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The neuropeptide oxytocin is proposed as a promising therapy for social dysfunction by modulating amygdala-mediated social-emotional behavior. Although clinical trials report some benefits of chronic treatment, it is unclear whether efficacy may be influenced by dose frequency or genotype.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pharmaco-functional magnetic resonance imaging trial (150 male subjects), we investigated acute and different chronic (every day or on alternate days for 5 days) intranasal oxytocin (24 international units) effects and oxytocin receptor genotype-mediated treatment sensitivity on amygdala responses to face emotions. We also investigated similar effects on resting-state functional connectivity between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex.
A single dose of oxytocin-reduced amygdala responses to all face emotions but for threatening (fear and anger) and happy faces, this effect was abolished after daily doses for 5 days but maintained by doses given every other day. The latter dose regime also enhanced associated anxious-arousal attenuation for fear faces. Oxytocin effects on reducing amygdala responses to face emotions only occurred in AA homozygotes of rs53576 and A carriers of rs2254298. The effects of oxytocin on resting-state functional connectivity were not influenced by either dose-frequency or receptor genotype.
Infrequent chronic oxytocin administration may be therapeutically most efficient and its anxiolytic neural and behavioral actions are highly genotype-dependent in males.
Achieving sub-picometer precision measurements of atomic column positions in high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscope images using nonrigid registration (NRR) and averaging of image series requires careful optimization of experimental conditions and the parameters of the registration algorithm. On experimental data from SrTiO3 , sub-pm precision requires alignment of the sample to the zone axis to within 1 mrad tilt and sample drift of less than 1 nm/min. At fixed total electron dose for the series, precision in the fast scan direction improves with shorter pixel dwell time to the limit of our microscope hardware, but the best precision along the slow scan direction occurs at 6 μs/px dwell time. Within the NRR algorithm, the “smoothness factor” that penalizes large estimated shifts is the most important parameter for sub-pm precision, but in general, the precision of NRR images is robust over a wide range of parameters.
Early life stress has been associated with emotional dysregulations and altered architecture of limbic-prefrontal brain systems engaged in emotional processing. Serotonin regulates both, developmental and experience-dependent neuroplasticity in these circuits. Central serotonergic biosynthesis rates are regulated by Tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) and transgenic animal models suggest that TPH2-gene associated differences in serotonergic signaling mediate the impact of aversive early life experiences on a phenotype characterized by anxious avoidance.
The present study employed an imaging genetics approach that capitalized on individual differences in a TPH2 polymorphism (703G/T; rs4570625) to determine whether differences in serotonergic signaling modulate the effects of early life stress on brain structure and function and punishment sensitivity in humans (n = 252).
Higher maltreatment exposure before the age of 16 was associated with increased gray matter volumes in a circuitry spanning thalamic-limbic-prefrontal regions and decreased intrinsic communication in limbic-prefrontal circuits selectively in TT carriers. In an independent replication sample, associations between higher early life stress and increased frontal volumes in TT carriers were confirmed. On the phenotype level, the genotype moderated the association between higher early life stress exposure and higher punishment sensitivity. In TT carriers, the association between higher early life stress exposure and punishment sensitivity was critically mediated by increased thalamic-limbic-prefrontal volumes.
The present findings suggest that early life stress shapes the neural organization of the limbic-prefrontal circuits in interaction with individual variations in the TPH2 gene to promote a phenotype characterized by facilitated threat avoidance, thus promoting early adaptation to an adverse environment.
Electric-powered disposable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have wide applications due to their advantages in terms of long time flight and load capacity. Thus, improving their endurance has become an important task to enhance the performance of these UAVs. To achieve this, we investigated a battery dumping strategy which splits the battery into several packs that are used and dumped in sequence to reduce the dead weight. The Peukert effect is also considered. In this paper, the sensitivity analysis method was employed to analyse the endurance benefits for different battery weight ratios, Peukert constants and capacities, quantitatively. The results show that the endurance benefits are significantly affected by all three parameters. For ideal batteries, the endurance can be improved by 20% and 28% respectively when employing a double-pack or triple-pack battery strategy (for a battery weight ratio of 0.4), but these benefits will fall rapidly if the Peukert constant exceeds 1.0 or the battery weight declines. Besides, the endurance will be 10% longer if the lift coefficient rather than the velocity remains constant after the battery packs are dumped at a Peukert constant of 1.2.
Leg weakness (LW) issues are a great concern for pig breeding industry. And it also has a serious impact on animal welfare. To dissect the genetic architecture of limb-and-hoof firmness in commercial pigs, a genome-wide association study was conducted on bone mineral density (BMD) in three sow populations, including Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire. The BMD data were obtained by ultrasound technology from 812 pigs (including Duroc 115, Landrace 243 and Yorkshire 454). In addition, all pigs were genotyped using genome-by-sequencing and a total of 224 162 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained. After quality control, 218 141 SNPs were used for subsequent genome-wide association analysis. Nine significant associations were identified on chromosomes 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 18 that passed Bonferroni correction threshold of 0.05/(total SNP numbers). The most significant locus that associated with BMD (P value = 1.92e−14) was detected at approximately 41.7 Mb on SSC6 (SSC stands for Sus scrofa chromosome). CUL7, PTK7, SRF, VEGFA, RHEB, PRKAR1A and TPO that are located near the lead SNP of significant loci were highlighted as functionally plausible candidate genes for sow limb-and-hoof firmness. Moreover, we also applied a new method to measure the BMD data of pigs by ultrasound technology. The results provide an insight into the genetic architecture of LW and can also help to improve animal welfare in pigs.
The modelling of edge carbon transport and emission on EAST tokamak under resonant magnetic perturbation (RMP) fields has been conducted with the three-dimensional edge transport code EMC3-EIRENE. The measured vertical distribution of CVI emission by the extreme ultraviolet spectrometer system for the perturbed case shows a reduction in the CVI emission by 20 % compared to the equilibrium case. The chord-integrated CVI emission can be reconstructed by EMC3-EIRENE modelling, which presents an increase in the CVI emission with RMP fields. The discrepancy between experiments and simulations has been investigated by parameter study to examine the sensitivity of the simulation results on the edge plasma conditions and the impurity perpendicular transport. It is found that the variation of edge plasma conditions for the equilibrium case cannot resolve the discrepancy in the CVI emission between simulations and measurements. The simulations with enhanced impurity perpendicular transport coefficient allows a reasonable agreement with the measured reduction of CVI emission.
Although numerous studies have investigated the individual effects of salinity, irrigation and fertilization on soil microbial communities, relatively less attention has been paid to their combined influences, especially using molecular techniques. Based on the field of orthogonal designed test and deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing technology, the effects of saline water irrigation amount, salinity level of irrigation water and nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate on soil bacterial community structure were investigated. The results showed that the irrigation amount was the most dominant factor in determining the bacterial richness and diversity, followed by the irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The values of Chao1 estimator, abundance-based coverage estimator and Shannon indices decreased with an increase in irrigation amount while increased and then decreased with an increase in irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The highest soil bacterial richness and diversity were obtained under the least irrigation amount (25 mm), medium irrigation water salinity (4.75 dS/m) and medium N fertilizer rate (350 kg/ha). However, different bacterial phyla were found to respond distinctively to these three factors: irrigation amount significantly affected the relative abundances of Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi; irrigation water salinity mostly affected the members of Actinobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes and Acidobacteria; and N fertilizer rate mainly influenced the Bacteroidetes' abundance. The results presented here revealed that the assessment of soil microbial processes under combined irrigation and fertilization treatments needed to be more careful as more variable consequences would be established by comparing with the influences based on an individual factor, such as irrigation amount or N fertilizer rate.
Quantifying reasonable crop yield gaps and determining potential regions for yield improvement can facilitate regional plant structure adjustment and promote crop production. The current study attempted to evaluate the yield gap in a region at multi-scales through model simulation and farmer investigation. Taking the winter wheat yield gap in the Huang-Huai-Hai farming region (HFR) for the case study, 241 farmers’ fields in four typical high-yield demonstration areas were surveyed to determine the yield limitation index and attainable yield. In addition, the theoretical and realizable yield gap of winter wheat in 386 counties of the HFR was assessed. Results showed that the average field yield of the demonstration plots was 8282 kg/ha, accounting for 0.72 of the potential yield, which represented the highest production in the region. The HFR consists of seven sub-regions designated 2.1–2.7: the largest attainable yield gap existed in the 2.6 sub-region, in the southwest of the HFR, while the smallest was in the 2.2 sub-region, in the northwest of the HFR. With a high irrigated area rate, the yield gap in the 2.2 sub-region could hardly be reduced by increasing irrigation, while a lack of irrigation remained an important limiting factor for narrowing the yield gap in 2.3 sub-region, in the middle of the HFR. Therefore, a multi-scale yield gap evaluation framework integrated with typical field survey and crop model analysis could provide valuable information for narrowing the yield gap.
We highlight the current understanding of mechanisms of phase transformation, strengthening, and the role of alloying elements in aluminum, magnesium, and titanium alloys, including nucleation and growth of precipitates, precipitate–dislocation interactions, solute segregation at precipitate–matrix interfaces and planar defects, and the development of strengthening models that account for the real particle shape. Future directions such as atomic-scale elemental mapping and computation, and the influence of particle shape on mechanical properties are discussed. With the combination of advanced characterization and computational tools, it is anticipated that much less time will be needed to develop the next generation of light alloys.
The elastic polymer composite embedded with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is an ideal candidate for stretchable and flexible sensor fabrication due to the perfect combination between the excellent properties of CNTs and the high stretchability of the elastomer. A cube model of nanotube/polymer composite is constructed to comprehensively and theoretically analyze its electrical behavior, which is dominantly governed by the CNT network. The aspect ratio and alignment of CNTs significantly influence both the percolation threshold range and the electrical conductivity; however, the electrical conductivity of CNTs has little impact on the percolation threshold. The piezoresistivity of the composite is not only governed by the property of CNTs but also by the mechanical property of the polymer matrix, including the Poisson’s ratio and alignment of CNTs. The specific reasons why the composite resistance rises when it is stretched are investigated. Finally, one optimizing suggestion is given for making the CNTs/polymer composite with high sensitivity.
The uptake of genomic selection (GS) by the swine industry is still limited by the costs of genotyping. A feasible alternative to overcome this challenge is to genotype animals using an affordable low-density (LD) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip panel followed by accurate imputation to a high-density panel. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to screen incremental densities of LD panels in order to systematically identify one that balances the tradeoffs among imputation accuracy, prediction accuracy of genomic estimated breeding values (GEBVs), and genotype density (directly associated with genotyping costs). Genotypes using the Illumina Porcine60K BeadChip were available for 1378 Duroc (DU), 2361 Landrace (LA) and 3192 Yorkshire (YO) pigs. In addition, pseudo-phenotypes (de-regressed estimated breeding values) for five economically important traits were provided for the analysis. The reference population for genotyping imputation consisted of 931 DU, 1631 LA and 2103 YO animals and the remainder individuals were included in the validation population of each breed. A LD panel of 3000 evenly spaced SNPs (LD3K) yielded high imputation accuracy rates: 93.78% (DU), 97.07% (LA) and 97.00% (YO) and high correlations (>0.97) between the predicted GEBVs using the actual 60 K SNP genotypes and the imputed 60 K SNP genotypes for all traits and breeds. The imputation accuracy was influenced by the reference population size as well as the amount of parental genotype information available in the reference population. However, parental genotype information became less important when the LD panel had at least 3000 SNPs. The correlation of the GEBVs directly increased with an increase in imputation accuracy. When genotype information for both parents was available, a panel of 300 SNPs (imputed to 60 K) yielded GEBV predictions highly correlated (⩾0.90) with genomic predictions obtained based on the true 60 K panel, for all traits and breeds. For a small reference population size with no parents on reference population, it is recommended the use of a panel at least as dense as the LD3K and, when there are two parents in the reference population, a panel as small as the LD300 might be a feasible option. These findings are of great importance for the development of LD panels for swine in order to reduce genotyping costs, increase the uptake of GS and, therefore, optimize the profitability of the swine industry.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
The use of limiters may impact both accuracy and resolution of a solution. And the accuracy and resolution are highly dependent on the amount of numerical dissipation in a scheme, so the ability of limiters to control numerical dissipation should be improved. In this view, based on the examination of several classical limiters to control dissipation, a class of general piecewise-linear flux limiters (termed GPL limiters) are presented in this paper for Multi-step time-space-separated unsteady schemes. The GPL limiters can satisfy the second-order TVD criterion and contain some existing limiters such as Superbee and Minmod. Using the decrement of discrete total entropy to represent the amount of numerical dissipation, an entropy dissipation function of GPL limiters is defined with three parameter variables. By proving the monotonicity of this function, a new GPL type limiter (named MDF individually), which can minimize the numerical dissipation and improve the calculation accuracy, is proposed. A high resolution entropy-consistent scheme is obtained by MDF limiter, which will be proved to satisfy entropy stability and entropy consistency. Computational results of this scheme for several 1-D and 2-D Euler test cases are presented, demonstrating the accuracy, monotonicity and robustness of MDF limiter.
Introduction: Burnout rates for emergency physicians (EP) continue to be amongst the highest in medicine. One of the commonly cited sources of stress contributing to disillusionment is bureaucratic tasks that distract EPs from direct patient care in the emergency department (ED). The novel position of Physician Navigator was created to help EPs decrease their non-clinical workload during shifts, and improve productivity. Physician Navigators are non-licensed healthcare team members that assist in activities which are often clerical in nature, but directly impact patient care. This program was implemented at no net-cost to the hospital or healthcare system. Methods: In this retrospective study, 6845 clinical shifts worked by 20 EPs over 39 months from January 1, 2012 to March 31, 2015 were evaluated. The program was implemented on April 1, 2013. The primary objective was to quantify the effect of Physician Navigators on measures of EP productivity: patient seen per hour (Pt/hr), and turn-around-time (TAT) to discharge. Secondary objectives included examining the impact of Physician Navigators on measures of ED throughput for non-resuscitative patients: emergency department length of stay (LOS), physician-initial-assessment times (PIA), and left-without-being-seen rates (LWBS). A mixed linear model was used to evaluate changes in productivity measures between shifts with and without Physician Navigators in a clustered design, by EP. Autoregressive modelling was performed to compare ED throughput metrics before and after the implementation of Physician Navigators for non-resuscitative patients. Results: Across 20 EPs, 2469 shifts before, and 4376 shifts after April 1, 2013 were analyzed. Daily patient volumes increased 8.7% during the period with Physician Navigators. For the EPs who used Physician Navigators, Pt/hr increased by 1.07 patients per hour (0.98 to 1.16, p<0.001), and TAT to discharge decreased by 10.6 minutes (-13.2 to -8.0, p<0.001). After the implementation of the Physician Navigators, overall LOS for non-resuscitative patients decreased by 2.6 minutes (1.0%, p=0.007), and average PIA decreased by 7.4 minutes (12.0%, p<0.001). LBWS rates decreased by 43.9% (0.50% of daily patient volume, p<0.001). Conclusion: The use of a Physician Navigator was associated with increased EP productivity as measured by Pt/hr, and TAT to discharge, and reductions in ED throughput metrics for non-resuscitative patients.
To study the salt and sugars content of breakfast cereals sold in the UK between 1992 and 2015.
Cross-sectional surveys on salt and sugars content collected from the nutrition information panel of breakfast cereals in 1992, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015.
All major UK retailers operating at that moment in time (approximately ten).
The salt and sugars content was collected from product packaging and the nutrition information panels.
Cereals consistently surveyed across all five years (n22) showed a significant reduction in salt content of 47 % (P<0·001). Sugars content of breakfast cereals (n 15), however, did not show a significant change; 25·65 g/100 g in 1992 and 22·45 g/100 g in 2015 (P=0·170). There was a large variation in salt and sugars content between different categories and within the same type of category.
The study shows the progressive reduction in salt content of breakfast cereals in the UK since 2004 as a result of the successful salt reduction programme, particularly the setting of incremental salt targets. Further reductions in salt content need to be made as cereals remain a major contributor to salt intake. Sugars content, however, has been consistently high due to the lack of a sugar reduction strategy. The research demonstrates that the sugars content of breakfast cereals in the UK is of concern, particularly in children’s breakfast cereals, with a typical serving (30 g) containing a third of a 4–6-year-old’s maximum daily recommendation (19 g/d) for free sugars intake in the UK. More can and should be done to reformulate, with an urgent need to set incremental sugar reduction targets.
Growing interest in the use of CO2 as a feedstock for fuel generation has led to increased interest in solar CO2 electrolysis for renewable fuel generation which has a variety of applications ranging from providing renewable sources for energy-dense carbon fuels, to curbing high-density emissions from power plants, industries and automobiles. The challenges of integrated solar-to-carbon fuel converters, where the photovoltaic (PV) material is immersed in the electrolyte, are well-known: the need for unique PV cell designs; material incompatibility; corrosion; and optical losses. In this paper, a PV-electrolysis system is presented, where a flow-cell electrolyzer is power-matched to a high-performance solar PV module array which has two system design advantages: 1) use of standard PV cells external to the electrolyzer, which allows de-coupling the design, fabrication and operation of the PV system from that of the electrolyzer; and 2) enabling optimization of the PV configuration to maximize power coupling efficiency to the specific electrolyzer Tafel curve, with or without the use of electronic power-conditioning devices. The implemented system resulted in a peak SFE of 6.5%, a competitive solar-to-fuel efficiency (SFE) figure to those reported in literature.