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Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto is regarded to have the highest zoonotic potential of all Echinococcus taxa. Globally, human infection due to this species constitutes over 88.44% of the total cystic echinococcosis (CE) burden. Here, we report a CE infection in a Nigerian camel caused by E. granulosus G1 genotype. To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first encounter of the G1 genotype in the West Africa sub-region where the G6 genotype is reportedly prevalent, suggesting that the epidemiology of this highly zoonotic group could have a wider host range and distribution in the sub-region, and emphasizes the need for further investigation into the genetic diversity of Echinococcus spp. in Nigeria and across the sub-region.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
Recently, the telecommunication market experiences an explosion in the subscribers of emergent high-debit services which require bandwidth that exceeds the one provided by actual copper based access networks . To cope with these demands and keep competitive, great efforts have been done to develop access networks based on optical technology, such as passive all-optical networks due to their intrinsic low cost . Sol-gel processing is suitable for the development of organic-inorganic hybrid (OIH) materials for the production of functional integrated optic (IO) devices in a cost effective way. Urea cross-linked OIH show acceptable transparency, mechanical flexibility and thermal stability [3-6]. The control over the refractive index is achieved by zirconium (IV) n-propoxide (ZPO) doping stabilized with methacrylic acid (MA) [3-5]. The combination in a single material of urea cross-linked OIH and ZPO allowed the preparation of UV written low losses planar waveguides  and low rugosity diffraction grating [4,5]. It has been demonstrated that MA acts not only as ZPO stabilizer but impacts directly on the photopolimerization properties as it contains a photopolymerizable group making the OIH easily UV patterned without photoinitiator . Moreover, it also impacts on the OHIs local structure as it forms a complex with ZPO, that originate ordered clusters dispersed within the OIH host [4,5]. Besides the potential of this OIH as IO components, the hybrid hosts are room-temperature efficient white light emitters lacking metal activator ions, presenting quantum yields as higher as 20 % . In this work, a series of OIH, so called di-ureasils, formed of a siliceous skeleton to which oligopolyether chains of different lengths are covalently grafted by means of urea bridges and modified by ZPO and MA will be prepared and characterized by X-ray and small angle X-ray diffractions, Raman, infrared, atomic force and photoluminescence spectroscopies. The use of the proposed OIH in the development of IO functionalities such as optical filters will be evaluated based on waveguide numerical simulation methods (beam propagation method). Waveguides will be written and characterized using the OIH aforementioned. The recording of a Bragg grating in the waveguides allow the implementation of a wavelength discrimination device with applications on optical filtering. The relevant properties of the devices, such as spectral rejection and insertion losses will be characterized.  S-J Park et al. Journal of Lightwave Tech. 22, 2004.  D.J. Shin et al., Journal of Lightwave Tech. 23, 2005.  C. Molina et al., J. Mater. Chem. 15, 3937, 2005.  R.A. Sá Ferreira et al., Proceedings of the International Conference on Telecomunications, 2006.  P.S. André et al. Proceedings ICTON, 1, We.C1.6, 223, 2006.  a) L.D. Carlos et al., Adv. Func. Mater. 11, 111, 2001; b) J. Chem. Phys. B. 108, 14924, 2004. Siemens SA and FCT (POCTI/CTM/59075/2004) is gratefully acknowledged.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Dietary delivery of bacterially expressed double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) has a great potential for management of Leptinotarsa decemlineata. An important first step is to discover possible RNA-interference (RNAi)-target genes effective against larvae, especially the old larvae. In the present paper, five putative Broad-Complex (BrC) cDNAs (Z1-Z4, and Z6) were identified in L. decemlineata. The expression of the five LdBrC isoforms was suppressed by juvenile hormone signaling, whereas the transcription was upregulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone signaling at the fourth (final) instar larval stage. Feeding of bacterially expressed dsBrC (derived from a common fragment of the five LdBrC variants) in the third- and fourth-instar larvae successfully knocked down the target mRNAs. For the fourth-instar LdBrC RNAi hypomorphs, they had a higher larval mortality compared with the controls. Moreover, most dsBrC-fed beetles did not pupate normally. After removal of the apolysed larval cuticle, a miniature adult was found. The adult head, compound eyes, prothorax, mesothorax, metathorax were found on the dorsal view. Distinct adult cuticle pigmentation was seen on the prothorax. The mouthparts, forelegs, midlegs, and hindlegs could be observed on the ventral view of the miniature adults. For the third-instar LdBrC RNAi specimens, around 20% moribund beetles remained as prepupae and finally died. Therefore, LdBrC is among the most attractive candidate genes for RNAi to control the fourth-instar larvae in L. decemlineata.
Methods for the control of molecular deposition and orientation are critical for the development of organic electronic devices. Here, we show the fabrication of ribbons of the optical material polydiacetylene (PDA) using a controlled evaporative self-assembly method. The ability to form these ribbons is highly dependent on both the side groups on the PDA as well as the solvent used in the preparation. Arrays of ribbons of one type of PDA, poly[1,6-di(N-carbazolyl)-2,4-hexadiyne], with widths on the order of 1–2 µm and lengths of 100s of micrometers, could be successfully obtained with good orientation.
Chondrules contain ferromagnetic minerals that may retain a record of the magnetic field environments in which they cooled. Paleomagnetic experiments on separated chondrules can potentially reveal the presence of remanent magnetization from the time of chondrule formation. The existence of such a magnetization places quantitative bounds on the frequency of interchondrule collisions, while the intensity of magnetization may be used to infer the strength of nebular magnetic fields and thereby constrain the mechanism of chondrule formation. Recent advances in laboratory instrumentation and techniques have permitted the isolation of nebular remanent magnetization in chondrules, providing the potential basis to probe the formation environments of chondrules from a range of chondrite classes.
The influence of heat treatment (homogenization) on the microstructure, mechanical behavior, and soft magnetic properties of a face-centered cubic (fcc)-based high-entropy alloy (HEA), Fe29Co28Ni29Cu7Ti7, fabricated by casting, was investigated in detail. The as-cast Fe29Co28Ni29Cu7Ti7 HEA was composed of a primary fcc phase containing coherent dispersed L12 nanoprecipitates and trace amounts of a needle-like phase. The tensile yield strength (σ0.2), ultimate strength, and total elongation of the as-cast alloy are 917 MPa, 1060 MPa, and 1.8%, respectively. Following homogenization, the alloy having a single fcc phase shows a decrease of ∼ 55% in yield strength and a decrease of ∼ 36% in ultimate strength; however, the total elongation is increased from 1.8 to 52%. Saturation magnetization (Msat) is decreased from 111.54 to 110.34 Am2/kg, by contrast, coercivity (Hc) is increased from 266.65 to 966.89 A/m. The dissolution of precipitates and grain growth are mainly responsible for the changes in magnetic properties and mechanical behavior.
An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of acetate treatment on lipid metabolism in rabbits. New Zealand Rabbits (30 days, n=80) randomly received a subcutaneous injection (2 ml/injection) of 0, 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 g/kg per day body mass acetate (dissolved in saline) for 4 days. Our results showed that acetate induced a dose-dependent decrease in shoulder adipose (P<0.05). Although acetate injection did not alter the plasma leptin and glucose concentration (P>0.05), acetate treatment significantly decreased the plasma adiponectin, insulin and triglyceride concentrations (P<0.05). In adipose, acetate injection significantly up-regulated the gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα), differentiation-dependent factor 1 (ADD1), adipocyte protein 2 (aP2), carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), CPT2, hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), G protein-coupled receptor (GPR41), GPR43, adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase α1 (AMPKα1), adiponectin receptor (AdipoR1), AdipoR2 and leptin receptor. In addition, acetate treatment significantly increased the protein levels of phosphorylated AMPKα, extracellular signaling-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (P38 MAPK) and c-jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK). In conclusion, acetate up-regulated the adipocyte-specific transcription factors (PPARγ, C/EBPα, aP2 and ADD1), which were associated with the activated GPR41/43 and MAPKs signaling. Meanwhile, acetate decreased fat content via the upregulation of the steatolysis-related factors (HSL, CPT1 and CPT2), and AMPK signaling may be involved in the process.
The neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.
In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.
Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism Met allele exacerbates amyloid (Aβ) related decline in episodic memory (EM) and hippocampal volume (HV) over 36–54 months in preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the extent to which Aβ+ and BDNF Val66Met is related to circulating markers of BDNF (e.g. serum) is unknown. We aimed to determine the effect of Aβ and the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on levels of serum mBDNF, EM, and HV at baseline and over 18-months.
Non-demented older adults (n = 446) underwent Aβ neuroimaging and BDNF Val66Met genotyping. EM and HV were assessed at baseline and 18 months later. Fasted blood samples were obtained from each participant at baseline and at 18-month follow-up. Aβ PET neuroimaging was used to classify participants as Aβ– or Aβ+.
At baseline, Aβ+ adults showed worse EM impairment and lower serum mBDNF levels relative to Aβ- adults. BDNF Val66Met polymorphism did not affect serum mBDNF, EM, or HV at baseline. When considered over 18-months, compared to Aβ– Val homozygotes, Aβ+ Val homozygotes showed significant decline in EM and HV but not serum mBDNF. Similarly, compared to Aβ+ Val homozygotes, Aβ+ Met carriers showed significant decline in EM and HV over 18-months but showed no change in serum mBDNF.
While allelic variation in BDNF Val66Met may influence Aβ+ related neurodegeneration and memory loss over the short term, this is not related to serum mBDNF. Longer follow-up intervals may be required to further determine any relationships between serum mBDNF, EM, and HV in preclinical AD.
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) play a regulatory role in various physiological processes in mammals and act as endogenous ligands for the G protein-coupled receptors (GPR) 41 and 43. The role of GPR41 and GPR43 in mediating SCFA signaling in the rabbit remains unclear. The present study was to investigate the sequence of the GPR41 and GPR43 messenger RNA (mRNA) and their expression pattern in different tissues and developmental stages in New Zealand rabbit. Comparison of genomic sequences in GenBank using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool program suggested that the New Zealand rabbit GPR41 mRNA has high similarities with the human (84%), bovine (84%) and Capra hircus (84%) genes. Similarly, GPR43 mRNA has high similarity with the rat (84%) and mouse (84%) genes. Real-time PCR results indicated that GPR41 and GPR43 mRNA were expressed throughout rabbit’s whole development and were expressed in several tissues. G protein-coupled receptor 41 and GPR43 mRNA were most highly expressed in pancreas (P<0.05) and s.c. adipose tissue (P<0.05), respectively. The expression levels of GPR41 mRNA was down-regulated in duodenum, cecum (P<0.05) and pancreas and up-regulated in jejunum, ileum, adipose tissue and spleen during growth. G protein-coupled receptor 43GPR43 mRNA was highly expressed in the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon, cecum and lung at 15th day (P<0.05), whereas the expression levels in the pancreas and spleen increased later after birth, with the highest expression at 60th day (P<0.05).
A cloud screening method initially generated to mask cloud contaminated pixels over the ocean in visible/infrared imagery, has been revised and adapted to detect clouds over Arctic regions with encouraging results. Although the method is quite successful in eliminating very cold clouds, it underestimates low level clouds. However, this does not appear to interfere with monitoring of ice related features such as leads or the ice edge in Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) scenes. The method uses: a multiple-band approach to produce signatures not readily available in single channel data, an edge detection/dilation technique to locate features in the clouds and to join isolated edges, and a polygon identification technique to remove noise in the form of isolated pixels and separate clear regions from cloud contaminated areas. The method has been tested over a limited set of data with consistent results. Initial evaluation of the usefulness of this cloud-detection algorithm in data-fusion experiments indicate a potential in locating areas in AVHRR data which are cloud contaminated and which could yield a far superior representation of the ice features if replaced with data from a different sensor such as the Special Sensor Microwave/lmager (SSM/I).
Studies of schizophrenia at drug-naive state and on antipsychotic medication have reported a number of regions of gray-matter (GM) abnormalities but the reports have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to conduct multimodal meta-analysis to compare the cross-sectional voxel-based morphometry studies of brain GM in antipsychotic-naive first-episode schizophrenia (AN-FES) and those with antipsychotic treatment within 1 year (AT-FES) to determine the similarities and differences in these groups. We conducted two separate meta-analyses containing 24 studies with a sample size of 801 patients and 957 healthy controls. A multimodal meta-analysis method was used to compare the findings between AN-FES and AT-FES. Meta-regression analyses were done to determine the influence of different variables including age, duration of illness, and positive and negative symptom scores. Finally, jack-knife analyses were done to test the robustness of the results. AN-FES and AT-FES showed common patterns of GM abnormalities in frontal (gyrus rectus), superior temporal, left hippocampal and insular cortex. GM in the left supramarginal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus were found to be increased in AN-FES but decreased in AT-FES, whereas left median cingulate/paracingulate gyri and right hippocampus GM was decreased in AN-FES but increased in AT-FES. Findings suggest that both AN-FES and AT-FES share frontal, temporal and insular regions as common anatomical regions to be affected indicating these to be the primary regions of GM abnormalities in both groups.
Association mapping based on linkage disequilibrium is an effective approach for dissecting the inheritance of complex multi-gene traits. In the present study, association mapping was performed for yield traits based on 172 popular Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) cultivars in China and 331 polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The gene diversity index of 331 markers ranged from 0·0387 to 0·7799 with an average of 0·4002, and the polymorphism information content ranged from 0·0379 to 0·7473 with an average of 0·3375. A total of 93 significantly associated markers for seven yield traits were identified across more than one environment, among which 11 were for seed cotton yield, 12 for lint yield, 11 for boll number per plant, 13 for boll weight, 21 for lint percentage, 14 for lint index and 11 for seed index. The corresponding ranges in phenotypic variation explained by markers across four environments for these seven traits were 1·75–10·49, 1·75–9·34, 2·84–11·80, 2·59–9·89, 2·38–13·97, 2·73–14·82 and 2·50–11·88%, respectively. Some of the yield-associated markers detected were found to be linked to or associated with the same traits identified in previous studies. Furthermore, elite alleles for yield traits were also mined. The present study can provide useful information for further understanding the genetic basis of yield traits, and facilitate high-yield breeding by molecular design in Upland cotton.
In this paper we estimate quantile sensitivities for dependent sequences via infinitesimal perturbation analysis, and prove asymptotic unbiasedness, weak consistency, and a central limit theorem for the estimators under some mild conditions. Two common cases, the regenerative setting and ϕ-mixing, are analyzed further, and a new batched estimator is constructed based on regenerative cycles for regenerative processes. Two numerical examples, the G/G/1 queue and the Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process, are given to show the effectiveness of the estimator.
A total of 1145 samples were collected from chicken breeder farms, hatcheries, broiler farms, a slaughterhouse and retail refrigerated chicken stores in an integrated broiler supply chain in Guangdong Province, China, in 2013. One-hundred and two Salmonella enterica strains were isolated and subjected to serotyping, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, virulence profile determination and molecular subtyping by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The contamination rates in samples from breeder farms, hatcheries, broiler farms, the slaughterhouse and retail stores were 1·46%, 4·31%, 7·00%, 62·86% and 54·67%, respectively. The isolated strains of S. enterica belonged to 10 serotypes; most of them were S. Weltevreden (46·08%, 47/102) and S. Agona (18·63%, 19/102). Isolates were frequently resistant to streptomycin (38·2%), tetracycline (36·3%), sulfisoxazole (35·3%) and gentamicin (34·3%); 31·4% of isolates were multidrug resistant. The isolates were screened for 10 virulence factors. The Salmonella pathogenicity island genes avrA, ssaQ, mgtC, siiD, and sopB and the fimbrial gene bcfC were present in 100% of the strains. PFGE genotyping of the 102 S. enterica isolates yielded 24 PFGE types at an 85% similarity threshold. The PFGE patterns show that the genotypes of S. enterica in the production chain are very diverse, but some strains have 100% similarity in different parts of the production chain, which indicates that some S. enterica persist throughout the broiler supply chain.
While radiocarbon is widely applied in dating ancient samples, recent studies reveal that 14C concentrations in modern samples can also yield precise ages due to the atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices between 1950 and 1963. 14C concentrations in both enamel and organic matter of 13 teeth from 2 areas in China were examined to evaluate and improve this method of forensic investigation. Choosing enamel near the cervix of the tooth can reduce the error caused by the difference between the sample formation time and whole enamel formation time because tooth enamel formations take a long time to complete. A proper regional data set will be helpful to get an accurate result when calculating the age of the sample (T1) by the CALIBomb program. By subtracting the enamel formation time (t), the birth date of an individual (T2) can be confirmed by enamel F14C from 2 teeth formed at different ages. Calculated enamel formation dates by 14C concentration are basically consistent with corresponding actual values, with a mean error of 1.9 yr for all results and 0.2 yr for the samples formed after AD 1960. This method is more effective for dating samples completed after AD 1960. We also found that 14C concentrations in organic matter of tooth roots are much lower than atmospheric concentrations in root formation years, suggesting that the organic material keeps turning over even after tooth formation is complete. This might be a potential tool for identification of death age to extract a proper component for 14C dating. We also observed that δ13C values between hydroxyapatite and organic matter indicate that isotopic fractionation during the biomineralization is 8–9%‰ more positive in mineral fractions than in organic matter.