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This report is on the synthesis by electrospinning of multiferroic core-shell nanofibers of strontium hexaferrite and lead zirconate titanate or barium titanate and studies on magneto-electric (ME) coupling. Fibers with well-defined core–shell structures showed the order parameters in agreement with values for nanostructures. The strength of ME coupling measured by the magnetic field-induced polarization showed the fractional change in the remnant polarization as high as 21%. The ME voltage coefficient in H-assembled films showed the strong ME response for the zero magnetic bias field. Follow-up studies and potential avenues for enhancing the strength of ME coupling in the core–shell nanofibers are discussed.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto is regarded to have the highest zoonotic potential of all Echinococcus taxa. Globally, human infection due to this species constitutes over 88.44% of the total cystic echinococcosis (CE) burden. Here, we report a CE infection in a Nigerian camel caused by E. granulosus G1 genotype. To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first encounter of the G1 genotype in the West Africa sub-region where the G6 genotype is reportedly prevalent, suggesting that the epidemiology of this highly zoonotic group could have a wider host range and distribution in the sub-region, and emphasizes the need for further investigation into the genetic diversity of Echinococcus spp. in Nigeria and across the sub-region.
We develop a novel ‘moving-capacitor’ dynamic network model to simulate immiscible fluid–fluid displacement in porous media. Traditional network models approximate the pore geometry as a network of fixed resistors, directly analogous to an electrical circuit. Our model additionally captures the motion of individual fluid–fluid interfaces through the pore geometry by completing this analogy, representing interfaces as a set of moving capacitors. By incorporating pore-scale invasion events, the model reproduces, for the first time, both the displacement pattern and the injection-pressure signal under a wide range of capillary numbers and substrate wettabilities. We show that at high capillary numbers the invading patterns advance symmetrically through viscous fingers. In contrast, at low capillary numbers the flow is governed by the wettability-dependent fluid–fluid interactions with the pore structure. The signature of the transition between the two regimes manifests itself in the fluctuations of the injection-pressure signal.
Dietary delivery of bacterially expressed double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) has a great potential for management of Leptinotarsa decemlineata. An important first step is to discover possible RNA-interference (RNAi)-target genes effective against larvae, especially the old larvae. In the present paper, five putative Broad-Complex (BrC) cDNAs (Z1-Z4, and Z6) were identified in L. decemlineata. The expression of the five LdBrC isoforms was suppressed by juvenile hormone signaling, whereas the transcription was upregulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone signaling at the fourth (final) instar larval stage. Feeding of bacterially expressed dsBrC (derived from a common fragment of the five LdBrC variants) in the third- and fourth-instar larvae successfully knocked down the target mRNAs. For the fourth-instar LdBrC RNAi hypomorphs, they had a higher larval mortality compared with the controls. Moreover, most dsBrC-fed beetles did not pupate normally. After removal of the apolysed larval cuticle, a miniature adult was found. The adult head, compound eyes, prothorax, mesothorax, metathorax were found on the dorsal view. Distinct adult cuticle pigmentation was seen on the prothorax. The mouthparts, forelegs, midlegs, and hindlegs could be observed on the ventral view of the miniature adults. For the third-instar LdBrC RNAi specimens, around 20% moribund beetles remained as prepupae and finally died. Therefore, LdBrC is among the most attractive candidate genes for RNAi to control the fourth-instar larvae in L. decemlineata.
Dipetalonema gracile is a common parasite in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus), which can cause malnutrition and progressive wasting of the host, and lead to death in the case of massive infection. This study aimed to identify a suspected D. gracile worm from a dead squirrel monkey by means of molecular biology, and to amplify its complete mitochondrial genome by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence analysis. The results identified the worm as D. gracile, and the full length of its complete mitochondrial genome was 13,584 bp, which contained 22 tRNA genes, 12 protein-coding genes, two rRNA genes, one AT-rich region and one small non-coding region. The nucleotide composition included A (16.89%), G (20.19%), T (56.22%) and C (6.70%), among which A + T = 73.11%. The 12 protein-coding genes used TTG and ATT as start codons, and TAG and TAA as stop codons. Among the 22 tRNA genes, only trnS1AGN and trnS2UCN exhibited the TΨC-loop structure, while the other 20 tRNAs showed the TV-loop structure. The rrnL (986 bp) and rrnS (685 bp) genes were single-stranded and conserved in secondary structure. This study has enriched the mitochondrial gene database of Dipetalonema and laid a scientific basis for further study on classification, and genetic and evolutionary relationships of Dipetalonema nematodes.
We show our recent progress on the L-Galaxies semi-analytic models of galaxy formation, which focuses on the HI gas in low mass galaxies. We find that the model based on ELUCID haloes can reproduce the HI mass function from ALFALFA 100 at low mass end. On the other hand, our models predict some gas rich low mass galaxies around the Milky Way, which may offer opportunities for future HI 21cm survey in nearby universe by FAST and SKA-1.
Cucumber powdery mildew is a destructive foliar disease caused by Podosphaera xanthii (formerly known as Sphaerotheca fuliginea) that substantially damages the yield and quality of crops. The control of this disease primarily involves the use of chemical pesticides that cause serious environmental problems. Currently, numerous studies have indicated that some plant extracts or products potentially have the ability to act as natural pesticides to control plant diseases. It has been reported that turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) and its extract can be used in agriculture due to their insecticidal and fungicidal properties. However, the most effective fungicidal component of this plant is still unknown. In the current study, the crude extract of C. longa L. was found to have a fungicidal effect against P. xanthii. Afterwards, eight fractions (Fr.1–Fr.8) were gradually separated from the crude extract by column chromatography. Fraction 1 had the highest fungicidal effect against this pathogen among the eight fractions. The active compound, (+)-(S)-ar-turmerone, was separated from Fr 1 by semi-preparative high-performance liquid chromatography and identified based on its 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and 13C NMR spectrum data. The EC50 value of (+)-(S)-ar-turmerone was found to be 28.7 µg/ml. The compound also proved to have a curative effect. This is the first study to report that the compound (+)-(S)-ar-turmerone has an effect on controlling this disease. These results provide a basis for developing a new phytochemical fungicide from C. longa L. extract.
The musk deer (Moschus berezovskii) is an economically important species from which musk is extracted and used in perfumes and medicines. Cestodes (parasitic flatworms) of the genus Moniezia are important parasites that infect this endangered species and can cause high mortality in young deer. In 1982, Moniezia (S.) sichuanensis sp. nov. was described from a specimen obtained from wild musk deer. The new species was distinct from the other described species of Moniezia by the sawtooth-shaped interproglottidal glands, the thick vagina and the absence of a cirrus spine. In the present study, 12 cestodes collected from musk deer were examined morphologically and confirmed to be M. sichuanensis. Molecular characterization was performed by amplifying and comparing the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) and 5.8S rRNA gene (ITS1–5.8S) of ribosomal DNA with available sequences from other Moniezia species. The amplified sequences ranged from 761 to 764 bp and similarity ranged from 98.7–100%, compared to 67.8–92.4% with other Moniezia spp. Construction of a phylogenetic tree using the neighbour-joining method indicated that all 12 ITS1–5.8S sequences formed a single clade, confirming M. sichuanensis as a separate species. This study provides novel molecular insight into M. sichuanensis that could prove useful for future diagnosis and control of monieziasis in musk deer.
Macdunnoughia crassisigna Warren (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a highly destructive herbivore that poses a serious risk to cotton, maize, soybean, and cruciferous vegetables in East Asia. Examining the effects of various biotic and abiotic factors on the flight performance of M. crassisigna is crucial for a better understanding of its trans-regional migration. In this study, the flight activity of M. crassisignai moths of different ages, under different temperatures and relative humidity (RH) levels, was evaluated by tethering individuals to computerized flight mills for a 24-h trial period. The results showed that M. crassisignai had the capacity for sustained flight and the flight ability was strongest in 3-day-old individuals, and then their flight performance decreased significantly in older moths. For both sexes, temperature had a significant effect on their flight performance, and the flight activity was relatively higher at 24–28°C than other temperatures. There was a significant effect of RH on all flight parameters of the tested moths, and the flight activity was relatively higher at RH of 60–75% than other RH levels. For 3-day-old moths under the optimum conditions (24°C and 75% RH) throughout the 24 h scotophase, their mean flight distance reached 66 km, and the mean flight duration reached 13.5 h, suggesting M. crassisigna possess strong potential to undertake long-distance migration. These findings will be helpful for developing sound forecasting systems of this pest species.
Studies of schizophrenia at drug-naive state and on antipsychotic medication have reported a number of regions of gray-matter (GM) abnormalities but the reports have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to conduct multimodal meta-analysis to compare the cross-sectional voxel-based morphometry studies of brain GM in antipsychotic-naive first-episode schizophrenia (AN-FES) and those with antipsychotic treatment within 1 year (AT-FES) to determine the similarities and differences in these groups. We conducted two separate meta-analyses containing 24 studies with a sample size of 801 patients and 957 healthy controls. A multimodal meta-analysis method was used to compare the findings between AN-FES and AT-FES. Meta-regression analyses were done to determine the influence of different variables including age, duration of illness, and positive and negative symptom scores. Finally, jack-knife analyses were done to test the robustness of the results. AN-FES and AT-FES showed common patterns of GM abnormalities in frontal (gyrus rectus), superior temporal, left hippocampal and insular cortex. GM in the left supramarginal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus were found to be increased in AN-FES but decreased in AT-FES, whereas left median cingulate/paracingulate gyri and right hippocampus GM was decreased in AN-FES but increased in AT-FES. Findings suggest that both AN-FES and AT-FES share frontal, temporal and insular regions as common anatomical regions to be affected indicating these to be the primary regions of GM abnormalities in both groups.
Previous studies on maternal nutrition and childhood leukaemia risk have focused on the role of specific nutrients such as folate and have not considered broader measures of diet quality, which may better capture intake of diverse nutrients known to impact fetal development. We examined the relationship between maternal diet quality before pregnancy, as summarised by a diet quality index, and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in a case–control study in California. Dietary intake in the year before pregnancy was assessed using FFQ in 681 ALL cases, 103 AML cases and 1076 matched controls. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate OR and 95 % CI for diet quality continuous score and quartiles (Q1–Q4). Higher maternal diet quality score was associated with reduced risk of ALL (OR 0·66; 95 % CI 0·47, 0·93 for Q4 v. Q1) and possibly AML (OR 0·42; 95 % CI 0·15, 1·15 for Q4 v. Q1). No single index component appeared to account for the association. The association of maternal diet quality with risk of ALL was stronger in children diagnosed under the age of 5 years and in children of women who did not report using vitamin supplements before pregnancy. These findings suggest that the joint effects of many dietary components may be important in influencing childhood leukaemia risk.
Heliothis viriplaca (Hüfnagel) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is an important polyphagous pest of beans, cotton, maize, and alfalfa worldwide. H. viriplaca is a long-distance migrant, and if so, what pattern of seasonal migration this species exhibits in northern China remains unknown. In this study, in order to determine the seasonal migration of H. viriplaca in northern China, the combination of searchlight trapping and ovarian dissection was carried out on an isolated small island in the center of the Bohai Strait during 2003–2014. The results confirmed that H. viriplaca undertakes long-distance migration on the prevailing winds of the East Asian monsoon airflows. This species exhibited a regular pattern of seasonal migration across the sea from May to October, but there was considerable yearly and monthly variation in the trapped numbers, with the majority being trapped in summer (67.99 ± 6.54%). The mean period when migration was detectable at the island was 116.5 ± 5.6 days from 2003 to 2014, with the shortest time span of 74 days in 2013 and the longest of 144 days in 2005. Trapped females in May and June showed a relatively higher mating rates and some degree of ovarian development when compared with July, August and September, suggesting the migration of this species is not completely bound by the ‘oogenesis-flight syndrome’. These findings will be helpful to improve the forecasting system and managing strategies of H. viriplaca.
At the end of 2013, China reported a countrywide outbreak of measles. From January to May 2014, we investigated the clinical and immunological features of the cases of the outbreak admitted to our hospital. In this study, all 112 inpatients with clinically diagnosed measles were recruited from the 302 Military Hospital of China. The virus was isolated from throat swabs from these patients, and cytokine profiles were examined. By detecting the measles virus of 30 of the 112 patients, we found that this measles outbreak was of the H1 genotype, which is the major strain in China. The rates of complications, specifically pneumonia and liver injury, differed significantly in patients aged <8 months, 8 months to 18 years, and >18 years: pneumonia was more common in children, while liver injury was more common in adults. Pneumonia was a significant independent risk factor affecting measles duration. Compared to healthy subjects, measles patients had fewer CD4+IL-17+, CD4+IFN-γ+, and CD8+IFN-γ+ cells in both the acute and recovery phases. In contrast, measles patients in the acute phase had more CD8+IL-22+ cells than those in recovery or healthy subjects. We recommend that future studies focus on the age-related distribution of pneumonia and liver injury as measles-related complications as well as the association between immunological markers and measles prognosis.
Angiopoietin-like protein 3 (ANGPTL3) is a secreted protein that regulates lipid, glucose and energy metabolism. This study was conducted to better understand the effect of ANGPTL3 on important economic traits in cattle. First, transcript profiles for ANGPTL3 were measured in nine different Jiaxian cattle tissues. Second, polymorphisms were identified in the complete coding region and promoter region of the bovine ANGPTL3 gene in 707 cattle samples. Finally, an association study was carried out utilizing these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to determine the effect of these SNPs on the growth and meat quality traits. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that ANGPTL3 was mainly expressed in the liver. The promoter of the bovine ANGPTL3 contained several putative transcription factor binding sites (SF1, HNF-1, LXRα, NFκβ, HNF-3 and C/EBP). In total, four SNPs of the bovine ANGPTL3 gene were identified by direct sequencing. SNP1 (rs469906272: g.−38T>C) was identified in the promoter, SNP2 (rs451104723:g.104A>T) and SNP3 (rs482516226: g.509A>G) were identified in exon 1, and SNP4 (rs477165942: g.8661T>C) was identified in exon 6. Changes in predicted protein structures due to non-synonymous SNPs were analyzed. Haplotype frequencies and linkage disequilibrium were also investigated. Analysis of four SNPs in cattle from different native Chinese breeds (Nanyang (NY) and Jiaxian (JX)) and commercial breeds (Angus (AG), Hereford (HF), Limousin (LM), Luxi (LX), Simmental (ST) and Jinnan (JN)) revealed a significant association with growth traits (including: BW and hipbone width) and meat quality traits (including: Warner–Bratzler shear force and ribeye area). Therefore, implementation of these four mutations in selection indices in the beef industry may be beneficial in selecting individuals with superior growth and meat quality traits.
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.