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Parakmeria omeiensis is a Critically Endangered tree species in the family Magnoliaceae, endemic to south-west China. The tree is functionally dioecious, but little is known about the species’ status in the wild. We investigated the range, population size, age structure, habitat characteristics and threats to P. omeiensis. We located a total of 74 individuals in two populations on the steep slopes of Mount Emei, Sichuan province, growing under the canopy of evergreen broadleaved forest in well-drained gravel soil. A male-biased sex ratio, lack of effective pollinating insects, and habitat destruction result in low seed set and poor seedling survival in the wild. We have adopted an integrated conservation approach, including strengthening in situ conservation, cultivation of saplings, ex situ conservation and reintroduction, to protect this species. The successful conservation of P. omeiensis has important implications for the conservation of the genus Parakmeria and the family Magnoliaceae.
The extent of intertidal flats in the Yellow Sea region has declined significantly in the past few decades, resulting in severe population declines in several waterbird species. The Yellow Sea region holds the primary stopover sites for many shorebirds during their migration to and from northern breeding grounds. However, the functional roles of these sites in shorebirds’ stopover ecology remain poorly understood. Through field surveys between July and November 2015, we investigated the stopover and moult schedules of migratory shorebirds along the southern Jiangsu coast, eastern China during their southbound migration, with a focus on the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea and ‘Endangered’ Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer. Long-term count data indicate that both species regularly occur in globally important number in southern Jiangsu coast, constituting 16.67–49.34% and 64.0–80.67% of their global population estimates respectively, and it is highly likely that most adults undergo their primary moult during this southbound migration stopover. Our results show that Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank staged for an extended period of time (66 and 84 days, respectively) to complete their primary moult. On average, Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Nordmann’s Greenshanks started moulting primary feathers on 8 August ± 4.52 and 27 July ± 1.56 days respectively, and their moult durations were 72.58 ± 9.08 and 65.09 ± 2.40 days. In addition, some individuals of several other shorebird species including the ‘Endangered’ Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris, ‘Near Threatened’ Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, ‘Near Threatened’ Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata and Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii also underwent primary moult. Our work highlights the importance of the southern Jiangsu region as the primary moulting ground for these species, reinforcing that conservation of shorebird habitat including both intertidal flats and supratidal roosting sites in this region is critical to safeguard the future of some highly threatened shorebird species.
Electrospun membranes have potential applications in the field of waterproof and breathable textile products. However, challenges still exist to improve the breathability, and waterproof and mechanical properties of these microporous membranes. In this paper, a novel hydrophobic microporous nanofiber membrane was prepared via side-by-side electrospinning of fluorosilane-modified silica nanoparticles (F–SiO2) blended with synthesized polyurethane (PU) solution and composited with the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) solution. To prepare F–SiO2, SiO2 nanoparticles were hydrophobically modified by fluorosilane. Composite nanofiber membranes with different blending ratios of PU(F–SiO2)/PAN were fabricated via side-by-side electrospinning by controlling the extruding speed of two spinnerets. Experimental results indicated that regarding F–SiO2 as hydrophobic inorganic particle can improve the hydrophobic properties of PU nanofiber membrane. The prepared PAN/(F–SiO2/PU) nanofiber microporous membranes exhibit relatively excellent waterproof and mechanical properties as that robust tensile strength (19.5 MPa), preferable water vapor permeability [10.3 kg/(m2 d)], favorable water contact angle (137.2°), and superior mechanical properties. It was believed that the reinforced PAN/(F–SiO2/PU) nanofibrous composite membranes have potential applications in chemical protective clothing, army combat uniforms, self-cleaning materials, and other medical products.
Bioinformatic investigations indicate that has-mir-206 (microRNA-206, miRNA-206) could regulate BDNF protein synthesis by interfering with BDNF mRNA translation, which is disrupted in bipolar disorder (BPD).
This study is to investigate whether miRNA-206 gene variants were associated with BPD susceptibility in a Han Chinese population.
342 patients who met DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder type I (BPD-I) or type II (BPD-II) and 386 matched health controls were enrolled into this study. the miRNA-206 gene and +/-500bp were selected for gene sequencing. for the case-control genetic comparisons, differences in the genotype and allele distributions between patients and controls were examined using Pearson's χ2 test.
Gene sequencing showed that there are two polymorphisms rs16882131(C/T) and rs62408583 (A/C) located at the upstream of miRNA-206 gene, which are complete linkage disequilibrium. the association analysis showed that there was no significant difference for genotype frequencies (χ2 = 2.075, df = 2, P = 0.354) or for allele frequencies (χ2 = 0.041, df = 1, P = 0.839) between BPD patients and controls. Similarly, no significant difference was found between BPD-I patients and controls (genotype χ2 = 1.411, df = 2, P = 0.494; allele χ2 = 0.380, df = 1, P = 0.538). However, there was significant difference between BPD-II patients and controls (genotype χ2 = 7.933, df = 2, P = 0.019; allele χ2 = 5.403, df = 1, P = 0.020).
Our findings do not support that BPD susceptibility was associated with miRNA-206 gene polymorphisms in the studied Han Chinese population. the association between miRNA-206 gene polymorphisms and bipolar disorder type II is needed to be carefully interpreted. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the involvement miRNA-206 in the pathophysiology of BPD.
Epigenetic changes may play a role in the etiology of psychotic diseases. It has been demonstrated that olig2 is implicated in schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BPD). the aim of this study was to investigate the methylation status of a promoter region of the olig2 gene in BPD and SCZ patients.
Our study included 41 BPD and 45 SCZ (DSM-IV criteria) as well as 53 control subjects. DNA was extracted from blood leukocytes and bisulfited sequence analysis was used to determine the DNA methylation status of a typical CpGs island within the promoter region of olig2.
We found the methylated cytosines occurred mainly in two clusters. Olig2 gene promoter was hyper-methylated(∼30%) in DNA derived from the blood leukocytes in SCZ and BD compared to the controls subjects(P = 0.01 and P = 0.03, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference in frequency of site-specific cytosine methylation modification of Olig2 gene between SCZ patients and BD patients(P = 0.21).
We observed increased DNA methylation in the promoter region of the olig2 gene of SCZ and BPD. This could explain the reported decrease of the gene expression. the current study supports the growing interest of DNA methylation in psychopathology.
Bloodstream infection (BSI), caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae, is associated with high morbidity and mortality, where the pks gene cluster plays a major role in their occurrence and prevalence. Information on the prevalence and characteristics of this gene cluster in K. pneumoniae is currently limited in mainland China. We therefore undertook a multicentre longitudinal study which revealed the prevalence, overall, community-onset and hospital-acquired BSI to be 20.5%, 28.3% and 13.0%, respectively. Compared to pks-negative, pks-positive isolates were significantly more susceptible to antimicrobial agents with a low incidence (5.1%) of multidrug-resistance and with infrequent extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production. Among pks-positive isolates, ST23 (78/117) and ST65 (20/117) were the dominant sequence types, and the majority harboured virulence genes. Community-onset BSI patients infected with pks-positive isolates had a higher proportion of liver abscesses and a lower proportion of biliary obstructions (P < 0.05). The pks-positive isolates were mostly sporadic in the phylogenetic tree, with a 65.8 and 47.0 average allele difference between Clade 1 and Clade 2, respectively. We concluded that although pks-positive K. pneumoniae were generally susceptible to antimicrobials, the high prevalence of such isolates in community cases and the genotoxicity, merits further investigation.
The study of the petrogenesis of some magmatic rocks with special geochemical attributes provides effective information for us to explore the deep geodynamic background of their formation. A series of granitic porphyry dykes have been found in the mélange zone of the Asa region in southern Tibet, whose genesis may be closely related to the evolution of the Meso-Tethyan Ocean. Regional geodynamic evolution is investigated by whole-rock geochemical analysis, zircon U–Pb dating and Lu–Hf isotopic analysis of two porphyritic granites. The Asa porphyritic granites have high SiO2 (74.29–78.65 wt %) and alkalis (Na2O + K2O = 6.51–9.35 wt %) contents, and low Al2O3 (11.60–14.51 wt %), CaO (0.04–0.19 wt MgO (0.01–0.10 wt %) contents. They are enriched in Zr, Nb, Ce, Y and Hf and depleted in Ti, Ba, Sr and P, consistent with A-type granites. The samples are relatively rich in LREEs, with LREE/HREE ratios of 1.73–3.04. They display negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.24–0.28) and obvious Ce anomalies in some samples. Zircon U–Pb analyses show that the porphyritic granites formed in late Early Cretaceous time, 107.4 to 105.5 Ma. Zircon εHf(t) values are in the range of 6.9 to 12.0. These data indicate that the porphyritic granites were sourced from interaction between mantle-derived and juvenile lower crust-derived melts, with the addition of oceanic sediment-derived melts. This occurred when the subducting Bangong–Nujiang oceanic crust split to create a slab window. Rising asthenosphere triggered re-melting of lower crust basalts, resulting in the formation of the late Early Cretaceous A-type granites around Asa.
The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effect of n-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, at an EPA:DHA ratio of 150:500) and phytosterol esters (PS) on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients. We conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ninety-six NAFLD subjects were randomly assigned to the following groups: the PS group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS); the FO group (receiving 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d); the PS + FO combination group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS and 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d) and the PO group (a placebo group). The baseline clinical characteristics of the four groups were similar. The primary outcome was liver:spleen attenuation ratio (L:S ratio). The percentage increase in liver–spleen attenuation (≤1) in the PS + FO group was 36 % (P = 0·083), higher than those in the other three groups (PS group, 11 %, P = 0·519; FO group, 18 %, P = 0·071; PO group, 15 %, P = 0·436). Compared with baseline, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) was significantly decreased in the three study groups at the end of the trial (PS, P = 0·000; FO, P = 0·002; PS + FO, P = 0·001) and TNF-α was significantly decreased in the FO group (P = 0·036), PS + FO group (P = 0·005) and PO group (P = 0·032) at the end of the intervention. Notably, TGF-β was reduced significantly more in the PS + FO group than in the PO group (P = 0·032). The TAG and total cholesterol levels of the PS + FO group were reduced by 11·57 and 9·55 %, respectively. In conclusion, co-supplementation of PS and EPA + DHA could increase the effectiveness of treatment for hepatic steatosis.
A new fast-growing mycobacterium, designated strain QGD101T, was isolated from the sputum of an 84-year-old man suspected of tuberculosis in Wuhan Medical Treatment Center, Hubei, China. This strain was a gram-staining-negative, aerobic, non-spore-forming and catalase-positive bacterium, which was further identified as the NTM by PNB and TCH tests. The moxifloxacin and levofloxacin exhibited strong suppressing function against QGD101T with MIC values of 0.06 and 0.125 µg/ml after drug susceptibility testing of six main antimicrobial agents on mycobacteria. Based on the sequence analysis of 16S rRNA, rpoB, hsp65 and 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer, the strain QGD101T could not be identified to a species level. Mycobacterium moriokaense ATCC43059T that shared the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity (98%) with strain QGD101T was actually different in genomes average nucleotide identity (78.74%). In addition, the major cellular fatty acids of QGD101T were determined as C18:1ω9c, C16:0 and C18:2ω6c. The DNA G + C content was 64.9% measured by high performance liquid chromatography. Therefore, the phenotypic and genotypic characterisation of this strain led us to the conclusion that it represents a novel species of mycobacteria, for which the name Mycobacterium hubeiense sp. nov. (type strain QGD101T = CCTCCAA 2017003T = KCTC39927T) was proposed. Thus, the results of this study are very significant for the clinical diagnosis of tuberculosis and future personalised medicine.
Human innate immune plays an essential role in the spontaneous clearance of acute infection and therapy of HCV. We investigated whether the SNPs in retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptor family were associated with HCV spontaneous clearance and response to treatment. To evaluate the clinical value of DDX58 rs3824456, rs10813831 and rs10738889 genotypes on HCV spontaneous clearance and treatment response in Chinese Han population, we genotyped 1001 HCV persistent infectors, 599 participants with HCV natural clearance and 354 patients with PEGylated interferon-α and ribavirin (PEG IFN-α/RBV) treatment. People carrying rs10813831-G allele genotype were more liable to achieve spontaneous clearance than the carriage of the T allele (dominant model: adjusted OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.08–1.71, P = 0.008). In rs10738889, the rate of persistent infection was significantly lower in patients with the TC genotype compared to those with TT genotype (dominant model: adjusted OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.06–1.74, P = 0.015). Multivariate stepwise analysis indicated that rs10738889, age, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were independent predictors for HCV spontaneous clearance. However, there were no significant differences in the three selection SNPs between the non-SVR group and the SVR group. These results suggest the DDX58 rs10813831 and rs10738889 are associated with spontaneous clearance of HCV, which may be identified as a predictive marker in the Chinese Han population of HCV.
Composite materials include various components with different structures, which cooperatively increase their properties and extend their application. In this study, the graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) guest material was assembled into the porous of the SiO2 aerogel, which was prepared during the gel process. By this way, the g-C3N4 could be absolutely encapsulated into the porous of the disordered porous SiO2 aerogel. The prepared g-C3N4/SiO2 composite had a loose porous structure and exhibited the much higher photocatalytic activity to the photodegradation of rhodamine B (RhB) under visible light. The disordered porous structure enhanced photocatalytic activity, and the degradation rate reached to 96.42% in 90 min under the irradiation of visible light, which could be attributed to its high surface area and effective electron–hole separation rate. The catalyst had the much higher stability and could be easily recycled utilization. The prepared composites could be applied to degrade organic pollutants in wastewater.
In this paper, the lateral migration of a neutrally buoyant spherical particle in the pressure-driven rectangular channel flow of an Oldroyd-B fluid is numerically investigated with a fictitious domain method. The aspect ratio of the channel cross-section considered is 1 and 2, respectively. The particle lateral motion trajectories are shown for the bulk Reynolds number ranging from 1 to 100, the ratio of the solvent viscosity to the total viscosity being 0.5, and a Weissenberg number up to 1.5. Our results indicate that the lateral equilibrium positions located on the cross-section midline, diagonal line, corner and channel centreline occur successively as the fluid elasticity is increased, for particle migration in square channel flow with finite fluid inertia. The transition of the equilibrium position depends strongly on the elasticity number (the ratio of the Weissenberg number to the Reynolds number) and weakly on the Reynolds number. The diagonal-line equilibrium position occurs at an elasticity number ranging from roughly 0.001 to 0.02, and can coexist with the midline and corner equilibrium positions. When the fluid inertia is negligibly small, particles migrate towards the channel centreline, or the closest corner, depending on their initial positions and the Weissenberg number, and the corner attractive area first increases and then decreases as the Weissenberg number increases. For particle migration in a rectangular channel with an aspect ratio of 2, the transition of the equilibrium position from the midline, ‘diagonal line’ (the line where two lateral shear rates are equal to each other), off-centre long midline and channel centreline takes place as the Weissenberg number increases at moderate Reynolds numbers. An off-centre equilibrium position on the long midline is observed for a large blockage ratio of 0.3 (i.e. the ratio of the particle diameter to the channel height is 0.3) at a low Reynolds number. This off-centre migration is driven by shear forces, unlike the elasticity-induced rapid inward migration, which is driven by the normal force (pressure or first normal stress difference).
Although it is crucial to improve the treatment status of people with severe mental illness (SMI), it is still unknown whether and how socioeconomic development influences their treatment status.
To explore the change in treatment status in people with SMI from 1994 to 2015 in rural China and to examine the factors influencing treatment status in those with SMI.
Two mental health surveys using identical methods and ICD-10 were conducted in 1994 and 2015 (population ≥15 years old, n = 152 776) in the same six townships of Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
Compared with 1994, individuals with SMI in 2015 had significantly higher rates of poor family economic status, fewer family caregivers, longer duration of illness, later age at first onset and poor mental status. Participants in 2015 had significantly higher rates of never being treated, taking antipsychotic drugs and ever being admitted to hospital, and lower rates of using traditional Chinese medicine or being treated by traditional/spiritual healers. The factors strongly associated with never being treated included worse mental status (symptoms/social functioning), older age, having no family caregivers and poor family economic status.
Socioeconomic development influences the treatment status of people with SMI in contemporary rural China. Relative poverty, having no family caregivers and older age are important factors associated with a worse treatment status. Culture-specific, community-based interventions and targeted poverty-alleviation programmes should be developed to improve the early identification, treatment and recovery of individuals with SMI in rural China.
Hepatitis B constitutes a severe public health challenge in China. The Community-based Collaborative Innovation hepatitis B (CCI-HBV) project is a national epidemiological study of hepatitis B and has been conducting a comprehensive intervention in southern Zhejiang since 2009.
The comprehensive intervention in CCI-HBV areas includes the dynamic hepatitis B screening in local residents, the normalised treatment for hepatitis B infections and the upcoming full-aged hepatitis B vaccination. After two rounds of screening (each round taking for 4 years), the initial epidemiological baseline of hepatitis B in Qinggang was obtained, a coastal community in east China. By combining key data and system dynamics modelling, the regional hepatitis B epidemic in 20 years was predicted.
There were 1041 HBsAg positive cases out of 12 228 people in Round 1 indicating HBV prevalence of 8.5%. Of the 13 146 people tested in Round 2, 1171 people were HBsAg positive, with a prevalence of 8.9%. By comparing the two rounds of screening, the HBV incidence rate of 0.192 per 100 person-years was observed. By consulting electronic medical records, the HBV onset rate of 0.533 per 100 person-years was obtained. We generated a simulated model to replicate the real-world situation for the next two decades. To evaluate the effect of interventions on regional HBV prevalence, three comparative experiments were conducted.
In this study, the regional hepatitis B epidemic in 20 years was predicted and compared with HBV prevalence under different interventions. Owing to the existing challenges in research methodology, this study combined HBV field research and simulation to provide a system dynamics model with close-to-real key data to improve prediction accuracy. The simulation also provided a prompt guidance for the field implementation.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.
There have been significant interests and efforts in the field of impedance control on robotic manipulation over last decades. Impedance control aims to achieve the desired mechanical interaction between the robotic equipment and its environment. This paper gives the overview and comparison of basic concepts and principles, implementation strategies, crucial techniques, and practical applications concerning the impedance control of robotic manipulation. This work attempts to serve as a tutorial to people outside the field and to promote discussion of a unified vision of impedance control within the field of robotic manipulation. The goal is to help readers quickly get into the problems of their interests related to impedance control of robotic manipulation and to provide guidance and insights in finding appropriate strategies and solutions.