To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
We recently reported Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao in Tang et al., 2019, from the early Cambrian Hetang Formation in South China and interpreted it as a problematic animal fossil, possibly related to either sponges or bivalved arthropods (Tang et al., 2019). Slater and Budd (2019) contested our taxonomic identification and phylogenetic interpretation; instead, they claimed that Cambrowania ovata is a large acritarch referable to morphotaxon Leiosphaeridia Eisenack, 1958, and thus is not an animal. Here we refute their criticisms, clarify the differences between Cambrowania and Leiosphaeridia and other acritarchs, and reiterate why an animal affinity for Cambrowania cannot be ruled out.
Few studies have used genomic epidemiology to understand tuberculosis (TB) transmission in rural and remote settings – regions often unique in history, geography and demographics. To improve our understanding of TB transmission dynamics in Yukon Territory (YT), a circumpolar Canadian territory, we conducted a retrospective analysis in which we combined epidemiological data collected through routine contact investigations with clinical and laboratory results. Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from all culture-confirmed TB cases in YT (2005–2014) were genotyped using 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) and compared to each other and to those from the neighbouring province of British Columbia (BC). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of genotypically clustered isolates revealed three sustained transmission networks within YT, two of which also involved BC isolates. While each network had distinct characteristics, all had at least one individual acting as the probable source of three or more culture-positive cases. Overall, WGS revealed that TB transmission dynamics in YT are distinct from patterns of spread in other, more remote Northern Canadian regions, and that the combination of WGS and epidemiological data can provide actionable information to local public health teams.
The lower-middle Hetang Formation (Cambrian Stage 2–3) deposited in slope-basinal facies in South China is well known for its preservation of the earliest articulated sponge fossils, providing an important taphonomic window into the Cambrian Explosion. However, the Hetang Formation also hosts a number of problematic animal fossils that have not been systematically described. This omission results in an incomplete picture of the Hetang biota and limits its contribution to the understanding of the early evolution of animals. Here we describe a new animal taxon, Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, new genus new species, from the middle Hetang Formation in the Lantian area of southern Anhui Province, South China. Specimens are preserved as carbonaceous compressions, although some are secondarily mineralized. A comprehensive analysis using reflected light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and micro-CT reveals that the new species is characterized by a spheroidal to fusoidal truss-like structure consisting of rafter-like crossbars, some of which are secondarily baritized and may have been internally hollow. Some specimens have aperture-like structures that are broadly similar to oscula of sponges, whereas others show evidence of a medial split reminiscent of gaping carapaces. While the phylogenetic affinity of Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, n. gen. n. sp. remains problematic, we propose that it may represent carapaces of bivalved arthropods or more likely sponges in early life stages. Along with other problematic metazoan fossils such as hyolithids and sphenothallids, Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, n. gen. n. sp. adds to the diversity of the sponge-dominated Hetang biota in an early Cambrian deepwater slope-basinal environment.
Given the vast superiority of synchrotron radiation sources for EXAFS and near-edge measurements, one might assume that conducting such experiments in the laboratory is a waste of time and resources. Upon more careful consideration of the realities of everyday research, however, one can easily see that this is not true. In fact, many people have come to this realization, so much so that a whole conference has been devoted to laboratory EXAFS facilities, their role in research and their relation to synchrotron facilities. The concensus after the conference was that laboratory instruments can and have been developed, with adequate performance for a variety of nontrivial experiments. They usually employ dedicated focusing spectrometers, rotating anode generators and fairly expensive monochromator crystals (see articles in ref. 1 and 2).
A multi-scale strategy is employed in the paper to investigate the thermo-mechanical properties of 2.5D angle-interlock woven shape memory polymer composites (SMPCs). In the study, the mesoscopic model of 2.5D woven SMPCs and microscopic model of yarns are firstly developed. After that, the themo-viscoelastic constitutive relationship of the yarn is described in the form of hereditary integral and the parameters of relaxation moduli are obtained from nonlinear fitting of Prony series based on the results of finite element method (FEM). Based on the multi-scale models and the constitutive relationship, the effects of warp and weft arranged densities on viscoelastic properties of 2.5D woven SMPCs are studied in detail. Finally, the shape memory behavior along the warp direction in small strain region is also analyzed. The research in the paper lays a foundation for design and application of woven SMPCs in engineering.
Between 1880 and 1910, Japanese exports increased in volume, changed composition, and shifted from leading industrialized countries toward poorer Asian neighbors. Using a new dataset disaggregated by product and trade partner for the universe of Japanese exports, we find extensive margins accounted for 30 percent of export growth, with trade costs and market size associated with successful market entry. There was also considerable persistence in maintaining market presence and exit was rare. These stylized facts provide insight into both the country’s economic development, as reflected in its exported products, as well as the demand conditions of its trade partners.
The response of soil microbial communities to soil quality changes is a sensitive indicator of soil ecosystem health. The current work investigated soil microbial communities under different fertilization treatments in a 31-year experiment using the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profile method. The experiment consisted of five fertilization treatments: without fertilizer input (CK), chemical fertilizer alone (MF), rice (Oryza sativa L.) straw residue and chemical fertilizer (RF), low manure rate and chemical fertilizer (LOM), and high manure rate and chemical fertilizer (HOM). Soil samples were collected from the plough layer and results indicated that the content of PLFAs were increased in all fertilization treatments compared with the control. The iC15:0 fatty acids increased significantly in MF treatment but decreased in RF, LOM and HOM, while aC15:0 fatty acids increased in these three treatments. Principal component (PC) analysis was conducted to determine factors defining soil microbial community structure using the 21 PLFAs detected in all treatments: the first and second PCs explained 89.8% of the total variance. All unsaturated and cyclopropyl PLFAs except C12:0 and C15:0 were highly weighted on the first PC. The first and second PC also explained 87.1% of the total variance among all fertilization treatments. There was no difference in the first and second PC between RF and HOM treatments. The results indicated that long-term combined application of straw residue or organic manure with chemical fertilizer practices improved soil microbial community structure more than the mineral fertilizer treatment in double-cropped paddy fields in Southern China.
To investigate the surgical and audiological outcomes of the Bonebridge transcutaneous bone conduction hearing implant among children with congenital aural atresia.
Six children were recruited and underwent Bonebridge transcutaneous bone conduction implant surgery. The patients’ audiometric thresholds for air conduction, bone conduction and sound-field tests were assessed pre-operatively and at six months post-operatively. Patients’ satisfaction was assessed at six months post-operatively with the Hearing Device Satisfaction Scale.
No major complications were reported. Mean aided sound-field thresholds improved post-operatively by more than 30 dB for 0.5–4 kHz (p < 0.05). Mean unaided air conduction and bone conduction thresholds differed by less than 5 dB post-operatively (compared to pre-operatively) for 0.5–4 kHz; these findings were not significant (p > 0.05). All patients were satisfied (scores were over 90 per cent) with the implant in terms of functional outcome and cosmetic appearance.
Bonebridge transcutaneous bone conduction implant surgery is safe and effective among children with congenital aural atresia with conductive hearing loss.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) has been shown to be involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced immune responses in many mammal cells. Here, we suggest that the mTOR pathway is involved in the intestinal inflammatory responses evoked by LPS treatment in chicken embryos. The intestinal tissue from Specific pathogen free chick embryos was cultured in the presence of LPS for 2 h. Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) concentrations, messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of cytokines, and protein levels of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), mTOR and p70 ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6K) were determined. The results showed that LPS treatment increased sIgA concentrations in a dose-dependent manner. The mRNA levels of interleukine (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α and Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 were upregulated by LPS treatment (P<0.05). Lipopolysaccharide increased the phosphorylation of Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), p38 MAPK and NF-κB (P<0.05) while decreasing the phosphorylation level of mTOR (P<0.05). Supplementation of leucine at doses of 10, 20 and 40 mM dose-dependently decreased sIgA production. Leucine supplementation at 40 mM restored the phosphorylation level of mTOR and p70S6K while suppressing the phosphorylation levels of NF-κB (P<0.05) and partially down-regulating the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and JNK. The transcription of IL-6 was significantly decreased by leucine supplementation. These results suggested that leucine could alleviate LPS-induced inflammatory responses by down-regulating NF-κB signaling pathway and evoking mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway, which may involve in the regulation of the intestinal immune system in chicken embryos.
Honeybee foraging can transfer exogenous genes from genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) to closely related plants, which not only induces potential ecological risks but also contaminates non-GM seeds or honey products with GM ingredients. These events may lead to international trade disputes. Chinese honeybees (Apis cerana cerana Fabricius) and a herbicide (glufosinate)-resistant GM strain of B. napus (Z7B10) were studied to examine the effects of honeybee short-range foraging on oilseed rape gene flow and honey ingredients. Results showed variable frequencies of gene flow between GM and non-GM oilseed rape cultivars, with the highest frequency under nylon net isolation with artificially stocked honeybees, the lowest frequency under nylon net isolation alone, and an intermediate frequency under natural pollination, suggesting the important role of honeybee foraging in gene flow frequency. Additionally, GM pollen grains were found in honey collected from honeybees foraging on both GM and non-GM oilseed rape cultivars. The phosphinothricin acetyltransferase protein was also detected in both unbroken pollen-containing and pollen-free honey by protein testing strips, suggesting that honeybee foraging on GM oilseed rape could lead to contamination with GM ingredients. Overall, the results provide a direct scientific basis for the ecological risk assessment and safety management of GM oilseed rape.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a very effective technique for studying gene function and may be an efficient method for controlling pests. Trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS), which plays a key role in the synthesis of trehalose and insect development, was cloned in Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (TcTPS) and the putative functions were studied using RNAi via the injection of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) corresponding to conserved TPS and trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase domains. Expression analyses show that TcTPS is expressed higher in the fat body, while quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction results show that the expression of four trehalase isoforms was significantly suppressed by dsTPS injection. Additionally, the expression of six chitin synthesis-related genes, such as hexokinase 2 and glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate aminotransferase, was suppressed at 48 and 72 h post-dsTPS-1 and dsTPS-2 RNA injection, which were two dsTPS fragments that had been designed for two different locations in TcTPS open reading frame, and that trehalose content and trehalase 1 activity decreased significantly at 72 h post-dsRNA injection. Furthermore, T. castaneum injected with dsTPS-1 and dsTPS-2 RNA displayed significantly lower levels of chitin and could not complete the molting process from larvae to pupae, revealing abnormal molting phenotypes. These results demonstrate that silencing TPS gene leads to molting deformities and high mortality rates via regulation of gene expression in the chitin biosynthetic pathway, and may be a promising approach for pest control in the future.
In the past few years, we have performed a 22 GHz H2O maser survey towards hundreds of BGPS sources using the 25-meter Nanshan Radio Telescope (NSRT) of the Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory, and detected more than one hundred masers. Our aim is to study star formation activities associated with these sources, as well as search for any correlations that may exist between 22 GHz H2O masers and the evolutionary stage of high-mass star formation regions. The NSRT has been upgraded and have now an effective diameter of 26 meter. Besides, cryogenically cooled dual-beam receiver systems covering seven millimeter-wave observing bands have been installed on the NSRT. For the next step of maser observation, we will continue to do H2O and SiO masers survey of massive dust clumps and monitor some maser sources.
The effect of animal characteristics and placement decisions on retained ownership profitability of Tennessee cattle from 2005 to 2015 was determined using a mixed model regression. Ex post simulation analysis examined retained ownership profitability by placement season under different animal characteristic and corn price scenarios. Regression results indicate that placement weight, placement season, days on feed, animal health, and animal sex affect retained ownership profitability. Simulation results indicate that winter placement of cattle in feedlots had the highest expected retained ownership profits. Results provide risk-averse producers information regarding the profitability of retained ownership.
How do changes to taxation policy affect the organizational choices of firms? Using historical firm data constructed from Japanese corporate genealogies, we examine the short-run impact of introducing a personal income tax (PIT) in 1887 on tax-motivated incorporation. Between 1880 and 1892, we find that the introduction of PIT increased the share of incorporated firms by more than 3 percentage points, indicating firms chose their organizational structure to avoid new taxation. Furthermore, our results suggest that a corporate income tax may have acted as a backstop to maintain revenue collected through PIT.