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As an epigenetic modification, DNA methylation may reflect the interaction between genetic and environmental factors in the development of schizophrenia (SCZ). Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is a promising candidate gene of SCZ. In the present study, we investigate the association of COMT methylation with the risk of SCZ using bisulfite pyrosequencing technology. Significant association between DNA methylation of COMT and the risk of SCZ is identified (P = 1.618e−007). A breakdown analysis by gender shows that the significance is driven by males (P = 3.310e−009), but not by females. DNA methylation of COMT is not significantly associated with SCZ clinical phenotypes, including p300 and cysteine level. No interaction is found between COMT genotypes and the percent methylation of this gene. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve shows that DNA methylation of COMT is able to predict the SCZ risk in males (area under curve [AUC] = 0.802, P = 1.91e−007). The current study indicates the clinical value of COMT methylation as a potential male-specific biomarker in SCZ diagnosis.
Previous studies in schizophrenia revealed abnormalities in the cortico-cerebellar-thalamo-cortical circuit (CCTCC) pathway, suggesting the necessity for defining thalamic subdivisions in understanding alterations of brain connectivity.
To parcellate the thalamus into several subdivisions using a data-driven method, and to evaluate the role of each subdivision in the alterations of CCTCC functional connectivity in patients with schizophrenia.
There were 54 patients with schizophrenia and 42 healthy controls included in this study. First, the thalamic structural and functional connections computed, based on diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, white matter tractography) and resting-state functional MRI, were clustered to parcellate thalamus. Next, functional connectivity of each thalamus subdivision was investigated, and the alterations in thalamic functional connectivity for patients with schizophrenia were inspected.
Based on the data-driven parcellation method, six thalamic subdivisions were defined. Loss of connectivity was observed between several thalamic subdivisions (superior-anterior, ventromedial and dorsolateral part of the thalamus) and the sensorimotor system, anterior cingulate cortex and cerebellum in patients with schizophrenia. A gradual pattern of dysconnectivity was observed across the thalamic subdivisions. Additionally, the altered connectivity negatively correlated with symptom scores and duration of illness in individuals with schizophrenia.
The findings of the study revealed a wide range of thalamic functional dysconnectivity in the CCTCC pathway, increasing our understanding of the relationship between the CCTCC pathway and symptoms associated with schizophrenia, and further indicating a potential alteration pattern in the thalamic nuclei in people with schizophrenia.
Analysis of the potato yield gap and the corresponding nutrient gap can help in devising strategies and measurements to increase productivity for closing the gaps through improved practices. On-farm experiments conducted in the main potato production areas of northwest China were used to determine attainable yield. Official statistical data were used to determine the actual on-farm yield. Yield gap was the difference between attainable yield and actual on-farm yield. Nutrient gap was calculated by dividing the size of yield gap by partial factor productivity. Results indicated that nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilization increased potato yield by an average of 1169–7625, 2937–5336 and 2331–7338 kg/ha, respectively. The maximum attainable yields (the 90th percentile yields) were 50 145, 37 855, 30 261 and 56 616 kg/ha and the average actual on-farm yield were 14 179, 16 732, 10 271 and 19 990 kg/ha in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR), Gansu, Ningxia and Qinghai provinces, respectively. In the above four regions, yield would need to increase by 165, 70, 112 and 121% from actual yield to reach 75% of attainable yield. Compared with recent 3-year average NPK rates by farmers, the total NPK rates need to increase by 90.1–134.3% for IMAR, 42.9–69.2% for Gansu, 68.1–111.2% for Ningxia and 48.1–83.8% for Qinghai to improve productivity to near the 75% attainable yield. In conclusion, the high yield responses to fertilizer application provide opportunities to close the large yield gaps through balanced nutrition.
Two new species of egg parasitoids, Oobius saimaensis Yao and Mottern new species and Oobius fleischeri Yao and Duan new species (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), are described from eggs of Agrilus fleischeri Obenberger, 1925 (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). Agrilus fleischeri is a phloem-feeding woodborer of poplar (Populus Linnaeus; Salicaceae) in northeastern China. These two species can be distinguished morphologically as O. fleischeri has five tarsomeres and O. saimaensis has four tarsomeres. Although O. saimaensis is morphologically similar to its sympatric congener O. agrili Zhang and Hang, 2005, an important natural enemy of the invasive emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, 1888, molecular phylogenetics and morphological data indicate that they are distinct species. Phylogenetic relationships among the new species and other closely related species are also inferred by using DNA sequence data from several ribosomal and mitochondrial genes. In addition, we expand the known distribution of Oobius primorskyensis Yao and Duan, 2016 to include South Korea.
We report daptomycin minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium isolated from bloodstream infections over a 4-year period. The daptomycin MIC increased over time hospital-wide for initial isolates and increased over time within patients, culminating in 40% of patients having daptomycin-nonsusceptible isolates in the final year of the study.
Information on morbidity burden of seasonal influenza in China is limited. A multiplier model was used to estimate the incidence and number of outpatient visits for seasonal influenza by age group for the 2015–2016 season in Beijing, the capital of China, based on reported numbers of influenza-like illness consultations and proportions of positive cases from influenza surveillance systems in Beijing, general consultation rates and other parameters from previous studies, surveys and surveillance systems. An estimated total of 1 190 200 (95% confidence interval (CI) 830 400–1 549 900) cases of influenza virus infections occurred in Beijing, 2015–2016 season, with an attack rate of 5·5% (95% CI 3·9–7·2%). These infections resulted in an estimated 468 280 (95% CI 70 700–606 800) outpatient visits, with an attack rate of 2·2% (95% CI 0·3–2·8%). The attack rate of influenza virus infections was highest among children aged 0–4 years (31·9% (95% CI 21·9–41·9%)), followed by children aged 5–14 years (18·7% (95% CI 12·9–24·5%)). Our study demonstrated a substantial influenza-related morbidity in Beijing, China, especially among the preschool- and school-aged children. This suggests that development or modification of seasonal influenza targeted vaccination strategies need to recognize that incidence is highest in children.
This paper presents a new approach to simulate the propagation of elastic and cohesive cracks under mode-I loading based on the vector form intrinsic finite element method. The proposed approach can handle crack propagation without requiring global stiffness matrices and extra weak stiffness elements. The structure is simulated by mass particles whose motions are governed by the Newton's second law. Elastic and cohesive crack propagation are simulated by proposed VFIFE-J-integral and VFIFE-FCM methods, respectively. The VFIFE-J-integral method is based on vector form intrinsic finite element (VFIFE) and J-integral methods to calculate the stress intensity factors at the crack tips, and the VFIFE-FCM method combines VFIFE and fictitious crack models (FCM). When the stress state at the crack tip meets the fracture criterion, the mass particle at the crack tip is separated into two particles. The crack then extends in the plate until the plate splits into two parts. The proposed VFIFE-J-integral method was validated by elastic crack simulation of a notched plate, and the VFIFE-FCM method by cohesive crack propagation of a three point bending beam. As assembly of the global stiffness matrix is avoided and each mass particle motion is calculated independently, the proposed method is easy and efficient. Numerical comparisons demonstrate that the present results predicted by the VFIFE method are in agreement with previous analytical, numerical and experimental works.
Persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD) is a protracted form of grief included in DSM Section 3 indicating a need for more research. Two other criteria sets [prolonged grief disorder (PGD) and complicated grief (CG) disorder] are also currently in use by researchers. This study evaluates rates of diagnosis of each proposed criteria set in a clinical sample of bereaved individuals participating in clinical research.
Two groups in which persistent grief was judged to be present or absent completed an assessment instrument that included items needed to diagnose PCBD as well as PGD and CG. One group included grief treatment-seeking participants in our multicenter National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-sponsored study who scored ⩾30 on the Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG) and the other comprised bereaved adults enrolled in clinical research studies who scored <20 on the ICG. Rates of diagnosis were determined for proposed PCBD, PGD and CG criteria.
PCBD criteria diagnosed 70 [95% confidence interval (CI) 64.2–75.8] % of the grief treatment-seeking group, PGD criteria identified 59.6 (95% CI 53.4–65.8) % of these individuals and CG criteria identified 99.6 (95% CI 98.8–100.0) %. None of the three proposed criteria identified any cases in the bereaved comparison group.
Both proposed DSM-5 criteria for PCBD and criteria for PGD appear to be too restrictive as they failed to identify substantial numbers of treatment-seeking individuals with clinically significant levels of grief-related distress and impairment. Use of CG criteria or a similar algorithm appears to be warranted.
Each CCD of LAMOST accommodates 250 spectra, while about 40 are used to observe sky background during real observations. How to estimate the unknown sky background information hidden in the observed 210 celestial spectra by using the known 40 sky spectra is the problem we solve. In order to model the sky background, usually a pre-observation is performed with all fibers observing sky background. We use the observed 250 skylight spectra as training data, where those observed by the 40 fibers are considered as a base vector set. The Locality-constrained Linear Coding (LLC) technique is utilized to represent the skylight spectra observed by the 210 fibers with the base vector set. We also segment each spectrum into small parts, and establish the local sky background model for each part. Experimental results validate the proposed method, and show the local model is better than the global model.
A two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation is carried out to study the focusing effects of the long proton beam propagating in background plasmas. It is found that the smooth beam, with the long length and the small density gradient profile, is focused to high density. The sharp beam, with long length and the large density gradient profile, is modulated into many high density and periodic short beam pulses due to the wakefield induced by the beam. In addition, increasing the plasma density and adopting the non-uniform plasmas are the effective ways to reduce the wakefield.
The steady-state response to periodic excitation in the linear fractional vibration system was considered by using the fractional derivative operator . First we investigated the response to the harmonic excitation in the form of complex exponential function. The amplitude-frequency relation and phase-frequency relation were derived. The effect of the fractional derivative term on the stiffness and damping was discussed. For the case of periodic excitation, we decompose the periodic excitation into a superposition of harmonic excitations by using the Fourier series, and then utilize the results for harmonic excitations and the principle of superposition, where our adopted tactics avoid appearing a fractional power of negative numbers to overcome the difficulty in fractional case. Finally we demonstrate the proposed method by three numerical examples.
To investigate natural enemies of emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), in northeastern China, we conducted field surveys of ash (Fraxinus Linnaeus (Oleaceae)) trees in semi-natural forests and plantations at variable EAB densities from 2008 to 2013. Our surveys revealed a complex of natural enemies including eight hymenopteran parasitoids and two apparently parasitic Coleoptera, woodpeckers, and several undetermined mortality factors. Parasitoid complex abundance and its contribution to EAB mortality varied with the time of year, type of ash stands, and geographic regions. The egg parasitoid Oobius agrili Zhang and Huang (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and the larval parasitoid Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) were frequently observed in Jilin, Liaoning, and Heilongjiang provinces and in Beijing, but not in Tianjin. Spathius agrili Yang (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), however, was more prevalent near Beijing and further south in Tianjin. Larvae of two species of apparently parasitic beetle, Tenerus Laporte (Coleoptera: Cleridae) species and Xenoglena quadrisignata Mannerheim (Coleoptera: Trogossitidae), were also recovered attacking overwintering EAB in Liaoning Province, with Tenerus species being a dominant mortality agent (~13%). Our findings support the need to consider the geographic origin of insect natural enemies for EAB biocontrol, as well as an expanded foreign exploration for EAB natural enemies throughout its native range in Asia.
Nitrogen (N) supply is essential for achieving high grain yield in maize production, but excessive N application can lead to lodging risks and potential yield loss. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of ethephon application under different N fertilizer rates in reducing maize lodging. Field experiments were conducted to determine the interactive effects of ethephon (0 and 180 g/ha) and N rate (0, 75, 150 and 225 kg N/ha) on the morphological and chemical characteristics of basal internode and yield across two summer maize-growing seasons (2011/12) in Wuqiao of the North China Plain. Findings showed that ethephon significantly increased the maximum diameter of the 7th to 14th internodes, and decreased the internode lengths, which led to a decrease in plant and ear heights under different N rates. Significant ethephon × N interaction effects were observed on the diameter and length of internode, dry weight per unit internode length and breaking resistance. Ethephon significantly increased N, cellulose and hemicellulose contents of the basal internode, but cellulose and hemicellulose contents decreased as the rate of N application increased. Internode diameter, dry weight per unit internode length, and N content of the basal internode were significantly positively correlated with breaking resistance. Ethephon significantly increased grain yield and harvest index in 2011, but not in 2012. Grain yield and above-ground biomass were increased with increasing N application in both growing seasons, showing linear and quadratic responses. These results suggested that ethephon could increase stalk strength by improving the morphological and chemical characteristics of the basal internode, and maintain high yield and biomass under high N rates.
We aimed to investigate the prevalence and associated factors of HSV-2 discordance and concordance in HIV-1-discordant couples. This study used the baseline data from a cohort study of HIV-1-discordant couples in Dehong prefecture of Yunnan province, China. Of 954 participating couples, 42·4% were affected by HSV-2, of which 20·4% were HSV-2-concordant positive, 7·6% were HSV-2-discordant where the male was HSV-2 positive, and 14·4% were HSV-2 discordant where the female was HSV-2 positive. Compared to HSV-2-negative concordance, HSV-2 discordance with an HSV-2-positive male spouse was significantly associated with characteristics of the male spouse, including Han ethnicity and being in a second marriage. HSV-2 discordance with an HSV-2-positive female spouse was significantly associated with characteristics of the female spouse, including Han ethnicity, having engaged in commercial sex, having a sexual relationship of <3 years and being HIV-1 infected. Compared to HSV-2 discordance, HSV-2-positive concordance was significantly associated with an education level of middle school or higher for both spouses, a sexual relationship of ⩾3 years, more frequent sex and having an HIV-1-infected male spouse. The findings highlight the need for HSV-2 prevention and treatment efforts to reduce HSV-2 transmission in this population, and emphasize the importance of implementing prevention interventions early in couples' relationships.
First detected in North America in 2002, the emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire; Coleoptera: Buprestidae), an invasive phloem-feeding beetle from Asia, has killed tens of millions of ash (Fraxinus Linnaeus; Oleaceae) trees. Although few parasitoids attack EAB in North America, three parasitoid species were found attacking EAB in China: the egg parasitoid Oobius agrili Zhang and Huang (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and two larval parasitoids Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and Spathius agrili Yang (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). In 2007, classical biological control of EAB began in the United States of America after release of these three species was approved. In 2013, release of the larval parasitoids was approved in Canada. Research continues at study sites in Michigan, United States of America where the establishment, prevalence, and spread of O. agrili and T. planipennisi have been monitored since 2008. However, establishment of S. agrili remains unconfirmed in northern areas, and its release is now restricted to regions below the 40th parallel. In 2015, approval for release of Spathius galinae Belokobylskij (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), an EAB larval parasitoid from the Russian Far East, may be granted in the United States of America. Researchers are guardedly optimistic that a complex of introduced and native natural enemies will regulate EAB densities below a tolerance threshold for survival of ash species or genotypes in forested ecosystems.
Findings from family and twin studies support a genetic contribution to the development of sexual orientation in men. However, previous studies have yielded conflicting evidence for linkage to chromosome Xq28.
We conducted a genome-wide linkage scan on 409 independent pairs of homosexual brothers (908 analyzed individuals in 384 families), by far the largest study of its kind to date.
We identified two regions of linkage: the pericentromeric region on chromosome 8 (maximum two-point LOD = 4.08, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.59), which overlaps with the second strongest region from a previous separate linkage scan of 155 brother pairs; and Xq28 (maximum two-point LOD = 2.99, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.76), which was also implicated in prior research.
Results, especially in the context of past studies, support the existence of genes on pericentromeric chromosome 8 and chromosome Xq28 influencing development of male sexual orientation.