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Cap-shaped skeletal fossils are the earliest undisputed body fossils of mollusks appearing in the basal Cambrian. A study on the morphometry of cap-shaped fossils from the Nanjiang area (North Sichuan, China) is undertaken to understand the origin and evolution of the early mollusks. The distribution of these fossil cap-shaped mollusks indicates a stepwise increase in their diversity during the early Cambrian. Maikhanella Zhegallo in Voronin et al., 1982 co-occuring with the spinose sclerites of siphogonuchitids, is regarded as the earliest scleritized mollusk. It is followed by other maikhanellids, e.g., Purella Missarzhevsky, 1974 and Yunnanopleura Yu, 1987, which co-occur with the earliest univalved helcionellids, e.g., Igorella Missarzhevsky in Rozanov et al., 1969. Cluster analysis of their morphometric characteristics shows that the Maikhanella group is similar to the Purella and Yunnanopleura groups, but is less comparable with univalved helcionellids. The maikhanellids are interpreted as representatives of the stem group Aculifera, although it remains uncertain if one or two larger cap-shaped shell plates were present on the elongate slug-like body, comparable to those of Halkieria Poulsen, 1967 or Orthrozanclus Conway Morris and Caron, 2007. Maikhanellids are characterized by the prominent protrusions or scales on the cap-shaped shell plates arranged in a concentric pattern around the shell apex. Evolutionarily, the protrusions or scales are reduced in younger strata, whereas subsequently a typically concentric ornament developed, the cap-shaped shell plates developed higher profiles, and the apical region became increasingly bare of scales. Meanwhile, the cap-shaped shell plates gradually evolved into a helcionellid-like appearance with an anteroposteriorly inclined apex. The morphological evolution of the earliest sclerotized mollusks reflects biotic evolution and environmental adaption among the stem-group mollusks during the early Cambrian.
Under global warming, many glaciers worldwide are receding. However, recent studies have suggested the extension of the Karakoram Anomaly, a region of anomalous glacier mass gain, into the western Kunlun and eastern Pamir mountains. However, the eastern limit of this anomaly in the Kunlun Mountains is unclear. This study, using changes in glacier area and surface elevation, estimates the eastern limit of the Kunlun-Pamir-Karakoram anomaly at ~85°E. Over the past 50 years, glaciers west of 85°E in the Kunlun Mountains decreased in area from 8401 to 7945 km2 at a rate of −0.12 ± 0.07% a−1, showed a reduction in the rate of retreat through time and have recently gained mass, with surface elevation changes of 0.15 ± 0.35 m a−1 over the period of 2000–2013. Glaciers east of 85°E have experienced greater rates of area change (−61 ± 12 km2 and −0.43 ± 0.13% a−1) over the past 50 years, accelerated area loss in recent years and elevation change rate of −0.51 ± 0.18 m a−1 between 2000 and 2013. These patterns of elevation and area change are consistent with regional increases in summer temperature in the eastern Kunlun Mountains and slight cooling in the western Kunlun Mountains.
The epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) has become a major concern in global TB control. This study aimed to investigate the patterns and trend of DR-TB epidemic between different time periods in Chongqing.
A total of 985 and 835 culture positive TB patients with drug susceptibility testing (DST) results admitted to the hospital in 2016 and 2019, respectively, were included. Chi-square testing was used to compare the prevalence and trends of DR-TB in 2016 and 2019.
The proportion of previously treated TB cases with culture positivity was 45.7% in 2019, significantly higher than that in 2016 (39.1%, P = 0.004). The overall rate of drug resistance in 2019 was 43.1%, higher than that in 2016 (40.2%). The rates of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and pre-extensively drug resistant TB (pre-XDR-TB) increased significantly from 2016 to 2019 among all TB cases (MDR: 25% vs 33.4%, P < 0.001 and pre-XDR: 7.1% vs 12.8%, P < 0.001, respectively) and previously treated TB cases (MDR: 46.5% vs 56%, P = 0.008 and pre-XDR: 13.2% vs 21.5%, P = 0.003, respectively).
Our findings indicated that the prevalence of DR-TB remains high in Chongqing. The trend of resistance to anti-TB drugs beccame worse between 2016 and 2019. Moreover, acquired MDR may play a major role in MDR-TB epidemic in Chongqing. Therefore, rapid diagnosis and effective treatment of TB patients will be important to reduce the burden of DR-TB in Chongqing.
Lower-crust-derived adakitic rocks in the Gangdese belt provide important constraints on the timing of Tibetan crustal thickening and on the relative contributions of magmatic and tectonic processes. Here we present geochronological and geochemical data for the Wangdui porphyritic monzogranites in the western Gangdese belt. Zircon U–Pb dating yields emplacement ages of 46–44 Ma. All samples have high Sr (321–599 ppm), low Yb (0.76–1.33 ppm) and Y (10.6–18.3 ppm) contents, with high La/Yb (51.1–72.3) and Sr/Y (21.0–51.4) ratios, indicating adakitic affinities. The low MgO (0.97–1.76 wt %), Cr (7.49–53.6 ppm) and Ni (4.75–29.1 ppm) contents, as well as high 87Sr/86Sr(i) (0.7143–0.7145), low ϵNd(t) (−10.4 to −9.8) and zircon ϵHf(t) (−17.7 to 0.4) values, suggest that the Wangdui pluton most likely originated from partial melting of the thickened ancient lower crust. In combination with previously published data, despite the east–west-trending heterogeneity of crustal composition in the Gangdese belt, the La/Yb ratios of magmatic rocks reveal that both western and eastern segments experienced remarkable crustal thickening in the Eocene. However, in contrast to the thickened juvenile lower crust in the eastern segment formed by the underplating of mantle-derived magmas, tectonic shortening plays a more crucial role in thickening of the ancient basement in western Gangdese. In fact, such Eocene-thickened ancient lower-crust-derived adakitic rocks are widely distributed in the central Himalayan–Tibetan orogen. This, together with the extensive development of fold–thrust belts, suggests that tectonic shortening might be the main mechanism accounting for the crustal thickening associated with the India–Asia collision.
Ammannia multiflora Roxb. is a dominant broadleaf weed that is a serious problem in southern China rice fields, and acetolactate synthase (ALS)-inhibiting herbicides have been used for its control for more than 20 years. Excessive reliance on ALS-inhibiting herbicides has led to herbicide resistance in A. multiflora. In this study, 10 A. multiflora populations from the Jiangsu Province of China were collected, and the resistance levels and target site–resistance mechanisms to ALS-inhibiting herbicides bensulfuron-methyl and penoxsulam were investigated. The dose–response assays showed that eight populations evolved resistance to bensulfuron-methyl (9.1- to 90.9-fold) and penoxsulam (5.0- to 103.1-fold). Amplification of ALS genes indicated that there were three ALS genes (AmALS1, AmALS2, and AmALS3) in A. multiflora. Sequence analysis revealed amino acid mutations at Pro-197 in either AmALS1 (Pro-197-Ala, Pro-197-Ser, and Pro-197-His) or AmALS2 (Pro-197-Ser and Pro-197-Arg) in resistant populations, and no mutations were found in AmALS3. Moreover, two independent mutations (Pro-197-Ala in AmALS1 and Pro-197-Ser in AmALS2 or Pro-197-Ala in AmALS1 and Pro-197-Arg in AmALS2) coexisted in two resistant populations, respectively. In addition, the auxin mimic herbicides MCPA and florpyrauxifen-benzyl, the photosystem II inhibitor bentazon, and the protoporphyrinogen oxidase inhibitor carfentrazone-ethyl can effectively control the resistant A. multiflora populations. Our study demonstrates the wide prevalence of ALS inhibitor–resistant A. multiflora populations in Jiangsu Province and the diversity of Pro-197 mutations in ALS genes and provides alternative herbicide options for controlling resistant A. multiflora populations.
Pneumatic muscle actuator (PMA) similar to biological muscle is a new type of pneumatic actuator. The flexible manipulator based on PMAs was constructed to simulate the actual movement of the human upper arm. Considering the model errors and external disturbances, the fuzzing sliding mode control based on the saturation function was proposed. Compared with other fuzzy control methods, fuzzy control and saturation function are used to adjust the robust terms to improve the tracking accuracy and reduce the high-frequency chattering.
Nicotine 2,6-dihydroxybenzoate is a nicotine salt that can be used as the nicotine source in tobacco products. X-ray powder diffraction data, unit-cell parameters, and space group for nicotine 2,6-dihydroxybenzoate, C10H15N2⋅C7H5O4, are reported [a = 7.726(8) Å, b = 11.724(3) Å, c = 9.437(1) Å, α = 90°, β = 109.081(3)°, γ = 90°, unit-cell volume V = 802.902 Å3, Z = 2, ρcal = 1.309 g cm−3, and space group P21] at room temperature. All measured lines were indexed and were consistent with the P21 space group.
Energy homeostasis is essential for organisms to maintain fluctuation in energy accumulation, mobilization. Lipids as the main energy reserve in insects, their metabolism is under the control of many physiological program. This study aimed to determine whether the adipokinetic hormone receptor (AKHR) was involved in the lipid mobilization in the Spodoptera litura. A full-length cDNA encoding AKHR was isolated from S. litura. The SlAKHR protein has a conserved seven-transmembrane domain which is the character of a putative G protein receptor. Expression profile investigation revealed that SlAKHR mRNA was highly expressed in immatural stage and abundant in fat body in newly emerged female adults. Knockdown of SlAKHR expression was achieved through RNAi by injecting double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into the 6th instar larvae. The content of triacylgycerol (TAG) in the fat body increased significantly after the SlAKHR gene was knockdown. And decrease of TAG releasing to hemolymph with increase of free fatty acid (FFA) in hemolymph were observed when the SlAKHR gene was knowned-down. In addition, lipid droplets increased in fat body was also found. These results suggested that SlAKHR is critical for insects to regulate lipids metabolism.
Demodex infestation and density changes remain one of the main challenges in some clinical settings. Tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) inhibitors have been recommended as a first-line treatment for ankylosing spondylitis (AS). However, there have been no studies investigating the impact of TNF-α inhibitor adalimumab on changes in the Demodex density in patients with AS. The aim of this study was to investigate Demodex density changes before and after adalimumab treatment and analyse the relationship between the Demodex density and clinical characteristics in AS. It was found that the Demodex density was positively correlated with age and C-reactive protein levels and the number of Demodex mites could increase after adalimumab treatment in AS.
Considering the influence of body’s growth and development on thyroid volume (TVOL), whether five existed corrected methods could be applied to correct TVOL remains unclear, in terms of Chinese children’s increased growth and development trends. This study aimed to compare the applicability of five correction methods: Body Surface Area corrected Volume (BSAV), Body Mass Indicator corrected Volume (BMIV), Weight and Height corrected Volume Indicator (WHVI), Height corrected Volume Indicator 1 (HVI1) and Height corrected Volume Indicator 2 (HVI2) and to establish the reference values for correction methods. The data of Iodine Nutrition and Thyroid Function Survey were used to analyse the differences in TVOL between normal and abnormal thyroid function children. Data of National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Survey were used to compare five correction methods and to establish their reference values. The median urinary iodine concentrations of children surveyed were 256·1 μg/l in 2009 and 192·6 μg/l in 2019. No significant difference was found in TVOL and thyroid goitre rate between children with normal and abnormal thyroid function. In the determination of goitre, HVI1, HVI2, BSAV and BMIV all showed high agreement with TVOL, while the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of WHVI was relatively low for children aged 8 (AUC = 0·8993) and 9 (AUC = 0·8866) years. Most differences of TVOL between light and heavy weight, short and tall height children can be eliminated by BSAV. BSAV was the best corrected method in this research. Reference values were established for corrected TVOL in Chinese children aged 8–10 years by sex.
Subthreshold depression (sD) negatively impacts well-being and psychosocial function and is more prevalent compared with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, as adults with sD are less likely to seek face-to-face intervention, internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (ICBT) may overcome barriers of accessibility to psychotherapy. Although several trials explored the efficacy of ICBT for sD, the results remain inconsistent. This study evaluated whether ICBT is effective in reducing depressive symptoms among Chinese adults with sD.
A randomized controlled trial was performed. The participants were randomly assigned to 5 weeks of ICBT, group-based face-to-face cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or a waiting list (WL). Assessments were conducted at baseline, post-intervention and at a 6-month follow-up. The primary outcome measured depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Outcomes were analyzed using a mixed-effects model to assess the effects of ICBT.
ICBT participants reported greater reductions on all the outcomes compared to the WL group at post-intervention. The ICBT group showed larger improvement on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) at post-intervention (d = 0.12) and at follow-up (d = 0.10), and with CES-D at post-intervention (d = 0.06), compared to the CBT group.
ICBT is effective in reducing depressive symptoms among Chinese adults with sD, and improvements in outcomes were sustained at a 6-month follow-up. Considering the low rates of face-to-face psychotherapy, our findings highlight the considerable potential and implications for the Chinese government to promote the use of ICBT for sD in China.
Embryo quality determines the success of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) treatment. Biomarkers for the evaluation of embryo quality have some limitations. Apoptosis in cumulus cells (CCs) is important for ovarian function. PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) is a well known tumour suppressor gene that functions as a mediator of apoptosis and is crucial for mammalian reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed the expression level of PTEN in human CCs and aimed to investigate its association with embryo developmental competence in IVF treatment cycles. The PTEN mRNA level in CCs was measured using real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR. The association of the differential expression of PTEN with embryo quality was analyzed. Our data showed that PTEN mRNA levels were significantly decreased in CCs surrounding mature oocytes compared with immature oocytes. Similar changes were found in the analysis of fertilization and blastocyst formation. The speculation that the measurement of PTEN mRNA levels in human CCs would provide a useful tool for selecting oocytes with greater chances to implant into the uterus needs to be further verified through single-embryo transfer in the future. The proapoptotic mechanism of PTEN in human reproduction needs to be further studied.
The role of neurological proteins in the development of bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) remains elusive now. The current study aims to explore the potential genetic correlations of plasma neurological proteins with BD and SCZ.
By using the latest genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary data of BD and SCZ (including 41,917 BD cases, 11,260 SCZ cases, and 396,091 controls) derived from the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium website (PGC) and a recently released GWAS of neurological proteins (including 750 individuals), we performed a linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC) analysis to detect the potential genetic correlations between the two common psychiatric disorders and each of the 92 neurological proteins. Two-sample Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis was then applied to assess the bidirectional causal relationship between the neurological proteins identified by LDSC, BD and SCZ.
LDSC analysis identified one neurological protein, NEP, which shows suggestive genetic correlation signals for both BD (coefficient = −0.165, p value = 0.035) and SCZ (coefficient = −0.235, p value = 0.020). However, those association did not remain significant after strict Bonferroni correction. Two sample MR analysis found that there was an association between genetically predicted level of NEP protein, BD (odd ratio [OR] = 0.87, p value = 1.61 × 10−6) and SCZ (OR = 0.90, p value = 4.04 × 10−6). However, in the opposite direction, there is no genetically predicted association between BD, SCZ, and NEP protein level.
This study provided novel clues for understanding the genetic effects of neurological proteins on BD and SCZ.
Based on the measurements conducted over the landfast sea ice in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica during the sea-ice growth season in 2016, various parameterization schemes in the high-resolution thermodynamic snow/ice model HIGHTSI are evaluated. The parameterization scheme of turbulent fluxes produces the largest errors compared with the parameterization schemes for other surface heat fluxes. However, the sea-ice thickness simulation is most sensitive to the differences in upward longwave radiation at the surface. In addition, the sea-ice thickness simulation during the growth season is highly sensitive to the oceanic heat flux, and a new oceanic heat flux parameterization scheme based on the bulk method is proposed. The new parameterization scheme is tested in a second year, and it significantly improves the model performance relative to the standard configuration when compared against observations. Finally, the seasonal variation in the heat budget and its influence on the sea-ice thickness variation are analyzed. The net shortwave radiation, sensible heat flux and conductive heat flux (the net longwave radiation and latent heat flux) are found to be the surface heat sources (heat sinks) during the growth season. The larger conductive heat flux and the smaller oceanic heat flux can intensify the growth of sea ice.
Tumors have posed a serious threat to human life and health. Researchers can determine whether or not cells are cancerous, whether the cancer cells are invasive or metastatic, and what the effects of drugs are on cancer cells by the physical properties such as hardness, adhesion, and Young's modulus. The atomic force microscope (AFM) has emerged as a key important tool for biomechanics research on tumor cells due to its ability to image and collect force spectroscopy information of biological samples with nano-level spatial resolution and under near-physiological conditions. This article reviews the existing results of the study of cancer cells with AFM. The main foci are the operating principle of AFM and research advances in mechanical property measurement, ultra-microtopography, and molecular recognition of tumor cells, which allows us to outline what we do know it in a systematic way and to summarize and to discuss future directions.
With the increase of crewed space missions and the rise of space microbiology, the research of microbes grown under microgravity environment has been attracting more attention. The research scope in space microbiology has been extended beyond pathogens directly related to spaceflight. Y. pestis, the causative agent of plague, is also of interest to researchers. After being cultivated for 40 consecutive passages in either simulated microgravity (SMG) or normal gravity (NG) conditions, the Y. pestis strain 201 cultures were analysed regarding their phenotypic features. By using crystal violet staining assays, increased biofilm amount was detected in Y. pestis grown under SMG condition. Besides that, the damage degrees of Hela cell caused by SMG-grown Y. pestis were found diminished in comparison to those under NG condition. Consistent with this observation, the death course was delayed in mice infected with SMG-grown Y. pestis, suggesting that microgravity condition can contribute the attenuated virulence. RNA-seq-based transcriptomics analysis showed that a total of 218 genes were differentially regulated, of which 91 upregulated and 127 downregulated. We found that dozens of virulence-associated genes were downregulated, which partially explained the reduced virulence of Y. pestis under SMG condition. Our study demonstrated that long-term exposure to SMG influences the pathogenesis and biofilm formation ability of Y. pestis, which provides a novel avenue to study the mechanism of physiology and virulence of this pathogen. Microgravity enhanced the ability of biofilm formation and reduced the virulence and cytotoxicity of Y. pestis. Many virulence-associated genes of Y. pestis were differentially regulated in response to the stimulated microgravity. However, there is no molecular evidence to explain the enhanced biofilm formation ability, which requires further research. Taken together, the phenotype changes of Y. pestis under SMG conditions can provide us a new research direction of its potential pathogenesis.
Treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS) and non-TRS may be associated with different dopaminergic and glutamatergic regulations. The concept of dysregulated glutamatergic concentrations in specific brain regions remains controversial. Herein, we aimed to assess (i) the distribution of the glutamatergic concentration in the brain, (ii) the association between working memory (WM) differences in TRS and non-TRS patients, and (iii) whether an alteration in the glutamate (Glu) level is associated with WM.
The participants included 38 TRS patients, 35 non-TRS patients, and 19 healthy controls (HCs), all of whom underwent 1.5-Tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). The ratios of glutamatergic neurometabolites to N-acetylaspartate + N-acetyl aspartylglutamate (NAAx) were calculated. Cognitive function was assessed using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales, 4th Edition, which included the working memory index (WMI).
The TRS patients had a higher glutamate + glutamine (Glx)/NAAx ratio compared to the non-TRS patients and HCs in the ACC, but this was not significantly different in the MPFC. WM was negatively correlated with Glx/NAAx in the ACC among the non-TRS patients, but not in the TRS patients or HCs.
Our findings were consistent with most studies indicating that the glutamatergic concentration in the ACC plays important roles in the classification of TRS and cognition. Our results may provide potential evidence for predictors and treatment response biomarkers in TRS patients. Further research is needed to probe the value using the relationship between Glu and WM as a potential prognostic predictor of schizophrenia.
Athetis lepigone Möschler (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) is a common maize pest in Europe and Asia. However, there is no long-term effective management strategy is available yet to suppress its population. Adults rely heavily on olfactory cues to locate their optimal host plants and oviposition sites. Pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) are believed to be responsible for recognizing and transporting different odorant molecules to interact with receptor membrane proteins. In this study, the ligand-binding specificities of two AlepPBPs (AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3) for sex pheromone components and host plant (maize) volatiles were measured by fluorescence ligand-binding assay. The results demonstrated that AlepPBP2 had a high affinity with two pheromones [(Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.11 ± 0.1 μM, (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.32 ± 0.15 μM] and ten plant volatiles, including (-)-limonene, α-pinene, myrcene, linalool, benzaldehyde, nonanal, 2-hexanone, 3-hexanone, 2-heptanone and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one. In contrast, we found that none of these chemicals could bind to AlepPBP3. Our results clearly show no significant differences in the functional characterization of the binding properties between AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3 to sex pheromones and host plant volatiles. Furthermore, molecular docking was employed for further detail on some crucial amino acid residues involved in the ligand-binding of AlepPBP2. These findings will provide valuable information about the potential protein binding sites necessary for protein-ligand interactions which appear as attractive targets for the development of novel technologies and management strategies for insect pests.
In this study, a compact ultra-wideband (UWB) antenna with quintuple band-notched and wide-band rejection characteristics is studied. The proposed antenna mainly consists of a rectangular radiating patch, a microstrip feeding line, and a modified rectangular ground plane. The quintuple band-notched functions with narrow stop bands are achieved at WiMAX (3.3–3.7 GHz), WLAN (5.15–5.35 GHz and 5.725–5.825 GHz), C-band IEEE INSAT/super-extended (6.7–7.1 GHz) by using three modified inverted U-shaped slots and two symmetrical rectangular slots on the radiating path. Each stop band formed in the UWB antenna can be adjusted independently, and deep reflection zeros are formed between the adjacent stop bands. The formation of reflection zeros improves the band-edge selectivity of the stop band, and the notch characteristics are more prominent. To further study the wide stop band (C-band and X-band) with good selectivity characteristics, a pair of L-shaped open slot is added to the edges of two rectangular slots. Additionally, a pair of modified Rho-shaped resonators is located near the feeding line to realize band-notched characteristic at ITU service bands (8.025–8.4 GHz), thus a quintuple band-notched UWB antenna is achieved. The shape factor (ratio of the −3 dB bandwidth to the −10 dB bandwidth) of the wide stop band is 0.56, which indicates that the antenna has excellent band-edge selectivity. To verify the performance of the proposed design, both the time-domain and the frequency-domain characteristics of the antenna have been studied and analyzed. The simulated and measured results verify the design as a good candidate for various portable UWB applications.