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Klebsiella pneumoniae is a common pathogen associated with nosocomial infections and is characterised serologically by capsular polysaccharide (K) and lipopolysaccharide O antigens. We surveyed a total of 348 non-duplicate K. pneumoniae clinical isolates collected over a 1-year period in a tertiary care hospital, and determined their O and K serotypes by sequencing of the wbb Y and wzi gene loci, respectively. Isolates were also screened for antimicrobial resistance and hypervirulent phenotypes; 94 (27.0%) were identified as carbapenem-resistant (CRKP) and 110 (31.6%) as hypervirulent (hvKP). isolates fell into 58 K, and six O types, with 92.0% and 94.2% typeability, respectively. The predominant K types were K14K64 (16.38%), K1 (14.66%), K2 (8.05%) and K57 (5.46%), while O1 (46%), O2a (27.9%) and O3 (11.8%) were the most common. CRKP and hvKP strains had different serotype distributions with O2a:K14K64 (41.0%) being the most frequent among CRKP, and O1:K1 (26.4%) and O1:K2 (17.3%) among hvKP strains. Serotyping by gene sequencing proved to be a useful tool to inform the clinical epidemiology of K. pneumoniae infections and provides valuable data relevant to vaccine design.
Archaeological research on food-production systems has focused heavily on the origins of agriculture and animal domestication; the agricultural practices of early states are comparatively less well understood. This article explores archaeological evidence for crop cultivation, field-management practices and the use of farming implements at the Western Han (202 BC–AD 8) village of Sanyangzhuang in Henan Province, China. The authors analyse the implications of these practices for the newly developed smallholder mode of production. By combining diverse strands of evidence, this investigation provides new insights into the status of agricultural production in the Central Plains during the Western Han Dynasty.
To characterise the dissemination patterns of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) in a community, we conducted a study utilising molecular and fundamental descriptive epidemiology. The subjects, consisted of women having community-acquired acute urinary tract infection (UTI), were enrolled in the study from 2011 to 2012. UPEC isolates were subjected to antibacterial-susceptibility testing, O serogrouping, phylotyping, multilocus-sequence typing with phylogenetic-tree analysis and pulsed-field-gel electrophoresis (PFGE). From the 209 unique positive urinary samples 166 UPEC were isolated, of which 129 were fully susceptible to the tested antibiotics. Of the 53 sequence types (STs), the four most prevalent STs (ST95, ST131, ST73 and ST357) accounted for 60% of all UPEC strains. Antimicrobial resistance was less frequently observed for ST95 and ST73 than for the others. A majority of rare STs and a few common STs constituted the diversity pattern within the population structure, which was composed of the two phylogenetically distinct clades. Eleven genetically closely related groups were determined by PFGE, which accounted for 42 of the 166 UPEC isolates, without overt geo-temporal clustering. Our results indicate that a few major lineages of UPEC, selected by unidentified factors, are disseminated in this community and contribute to a large fraction of acute UTIs.
To examine the diagnostic value of hyoid cephalometrics in predicting retroglossal obstruction severity in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome.
Ninety-six obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patients diagnosed by polysomnography were recruited. Polysomnography was repeated with a nasopharyngeal tube after eliminating rhinal and palatopharyngeal obstruction. Cervical vertebra lateral films and hyoid cephalometric measurements were obtained, including the distances of the hyoid to the: mental tubercle, prevertebral plane, mental tubercle coronal plane and mental tubercle horizontal plane.
The apnoea-hypopnoea index for nasopharyngeal tube polysomnography was significantly correlated with distances from the hyoid to: prevertebral plane (r = 0.350), coronal plane (r = 0.477), horizontal plane (r = 0.529) and mental tubercle (r = 0.560). It was strongly correlated with the hyoid to mental tubercle distance/hyoid to prevertebral plane distance value (r = 0.683), and (hyoid to coronal plane distance plus hyoid to horizontal plane distance)/hyoid to prevertebral plane distance value (r = 0.675).
Obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patients with longer hyoid to mental tubercle distances, and/or more inferior and posterior hyoid bone position, are more prone to retroglossal stenosis and obstruction. Hyoid cephalometrics are valuable for predicting retroglossal obstruction severity.
The six LIGO detections of merging black holes (BHs) allowed to infer slow spin values for the two pre-merging BHs. The three cases where the spins of the BHs can be determined in high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) show that those BHs have high spin values. We discuss here scenarios explaining these differences in spin properties in these two classes of object.
The Working Party has produced this report in order to prompt readers to engage at an early stage in InsurTech projects, through considering (i) the full range of risks associated with InsurTech developments, (ii) the lifecycle of an InsurTech venture and how any risk considerations may vary over this lifecycle and (iii) the extent to which InsurTech ventures align with risk strategy and risk appetite.
The report contains practical guidance for actuaries, risk professionals, insurance companies and their Boards on these considerations, and can be used to facilitate appropriate questioning, to help ensure that InsurTech-related business decisions are fully cognisant of the risk management issues and to help ensure the success of projects.
The Working Party developed this guidance having carried out an industry survey on a number of risk management topics relating to InsurTech, as well as having carried out interviews with a number of relevant senior stakeholders across the insurance industry, in order to better understand current sentiment and how risk management plays a part when considering opportunities in InsurTech. The Working Party views on the findings from these activities are summarised in the report.
Piglets are characteristically cold intolerant and thus susceptible to high mortality. However, browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) can induce non-shivering thermogenesis as a potential strategy to facilitate the animal’s response to cold. Whether cold exposure can induce browning of subcutaneous WAT (sWAT) in piglets in a similar manner as it can in humans remains largely unknown. In this study, piglets were exposed to acute cold (4°C, 10 h) or chronic cold exposure (8°C, 15 days), and the genes and proteins of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)-dependent and independent thermogenesis, mitochondrial biogenesis, lipogenic and lipolytic processes were analysed. Interestingly, acute cold exposure induced browning of porcine sWAT, smaller adipocytes and the upregulated expression of UCP1, PGC1α, PGC1β, C/EBPβ, Cidea, UCP3, CKMT1 and PM20D1. Conversely, chronic cold exposure impaired the browning process, reduced mitochondrial numbers and the expression of browning markers, including UCP1, PGC1α and PRDM16. The present study demonstrated that acute cold exposure (but not chronic cold exposure) induces porcine sWAT browning. Thus, browning of porcine sWAT could be a novel strategy to balance the body temperature of piglets, and thus could be protective against cold exposure.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are now recognized as key post-transcriptional regulators in regulation of phenotypic diversity. Qinlingacris elaeodes is a species of the alpine grasshopper, which is endemic to China. Adult individuals have three wing forms: wingless, unilateral-winged and short-winged. This is an ideal species to investigate the phenotypic plasticity, development and evolution of insect wings because of its case of unilateral wing form in both the sexes. We sequenced a small RNA library prepared from mesothoraxes of the adult grasshoppers using the Illumina deep sequencing technology. Approximately 12,792,458 raw reads were generated, of which the 854,580 high-quality reads were used only for miRNA identification. In this study, we identified 49 conserved miRNAs belonging to 41 families and 69 species-specific miRNAs. Moreover, seven miRNA*s were detected both for conserved miRNAs and species-specific miRNAs, which were supported by hairpin forming precursors based on polymerase chain reaction. This is the first description of miRNAs in alpine grasshoppers. The results provide a useful resource for further studies on molecular regulation and evolution of miRNAs in grasshoppers. These findings not only enrich the miRNAs for insects but also lay the groundwork for the study of post-transcriptional regulation of wing forms.
Nanogenerators (NGs) have great potential to solve the problems of energy depletion and environmental pollution. Here, two types of flexible nanogenerators (FNGs) based on graphene oxide (GO) and multiwall carbon nanotubes (MW-CNTs) are presented. The peak output voltage and current of GO based FNG reached up to 2 V and 30 nA, respectively, under 15 N force at 1 Hz. Moreover, the output voltage could be improved to 34.4 V when the frequency was increased to 10 Hz. It was also found the output voltage increased from 0.1 V to 2.0 V using a released GO structure. The other FNG was made by MW-CNTs mixed with ZnO nanoparticles (NPs). Its output voltage and power reached up to 7.5 V and 18.75 mW, respectively, which is much larger than that of bare ZnO based FNG. Furthermore, a peak voltage of 30 V could be gained by stamping one’s foot on the FNG. Finally, a modified NG was fabricated using four springs and two flexible layers. As a result, the voltage and power reached up to 9 V and 27mW, respectively. These works may bring out broad applications in energy harvesting.
The biochemical basis of resistance to the acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase
(ACCase)-inhibiting herbicide diclofop-methyl was investigated in a
resistant wild oat population (R1), which does not exhibit a resistant
ACCase. Rates of foliar uptake and translocation of
[14C]-diclofop were the same in the R1 vs. susceptible (S)
populations. However, the level of phytotoxic diclofop acid was always found
to be lower in the R1 vs. S plants, with a concomitant higher level (up to
1.7-fold) of nontoxic polar diclofop metabolites in R1 relative to the S
plants. These results indicate that a non–target-site-based mechanism of
enhanced rate of diclofop acid metabolism confers resistance in population
R1. Moreover, the high-performance liquid chromotography elution profile of
the major diclofop metabolites in R1 is similar to that of wheat, suggesting
resistance in individuals of population R1 involves a wheat-like
detoxification system mediated by cytochrome P450 monooxygenases. In
addition, lower level of tissue diclofop acid was also observed using
nonradioactive ultra-performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry
analysis in resistant individuals of three other resistant wild oat
populations (R2, R3, and R4) known to posses ACCase gene resistance
mutations. These results establish that either one or at least two
independent resistance mechanisms (target-site ACCase resistance mutations
and non–target-site enhanced rates of herbicide metabolism) can be present
in individual wild oat plants.
In order to investigate the dynamics of Septin4 (Sept4) expression and its function in the formation of fibrotic livers in mice infected with Schistosoma japonicum, we constructed the mouse model of S. japonicum egg-induced liver fibrosis for 24 weeks. Immunohistochemical staining, qRT-PCR and Western blot were used to detect the expression of Sept4 and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). We found Sept4 localized in the perisinusoidal space where hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) distribute in the periphery of circumoval granulomas and the portal venule. The expression of Sept4 and α-SMA had a similar significant tendency of an up-regulation to a peak at 12 weeks post-infection (p.i.) followed by a down-regulation. At 24 weeks p.i. both were at a low level. These results suggest that Sept4 and α-SMA may interact together in HSCs. Based on this evidence, we hypothesize that Sept4 seems to be involved in the formation of inflammatory granulomata and subsequent liver fibrosis by regulating HSCs activation.
We report here a comparative study of the in-plane strain
states of standard GaN epilayer grown on sapphire (001) and flip-chip GaN
epilayer bonded on Si (111) wafer by means of X-Ray diffraction (XRD), Raman
spectroscopy, and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. It is confirmed that
the in-plane tensile strains can be largely reduced after the flip-chip
process. The reduction of the biaxial strains determined by XRD, Raman, and
PL analysis is found to be consistent.
Monoclonal antibodies are increasingly used in the treatment of cancer due to their enhanced targeting and immune system stimulation properties. Dosage guidelines typically do not account for personal cancer load or metabolism, thereby possibly affecting treatment outcome or causing unwanted side effects. The requirement for an assay that can quickly and precisely measure the concentration of the monoclonal antibody in a serum sample of a patient during therapy is unmet. A bead-based assay with peptide antigen mimetics has been developed to rapidly determine the concentration of antibody drug present in serum specimens with high sensitivity. Alemtuzumab (anti-CD52) and rituximab (anti-CD20) antigen mimetic peptides, as discovered by phage display, were synthesized on 10 um TentaGel resin beads using conventional solid phase peptide synthesis techniques. The beads were modified to allow for multiplexing and microfluidic handling via fluorescent labeling and magnetic functionalization. The antigen-displaying fluoromagnetic particles were incubated with spiked serum samples which allowed free antibody to be captured. Primary antibody detection was performed on alemtuzumab while rituximab detection was used to compensate for non-specific serum binding to the beads. After washing, the beads were incubated with a fluorescently tagged secondary label for detection by flow cytometry. (Results) A fast, low cost, specific assay has been developed with several key techniques which allows detection at low concentration (0.1ug/ml) of spiked samples. Primary to achieving this detection limit was the implementation of a compensation scheme where two antigen mimetic peptides behave linearly (R2=0.996) which enables the calculation of the zero response of the antigen mimetic peptide of interest (alemtuzumab antigen mimetic) while measuring the zero response of the compensatory antigen mimetic peptide (rituximab antigen mimetic) during primary assay measurement. This reduces fluorescence response variation due to variations present due to sample preparation, storage and different patients because of the equivalent interactions these effects have on the compensatory beads. The developed assay is therefore robust against serum variation and enables a lower limit of detection.
MnO nanoparticles were surface modified using two different multifunctional polymers. By introducing a PEG group, the long term stability, MRI applicability and sterile filtration could be greatly improved. Furthermore, PEGylated MnO NPs were less toxic compared to non-PEGylated NPs. The results suggest that these nanoparticles are suitable for in vivo applications.
In this contribution, we present an effective strategy for assembling and integrating functional, in situ formed micro- and nanosized structures. Microfluidic platforms are employed to form anisotropic hybrid structures and coordination polymers at the interface of two precursor streams. Microstamps, embedded in the microfluidic device and actuated by pressure, provide a facile and reliable technology for structure trapping, localization and integration.
Human genomic structural variation (SV) is significant factor in genome complexity, and thus has substantial implications to the cause, development and progression of genetic diseases. These SVs, ranging in size of 1kbp-1Mbp, are challenging to assess with current technologies. As such, we have developed a commercial system (nanoAnalyzer® 1000) for the rapid linear analysis of genomes at single-molecule level.
The core of our system is a nanofluidic chip consisting of an array of channels with a diameter less than 100 nm, nanofabricated on the surface of a silicon substrate. Thousands of unamplified genomic DNA molecules of 100’s kbps to several Mbps can be isolated and linearly streamed into the array for analysis in a parallel fashion. Fluorescently labeled sequence-specific signatures can then be identified and aligned to reference patterns at high resolution with custom software. This automated, multi-color imaging platform will enable a wide range of applications, such as accurate sequencing assembly, discovering genome structural variations, and uncovering epigenomic content. Nanochannel arrays promise to substantially lower the barriers of entry for single-molecule DNA analysis for scientists and clinicians, greatly impacting the advancement of molecular diagnostics, personalized medicine, and biomedical research.
DNA Computing is a rapidly-developing interdisciplinary area which could benefit from more experimental results to solve problems with the current biological tools. In this study, we have integrated microelectronics and molecular biology techniques for showing the feasibility of Hopfield Neural Network using DNA molecules. Adleman’s seminal paper in 1994 showed that DNA strands using specific molecular reactions can be used to solve the Hamiltonian Path Problem. This accomplishment opened the way for possibilities of massively parallel processing power, remarkable energy efficiency and compact data storage ability with DNA. However, in various studies, small departures from the ideal selectivity of DNA hybridization lead to significant undesired pairings of strands and that leads to difficulties in schemes for implementing large Boolean functions using DNA. Therefore, these error prone reactions in the Boolean architecture of the first DNA computers will benefit from fault tolerance or error correction methods and these methods would be essential for large scale applications. In this study, we demonstrate the operation of six dimensional Hopfield associative memory storing various memories as an archetype fault tolerant neural network implemented using DNA molecular reactions. The response of the network suggests that the protocols could be scaled to a network of significantly larger dimensions. In addition the results are read on a Silicon CMOS platform exploiting the semiconductor processing knowledge for fast and accurate hybridization rates.
This paper describes the development of nanomonitors, which are electrical immunoassays for detection of multiple protein biomarkers. These devices are hybrid sensors with micro-fabricated electrode arrays on a silicon substrate, and integrated nanoporous alumina membranes to provide protein confinement and signal amplification. The disease biomarkers C-reactive protein and Myeloperoxidase have been detected by the nanomonitors in ultra-low concentrations. Proteins were detected in pure samples, human serum, and patient blood samples. The detection accuracy and sensitivity of the nanomonitors in patient samples was comparable to the Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) method of protein detection. Nanomonitors provide the additional benefits of being rapid, label-free, sensitive, and cost effective, providing improvements over traditional protein detection methods, and having potential applications in disease diagnosis.