the two-dimensional undulatory motions of a flexible swimmer in lyotropic liquid-crystalline polymers (LCPs) by Lin et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 921, 2021, p. A25) to the scenario of arbitrary swimming directions with respect to the nematic director. The swimmer is modelled as a nearly inextensible yet flexible fibre with imposed travelling-wave-like actuation. We investigate the orientation-dependent swimming behaviours in nematic LCPs for an infinitely long sheet (i.e. Taylor's swimming sheet model) and finite-length swimmers. We demonstrate that the swimmer must be sufficiently stiff to produce undulatory deformations to gain net motions. Moreover, a motile finite-length swimmer can reorient itself to swim parallel with the nematic director, due to a net body torque arising from the asymmetric distribution of the polymer force along the body.
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.
Poor utilisation efficiency of carbohydrate always leads to metabolic phenotypes in fish. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in carbohydrate degradation. Whether the intestinal bacteria could alleviate high-carbohydrate diet (HCD)-induced metabolic phenotypes in fish remains unknown. Here, a strain affiliated to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens was isolated from the intestine of Nile tilapia. A basal diet (CON), HCD or HCD supplemented with B. amy SS1 (HCB) was used to feed fish for 10 weeks. The beneficial effects of B. amy SS1 on weight gain and protein accumulation were observed. Fasting glucose and lipid deposition were decreased in the HCB group compared with the HCD group. High-throughput sequencing showed that the abundance of acetate-producing bacteria was increased in the HCB group relative to the HCD group. Gas chromatographic analysis indicated that the concentration of intestinal acetate was increased dramatically in the HCB group compared with that in the HCD group. Glucagon-like peptide-1 was also increased in the intestine and serum of the HCB group. Thus, fish were fed with HCD, HCD supplemented with sodium acetate at 900 mg/kg (HLA), 1800 mg/kg (HMA) or 3600 mg/kg (HHA) diet for 8 weeks, and the HMA and HHA groups mirrored the effects of B. amy SS1. This study revealed that B. amy SS1 could alleviate the metabolic phenotypes caused by HCD by enriching acetate-producing bacteria in fish intestines. Regulating the intestinal microbiota and their metabolites might represent a powerful strategy for fish nutrition modulation and health maintenance in future.
A 71-year-old man was admitted for gradually difficult walking for 3 years along with memory impairment and urinary incontinence for 1 year. At first, this patient just complained of weakness while walking and dizziness. He was treated for arterial hypertension; however, no relief was obtained. He experienced more difficulties in walking and initiating steps. Besides these symptoms, his memory and thinking ability declined. His wife found that he responded slowly with personality change from a talkative and considerative gentleman to a silent man with apathy. The patient often felt urinary urgency, sometimes with incontinence. It was considered as symptoms of prostate hypertrophy. He was referred to a neurologist and MRI reported some lacunar infarctions and brain atrophy (retrospectively, lateral ventricles enlargement already existed). His Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score was 18 points. Lumbar puncture (LP) was performed and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) results were normal. The patient was diagnosed as having vascular dementia, hypertension and treated with neuroprotective agents and antihypertensives. After hospitalization, his symptoms were temporarily and partially relieved. His MMSE score was improved to 24 points when he was discharged.
A high-carbohydrate diet could achieve a protein-sparing effect, but it may cause negative impacts on the growth condition of fish due to their poor utilisation ability of carbohydrate. How to reduce the adverse effects caused by a high-carbohydrate diet is important for the development of aquaculture. In the present study, we aimed to identify whether inulin could attenuate the metabolic syndrome caused by a high-carbohydrate diet in fish. Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) (1·19 (sd 0·01) g) were supplied with 35 % carbohydrate (CON), 45 % carbohydrate (HC) and 45 % carbohydrate + 5 g/kg inulin (HCI) diets for 10 weeks. The results showed that addition of inulin improved the survival rate when fish were challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila, indicating that inulin had an immunostimulatory effect. Compared with the HC group, the HCI group had lower lipid accumulation in liver and the gene expression analyses indicated that addition of inulin down-regulated genes related to lipogenesis and up-regulated genes relevant to β-oxidation significantly (P < 0·05). Higher liver glycogen and glucose tolerance were found in the HCI group compared with the HC group (P < 0·05). These results indicated that inulin could alleviate the metabolic syndrome induced by a high-carbohydrate diet. Furthermore, addition of inulin to a high-carbohydrate diet changed the intestinal bacterial composition and significantly increased the concentration of acetic acid and propionic acid in fish gut which have the potential to increase pathogen resistance and regulate metabolic characteristics in fish. Collectively, our results demonstrated a possible causal role for the gut microbiome in metabolic improvements induced by inulin in fish.
Eurasian steppes experienced frequent cultural transfers, human migration, and diffusion of techniques during the Bronze Age. The Hami Oasis is one of the most dynamic areas and has attracted multiple cultural flows. It is an important area that connects various routes of the Tianshan Corridor with the Hexi Corridor in western China. The Tianshanbeilu cemetery is the largest Bronze Age cemetery in Hami. Thirty-seven new radiocarbon dates allowed us to establish a new and more accurate chronology for Tianshanbeilu. Our results showed that the Tianshanbeilu cemetery was used from approximately 2022–1802 cal BC and remained in use from 1093–707 cal BC. This indicates that Tianshanbeilu is the earliest and longest-used known cemetery in eastern Xinjiang. By incorporating the typology of artifacts and stratigraphic relationships, the development of the Tianshanbeilu cemetery was divided into four phases. The first phase was from 2011–1672 cal BC, the second phase was from 1660–1408 cal BC, the third phase was from 1385–1256 cal BC, and the fourth phase was from 1214–1029 cal BC.
In this paper, the recent studies of laboratory astrophysics with strong magnetic fields in China have been reviewed. On the Shenguang-II laser facility of the National Laboratory on High-Power Lasers and Physics, a laser-driven strong magnetic field up to 200 T has been achieved. The experiment was performed to model the interaction of solar wind with dayside magnetosphere. Also the low beta plasma magnetic reconnection (MR) has been studied. Theoretically, the model has been developed to deal with the atomic structures and processes in strong magnetic field. Also the study of shock wave generation in the magnetized counter-streaming plasmas is introduced.
With the development of ultraintense terawatt (TW) and petawatt (PW) laser systems, powerful terahertz (THz) radiation from laser–plasma interactions has been reported. Plasma-based THz systems, which are usually operated at extremely low repetition rates, call for single-shot diagnostics. In this paper, various state-of-the-art single-shot detection methods are introduced or designed for measurements and applications involved in high-power plasma-based THz sciences.
It is found that there is an upper-limit critical power for self-guided propagation of intense lasers in plasma in addition to the well-known lower-limit critical power set by the relativistic effect. Above this upper-limit critical power, the laser pulse experiences defocusing due to expulsion of local plasma electrons by the transverse ponderomotive force. Associated with the upper-limit power, a lower-limit critical plasma density is also found for a given laser spot size, below which self-focusing does not occur for any laser power. Both the upper-limit power and the lower-limit density are derived theoretically and verified by two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. The present study provides new guidance for experimental designs, where self-guided propagation of lasers is essential.
Adsorption of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cells on red mud (RM) is important in the interactions between RM and bacteria. The objective of this work is to study adsorption of E. coli onto RM and to determine its influence in relation to the surface properties of RM. The effects of different calcination temperatures on the surface properties of red mud were investigated by thermogravimetric analysis, x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Brunauer, Emmett, Teller (surface measurement)/N2 adsorption method, and zeta potential analysis. A higher adsorption capacity was observed from RM calcinated at 700 °C (RM700) due to larger pores formed on the surface of RM. The correlation between the adsorption efficacy and surface properties of RM is discussed and the extended Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek theory suggests that when the adsorption reaches equilibrium, the increased adsorption of E. coli onto RM is due to the smaller energy barrier between E. coli and RM700 as compared with that between E. coli and raw RM (RM0).
Energetic electron beam generation from a thin foil target by the ponderomotive force of an ultra-intense circularly polarized laser pulse is investigated. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations show that laser pulses with intensity of 1022–1023 Wcm−2 generate about 1–10 GeV electron beams, in agreement with the prediction of one-dimensional theory. When the laser intensity is at 1024–1025 Wcm−2, the beam energy obtained from PIC simulations is lower than the values predicted by the theory. The radiation damping effect is considered, which is found to become important for the laser intensity higher than 1025 Wcm−2. The effect of laser focus positions is also discussed.
In vitro bulb scales of Lilium longiflorum×L. formosanum were used as explants to develop a highly efficient regeneration system. A high regeneration rate (100%) was reached through organogenesis on basal Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 1.0 mg/l 6-benzylaminopurine (6-BA) and 1.0 mg/l naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). A genetic transformation system for the lily was developed using an Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated method. An improved genetic transformation rate (12‰) was obtained when the explants were pre-cultured for 3 days, immersed in bacterial suspension (OD600≈0.8) for 5 min, and co-cultivated for 5 days. The binary vector pBI121 containing Zm401, a maize pollen-specific gene, was introduced into the Agrobacterium strain LBA4404 and transformed into the explants using the genetic transformation system. Gene integration into the lily genome was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and PCR–Southern analysis. These results could lead to the production of new pollenless lily plants.
To understand the genetic basis of seed setting rate (SSR) in rice, two breeding lines (Oryza sativa ssp. indica), T226 with higher and stable SSR and T219 with lower and fluctuating SSR from different natural conditions, were used for constructing recombinant inbred lines (RILs). Genotype by environment (G×E) interaction and quantitative trait loci (QTL) for SSR were analysed using a population with 202 RILs under eight differing environments. A significant G×E interaction for SSR was detected in rice using the Additive Main Effects and Multiplicative Interaction (AMMI) statistical model, and the IPCA1 and IPCA2 of the G×E interaction accounted for a variation of 57.6%. QTL controlling the SSR were detected by the method of interval analysis. Seventeen QTL on nine chromosomes were identified across eight environments, totally explaining the phenotypic variances from 4.6 to 35.7%. Most of the QTL, each explaining a small part of the phenotypic variances and interacting with environments, were detected in one or two environments, and their alleles for increasing the SSR were derived from T226. However, the QTL (MRG5959–MRG2180) on chromosome 3 was detected across six different environments. It explained maximum phenotypic variances in each detected environment and its allele for increasing the SSR was derived from T226. Another QTL, mapped between markers RM592 and RM169 on chromosome 5, was detected in five various environments and its allele increasing the SSR was derived from T219.
The three-dimensional waving plate theory is developed to investigate the swimming performance of fish undulatory motion. In particular, the propulsive effectiveness is discussed. The unsteady potential flow over model rectangular and triangular flexible plates performing a motion which consists of a progressing wave with variable amplitudes is calculated by the vortex ring panel method. It is found that the undulatory motion can reduce three-dimensional effects. It is this important hydrodynamic phenomenon that may be one of the main reasons why such undulation is widely used as the swimming method by a large number of aquatic animals. When the span of the undulating plate is nearly unchanged and the wave amplitude is constant or increases slightly along the chord, and the wavelength is close to the body length, theoretical results show that the swimming performance is best and the flow around the plate has a quasi-two-dimensional property. This swimming method may be observed in many fishes, especially those with an anguilliform mode of propulsion. The modification of the anguilliform mode of propulsion to the carangiform mode is also discussed. It is confirmed that the pronounced necking of the body anterior to the tail, which acts to improve the propulsive performance, is a major morphological adaptation of fishes using the carangiform mode, in which the characteristic nature of flexural movement confined to the rear part of the body is that the amplitude of undulation increases posteriorly and no complete wavelength is at any time apparent.
This paper presents an approach for decoding the pressure information exerted over a piece of fabric by means of resistive sensing. The proposed sensor includes a distributed resistive grids constructed by two systems of orthogonally contacted electrical conductive yarns, with no external sensing element to be attached on the fabric. Since the conductive yarns serve as the sensing and wiring elements simultaneously, this design simplifies the fabrication process, reduces the cost and makes the production of large area flexible pressure sensor possible. The location of the pressure applied on the fabric can be identified by detecting the position where the change of the resistances occurs between two embroidered yarns. Meanwhile, the magnitude of the pressure can be acquired by measuring the variations of the resistance. In order to eliminate the “crosstalk” effect between adjoining fibers, the yarns were separately wired on the fabric surface.
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