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The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
Lateral memristors consisting of planar Ag electrodes (with sub-micrometer separation) supported on thin films of amorphous zinc-tin-oxide have been characterized. After an initial filament-forming process, each device exhibited volatile, resistive switching. In the low resistance state, the transport mechanism and conductance depended on prior activity and on the imposed current limit, mimicking biologic synaptic plasticity. Microscopic observations performed on each device revealed nanoscale filaments between the electrodes. These filaments were subject to Rayleigh instability and exhibited relaxation times determined by their effective radii. The relaxation times and on:off resistance ratios suggest suitability for threshold switching selector devices.
Honeybee foraging can transfer exogenous genes from genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) to closely related plants, which not only induces potential ecological risks but also contaminates non-GM seeds or honey products with GM ingredients. These events may lead to international trade disputes. Chinese honeybees (Apis cerana cerana Fabricius) and a herbicide (glufosinate)-resistant GM strain of B. napus (Z7B10) were studied to examine the effects of honeybee short-range foraging on oilseed rape gene flow and honey ingredients. Results showed variable frequencies of gene flow between GM and non-GM oilseed rape cultivars, with the highest frequency under nylon net isolation with artificially stocked honeybees, the lowest frequency under nylon net isolation alone, and an intermediate frequency under natural pollination, suggesting the important role of honeybee foraging in gene flow frequency. Additionally, GM pollen grains were found in honey collected from honeybees foraging on both GM and non-GM oilseed rape cultivars. The phosphinothricin acetyltransferase protein was also detected in both unbroken pollen-containing and pollen-free honey by protein testing strips, suggesting that honeybee foraging on GM oilseed rape could lead to contamination with GM ingredients. Overall, the results provide a direct scientific basis for the ecological risk assessment and safety management of GM oilseed rape.
The loss of a close relative is one of the most stressful life events. In pregnancy, this experience has been associated with a higher risk of fetal death and under-five mortality, but little is known about potential effects on long-term mortality in offspring. We examined the association between prenatal maternal bereavement and mortality in a cohort of 5.3 million children followed until up to 37 years of age.
The population-based cohort study included 5 253 508 live singleton births in Denmark (1973–2004) and Sweden (1973–2006). Children born to mothers who lost a child, spouse, sibling, or parent during or 1 year before pregnancy were categorized as exposed.
Prenatal maternal bereavement was associated with a 10% increased all-cause mortality risk in offspring [mortality rate ratio (MRR) 1.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–1.18]. The association was the most pronounced for children of mothers who lost a child/spouse (MRR 1.28, 95% CI 1.14–1.44) and was stronger during the first 10 years of life. Prenatal maternal bereavement may have stronger effects on natural causes of death in offspring, including infectious/parasitic disease (MRR 1.86, 95% CI 1.07–3.23), endocrine/nutritional/metabolic diseases (MRR 3.23, 95% CI 2.02–5.17), diseases of nervous system (MRR 3.36, 95% CI 2.47–4.58), and congenital malformations (MRR 1.39, 95% CI 1.08–1.80). No excess mortality risk in offspring was observed for unnatural causes of death.
Prenatal maternal bereavement was associated with an increased long-term mortality risk in offspring, particularly for selected natural causes of diseases and medical conditions. Our results support the fetal programming hypothesis that prenatal stress may contribute to ill health from physical diseases later in life.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
Omicron Andromedae is a multiple system of at least four stars: a B ↔Be star (component A), a spectroscopic binary (components B1–B2) and a close companion (component a). According to several studies (see Hill et al. 1988, 1989):
-the distance between A and the B1–B2 system decreased from 0.39″ in 1975 to 0.25″ in 1987 (McAlister and Hartkopf 1988)
-the few previous speckle measurements of component a have shown the possibility of a 3.7 years orbit around A, according to the 1975 to 1984 observations (mean distance 0.05″). The calculations with this 3.7 yr orbit lead to the prediction of a maximum distance of 0.77″ at 1992.738, i.e. at the end of september 1992, with a North-South orientation.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
This study aimed to compare the virology and epidemiology of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC), pharyngoconjunctival fever (PCF) and acute haemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) outbreaks worldwide caused by the human adenovirus (HAdV) from 1953 to 2013. Eighty-three hexon sequences from 76 conjunctivitis outbreaks were analysed and subtyped using Mega 5.05, Clustal X and SimPlot software. Epidemiology was performed for the area, age and seasonal distribution. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that all the isolates could be divided into three subgenetic lineages, without a common ancestor. The major causes of the outbreaks were Ad8, Ad7 and Ad2 co-infection with enterovirus 70 (EV70) in EKC, PCF and AHC, respectively. The epidemiological findings suggested that EKC and AHC were circulating predominantly in Asia during the early winter and spring, whereas PCF was circulating mainly in China, Australia and the United States during the summer. This study suggests that EKC, AHC and PCF outbreaks have different circulating patterns throughout the world and are caused by different adenovirus serotypes. A global surveillance system should be established to monitor conjunctivitis outbreaks in the future.
The enteric pathogens causing diarrhoea impair children's health severely. This study retrospectively analysed 1577 pathogens isolated from inpatients and outpatients in six hospitals located in Northern (Inner Mongolia), Northeastern (Hebei), Eastern (Shanghai and Jiangsu), Southern (Hainan) and Central (Hubei) China between 2008 and 2013. Of the 1577 enteric pathogens, Salmonella presented with the highest frequency (36·0%), followed by diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (23·7%), Staphylococcus aureus (15·0%), Shigella (13·1%), and Aeromonas (4·6%). The predominant pathogens varied in different regions of China, with Salmonella most prevalent in Shanghai and Hainan, diarrhoeagenic E. coli most prevalent in Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu and Hubei, and Shigella most prevalent in Hebei. Enteric pathogens were more frequently isolated in males (56·9%) than in females (43·1%). The highest proportion of all enteric pathogens was found in infants (67·6%) with a peak in summer and autumn (68·5%). Antimicrobial susceptibility assay demonstrated that Shigella was more resistant to ampicillin, ceftriaxone and sulfamethoxazole than Salmonella. Of the top two serotypes in Salmonella, Typhimurium was more resistant to ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole and chloramphenicol than Enteritidis (P < 0·001). Meanwhile, the resistance rates of Shigella flexneri against ampicillin/sulbactam, ciprofloxacin, and chloramphenicol were significantly higher than those of Shigella sonnei (P < 0·001). Multidrug resistance was apparent in 58·2% of Shigella and 45·9% of Salmonella, and this phenomenon was more pronounced in S. flexneri.
Water scarcity is a major constraint of agricultural production in arid and semi-arid areas. In the face of future water scarcity, one possible way the agricultural sector could be adapted is to change cropping patterns and make adjustments for available water resources for irrigation. The present paper analyses the temporal evolution of cropping pattern from 1960 to 2008 in the Hetao Irrigation District (HID), China. The impact of changing cropping patterns on regional agricultural water productivity is evaluated from the water footprint (WF) perspective. Results show that the area under cash crops (e.g. sunflower and melon) has risen phenomenally over the study period because of increased economic returns pursued by farmers. Most of these cash crops have a smaller WF (high water productivity) than grain crops in HID. With the increase of area sown to cash crops, water productivity in HID increased substantially. Changing the cropping pattern has significant effects on regional crop water productivity: in this way, HID has increased the total crop production without increasing significantly the regional water consumption. The results of this case study indicate that regional agricultural water can be used effectively by properly planning crop areas and patterns under irrigation water limitations. However, there is a need to foster a cropping pattern that is multifunctional and sustainable, which can guarantee food security, enhance natural resource use and provide stable and high returns to farmers.
Stars are tidally disrupted and accreted when they approach massive black holes (MBHs) closely, producing a flare of electromagnetic radiation. The majority of the (approximately two dozen) tidal disruption events (TDEs) identified so far have been discovered by their luminous, transient X-ray emission. Once TDEs are detected in much larger numbers, in future dedicated transient surveys, a wealth of new applications will become possible. Here, we present the proposed Einstein Probe mission, which is a dedicated time-domain soft X-ray all-sky monitor aiming at detecting X-ray transients including TDEs in large numbers. The mission consists of a wide-field micro-pore Lobster-eye imager (60° × 60°), and is designed to carry out an all-sky transient survey at energies of 0.5-4 keV. It will also carry a more sensitive telescope for X-ray follow-ups, and will be capable of issuing public transient alerts rapidly. Einstein Probe is expected to revolutionise the field of TDE research by detecting several tens to hundreds of events per year from the early phase of flares, many with long-term, well sampled lightcurves.
The correlation of stress in Silicon Carbide (SiC) crystal and frequency shift in micro- Raman spectroscopy was determined by an experimental method. We applied uniaxial stress to 4H- and 6H-SiC single crystal square bar specimen shaped with (0001) and (11-20) faces by four point bending test, under measuring the frequency shift in micro-Raman spectroscopy. The results revealed that the linearity coefficients between stress and Raman shift were -1.96 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/4)E2 on 4H-SiC (0001) face, -2.08 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/4)E2 on 4H-SiC (11-20) face and -2.70 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/6)E2 on 6H-SiC (0001) face. Determination of these coefficients has made it possible to evaluate the residual stress in SiC crystal quantitatively by micro-Raman spectroscopy. We evaluated the residual stress in SiC substrate that was grown in our laboratory by utilizing the results obtained in this study. The result of estimation indicated that the SiC substrate with a diameter of 6 inch remained residual stress as low as ±15 MPa.
Lateral epitaxial overgrowth (LEO) on Si(111) substrates using an AlN buffer layer is demonstrated and characterized using scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, photoluminescence spectroscopy, and cathodoluminescence imaging. The <100>-oriented LEO GaN stripes grown on silicon substrates are shown to have similar structural properties as LEO GaN grown on GaN/Al2O3 substrates: the surface topography is characterized by continuous crystallographic steps rather than by steps terminated by screw-component threading dislocations; the density of threading dislocations is <106 cm−2; the LEO regions exhibit crystallographic tilt (0.7-4.7°) relative to the seed region. The AlN buffer thickness affects the stripe morphology and, in turn, the microstructure of the LEO GaN. The issues of chemical compability and thermal expansion mismatch are discussed.
Parrots are one of the most popular pet birds in China, and can harbour Chlamydia which has significance for human and animal health. We investigated, by indirect haemagglutination assay, the seroprevalence of Chlamydia infection in four species of parrots, namely budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), lovebirds (Agapornis sp.), cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) and Alexandrine parakeets (Psittacula eupatria) that were collected from Weifang and Beijing cities, North China and explored the association between potential risk factors and chlamydial seropositivity. We further determined the genotype of Chlamydia in 21 fresh faecal samples based on the ompA sequence by reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships. Of the 311 parrots examined, 35·37% (95% confidence interval 30·06–40·68) were seropositive, and species, gender, age, season and geographical location were identified as risk factors. Two PCR-positive samples represented Chlamydia psittaci genotype A. The occurrence of C. psittaci genotype A in the droppings of two pet parrots in China suggests potential environmental contamination with Chlamydiaceae and may raise a public health concern.
EMU is a wide-field radio continuum survey planned for the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The primary goal of EMU is to make a deep (rms ∼ 10 μJy/beam) radio continuum survey of the entire Southern sky at 1.3 GHz, extending as far North as +30° declination, with a resolution of 10 arcsec. EMU is expected to detect and catalogue about 70 million galaxies, including typical star-forming galaxies up to z ∼ 1, powerful starbursts to even greater redshifts, and active galactic nuclei to the edge of the visible Universe. It will undoubtedly discover new classes of object. This paper defines the science goals and parameters of the survey, and describes the development of techniques necessary to maximise the science return from EMU.
The phase-change-memory (PCM) relies on the ability of a chalcogenide material, usually Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST), to switch from the amorphous phase with a high electrical resistance (~MΩ) to a crystalline phase with a low electrical resistance (∼kΩ). The structural stability of the amorphous phase is critically affected by temperature-activated crystallization and resistance drift due to structural relaxation (SR) . While amorphous chalcogenides are relatively stable with respect to crystallization, thanks to a high activation energy above 2 eV , the lower activation energy of SR can strongly affect the PCM electrical properties of the amorphous phase, including resistance, activation energy for conduction and, most importantly, the threshold voltage VT. The latter marks the boundary between read and programming operations in PCM, thus VT instability must be carefully predicted to minimize read disturbs within the array. To this purpose, understanding the switching mechanisms and modeling of VT is of utmost importance for PCM device development and scaling.