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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.
Adults with congenital heart disease face psychological challenges although an understanding of depression vs. anxiety symptoms is unclear. We analyzed the prevalence of elevated symptoms of anxiety and depression and explored associations with demographic and medical factors as well as quality of life.
Adults with congenital heart disease enrolled from an outpatient clinic completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and two measures of quality of life: the Linear Analogue Scale and the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Medical data were obtained by chart review.
Of 130 patients (median age = 32 years; 55% female), 55 (42%) had elevated anxiety symptoms and 16 (12%) had elevated depression symptoms on subscales of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Most patients with elevated depression symptoms also had elevated anxiety symptoms (15/16; 94%). Of 56 patients with at least one elevated subscale, 37 (66%) were not receiving mental health treatment. Compared to patients with 0 or 1 elevated subscales, patients with elevations in both (n=15) were less likely to be studying or working (47% vs. 81%; p=0.016) and reported lower scores on the Linear Analogue Scale (60 vs. 81, p<0.001) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (14 vs. 28, p<0.001).
Among adults with congenital heart disease, elevated anxiety symptoms are common and typically accompany elevated depressive symptoms. The combination is associated with unemployment and lower quality of life. Improved strategies to provide psychosocial care and support appropriate engagement in employment are required.
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.
We present first results from pilot observations using a phased array feed (PAF) mounted on the Parkes 64-m radio telescope. The observations presented here cover a frequency range from 1 150 to 1 480 MHz and are used to show the ability of PAFs to suppress standing wave problems by a factor of ~10, which afflict normal feeds. We also compare our results with previous HIPASS observations and with previous H i images of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Drift scan observations of the GAMA G23 field resulted in direct H i detections at z = 0.0043 and z = 0.0055 of HIPASS galaxies J2242-30 and J2309-30. Our new measurements generally agree with archival data in spectral shape and flux density, with small differences being due to differing beam patterns. We also detect signal in the stacked H i data of 1 094 individually undetected galaxies in the GAMA G23 field in the redshift range 0.05 ⩽ z ⩽ 0.075. Finally, we use the low standing wave ripple and wide bandwidth of the PAF to set a 3σ upper limit to any positronium recombination line emission from the Galactic Centre of <0.09 K, corresponding to a recombination rate of <3.0 × 1045 s−1.
During 2016 February, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy installed, commissioned, and carried out science observations with a phased array feed receiver system on the 64-m diameter Parkes radio telescope. Here, we demonstrate that the phased array feed can be used for pulsar observations and we highlight some unique capabilities. We demonstrate that the pulse profiles obtained using the phased array feed can be calibrated and that multiple pulsars can be simultaneously observed. Significantly, we find that an intrinsic polarisation leakage of −31 dB can be achieved with a phased array feed beam offset from the centre of the field of view. We discuss the possibilities for using a phased array feed for future pulsar observations and for searching for fast radio bursts with the Parkes and Effelsberg telescopes.
This paper focuses on the attitude dynamics and control of liquid filled spacecraft, and the large amplitude fuel slosh dynamics is included by using an improved moving pulsating ball model. The moving pulsating ball model is an equivalent mechanical model that is capable of imitating the whole liquid reorientation process, specifically for the occurrence of large amplitude slosh. This model is improved by incorporating a static capillary force and an effective mass factor. The improvements on this model are validated with previously published experiment results. The spacecraft attitude maneuver is implemented by the momentum transfer technique, and the feedback control strategy is designed based on Lyapunov theory. The effects of liquid viscosity, tank location and desired steady time on sloshing torque and control torque are investigated. The attitude control strategy applied in this paper is proved to be applicable for the coupled liquid filled spacecraft system. The obtained conclusions are useful to aid in liquid filled spacecraft overall design.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Silicon has been used as one of the primary substrates for micro-machined intra-cortical neural implants (INI). The presence of various ions in the extracellular environment combined with cellular biological activity establishes a harsh, corrosive environment in the brain for INI, and as such, a long-term implant’s construction materials must be able to resist these environments. We have examined if environmental components could contribute to changes in the material, which in turn may be a contributing factor to the decreased long-term reliability in INI optimal neural recordings, which have prevented clinical use these devices for the last 4 decades. We tested silicon in artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF), Dulbecco's modified eagle medium (DMEM), and H4 cells cultured within DMEM for 96 hours at 37°C as three various physiological environments to investigate the material degradation. We have observed that Si samples immersed in only DMEM and ACSF showed very minor surface alterations. However, Si samples cultured with H4 cells exhibited a large change in surface roughness from 0.24±0.04 nm to 4.85 nm. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrographs showed the presence of pyramid shaped pits. Further characterization with atomic force microscope (AFM) verified this result and quantified the severe changes in the surface roughness of these samples. At this initial stage of the investigation, we are endeavoring to identify the cause of these changes to the Si surface, but based on our observations, we believe that the increased corrosion could be result of chemical products released into the surrounding environment by the cells.
Osteochondral (OC) tissue is comprised of articular cartilage, the subchondral bone and the central cartilage-bone interface. To facilitate proper regeneration, an equally complex and multiphasic matrix must be used. Although mono-phasic and bi-phasic matrices were previously applied, they failed to establish the OC interface upon regeneration. In this study, we designed and developed a novel matrix with increasing pore volume from one end to other, along the matrix length. For this matrix polylactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) 85:15 microspheres were combined with a water-soluble porogen in a layer-by-layer fashion and thermally sintered. The resulting matrix was then porogen-leached to form a gradiently-porous structured matrix. The formation of this gradient pore structure was established using Micro-Computed Tomography (μCT) scanning. A biodegradable hydrogel was infiltrated into the structure to form a unique OC matrix where the microsphere and hydrogel phases co-exist with opposing gradients. When the individual phases are associated with osteogenic and chondrogenic growth factors, the structureinduced factor delivery might provide the spatially controlled factor delivery necessary to regenerate osteochondral tissue structure. Overall, we designed a gradient matrix system that is expected to support osteochondral tissue engineering while forming a seamless interface between the cartilage and the bone matrix.
Pioneer works on nanocomposites were focused in carbon nanofibers or nanotubes dispersed in epoxy matrix, a viscous liquid facilitating the compounding stage. The interest in developing new composites aimed for biomedical applications led us to design new nanocomposites based in biodegradable polymers with demonstrated biological performance.
We report herein the development of micro-nano composites by extruding poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) microfibers with two different diameters, 200 and 500 µm, reinforced with electrospun chitosan nanofibers. Analysis of the microfibers showed high levels of alignment of the reinforcing phase and excellent distribution of the nanofibers in the composite. Its geometry facilitates the development of orthotropy, maximizing the reinforcement in the axial fiber main axis.
The biodegradable microfiber composites show an outstanding improvement of mechanical properties and of the kinetics of biodegradation, with very small fractions (0.05 and 0.1 wt.%) of electrospun chitosan nanofibers reinforcement. The high surface area-to-volume ratio of electrospun nanofibers combined with the increased water uptake capability of chitosan justify the accelerated kinetics of biodegradation of the composite as compared with the unfilled synthetic polymer.
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.