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In this paper, a hydraulic soft gripper for underwater applications is designed to provide a solution for improving the gripping force as well as the sensing capability of the soft gripper. The soft gripper is made of silicone and has an integrated semi-circular hydraulic network inside. To enhance the rigidity and grasping performance of the soft gripper, we have integrated a restriction layer consisting of a spring steel plate in the soft gripper. Meanwhile, to enhance the sensing capability of this soft gripper, we have designed a water pressure sensor based on resistance strain gauges and integrated it on the spring steel plate. Before fabrication, we determined the structural parameters of the soft gripper by geometric analysis. Then we experimentally evaluated its pressure-bearing capacity, bending performance, the role of spring steel plates, and the accuracy of the sensor.The experimental results show that the spring steel plate improves the gripping force of the soft gripper, the sensor also has high accuracy, and the built four-finger gripping system has good adaptability to objects of different shapes and weights.Compared with the existing solutions, this solution takes a simpler structural form while improving the gripping force and sensing ability of the soft gripper, and integrates the issues of improving the gripping force and sensing ability. The spring steel plate used in this paper not only improves the gripping force of the soft gripper but also provides a stable and reliable platform for installing sensors.
During late Carboniferous time, the residual ocean basin gradually closed in West Junggar and only a small amount of seawater remained in the Hala’alat Mountain area, where discussions of provenance and tectonics are limited. In this study, LA-ICP-MS U–Pb dating and heavy mineral identification are conducted on the upper Carboniferous tuffaceous sandstones from the Hala’alat and Aladeyikesai formations in the Hala’alat Mountain area. The results reveal the low maturity of the clastic sediments, indicating proximal deposition. The Hala’alat Formation detrital zircons present a single peak (c. 330 Ma). Speculatively, the primary provenance is the Boshchekul–Chingiz Arc, and the secondary sources are the Darbut Tectono-Magmatic Belt and island arcs in the basin. The main peak and provenance of the Aladeyikesai Formation are similar to those of the Hala’alat Formation. Moreover, several age groups, namely, 370–344 Ma, 427–404 Ma and 478–476 Ma, potentially correspond to provenances of the Darbut Tectono-Magmatic Belt, the Boshchekul–Chingiz Arc and the Kujibai–Hongguleleng Ophiolitic Mélange Belt. In addition, the maximum depositional ages of the Hala’alat and Aladeyikesai formations calculated are 314.6 ± 1.54 Ma and 330.8 ± 0.61 Ma, respectively. Comprehensive analysis shows a relatively singular provenance of the Hala’alat Formation. While the provenance of the Aladeyikesai Formation shows inheritance, the provenance area extends northwards to the Kujibai–Hongguleleng Ophiolitic Mélange Belt. Furthermore, the closure of the Junggar Ocean during Carboniferous time caused the potential source region of the Hala’alat Mountain area to migrate northeastwards from Barleik Mountain to Xiemisitai Mountain. This study provides a basis for the analysis of regional geological evolution.
Under global warming, many glaciers worldwide are receding. However, recent studies have suggested the extension of the Karakoram Anomaly, a region of anomalous glacier mass gain, into the western Kunlun and eastern Pamir mountains. However, the eastern limit of this anomaly in the Kunlun Mountains is unclear. This study, using changes in glacier area and surface elevation, estimates the eastern limit of the Kunlun-Pamir-Karakoram anomaly at ~85°E. Over the past 50 years, glaciers west of 85°E in the Kunlun Mountains decreased in area from 8401 to 7945 km2 at a rate of −0.12 ± 0.07% a−1, showed a reduction in the rate of retreat through time and have recently gained mass, with surface elevation changes of 0.15 ± 0.35 m a−1 over the period of 2000–2013. Glaciers east of 85°E have experienced greater rates of area change (−61 ± 12 km2 and −0.43 ± 0.13% a−1) over the past 50 years, accelerated area loss in recent years and elevation change rate of −0.51 ± 0.18 m a−1 between 2000 and 2013. These patterns of elevation and area change are consistent with regional increases in summer temperature in the eastern Kunlun Mountains and slight cooling in the western Kunlun Mountains.
Oxygen concentration influences oocyte quality and subsequent embryo development, but it remains unclear whether oxygen concentrations affect the developmental competence and transcriptomic profile of yak oocytes. In this study, we investigated the effects of different oxygen concentrations (5% versus 20%) on the developmental competence, reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, glutathione (GSH) content, and transcriptomic profile of yak oocytes. The results showed that a low oxygen concentration significantly increased the maturation rate of yak oocytes (81.2 ± 2.2% vs 75.9 ± 1.3%) and the blastocyst quality of yak in vitro fertilized embryos. Analysis of ROS and GSH showed that a low oxygen concentration reduced ROS levels and increased the content of GSH (75.05 ± 7.1 ng/oocyte vs 50.63 ± 5.6 ng/oocyte). Furthermore, transcriptomic analysis identified 120 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between the two groups of oocytes. Gene enrichment analysis of the DEGs indicated multiple cellular processes, including oxidative phosphorylation, transcription regulation, mitochondrial regulation, oestrogen signalling pathway, HIF-1 signalling pathway, TNF signalling pathway, were involved in the response to oxygen concentration alterations. Taken together, these results indicated that a low oxygen concentration improved the developmental competence of yak oocytes.
Structural hierarchy is ubiquitous in nature and quite important for optimizing the properties of functional materials. Carbon nanomaterials, owing to their unique and tunable physical and chemical properties, have been regarded as promising candidates for various energy storage systems. Constructing hierarchically structured carbon nanomaterials (HSCNs) can boost electrochemical performance of nanocarbons. Therefore, HSCNs have attracted tremendous research attentions in recent years. In this review, we summarized the recent progress in hierarchical structure design of carbon nanomaterials and their potential applications in different energy storage technologies. First we give a brief introduction about carbon nanomaterials and the hierarchical structure merits. Subsequently, recent research works on hierarchical structure design of carbon nanomaterials was summarized and classified according to applications in lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, supercapacitors and lithium–sulfur batteries, respectively. In addition, the challenges of HSCNs in different applications were also concluded and reviewed. At last, design principles of HSCNs were summarized and future development trends were prospected.
Although outcomes among people with schizophrenia differ by social context, this has rarely been examined across rural v. urban settings. For individuals with schizophrenia, employment is widely recognised as a critical ingredient of social integration.
To compare employment for people with schizophrenia in rural v. urban settings in China.
In a large community-based study in four provinces representing 12% of China's population, we identified 393 people with schizophrenia (112 never treated). We used adjusted Poisson regression models to compare employment for those living in rural (n = 297) v. urban (n = 96) settings.
Although rural and urban residents had similar impairments due to symptoms, rural residents were three times more likely to be employed (adjusted relative risk 3.27, 95% Cl 2.11-5.07, P<0.001).
People with schizophrenia have greater opportunities to use their capacities for productive work in rural than urban settings in China. Contextual mechanisms that may explain this result offer a useful focus for future research.
Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6 and retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) levels are associated with insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. Phytoestrogens (including lignans and isoflavones) may enhance the management of diabetes and are hypothesized to act through inflammation pathways. The present study explored the effects of flaxseed-derived lignan on inflammatory factors and RBP4 concentrations in type 2 diabetics, who have higher levels of these biomarkers. Seventy community-dwelling diabetic patients (twenty-six men and forty-four post-menopausal women) with mild hypercholesterolaemia completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial of supplementation with flaxseed-derived lignan capsules (360 mg/d) or placebo for 12 weeks, separated by an 8-week wash-out period. The participants maintained their habitual diets and levels of physical activity. Baseline to follow-up concentrations of CRP increased significantly within the placebo group (1·42 (sem 0·19) v. 1·96 (sem 0·22) mg/l, P < 0·001), but were comparatively unchanged in the lignan-supplemented group (1·67 (sem 0·19) v. 1·90 (sem 0·26) mg/l, P = 0·94); a significant difference was observed between treatments ( − 0·45 (95 % CI − 0·76, − 0·08) mg/l, P = 0·021). This effect was confined to women (P = 0·016), but not observed in men (P = 0·49). No between-treatment differences were found with regard to IL-6 or RBP4; though IL-6 concentrations increased significantly from baseline to follow-up in both groups (P = 0·004 and P < 0·001 following lignan and placebo treatments, respectively). The study suggests that lignan might modulate CRP levels in type 2 diabetics. These results need to be confirmed by further large clinical trials of longer duration.
The design of an on-demand transport system with origin and destination matrices is studied. Two objectives are considered; one is to minimize the sum (over all users) of travel time per unit time and the other is to minimize the sum of the total cost of track built. Firstly, we show that even the minimum total cost problem without consideration of the travel time is not a simple minimum spanning tree problem. Then, for the bi-objective problem, we transform one objective to a constraint condition. With this transformation, we transform the bi-objective problem to a single-objective problem and give the optimal solution by the branch and bound method. Finally, we propose a fast approximate algorithm and analyze its complexity.
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