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The quality of the polymer raw material used in plastic processing methods is an important characteristic because it is one of the main factors in producing quality products. Therefore, the characterization of polymeric pellets in the polymer processing industry is very important to avoid using inferior materials. In general, differences in the interiors of polymeric pellets reflect differences in their densities. In this study, a high-sensitivity magnetic levitation method was used to characterize the polymeric pellets in four different occasions. The device used has a high sensitivity that can distinguish minute differences as small as of 0.0041 g/cm3 in density between different samples. In addition, the method can obtain a sample's density without knowing the weight and volume of the sample. This method can be used to characterize materials by testing only a single pellet, which is very useful for polymeric pellet characterization.
Early maturity allows weedy rice (Oryza sativa L. f. spontanea) to persist by escaping harvest in paddy fields. A shorter grain-filling period contributes to the early maturity of weedy rice. However, the differences in morphology and endosperm development in the caryopsis between weedy and cultivated rice are largely unexplored. Here, we selected four biotypes of weedy rice and associated cultivated rice (ACR; Oryza sativa) from different latitudes to conduct a common garden experiment. The endosperm development process of the caryopsis was observed by optical microscopy and electron microscopy. Endosperm cell division and starch accumulation rate during grain filling were also measured. The grain development progress in weedy rice was more rapid and earlier than that in ACR. The endosperm development progress of weedy rice was 6 to 8 d earlier than that of ACR. The endosperm cells of weedy rice cellularized earlier and more rapidly than those of ACR, and the starch grains of weedy rice were more sharply polygonal and compactly arranged than those of ACR. The active endosperm cell division period in weedy rice was 4 to 7 d shorter than that in ACR, while the active starch accumulation period of weedy rice was 2 to 8 d shorter than that of ACR. The rapid development of endosperm cells and starch grains leads to the shorter grain-filling period of weedy rice. weedy rice.
Chickenpox is caused by varicella-zoster-virus (VZV) and is highly contagious. Immigration detention settings are a high-risk environment for primary VZV transmission, with large, rapidly-changing populations in close quarters, and higher susceptibility among non-UK-born individuals. During outbreaks, operational challenges occur in detention settings because of high-turnover and the potential need to implement population movement restriction for prolonged periods. Between December 2017 and February 2018, four cases of chickenpox were notified amongst 799 detainees in an immigration removal centre (IRC). Microbiological investigations included case confirmation by vesicular fluid polymerase chain reaction, and VZV serology for susceptibility testing. Control measures involved movement restrictions, isolation of cases, quarantining and cohorting of non-immune contacts and extending VZV immunity testing to the wider detainee population to support outbreak management. Immunity was tested for 301/532 (57%) detainees, of whom 24 (8%) were non-immune. The level of non-immunity was lower than expected based on the existing literature on VZV seroprevalence in detained populations in England. Serology results identified non-immune contacts who could be cohorted and, due to the lack of isolation capacity, allowed the placement of cases with immune detainees. The widespread immunity testing of all detainees was proving challenging to sustain because it required significant resources and was having a severe impact on operational capacity and the ability to maintain core business activities at the IRC. Therefore, mathematical modelling was used to assess the impact of scaling back mass immunity testing. Modelling demonstrated that interrupting testing posed a risk of one additional case compared to continuing with testing. As such, the decision was made to stop testing, and the outbreak was successfully controlled without excessive strain on resources. Operational challenges generated learning for future outbreaks, with implications for a local and national policy on IRC staff occupational health requirements, and proposed reception screening of detainees for VZV immunity.
The seminiferous tubule (ST) is the location of spermatogenesis, where mature spermatozoa are produced with the assistance of Sertoli cells. The role of extracellular vesicles in the direct communication between Sertoli-germ cells in the ST is still not fully understood. In this study, we reported multivesicular bodies (MVBs) and their source of CD63-enriched exosomes by light and ultrastructure microscopy during the reproductive phases of turtles. Strong CD63 immunopositivity was detected at the basal region in the early and luminal regions of the ST during late spermatogenesis by immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence (IF), and western blot (WB) analysis. Labeling of CD63 was detected in the Sertoli cell cytoplasmic processes that surround the developing germ cells during early spermatogenesis and in the lumen of the ST with elongated spermatids during late spermatogenesis. Furthermore, ultrastructure analysis confirmed the existence of numerous MVBs in the Sertoli cell prolongations that surround the round and primary spermatogonia during acrosome biogenesis and with the embedded heads of spermatids in the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. Additionally, in spermatids, Chrysanthemum flower centers (CFCs) generated isolated membranes involved in MVBs and autophagosome formation, and their fusion to form amphiosomes was also observed. Additionally, autophagy inhibition by 3-methyladenine (after 24 h) increased CD63 protein signals during late spermatogenesis, as detected by IF and WB. Collectively, our study found MVBs and CD63 rich exosomes within the Sertoli cells and their response to autophagy inhibition in the ST during the spermatogenesis in the turtle.
The microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.
Although topographic mapping missions and geological surveys carried out by Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are becoming increasingly prevalent, the lack of precise navigation in these scenarios still limits their application. This paper deals with the problems of long-term underwater navigation for AUVs and provides new mapping techniques by developing a Bathymetric Simultaneous Localisation And Mapping (BSLAM) method based on graph SLAM technology. To considerably reduce the calculation cost, the trajectory of the AUV is divided into various submaps based on Differences of Normals (DoN). Loop closures between submaps are obtained by terrain matching; meanwhile, maximum likelihood terrain estimation is also introduced to build weak data association within the submap. Assisted by one weight voting method for loop closures, the global and local trajectory corrections work together to provide an accurate navigation solution for AUVs with weak data association and inaccurate loop closures. The viability, accuracy and real-time performance of the proposed algorithm are verified with data collected onboard, including an 8 km planned track recorded at a speed of 4 knots in Qingdao, China.
Discovering knowledge from data is a quantum jump from quantity to quality, which is the characteristic and the spirit of the development of science. Symbolic regression (SR) is playing a greater role in the discovery of knowledge from data, specifically in this era of exponential data growth, because SRs are able to discover mathematical formulas from data. These formulas may provide scientifically meaningful models, especially when combined with domain knowledge. This article provides an overview of SR applications in the field of materials science and engineering. Integrating domain knowledge with SR is the key and a crucial approach, which allows gaining knowledge from data quickly, accurately, and scientifically. In the data-driven paradigm, SR allows for uncovering the underlying mechanisms of materials behavior, properties, and functions, in a wide range of areas from basic academic research to industrial applications, including experiments and computations, by providing explicit interpretable models from data, in comparison with other machine-learning “black-box” models. SR will be a powerful tool for rational and automatic materials development.
Significant developments in micro-electrical-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based devices have led to the commercialization of windowed gas cells that now enable atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) observation of phenomena occurring during gas-solid interactions at atmospheric pressure. An in situ atmospheric STEM study provides information that is beneficial to correlating the structure-properties relationship of catalytic nanomaterials, particularly under realistic gaseous reaction conditions. In this article, we illustrate the advantages of this tool as applied to our study of two important systems: (1) the CO-induced Pt nanoparticle surface reconstruction at saturation coverage and (2) the ordering and Pt surface enrichment in supported Pt3Co nanoparticles.
Although it is crucial to improve the treatment status of people with severe mental illness (SMI), it is still unknown whether and how socioeconomic development influences their treatment status.
To explore the change in treatment status in people with SMI from 1994 to 2015 in rural China and to examine the factors influencing treatment status in those with SMI.
Two mental health surveys using identical methods and ICD-10 were conducted in 1994 and 2015 (population ≥15 years old, n = 152 776) in the same six townships of Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
Compared with 1994, individuals with SMI in 2015 had significantly higher rates of poor family economic status, fewer family caregivers, longer duration of illness, later age at first onset and poor mental status. Participants in 2015 had significantly higher rates of never being treated, taking antipsychotic drugs and ever being admitted to hospital, and lower rates of using traditional Chinese medicine or being treated by traditional/spiritual healers. The factors strongly associated with never being treated included worse mental status (symptoms/social functioning), older age, having no family caregivers and poor family economic status.
Socioeconomic development influences the treatment status of people with SMI in contemporary rural China. Relative poverty, having no family caregivers and older age are important factors associated with a worse treatment status. Culture-specific, community-based interventions and targeted poverty-alleviation programmes should be developed to improve the early identification, treatment and recovery of individuals with SMI in rural China.
TRIM28/KAP1/TIF1β was identified as a universal transcriptional co-repressor and is critical for regulating post-fertilization methylation reprogramming in preimplantation embryos. In this study, three siRNAs (si647, si742, and si1153) were designed to target the TRIM28 mRNA sequence. After transfection of the mixture of the three siRNA (siMix) into bovine fibroblast cells, the most effective one for TRIM28 knockdown was selected. By injecting RNAi directed against TRIM28 mRNA, we found that TRIM28 knockdown in oocytes had the most effect on the H19 gene, in which differentially methylated region (DMR) methylation was almost completely absent at the 2-cell stage (1.4%), while control embryos showed 74% methylation. In addition, global H3K9me3 levels at the 2-cell stage were significantly higher in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) group than in the TRIM28 knockdown group (P<0.05). We further show that TRIM28 is highly expressed during oocyte maturation and reaches peak levels at the 2-cell stage. In contrast, at this stage, TRIM28 expression in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos decreased significantly (P<0.05), suggesting that Trim28 transcripts are lost during SCNT. TRIM28 is required for the maintenance of methylation imprints in bovine preimplantation embryos, and the loss of TRIM28 during SCNT may contribute to the unfaithful maintenance of imprints in cloned embryos.
Familial monozygotic (MZ) twinning reports are rare around the world, and we report a four-generation pedigree with seven recorded pairs of female MZ twins. Whole-genome sequencing of seven family members was performed to explore the featured genetic factors in MZ twins. For variations specific to MZ twins, five novel variants were observed in the X chromosome. These candidates were used to explain the seemingly X-linked dominant inheritance pattern, and only one variant was exonic, located at the 5′UTR region of ZCCHC12 (chrX: 117958597, G > A). Besides, consistent mitochondrial DNA composition in the maternal linage precluded roles of mitochondria for this trait. In this pedigree, autosomes also contain diverse variations specific to MZ twins. Pathway analysis revealed a significant enrichment of genes carrying novel SNVs in the epithelial adherens junction-signaling pathway (p = .011), contributed by FGFR1, TUBB6, and MYH7B. Meanwhile, TBC1D22A, TRIOBP, and TUBB6, also carrying similar SNVs, were involved in the GTPase family-mediated signal pathway. Furthermore, gene-set enrichment analysis for 533 genes covered by copy number variations specific to MZ twins illustrated that the tight junction-signaling pathway was significantly enriched (p < .001). Therefore, the novel changes in the X chromosome and the provided candidate variants across autosomes may be responsible for MZ twinning, giving clues to increase our understanding about the underlying mechanism.
We summarize our model that high frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) both in the neutron star low mass X-ray binaries (NS-LMXBs) and black hole LMXBs may originate from magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves. Based on the MHD model in NS-LMXBs, the explanation of the parallel tracks is presented. The slowly varying effective surface magnetic field of a NS leads to the shift of parallel tracks of QPOs in NS-LMXBs. In the study of kilohertz (kHz) QPOs in NS-LMXBs, we obtain a simple power-law relation between the kHz QPO frequencies and the combined parameter of accretion rate and the effective surface magnetic field. Based on the MHD model in BH-LMXBs, we suggest that two stable modes of the Alfv́en waves in the accretion disks with a toroidal magnetic field may lead to the double high frequency QPOs. This model, in which the effect of the general relativity in BH-LMXBs is considered, naturally accounts for the 3:2 relation for the upper and lower frequencies of the QPOs and the relation between the BH mass and QPO frequency.
This study was designed to explore the association between undernutrition in the growth period and cardiovascular risk factors in a middle-aged Chinese population. A total of 1756 subjects, aged 45–60 years, were invited to participate in the Hefei Nutrition and Health Study and divided into three groups according to their self-reported animal food intake in the growth period. Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 were defined as undernutrition, nutritional improvement and the good nutrition group, respectively. In the three groups, the subjects in Groups 1 and 2 had more oil and salt intake (P<0.001), and less eggs and milk intake (P<0.001), when compared with the subjects in Group 3. After adjusting for age, education, smoking status and other confounding factors, it was found that male participants who experienced nutritional improvement before age 18 had higher risk of hypertension [odds ratio (OR)=1.68; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.05, 2.69] than those with good nutrition, and female participants with undernutrition (OR=1.52; 95% CI: 1.01, 2.29) and nutritional improvement (OR=1.68; 95% CI: 1.04, 2.69) before age 18 had a higher risk of hypertension than those with good nutrition. For diabetes, obesity, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia, our results did not found difference among the three groups both in male and female. Our findings indicated that nutritional deficiency in childhood was associated with bad dietary behaviors and a significantly increased risk of hypertension in middle age. Therefore, early adequate nutrition is very important for the prevention of non-communicable diseases later.
To produce pulses with good flat-top quality, pulse-forming lines (PFLs) have been widely used in the field of Tesla-type pulse generators. To shorten the physical length of the PFL, a double-width PFL (DWPFL) is proposed that doubles the output pulse width while maintaining flat-top quality. A repetitively 10 GW Tesla-type long-pulse generator producing pulses with flat-top width of about 110 ns was developed with a coaxial DWPFL to produce high-current electron beams. Electron beams of about 10 GW with flat-top widths of about 110 ns were obtained on a planar vacuum diode load. With this pulse generator and a C-band high-power microwave system, microwaves of ~2.2 GW power and full-width at half-maximum of 101 ns were generated. The experiment demonstrates the feasibility and ideal output waveform quality of the DWPFL.
The stability of a shale containing smectite with different exchangeable cations (Na+, Ca2+) was improved using optimum solutions containing polyether amine (PA), poly-alcohol (PO) or KCl. Two types of shale samples with Na+ and Ca2+ as the main exchangeable cations, respectively, were used and the optimized solutions were determined using X-ray diffraction (XRD), an adsorption test, an oedometer swelling test, and an immersion test. The use of KCl prevented intercalation of PA or PO and maintained the stability of the Na-smectite-bearing shale. PA or PO adsorption reduced water adsorption sites on the clay layer, and K+ reduced hydration of exchangeable Na+, resulting in good shale stability in mixed solutions of KCl+PA, and KCl+PO. More stable shale was achieved in KCl+ PA mixed solution, whereas in the KCl+ PO solution the transport of water or solute molecules in the shale was reduced. In the shale containing mainly Ca-smectite, PA, PO and KCl maintained shale stability when applied separately or in common, as PA or PO cannot exchange Ca2+ in the smectite interlayer. As a result, PA or PO should be used together with KCl during drilling in shale formations containing Na-smectite, whereas in shales with Ca-smectite, PA, PO or KCl may be used separately.