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Estimating the feed intake of grazing herbivores is critical for determining their nutrition, overall productivity and utilization of grassland resources. A 17-day indoor feeding experiment was conducted to evaluate the potential use of Medicago sativa as a natural supplement for estimating the total feed intake of sheep. A total of 16 sheep were randomly assigned to four diets (four sheep per diet) containing a known amount of M. sativa together with up to seven forages common to typical steppes. The diets were: diet 1, M. sativa + Leymus chinensis + Puccinellia distans; diet 2, species in diet 1 + Phragmites australis; diet 3, species in diet 2 + Chenopodium album + Elymus sibiricus; and diet 4, species in diet 3 + Artemisia scoparia + Artemisia tanacetifolia. After faecal marker concentrations were corrected by individual sheep recovery, treatment mean recovery or overall recovery, the proportions of M. sativa and other dietary forages were estimated from a combination of alkanes and long-chain alcohols using a least-square procedure. Total intake was the ratio of the known intake of M. sativa to its estimated dietary proportion. Each dietary component intake was obtained using total intake and the corresponding dietary proportions. The estimated values were compared with actual values to assess the estimation accuracy. The results showed that M. sativa exhibited a distinguishable marker pattern in comparison to the other dietary forage species. The accuracy of the dietary composition estimates was significantly (P < 0.001) affected by both diet diversity and the faecal recovery method. The proportion of M. sativa and total intake across all diets could be accurately estimated using the individual sheep or the treatment mean recovery methods. The largest differences between the estimated and observed total intake were 2.6 g and 19.2 g, respectively, representing only 0.4% and 2.6% of the total intake. However, they were significantly (P < 0.05) biased for most diets when using the overall recovery method. Due to the difficulty in obtaining individual sheep recovery under field conditions, treatment mean recovery is recommended. This study suggests that M. sativa, a natural roughage instead of a labelled concentrate, can be utilized as a dietary supplement to accurately estimate the total feed intake of sheep indoors and further indicates that it has potential to be used in steppe grassland of northern China, where the marker patterns of M. sativa differ markedly from commonly occurring plant species.
This study investigated Echinococcus genotypes in patients with hydatidosis that reside in Inner Mongolia, Tibet or Qinghai Province by partially sequencing the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and NADH dehydrogenase 1 (nad1) genes. Cyst fluids were collected from 23 patients with hydatidosis and DNA was extracted. Portions of the cox1 and nad1 genes were amplified and subsequently sequenced. Sequencing analysis determined that one of the isolates contained Echinococcus multilocularis, and the other 22 isolates contained E. granulosus sensu lato. The isolates were then further classified based on genotype, and E. granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.) G1 (n = 20), E. granulosus s.s. G3 (n = 1) and E. canadensis G6/7 (n = 1) were identified. Additionally, the sequences were concatenated (pcox1 + pnad1) and 11 haplotypes were identified among the E. granulosus s.s. isolates (G1 and G3), with a shared common haplotype (H1) identified. Overall, these findings provide further understanding of the genetic patterns of Echinococcus in western and northern China.
Extensive insecticide use has led to the resistance of mosquitoes to these insecticides, posing a major barrier to mosquito control. Previous Solexa high-throughput sequencing of Culex pipiens pallens in the laboratory has revealed that the abundance of a novel microRNA (miRNA), miR-13664, was higher in a deltamethrin-sensitive (DS) strain than a deltamethrin-resistant (DR) strain. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed that the miR-13664 transcript level was lower in the DR strain than in the DS strain. MiR-13664 oversupply in the DR strain increased the susceptibility of these mosquitoes to deltamethrin, whereas inhibition of miR-13664 made the DS strain more resistant to deltamethrin. Results of bioinformatic analysis, quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, luciferase assay and miR mimic/inhibitor microinjection revealed CpCYP314A1 to be a target of miR-13664. In addition, downregulation of CpCYP314A1 expression in the DR strain reduced the resistance of mosquitoes to deltamethrin. Taken together, our results indicate that miR-13664 could regulate deltamethrin resistance by interacting with CpCYP314A1, providing new insights into mosquito resistance mechanisms.
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.
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.
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.
The genetic influences in human brain structure and function and impaired functional connectivities are the hallmarks of the schizophrenic brain. To explore how common genetic variants affect the connectivities in schizophrenia, we applied genome-wide association studies assaying the abnormal neural connectivities in schizophrenia as quantitative traits.
We recruited 161 first-onset and treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia and 150 healthy controls. All the participants underwent scanning with a 3 T-magnetic resonance imaging scanner to acquire structural and functional imaging data and genotyping using the HumanOmniZhongHua-8 BeadChip. The brain-wide association study approach was employed to account for the inherent modular nature of brain connectivities.
We found differences in four abnormal functional connectivities [left rectus to left thalamus (REC.L–THA.L), left rectus to right thalamus (REC.L–THA.R), left superior orbital cortex to left thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.L) and left superior orbital cortex to right thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.R)] between the two groups. Univariate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based association revealed that the SNP rs6800381, located nearest to the CHRM3 (cholinergic receptor, muscarinic 3) gene, reached genomic significance (p = 1.768 × 10−8) using REC.L–THA.R as the phenotype. Multivariate gene-based association revealed that the FAM12A (family with sequence similarity 12, member A) gene nearly reached genomic significance (nominal p = 2.22 × 10–6, corrected p = 0.05).
Overall, we identified the first evidence that the CHRM3 gene plays a role in abnormal thalamo-orbital frontal cortex functional connectivity in first-episode treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia. Identification of these genetic variants using neuroimaging genetics provides insights into the causes of variability in human brain development, and may help us determine the mechanisms of dysfunction in schizophrenia.
Radio interferometric observations of extragalactic radio sources have been made with antennas at the Haystack Observatory in Massachusetts and the Owens Valley Radio Observatory in California during fourteen separate experiments distributed between September 1976 and May 1978. The components of the baseline vector and the coordinates of the sources were estimated from the data from each experiment separately. The root-weighted-mean-square scatter about the weighted mean (“repeatability”) of the estimates of the length of the 3900 km baseline was approximately 7 cm, and of the source coordinates, approximately or less, except for the declinations of low-declination sources. With the source coordinates all held fixed at the best available, a posteriori, values, and the analyses repeated for each experiment, the repeatability obtained for the estimate of baseline length was 4 cm. From analyses of the data from several experiments simultaneously, estimates were obtained of changes in the x component of pole position and in the Earth's rotation (UT1). Comparison with the corresponding results obtained by the Bureau International de l'Heure (BIH) discloses systematic differences. In particular, the trends in the radio interferometric determinations of the changes in pole position agree more closely with those from the International Polar Motion Service (IPMS) and from the Doppler observations of satellites than with those from the BIH.
This study aimed to investigate the long-term efficacy of intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion treatment for intractable Ménière's disease.
A retrospective analysis of 17 intractable Ménière's disease patients treated with intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion was performed. Treatment efficacy was evaluated according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery criteria. Short and long-term control or improvement rates were calculated after 6 and 24 months, respectively.
Sixteen patients were followed for more than two years. Short- and long-term vertigo control rates were 94 per cent and 81 per cent, respectively; short- and long-term functional activity improvements were 94 per cent and 88 per cent, respectively. The pure tone average was 53 ± 14 dB before treatment, and 50 ± 16 dB at 6 months and 52 ± 20 dB at 24 months after intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion. Tinnitus was controlled or improved in five patients over the two-year follow-up period.
Intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion can effectively control vertigo and improve functional activity in intractable Ménière's disease patients with good hearing preservation. It may therefore be a viable alternative treatment for intractable Ménière's disease.
To understand the clinical epidemiology and molecular characteristics of human bocavirus (HBoV) infection in children with diarrhoea in Guangzhou, South China, we collected 1128 faecal specimens from children with diarrhoea from July 2010 to December 2012. HBoV and five other major enteric viruses were examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Human rotavirus (HRV) was the most prevalent pathogen, detected in 250 (22·2%) cases, followed by enteric adenovirus (EADV) in 76 (6·7%) cases, human astrovirus (HAstV) in 38 (3·4%) cases, HBoV in 17 (1·5%) cases, sapovirus (SaV) in 14 (1·2%) cases, and norovirus (NoV) in 9 (0·8%) cases. Co-infections were identified in 3·7% of the study population and 23·5% of HBoV-positive specimens. Phylogenetic analysis revealed 14 HBoV strains to be clustered into species HBoV1 with only minor variations among them. Overall, the detection of HBoV appears to partially contribute to the overall detection gap for enteric infections, single HBoV infection rarely results in severe clinical outcomes, and HBoV sequencing data appears to support conserved genomes across strains identified in this study.
Predictive models for the accumulation of available phosphorus (Olsen-P, extracted with 0·5 mol/l sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) at pH 8·5) in the north-western arid areas of China, especially in Xinjiang, are essential for the improved management of phosphorus (P) fertilizers. In the present study, an accumulation model for Olsen-P in grey desert soil (Calcaric Cambisol) was developed using the data for initial Olsen-P in soil, P fertilizer application rate (organic and inorganic P), crop yields, and soil pH from a 22-year long-term experiment (1990–2011) with 3-year rotation of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), maize (Zea mays L.) and cotton (Gossypium spp.). The model was also validated independently using previously published data from the literature. The results indicated an average net accumulation of Olsen-P in the plough layer (0–200 mm) of 0·36 mg/kg/year (from 0·083 to 0·47 mg/kg/year) when P fertilizer was applied, while an average net Olsen-P loss of 0·12 mg/kg/year (from 0·067 to 0·26 mg/kg/year) was observed without P fertilization in the soil. For target yields of wheat, maize and cotton at 5, 6 and 6 tonne/ha (t/ha), respectively, in soil with pH 8, the rates of Olsen-P increase in the soil as estimated by the model were 0·11, 0·24, 0·36, 0·49 and 0·61 mg/kg/year when P application rates were 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 kg P/ha per 3-year period, respectively. For every 100 kg/ha of P surplus, Olsen-P increased by 1·1 mg/kg in Xinjiang grey desert soil. This Olsen-P accumulation model was valuable for the management of soil P in agricultural production and environmental protection in north-western China and other arid areas planted with a yearly rotation of wheat, maize or cotton.
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.
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and primary arthroplasty surgical site infection (SSI) rates are declining slower than other healthcare-associated infection rates. We examined antimicrobial prophylaxis (AMP) regimens used for these operations and compared their spectrum of activity against reported SSI pathogens.
Pathogen distributions of CABG and hip/knee arthroplasty complex SSIs (deep and organ/space) reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) from 2006 through 2009 and AMP regimens (same procedures and time period) reported to the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) were analyzed. Regimens were categorized as standard (cefazolin or cefuroxime), β-lactam allergy (vancomycin or clindamycin with or without an aminoglycoside), and extended spectrum (vancomycin and/or an aminoglycoside with cefazolin or cefuroxime). AMP activity of each regimen was predicted on the basis of pathogen susceptibility reports and published spectra of antimicrobial activity.
There were 6,263 CABG and arthroplasty complex SSIs reported (680,489 procedures; 880 NHSN hospitals). Among 6,574 pathogens reported, methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (23%), methicillin-resistant S. aureus (18%), coagulase-negative staphylococci (17%), and Enterococcus species (7%) were most common. AMP regimens for 2,435,703 CABG and arthroplasty procedures from 3,330 SCIP hospitals were analyzed. The proportion of pathogens predictably susceptible to standard (used in 75% of procedures), β-lactam (12%), and extended-spectrum (8%) regimens was 41%–45%, 47%–96%, and 81%—96%, respectively.
Standard AMP, used in three-quarters of CABG and primary arthroplasty procedures, has inadequate activity against more than half of SSI pathogens reported. Alternative strategies may be needed to prevent SSIs caused by pathogens resistant to standard AMP regimens.
An enduring question with regard to the voluntary sector is how it can nurture civic engagement and provide public goods. A World Heritage listing for Penang highlights this question by revealing a vibrant civil society network that has made heritage conservation an issue for public discourse and policy agenda. This paper discusses how the marginalized trajectory of Penang is related to the development of its civic realm, social cohesion and local identity, which are sources of Penang's voluntarism. It then examines the engagement pattern of the Penang Heritage Trust, a leading association, which has mounted resistance against the state's failure in heritage provision. This bottom-up approach has preserved Penang's cultural heritage and associated identity, and reveals the distinct nature and capacity of Penang's voluntary sector that goes against the general pattern in Malaysia.
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.
We investigated the genetic structure of 120 isolates of serotype 19F Streptococcus pneumoniae from Chinese children with acute respiratory infections collected from 1997 to 2006, and 2010. All strains were susceptible to vancomycin and levofloxacin, and only five strains were not susceptible to penicillin. The non-susceptibility rate to cephalosporins increased from 1997 to 2010. Of 119 erythromycin-resistant strains, 60 carried both ermB and mefA genes. The percentage of clonal complex 271 (CC271) increased from 14·3% in 1997–1998 to 92% in 2010, whereas that of CC983 decreased from 64·3% to 0%. CC271 had a higher non-susceptibility rate to β-lactam antibiotics than CC983 and other CCs. The increased non-susceptibility rate to β-lactam antibiotics in serotype 19F pneumococci was found to be associated with the spread of the international resistant clone CC271 presumably caused by antibiotic pressure. Long-term surveys of serotype 19F S. pneumoniae are required to monitor CC prevalence and trends in antimicrobial resistance.
We investigated the genetic structure of 99 isolates of serotype 23F Streptococcus pneumoniae from children with acute respiratory infections collected over two periods from 1997 to 2006, and 2010. All isolates were susceptible to vancomycin and amoxicillin–clavulanic acid; 97 were resistant to erythromycin, 95 of which carried the ermB gene and two carried both mefA/E and ermB genes. Multidrug resistance to three or more classes of antibiotics was exhibited by 90 isolates. Sequence types ST342 and ST81 were the most frequent in 1997–2006 and 2010, respectively. All CC81 isolates were non-susceptible to β-lactam antibiotics and had higher minimum inhibitory concentration values for penicillin than other clone complexes and sequence types. The increased β-lactam antibiotic resistance may have resulted from the replacement of multidrug-resistant clones related to ST81. Long-term studies on S. pneumoniae serotype 23F, especially the ST81 clone, should be conducted to better understand the epidemiological picture of this pathogen in China.