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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.
The triplite LiFeSO4F displays both the highest potential ever reported for an Fe-based compound, as well as a comparable specific energy with that of popular LiFePO4. The synthesis is still a challenge because the present approaches are connected with long time, special equipments or organic reagents, etc. In this work, the triplite LiFeSO4F powder was synthesized through an ambient two-step solid-state route. The reaction process and phase purity were analyzed, coupled with structure refinement and electrochemical test.
This paper reports the measurement of the energy loss of protons at the energy of 100 keV penetrating a partially ionized hydrogen plasma. The plasma of ne ≈ 1015–16 cm−3; Te ≈ 1–2 eV and lifetime of about 8 µs is created by the hydrogen gas discharge. The experimental results show an increase of a factor of 2.8 in the energy loss, which are in good agreement with the Bethe, Standard Stopping Model, Li–Petrasso and Vlasov models’ predictions within the error limit. The Bethe–Bloch Coulomb logarithm term is found to increase by a factor of 4.0 for free electrons as compared with the situation where bound electrons prevail. The potential application of protons energy loss for diagnosing the electron density in plasma is proposed too.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Human cystic echinococcosis is a widespread, chronic, endemic, helminthic zoonosis caused by larval tapeworms of the species Echinococcus granulosus. At present, there is no rational and effective therapy for patients with echinococcosis. The present study evaluated whether the combination of alkaloids from Sophora moorcroftiana seeds (SMSa2) and Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) was effective in the treatment of experimental echinococcosis. After 20 weeks of secondary infection with protoscoleces, mice were randomly allocated to five groups and treated for 6 weeks by daily intragastric administration of albendazole (ABZ, 100 mg/kg), SMSa2 (100 mg/kg), BCG (abdominal subcutaneous injection at 5 × 106 CFU), SMSa2 + BCG (100 mg/kg SMSa2 and 5 × 106 CFU BCG) or normal saline (untreated group), respectively. The results indicated a significant reduction in the weight of hydatid cysts in the SMSa2 + BCG group compared with the untreated, SMSa2 and BCG groups. The rate of inhibition of hydatid cyst growth in the SMSa2 + BCG group (76.1%) was obviously increased compared with that in the SMSa2 (25.7%) and BCG (26.6%) groups, respectively. Compared with the untreated control, the SMSa2 + BCG group showed a non-significant increase in serum interleukin-4 (IL-4). Furthermore, the serum levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) between the untreated and SMSa2 + BCG groups were not statistically different. Therefore, the combination of alkaloids from S. moorcroftiana seeds and BCG can reduce cyst burden and is an effective therapeutic regimen against echinococcosis.
The use of limiters may impact both accuracy and resolution of a solution. And the accuracy and resolution are highly dependent on the amount of numerical dissipation in a scheme, so the ability of limiters to control numerical dissipation should be improved. In this view, based on the examination of several classical limiters to control dissipation, a class of general piecewise-linear flux limiters (termed GPL limiters) are presented in this paper for Multi-step time-space-separated unsteady schemes. The GPL limiters can satisfy the second-order TVD criterion and contain some existing limiters such as Superbee and Minmod. Using the decrement of discrete total entropy to represent the amount of numerical dissipation, an entropy dissipation function of GPL limiters is defined with three parameter variables. By proving the monotonicity of this function, a new GPL type limiter (named MDF individually), which can minimize the numerical dissipation and improve the calculation accuracy, is proposed. A high resolution entropy-consistent scheme is obtained by MDF limiter, which will be proved to satisfy entropy stability and entropy consistency. Computational results of this scheme for several 1-D and 2-D Euler test cases are presented, demonstrating the accuracy, monotonicity and robustness of MDF limiter.
The protein kinase R (PKR, also called EIF2AK2) is an interferon-inducible double-stranded RNA protein kinase with multiple effects on cells that plays an active part in the cellular response to numerous types of stress. PKR has been extensively studied and documented for its relevance as an antiviral agent and a cell growth regulator. Recently, the role of PKR related to metabolism, inflammatory processes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases has gained interest. In this review, we summarise and discuss the involvement of PKR in several cancer signalling pathways and the dual role that this kinase plays in cancer disease. We emphasise the importance of PKR as a molecular target for both conventional chemotherapeutics and emerging treatments based on novel drugs, and its potential as a biomarker and therapeutic target for several pathologies. Finally, we discuss the impact that the recent knowledge regarding PKR involvement in metabolism has in our understanding of the complex processes of cancer and metabolism pathologies, highlighting the translational research establishing the clinical and therapeutic potential of this pleiotropic kinase.
We investigated the first presence of qnrA among Shigella sonnei clinical isolates in Jiangsu Province, China. The qnrA-positive isolates coexisted with the mutation in gyrA at codon 83, these isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid and 22·2% (2 of 9) of them were resistant to norfloxacin.
While oral antidepressants reach efficacy after weeks, single-dose intravenous (i.v.) ketamine has rapid, yet time-limited antidepressant effects. We aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of single-dose i.v. ketamine augmentation of escitalopram in major depressive disorder (MDD).
Thirty outpatients with severe MDD (17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression total score ⩾24) were randomized to 4 weeks double-blind treatment with escitalopram 10 mg/day+single-dose i.v. ketamine (0.5 mg/kg over 40 min) or escitalopram 10 mg/day + placebo (0.9% i.v. saline). Depressive symptoms were measured using the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology – Self-Report (QIDS-SR). Suicidal ideation was evaluated with the QIDS-SR item 12. Adverse psychopathological effects were measured with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)-positive symptoms, Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) and Clinician Administered Dissociative States Scale (CADSS). Patients were assessed at baseline, 1, 2, 4, 24 and 72 h and 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. Time to response (⩾50% MADRS score reduction) was the primary outcome.
By 4 weeks, more escitalopram + ketamine-treated than escitalopram + placebo-treated patients responded (92.3% v. 57.1%, p = 0.04) and remitted (76.9% v. 14.3%, p = 0.001), with significantly shorter time to response [hazard ratio (HR) 0.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01–0.22, p < 0.001] and remission (HR 0.11, 95% CI 0.02–0.63, p = 0.01). Compared to escitalopram + placebo, escitalopram + ketamine was associated with significantly lower MADRS scores from 2 h to 2 weeks [(peak = 3 days–2 weeks; effect size (ES) = 1.08–1.18)], QIDS-SR scores from 2 h to 2 weeks (maximum ES = 1.27), and QIDS-SR suicidality from 2 to 72 h (maximum ES = 2.24). Only YMRS scores increased significantly with ketamine augmentation (1 and 2 h), without significant BPRS or CADSS elevation.
Single-dose i.v. ketamine augmentation of escitalopram was safe and effective in severe MDD, holding promise for speeding up early oral antidepressant efficacy.
Background: NeuroTouch simulator provides the potential to determine performance metrics, but validation and easily utilized software are essential before implementation of this platform into neurosurgical training. Objectives: Evaluate and validate neurosurgical performance metrics for simulated brain tumors resection. Develop software and a global web based system to allow utilization of these metrics. Methods: The bimanual resection of 8 simulated brain tumors with differing complexity was evaluated. Software was developed to automatically generate all the metrics from NeuroTouch data output including: blood loss, tumor percentage resected, total brain volume removed, maximum and sum of forces utilized, efficiency index, ultrasonic aspirator path length index (UAPLI), coordination index and ultrasonic aspirator bimanual forces ratio (UABFR). Six neurosurgeons and 12 residents were evaluated. Results: Resident performance was significantly more impaired than neurosurgeon by increasing tumor complexity. Significant differences were found between neurosurgeons, senior, and junior residents on efficiency index and UAPLI. UABFR outlined significant differences between senior and junior residents. Coordination index demonstrated significant differences between junior residents and neurosurgeons. Conclusions: Utilizing metrics employed the NeuroTouch platform differentiated novice from expert performance. Software was developed for metrics and will be made available online for all NeuroTouch users allowing global comparison of neurosurgical performance.
While rabies is a significant public health concern in China, the epidemiology of animal rabies in the north and northwest border provinces remains unknown. From February 2013 to March 2014, seven outbreaks of domestic animal rabies caused by wild carnivores in Xinjiang (XJ) and Inner Mongolia (IM) Autonomous Regions, China were reported and diagnosed in brain samples of infected animals by the fluorescent antibody test (FAT) and RT–PCR. Ten field rabies viruses were obtained. Sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis based on the complete N gene (1353 bp) amplified directly from the original brain tissues showed that these ten strains were steppe-type viruses, closely related to strains reported in Russia and Mongolia. None had been identified previously in China. The viruses from XJ and IM clustered separately into two lineages showing their different geographical distribution. This study emphasizes the importance of wildlife surveillance and of cross-departmental cooperation in the control of transboundary rabies transmission.
To examine the association between adherence to the Dutch Guidelines for a Healthy Diet created by the Dutch Health Council in 2006 and overall and smoking-related cancer incidence.
Prospective cohort study.
Adherence to the guidelines, which includes one recommendation on physical activity and nine on diet, was measured using an adapted version of the Dutch Healthy Diet (DHD) index. The score ranged from 0 to 90 with a higher score indicating greater adherence to the guidelines. We estimated the hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals for the association between the DHD index (in tertiles and per 20-point increment) at baseline and cancer incidence at follow-up.
We studied 35 608 men and women aged 20–70 years recruited into the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Netherlands (EPIC-NL) study during 1993–1997.
After an average follow-up of 12·7 years, 3027 cancer cases were documented. We found no significant association between the DHD index (tertile 3 v. tertile 1) and overall (HR = 0·97; 95 % CI 0·88, 1·07) and smoking-related cancer incidence (HR = 0·89; 95 % CI 0·76, 1·06) after adjustment for relevant confounders. Excluding the components physical activity or alcohol from the score did not change the results. None of the individual components of the DHD index was significantly associated with cancer incidence.
In the present study, participants with a high adherence to the Dutch Guidelines for a Healthy Diet were not at lower risk of overall or smoking-related cancer. This does not exclude that other components not included in the DHD index may be associated with overall cancer risk.
A suspected dengue fever outbreak occurred in 2010 at a solitary construction site in Shenzhen city, China. To investigate this epidemic, we used serological, molecular biological, and bioinformatics techniques. Of nine serum samples from suspected patients, we detected seven positive for dengue virus (DENV) antibodies, eight for DENV-1 RNA, and three containing live viruses. The isolated virus, SZ1029 strain, was sequenced and confirmed as DENV-1, showing the highest E-gene homology to D1/Malaysia/36000/05 and SG(EHI)DED142808 strains recently reported in Southeast Asia. Further phylogenetic tree analysis confirmed their close relationship. At the epidemic site, we also detected 14 asymptomatic co-workers (out of 291) positive for DENV antibody, and DENV-1-positive mosquitoes. Thus, we concluded that DENV-1 caused the first local dengue fever outbreak in Shenzhen. Because no imported case was identified, the molecular fingerprints of the SZ1029 strain suggest this outbreak may be due to vertical transmission imported from Southeast Asia.
S1O2 layers, ∼ 15 nm thick, were formed on Si (100), (110), and (111) surfaces by a low-temperature, 200–300°C, plasma-assisted oxidation/deposition process sequence. The distribution of the trap density at the S1O2/Si interface, and in the Si band-gap, Dit, was deduced from capacitance-voltage, C-V, measurements. The values of Dit at midgap varied with crystal orientation in a similar way as in thermally grown oxides. In addition, the low-temperature oxides displayed a characteristic and intrinsic dangling bond state, the so-called Pb center, at ∼0.3 eV above the Si valence-band edge. Samples exposed to atomic H prior to the oxidation and deposition steps, showed an increase in Dit due to a roughening of the Si surfaces, which produced additional broad bands of defect states, at ∼0.5 and ∼0.7 eV above the Si valence-band edge.
A low-temperature, 200–300°C, plasma-assisted oxidation-deposition process sequence has been developed for formation of SiO2/Si heterostructures. Adding a nitride layer to form an ON, or ONO composite dielectric, increases the density of trapping states, Dit, at the SiO2/Si interface, unless the entire structure is subjected to a high-temperature rapid thermal anneal, e.g., 30 s at 900°C. By interrupting the nitride deposition, and using on-line Auger electron spectroscopy, AES, the increase in Dit correlates with a migration of N-atoms to the SiO2/Si interface during the nitride deposition. There is no evidence for N-atom incorporation into the oxide layer itself. In contrast, for remote PECVD deposition of oxides onto nitrides, O-atoms react with the nitride, and form an oxy-nitride alloy interfacial region layer.
The relationship between recurrent major depression (MD) in women and suicidality is complex. We investigated the extent to which patients who suffered with various forms of suicidal symptomatology can be distinguished from those subjects without such symptoms.
We examined the clinical features of the worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent DSM-IV MD between the ages of 30 and 60 years from across China. Student's t tests, and logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between suicidality and other clinical features of MD.
Suicidal symptomatology is significantly associated with a more severe form of MD, as indexed by both the number of episodes and number of MD symptoms. Patients reporting suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts experienced a significantly greater number of stressful life events. The depressive symptom most strongly associated with lifetime suicide attempt was feelings of worthlessness (odds ratio 4.25, 95% confidence interval 2.9–6.3). Excessive guilt, diminished concentration and impaired decision-making were also significantly associated with a suicide attempt.
This study contributes to the existing literature on risk factors for suicidal symptomatology in depressed women. Identifying specific depressive symptoms and co-morbid psychiatric disorders may help improve the clinical assessment of suicide risk in depressed patients. These findings could be helpful in identifying those who need more intense treatment strategies in order to prevent suicide.
The 2009 novel H1N1 influenza pandemic had a significant impact on Shenzhen's population with 2063 laboratory-confirmed human H1N1 cases and five deaths being reported. We used parameters from two population-based surveys and the Shenzhen Influenza Surveillance System to estimate the total number of H1N1 influenza infections in Shenzhen in the 2009 pandemic. The attack rate of influenza-like illness (ILI) in family households was 11·2% (95% CI 9·4–13·0), with 80·2% (95% CI 77·8–82·5) seeking medical care. The ILI attack rate in workers was 38·1% (95% CI 34·3–41·7) with 72·5% (95% CI 66·9–78·0) seeking medical care. The average H1N1 positive rate in individuals reporting ILI and testing by polymerase chain reaction was 22·7%. A total of 611 000–768 000 people, or 4·7–5·9% of the Shenzhen population, are estimated to have experienced H1N1 influenza. The estimated total number of cases of H1N1 is likely to be 330 times greater than the number of laboratory-confirmed cases.
This article describes the phase stability, microstructures and mechanical properties of silicide-reinforced Nb alloys in Nb-Mo-W-Si quaternary system prepared by arc melting and heat treatment. There exists an equilibrium two-phase field of Nb solid solution (Nbss) and α(Nb,Mo,W)5Si3 in a Nb-rich region of this quaternary system. Alloys in this region have a eutectic reaction of L → Nbss+β(Nb,Mo,W)5Si3 during solidification. The β(Nb,Mo,W)5Si3 transforms to the stable α(Nb,Mo,W)5Si3 at very high temperature. The cast and heat treated hypoeutectic alloys consist of dendritic Nbss, network-shaped Nbss matrix and α(Nb,Mo,W)5Si3. These quaternary alloys exhibit excellent high-temperature strength, although the fracture toughness is still unacceptable for practical applications.