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For a wide range of insect species, the microbiota has potential roles in determining host developmental programme, immunity and reproductive biology. The tea geometrid moths Ectropis obliqua and E. grisescens are two closely related species that mainly feed on tea leaves. Although they can mate, infertile hybrids are produced. Therefore, these species provide a pair of model species for studying the molecular mechanisms of microbiotal involvement in host reproductive biology. In this study, we first identified and compared the compositions of microbiota between these sibling species, revealing higher microbiotal diversity for E. grisescens. The microbiota of E. obliqua mainly comprised the phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria, whereas that of E. grisescens was dominated by Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. At the genus level, the dominant microbiota of E. grisescens included Wolbachia, Enterobacter and Pseudomonas and that of E. obliqua included Melissococcus, Staphylococcus and Enterobacter. Furthermore, we verified the rate of Wolbachia to infect 80 samples from eight different geographical populations, and the results supported that only E. grisescens harboured Wolbachia. Taken together, our findings indicate significantly different microbiotal compositions for E. obliqua and E. grisescens, with Wolbachia possibly being a curial factor influencing the reproductive isolation of these species. This study provides new insight into the mechanisms by which endosymbiotic bacteria, particularly Wolbachia, interact with sibling species.
From 21 January 2020 to 9 February 2020, three family clusters involving 31 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 were identified in Wenzhou, China. The epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the family cluster patients were analysed and compared with those of 43 contemporaneous sporadic cases. The three index cases transmitted the infection to 28 family members 2–10 days before illness onset. Overall, 28 of the 41 sporadic cases and three of 31 patients in the family clusters came back from Wuhan (65.12 vs. 9.68%, P< 0.001). In terms of epidemiological characters and clinical symptoms, no significant differences were observed between the family cluster and sporadic cases. However, the lymphocyte counts of sporadic cases were significantly lower than those of family cluster cases ((1.32 ± 0.55) × 109/l vs. (1.63 ± 0.70) × 109/l, P = 0.037), and the proportion of hypoalbuminaemia was higher in sporadic cases (18/43, 41.86%) than in the family clusters (6/31, 19.35%) (P < 0.05). Within the family cluster, the second- and third-generation cases had milder clinical manifestations, without severe conditions, compared with the index and first-generation cases, indicating that the virulence gradually decreased following passage through generations within the family clusters. Close surveillance, timely recognition and isolation of the suspected or latent patient is crucial in preventing family cluster infection.
To alert policy makers early about emerging health technologies that could significantly impact the healthcare system at the clinical, financial and organizational levels, the Agency for Care Effectiveness (ACE) in Singapore established a horizon scanning system (HSS) in 2019. This paper describes the development of the ACE HSS and showcases its application with cell and gene therapy products as the first example.
A literature review of existing HSS methods, including the processes of the EuroScan International Network and other overseas horizon scanning agencies, was done to inform the development of our horizon scanning framework. The framework was first applied to the new and emerging cell and gene therapies.
Identification sources, filtration and prioritization criteria, and horizon scanning outputs for the HSS were developed in alignment to international best practices, with recommendations for technology uptake represented by a traffic light system. For the first horizon scanning exercise on cell and gene therapies, forty therapies passed the filtration step, of which eight were prioritized for further assessment. The few early reports developed were used to inform and prepare the healthcare system for their potential introduction, particularly in terms of the need to develop health and funding policies.
Early assessment of prioritized topics has provided support for strategic efforts within the Ministry of Health. Given that ACE's horizon scanning program is still in its infancy, the framework will continue to evolve to ensure relevance to our stakeholders so that it remains fit for purpose for our healthcare system.
The Wulanba granite, consisting of biotite monzogranite and syenogranite, is located in the southern part of the Great Xing’an Range, NE China. Whole-rock major- and trace-element geochemistry suggests the Wulanba granite is a high-K–shoshonitic, slightly peraluminous and highly differentiated I-type granite. The Sr–Nd–Hf isotopes indicate that it originated from partial melting of juvenile crust derived from the depleted mantle with a minor input of old crust. The relatively young T2DM and tDM2 ages indicate it was most likely derived from a Late Neoproterozoic to Early Palaeozoic source. We have demonstrated that the biotite monzogranite is the ore-related intrusion of the Haobugao Zn–Fe mineralization based on the following geological, geochronological and geochemical evidence: (1) the chalcopyrite/pyrite in the biotite monzogranite and the continuous mineralization of drill core ZK2508; (2) the consistence of the emplacement age of the biotite monzogranite (~141–140/138 Ma) with the skarn mineralization age (~142 Ma); and (3) the presence of rich ore-forming elements (Fe–Zn–Cu) in the biotite monzogranite, and the similar Pb compositions of the sulfides from the Haobugao deposit and the biotite monzogranite. Compared to the barren syenogranite, the fertile biotite monzogranite is more oxidized, while the edges of the apatite grains in the biotite monzogranite are more oxidized than the centres. The average F/Cl ratio of the fertile biotite monzogranite (~123.45) is much higher than that of the barren syenogranite (~73.98). We conclude that these differences reflect unique geochemical signatures, and the geochemical composition of the apatite can be used to infer the economic potential of granites.
A 15-year-old teenager presented with a 2-month history of headache. Neurological examination was normal except for papilledema. Further lumbar puncture indicated intracranial hypertension (330 mm H2O). Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was normal but phase contrast-magnetic resonance venography (PC-MRV) (Figure 1(A)) suggested possible left transverse-sigmoid sinus thrombosis; subsequent contrast-enhanced 3D fat-saturated T1 volumetric isotropic turbo spin echo acquisition (VISTA) MRI (Figure 1(B)) confirmed the pathology. Hyper-coagulable panel results (including six steroid sex hormones, antithrombin III, protein C, protein S, lupus anticoagulant, and anticardiolipin antibodies) were all within normal range. In further examination, computed tomography (CT) venography images (Figure 1(C) and (D)) showed that the left jugular vein was compressed by the styloid process, consistent with Eagle syndrome.1 The patient who refused the recommended surgical treatment, however, chose anticoagulant therapy consisting of low-molecular weight heparin subcutaneous injection in addition to new oral anticoagulant. At 18-month follow-up, the patient reported no symptoms remained.
As distinctive spontaneous polarization and far-infrared radiation characteristics, the natural mineral tourmaline (TM) has the regulatory effect on crystallization behavior, which possesses potential application in biomimetic mineralization and bone regeneration. In this study, polyurethane (PU) and gelatin (GE) membranes with different adding proportion of TM nanoparticles were prepared via electrospinning. Additionally, the effect of TM nanoparticles on the mineralization process of hydrophobic PU and hydrophilic GE was investigated by immersing the composite TM/PU and TM/GE electrospun membranes in the 10× simulated body fluid (10SBF) at 37 °C for varying periods of time. SEM images confirmed the well-dispersed TM nanoparticles in the PU and GE electrospun fibers. The mineralization deposition was characterized by the SEM, EDS, XRD, and FTIR, and it indicated that two types of calcium phosphate deposits with different Ca/P molar ratios were obtained when TM/PU membranes and TM/GE membranes were incubated in 10SBF. Honeycomb-like hydroxyapatite crystals nucleated and grew faster on TM/PU and TM/GE membranes than the pure PU and GE membranes, respectively. Furthermore, with the increase of the added TM nanoparticles in the composite membranes, more calcium phosphate crystals were precipitated. These results showed that the added TM nanoparticles were able to improve the mineralization of polymer fibrous membranes, which is potential for the composite bone scaffold.
Direct determination of barrier height (ΦBH) value between Ir and single crystal (001) hydrogen-terminated diamond with lightly boron doped has been performed using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy technique. 70 nm Ir islands were formed on hydrogen-terminated diamond surface using anodic aluminum oxide. The ΦBH value for Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was −0.43 ± 0.14 eV, indicating that Ir was a suitable metal for ohmic contact with hydrogen-terminated diamond. The band diagram of Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was obtained. The experimental ΦBH was compared with the theoretical ΦBH in this work.
Research suggests that cause lawyers are a diverse group. Death penalty lawyers with attachment to political institutions and a strong commitment to procedurals tend to have a unique path to professional identification, participation in the legal process and acquiring the ability to affect case outcomes. Borrowing from Hilbink's typologies and Liu and Halliday's analytical framework, this study examines in detail the practices of proceduralist and progressive elite lawyers. It uses a high-profile capital case, the Nian Bin case, as a case study to analyse the motivation and strategies of the lead defence lawyer in the context of progressive proceduralist cause lawyers. Relevant theoretical and policy implications as well as suggestions for future studies are discussed.
Suicide attempt (SA), which is one of the strongest predictors of completed suicide, is common in major depressive disorder (MDD) but its prevalence across epidemiological studies has been mixed. The aim of this comprehensive meta-analysis was to examine the pooled prevalence of SA in individuals with MDD.
A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Web of Science and Cochrane Library from their commencement date until 27 December 2017. Original studies containing data on prevalence of SA in individuals with MDD were analyzed.
In all, 65 studies with a total of 27 340 individuals with MDD were included. Using the random effects model, the pooled lifetime prevalence of SA was 31% [95% confidence interval (CI) 27–34%], 1-year prevalence was 8% (95% CI 3–14%) and 1-month prevalence was 24% (95% CI 15–34%). Subgroup analyses revealed that the lifetime prevalence of SA was significantly associated with the patient setting, study region and income level, while the 1-month prevalence of SA was associated with only the patient setting.
This meta-analysis confirmed that SA was common in individuals with MDD across the world. Careful screening and appropriate interventions should be implemented for SA in the MDD population.
The following paper investigates the prevalence and characteristics of asymptomatic norovirus infection in the population living around oyster farm sites. Two consecutive surveys were conducted from January 2014 to December 2014 and 4549 stool samples were screened during the same time period. The total asymptomatic infection rate was 4.04% (184/4549). Norovirus infection rate was 5.20% in oyster farming population which was significantly higher compared with non-farming population where the infection rate was 3.65% (χ2 = 5.49, P < 0.05). A total of 184 NoV positive samples were identified by real time-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and semi-nested RT-PCR and 136 sequences were obtained. The sequences were clustered into 14 genotypes. GI strains were clustered into six genotypes, including GI.2, GI.3, GI.5, GI.6, GI.8 and GI.9; while GII strains were clustered into GII.2, GII.3, GII.4, GII.5, GII.6, GII.8 and GII.13. GI.9 and GII.17 were the predominant and most prevalent genotypes, respectively. The GII.17 genotype replaced GII.4 becoming the dominant genotype in the oyster farming area in 2014. To sum up, long-term monitoring of asymptomatic infection is crucial for the detection of new variant strains and for identifying outbreaks during the early stage.
To produce pulses with good flat-top quality, pulse-forming lines (PFLs) have been widely used in the field of Tesla-type pulse generators. To shorten the physical length of the PFL, a double-width PFL (DWPFL) is proposed that doubles the output pulse width while maintaining flat-top quality. A repetitively 10 GW Tesla-type long-pulse generator producing pulses with flat-top width of about 110 ns was developed with a coaxial DWPFL to produce high-current electron beams. Electron beams of about 10 GW with flat-top widths of about 110 ns were obtained on a planar vacuum diode load. With this pulse generator and a C-band high-power microwave system, microwaves of ~2.2 GW power and full-width at half-maximum of 101 ns were generated. The experiment demonstrates the feasibility and ideal output waveform quality of the DWPFL.
Insurance regulation often dictates that insurers monitor their solvency risk in real time and take appropriate actions whenever the risk exceeds their tolerance level. Bayesian methods are appealing for prediction problems thanks to their ability to naturally incorporate both sample variability and parameter uncertainty into a predictive distribution. However, handling data arriving in real time requires a flexible non-parametric model, and the Monte Carlo methods necessary to evaluate the predictive distribution in such cases are not recursive and can be too expensive to rerun each time new data arrives. In this paper, we apply a recently developed alternative perspective on Bayesian prediction based on copulas. This approach facilitates recursive Bayesian prediction without computing a posterior, allowing insurers to perform real-time updating of risk measures to assess solvency risk, and providing them with a tool for carrying out dynamic risk management strategies in today’s “big data” era.
In this work, the reduction mechanism of potassium chromate (K2CrO4) was investigated via in situ high-temperature X-ray diffraction coupled with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. During the hydrogen reduction of K2CrO4, the formation of K3CrO4, KCrO2, and KxCrO2 were detected for the first time. The study discovered that K2CrO4 was firstly reduced to K3CrO4 and an amorphous Cr(III) intermediate product at low temperature (400–500 °C). Moreover, the K3CrO4 was the only crystalline material at this stage. As the temperature increased, a stabilized amorphous CrOOH was formed. At a high temperature (550–700 °C), KCrO2 was generated. Interestingly, a portion of KCrO2 was spontaneously decomposed during the hydrogen reduction, accompanying by the formation of K0.7CrO2. Finally, the results clearly illustrated the reduction mechanism of K2CrO4: K2CrO4 → K3CrO4 → amorphous intermediate → KCrO2.
We construct modulus-based synchronous multisplitting iteration methods to solve a large implicit complementarity problem on parallel multiprocessor systems, and prove their convergence. Numerical results confirm our theoretical analysis and show that these new methods are efficient.
A “RE-free” and I-phase-containing Mg–8Sn-based alloy system was developed and successfully fabricated through the equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) process. The influence of the Zn/Al mass ratio on the microstructures and mechanical properties of the as-ECAPed Mg–8Sn–(5,6,7)Zn–2(wt%)Al alloys was investigated using an optical microscope, an X-ray diffractometer, a scanning electron microscope, a transmission electron microscope, and a universal testing machine. Grain size, dynamic recrystallization behavior, and texture were found to be greatly affected by the Zn/Al mass ratio. Furthermore, the ultimate tensile strength (250 MPa) and elongation (14.5%) of the alloy with a Zn/Al mass ratio of 3 were considerably increased compared to those of the as-ECAPed alloys with Zn/Al ratios of 2.5 and 3.5 (ultimate tensile strength and elongation of 215 MPa and 13% and 184 MPa and 10%, respectively). This significant enhancement was attributed to extensive grain boundary strengthening, precipitation strengthening, and higher work hardening capacity as well as texture randomization. The strength and ductility of the as-ECAPed alloys are also discussed in terms of the I-phase and Mg2Sn formation.
Proton radiography is a key diagnostics to measure and image the electric/magnetic field in laser-produced plasmas. A thin solid target is irradiated with an intense laser pulse to produce a proton beam. The accelerated proton can achieve higher energy with thinner target. In order to produce an extremely thin target, we have developed a large-area suspended graphene as a laser target for energetic ion sources. We describe the manufacturing process of the suspended graphene, and show the results of quality evaluations.