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The Wisconsin Twin Project comprises multiple longitudinal studies that span infancy to early adulthood. We summarize recent papers that show how twin designs with deep phenotyping, including biological measures, can inform questions about phenotypic structure, etiology, comorbidity, heterogeneity, and gene–environment interplay of temperamental constructs and mental and physical health conditions of children and adolescents. The general framework for investigations begins with rich characterization of early temperament and follows with study of experiences and exposures across childhood and adolescence. Many studies incorporate neuroimaging and hormone assays.
Optimizing the dietary calcium (Ca) level is essential to maximize the eggshell quality, egg production and bone formation in poultry. This study aimed to establish the Ca requirements of egg-type duck breeders from 23 to 57 weeks of age on egg production, eggshell, incubation, tibial, plasma and ovary-related indices, as well as the expression of matrix protein-related genes. Totally, 450 Longyan duck breeders aged 21 weeks of age were allotted randomly into five treatments, each with six replicates of 15 individually caged birds. The data collection started from 23 weeks of age and continued over the following 35 weeks. The five groups corresponded to five dietary treatments containing either 2.8%, 3.2%, 3.6%, 4.0% or 4.4% Ca. The tested dietary Ca levels increased (linear, P <0.01) egg production and egg mass, and linearly improved (P <0.01) the feed conversion ratio (FCR). Increasing the dietary Ca levels from 2.8% to 4.4% increased (P <0.01) the eggshell thickness and eggshell content. The tested Ca levels showed a quadratic effect on eggshell thickness and ovarian weight (P <0.01); the highest values were obtained with the Ca levels 4.0% and 3.6%, respectively. Dietary Ca levels affected the small yellow follicles (SYF) number and SYF weight/ovarian weight, and the linear response (P <0.01) was significant vis-à-vis SYF number. In addition, dietary Ca levels increased (P <0.05) the tibial dry weight, breaking strength, mineral density and ash content. Plasma and tibial phosphorus concentration exhibited a quadratic (P <0.01) response to dietary Ca levels. Plasma calcitonin concentration linearly (P <0.01) increased as dietary Ca levels increased. The relative expression of carbonic anhydrase 2 in the uterus rose (P <0.01) with the increment of dietary Ca levels, and the highest value was obtained with 3.2% Ca. In conclusion, Longyan duck breeders fed a diet with 4.0% Ca had superior eggshell and tibial quality, while those fed a diet with 3.6% Ca had the heaviest ovarian weights. The regression model indicated that the dietary Ca levels 3.86%, 3.48% and 4.00% are optimal levels to obtain maximum eggshell thickness, ovarian weight and tibial mineral density, respectively.
A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of
in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity
at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of
focused to intensities
Using time-resolved laser-scanning confocal microscopy and ultrafast optical pump/THz probe spectroscopy, we measure photoluminescence (PL) and THz-conductivity in perovskite micro-crystals and films. PL quenching and lifetime variations occur from local heterogeneity. Ultrafast THz-spectra measure sharp quantum transitions from excitonic Rydberg states, providing weakly bound excitons with a binding energy of ~13.5 meV at low temperatures. Ab-initio electronic structure calculations give a direct band gap of 1.64 eV, a dielectric constant of ~18, heavy electrons, and light holes, resulting in weakly bound excitons, consistent with the binding energies from the experiment. The complementary spectroscopy and simulations reveal fundamental insights into perovskite light-matter interactions.
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.
We present a variational optimization method that can identify the most efficient kinematic dynamo in a sphere, where efficiency is based on the value of a magnetic Reynolds number that uses enstrophy to characterize the inductive effects of the fluid flow. In this large-scale optimization, we restrict the flow to be steady and incompressible, and the boundary of the sphere to be no-slip and electrically insulating. We impose these boundary conditions using a Galerkin method in terms of specifically designed vector field bases. We solve iteratively for the flow field and the accompanying magnetic eigenfunction in order to find the minimal critical magnetic Reynolds number
for the onset of a dynamo. Although nonlinear, this iteration procedure converges to a single solution and there is no evidence that this is not a global optimum. We find that
is at least three times lower than that of any published example of a spherical kinematic dynamo generated by steady flows, and our optimal dynamo clearly operates above the theoretical lower bounds for dynamo action. The corresponding optimal flow has a spatially localized helical structure in the centre of the sphere, and the dominant components are invariant under rotation by
This study investigated the flow bifurcations of flows driven by a pressure gradient in a rectangular curved tube. When fluid flows within a curved tube, due to the centrifugal effect, secondary vortices can be induced in the cross section of the tube. The secondary flow states are dependent on the magnitude of the pressure gradient (q) and the aspect ratio (γ). In this study, the continuation method was applied to investigate the flow bifurcations in a curved tube with increasing pressure gradient (1 < q < 6000) and aspect ratio (0.9 < γ < 1.4).
The bifurcation diagrams are composed of solution branches, which are linked by limiting points or bifurcation points. The flow states in a solution branch belong to the same group. The ranges of the flow states and the relationship between the states can also be derived from the bifurcation diagrams. In this study, two types of bifurcation were found, one in the range of 0.9 < γ < 1.17, and another in the range of 1.18 < γ < 1.4. The ranges of stable flow solutions and the distributions of limit and bifurcation points in both pressure gradient and aspect ratio are derived in this study.
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.
Pigs living in commercial husbandry systems may experience both acute stress due to standard management procedures and chronic stress through limitations in their barren housing environment. This might influence their immune status, including antibody responses to neural and danger autoantigens. Levels of natural autoantibody (NAAb)-binding phosphorylcholine-conjugated bovine serum albumin (PC-BSA) and myelin basic protein (MBP) were measured over time in pigs that were kept in environmental enriched v. barren housing, and that underwent a regrouping test. In total, 480 pigs were housed in 80 pens in either barren or straw-enriched pens from 4 through 23 weeks of age. Blood samples were taken from pigs before (week 8), and 3 days after a 24 h regrouping test (week 9), and at 22 weeks of age. Phosphorylcholine-conjugated bovine serum albumin (PC-BSA) and MBP antibody titres in serum were measured using ELISA. Enriched-housed pigs had higher levels of IgM-binding MBP, and tended to have higher levels of IgG-binding MBP and IgA-binding PC-BSA than barren-housed pigs. Each NAAb measured in this study was affected by gender and litter. These results suggest that enriched housing conditions, as well as acute regrouping stress, have an influence on levels of serum NAAb-binding danger and neural antigens in pigs.
Drawing upon signaling theory, we propose that a specific form of non-market action, receiving government officials’ visits, reduces transaction costs between firms and their potential exchange partners and thus contributes to firms’ competitive advantage in China. We also contend that severity of information asymmetry and availability of alternative ways of reducing transaction costs moderate the relationship between receiving government officials’ visits and company financial performance in opposite directions. The former factor increases the ex ante value of receiving government officials’ visits and strengthens its positive impact on financial performance, while the latter factor decreases the ex post value of receiving government officials’ visits and reduces its positive impact. Our conceptual framework is supported by analyses that draw on a sample of listed manufacturing firms in China. Our study contributes to a more in-depth understanding of non-market actions in emerging economies, their contingencies, and their performance implications.
Background: Ataluren is the first drug to treat the underlying cause of nmDMD. Methods: ACT DMD is a Phase 3, randomized, double-blind study. Males 7-16 years with nmDMD and a screening six-minute walk distance (6MWD) ≥150 m and <80%-predicted were randomized to ataluren 40 mg/kg/day or placebo for 48 weeks. A pre-specified subgroup included patients with baseline 6MWD 300-400 m. A meta-analysis of the overall ACT DMD population and the ‘ambulatory decline phase’ subgroup of the Phase 2b study (those patients meeting ACT DMD entry criteria) was pre-specified in the statistical plan. Results: In the overall ACT DMD population (N=228), changes in TFTs favored ataluren over placebo: 10-meter walk/run, -1.2s (p=0.117); 4-stair climb, -1.8s (p=0.058); 4-stair descend, -1.8s (p=0.012). In the pre-specified subgroup (n=99), these differences increased to -2.1s, -3.6s, and -4.3s, respectively, and were statistically significant (p<0.01) for 4-stair climb and descend. Results are supported by the meta-analysis (N=291), which demonstrated significant differences (p<0.05) in 10-meter walk/run, 4-stair climb, 4-stair descend. Conclusions: TFT results showed a benefit for ataluren in ACT DMD, and a larger treatment effect in the pre-specified baseline 6MWD 300-400 m subgroup as well as the pre-specified meta-analysis of ACT DMD and the Phase 2b study decline subgroup.
Background: Ataluren is the first drug to treat the underlying cause of nmDMD. Methods: Phase 2 and 3 studies of ataluren in nmDMD were reviewed, with efficacy and safety/tolerability findings summarized. Results: Ataluren nmDMD trials include: a Phase 2a proof-of-concept study (N=38); a Phase 2b randomized controlled trial (RCT) (N=174); an ongoing US-based open-label safety extension study (N=108); an ongoing non-US-based open-label safety/efficacy extension study (N=94); and a Phase 3 RCT, ACT DMD (N=228), whose primary endpoint was change in six-minute walk distance (6MWD) over 48 weeks. The proof-of-concept study demonstrated increased dystrophin production in post-treatment muscle biopsies from ataluren-treated patients with nmDMD. The Phase 2b results demonstrated an ataluren treatment effect in 6MWD, timed function tests, and other measures of physical functioning, The Phase 3 ACT DMD results demonstrated an ataluren treatment effect in patients with nmDMD in both primary and secondary endpoints, particularly in those with a baseline 6MWD of 300-400m. Ataluren was consistently well-tolerated in all three trials, as well as in the ongoing extension studies. Trial findings will be presented in detail. Conclusions: The totality of the results demonstrates that ataluren enables nonsense mutation readthrough in the dystrophin mRNA, producing functional dystrophin and slowing disease progression.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.