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Plasmodium knowlesi has risen in importance as a zoonotic parasite that has been causing regular episodes of malaria throughout South East Asia. The P. knowlesi genome sequence generated in 2008 highlighted and confirmed many similarities and differences in Plasmodium species, including a global view of several multigene families, such as the large SICAvar multigene family encoding the variant antigens known as the schizont-infected cell agglutination proteins. However, repetitive DNA sequences are the bane of any genome project, and this and other Plasmodium genome projects have not been immune to the gaps, rearrangements and other pitfalls created by these genomic features. Today, long-read PacBio and chromatin conformation technologies are overcoming such obstacles. Here, based on the use of these technologies, we present a highly refined de novo P. knowlesi genome sequence of the Pk1(A+) clone. This sequence and annotation, referred to as the ‘MaHPIC Pk genome sequence’, includes manual annotation of the SICAvar gene family with 136 full-length members categorized as type I or II. This sequence provides a framework that will permit a better understanding of the SICAvar repertoire, selective pressures acting on this gene family and mechanisms of antigenic variation in this species and other pathogens.
We study pseudo-arclength continuation methods for both Rydberg-dressed Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC), and binary Rydberg-dressed BEC which are governed by the Gross-Pitaevskii equations (GPEs). A divide-and-conquer technique is proposed for rescaling the range/ranges of nonlocal nonlinear term/terms, which gives enough information for choosing a proper stepsize. This guarantees that the solution curve we wish to trace can be precisely approximated. In addition, the ground state solution would successfully evolve from one peak to vortices when the affect of the rotating term is imposed. Moreover, parameter variables with different number of components are exploited in curve-tracing. The proposed methods have the advantage of tracing the ground state solution curve once to compute the contours for various values of the coefficients of the nonlocal nonlinear term/terms. Our numerical results are consistent with those published in the literatures.
Impaired executive function (EF) is suggested to be one of the core features in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); however, little is known about whether the extent of worse EF in ASD than typically developing (TD) controls is age-dependent. We used age-stratified analysis to reveal this issue.
We assessed 111 youths with ASD (aged 12.5 ± 2.8 years, male 94.6%) and 114 age-, and sex-matched TD controls with Digit Span and four EF tasks of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB): Spatial Span (SSP), Spatial Working Memory (SWM), Stockings of Cambridge (SOC), and Intradimensional/Extradimensional Shift Test (I/ED).
Compared to TD controls, youths with ASD performed poorer on the Digit Span, SWM, SOC, and I/ED tasks. The performance of all the tasks improved with age for both groups. Age-stratified analyses were conducted due to significant age × group interactions in visuospatial planning (SOC) and set-shifting (I/ED) and showed that poorer performance on these two tasks in ASD than TD controls was found only in the child (aged 8–12 years) rather than the adolescent (aged 13–18 years) group. By contrast, youths with ASD had impaired working memory, regardless of age. The increased magnitude of group difference in visuospatial planning (SOC) with increased task demands differed between the two age groups but no age moderating effect on spatial working memory.
Our findings support deficits in visuospatial working memory and planning in youths with ASD; however, worse performance in set-shifting may only be demonstrated in children with ASD.
This study aimed to identify the pattern of post-operative drainage following partial superficial parotidectomy with and without the use of a bipolar vessel-sealing device.
Of the 49 patients undergoing parotidectomies, a bipolar vessel-sealing device was used for 20. Predictive factors included in the analysis were age, sex, body weight, operating time, tumour pathology, and diabetes mellitus, hypertension and smoking status.
In multivariate analyses, body weight (p = 0.026) and non-use of a bipolar vessel-sealing device (p = 0.009) were significantly associated with increased post-operative drainage after 24 hours. There was also a trend towards increased drainage in diabetic patients. Operating times were significantly shorter in the bipolar vessel-sealing device group.
Although 24-hour drainage appears adequate for most patients, in obese and diabetic individuals there is a risk of requiring increased drainage. Therefore, the drain should be left in place for a longer period. The bipolar vessel-sealing device is safe and time-efficient, and decreases the post-operative drainage period.
An uneven neurocognitive profile is a hallmark of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Studies focusing on the visual memory performance in ASD have shown controversial results. We investigated visual memory and sustained attention in youths with ASD and typically developing (TD) youths.
We recruited 143 pairs of youths with ASD (males 93.7%; mean age 13.1, s.d. 3.5 years) and age- and sex-matched TD youths. The ASD group consisted of 67 youths with autistic disorder (autism) and 76 with Asperger's disorder (AS) based on the DSM-IV criteria. They were assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery involving the visual memory [spatial recognition memory (SRM), delayed matching to sample (DMS), paired associates learning (PAL)] and sustained attention (rapid visual information processing; RVP).
Youths with ASD performed significantly worse than TD youths on most of the tasks; the significance disappeared in the superior intelligence quotient (IQ) subgroup. The response latency on the tasks did not differ between the ASD and TD groups. Age had significant main effects on SRM, DMS, RVP and part of PAL tasks and had an interaction with diagnosis in DMS and RVP performance. There was no significant difference between autism and AS on visual tasks.
Our findings implied that youths with ASD had a wide range of visual memory and sustained attention impairment that was moderated by age and IQ, which supports temporal and frontal lobe dysfunction in ASD. The lack of difference between autism and AS implies that visual memory and sustained attention cannot distinguish these two ASD subtypes, which supports DSM-5 ASD criteria.
The three tropical species Gomphandra luzoniensis, Nothapodytes nimmoniana and Goniothalamus amuyon contain important cancer-fighting drugs; however, little is known about how to propagate these species from seeds. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the germination requirements of seeds of each of these three species in order to provide an effective protocol to produce plants. Fresh seeds of G. luzoniensis germinated up to 73% at high temperatures in light in 4 weeks, and embryos were underdeveloped. Most seeds had morphological dormancy (MD), but a proportion of them had morphophysiological dormancy (MPD). Fresh seeds of N. nimmoniana germinated up to 50% in light in 4 weeks, embryo length increased by 17% before radicle emergence and ≥ 89% of the seeds had germinated after incubation for 6 weeks in light at high temperatures. Thus, about 50% of the seeds have MD and about 50% MPD. Fresh seeds of G. amuyon incubated at 30°C in light for 4 weeks germinated to 69%, whereas at the other incubation temperatures germination took longer than 4 weeks. Embryo length increased 213% before radicle emergence, and after 8 weeks of incubation at high temperatures ≥ 80% of the seeds had germinated. As in the other two species, the seed population consisted of a mixture of MD and MPD. Incubation of seeds of these three species at high temperatures (e.g. 25, 30 and 30/20°C) for up to 2 months is recommended for germination and thus seedling production.
We present the results of recent studies on the co-evolution of galaxies and the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) using Herschel far-infrared and Chandra X-ray observations in the Boötes survey region. For a sample of star-forming (SF) galaxies, we find a strong correlation between galactic star formation rate and the average SMBH accretion rate in SF galaxies. Recent studies have shown that star formation and AGN accretion are only weakly correlated for individual AGN, but this may be due to the short variability timescale of AGN relative to star formation. Averaging over the full AGN population yields a strong linear correlation between accretion and star formation, consistent with a simple picture in which the growth of SMBHs and their host galaxies are closely linked over galaxy evolution time scales.
This paper reports the results of a series of full-scale drilled shaft load tests subjected to combined axial and lateral loading and lateral loading only. The tested shafts, 1.4m in diameter, were embedded 37m in sandy silt. All tested shafts were installed using reverse circulation method. The test results indicated, given the same lateral loading, 63% of pile head displacement resulted from combined load corresponded with the case of lateral loading only. The test results were compared to the numerical results of the software LPILE as well as the analytical solutions proposed by the senior author and his co-workers. The analytical results of the pile bending moments along shaft showed better results than that of LPILE.
We investigated lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme patterns in the cyst fluid of auricular pseudocysts and autogenous blood, to assist the diagnosis of auricular pseudocyst.
Twenty patients with auricular pseudocysts participated in this study conducted in Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital between February 2007 and June 2010. Patterns of lactate dehydrogenase in cyst fluid and autogenous blood were analysed.
Levels of lactate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 were lower in auricular pseudocysts than in autogenous blood, whereas levels of lactate dehydrogenase 4 and 5 were higher; this difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001).
Lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme patterns in auricular pseudocyst fluid indicated higher percentage distributions of lactate dehydrogenase 4 and 5 and lower percentage distributions of lactate dehydrogenase 1 and 2. An effective laboratory method of evaluating the different lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme components was developed; this method may improve the accuracy of auricular pseudocyst diagnosis.
We study efficient spectral-collocation and continuation methods (SCCM) for rotating two-component Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) and rotating two-component BECs in optical lattices, where the second kind Chebyshev polynomials are used as the basis functions for the trial function space. A novel two-parameter continuation algorithm is proposed for computing the ground state and first excited state solutions of the governing Gross-Pitaevskii equations (GPEs), where the classical tangent vector is split into two constraint conditions for the bordered linear systems. Numerical results on rotating two-component BECs and rotating two-component BECs in optical lattices are reported. The results on the former are consistent with the published numerical results.
Although it has been speculated that seeds of the gymnosperm family Podocarpaceae have an underdeveloped embryo, no detailed studies have been done to definitively answer this question. Our purpose was to determine if embryos in seeds of two species of Podocarpaceae, Podocarpus costalis and Nageia nagi, from Taiwan are underdeveloped and to examine the kind of dormancy the seeds have. Embryos in fresh seeds of P. costalis were 4.6 ± 0.5 mm long, and they increased in length by about 54% before radicle emergence (germination), demonstrating that the embryo is underdeveloped at seed maturity. Seeds germinated to >90% at 30/20, 25/15 and 25°C in light in ≤ 4 weeks, without any cold stratification pretreatment. Thus, seeds of P. costalis have morphological dormancy (MD). Embryos in fresh seeds of N. nagi were 7.4 ± 0.8 mm long and they increased in length by about 39% before radicle emergence (germination) occurred, indicating that the embryo is underdeveloped at seed maturity. Seeds germinated to < 25% at 30/20 and 25°C in light in 4 weeks but to >90% at the same temperatures in 12 weeks. Thus, most seeds of N. nagi have morphophysiological dormancy (MPD). Although underdeveloped embryos are considered to be a primitive condition in seed plants, they also occur in the most advanced orders. The occurrence of underdeveloped embryos in Podocarpaceae documents that they are not restricted to a basal clade in gymnosperms.
Large electrocaloric (EC) effects in ferroelectric polymers and in ferroelectric ceramics have attracted great attention for new refrigeration development which is more environmental friendly and more efficient and thus could be an alternative to the existing vapor-compression refrigerators which consume large energy and release large amount of green house gas. However in the past, all EC effects investigations have been focused on solid state dielectrics. It is interesting to ask whether a large EC effect can also be realized in dielectric fluids. A dielectric fluid with large EC effect could lead to new design of cooling devices with simpler structures than these based on solid state EC materials, for example, they can be utilized as both the refrigerant and heat exchange fluid. Here we present that a large EC effect can be realized in the liquid crystal (LC) 5CB near it's nematic-isotropic (N-I) phase transition. The LC 5CB possesses a large dielectric anisotropy which can induce large polarization change from the isotropic phase to the nematic phase near the N-I transition. An isothermal entropy change of more than 23 Jkg-1K-1 was observed near 39 oC that is just above the N-I transition.
In clinical practice, cam-out failure at the recess-screwdriver interfaces may occur when tightening or removing a bone screw. For titanium-based periarticular fixation, the literature reports have revealed that cold welding at the plate-screw interfaces makes the screw recess especially prone to cam-out failure during screw removal. In this study, the effects of the four recess shapes (cross, hexagon, star, and crest), three torque value (0.8, 1.0, and 1.2N-m), and the three interfacial misfits (0.00, 0.05, and 0.10mm) on the cam-out failure were numerically evaluated. The free-rotation angle, torque-recess angle, slippage-resisting length, and interfacial stress distribution were defined and chosen as comparison indices for the twelve recess-misfit variations. The results revealed that the interfacial slippage, torque transfer, and stress distribution are highly related to both recess shape and interfacial misfit. The stresses of all recesses and screwdrivers consistently initiate at the contact sites. However, the recess profile significantly affects the stress propagation. The stress patterns of the recess and screwdriver are quite different between the cross-star and hexagon-crest groups. The cross-star group is superior to the hexagon-crest group in terms of the torque-recess angle and slippage-resisting length over. This makes the recess of the cross-star group less stressed than its counterpart. However, the volumes of the cross and the star screwdriver are more highly stressed than the hexagon due to the irregular shape and the thinner flange, respectively. The greater torque and misfit increase the performance difference between the four recess designs. In conclusion, the geometry of the cross and star groups provide the better performance of the screw recess in terms of torque-transferring efficiency and slippage-resisting ability. If the screwdriver material is properly strengthened and the stress-concentrating corners are modified, the cross and star groups would be the optimal designs that protects and extends the lifetime of both recess and reused screwdriver.
The present study investigated dietary intake, glucose metabolism and sex hormones in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). A total of forty-five women (aged 25–40 years) with PCOS and 161 control women (aged 25–43 years) with non-PCOS-related infertility were recruited. Anthropometry, glucose tolerance and sex hormones were determined and dietary intake was assessed. Women with PCOS had lower serum sex hormone-binding globulin and increased BMI, waist:hip ratio, luteinising hormone, ratio of luteinising hormone:follicle-stimulating hormone, testosterone and free androgen index (FAI). Postprandial glucose, fasting insulin and insulin resistance were elevated in women with PCOS. Women with PCOS had reduced energy and carbohydrate intake but higher fat intake. Serum sex hormone-binding globulin level was negatively associated with BMI in both groups and negatively correlated with macronutrient intake in the PCOS group with hyperandrogenism. However, FAI was positively correlated with BMI, waist circumference and glucose metabolic parameters in both groups. Therefore, women with PCOS consume lower energy and carbohydrate compared with those with non-PCOS-related infertility and macronutrient intake is only negatively associated with serum sex hormone-binding globulin level in the PCOS group with hyperandrogenism.
In this study, we consider various contributions to the forces on an impulsively started finite plate from the perspective of a diagnostic vorticity force theory. The wing plate has an aspect ratio (AR) between 1 and 3, and is placed at low and high angles of attack ( and ), while the Reynolds number is either 100 or 300. The theory enables us to quantify the contributions to the forces exerted on the plate in terms of all of the fluid elements with non-zero vorticity, such as in the tip vortices (TiVs), leading- and trailing-edge vortices (LEV and TEV) as well on the plate surface. This line of force analysis has been pursued for two-dimensional flow in our previous studies. In contrast to the pressure force analysis (PFA), the vorticity force analysis (VFA) reveals new salient features in its applications to three-dimensional flow by examining sectional force contributions along the spanwise direction. In particular, at a large aspect ratio (), the force distributions of PFA and VFA show close agreements with each other in the middle sections, while at a lower aspect ratio (), the force distribution of PFA is substantially larger than that of VFA in most of the sections. The difference is compensated for by the contributions partly by the edge sections and mainly by the vortices in the outer regions. Further investigation is made fruitful by decomposing the vorticity into the spanwise (longitudinal) component (the only one in two-dimensional flow) and the other two orthogonal (transverse) components. The relative importance of the force contributions credited to the transverse components in the entire flow regions as well as in the two outer regions signifies the three-dimensional nature of the flow over a finite plate. The interplay between the LEV and the TiVs at various time stages is shown to play a key role in distinguishing the force contributions for the plate with a smaller aspect ratio and that with a larger aspect ratio. The present VFA provides a better perspective for flow control by relating the forces directly to the various sources of vorticity (or vortex structures) on or near the wing plate.