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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.
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.
The historical evolution of an ancient forest that developed at Gaoyao, south China, can be divided into 4 stages of radiocarbon intervals (1.1–1.5, 2.0–3.5, 3.6–4.0, and 4.3–4.9 ka) in which the last 3 stages all developed in a wetland and formed humic layers of 2.0, 0.5, and 0.7 m depth, respectively. The humic layers were interrupted by 2 white-gray silty clay layers that most likely formed during climate fluctuations. Four drought events were identified during the evolution of the ancient forest, occurring around 4.3, 3.6, 2.0, and 1.1 ka, respectively, with durations of ∼1000 14C yr. These events are consistent with other records both in low- and high-latitude areas, in particular with the little ice ages occurring since the mid-Holocene. Precipitation likely increased from 5.0 to 3.6 ka in south China, then decreased, which is probably the main cause for the development as well as the demise of the ancient forest.
This paper examines the carbon isotopes (13C, 14C) of soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil CO2 from an evergreen broadleaf forest in southern China during the rainy season. The distribution of SOC δ13C, and SOC content with depth, exhibits a regular decomposition of SOC compartments with different turnover rates. Labile carbon is the main component in the topsoil (0–12 cm) and has a turnover rate between 0.1 and 0.01 yr–1. In the middle section (12–35 cm), SOC was mainly comprised of mediate carbon with turnover rates ranging between 0.01 and 0.025. Below 35 cm depth (underlayer section), the SOC turnover rate is slower than 0.001 yr–1, indicating that passive carbon is the main component of SOC in this section. The total production of humus-derived CO2 is 123.84 g C m–2 yr–1, from which 88% originated in the topsoil. The middle and underlayer sections contribute only 10% and 2% to the total humus-derived CO2 production, respectively. Soil CO2 δ13C varies from –24.7‰ to –24.0‰, showing a slight isotopic depth gradient. Similar to soil CO2 δ13C, Δ14C values, which range from 100.0‰ to 107.2‰, are obviously higher than that of atmospheric CO2 (60–70‰) and SOC in the middle and underlayer section, suggesting that soil CO2 in the profile most likely originates mainly from SOC decomposition in the topsoil. A model of soil CO2 Δ14C indicates that the humus-derived CO2 from the topsoil contributes about 65–78% to soil CO2 in each soil gas sampling layer. In addition, the humus-derived CO2 contributes ∼81% on average to total soil CO2 in the profile, in good agreement with the field observation. The distribution and origin of soil 14CO2 imply that soil CO2 will be an important source of atmospheric 14CO2 well into the future.
While radiocarbon is widely applied in dating ancient samples, recent studies reveal that 14C concentrations in modern samples can also yield precise ages due to the atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices between 1950 and 1963. 14C concentrations in both enamel and organic matter of 13 teeth from 2 areas in China were examined to evaluate and improve this method of forensic investigation. Choosing enamel near the cervix of the tooth can reduce the error caused by the difference between the sample formation time and whole enamel formation time because tooth enamel formations take a long time to complete. A proper regional data set will be helpful to get an accurate result when calculating the age of the sample (T1) by the CALIBomb program. By subtracting the enamel formation time (t), the birth date of an individual (T2) can be confirmed by enamel F14C from 2 teeth formed at different ages. Calculated enamel formation dates by 14C concentration are basically consistent with corresponding actual values, with a mean error of 1.9 yr for all results and 0.2 yr for the samples formed after AD 1960. This method is more effective for dating samples completed after AD 1960. We also found that 14C concentrations in organic matter of tooth roots are much lower than atmospheric concentrations in root formation years, suggesting that the organic material keeps turning over even after tooth formation is complete. This might be a potential tool for identification of death age to extract a proper component for 14C dating. We also observed that δ13C values between hydroxyapatite and organic matter indicate that isotopic fractionation during the biomineralization is 8–9%‰ more positive in mineral fractions than in organic matter.
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.
We investigate some basic properties of Damped Lyman alpha systems based on the Semi-Analytical model of disk galaxy formation theory. We derive the DLA metallicity, column density, number density, gas content and cosmic star formation rate by assuming that disks form at the center of dark halos, and the modelled DLAs are selected by Monte Carlo simulation according to the distributions of halo properties. We find that DLA hosts are dominated by small galaxies and biased to extended galaxies. In terms of model results, DLAs could naturally arise in a ACDM universe from radiatively cooled gas in dark matter halos. However, model predicts a reverse correlation between metallicity and the column density when compared with observations, regardless of the proposed observational bias. We argue that this could be resulted from the model limitations, or the inadequacy of Schmidt-type star formation mode at high redshift, or/and the diversities of DLA populations.
Guided by simulations using SIMION 8.1, a series of modifications were made to an experimental version of an Isobar Separator for Anions (ISA). The resulting improved version of the ISA provides a means of re-energizing the ions after they are cooled by gas collisions as they pass through the gas-filled radiofrequency quadrupoles (RFQ), and also provides higher transmission efficiencies. Reinvestigation of the separation of CaF3− and KF3− with this refined apparatus resulted in a better balance between isobar suppression and analyte transmission. KF3− was attenuated at eV energies by 4 orders of magnitude while 40% transmission of CaF3− was retained, for a 20keV CaF3− beam of Φ2mm and ±12mr. These results advance the possibility of an efficient small ISA-AMS system for both cosmogenic and medical applications of 41Ca.
Mangrove ecosystems are highly productive and play an important role in tropical and global coastal carbon (C) budgets. However, sedimentary organic carbon (SOC) storage and turnover in mangrove forests are still poorly understood. Based on C isotopic measurements of sediment cores of 2 mangrove stands in southern China, SOC density was 431.77 Mg ha−1 at site 1 (a Aegiceras corniculatum-dominated high tidal stand) and 243.65 Mg ha−1 in site 2 (a Bruguiera gymnorrhiza + Kandelia candel-dominated middle tidal stand). SOC δ13C values at both mangrove sites ranged from -29.4% to −26.0%. SOC δ13C was enriched with depth at 20–50 cm at site 1, which possibly resulted from preferential microbial decomposition. SOC δ13C at site 2 experienced frequent tidal flushing, and presented relatively stable values with depth. A bomb-14C-based SOC turnover model indicated that turnover times of SOC at 20–50 cm at site 1 were 4.44–26.04 yr. Modern C input from abundant roots might account for the very short SOC turnover times at these subsurface layers. As a result, our study suggested that tidal processes had a great influence on SOC storage and turnover in mangrove forests.
From October 2010 to November 2011, the urban atmospheric CO2 concentration in Guangzhou ranged from 550 to 460 ppm, with mean monthly concentration fluctuating between 530 and 470 ppm. A lower concentration was observed in summer and autumn, while a higher concentration occurred in spring and winter. The urban atmospheric CO2 δ13C value varied between −9.00 and −13.10%, with mean monthly value fluctuating between −9.60 and −11.80%. There was no significant relationship between the CO2 concentration and δ13C value, reflecting the influence from the fossil-fuel-derived CO2 on the urban atmospheric CO2. The urban atmospheric CO2 Δ14C value fluctuated dramatically from 29.1 ± 2.5% to −85.2 ± 3. 1%, with a mean annual value of −16.4 ± 3.0%. A similar seasonal variation of Δ14C value with the concentrations was observed: the higher Δ14C values mainly appeared in summer and autumn (July to September), with a mean value of about −5.2 ± 2.9%, while lower Δ14C values occurred in spring and winter (December to April), about −27.1 ± 3.2% average. Based on the atmospheric Δ14C values, the calculated fossil-fuel-derived CO2 concentrations range between 1 and 58 ppm, with the mean annual concentration around 24 ppm. Similarly, a lower fossil-fuel-derived CO2 concentration appeared in summer and autumn (July to September) with a mean value of ∼17 ppm, while the higher fossil-fuel-derived CO2 concentration occurred in spring and winter (December to April) with an average value of ∼29 ppm. A comparison of the CO2 concentrations before and after the Guangzhou Asian Games (in November 2010) and the Spring Festival of 2011 confirmed that human activities can greatly decrease the fossil-fuel-derived CO2 emissions to the urban atmosphere in Guangzhou.