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Large carnivores have extensive spatial requirements, with ranges that often span geopolitical borders. Consequently, management of transboundary populations is subject to several political jurisdictions, often with heterogeneity in conservation challenges. In continental Asia there are four threatened leopard subspecies with transboundary populations spanning 23 countries: the Persian Panthera pardus saxicolor, Indochinese P. pardus delacouri, Arabian P. pardus nimr and Amur P. pardus orientalis leopards. We reviewed the status of these subspecies and examined the challenges to, and opportunities for, their conservation. The Amur and Indochinese leopards have the majority (58–100%) of their remaining range in borderlands, and the Persian and Arabian leopards have 23–26% of their remaining ranges in borderlands. Overall, in 18 of 23 countries the majority of the remaining leopard range is in borderlands, and thus in most countries conservation of these subspecies is dependent on transboundary collaboration. However, we found only two transboundary initiatives for Asian leopards. Overall, we highlighted three key transboundary landscapes in regions that are of high importance for the survival of these subspecies. Recent listing of the leopard in the Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals is important, but more international collaboration is needed to conserve these subspecies. We provide a spatial framework with which range countries and international agencies could establish transboundary cooperation for conserving threatened leopards in Asia.
Leg weakness (LW) issues are a great concern for pig breeding industry. And it also has a serious impact on animal welfare. To dissect the genetic architecture of limb-and-hoof firmness in commercial pigs, a genome-wide association study was conducted on bone mineral density (BMD) in three sow populations, including Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire. The BMD data were obtained by ultrasound technology from 812 pigs (including Duroc 115, Landrace 243 and Yorkshire 454). In addition, all pigs were genotyped using genome-by-sequencing and a total of 224 162 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained. After quality control, 218 141 SNPs were used for subsequent genome-wide association analysis. Nine significant associations were identified on chromosomes 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 18 that passed Bonferroni correction threshold of 0.05/(total SNP numbers). The most significant locus that associated with BMD (P value = 1.92e−14) was detected at approximately 41.7 Mb on SSC6 (SSC stands for Sus scrofa chromosome). CUL7, PTK7, SRF, VEGFA, RHEB, PRKAR1A and TPO that are located near the lead SNP of significant loci were highlighted as functionally plausible candidate genes for sow limb-and-hoof firmness. Moreover, we also applied a new method to measure the BMD data of pigs by ultrasound technology. The results provide an insight into the genetic architecture of LW and can also help to improve animal welfare in pigs.
The modelling of edge carbon transport and emission on EAST tokamak under resonant magnetic perturbation (RMP) fields has been conducted with the three-dimensional edge transport code EMC3-EIRENE. The measured vertical distribution of CVI emission by the extreme ultraviolet spectrometer system for the perturbed case shows a reduction in the CVI emission by 20 % compared to the equilibrium case. The chord-integrated CVI emission can be reconstructed by EMC3-EIRENE modelling, which presents an increase in the CVI emission with RMP fields. The discrepancy between experiments and simulations has been investigated by parameter study to examine the sensitivity of the simulation results on the edge plasma conditions and the impurity perpendicular transport. It is found that the variation of edge plasma conditions for the equilibrium case cannot resolve the discrepancy in the CVI emission between simulations and measurements. The simulations with enhanced impurity perpendicular transport coefficient allows a reasonable agreement with the measured reduction of CVI emission.
We present a long-term seasonal tree ring cellulose oxygen isotope (δ18Oc) time series created by analyzing four segments (S1, S2, S3, and S4) per year during the period of 1951–2009 from southeastern Tibetan Plateau. This intraseasonal δ18Oc reveals the onset and mature phase of the summer monsoon precipitation in this region. Analysis indicates that the δ18Oc of S1 has the strongest correlation with precipitation during the regional monsoon onset (29–33 pentads, May 21–June 10, r = −0.69), and the δ18Oc values for S2, S3, and S4 correlate strongly with June, July, and August precipitation, respectively. Combined δ18Oc of S2, S3, and S4 shows the most robust correlation (r = −0.82) with the mature-phase monsoon precipitation (June-July-August, JJA), passing rigorous statistical tests for calibration and verification in dendroclimatology. These results demonstrate the feasibility in using long-term intraseasonal δ18Oc to reconstruct the Asian summer monsoon's intraseasonal variations.
Deep-brain magnetic stimulation (DMS) is an effective therapy for various neuropsychiatric disorders including major depression disorder. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the impacts of DMS on the brain remain unclear. Studies have reported abnormalities in the white matter of depressive brains, suggesting the involvement of myelin and oligodendrocyte pathologies in the development of major depressive disorder. In this study, we use a cuprizone induced demyelination animal model to generate depressive like behaviours and white matter and oligodendrocyte damages. Meanwhile, we treated the animal with DMS 20 minutes daily during the cuprizone challenge or recovery period. Behavioural tests, including nesting, new objective recognition, working memory and depression-like behaviours were tested periodically. Histological staining and western blotting were used to examine the underlying mechanism of DMS. We found that DMS reverse cuprizone induced behavioural deficits in acute demyelination but not during the recovery period. DMS alleviated demyelination and inflammation induced by cuprizone. During the recovery period, DMS had no impacts on overall neural progenitor cell proliferation, but enhanced the maturation of oligodendrocyte. This data suggest that DMS may be a promising treatment option for improving white matter function in psychiatric disorders and neurological diseases in future.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Although alienation toward parents is important for children (for current mental health status or later interpersonal relationships in adulthood), it is undervalued and even lacks a standardized tool of assessment. Moreover, the large number of left-behind children in China is a cause of public concern. However, their experienced alienation toward their parents remains unclear, which may be important for early detection or intervention for behavioral problems in this population. Hence, the current study aimed to develop an alienation inventory for children and then use it to investigate the experienced alienation toward parents in Chinese left-behind children.
Two studies were carried out. Study 1 was designed to develop a standard inventory of alienation toward parents (IAP). In study 2, 8361 children and adolescents (6704 of them were left-behind status) of the Chongqing area, aged between 8 and 19 years old, were recruited for investigation. All participants were surveyed with a standard sociodemographic questionnaire, children's cognitive style questionnaire, children's depression inventory, adolescent self-rating life events checklist, and newly built IAP in study 1.
In study 1, we developed a two-component (communication and emotional distance) and 18-item (9 items for maternal or paternal form, respectively) IAP questionnaire. In study 2, exploratory factor analysis indicated an expected two-factor structure of IAP, which was confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis. The Cronbach's alpha coefficients showed a good reliability (0.887 and 0.821 for maternal and paternal form, respectively). Children with absent mother experienced the highest alienation toward parents. Boys as well as children aged 8–10 years old experienced higher alienation toward parents. Poor communication with parents (sparse or no connection), level of left-behind condition (parents divorced, been far away from parents), and psychosocial vulnerability (stressful life events, negative cognitive style) were risk factors of alienation toward parents.
The current study develops a two-factor (communication and emotional distance) IAP, which offers a reliable tool to assess experienced alienation of affection toward parents in children aged between 8 and 19 years old. Our result is the first investigation of experienced alienation and potential influential factors in Chinese left-behind children. The findings that children with absent mother experience higher alienation toward parents, as well as three recognized risk factors for alienation of affection toward parents (poor communication with absent parents, worse left-behind condition, and psychosocial vulnerability), give valuable guidance for parents who intend to leave or who are already leaving as well as for government policymaking.
Although numerous studies have investigated the individual effects of salinity, irrigation and fertilization on soil microbial communities, relatively less attention has been paid to their combined influences, especially using molecular techniques. Based on the field of orthogonal designed test and deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing technology, the effects of saline water irrigation amount, salinity level of irrigation water and nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate on soil bacterial community structure were investigated. The results showed that the irrigation amount was the most dominant factor in determining the bacterial richness and diversity, followed by the irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The values of Chao1 estimator, abundance-based coverage estimator and Shannon indices decreased with an increase in irrigation amount while increased and then decreased with an increase in irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The highest soil bacterial richness and diversity were obtained under the least irrigation amount (25 mm), medium irrigation water salinity (4.75 dS/m) and medium N fertilizer rate (350 kg/ha). However, different bacterial phyla were found to respond distinctively to these three factors: irrigation amount significantly affected the relative abundances of Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi; irrigation water salinity mostly affected the members of Actinobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes and Acidobacteria; and N fertilizer rate mainly influenced the Bacteroidetes' abundance. The results presented here revealed that the assessment of soil microbial processes under combined irrigation and fertilization treatments needed to be more careful as more variable consequences would be established by comparing with the influences based on an individual factor, such as irrigation amount or N fertilizer rate.
Quantifying reasonable crop yield gaps and determining potential regions for yield improvement can facilitate regional plant structure adjustment and promote crop production. The current study attempted to evaluate the yield gap in a region at multi-scales through model simulation and farmer investigation. Taking the winter wheat yield gap in the Huang-Huai-Hai farming region (HFR) for the case study, 241 farmers’ fields in four typical high-yield demonstration areas were surveyed to determine the yield limitation index and attainable yield. In addition, the theoretical and realizable yield gap of winter wheat in 386 counties of the HFR was assessed. Results showed that the average field yield of the demonstration plots was 8282 kg/ha, accounting for 0.72 of the potential yield, which represented the highest production in the region. The HFR consists of seven sub-regions designated 2.1–2.7: the largest attainable yield gap existed in the 2.6 sub-region, in the southwest of the HFR, while the smallest was in the 2.2 sub-region, in the northwest of the HFR. With a high irrigated area rate, the yield gap in the 2.2 sub-region could hardly be reduced by increasing irrigation, while a lack of irrigation remained an important limiting factor for narrowing the yield gap in 2.3 sub-region, in the middle of the HFR. Therefore, a multi-scale yield gap evaluation framework integrated with typical field survey and crop model analysis could provide valuable information for narrowing the yield gap.
With growing demand for better fuel economy for automobiles, multimaterial solutions are increasingly being utilized in the automotive industry for reducing weight in the vehicle body structure. This poses challenges in terms of joining dissimilar metals, especially those with vastly different properties such as aluminum to steel joining. General Motors has developed a new resistance spot-welding technique for dissimilar materials using a multi-ring domed (MRD) electrode and multiple solidification weld schedules to address this challenge. Originally developed for aluminum to aluminum resistance spot welding, this technology is being deployed as the mainstream aluminum joining solution to leverage existing infrastructure and workforce competency in resistance spot welding. With the recent expansion of MRD technology to aluminum to steel resistance spot welding, there is an ever-greater need to experimentally verify the quality of each aluminum to steel resistance spot-weld application with limited time and resources. Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) would enable the transfer of resistance spot-welding technology to dissimilar aluminum to steel joints. This article describes the current state of the art of aluminum to steel resistance spot welding and the challenges in developing a robust NDE process for this technology.
The strong-coupling mode, called the “quasimode”, is excited by stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) in high-intensity laser–plasma interactions. Also SBS of the quasimode competes with SBS of the fast mode (or slow mode) in multi-ion species plasmas, thus leading to a low-frequency burst behavior of SBS reflectivity. Competition between the quasimode and the ion-acoustic wave (IAW) is an important saturation mechanism of SBS in high-intensity laser–plasma interactions. These results give a clear explanation of the low-frequency periodic burst behavior of SBS and should be considered as a saturation mechanism of SBS in high-intensity laser–plasma interactions.
We propose an alternative to the prevailing framework for modelling tear-film breakup, which posits a layered structure with a mucus layer next to the cornea and an aqueous layer on top. Experimental evidence shows continuous variation of mucin concentration throughout the tear film, with no distinct boundary between the two layers. Thus, we consider a continuous-viscosity model that replaces the mucus and aqueous layers by a single liquid layer with continuous profiles of mucin concentration and viscosity, which are governed by advection–diffusion of mucin. The lipids coating the tear film are treated as insoluble surfactants as previously, and slip is allowed on the ocular surface. Using the thin-film approximation, we carry out linear stability analysis and nonlinear numerical simulations of tear-film breakup driven by van der Waals attraction. Results show that for the same average viscosity, having more viscous material near the ocular surface stabilizes the film and prolongs the breakup time. Compared with the layered models, the continuous-viscosity model predicts film breakup times that are in better agreement with experimental data. Finally, we also suggest a hydrodynamic explanation for how pathological loss of membrane-associated mucins may lead to faster breakup.
The Inner Mongolian Plateau lies along the northern limit reached by the East Asian summer monsoon. This geographic setting makes it especially sensitive to environmental change and an excellent site for understanding Quaternary East Asian monsoon variability. In this study we present new results of hydrogen isotopic compositions of fatty acids extracted from sediments, which were used to construct Holocene paleoprecipitation (or moisture) changes in Northern China. The hydrogen isotopic composition (D/H ratio) of n-acids in the sedimentary sequence of the Duoerji peat, Inner Mongolia, was determined with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Changes in the precipitation from middle Inner Mongolia are recorded by the D/H ratio of n-C20, n-C22, n-C24, n-C26, n-C28 acids (δD). From 10–9 ka, the relatively high δD values indicate reduced precipitation in the Early Holocene. Subsequently, increased precipitation is reflected by reduced δD values from 9–5.5 ka. After 5.5 ka, gradually increasing δD values record an overall decrease in precipitation. The precipitation trends established for the Duoerji sequence are consistent with other major paleoclimate proxies in the East Asian monsoon region, especially with a distinct Holocene optimum of increased monsoonal activity from 9–5.5 ka. The δD resulting paleo-precipitation record clearly shows that the Holocene climate in Northern China is basically controlled by the insolation changes.
The business model for organizational diversity states that “diverse” organizations have a competitive advantage over non-“diverse organizations. These advantages arise from increased creativity,1 problem solving,2,3 decision making,4 and overall quality of results,5 among other observed outcomes. Within academia, increasing diversity benefits performance and persistence of students by reducing the deleterious effects of solo status (being the only representative of a social group)/tokenism (member of a minority social group in a given organization) and stereotype threat.
Nasal irrigation is commonly performed in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis after functional endoscopic sinus surgery. This study systematically assessed the clinical efficacy of nasal irrigation from the medical literature.
The PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases were searched using a comprehensive strategy, limited to English-language articles, published from October 1971 to March 2017, and comprising human subjects.
A total of 824 trials were identified, 5 of which, involving 331 participants, were included in this systematic review. After selection, only three trials were eligible for inclusion in a meta-analysis. Nasal irrigation using normal saline and various solutions was found to be effective in reducing symptom scores and endoscopic scores for chronic rhinosinusitis patients after functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Comparison of outcome measures, such as eosinophil count reduction, revealed that various solutions are more effective than normal saline alone; however, no statistical significance was found in terms of reduced symptom or endoscopic scores.
Based on the current limited evidence, nasal irrigation is an effective therapy for chronic rhinosinusitis patients after functional endoscopic sinus surgery. However, when comparing various solutions with normal saline, no significant difference was found in symptom scores or endoscopic scores.
The uptake of genomic selection (GS) by the swine industry is still limited by the costs of genotyping. A feasible alternative to overcome this challenge is to genotype animals using an affordable low-density (LD) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip panel followed by accurate imputation to a high-density panel. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to screen incremental densities of LD panels in order to systematically identify one that balances the tradeoffs among imputation accuracy, prediction accuracy of genomic estimated breeding values (GEBVs), and genotype density (directly associated with genotyping costs). Genotypes using the Illumina Porcine60K BeadChip were available for 1378 Duroc (DU), 2361 Landrace (LA) and 3192 Yorkshire (YO) pigs. In addition, pseudo-phenotypes (de-regressed estimated breeding values) for five economically important traits were provided for the analysis. The reference population for genotyping imputation consisted of 931 DU, 1631 LA and 2103 YO animals and the remainder individuals were included in the validation population of each breed. A LD panel of 3000 evenly spaced SNPs (LD3K) yielded high imputation accuracy rates: 93.78% (DU), 97.07% (LA) and 97.00% (YO) and high correlations (>0.97) between the predicted GEBVs using the actual 60 K SNP genotypes and the imputed 60 K SNP genotypes for all traits and breeds. The imputation accuracy was influenced by the reference population size as well as the amount of parental genotype information available in the reference population. However, parental genotype information became less important when the LD panel had at least 3000 SNPs. The correlation of the GEBVs directly increased with an increase in imputation accuracy. When genotype information for both parents was available, a panel of 300 SNPs (imputed to 60 K) yielded GEBV predictions highly correlated (⩾0.90) with genomic predictions obtained based on the true 60 K panel, for all traits and breeds. For a small reference population size with no parents on reference population, it is recommended the use of a panel at least as dense as the LD3K and, when there are two parents in the reference population, a panel as small as the LD300 might be a feasible option. These findings are of great importance for the development of LD panels for swine in order to reduce genotyping costs, increase the uptake of GS and, therefore, optimize the profitability of the swine industry.
In the current intensive production system, ruminants are often fed high-grain (HG) diets. However, this feeding pattern often causes rumen metabolic disorders and may further trigger laminitis, the exact mechanism is not clear. This study investigated the effect of HG diet feeding on fermentative and microbial changes in the rumen and on the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the lamellar tissue. In all, 12 male goats were fed a hay diet (0% grain; n=6) or an HG diet (56.5% grain; n=6). On day 50 of treatment, samples of blood, rumen content, and lamellar tissue of hooves of goats were collected. The data showed that compared with the hay group, HG-fed goats had lower (P<0.05) rumen pH but higher (P<0.05) total volatile fatty acids and lactate in the rumen and higher (P<0.05) lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels in the rumen and blood. HG diet feeding altered the composition of rumen bacterial community, and correspondingly, the results suggested that their functions in the HG group were also altered. HG diet feeding increased (P<0.05) the expression of interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-α and MMP-2 mRNA in the lamellar tissues compared with the hay group. Correlation analysis indicated that the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines were positively correlated with MMP-2 expression in lamellar tissues. Overall, these results revealed that HG feeding altered the patterns of rumen fermentation and the composition and functions of rumen bacterial community, and lead to higher levels of LPS in the peripheral blood, and further activated the inflammatory response in lamellar tissues, which may progress to the level of laminar damage.
Nanocarbons have been catalytically grown since 1993. However, even today, the formation mechanisms of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene are not sufficiently understood. This sustained challenge has been an engine for the development in theory concepts and computational methods, tackling the problem of well-controlled production of these nanomaterials. This article discusses how experimental discoveries and theoretical approaches evolved hand-in-hand for the successful understanding of challenging issues, highlighting parallels and distinctions between graphene and CNTs. Key aspects include the mechanisms of nucleation and CNT-liftoff, chiral symmetry selection and control, rates of growth and island shapes, mechanisms defining single chirality of the nanotubes, and ways to suppress grain boundaries in the quest for ever larger and faster growing single-crystal graphene, or longest defect-free CNTs. The theme of catalyst chemistry and structure, either as a nanoparticle or a planar substrate, is traced through the stages of nanocarbon formation, with focus on theoretically generalizable findings.