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Dose distribution index (DDI) is a treatment planning evaluation parameter, reflecting dosimetric information of target coverage that can help to spare organs at risk (OARs) and remaining volume at risk (RVR). The index has been used to evaluate and compare prostate volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans using two different plan optimisers, namely photon optimisation (PO) and its predecessor, progressive resolution optimisation (PRO).
Materials and methods:
Twenty prostate VMAT treatment plans were created using the PO and PRO in this retrospective study. The 6 MV photon beams and a dose prescription of 78 Gy/39 fractions were used in plans with the same dose–volume criteria for plan optimisation. Dose–volume histograms (DVHs) of the planning target volume (PTV), as well as of OARs such as the rectum, bladder, left and right femur were determined in each plan. DDIs were calculated and compared for plans created by the PO and PRO based on DVHs of the PTV and all OARs.
The mean DDI values were 0·784 and 0·810 for prostate VMAT plans created by the PO and PRO, respectively. It was found that the DDI of the PRO plan was about 3·3% larger than the PO plan, which means that the dose distribution of the target coverage and sparing of OARs in the PRO plan was slightly better. Changing the weighting factors in different OARs would vary the DDI value by ∼7%. However, for plan comparison based on the same set of dose–volume criteria, the effect of weighting factor can be neglected because they were the same in the PO and PRO.
Based on the very similar DDI values calculated from the PO and PRO plans, with the DDI value in the PRO plan slightly larger than that of the PO, it may be concluded that the PRO can create a prostate VMAT plan with slightly better dose distribution regarding the target coverage and sparing of OARs. Moreover, we found that the DDI is a simple and comprehensive dose–volume parameter for plan evaluation considering the target, OARs and RVR.
Dengue is the fastest spreading mosquito-transmitted disease in the world. In China, Guangzhou City is believed to be the most important epicenter of dengue outbreaks although the transmission patterns are still poorly understood. We developed an autoregressive integrated moving average model incorporating external regressors to examine the association between the monthly number of locally acquired dengue infections and imported cases, mosquito densities, temperature and precipitation in Guangzhou. In multivariate analysis, imported cases and minimum temperature (both at lag 0) were both associated with the number of locally acquired infections (P < 0.05). This multivariate model performed best, featuring the lowest fitting root mean squared error (RMSE) (0.7520), AIC (393.7854) and test RMSE (0.6445), as well as the best effect in model validation for testing outbreak with a sensitivity of 1.0000, a specificity of 0.7368 and a consistency rate of 0.7917. Our findings suggest that imported cases and minimum temperature are two key determinants of dengue local transmission in Guangzhou. The modelling method can be used to predict dengue transmission in non-endemic countries and to inform dengue prevention and control strategies.
Litter size has a great impact on the profit of swine producers. Uterine development is an important determinant of reproduction efficiency and could hence affect litter size. Chinese Erhualian pig is one of the most prolific breeds in the world, even though large phenotypic variation in litter size was observed within Erhualian sows. To dissect the genetic basis of the phenotypic variation, we herein conducted genome-wide association studies for total number born and number born alive (NBA) of Erhualian sows. In total, one significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (P<1.78e−06) and 11 suggestive SNPs (P<3.57e−05) were identified on 10 chromosomes, confirming seven previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) and uncovering six QTL for litter size or uterus length. One locus on Sus scrofa chromosome (SSC) 13 (79.28 to 90.43 Mb) harbored a cluster of suggestive SNPs associated with multiparous NBA. The SNP (rs81447100) within this region was confirmed to be significantly (P<0.05) associated with litter size in Erhualian (n=313), Sutai (n=173) and Yorkshire (n=488) populations. Retinol binding protein 2 and retinol binding protein 1 functionally related to the development of uterus were located in a region of 2 Mb around rs81447100. Moreover, four genes related to embryo implantation and development were also detected around other significant SNPs. Taken together, our findings provide a potential marker (rs81447100) for the genetic improvement of litter size not only in Chinese Erhualian pigs but also in European commercial pig breeds like Yorkshire, and would facilitate the final identification of causative variant(s) underlying the effect of SSC13 QTL on litter size.
Multiple human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genotypes in China were first discovered in Yunnan Province before disseminating throughout the country. As the HIV-1 epidemic continues to expand in Yunnan, genetic characteristics and transmitted drug resistance (TDR) should be further investigated among the recently infected population. Among 2828 HIV-positive samples newly reported in the first quarter of 2014, 347 were identified as recent infections with BED-captured enzyme immunoassay (CEIA). Of them, 291 were successfully genotyped and identified as circulating recombinant form (CRF)08_BC (47.4%), unique recombinant forms (URFs) (18.2%), CRF01_AE (15.8%), CRF07_BC (14.4%), subtype C (2.7%), CRF55_01B (0.7%), subtype B (0.3%) and CRF64_BC (0.3%). CRF08_BC and CRF01_AE were the predominant genotypes among heterosexual and homosexual infections, respectively. CRF08_BC, URFs, CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC expanded with higher prevalence in central and eastern Yunnan. The recent common ancestor of CRF01_AE, CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC dated back to 1983.1, 1992.1 and 1989.5, respectively. The effective population sizes (EPS) for CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC increased exponentially during 1991–1999 and 1994–1999, respectively. The EPS for CRF08_BC underwent two exponential growth phases in 1994–1998 and 2001–2002. Lastly, TDR-associated mutations were identified in 1.8% of individuals. These findings not only enhance our understanding of HIV-1 evolution in Yunnan but also have implications for vaccine design and patient management strategies.
Fermented soybean meal (FSM), which has lower anti-nutritional factors and higher active enzyme, probiotic and oligosaccharide contents than its unfermented form, has been reported to improve the feeding value of soybean meal, and hence, the growth performance of piglets. However, whether FSM can affect the bacterial and metabolites in the large intestine of piglets remains unknown. This study supplemented wet-FSM (WFSM) or dry-FSM (DFSM) (5% dry matter basis) in the diet of piglets and investigated its effects on carbon and nitrogen metabolism in the piglets’ large intestines. A total of 75 41-day-old Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire piglets with an initial BW of 13.14±0.22 kg were used in a 4-week feeding trial. Our results showed that the average daily gain of piglets in the WFSM and DFSM groups increased by 27.08% and 14.58% and that the feed conversion ratio improved by 18.18% and 7.27%, respectively, compared with the control group. Data from the prediction gene function of Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) based on 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequencing showed that carbohydrate metabolism function families in the WFSM and DFSM groups increased by 3.46% and 2.68% and that the amino acid metabolism function families decreased by 1.74% and 0.82%, respectively, compared with the control group. These results were consistent with those of other metabolism studies, which showed that dietary supplementation with WFSM and DFSM increased the level of carbohydrate-related metabolites (e.g. 4-aminobutanoate, 5-aminopentanoate, lactic acid, mannitol, threitol and β-alanine) and decreased the levels of those related to protein catabolism (e.g. 1,3-diaminopropane, creatine, glycine and inosine). In conclusion, supplementation with the two forms of FSM improved growth performance, increased metabolites of carbohydrate and reduced metabolites of protein in the large intestine of piglets, and WFSM exhibited a stronger effect than DFSM.
Family history is a long-standing and readily obtainable risk factor for schizophrenia (SCZ). Low-cost genotyping technologies have enabled large genetic studies of SCZ, and the results suggest the utility of genetic risk scores (GRS, direct assessments of inherited common variant risk). Few studies have evaluated family history and GRS simultaneously to ask whether one can explain away the other.
We studied 5959 SCZ cases and 8717 controls from four Nordic countries. All subjects had family history data from national registers and genome-wide genotypes that were processed through the quality control procedures used by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Using external training data, GRS were estimated for SCZ, bipolar disorder (BIP), major depression, autism, educational attainment, and body mass index. Multivariable modeling was used to estimate effect sizes.
Using harmonized genomic and national register data from Denmark, Estonia, Norway, and Sweden, we confirmed that family history of SCZ and GRS for SCZ and BIP were risk factors for SCZ. In a joint model, the effects of GRS for SCZ and BIP were essentially unchanged, and the effect of family history was attenuated but remained significant. The predictive capacity of a model including GRS and family history neared the minimum for clinical utility.
Combining national register data with measured genetic risk factors represents an important investigative approach for psychotic disorders. Our findings suggest the potential clinical utility of combining GRS and family history for early prediction and diagnostic improvements.
Vortex-induced vibration (VIV) is an important physical phenomenon as one design a riser or a cylindrical structure in ocean. As the riser or the cylindrical structure is adjacent to a seabed, the boundary effect on VIV is not fully understood yet. The direct-forcing immersed boundary (DFIB) method is used to investigate a two-degree-of-freedom VIV of a flexible supported circular cylinder adjacent to a plane boundary in this study. Furthermore, the effect of the VIV of cylinder on skin friction of the plane boundary is investigated. The effects of varying reduced velocity and gap ratio on VIV are discussed. Only a single vortex street is found when the cylinder is close to plane boundary. Hydrodynamic coefficients of the freely vibrating cylinder are analyzed in time and spectral domains. Furthermore, nearly round oval-shaped motion is observed as the so-called lock-in phenomenon occurs. The skin friction of the plane boundary is predicted by the DFIB model. Results show that the vibrating cylinder in the boundary layer flow can reduce the friction effectively. This proposed DFIB model can be useful for the investigation of VIV of the structures under the plane boundary effect even for a small gap between the cylinder and the boundary.
Vertigo is common in the emergency department (ED). Most aetiologies are peripheral and do not require hospitalization, but many patients still fear falling. Some patients may be taking opioid analgesic medications (for other reasons); the risk of falls leading to fractures among patients with vertigo could be potentiated by the simultaneous use of opioids.
To examine the risk of fractures in discharged ED patients with peripheral vertigo who were being prescribed opioids during the same time period.
Linked administrative databases from Ontario were used to compare discharged ED patients aged ≥65 with peripheral vertigo to patients with urinary tract infection (UTI) from 2006 to 2011. We used Cox regression analysis with an interaction term to estimate the modifying effect of an opioid prescription on the hazard of fracture within 90 days.
There were 13,012 patients with a peripheral vertigo syndrome and 76,885 with a UTI. Thirteen percent of the vertigo cohort and 25% of the UTI cohort had access to a filled opioid prescription. Compared to vertigo patients who did not fill an opioid prescription, the adjusted hazard of fracture among vertigo patients who did fill a prescription was 3.59 (95% CI 1.97–6.13). Among UTI patients who filled an opioid prescription the hazard ratio was 1.68 (95% CI 1.43–1.97) compared to UTI patients who did not.
Patients discharged from the ED with peripheral vertigo who were also being prescribed opioids had a higher hazard of subsequent fracture compared to those who were not, and the effect was much greater than among UTI patients. These results suggest that in the acutely vertiginous older patient, opioid analgesic medications should be modified, where possible.
The inner few hundred parsecs of the Milky Way, the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ), is our closest laboratory for understanding star formation in the extreme environments (hot, dense, turbulent gas) that once dominated the universe. We present an update on the first large-area survey to expose the sites of star formation across the CMZ at high-resolution in submillimeter wavelengths: the CMZoom survey with the Submillimeter Array (SMA). We identify the locations of dense cores and search for signatures of embedded star formation. CMZoom is a three-year survey in its final year and is mapping out the highest column density regions of the CMZ in dust continuum and a variety of spectral lines around 1.3 mm. CMZoom combines SMA compact and subcompact configurations with single-dish data from BGPS and the APEX telescope, achieving an angular resolution of about 4″ (0.2 pc) and good image fidelity up to large spatial scales.
Trichogramma chilonis Ishii (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) is an important natural enemy of many species of lepidopterous pests and a widely used biological control agent. Detailed knowledge about its mate choice and host discrimination behavior is lacking. In this study, we studied the mate choice and host discrimination behavior of T. chilonis in experimental arenas through video tracking. Males’ mate recognition capacity was realized by perceiving the sex pheromone of females. When offered two females of different species, male could distinguish the conspecific female from Trichogrammatoidea bactrae Nagaraja (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae), a species that has overlapping hosts with T. chilonis. When placed with two females of different mating status, male preferred mating with the virgin female to the mated female. T. chilonis females could distinguish unparasitized host eggs from parasitized ones (parasitized by conspecific females or heterospecific females). They preferred to stay on and lay eggs in unparasitized host eggs. When T. chilonis females were only provided with parasitized host eggs (parasitized by T. chilonis and T. bactrae females), conspecific superparasitism occurred more often than heterospecific superparasitism. Furthermore, the host egg discrimination ability of T. chilonis females was mainly achieved through antennal perception.
Pneumonia is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide with radiographically confirmed pneumonia a key disease burden indicator. This is usually determined by a radiology panel which is assumed to be the best available standard; however, this assumption may introduce bias into pneumonia incidence estimates. To improve estimates of radiographic pneumonia incidence, we applied Bayesian latent class modelling (BLCM) to a large database of hospitalized patients with acute lower respiratory tract illness in Sa Kaeo and Nakhon Phanom provinces, Thailand from 2005 to 2010 with chest radiographs read by both a radiology panel and a clinician. We compared these estimates to those from conventional analysis. For children aged <5 years, estimated radiographically confirmed pneumonia incidence by BLCM was 2394/100 000 person-years (95% credible interval 2185–2574) vs. 1736/100 000 person-years (95% confidence interval 1706–1766) from conventional analysis. For persons aged ⩾5 years, estimated radiographically confirmed pneumonia incidence was similar between BLCM and conventional analysis (235 vs. 215/100 000 person-years). BLCM suggests the incidence of radiographically confirmed pneumonia in young children is substantially larger than estimated from the conventional approach using radiology panels as the reference standard.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess whether age-related differences in white matter microstructure are associated with altered task-related connectivity during episodic recognition. Methods: Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging from 282 cognitively healthy middle-to-late aged adults enrolled in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, we investigated whether fractional anisotropy (FA) within white matter regions known to decline with age was associated with task-related connectivity within the recognition network. Results: There was a positive relationship between fornix FA and memory performance, both of which negatively correlated with age. Psychophysiological interaction analyses revealed that higher fornix FA was associated with increased task-related connectivity amongst the hippocampus, caudate, precuneus, middle occipital gyrus, and middle frontal gyrus. In addition, better task performance was associated with increased task-related connectivity between the posterior cingulate gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, cuneus, and hippocampus. Conclusions: The findings indicate that age has a negative effect on white matter microstructure, which in turn has a negative impact on memory performance. However, fornix microstructure did not significantly mediate the effect of age on performance. Of interest, dynamic functional connectivity was associated with better memory performance. The results of the psychophysiological interaction analysis further revealed that alterations in fornix microstructure explain–at least in part–connectivity among cortical regions in the recognition memory network. Our results may further elucidate the relationship between structural connectivity, neural function, and cognition. (JINS, 2016, 22, 191–204)
Floral organ development influences plant reproduction and crop yield. The mechanism of floral organ specification is generally conserved in angiosperms as demonstrated by the ‘ABC’ model. However, mechanisms underlying the development of floral organs in specific groups of species such as grasses remain unclear. In the genus Oryza (rice), a spikelet consists of a fertile floret sub-tended by a lemma, a palea, two sterile lemmas and rudimentary glumes. To understand how the lemma is formed, a curve-shaped lemma-distortion1 (ld1) mutant was identified. Genetic analysis confirmed that the ld1 mutant phenotype was due to a single recessive gene mutation. Using a large F2 population, the LD1 gene was mapped between markers Indel-7-15 and Indel-7-18, which encompassed a region of 15·6 kilo base pairs (kbp). According to rice genome annotations, two putative genes, LOC_Os07g32510 and LOC_Os07g32520, were located in this candidate region. However, DNA sequencing results indicated only 1 base pair (bp) substitution (T⇨C) was found in LOC_Os07g32510 between the wild-type and the ld1 mutant. Thus LOC_Os07g32510, encoding a DNA binding with one zinc finger (DoF) containing protein, was the candidate gene for LD1. Further analysis showed that mutation of the amino acid cysteine (C) to arginine (R) was likely to lead to zinc finger protein deactivation. Phylogenetic and conservation analysis of the gene from different species revealed that cysteine was critical to LD1 function. As a new gene controlling lemma development, the study of LD1 could provide insights into rice floral organ formation mechanisms.
Epitaxial Ge films are useful as a substrate for high-efficiency solar cell applications. It is possible to grow epitaxial Ge films on low cost, cube textured Ni(001) sheets using CaF2(001) as a buffer layer. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis indicates that the CaF2(001) lattice has a 45o in-plane rotation relative to the Ni(001) lattice. The in-plane epitaxy relationships are CaF2//Ni and CaF2[
10]//Ni. Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) shows a sharp interface between Ge/CaF2 as well as between CaF2/Ni. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) shows that the Ge(001) film has a large grain size (∼50 μm) with small angle grain boundaries (< 8o). The epitaxial Ge thin film has the potential to be used as a substrate to grow high quality III-V and II-VI semiconductors for optoelectronic applications.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease that was caused by a novel bunyavirus, SFTSV. The study aimed to disclose the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of SFTSV infection in China so far. An integrated clinical database comprising 1920 SFTS patients was constructed by combining first-hand clinical information collected from SFTS sentinel hospitals (n = 1159) and extracted data (n = 761) from published literature. The considered variables comprised clinical manifestations, routine laboratory tests of acute infection, hospitalization duration and disease outcome. SFTSV-IgG data from 19 119 healthy subjects were extracted from the published papers. The key clinical variables, case-fatality rate (CFR) and seroprevalence were estimated by meta-analysis. The most commonly seen clinical manifestations of SFTSV infection were fever, anorexia, myalgia, chill and lymphadenopathy. The major laboratory findings were elevated lactate dehydrogenase, aminotransferase, followed by thrombocytopenia, lymphocytopenia, elevated alanine transaminase and creatine kinase. A CFR of 12·2% was estimated, significantly higher than that obtained from national reporting data, but showing no geographical difference. In our paper, the mortality rate was about 1·9 parts per million. Older age and longer delay to hospitalization were significantly associated with fatal outcome. A pooled seroprevalence of 3·0% was obtained, which increased with age, while comparable for gender. This study represents a clinical characterization on the largest group of SFTS patients up to now. A higher than expected CFR was obtained. A wider spectrum of clinical index was suggested to be used to identify SFTSV infection, while the useful predictor for fatal outcome was found to be restricted.
Transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation is usually performed from a femoral venous – transfemoral – approach, but this may not be the optimal vascular access option in some patients. This study aimed to determine which group of patients might benefit from an internal jugular – transjugular – approach for transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation.
This multicentre retrospective study included all patients who underwent attempted transcatheter pulmonary valve placement in the right ventricular outflow tract between April 2010 and June 2012 at two large congenital heart centres. Patients were divided into two groups based on venous access site – transfemoral or transjugular. Patient characteristics, procedural outcomes, and complications were compared between groups.
Of 81 patients meeting the inclusion criteria (median age 16.4 years), the transjugular approach was used in 14 patients (17%). The transjugular group was younger (median age 11.9 versus 17.3 years), had lower body surface area (mean 1.33 versus 1.61 m2), more often had moderate or greater tricuspid regurgitation (29% versus 7%), and had a higher ratio of right ventricle-to-systemic systolic pressure (mean 82.4 versus 64.7). Patients requiring a transjugular approach after an unsuccessful transfemoral approach had longer fluoroscopic times and procedure duration.
The transjugular approach for transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation is used infrequently but is more often used in younger and smaller patients. Technical limitations from a transfemoral approach may be anticipated if there is moderate or greater tricuspid regurgitation or higher right ventricular pressures. In these patients, a transjugular approach should be considered early.
The Herschel Space Observatory was the fourth cornerstone mission in the European Space Agency (ESA) science programme with excellent broad band imaging capabilities in the sub-mm and far-infrared part of the spectrum. Although the spacecraft finished its observations in 2013, it left a large legacy dataset that is far from having been fully scrutinised and still has a large potential for new scientific discoveries. This is specifically true for the photometric observations of the PACS and SPIRE instruments. Some source catalogues have already been produced by individual observing programs, but there are many observations that risk to remain unexplored. To maximise the science return of the SPIRE and PACS data sets, we are in the process of building the Herschel Point Source Catalogue (HPSC) from all primary and parallel mode observations. Our homogeneous source extraction enables a systematic and unbiased comparison of sensitivity across the different Herschel fields that single programs will generally not be able to provide. The catalogue will be made available online through archives like the Herschel Science Archive (HSA), the Infrared Science Archive (IRSA), and the Strasbourg Astronomical Data Center (CDS).
Arginine kinase (AK) is an important regulation factor of energy metabolism in invertebrate. An arginine kinase gene, named HaAK, was identified to be differentially expressed between Cry1Ac-susceptible (96S) and Cry1Ac-resistant (Bt-R) Helicoverpa armigera larvae using cDNA-amplification fragment length polymorphism analysis. The full-length open reading frame sequence of HaAK gene with 1068 bp was isolated from H. armigera. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay revealed that HaAK gene is specifically expressed in multiple tissues and at larval developmental stages. The peak expression level of HaAK was detected in the midgut of the fifth-instar larvae. Moreover, the expression of HaAK was obviously down-regulated in Bt-R larvae. We further constructed a dsRNA vector directly targeting HaAK and employed RNAi technology to control the larvae. The feeding bioassays showed that minute quantities of dsRNA could greatly increase the larval mortality and delay the larval pupation. Silencing of HaAK significantly retarded the larval development, indicating that HaAK is a potential target for RNA interference-based pest management.
We determined the prevalence and seasonality of infections by Fasciola of goats and bovine species (cattle and water buffalo) in Hubei and Anhui provinces of China. Faecal samples were collected at 2- to 3-month intervals from 200 goats in Hubei province and from 152 bovine species in Anhui province. All faecal samples were examined for the presence of parasites. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of 39 Fasciola worms from Anhui province. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in goats ranged between 3.5 and 37.0%, with mean eggs per gram (EPG) ranging between 29.0 and 166.0. Prevalence and EPG exhibited downward trends over time with significant differences. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in cattle ranged between 13.3 and 46.2% (mean EPG, 36.4–100.0), and that of water buffalo ranged between 10.3 and 35.4% (mean EPG, 25.0–89.6), with a higher prevalence of infection and EPG from June to October compared with December to March. Analysis of ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences revealed that F. hepatica and F. gigantica were present in all bovine species of Anhui province and that F. gigantica mainly infected water buffalo. This is the first demonstration of Fasciola infection in Hubei province and detection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Anhui province. The present study of Hubei province shows that mass treatment of livestock with closantel sodium injections in April and August/September controlled Fasciola infection effectively.