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Fasciolosis is a zoonotic parasitic disease that seriously endangers the development of animal husbandry and human health. In order to develop a rapid serological diagnostic method for fasciolosis in ruminants, the CatL1D and CatB4 genes of Fasciola hepatica were amplified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and cloned, respectively, and then the CatL-B fusion gene (MeCatL-B) was constructed by gene splicing by overlap extension PCR technique. The recombinant rCatL1D, rCatB4 and rMeCatL-B proteins were then prepared by prokaryotic expression, respectively, and the recombinant protein with high specificity and sensitivity was screened via indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Using the selected recombinant protein rCatL1D as a diagnostic antigen, we developed a colloidal gold immunochromatographic assay (CGIA) for detecting F. hepatica-specific antibodies, and 426 serum samples of slaughtered sheep were used to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of F. hepatica CGIA assay. The results showed that the sensitivity and specificity of rCatL1D protein (100%, 96.67%) were higher than those of rCatB4 (94.29%, 80%) and rMeCatL-B (91.43%, 90%). Compared with the gold standard post-mortem inspection, the specificity and sensitivity of the CGIA method was 100% and 97%, respectively, and the consistency rate between these two methods was 99.3%. These results confirmed that the CGIA method based on rCatL1D protein could be a promising approach for rapid diagnosis of sheep fasciolosis because of its high sensitivity and specificity.
Dengue is the fastest spreading mosquito-transmitted disease in the world. In China, Guangzhou City is believed to be the most important epicenter of dengue outbreaks although the transmission patterns are still poorly understood. We developed an autoregressive integrated moving average model incorporating external regressors to examine the association between the monthly number of locally acquired dengue infections and imported cases, mosquito densities, temperature and precipitation in Guangzhou. In multivariate analysis, imported cases and minimum temperature (both at lag 0) were both associated with the number of locally acquired infections (P < 0.05). This multivariate model performed best, featuring the lowest fitting root mean squared error (RMSE) (0.7520), AIC (393.7854) and test RMSE (0.6445), as well as the best effect in model validation for testing outbreak with a sensitivity of 1.0000, a specificity of 0.7368 and a consistency rate of 0.7917. Our findings suggest that imported cases and minimum temperature are two key determinants of dengue local transmission in Guangzhou. The modelling method can be used to predict dengue transmission in non-endemic countries and to inform dengue prevention and control strategies.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
A new method, called Cloud of Points (COP) Reconstruction, is proposed in the present work to extend the meshfree method to simulate viscous flows. With the characters of viscous flows, the anisotropic COP structure is distributed in boundary layer. The proposed method can improve the anisotropic COP structure to isotropic COP structure and reduce the condition number of the least square coefficient matrix for conventional meshfree method. The values of the new reconstructed points are calculated by the Lagrange interpolation. The accuracy and the robustness of the presented meshfree solver are demonstrated on a number of standard test cases, including the functions with analytical gradients and the viscous flows past NACA0012 airfoil. The comparison of the simulation results with the experimental data and other numerical simulation data are also investigated.
We studied the evolution, genotypes, and the molecular clock of dengue virus serotype 1 (DENV-1), between 2001 and 2014 in Guangzhou, China. The analysis of the envelope (E) gene sequences of 67 DENV-1 strains isolated in Guangzhou, together with 58 representative sequences downloaded from NCBI, have shown shifts in viral genotypes. The genotype changed several times, from genotype I to IV in 2002, from IV to I in 2005, and from I to V in 2014. These genotype shifts may be the cause of DENV outbreaks. The diversity of genotypes and clades demonstrates a high risk of future outbreaks in Guangzhou. The mean rate of virus nucleotide substitution in Guangzhou was determined to be 7·77 × 10−4 per site per year, which represents a medium substitution rate compared to two other countries. Our research can point to different ancestors of the isolated strains, which may further reveal the different origins and transmission of DENV-1 strains in Guangzhou.
Dengue fever (DF) is the most prevalent and rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease globally. Control of DF is limited by barriers to vector control and integrated management approaches. This study aimed to explore the potential risk factors for autochthonous DF transmission and to estimate the threshold effects of high-order interactions among risk factors. A time-series regression tree model was applied to estimate the hierarchical relationship between reported autochthonous DF cases and the potential risk factors including the timeliness of DF surveillance systems (median time interval between symptom onset date and diagnosis date, MTIOD), mosquito density, imported cases and meteorological factors in Zhongshan, China from 2001 to 2013. We found that MTIOD was the most influential factor in autochthonous DF transmission. Monthly autochthonous DF incidence rate increased by 36·02-fold [relative risk (RR) 36·02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 25·26–46·78, compared to the average DF incidence rate during the study period] when the 2-month lagged moving average of MTIOD was >4·15 days and the 3-month lagged moving average of the mean Breteau Index (BI) was ⩾16·57. If the 2-month lagged moving average MTIOD was between 1·11 and 4·15 days and the monthly maximum diurnal temperature range at a lag of 1 month was <9·6 °C, the monthly mean autochthonous DF incidence rate increased by 14·67-fold (RR 14·67, 95% CI 8·84–20·51, compared to the average DF incidence rate during the study period). This study demonstrates that the timeliness of DF surveillance systems, mosquito density and diurnal temperature range play critical roles in the autochthonous DF transmission in Zhongshan. Better assessment and prediction of the risk of DF transmission is beneficial for establishing scientific strategies for DF early warning surveillance and control.
The spoon-billed sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a Critically Endangered shorebird that breeds in the Russian arctic and winters in coastal and estuarine habitats in South-east Asia. We report the first formal estimate of its global population size, combining a mark–resighting estimate of the number of leg-flagged individuals alive in autumn 2014 with an estimate of the proportion of birds with flags from scan surveys conducted during the same period at a migration stop-over site on the Jiangsu coast of China. We estimate that the world breeding population of spoon-billed sandpipers in 2014 was 210–228 pairs and the post-breeding population of all age classes combined was 661–718 individuals. This and related methods have considerable potential for surveillance of the population size of other globally threatened species, especially widely dispersed long-distance migrants.
Maize in Canada is grown mainly in the south-eastern part of the country. No comprehensive studies on Canadian maize yield levels have been done so far to analyse the barriers of obtaining optimal yields associated with cultivar, environmental stress and agronomic management practices. The objective of the current study was to use a modelling approach to analyse the gaps between actual and potential (determined by cultivar, solar radiation and temperature without any other stresses) maize yields in Eastern Canada. The CSM–CERES–Maize model in DSSAT v4·6 was calibrated and evaluated with measured data of seven cultivars under different nitrogen (N) rates across four sites. The model was then used to simulate grain yield levels defined as: yield potential (YP), water-limited (YW, rainfed), and water- and N-limited yields with N rates 80 kg/ha (YW, N-80N) and 160 kg/ha (YW, N-160N). The options were assessed to further increase grain yield by analysing the yield gaps related to water and N deficiencies. The CSM–CERES–Maize model simulated the grain yields in the experiments well with normalized root-mean-squared errors <0·20. The model was able to capture yield variations associated with varying N rates, cultivar, soil type and inter-annual climate variability. The seven calibrated cultivars used in the experiments were divided into three grades according to their simulated YP: low, medium and high. The simulation results for the 30-year period from 1981 to 2010 showed that the average YP was 15 000 kg/ha for cultivars with high yield potential. The YP is generally about 6000 kg/ha greater than the actual yield (YA) at each experimental site in Eastern Canada. Two-thirds of this gap between YP and YA is probably associated with water stress, as a gap of approximately 4000 kg/ha between the YW and the YP was simulated. This gap may be reduced through crop management, such as introducing irrigation to improve the distribution of available water during the growing season. The simulated yields indicated a gap of about 3000 and 1000 kg/ha between YW and YW,N-80N for cultivars with high YP and low YP, respectively. The gap between YW and YW,N-160N decreased to <2000 kg/ha for high Yp cultivars with little difference for the low Yp cultivars. The different yield gaps among cultivars suggest that cultivars with high YP require high N rates but cultivars with low YP may need only low N rates.
Performance of a perovskite based solar cell is highly determined by the crystalline qualities of the perovskite thin film sandwiched between an electron and a hole transport layer, such as grain size and uniformity of the film. Here, we demonstrated a new hybrid physical-chemical vapor deposition (HPCVD) technique to synthesis high quality perovskite films. First, a PbI2 precursor film was spin-coated on a mesoporous TiO2 (m-TiO2)/compact TiO2 (c-TiO2)/FTO substrate in ambient environment. Then, purified CH3NH3I crystal material was evaporated and the vapor reacted with the PbI2 precursor film in a vacuum pressure/temperature accurately controlled quartz tube furnace. In this technique, high vacuum (2mTorr) and low temperature (100°C) were applied to decrease perovskite film growth rate and reduce perovskite film defects. After vapor reaction, the perovskite film was annealed at 100°C for 10min in 20mTorr vacuum to recrystallize and remove CH3NH3I residue in order to further improve crystal quality of the thin film. Crystal quality of this perovskite thin film was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). SEM and AFM results illustrate perovskite thin films synthesized by this technique have larger grain sizes and more uniformity (RMS 11.6nm/Ra 9.3nm) superior to most existing methods. Strong peaks shown in the XRD chart at 14.18°, 28.52°, 31.96°, which were assigned to (110), (220), (330) miller indices of CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite crystal, indicate the complete reaction between CH3NH3I vapor and PbI2 precursor layer. High power conversion efficiency (PCE) up to 12.3% and stable efficiencies under four hours illumination of AM1.5 standard were achieved by these solar cells. This vacuum/vapor based technique is compatible with conventional semiconductor fabrication techniques and high quality perovskite film could be achieved through delicate process control. Eventually, perovskite based solar cells could be mass produced in low cost for large scale applications by this novel technique.
Aberrant functional connectivity within the default network is generally assumed to be involved in the pathophysiology of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD); however, the genetic risk of default network connectivity in OCD remains largely unknown.
Here, we systematically investigated default network connectivity in 15 OCD patients, 15 paired unaffected siblings and 28 healthy controls. We sought to examine the profiles of default network connectivity in OCD patients and their siblings, exploring the correlation between abnormal default network connectivity and genetic risk for this population.
Compared with healthy controls, OCD patients exhibited reduced strength of default network functional connectivity with the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and increased functional connectivity in the right inferior frontal lobe, insula, superior parietal cortex and superior temporal cortex, while their unaffected first-degree siblings only showed reduced local connectivity in the PCC.
These findings suggest that the disruptions of default network functional connectivity might be associated with family history of OCD. The decreased default network connectivity in both OCD patients and their unaffected siblings may serve as a potential marker of OCD.
To assess genetic diversity in populations of the brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens Stål) (Homoptera: Delphacidae), we have developed and applied microsatellite, or simple sequence repeat (SSR), markers from expressed sequence tags (ESTs). We found that the brown planthopper clusters of ESTs were rich in SSRs with unique frequencies and distributions of SSR motifs. Three hundred and fifty-one EST-SSR markers were developed and yielded clear bands from samples of four brown planthopper populations. High cross-species transferability of these markers was detected in the closely related planthopper N. muiri. The newly developed EST-SSR markers provided sufficient resolution to distinguish within and among biotypes. Analyses based on SSR data revealed host resistance-based genetic differentiation among different brown planthopper populations; the genetic diversity of populations feeding on susceptible rice varieties was lower than that of populations feeding on resistant rice varieties. This is the first large-scale development of brown planthopper SSR markers, which will be useful for future molecular genetics and genomics studies of this serious agricultural pest.
About 0·10 of the food supply in China is produced in rice–wheat (RW) cropping systems. In recent decades, nitrogen (N) input associated with intensification has increased much more rapidly than N use in these systems. The resulting nitrogen surplus increases the risk of environmental pollution as well as production costs. Limited information on N dynamics in RW systems in relation to water management hampers development of management practices leading to more efficient use of nitrogen and water. The present work studied the effects of N and water management on yields of rice and wheat, and nitrogen use efficiencies (NUEs) in RW systems. A RW field experiment with nitrogen rates from 0 to 300 kg N/ha with continuously flooded and intermittently irrigated rice crops was carried out at the Jiangpu experimental station of Nanjing Agricultural University of China from 2002 to 2004 to identify improved nitrogen management practices in terms of land productivity and NUE.
Nitrogen uptake by rice and wheat increased with increasing N rates, while agronomic NUE (kg grain/kg N applied) declined at rates exceeding 150 kg N/ha. The highest combined grain yields of rice and wheat were obtained at 150 and 300 kg N/ha per season in rice and wheat, respectively. Carry-over of residual N from rice to the subsequent wheat crop was limited, consistent with low soil nitrate after rice harvest. Total soil N hardly changed during the experiment, while soil nitrate was much lower after wheat than after rice harvest. Water management did not affect yield and N uptake by rice, but apparent N recovery was higher under intermittent irrigation (II). In one season, II management in rice resulted in higher yield and N uptake in the subsequent wheat season. Uptake of indigenous soil N was much higher in rice than in wheat, while in rice it was much higher than values reported in the literature, which may have consequences for nitrogen fertilizer recommendations based on indigenous N supply.
In situ X-raydiffraction measurements on almandine, (Fe0.86Mg0.07Mn0.07)3Al2Si3O12, were performed using a heating diamond-anvil cell instrument with synchrotron radiation at Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facilityup to 27.7 GPa and 533 K. The pressure-volume-temperature data were fitted to a third-order Birch-Murnaghan equation of state. The isothermal bulk modulus of K0 = 177±2 GPa, a temperature derivative of the bulk modulus of (∂K/∂T)P= –0.032±0.016 GPaK–1 and a thermal expansion coefficient (α0) of (3.1±0.7)×10–5 K–1 were obtained. This is the first time that the temperature derivative of the bulk modulus of almandine has been determined at high pressure and high temperature. Combining these results with previous results, the compositional dependence of the bulk modulus, thermal expansion, and temperature derivative of the bulk modulus are discussed.
Zr60Ni21Al19 metallic glass rod, with a diameter of 8 mm, is manufactured by copper mold casting. The as-cast bulk metallic glass (BMG) exhibits nearly zero plastic strain, but a high strength of 1.88 GPa. The compression behavior of this new zirconium-base ternary BMG under high pressure at ambient temperature in a diamond-anvil cell instrument has been unraveled using energy dispersive x-ray diffraction with a synchrotron radiation source. The investigation shows that the amorphous structure of Zr60Ni21Al19 is stable under pressures up to 24.5 GPa at room temperature. According to the Bridgman equation of state, the bulk modulus B0 = 96 GPa has been obtained.
The use of combinatorial libraries for screening cell-material interactions presents a significant need for robust informatics methods capable of extracting knowledge from large, combinatorial datasets. We describe the development of local quantitative metrics based on distributions of other cells and microstructures about each individual cell. The local metrics are shown to be superior to global, summary statistics in detecting sensitive effects of surface microstructure on proliferation of MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts.
The physical, achievement, and personality characteristics of Chinese schoolchildren are evaluated. The results of two surveys of Chinese schoolchildren, conducted in Beijing and Jilin Province, are presented. In the Beijing sample, the differences between only children and others were small but statistically significant, with the only children having higher scores in achievement and physical size. In the Jilin Province sample, the differences between only children and others were also small but significant. These differences were found entirely in physical characteristics, with only children being smaller, perhaps because the only children in the Jilin sample were much younger than the non-only children. Analyses of the combined sample of Beijing and Jilin schoolchildren indicated that the only-child advantages in achievement were found among children from urban families, not rural peasant families. While significant differences in height and weight were found in all three samples, none of the results indicated a significant difference in the proportion of body fat. None of the analyses indicated that only children had undesirable personalities, as judged by teachers and mothers.
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