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Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
Chitinase is responsible for insect chitin hydrolyzation, which is a key process in insect molting and pupation. However, little is known about the chitinase of Spodoptera exigua (SeChi). In this study, based on the SeChi gene (ADI24346) identified in our laboratory, we constructed the recombinant baculovirus P-Chi for the expression of recombinant SeChi (rSeChi) in Hi5 cells. The rSeChi was purified by chelate affinity chromatography, and the purified protein showed activity comparable with that of a commercial SgChi, suggesting that we harvested active SeChi for the first time. The purified protein was subsequently tested for enzymatic properties and revealed to exhibit its highest activity at pH 8 and 40 C. Using homology modeling and molecular docking techniques, the three-dimensional model of SeChi was constructed and screened for inhibitors. In two rounds of screening, twenty compounds were selected. With the purified rSeChi, we tested each of the twenty compounds for inhibitor activity against rSeChi, and seven compounds showed obvious activity. This study provided new information for the chitinase of beet armyworm and for chitinase inhibitor development.
Antioxidants have been always used to improve post-slaughter meat quality in broilers subjected to stress. Forsythia suspensa extract (FSE), a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, is generally regarded as a natural source of antioxidants. Therefore, the objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that FSE could protect post-slaughter breast muscles against oxidative injury induced by dexamethasone (DEX) mimicking chronic physiological stress in poultry production. Average daily gain and feed efficiency of poultry were suppressed by DEX and improved by FSE (P < 0.05). Dexamethasone caused the decrease in the redness value and the increase in the lightness and yellowness values and drip loss of the breast muscles (P < 0.05), and FSE had the converse effects (P < 0.05). Dietary FSE supplementation decreased monounsaturated fatty acid (FA) and increased polyunsaturated FA in breast muscles of broilers (P < 0.05). In addition, FSE decreased malondialdehyde and carbonyl content in the breast muscles of DEX-treated broilers (P < 0.05). The inhibition of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl in the breast muscles was decreased by DEX and increased by FSE (P < 0.05). Total-antioxidant capacity and glutathione peroxidase activity in the breast muscles were decreased in birds subjected to DEX and increased in birds supplemented with FSE (P < 0.05). Totally, DEX suppressed growth performance and induced breast muscle oxidative injury in broilers, and FSE supplementation improved antioxidant capacity to attenuate these adverse effects. Therefore, FSE could be a potential natural antioxidant to alleviate oxidative injury of the breast muscles in broilers and to improve the meat quality for human consumption.
The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of supplementing different amounts of daidzein in a diet on the growth performance, blood biochemical parameters and meat quality of finishing beef cattle. Thirty finishing Xianan steers were distributed in three groups equilibrated by weight and fed three different dietary treatments (concentrate ratio = 80%): (1) control; (2) 500 mg/kg daidzein and (3) 1000 mg/kg daidzein, respectively. Steers were slaughtered after an 80-day feeding trial. Results showed that daidzein supplementation had no effect on the final body weight, average daily gain and feed conversion rate of steers. Steers fed with 1000 mg/kg daidzein had greater dry matter intake than those fed with control diets. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group had a higher fat thickness, lower shear force and lightness. The pH, drip loss, cooking loss, redness (a*), yellowness (b*), moisture, ash, crude protein and intramuscular fat of the Longissimus dorsi muscle were unaffected by daidzein supplementation. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentrations of insulin, free fatty acid and Glutamic-pyruvic transaminase. The 500 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentration of tetraiodothyronine compared with the control group. Supplemental daidzein did not affect the blood antioxidant ability and blood immune parameters in serum. In conclusion, daidzein supplementation above 500 mg/day modifies feed intake and metabolic and hormonal profile, with positive and negative effects on meat quality.
A stable reference gene is a key prerequisite for accurate assessment of gene expression. At present, the real-time reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction has been widely used in the analysis of gene expression in a variety of organisms. Neoseiulus barkeri Hughes (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is a major predator of mites on many important economically crops. Until now, however, there are no reports evaluating the stability of reference genes in this species. In view of this, we used GeNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder software tools to evaluate the expression stability of 11 candidate reference genes in developmental stages and under various abiotic stresses. According to our results, β-ACT and Hsp40 were the top two stable reference genes in developmental stages. The Hsp60 and Hsp90 were the most stable reference genes in various acaricides stress. For alterations in temperature, Hsp40 and α-TUB were the most suitable reference genes. About UV stress, EF1α and α-TUB were the best choice, and for the different prey stress, β-ACT and α-TUB were best suited. In normal conditions, the β-ACT and α-TUB were the two of the highest stable reference genes to respond to all kinds of stresses. The current study provided a valuable foundation for the further analysis of gene expression in N. barkeri.
The response of soil microbial communities to soil quality changes is a sensitive indicator of soil ecosystem health. The current work investigated soil microbial communities under different fertilization treatments in a 31-year experiment using the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profile method. The experiment consisted of five fertilization treatments: without fertilizer input (CK), chemical fertilizer alone (MF), rice (Oryza sativa L.) straw residue and chemical fertilizer (RF), low manure rate and chemical fertilizer (LOM), and high manure rate and chemical fertilizer (HOM). Soil samples were collected from the plough layer and results indicated that the content of PLFAs were increased in all fertilization treatments compared with the control. The iC15:0 fatty acids increased significantly in MF treatment but decreased in RF, LOM and HOM, while aC15:0 fatty acids increased in these three treatments. Principal component (PC) analysis was conducted to determine factors defining soil microbial community structure using the 21 PLFAs detected in all treatments: the first and second PCs explained 89.8% of the total variance. All unsaturated and cyclopropyl PLFAs except C12:0 and C15:0 were highly weighted on the first PC. The first and second PC also explained 87.1% of the total variance among all fertilization treatments. There was no difference in the first and second PC between RF and HOM treatments. The results indicated that long-term combined application of straw residue or organic manure with chemical fertilizer practices improved soil microbial community structure more than the mineral fertilizer treatment in double-cropped paddy fields in Southern China.
In this study, a micromechanics model has been proposed for predicting the effects of particle size and aggregation on elastic properties of nanocomposites, and the interphase between the particle and matrix is also taken into account. Inherent characteristics of nanoparticle, such as small size and high surface area ratio, make nanoparticle in a state of unstable energy and easy to agglomerate in matrix. The analytical expressions for the effective elastic modulus of nanocomposites are derived, which can consider the effect of particle agglomeration. The dispersion state or degree of agglomeration of nanoparticle and the thickness and stiffness of interphase are known to have a significant influence on nanocomposites. The results show that the increase of particle radius and agglomeration volume fractions reduces the elastic stiffness of nanocomposites. Moreover, the composite reinforcement can be improved by increases of interphase thickness and stiffness.
Information on morbidity burden of seasonal influenza in China is limited. A multiplier model was used to estimate the incidence and number of outpatient visits for seasonal influenza by age group for the 2015–2016 season in Beijing, the capital of China, based on reported numbers of influenza-like illness consultations and proportions of positive cases from influenza surveillance systems in Beijing, general consultation rates and other parameters from previous studies, surveys and surveillance systems. An estimated total of 1 190 200 (95% confidence interval (CI) 830 400–1 549 900) cases of influenza virus infections occurred in Beijing, 2015–2016 season, with an attack rate of 5·5% (95% CI 3·9–7·2%). These infections resulted in an estimated 468 280 (95% CI 70 700–606 800) outpatient visits, with an attack rate of 2·2% (95% CI 0·3–2·8%). The attack rate of influenza virus infections was highest among children aged 0–4 years (31·9% (95% CI 21·9–41·9%)), followed by children aged 5–14 years (18·7% (95% CI 12·9–24·5%)). Our study demonstrated a substantial influenza-related morbidity in Beijing, China, especially among the preschool- and school-aged children. This suggests that development or modification of seasonal influenza targeted vaccination strategies need to recognize that incidence is highest in children.
Neoseiulus barkeri (HUGHES) is the natural enemy of spider mites, whiteflies and thrips. Screening for chemically-resistant predatory mites is a practical way to balance the contradiction between the pesticide using and biological control. In this study, the number of eggs laid by fenpropathrin-susceptible and resistant strains of N. barkeri was compared. Additionally, we cloned three N. barkeri vitellogenin (Vg) genes and used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to quantify Vg expression in susceptible and resistant strains. The total number of eggs significantly increased in the fenpropathrin-resistant strain. The full-length cDNA cloning of three N. barkeri Vg genes (NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3) revealed that the open reading frames of NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3 were 5571, 5532 and 4728 bp, encoding 1856, 1843 and 1575 amino acids, respectively. The three N. barkeri Vg possessed the Vitellogenin-N domain (or lipoprotein N-terminal domain (LPD_N)), von Willebrand factor type D domain (VWD) and the domain with unknown function 1943 (DUF1943). The NbVg1 and NbVg2 expression levels were significantly higher in the resistant strain than in the susceptible strain, while the NbVg3 expression level was lower in the resistant strain. Thus, we speculate that the increased number of eggs laid by the fenpropathrin-resistant strain of N. barkeri may be a consequence of changes in Vg gene expression.
Given the concerns regarding the adverse health outcomes associated with weight gain and metabolic syndrome in relation to use of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs), we aimed in this study to explore whether the increase in the use of SGAs would have any impacts on the trend of excess mortality in people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BPD).
Two nationwide samples of individuals with schizophrenia and BPD were identified in Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database in 2003 and in 2008, respectively. Age- and gender-standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated for each of the 3-year observation periods. The SMRs were compared between the calendar year cohorts, by disease group, and by causes of death.
The mortality gap for people with schizophrenia decreased slightly, revealing an SMR of 3.40 (95% CI 3.30–3.50) for the 2003 cohort and 3.14 (3.06–3.23) for the 2008 cohort. The mortality gap for BPD individuals remained relatively stable with only those aged 15–44 years having an SMR rising significantly from 7.04 (6.38–7.76) to 9.10 (8.44–9.79). Additionally, in this group of BPD patients aged 15–44 years, the natural-cause-SMR increased from 5.65 (4.93–6.44) to 7.16 (6.46–7.91).
Compared with the general population, the gap in the excess mortality for people with schizophrenia reduced slightly. However, the over 200% difference between the cohorts in the excess mortality for BPD individuals aged 15–44 years could be a warning sign. Future research to further examine the related factors underlying those changes is warranted.
In this paper, the effective properties of particle-reinforced composites with a weakened interphase are investigated. The particle and interphase are regarded as an equivalent-inclusion, and the interphase zone around the particle is modeled as a linear elastic spring layer. A modified micro-mechanics model is proposed to obtain the effective elastic modulus. Moreover, a statistical debonding criterion is proposed to characterize the varying probability of the evolution of interphase debonding. Numerical examples are considered to illustrate the effect of imperfect interphases on the effective properties of particle-reinforced composites. It is found that the effective elastic properties obtained in the present work are in a good agreement with the existing data from the literatures.
For nearly a century, the incidence of cancer in people with schizophrenia was lower than in the general population. In the recent decade, the relationship between cancer and schizophrenia has become obscured. Thus, we investigated the cancer risk among young and middle-aged patients with schizophrenia.
Records of newly admitted patients with schizophrenia (n = 32 731) from January 2000 through December 2008 were retrieved from the Psychiatric Inpatient Medical Claims database in Taiwan, and the first psychiatric admission of each patient during the same period was defined as the baseline. We obtained 514 incident cancer cases that were monitored until December 2010. Standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated to compare the risk of cancer between those with schizophrenia and the general population. Stratified analyses of cancer incidences were performed by gender, site of cancers and duration since baseline (first psychiatric admission).
The incidence of cancer for all sites was slightly higher than that of the general population for the period (SIR = 1.15 [95% CI 1.06–1.26], p = 0.001). Men had a significantly higher incidence of colorectal cancer (SIR = 1.48 [95% CI 1.06–2.06], p = 0.019). Women had a higher incidence of breast cancer (SIR = 1.47 [95% CI 1.22–1.78], p < 0.001). Intriguingly, the risk for colorectal cancer was more pronounced 5 years after the first psychiatric admission rather than earlier (SIR = 1.94 [1.36–2.75], p < 0.001) and so was the risk for breast cancer (SIR = 1.85 [1.38–2.48], p < 0.001). The cancer incidence was higher in patients with schizophrenia contradicting the belief that schizophrenia was protective of cancers.
Our analyses suggest that men and women with schizophrenia were more vulnerable to certain types of cancers, which indicates the need for gender-specific cancer screening programs. The fact that risk of colorectal cancer was more pronounced 5 years after the first psychiatric admission could imply the impact of unhealthy lifestyles or the possibility of delayed diagnoses.
An anti-resonance pulse forming network (PFN) has been designed, analyzed, and tested for its application in generating quasi-square pulses. According to the circuit simulations, a compact generator based on two/three-section network was constructed. Two-section network is applied in the generator due to its compact structure, while three-section network is employed for generating pulses with higher quality. When two-section network is applied in the generator, the full-width at half-maximum of the load pulse is 400 ns, at the same time, its rise time, flat top and fall time are 90, 180 and 217 ns, respectively. When the three-section network is applied with the same pulse width of the load pulse, the rise time of the output decreases to 60 ns, while the flat top increases to 240 ns and the fall time reduces to 109 ns. Meanwhile, this kind of network could be used to shape the output pulses of generators whose equivalent circuit is LC series discharge network, such as MARX generator, into quasi-square pulses. And the preliminary experiment demonstrates that anti-resonance network could work well on four-stage Marx generators. A sine pulse generated by the four-stage Marx generator is shaped into a quasi-square pulse with voltage of 11.8 kV and pulse width about 110 ns based on two-section anti-resonance network.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequently associated with poorer reading ability; however, the specific neuropsychological domains linking this co-occurrence remain unclear. This study evaluates information-processing characteristics as possible neuropsychological links between ADHD symptoms and RA in a community-based sample of children and early adolescents with normal IQ (⩾70).
The participants (n = 1857, aged 6–15 years, 47% female) were evaluated for reading ability (reading single words aloud) and information processing [stimulus discriminability in the two-choice reaction-time task estimated using diffusion models]. ADHD symptoms were ascertained through informant (parent) report using the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA). Verbal working memory (VWM; digit span backwards), visuospatial working memory (VSWM, Corsi Blocks backwards), sex, socioeconomic status, and IQ were included as covariates.
In a moderated mediation model, stimulus discriminability mediated the effect of ADHD on reading ability. This indirect effect was moderated by age such that a larger effect was seen among younger children.
The findings support the hypothesis that ADHD and reading ability are linked among young children via a neuropsychological deficit related to stimulus discriminability. Early interventions targeting stimulus discriminability might improve symptoms of inattention/hyperactivity and reading ability.
In tritrophic ‘plants–herbivores–natural enemies’ systems, there are relatively few reports concerning the role(s) of kairomones in pupal parasitism. Chouioia cunea Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), an endoparasitic chalcid wasp, parasitizes pupae of the fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea Drury). The role of host-related kairomones was investigated using electroantennogram (EAG) and behavioral techniques. Chemicals from some host stages (pupae) and host by-products (frass), induced arrestment behavior of female parasitoids, while chemicals from prepupae, were inactive. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis of volatiles collected from pupae, frass and prepupae using solid-phase microextration revealed seven compounds with carbon chain lengths ranging from C4 to C20. All of the chemicals elicited significant EAG responses in C. cunea. Y-tube olfactometer bioassays demonstrated a significant positive response of mated female C. cunea to 1-dodecene. These data provide a better understanding of the host location mechanisms of pupal parasitoid.
The collision between aqueous drops in air typically leads to coalescence after impact. Rebounding of the droplets with similar sizes at atmospheric conditions is not generated, unless with significantly large pressure or high impact parameters exhibiting near-grazing collision. Here we demonstrate experimentally the creation of a non-coalescent regime through addition of a small amount of water-soluble surfactant. We perform a direct simulation to account for the continuum and short-range flow dynamics of the approaching interfaces, as affected by the soluble surfactant. Based on the immersed-boundary formulation, a conservative scheme is developed for solving the coupled surface-bulk convection–diffusion concentration equations, which presents excellent mass preservation in the solvent as well as conservation of total surfactant mass. We show that the Marangoni effect, caused by non-uniform distributions of surfactant on the droplet surface and surface tension, induces stresses that oppose the draining of gas in the interstitial gap, and hence prohibits merging of the interfaces. In such gas–liquid systems, the repulsion caused by the addition of surfactant, as frequently observed in liquid–liquid systems such as emulsions in the form of an electric double-layer force, was found to be too weak to dominate in the attainable range of interfacial separation distances. These results thus identify the key mechanisms governing the impact dynamics of surfactant-coated droplets in air and imply the potential of using a small amount of surfactant to manipulate impact outcomes, for example, to prevent coalescence between droplets or interfaces in gases.
We evaluated the relationship between urine concentrations of phyto-oestrogens (isoflavones and lignans) and risk of incident type 2 diabetes in middle-aged and elderly Chinese residing in Singapore. Urine metabolites of isoflavones and lignans were assayed by HPLC among 564 diabetes cases and 564 matched controls in a case–control study nested within the Singapore Chinese Health Study cohort. Participants were free of diagnosed diabetes, CVD and cancer at morning urine collections during 1999–2004. Cases were participants who reported to have physician-diagnosed diabetes at follow-up visits during 2006–2010, whereas controls were randomly selected among those who remained free of diabetes and were matched to the index cases by age, sex, dialect group and date of urine collection. Conditional logistic regression models were used to calculate OR and 95 % CI with adjustment for potential confounders. The mean age of the participants at the time of urine collection was 59·8 years, and the average interval between urine collection and diabetes diagnosis was 4·0 years. The multivariate-adjusted OR for diabetes were 1·00 (reference), 0·76 (95 % CI 0·52, 1·11), 0·78 (95 % CI 0·53, 1·14) and 0·79 (95 % CI 0·54, 1·15) across quartiles of urine isoflavones (Pfor trend=0·54), and were 1·00 (reference), 0·87 (95 % CI 0·60, 1·27), 1·10 (95 % CI 0·77, 1·56) and 0·93 (95 % CI 0·63, 1·37) for lignans (Pfor trend=0·93). The results were similar in men and women, as well as for individual metabolites of isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, glycitin and equol) or lignans (enterodiol and enterolactone). The present study did not find a significant association between urine phyto-oestrogen metabolites and risk of type 2 diabetes in Chinese adults.