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The aim of the study was to investigate any association between extrauterine growth restriction (EUGR) and intestinal flora of <30-week-old preterm infants. A total of 59 preterm infants were assigned to EUGR (n=23) and non-EUGR (n=36) groups. Intestinal bacteria were compared by using high-throughput sequencing of bacterial rRNA. The total abundance of bacteria in 344 genera (7568 v. 13,760; P<0.0001) and 456 species (10,032 v. 18,240; P<0.0001) was significantly decreased in the EUGR group compared with the non-EUGR group. After application of a multivariate logistic model and adjusting for potential confounding factors, as well as false-discovery rate corrections, we found four bacterial genera with higher and one bacterial genus with lower abundance in the EUGR group compared with the control group. In addition, the EUGR group showed significantly increased abundances of six species (Streptococcus parasanguinis, Bacterium RB5FF6, two Klebsiella species and Microbacterium), but decreased frequencies of three species (one Acinetobacter species, Endosymbiont_of_Sphenophorus_lev and one Enterobacter_species) compared with the non-EUGR group. Taken together, there were significant changes in the intestinal microflora of preterm infants with EUGR compared to preterm infants without EUGR.
Alanyl-glutamine (Ala-Gln), a highly soluble and stable glutamine dipeptide, is known to improve gut integrity and function. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether dietary Ala-Gln supplementation could improve growth performance, intestinal development and digestive-absorption function in weaned piglets. A total of 100 purebred Yorkshire piglets weaned at 21 days of age were assigned randomly to four dietary treatment groups and fed a basal diet (control group) or a basal diet containing 0.15%, 0.30% and 0.45% Ala-Gln, respectively. Compared with the control group, piglets fed the Ala-Gln diets had higher average daily gain and lower feed : gain and diarrhea rate (P < 0.05). Moreover, dietary Ala-Gln supplementation increased villous height and villous height : crypt depth ratio in duodenum and jejunum (P < 0.05), as well as the activities of maltase and lysozyme in jejunum mucosa (P < 0.05). In addition, a decrease in serum diamine oxidase activity and crypt depth in duodenum and jejunum was observed in piglets fed the Ala-Gln diets (P < 0.05). Serum cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) concentration and gene expression of cPLA2, Na+-dependent glucose transporter 1, glucose transporter 2 and peptide transporter 1 in jejunum were increased by feeding Ala-Gln diets relative to control diet (P < 0.05). These results indicated that feeding Ala-Gln diet has beneficial effects on the growth performance of weaned piglets, which associated with maintaining intestinal morphology and digestive-absorption function.
Muons produced by the Bethe–Heitler process from laser wakefield accelerated electrons interacting with high
materials have velocities close to the laser wakefield. It is possible to accelerate those muons with laser wakefield directly. Therefore for the first time we propose an all-optical ‘Generator and Booster’ scheme to accelerate the produced muons by another laser wakefield to supply a prompt, compact, low cost and controllable muon source in laser laboratories. The trapping and acceleration of muons are analyzed by one-dimensional analytic model and verified by two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation. It is shown that muons can be trapped in a broad energy range and accelerated to higher energy than that of electrons for longer dephasing length. We further extrapolate the dependence of the maximum acceleration energy of muons with the laser wakefield relativistic factor
and the relevant initial energy
. It is shown that a maximum energy up to 15.2 GeV is promising with
on the existing short pulse laser facilities.
Tuberculosis (TB) affects people globally and is being reconsidered as a serious public health problem in China. Reliable forecasting is useful for the prevention and control of TB. This study proposes a hybrid model combining autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) with a nonlinear autoregressive (NAR) neural network for forecasting the incidence of TB from January 2007 to March 2016. Prediction performance was compared between the hybrid model and the ARIMA model. The best-fit hybrid model was combined with an ARIMA (3,1,0) × (0,1,1)12 and NAR neural network with four delays and 12 neurons in the hidden layer. The ARIMA-NAR hybrid model, which exhibited lower mean square error, mean absolute error, and mean absolute percentage error of 0·2209, 0·1373, and 0·0406, respectively, in the modelling performance, could produce more accurate forecasting of TB incidence compared to the ARIMA model. This study shows that developing and applying the ARIMA-NAR hybrid model is an effective method to fit the linear and nonlinear patterns of time-series data, and this model could be helpful in the prevention and control of TB.
The genetic influences in human brain structure and function and impaired functional connectivities are the hallmarks of the schizophrenic brain. To explore how common genetic variants affect the connectivities in schizophrenia, we applied genome-wide association studies assaying the abnormal neural connectivities in schizophrenia as quantitative traits.
We recruited 161 first-onset and treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia and 150 healthy controls. All the participants underwent scanning with a 3 T-magnetic resonance imaging scanner to acquire structural and functional imaging data and genotyping using the HumanOmniZhongHua-8 BeadChip. The brain-wide association study approach was employed to account for the inherent modular nature of brain connectivities.
We found differences in four abnormal functional connectivities [left rectus to left thalamus (REC.L–THA.L), left rectus to right thalamus (REC.L–THA.R), left superior orbital cortex to left thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.L) and left superior orbital cortex to right thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.R)] between the two groups. Univariate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based association revealed that the SNP rs6800381, located nearest to the CHRM3 (cholinergic receptor, muscarinic 3) gene, reached genomic significance (p = 1.768 × 10−8) using REC.L–THA.R as the phenotype. Multivariate gene-based association revealed that the FAM12A (family with sequence similarity 12, member A) gene nearly reached genomic significance (nominal p = 2.22 × 10–6, corrected p = 0.05).
Overall, we identified the first evidence that the CHRM3 gene plays a role in abnormal thalamo-orbital frontal cortex functional connectivity in first-episode treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia. Identification of these genetic variants using neuroimaging genetics provides insights into the causes of variability in human brain development, and may help us determine the mechanisms of dysfunction in schizophrenia.
The current study aims to make an initial neuroimaging contribution to central implicit-explicit issues in second language (L2) acquisition by considering how implicit and explicit contexts mediate the neural representation of L2. Focusing on implicit contexts, the study employs a longitudinal design to examine the neural representation of L2 syntax and also considers how the neural circuits underlying L2 syntax vary among learners who exhibit different levels of performance on linguistic and cognitive tasks. Results suggest that when exposed to a L2 under an implicit context, some learners are able to quickly rely on neural circuits associated with first language grammar and procedural memory, whereas other learners increasingly use extralinguistic neural circuits related to control mechanisms to process syntax. Thus, there may be multiple ways in which L2 is represented neurally, at least when learned under implicit contexts.
Ten leading varieties of winter wheat released during 1950–2009 in North China were tested in a free-air temperature increase (FATI) facility. The FATI facility mimicked the local air temperature pattern well, with an increase of 1·1 °C in the daily mean temperature. For all the tested varieties, warming caused a significant reduction in the total length of wheat growth period by 5 days and especially in the pre-anthesis period, where it was reduced by 9 days. However, warming increased wheat biomass production and grain yield by 8·4 and 11·4%, respectively, on an average of all the tested varieties. There was no significant difference in the warming-led reduction in the entire growth period among the tested varieties. Interestingly, the warming-led increments in biomass production and grain yield increased along with the variety release year. Significantly higher warming-led increases in post-anthesis biomass production and 1000-grain weight were found in the new varieties compared to the old ones. Meanwhile, a significant improvement in plant productivity was noted due to wheat breeding during the past six decades, while no significant difference in the length of entire growth period was found among the varieties released in different eras. The results demonstrate that historical wheat breeding might have enhanced winter wheat productivity and adaptability through exploiting the positive effects rather than mitigating the negative impacts of warming on wheat growth in North China.
Chitotriosidase, secreted by activated macrophages, is a biomarker of activated macrophages. In this study, we explored whether chitotriosidase could be adopted as a biomarker to evaluate the curative effect on tuberculosis (TB). Five counties were randomly selected out of 122 counties/cities/districts in Hunan Province, China. Our cases were all TB patients who were newly diagnosed or had been receiving treatment at the Centers for Disease Control (CDCs) of these five counties between April and August in 2009. Healthy controls were selected from a community health facility in the Kaifu district of Changsha City after frequency-matching of gender and age with the cases. Chitotriosidase activity was evaluated by a fluorometric assay. Categorical variables were analysed with the χ2 test. Measurement data in multiple groups were tested with analysis of variance and least significant difference (LSD). Correlation between chitotriosidase activity and the degree of radiological extent (DRE) was examined by Spearman's rank correlation test. The average chitotriosidase activity levels of new TB cases, TB cases with different periods of treatment (<3, 3–6, >6 months) and the control group were 54·47, 34·77, 21·54, 12·73 and 10·53 nmol/h.ml, respectively. Chitotriosidase activity in TB patients declined along with the continuity of treatment. The chitotriosidase activity of both smear-positive and the smear-negative pulmonary TB patients decreased after 6 months' treatment to normal levels (P < 0·05). Moreover, chitotriosidase activity was positively correlated with DRE (r = 0·607, P < 0·001). Our results indicate that chitotriosidase might be a marker of TB treatment effects. However, further follow-up study of TB patients is needed in the future.
To understand the clinical epidemiology and molecular characteristics of human bocavirus (HBoV) infection in children with diarrhoea in Guangzhou, South China, we collected 1128 faecal specimens from children with diarrhoea from July 2010 to December 2012. HBoV and five other major enteric viruses were examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Human rotavirus (HRV) was the most prevalent pathogen, detected in 250 (22·2%) cases, followed by enteric adenovirus (EADV) in 76 (6·7%) cases, human astrovirus (HAstV) in 38 (3·4%) cases, HBoV in 17 (1·5%) cases, sapovirus (SaV) in 14 (1·2%) cases, and norovirus (NoV) in 9 (0·8%) cases. Co-infections were identified in 3·7% of the study population and 23·5% of HBoV-positive specimens. Phylogenetic analysis revealed 14 HBoV strains to be clustered into species HBoV1 with only minor variations among them. Overall, the detection of HBoV appears to partially contribute to the overall detection gap for enteric infections, single HBoV infection rarely results in severe clinical outcomes, and HBoV sequencing data appears to support conserved genomes across strains identified in this study.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
The survival behaviour of Vibrio cholerae in cholera epidemics, together with its attributes of virulence-associated genes and molecular fingerprints, are significant for managing cholera epidemics. Here, we selected five strains representative of V. cholerae O1 and O139 involved in cholera events, examined their survival capacity in large volumes of water sampled from epidemic sites of a 2005 cholera outbreak, and determined virulence-associated genes and molecular subtype changes of the surviving isolates recovered. The five strains exhibited different survival capacities varying from 17 to 38 days. The virulence-associated genes of the surviving isolates remained unchanged, while their pulsotypes underwent slight variation. In particular, one waterway-isolated strain maintained virulence-associated genes and evolved to share the same pulsotype as patient strains, highlighting its role in the cholera outbreak. The strong survival capacity and molecular attributes of V. cholerae might account for its persistence in environmental waters and the long duration of the cholera outbreak, allowing effective control measures.
Fertilizer application can play an important role in soil organic carbon (SOC) retention and dynamics. The mechanisms underlying long-term accumulation and protection of SOC in intensive maize cropping systems, however, have not been well documented for cool high-latitude rainfed areas. Based on a 23-year fertilization experiment under a continuous maize cropping system at Gongzhuling, Jilin Province, China, the effects of fertilization regimes on SOC content and soil aggregate-associated carbon (C) composition were investigated. Results showed that, within the 0–1·0 m soil profile, SOC contents decreased significantly with soil depth in all treatments. In the topsoil layer (0–0·2 m), SOC concentrations in balanced inorganic fertilizers plus farmyard manure (MNPK), fallow system (FAL) and balanced inorganic fertilizers plus maize straw residue (SNPK) treatments were significantly greater than initial levels by 61·0, 34·1 and 20·1%, respectively. The MNPK and SNPK treatments increased SOC content by 50·7 and 12·4% compared to the unfertilized control in the topsoil layer, whereas no significant differences were found between balanced inorganic nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers (NPK) and the unfertilized control treatment. There were no significant differences in aggregate-size distribution among the unfertilized control, NPK and MNPK treatments, whereas the SNPK treatment significantly enhanced the formation of micro-aggregates (53–250 μm) and decreased the formation of silt+clay aggregates (<53 μm) compared to the unfertilized control, NPK and MNPK treatments. Moreover, SOC concentrations in all aggregate fractions in the MNPK treatment were the highest among treatments. Furthermore, the MNPK treatment significantly increased SOC stock in micro- and silt+clay aggregates, which may slow down C decomposition in the soil. These results indicate that long-term manure amendment can benefit SOC sequestration and stability in the black soil of Northeast China.
Alterations in gray matter (GM) are commonly observed in schizophrenia. Accumulating studies suggest that the brain changes associated with schizophrenia are distributed rather than focal, involving interconnected networks of areas as opposed to single regions. In the current study we aimed to explore GM volume (GMV) changes in a relatively large sample of treatment-naive first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients using optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and covariation analysis.
High-resolution T1-weighted images were obtained using 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from 86 first-episode drug-naive patients with schizophrenia and 86 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Symptom severity was evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). GMV was assessed using optimized VBM and in 16 regions of interest (ROIs), selected on the basis of a previous meta-analysis. The relationships between GMVs in the ROIs were examined using an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
The VBM analysis revealed that first-episode patients showed reduced GMV in the hippocampus bilaterally. The ROI analysis identified reductions in GMV in the left inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral hippocampus and right thalamus. The ANCOVA revealed different patterns of regional GMV correlations in patients and controls, including of inter- and intra-insula, inter-amygdala and insula–postcentral gyrus connections.
Schizophrenia involves regional reductions in GMV and changes in GMV covariance in the insula, amygdala and postcentral gyrus. These findings were evident at the onset of the disorder, before treatment, and therefore cannot be attributable to the effects of chronic illness progression or medication.
Advanced biomaterials that mimic the structure and function of native tissues and permit stem cells to adhere and differentiate is of paramount importance in the development of stem cell therapies for bone defects. Successful bone repair approaches may include an osteoconductive scaffold that permits excellent cell adhesion and proliferation, and cells with an osteogenic potential. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cell proliferation, viability and osteocyte differentiation of equine-derived bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (EqMSCs) when seeded onto biocompatible and biodegradable calcium-deficient hydroxyapatite (CdHA) tubular-shaped bacterial cellulose scaffolds (BC-TS) of various sizes. The biocompatible gel-like BC-TS was synthesized using the bacterium Gluconacetobacter sucrofermentans under static culture in oxygen-permeable silicone tubes. The BC-TS scaffolds were modified using a periodate oxidation to yield biodegradable scaffolds. Additionally, CdHA was deposited in the scaffolds to mimic native bone tissues. The morphological properties of the resulting BC-TS and its composites were characterized using scanning electron microscopy. The ability of the BC-TS and its composites to support and maintain EqMSCs growth, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation in vitro was also assessed. BC-TS and its composites exhibited aligned nanofibril structures. MTS assay demonstrated increasing proliferation and viability with time (days 1, 2 and 3). Cell-scaffold constructs were cultured for 8 days under osteogenic conditions and the resulting osteocytes were positive for alizarin red. In summary, biocompatible and biodegradable CdHA BC-TS composites support the proliferation, viability and osteogenic differentiation of EqMSCs cultured onto its surface in vitro, allowing for future potential use for tissue engineering therapies.
This study reports a novel class of biodegradable polyurethane biomaterials and three-dimensional scaffolds for tissue engineering. Solvent casted polyurethane films were studied for biocompatibility by seeding with human bone marrow derived stromal cells. In order to develop a three-dimensional and porous structure, a dynamic solvent sintering method was applied to the polyurethanes for the first time. Microstructural studies on the sintered scaffolds reveal porous structure formation with bonding between the adjacent microspheres. In conclusion, this study establishes new polyurethane biomaterials that are fully absorbable for tissue engineering applications.