To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
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.
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.
Rice planthopper (RPH) populations of Nilaparvata lugens and Sogatella furcifera periodically have erupted across Asia. Predicting RPH population dynamics and identifying their source areas are crucial for the management of these migratory pests in China, but the origins of the migrants to temperate and subtropical regions in China remains unclear. In particular, their early migration to China in March and April have not yet been explored due to a lack of research data available from potential source areas, Central Vietnam and Laos. In this study, we examined the population dynamics and migratory paths of N. lugens and S. furcifera in Vietnam and South China in 2012 and 2013. Trajectory modeling showed that in March and April in 2012 and 2013, RPH emigrated from source areas in Central Vietnam where rice was maturing to the Red River Delta and South China. Early migrants originated from Southern Central Vietnam (14–16°N), but later most were from Northern Central Vietnam (16–19°N). Analysis of meteorological and light-trap data from Hepu in April (1977–2013) using generalized linear models showed that immigration increased with precipitation in Southern Central Vietnam in January, but declined with precipitation in Northern Central Vietnam in January. These results determined that the RPH originate from overwintering areas in Central Vietnam, but not from southernmost areas of Vietnam. Winter precipitation, rather than temperature was the most important factor determining the number of RPH migrants. Based on their similar population dynamics and low population densities in Central Vietnam, we further speculated that RPH migrate to track ephemeral food resources whilst simultaneously avoiding predators. Migrations do not seem to be initiated by interspecific competition, overcrowding or host deterioration. Nevertheless, S. furcifera establishes populations earlier than N. lugens South China, perhaps to compensate for interspecific competition. We provide new information that could assist with forecasting outbreaks and implementing control measures against these migratory pests.
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).
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.
Here we report our study of the electronic properties of -textured gadolinium nitride (GdN) thin films synthesized using a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. The electronic properties of the films were investigated using photoemission and inverse photoemission spectroscopy coupled with computational modeling. Our density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggest that the theoretically predicted half-metallic electronic structure of GdN is likely due to its low density of states (DOS) at the Fermi level. These calculations are supported by our photoemission and inverse photoemission spectroscopic measurements which show a band gap for the prepared films of a few milli-electron volts, seemingly consistent with the predicted electronic structure. Additionally, the use of a CVD gallium nitride capping layer was found to decelerate the surface oxidation of our GdN samples.
Q fever, first described in 1937, is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii that has long been considered an under-reported and under-diagnosed illness. In China, the disease was initially reported in 1950 and in the last 25 years (1989–2013) there have been 29 reports on Q fever in China, nearly half of which were in the last 5 years. These publications have largely been in Chinese and in this review we summarize their findings to enable a better understanding of Q fever in China. The overall prevalence of C. burnetii infections in the reports is 10% (1139/11 209) in people, 15% (288/1918) in cattle and 12% (176/1440) in goats. These infections occurred widely in China with positive people and/or animals reported in 64 cities/municipalities from 19 provinces, particularly those in the eastern, western and northern areas. Cattle and goats had the highest seroprevalences of all the domestic animals studied and a wide variety of ticks were found to be infected. Mice were also commonly infected and had high copy numbers of C. burnetii DNA, suggesting they might be important in the epidemiology of Q fever in China.
The allelochemicals 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIMBOA) and 6-methoxy-benzoxazolin-2-one (MBOA) in wheat are considered to have a role in plant defense against weeds. This study explored the effect of proximity to two weeds, wild oat and flixweed, on DIMBOA/MBOA production in wheat seedlings under hydroponic culture to identify whether the breeding of modern wheat varieties with higher concentrations of these compounds could ensure plant-mediated weed control. MBOA was detected and was noted to exert a significant response; its exudation by some wheat seedlings was significantly increased irrespective of whether the roots were in contact with or separate from those of the weeds. The weeds were a source of biotic stress to wheat when grown in proximity to it, and the stress resulted in production of higher levels of MBOA in wheat seedlings, although the concentration varied with the wheat cultivar. Therefore, the synthesis and exudation of DIMBOA/MBOA in wheat seedlings appears to be an active metabolic process influenced by the environment, particularly the presence of weeds.
To determine the frequency of multiple pathology [Alzheimer Disease (AD) plus Vascular Dementia and/or Dementia with Lewy Bodies] in patients enrolled in clinical trials of AD therapy, and to compare the cognitive and functional assessments between patients with pure AD and AD with multiple pathology.
We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients with a clinical diagnosis of AD who were enrolled in AD therapy clinical trials and subsequently received an autopsy for confirmation of their diagnosis from 2000 to 2009. Performance on cognitive screening tests, namely Modified Mini Mental state (3MS) exam, Mini Mental state Exam (MMSE) and Functional Rating Scale (FRS) were compared between patients with pure AD and multiple pathology.
Autopsy reports were available for 16/47 (34%) of deceased patients. Of these 16 patients, 5 (31%) had pure AD pathology, 10 (63%) had AD with other pathology, and 1 (6%) had non-AD pathology. Compared to patients with pure AD, patients with AD mixed with other pathology had poorer baseline FRS in problem-solving (p<0.01) and community affairs (p<0.02).
While the strict enrollment criteria for clinical trials identified the presence of AD pathology in the majority of cases (15/16), multiple pathology was more common than pure AD in our series of autopsied patients. Premortem biomarkers that can distinguish between pure AD and AD with multiple pathology will be beneficial in future clinical trials and dementia patient management.
Coronary artery disease is a major problem worldwide causing 7.2 million deaths worldwide annually, resulting from vascular occlusion, myocardial infarction and its complications. Stent implantation is a percutaneous interventional procedure that mitigates vessel stenosis, providing mechanical support within the artery. However, stenting causes physical damage to the arterial wall. It is well accepted that a valuable route to reduce in-stent re-stenosis can be based on promoting cell response to nano-structured stainless steel (SS) surfaces such as, for example, by patterning nano-pits in SS. In this regard patterning by Focussed Ion-Beam (FIB) milling offers several advantages for flexible prototyping (i) practically any substrate material that is able to withstand high vacuum conditions of the microscope chamber can be used, (ii) there is high flexibility in the obtainable shapes and geometries by modulating the ion beam current and the patterning conditions, (iii) reduced complexity of the pattering process e.g. it is a single-step process with a possibility of real-time monitoring of the milling progression. On the other hand FIB patterning of polycrystalline metals is greatly influenced by channelling effects and re-deposition. Correlative microscopy methods present an opportunity to study such effects comprehensively and derive structure-property understanding that is important for developing improved pattering. In this report we present a FIB patterning protocol for nano-structuring features (concaves) ordered in rectangular arrays on pre-polished 316L Stainless Steel (SS) surfaces. An investigation based on correlative microscopy approach of the size, shape and depth of the developed arrays in relation to the crystal orientation of the underlying SS domains, is presented. The correlative microscopy protocol is based on cross-correlation of top-view Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Electron Backscattered Diffraction (EBSD), and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).Various dose tests were performed, aiming at improved productivity by preserving nano-size accuracy of the patterned process. The optimal FIB patterning conditions for achieving reasonably high throughput (patterned rate of about 0.03 mm2 per hour) and nano-size accuracy in dimensions and shapes of the features, are discussed as well.
Silicon nanostructures embedded in an amorphous matrix have been synthesized by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) at room temperature. The structural and optical properties of the materials were tailored by varying deposition parameters; attention has been devoted to the nanoscale morphology of the Si layers which has been varied from compact to open-porous by changing background gas (Ar) pressure (1-100 Pa). An adopted simple-minded strategy of a compact Si layer deposited on top of nanostructured layers showed to reduce quite successfully ex-situ oxidation. Raman spectroscopy suggests that as deposited samples are mainly constituted by amorphous silicon with nanocrystals (NCs) inclusions. The results indicate that the average size of the Si NCs varies in the range 2-6 nm. Photoluminescence (PL) responses are found to be strictly dependent on morphology and strengthen up the idea of the quantum confinement effect in the obtained nanostructured material. The results are interpreted in terms of particle size distribution, crystallinity and partial surface oxidation of the silicon nanostructures.
The focus of the paper is non-profit lifetime annuities in the UK. Annuity insurers have been faced with, or have initiated, an unprecedented amount of change during the last decade, and rapid change is still continuing. We draw out implications for the actuarial management of the business, arising from the evolution of: longevity risk assessment and management, investment strategy and operations, financial reporting, and enterprise risk management. We discuss Solvency II in some technical depth, analysing the proposed rules for technical provisions and solvency capital requirement.
We analysed the Spitzer maps of Stephan's Quintet in order to investigate the nature of the dust emission associated with the X-ray emitting regions of the large scale intergalactic shock and of the group halo. This emission can in principle be powered by dust-gas particle collisions, thus providing efficient cooling of the hot gas. However the results of our analysis suggest that the dust emission from those regions is mostly powered by photons. Nonetheless dust collisional heating could be important in determining the cooling of the IGM gas and the large scale star formation morphology observed in SQ.