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Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
To compare the epidemiologic features (e.g. settings and transmission mode) and patient clinical characteristics associated with outbreaks of different norovirus (Nov) strains, we retrospectively analysed data of Nov outbreaks occurring in Guangzhou, China from 2012 to 2018. The results suggested that outbreaks of Nov GII.2, GII.17 and GII.4 Sydney exhibited different outbreak settings, transmission modes and symptoms. GII.2 outbreaks mainly occurred in kindergartens, elementary and high schools and were transmitted mainly through person-to-person contact. By contrast, GII.4 Sydney outbreaks frequently occurred in colleges and were primarily associated with foodborne transmission. Cases from GII.2 and GII.17 outbreaks reported vomiting more frequently than those from outbreaks associated with GII.4 Sydney.
Dietary supplementation with the organic chromium (Cr) has been shown to positively affect the immune function of poultry. However, to our knowledge, no experiment has been done to directly compare the impacts of Cr chloride and chromium picolinate (CrPic) on the immune responses of broilers vaccinated with Avian Influenza (AI) virus vaccine. Therefore, the present experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of supplemental Cr sources (Cr chloride and CrPic) and levels on the growth performance and immune responses of broilers vaccinated with AI virus vaccine so as to provide an effective nutritional strategy for improving immune function of broilers. A total of 432 1-day (d)-old male broiler chicks were used in a 1 plus 2×4 design. Chickens were given either a diet without Cr supplementation (control) or diets supplemented with 0.4, 0.8, 1.6, or 3.2 mg Cr/kg as either Cr chloride or CrPic for 42 d. Compared to the control, dietary Cr supplementation had no effect (P>0.05) on average daily gain, average daily feed intake and gain : feed of broilers during the starter and grower phases, but increased (P<0.05) the relative weights of bursa of fabricius on d 21 and thymus, spleen, or bursa of fabricius on d 42, serum antibody titers against AI virus on d 21, 28, 35 and 42, blood T-lymphocyte transformation rate on d 28 and 42, blood T-lymphocyte percentage on d 42, and serum interleukin-2 contents on d 28. Broilers fed the diets supplemented with the inorganic Cr chloride had higher (P<0.05) weights of thymus, spleen and bursa of fabricius than those fed the diets supplemented with the CrPic on d 42. In addition, broilers fed the diets supplemented with the CrPic had higher (P<0.05) antibody titers against AI virus than those fed the diets supplemented with the inorganic Cr chloride on d 21 and 35. These results indicate that dietary Cr supplementation improved immune responses of broilers vaccinated with AI virus, and the inorganic Cr chloride was more effective than the CrPic in increasing the relative weights of lymphoid organs, however, the CrPic was more effective than the inorganic Cr chloride in enhancing the serum antibody titer against AI virus.
Much of the interest in youth at clinical high risk (CHR) of psychosis has been in understanding conversion. Recent literature has suggested that less than 25% of those who meet established criteria for being at CHR of psychosis go on to develop a psychotic illness. However, little is known about the outcome of those who do not make the transition to psychosis. The aim of this paper was to examine clinical symptoms and functioning in the second North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS 2) of those individuals whose by the end of 2 years in the study had not developed psychosis.
In NAPLS-2 278 CHR participants completed 2-year follow-ups and had not made the transition to psychosis. At 2-years the sample was divided into three groups – those whose symptoms were in remission, those who were still symptomatic and those whose symptoms had become more severe.
There was no difference between those who remitted early in the study compared with those who remitted at one or 2 years. At 2-years, those in remission had fewer symptoms and improved functioning compared with the two symptomatic groups. However, all three groups had poorer social functioning and cognition than healthy controls.
A detailed examination of the clinical and functional outcomes of those who did not make the transition to psychosis did not contribute to predicting who may make the transition or who may have an earlier remission of attenuated psychotic symptoms.
Eosinophils may affect each stage of tumor development. The presence of eosinophils appears to correlate with longer patient survival in several non-CNS malignant tumors. Tumor-associated tissue eosinophilia (TATE) has been increasingly recognized. Two previous studies (Hayes RL, et al. 1995; 2001) revealed eosinophils in the intracavitary tissues of malignant gliomas following the infusion of IL-2 combined with activated autologous killer cells, but not in the primary operative specimens. Our recent study (Lu JQ, et al. 2014) demonstrated the infiltration of eosinophils in 19 of 44 pilocytic astrocytomas but not in 10 ependymomas. In the present study, we examined 7 cases of subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA; 4 with tuberous sclerosis; age range: 13 – 33 years; 4 males and 3 females), as SEGA is well known to contain infiltrating mast cells and lymphocytes. Five of 7 SEGA contained eosinophils that were focally scattered to rare in frequency; intratumoral and/or perivascular in location. In comparison, only one of 8 consecutive cases of glioblastoma showed infiltrating eosinophils. The incidence of TATE is significantly higher in SEGA than that in glioblastoma (71.4 % versus 12.5%; p=0.04, by Fisher’s exact test) but is not significantly different from that in pilocytic astrocytoma (71.4 % versus 43.2%, previously reported; p=0.232). Our findings support the concept that eosinophils may play a functional role in the development of astrocytic tumors, especially those with longer patient survival.
Focused electron beam-induced deposition (FEBID) is capable of producing metal-containing nanostructures with lateral resolution on the sub-nanometer scale. Practical application of this nanofabrication technique has been hindered by ligand-derived contamination from precursors developed for thermal deposition methods. Mechanistic insight into FEBID through surface science studies and gas-phase electron–molecule interactions has begun to enable the design of custom FEBID precursors. These studies have shown that precursors designed to decompose under electron irradiation can produce high-purity FEBID deposits. Herein, we highlight the progress in FEBID precursor development with several examples that incorporate this mechanism-based design approach.
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.
Fruit flies in the genus Bactrocera are global, economically important pests of agricultural food crops. However, basic life history information about these pests, which is vital for designing more effective control methods, is currently lacking. Artificial diets can be used as a suitable replacement for natural host plants for rearing fruit flies under laboratory conditions, and this study reports on the two-sex life-table parameters of four Bactrocera species (Bactrocera correcta, Bactrocera dorsalis, Bactrocera cucurbitae, and Bactrocera tau) reared on a semi-artificial diet comprising corn flour, banana, sodium benzoate, yeast, sucrose, winding paper, hydrochloric acid and water. The results indicated that the larval development period of B. correcta (6.81 ± 0.65 days) was significantly longer than those of the other species. The fecundity of B. dorsalis (593.60 eggs female−1) was highest among the four species. There were no differences in intrinsic rate of increase (r) and finite rate of increase (λ) among the four species. The gross reproductive rate (GRR) and net reproductive rate (R0) of B. dorsalis were higher than those of the other species, and the mean generation time (T) of B. cucurbitae (42.08 ± 1.21 h) was longer than that of the other species. We conclude that the semi-artificial diet was most suitable for rearing B. dorsalis, due to its shorter development time and higher fecundity. These results will be useful for future studies of fruit fly management.
The Central Molecular Zone (CMZ), the inner 450 pc of our Galaxy, is an exceptional region where the volume and column densities, gas temperatures, velocity dispersions, etc. are much higher than in the Galactic plane. It has been suggested that the formation of stars and clusters in this area is related to the orbital dynamics of the gas. The complex kinematic structure of the molecular gas was revealed by spectral line observations. However, these results are limited to the line-of-sight-velocities. To fully understand the motions of the gas within the CMZ, we have to know its location in 6D space (3D location + 3D motion). Recent orbital models have tried to explain the inflow of gas towards and its kinematics within this region. With parallax and proper motion measurements of masers in the CMZ we can discriminate among these models and constrain how our Galactic Center is fed with gas.
The autofocusing (AF) performance of cell phone cameras is critically dependent on the design of the voice-coil motor (VCM) used to drive the lens module. Also, the metal springs in the AF module should combine high stiffness with a good actuation response and a light weight. The present study utilizes a reverse engineering approach to construct three-dimensional finite element models of the top and bottom springs in the VCM mechanism. Simulations are then performed to investigate the von Mises stress distribution and stiffness characteristics of the two springs given horizontal and vertical orientations of the AF module, respectively. In performing the simulations, the actuation force is computed using two different analysis methods, namely a simplify structure method and a coupled electromagnetic-structural method. It is shown that the simplify structure method has the advantages of a lower computational complexity and a more comprehensive modeling capability. A further series of simulations is thus to examine the effects of the spring shape parameters on the reaction force developed by the spring stiffness. The results show that the spring stiffness increases with an increasing thickness and a decreasing rib length. The simulation results obtained for different spring shape parameter settings are summarized in the form of a parameter design chart for predicting the reaction force given known values of the spring rib length and spring thickness.
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are one of the most common and severe symptoms of schizophrenia, but the neuroanatomical abnormalities underlying AVHs are not well understood. The present study aims to investigate whether AVHs are associated with cortical thinning.
Participants were schizophrenia patients from four centers across China, 115 with AVHs and 93 without AVHs, as well as 261 healthy controls. All received 3 T T1-weighted brain scans, and whole brain vertex-wise cortical thickness was compared across groups. Correlations between AVH severity and cortical thickness were also determined.
The left middle part of the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) was significantly thinner in schizophrenia patients with AVHs than in patients without AVHs and healthy controls. Inferences were made using a false discovery rate approach with a threshold at p < 0.05. Left MTG thickness did not differ between patients without AVHs and controls. These results were replicated by a meta-analysis showing them to be consistent across the four centers. Cortical thickness of the left MTG was also found to be inversely correlated with hallucination severity across all schizophrenia patients.
The results of this multi-center study suggest that an abnormally thin left MTG could be involved in the pathogenesis of AVHs in schizophrenia.
The transient impact hypothesis was extended, and the oblique collision model was established by considering the tangential slip. In order to solve this problem, the oblique-impact equations for cam-follower were transformed into a linear complementarity problem. Impulsive control method was employed to control or anti-control the nonlinear responses. The simulation results show that the cam-follower system performs very complex nonlinear characteristics, such as period, quasi-period and chaos responses. Using the impulsive control method, the nonlinear responses of the cam-follower system can be controlled to P(n, n) and P(∞, n) or anti-controlled to chaos.
China makes a unique and vital contribution to maintaining global and regional waterbird diversity and conservation. Despite considerable historical conservation efforts, the continued loss of waterbird diversity and abundance necessitates a contemporary review of Chinese sites of conservation significance. The Ecological Protection Red Line (EPRL) was proposed by China’s Central Government in 2013 to protect areas providing crucial ecosystem services and provides the opportunity for such a review to enhance waterbird conservation in China. By incorporating various sources of data, surveys and information, we identified a suite of sites of waterbird conservation significance in China, following the Ramsar Site Criteria/Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) Criteria. In total, we identified 422 sites, of which the existing 286 IBA sites formed the basis of the site safeguard network. Altogether, these sites of waterbird conservation significance constitute over 727,000 km2 (7.6% of China’s land surface). Over half of the area of these sites is outside China’s national nature reserves, thus confirming the importance and urgency of including them in the EPRL for the effective conservation of waterbird sites. We suggest that this assessment of sites of waterbird importance offers a useful model to apply to other taxa, such as terrestrial birds and mammals.
The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a key receptor involved in inflammatory responses and is influenced by sex steroids. This study measured GR expression on circulating leukocyte subtypes in males and females.
A total of 23 healthy adults (12 female) participated in this study. GR expression was measured in leukocyte subtypes using flow cytometry. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) gene expression of GR (NR3C1), GR β, TGF-β1 and 2, and glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
Leukocyte GR was lower in females, particularly in granulocytes, natural killer cells, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (p≤0.01). GR protein expression was different across leukocyte subtypes, with higher expression in eosinophils compared with granulocytes, T lymphocytes, and natural killer cells (p<0.05). There was higher gene expression of GR β in males (p=0.03).
This is the first study to identify sexual dimorphism in GR expression in healthy adults using flow cytometry. These results may begin to explain the sexual dimorphism seen in many diseases and sex differences in glucocorticoid responsiveness.
InAlN films and InAlN/GaN high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) structures were demonstrated on 150mm <111> Si using Veeco’s Propel single wafer metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system. Smooth surfaces with root mean square (rms) roughness of 0.68 nm were observed in a 5x5 μm2 atomic force microscope (AFM) scan. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis shows well-defined layer peaks and fringes, indicating good structural quality and abrupt layer interfaces. Thickness uniformity of InAlN is 0.87%, 1σ, for a 7-point XRD measurement across the 150 mm wafer. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) analysis confirms the uniform indium depth profile and the presence of abrupt layer interfaces. Negligible Ga (< 100 ppm, atomic) incorporation was detected in the InAlN bulk film. Film sheet resistance of 230Ω/sq, charge of 2.1×1013/cm2, and mobility of 1270 cm2/V.s were measured on a prototypical InAlN/GaN HEMT structure comprising a 10 nm-thick, 17% indium, InAlN barrier.
The complex of Niuheliang, in north-eastern China, with its concentration of ceremonial architecture and unusual art, has been considered the most highly developed polity of the Hongshan period, representing the integration of a large territory. In contrast, the supposed absence of residential remains has been advanced to suggest that it was a vacant ceremonial centre. Systematic survey of the area is now helping to clarify relationships between ceremonial sites and occupation patterns. Densities of utilitarian pottery sherds were used to map settlement and estimate population levels in relation to the locations of ceremonial architecture and concentrations of ritual pottery. This reveals that despite unproductive soils, the area had a relatively high, although scattered, population, focused in part on ritual locations. The results support a role for Niuheliang as a place of pilgrimage, but within a nexus of settled communities that sustained its ceremonial activities.
Dengue fever (DF) is the most prevalent and rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease globally. Control of DF is limited by barriers to vector control and integrated management approaches. This study aimed to explore the potential risk factors for autochthonous DF transmission and to estimate the threshold effects of high-order interactions among risk factors. A time-series regression tree model was applied to estimate the hierarchical relationship between reported autochthonous DF cases and the potential risk factors including the timeliness of DF surveillance systems (median time interval between symptom onset date and diagnosis date, MTIOD), mosquito density, imported cases and meteorological factors in Zhongshan, China from 2001 to 2013. We found that MTIOD was the most influential factor in autochthonous DF transmission. Monthly autochthonous DF incidence rate increased by 36·02-fold [relative risk (RR) 36·02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 25·26–46·78, compared to the average DF incidence rate during the study period] when the 2-month lagged moving average of MTIOD was >4·15 days and the 3-month lagged moving average of the mean Breteau Index (BI) was ⩾16·57. If the 2-month lagged moving average MTIOD was between 1·11 and 4·15 days and the monthly maximum diurnal temperature range at a lag of 1 month was <9·6 °C, the monthly mean autochthonous DF incidence rate increased by 14·67-fold (RR 14·67, 95% CI 8·84–20·51, compared to the average DF incidence rate during the study period). This study demonstrates that the timeliness of DF surveillance systems, mosquito density and diurnal temperature range play critical roles in the autochthonous DF transmission in Zhongshan. Better assessment and prediction of the risk of DF transmission is beneficial for establishing scientific strategies for DF early warning surveillance and control.