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To explore the characteristics of the mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the squeaking silkmoths Rhodinia, a genus of wild silkmoths in the family Saturniidae of Lepidoptera, and reveal phylogenetic relationships, the mitogenome of Rhodinia fugax Butler was determined. This wild silkmoth spins a green cocoon that has potential significance in sericulture, and exhibits a unique feature that its larvae can squeak loudly when touched. The mitogenome of R. fugax is a circular molecule of 15,334 bp long and comprises 13 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, and an A + T-rich region, consistent with previous observations of Saturniidae species. The 370-bp A + T-rich region of R. fugax contains no tandem repeat elements and harbors several features common to the Bombycidea insects, but microsatellite AT repeat sequence preceded by the ATTTA motif is not present. Mitogenome-based phylogenetic analysis shows that R. fugax belongs to Attacini, instead of Saturniini. This study presents the first mitogenome for Rhodinia genus.
To explore whether emotional expressivity and the patterns of language use could predict benefits from expressive writing (EW) of breast cancer (BC) patients in a culture that strongly discourages emotional disclosure.
Data were obtained from a recent trial in which we compared the health outcomes between a prolonged EW group (12 sessions) and a standard EW group (four sessions) (n = 56 per group) of BC patients receiving chemotherapy. The Chinese texts were tokenized using the THU Lexical Analyser for Chinese. Then, LIWC2015 was used to quantify positive and negative affect word use.
Our first hypothesis that BC patients with higher levels of emotional expressivity tended to use higher levels of positive and negative affect words in texts was not supported (r = 0.067, p = 0.549 and r = 0.065, p = 0.559, respectively). The level of emotional expressivity has a significant effect on the quality of life (QOL), and those who used more positive or fewer negative affective words in texts had a better QOL (all p < 0.05). However, no significant difference was identified in physical and psychological well-being (all p > 0.05). Furthermore, the patterns of affective word use during EW did not mediate the effects of emotional expressivity on health outcomes (all p > 0.05).
Our findings suggest that the level of emotional expressivity and the pattern of affective word use could be factors that may moderate the effects of EW on QOL, which may help clinicians identify the individuals most likely to benefit from such writing exercises in China.
What are the major factors contributing to ship accidents, and how do these factors evolve in the long term? This study addresses these two questions by leveraging an unsupervised machine learning method named structural topic modelling to identify the causes of ship accidents. The study analysed 2,341 task errors manually collected from 441 reports issued by four government agencies covering a 45-year time span. The results show that the structure of causes of ship accidents remained essentially the same during this period. This highlights the social-material aspect of navigation technology, indicating that the use of advanced technology may not necessarily lead to safer navigation practices, and the interaction between the technology and human agency must be focused on in the bridge management context. Additionally, the computer-assisted textual data analysis highlights pilot-related factors, which might be rooted in the unsupervised and difficult-to-verify handover procedures between pilots and captains, thereby underlining the importance of appropriate piloting regulations.
This study aims to identify error-prone operational steps and key sites of self-contamination during donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE).
A total of 56 health care workers, including 37 nurses and 19 physicians, were recruited to don and doff the PPE recommended by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Operational errors and sites of self-contamination were recorded using UV-fluorescent labeling and video surveillance.
Three main errors during donning were identified: choosing a loose-fitting coverall that was difficult to handle; ignoring to inspect the seal of N95 respirator or gloves; and forgetting to pull up the zipper completely. Four main errors during doffing were identified: removing the N95 respirator in a wrong way; touching the scrubs with contaminated hands and elbows; touching contaminated external surfaces of the goggles; and performing insufficient hand hygiene. Key sites that were easily contaminated during the doffing of PPE included left hand and wrist, left lower leg, chest, and left abdomen.
Identifying the steps prone to errors and key sites of self-contamination in the process of PPE donning and doffing can facilitate the training of PPE use and provide detailed evidence for optimizing standardized protocols to reduce contamination.
With the characteristics of full autonomy and no accumulated errors, polarisation navigation shows tremendous prospects in underwater scenarios. In this paper, inspired by the polarisation vision of aquatic organisms, a novel point-source polarisation sensor with high spectral adaptability (400 nm–760 nm) is designed for underwater orientation. To enhance the environmental applicability of the underwater polarisation sensor, a novel sensor model based on the underwater light intensity attenuation coefficient and optical coupling coefficient is established. In addition, concerned with the influence of light intensity uncertainty on sensor performance underwater, an antagonistic polarisation algorithm is adopted for the first time, to improve the accuracy of angle of polarisation and degree of polarisation in the low signal-to-noise ratio environment underwater. Finally, indoor and outdoor experiments are carried out to evaluate the performance of the designed polarisation sensor. The results show that the designed point-source polarisation sensor can acquire polarised light and be used for heading determination underwater.
To establish optimal gestational weight gain (GWG) in Chinese pregnant women by Chinese-specific BMI categories and compare the new recommendations with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2009 guidelines.
Multicentre, prospective cohort study. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the OR, 95 % CI and the predicted probabilities of adverse pregnancy outcomes. The optimal GWG range was defined as the range that did not exceed a 1 % increase from the lowest predicted probability in each pre-pregnancy BMI group.
From nine cities in mainland China.
A total of 3731 women with singleton pregnancy were recruited from April 2013 to December 2014.
The optimal GWG (ranges) by Chinese-specific BMI was 15·0 (12·8–17·1), 14·2 (12·1–16·4) and 12·6 (10·4–14·9) kg for underweight, normal weight and overweight pregnant women, respectively. Inappropriate GWG was associated with several adverse pregnancy outcomes. Compared with women gaining weight within our proposed recommendations, women with excessive GWG had higher risk for macrosomia, large for gestational age and caesarean section, whereas those with inadequate GWG had higher risk for low birth weight, small for gestational age and preterm delivery. The comparison between our proposed recommendations and IOM 2009 guidelines showed that our recommendations were comparable with the IOM 2009 guidelines and could well predict the risk of several adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Inappropriate GWG was associated with higher risk of several adverse pregnancy outcomes. Optimal GWG recommendations proposed in the present study could be applied to Chinese pregnant women.
Salicylic acid (SA), a phytohormone, has been considered to be a key regulator mediating plant defence against pathogens. It is still vague how SA activates plant defence against herbivores such as chewing and sucking pests. Here, we used an aphid-susceptible wheat variety to investigate Sitobion avenae response to SA-induced wheat plants, and the effects of exogenous SA on some defence enzymes and phenolics in the plant immune system. In SA-treated wheat seedlings, intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm), fecundity and apterous rate of S. avenae were 0.25, 31.4 nymphs/female and 64.4%, respectively, and significantly lower than that in the controls (P < 0.05). Moreover, the increased activities of phenylalanine-ammonia-lyase, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase in the SA-induced seedlings obviously depended on the sampling time, whereas activities of catalase and 4-coumarate:CoA ligase were suppressed significantly at 24, 48 and 72 h in comparison with the control. Dynamic levels of p-coumaric acid at 96 h, caffeic acid at 24 and 72 h and chlorogenic acid at 24, 48 and 96 h in wheat plants were significantly upregulated by exogenous SA application. Nevertheless, only caffeic acid content was positively correlated with PPO activity in SA-treated wheat seedlings (P = 0.031). These findings indicate that exogenous SA significantly enhanced the defence of aphid-susceptible wheat variety against aphids by regulating the plant immune system, and may prove a potential application of SA in aphid control.
Pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) induced by the absence of seed dormancy causes a severe reduction in crop yield and flour quality. In this study, we isolated and characterized TaABI4, an ABA-responsive transcription factor that participates in regulating seed germination in wheat. Sequence analysis revealed that TaABI4 has three homologues, located on chromosomes 1A/1B/1D. TaABI4 contains a conserved AP2 domain, and AP2-associated, LRP and potential PEST motifs. Putative cis-acting regulatory elements (CE1-like box, W-box, ABRE elements and RY elements) were identified in the TaABI4 promoter region that showed high conservation in 17 wheat cultivars and wheat-related species. Expression profiling of TaABI4 indicated that it is a seed-specific gene accumulating during the middle stages of seed development. Transcript accumulation of TaABI4 in wheat cultivar Chuanmai 32 (CM32, PHS susceptible) was 5.07-fold and 1.39-fold higher than that in synthetic hexaploidy wheat SHW-L1 (PHS resistant) at 15 and 20 DPA, respectively. Six expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) of TaABI4 on chromosomes 2A, 2D, 3B and 4A were characterized based on the accumulated transcripts of TaABI4 in SHW-L1 and CM32-derived recombinant inbred lines. These QTLs explained 10.7 to 46.1% of the trait variation with 4.53–10.59 of LOD scores, which contain genes that may affect the expression of TaABI4.
To examine the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the Relevant Outcome Scale for Alzheimer’s disease (CROSA) among persons with AD (PWAD) and their caregivers in China.
A single-arm, open-label, multi-center study.
Two tertiary general hospitals in Shanghai.
A total of 336 PWAD and their family caregivers.
The PWAD completed a 12-week treatment with memantine after a baseline assessment.
The CROSA and the Chinese versions of the Mini-Mental State Examination, the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale, the Disability Activity of Dementia, the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire, the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview and the Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for Chinese Family Caregivers.
The Cronbach’s alpha for the total scale was 0.900, and the intraclass correlation coefficient and Pearson’s correlation coefficient were 0.910 (P < 0.001) and 0.836 (P < 0.001), respectively. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed the two-factor model to be consistent with the original version. For the known-group validity, the total score of the CROSA classified the PWAD into three stages and three MMSE score groups. Moderate to large correlations with the validated scales confirmed the criteria validity of the CROSA, and the convergent validity was confirmed via testing a hypothesized caregiving model; however, only minimal responsiveness was found among the deterioration group after 12 weeks of treatment with memantine.
The reliability and validity of the CROSA was good or acceptable for use in daily clinical settings. Further studies are needed to examine the psychometric properties of the scale.
Over recent decades, Chinese giant salamanders Andrias spp. have declined dramatically across much of their range. Overexploitation and habitat degradation have been widely cited as the cause of these declines. To investigate the relative contribution of each of these factors in driving the declines, we carried out standardized ecological and questionnaire surveys at 98 sites across the range of giant salamanders in China. We did not find any statistically significant differences between water parameters (temperature, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, alkalinity, hardness and flow rate) recorded at sites where giant salamanders were detected by survey teams and/or had been recently seen by local respondents, and sites where they were not detected and/or from which they had recently been extirpated. Additionally, we found direct and indirect evidence that the extraction of giant salamanders from the wild is ongoing, including within protected areas. Our results support the hypothesis that the decline of giant salamanders across China has been primarily driven by overexploitation. Data on water parameters may be informative for the establishment of conservation breeding programmes, an initiative recommended for the conservation of these species.
We carry out direct numerical simulations of turbulent Rayleigh–Bénard convection in a square box with rough conducting plates over the Rayleigh number range $10^7\leqslant Ra\leqslant 10^9$ and the Prandtl number range $0.01\leqslant Pr\leqslant 100$. In Zhang et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 836, 2018, R2), it was reported that while the measured Nusselt number $Nu$ is enhanced at large roughness height $h$, the global heat transport is reduced at small $h$. The division between the two regimes yields a critical roughness height $h_c$, and we now focus on the effects of the Prandtl number ($Pr$) on $h_c$. Based on the variations of $h_c$, we identify three regimes for $h_c(Pr)$. For low $Pr$, thermal boundary layers become thinner with increasing $Pr$. This makes the boundary layers easier to be disrupted by rough elements, leading to the decrease of $h_c$ with increasing $Pr$. For moderate $Pr$, the corner-flow rolls become much more pronounced and suppress the global heat transport via the competition between the corner-flow rolls and the large-scale circulation (LSC). As a consequence, $h_c$ increases with increasing $Pr$ due to the intensification of the corner–LSC competition. For high $Pr$, the convective flow transitions to the plume-controlled regime. As the rough elements trigger much stronger and more frequent plume emissions, $h_c$ again decreases with increasing $Pr$.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
Previously, we reported the myelin regulatory factor (MYRF) as a candidate gene for nanophthalmos. We have also produced Myrf knockdown (Myrf+/−) mouse strain to investigate the cellular and molecular phenotypes of reduced MYRF expression in the retina. Myrf+/− mouse strain was generated using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Optomotor response system, electroretinogram (ERG), spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), histology, and immunohistochemistry were performed to evaluate retinal spatial vision, electrophysiological function, retinal thickness, and pathological changes in cone or rod photoreceptors, respectively. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) was performed to investigate the underlying molecular mechanism linking Myrf deficiency with photoreceptor defects. The genotype and phenotype of CRISPR/Cas9-induced Myrf+/− mice and their offspring were comprehensively investigated. Photoreceptor defects were detected in the retinas of Myrf+/− mice. Visual acuity and ERG responses were decreased in Myrf+/− mice compared with the control mice (Myrf+/+). The loss of cone and rod neurons was proportional to the decreased outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness. Moreover, RNA-seq revealed that phototransduction and estrogen signaling pathways played important roles in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis. Myrf+/− mouse strain provides a good model to investigate the function of the MYRF gene. Photoreceptor defects with impaired functions of spatial vision and retinal electrophysiology indicate an important role played by MYRF in retinal development. Alterations in phototransduction and estrogen signaling pathways play important roles in linking Myrf deficiency with retinal photoreceptor defects.
Nutrition in early life has a long-term influence on later health. In order to the explore effects of in ovo feeding (IOF) of vitamin C on splenic development, splenic metabolism and apoptosis were detected in embryo, adult chickens and in vitro. A total of 360 fertile eggs were selected and randomly assigned to control (CON) and vitamin C (VC) groups which were injected with saline and vitamin C on embryonic day 11, respectively. Functional enrichment of differentially expressed genes by transcriptome on embryonic day 19 suggested that purine nucleotide metabolism might be a potential pathway for the IOF of vitamin C to regulate spleen development. Additionally, the IOF of vitamin C significantly increased splenic vitamin C content on post-hatch day 21. Meanwhile, the splenic expression of adenosine deaminase, serine/threonine kinase 1 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen was down-regulated, whereas the expression of cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase 9 was up-regulated in the VC group. On post-hatch day 42, the IOF of vitamin C significantly down-regulated the splenic expression of B-cell lymphoma 2 and increased the mRNA level of cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase 9. The IOF of vitamin C could regulate the expression of genes related to adenylate metabolism and increased the apoptosis rate in vitro, which is consistent with the result in vivo. In conclusion, the IOF of vitamin C regulated splenic development and maturation by affecting purine nucleotide metabolism pathway and promoting apoptosis.
The notion of recurrent fractal interpolation functions (RFIFs) was introduced by Barnsley et al. [‘Recurrent iterated function systems’, Constr. Approx.5 (1989), 362–378]. Roughly speaking, the graph of an RFIF is the invariant set of a recurrent iterated function system on
. We generalise the definition of RFIFs so that iterated functions in the recurrent system need not be contractive with respect to the first variable. We obtain the box dimensions of all self-affine RFIFs in this general setting.
Fullerene dimers have attracted extensive attention due to their unique structures and fascinating properties. Here, fullerene dimer derivatives with four to six carbon atoms in the esters are designed and synthesized. The property differences that caused by the carbon number in the esters of the fullerene dimers are investigated by performing their electrochemical, optical, and photoelectric measurements. As the carbon atom numbers in the esters increase from four to five and six, the absorption intensities increase to 1.6- and 4.4-folds. The intensities of the fluorescence spectra increase to 1.8- and 5.2-folds. Their photocurrent increases to 2- and 7-folds under the irradiation of a 405-nm laser. The LUMO energy levels move downward slightly from −3.89 to −3.90 and −3.92 eV, respectively. Our results indicate that as the carbon number increases, the carbon chain lengths in the ester structures increase, very slight effects produced on the energy levels of the fullerene dimers, but strongly contribute to their chemical activities and thus the photoelectronic efficiencies.
Calcifying pseudoneoplasm of the neuraxis (CAPNON) is a rare tumor-like lesion with unknown pathogenesis. It is likely under-reported due to diagnostic challenges including the nonspecific radiographic features, lack of diagnostic markers, and often asymptomatic nature of the lesions.
We performed detailed examination of 11 CAPNON specimens diagnosed by histopathology, with the help of electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry.
Electron microscopy revealed the presence of fibrillary materials consistent with neurofilaments. In addition to some entrapped axons at the periphery of CAPNONs, we discovered that all specimens stained positive for neurofilament-light (NF-L) within the granular amorphous cores, but not neurofilament-phosphorylated (NF-p). CAPNONs also showed variable infiltration of CD8+ T-cells and a decreased ratio of CD4/CD8+ T-cells, suggesting an immune-mediated process in the pathogenesis of CAPNON.
NF-L and CD4/CD8 immunostains may serve as diagnostic markers for CAPNON and shed light on its pathogenesis.
This Research Reflection short review presents an overview of the effects of heat stress on dairy cattle udder health and discusses existing heat stress mitigation strategies for a better understanding and identification of appropriate abatement plans for future stress management. Due to high ambient temperatures with high relative humidity in summer, dairy cows respond by changes of physical, biochemical and biological pathways to neutralize heat stress resulting in decreased production performance and poorer immunity resulting in an increased incidence of intramammary infections (IMI) and a higher somatic cell count (SCC). In vitro studies on bovine polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) suggested that heat stress reduces the phagocytosis capacity and oxidative burst of PMN and alters the expression of apoptotic genes and miRNA which, together with having a negative effect on the immune system, may explain the increased susceptibility to IMI. Although there are limited data regarding the incidence rate of clinical mastitis in many countries or regions, knowledge of SCC at the cow or bulk tank level helps encourage farmers to improve herd health and to develop strategies for infection prevention and cure. Therefore, more research into bulk tank SCC and clinical mastitis rates is needed to explain the effect of heat stress on dairy cow udder health and functions that could be influenced by abatement plans.
Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has presented an unprecedented challenge to the health-care system across the world. The current study aims to identify the determinants of illness severity of COVID-19 based on ordinal responses. A retrospective cohort of COVID-19 patients from four hospitals in three provinces in China was established, and 598 patients were included from 1 January to 8 March 2020, and divided into moderate, severe and critical illness group. Relative variables were retrieved from electronic medical records. The univariate and multivariate ordinal logistic regression models were fitted to identify the independent predictors of illness severity. The cohort included 400 (66.89%) moderate cases, 85 (14.21%) severe and 113 (18.90%) critical cases, of whom 79 died during hospitalisation as of 28 April. Patients in the age group of 70+ years (OR = 3.419, 95% CI: 1.596–7.323), age of 40–69 years (OR = 1.586, 95% CI: 0.824–3.053), hypertension (OR = 3.372, 95% CI: 2.185–5.202), ALT >50 μ/l (OR = 3.304, 95% CI: 2.107–5.180), cTnI >0.04 ng/ml (OR = 7.464, 95% CI: 4.292–12.980), myohaemoglobin>48.8 ng/ml (OR = 2.214, 95% CI: 1.42–3.453) had greater risk of developing worse severity of illness. The interval between illness onset and diagnosis (OR = 1.056, 95% CI: 1.012–1.101) and interval between illness onset and admission (OR = 1.048, 95% CI: 1.009–1.087) were independent significant predictors of illness severity. Patients of critical illness suffered from inferior survival, as compared with patients in the severe group (HR = 14.309, 95% CI: 5.585–36.659) and in the moderate group (HR = 41.021, 95% CI: 17.588–95.678). Our findings highlight that the identified determinants may help to predict the risk of developing more severe illness among COVID-19 patients and contribute to optimising arrangement of health resources.