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In this paper, effects of discharge parameters and modulation frequency on the signal of laser-induced fluorescence measurements of ion velocity distribution functions are investigated in the LIF Test Source. A maximum modulation frequency is found for each given set of parameters, beyond which the signal gradually declines. Meanwhile, this maximum modulation frequency occurred consistently at ~1/10 of the theoretical frequency limit and photon counts received by a photomultiplier tube, which indicates that as modulation frequency and the associated per-pulse-excitation-event count decrease, the transition from the macroscopic statistical signal to the microscopic probabilistic signal is a gradual process.
Athetis lepigone Möschler (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) is a common maize pest in Europe and Asia. However, there is no long-term effective management strategy is available yet to suppress its population. Adults rely heavily on olfactory cues to locate their optimal host plants and oviposition sites. Pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) are believed to be responsible for recognizing and transporting different odorant molecules to interact with receptor membrane proteins. In this study, the ligand-binding specificities of two AlepPBPs (AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3) for sex pheromone components and host plant (maize) volatiles were measured by fluorescence ligand-binding assay. The results demonstrated that AlepPBP2 had a high affinity with two pheromones [(Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.11 ± 0.1 μM, (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.32 ± 0.15 μM] and ten plant volatiles, including (-)-limonene, α-pinene, myrcene, linalool, benzaldehyde, nonanal, 2-hexanone, 3-hexanone, 2-heptanone and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one. In contrast, we found that none of these chemicals could bind to AlepPBP3. Our results clearly show no significant differences in the functional characterization of the binding properties between AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3 to sex pheromones and host plant volatiles. Furthermore, molecular docking was employed for further detail on some crucial amino acid residues involved in the ligand-binding of AlepPBP2. These findings will provide valuable information about the potential protein binding sites necessary for protein-ligand interactions which appear as attractive targets for the development of novel technologies and management strategies for insect pests.
Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) elicits a range of different responses in patients and can manifest into mild to very severe cases in different individuals, depending on many factors. We aimed to establish a prediction model of severe risk in COVID-19 patients, to help clinicians achieve early prevention, intervention and aid them in choosing effective therapeutic strategy. We selected confirmed COVID-19 patients who were admitted to First Hospital of Changsha city between 29 January and 15 February 2020 and collected their clinical data. Multivariate logical regression was used to identify the factors associated with severe risk. These factors were incorporated into the nomogram to establish the model. The ROC curve, calibration plot and decision curve were used to assess the performance of the model. A total of 228 patients were enrolled and 33 (14.47%) patients developed severe pneumonia. Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that shortness of breath, fatigue, creatine kinase, lymphocytes and h CRP were independent factors for severe risk in COVID-19 patients. Incorporating age, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and these factors, the nomogram achieved good concordance indexes of 0.89 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.832–0.949] and well-fitted calibration plot curves (Hosmer–Lemeshow test: P = 0.97). The model provided superior net benefit when clinical decision thresholds were between 15% and 85% predicted risk. Using the model, clinicians can intervene early, improve therapeutic effects and reduce the severity of COVID-19, thus ensuring more targeted and efficient use of medical resources.
The southeastern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) records the assembly process between several micro-continental blocks and the North China Craton (NCC), with the consumption of the Paleo-Asian Ocean (PAO), but whether the S-wards subduction of the PAO beneath the northern NCC was ongoing during Carboniferous–Permian time is still being debated. A key issue to resolve this controversy is whether the Carboniferous magmatism in the northern NCC was continental arc magmatism. The Alxa Block is the western segment of the northern NCC and contiguous to the southeastern CAOB, and their Carboniferous–Permian magmatism could have occurred in similar tectonic settings. In this contribution, new zircon U–Pb ages, elemental geochemistry and Sr–Nd isotopic analyses are presented for three early Carboniferous granitic plutons in the southwestern Alxa Block. Two newly identified aluminous A-type granites, an alkali-feldspar granite (331.6 ± 1.6 Ma) and a monzogranite (331.8 ± 1.7 Ma), exhibit juvenile and radiogenic Sr–Nd isotopic features, respectively. Although a granodiorite (326.2 ± 6.6 Ma) is characterized by high Sr/Y ratios (97.4–139.9), which is generally treated as an adikitic feature, this sample has highly radiogenic Sr–Nd isotopes and displays significantly higher K2O/Na2O ratios than typical adakites. These three granites were probably derived from the partial melting of Precambrian continental crustal sources heated by upwelling asthenosphere in lithospheric extensional setting. Regionally, both the Alxa Block and the southeastern CAOB are characterized by the formation of early Carboniferous extension-related magmatic rocks but lack coeval sedimentary deposits, suggesting a uniform lithospheric extensional setting rather than a simple continental arc.
Spodoptera litura is an important pest that causes significant economic damage to numerous crops worldwide. Sex pheromones (SPs) mediate sexual communication in S. litura and show a characteristic degree of rhythmic activity, occurring mainly during the scotophase; however, the specific regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we employed a genome-wide analysis to identify eight candidate circadian clock genes in S. litura. Sequence characteristics and expression patterns were analyzed. Our results demonstrated that some circadian clock genes might regulate the biosynthesis and perception of SPs by regulating the rhythmic expression of SP biosynthesis-related genes and SP perception-related genes. Interestingly, all potential genes exhibited peak expression in the scotophase, consistent with the SP could mediate courtship and mating behavior in S. litura. Our findings are helpful in elucidating the molecular mechanism by which circadian clock genes regulate sexual communication in S. litura.
The tobacco cutworm Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a polyphagous pest with a highly selective and sensitive chemosensory system involved in complex physiological behaviors such as searching for food sources, feeding, courtship, and oviposition. However, effective management strategies for controlling the insect pest populations under threshold levels are lacking. Therefore, there is an urgent need to formulate eco-friendly pest control strategies based on the disruption of the insect chemosensory system. In this study, we identified 158 putative chemosensory genes based on transcriptomic and genomic data for S. litura, including 45 odorant-binding proteins (OBPs, nine were new), 23 chemosensory proteins (CSPs), 60 odorant receptors (ORs, three were new), and 30 gustatory receptors (GRs, three were new), a number higher than those reported by previous transcriptome studies. Subsequently, we constructed phylogenetic trees based on these genes in moths and analyzed the dynamic expression of various genes in head capsules across larval instars using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Nine genes–SlitOBP8, SlitOBP9, SlitOBP25, SlitCSP1, SlitCSP7, SlitCSP18, SlitOR34, SlitGR240, and SlitGR242–were highly expressed in the heads of 3- to 5-day-old S. litura larvae. The genes differentially expressed in olfactory organs during larval development might play crucial roles in the chemosensory system of S. litura larvae. Our findings substantially expand the gene inventory for S. litura and present potential target genes for further studies on larval feeding in S. litura.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
In the present study, we use direct numerical simulation to investigate the density-driven convection in a two-dimensional anisotropic heterogeneous porous media associated with significant laminated formation. At first, the heterogeneous porous media are randomly generated to represent laminated structure, in which the horizontal correlation length of permeability field is much longer than the vertical counterpart. Then, a highly accurate pseudo-spectral method and compact finite difference scheme with higher order of accuracy are employed to numerically reproduce the convection flow in the laminated porous media. The results show that the laminated structures restrict interactions among the downward plumes of heavier fluid. The plumes tend to descend more straightly in a laminated porous medium associated with a slower growth rate. As a result, the laminated distribution of permeability is considered having an inhibiting effect on the convection flow.
It is well-known that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with changes in the dopaminergic system. However, the relationship between central dopaminergic tone and the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal during receipt of rewards and penalties in the corticostriatal pathway in adults with ADHD is unclear.
Single-photon emission computed tomography with [99mTC]TRODAT-1 was used to assess striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) availability. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted on subjects performing the Iowa Gambling Test.
DAT availability was found to be associated with the BOLD response, which was a covariate of monetary loss, in the medial prefrontal cortex (r = 0.55, P = .03), right ventral striatum (r = 0.69, P = .003), and right orbital frontal cortex (r = 0.53, P = .03) in adults with ADHD. However, a similar correlation was not found in the controls.
The results confirmed that dopaminergic tone may play a different role in the penalty-elicited response of adults with ADHD. It is plausible that a lower neuro-threshold accompanied by insensitivity to punishment could be exacerbated by the hypodopaminergic tone in ADHD.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with a higher risk of burn injury than in the normal population. Nevertheless, the influence of methylphenidate (MPH) on the risk of burn injury remains unclear. This retrospective cohort study analysed the effect of MPH on the risk of burn injury in children with ADHD.
Data were from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). The sample comprised individuals younger than 18 years with a diagnosis of ADHD (n = 90 634) in Taiwan's NHIRD between January 1996 and December 2013. We examined the cumulative effect of MPH on burn injury risk using Cox proportional hazards models. We conducted a sensitivity analysis for immortal time bias using a time-dependent Cox model and within-patient comparisons using the self-controlled case series model.
Children with ADHD taking MPH had a reduced risk of burn injury, with a cumulative duration of treatment dose-related effect, compared with those not taking MPH. Compared with children with ADHD not taking MPH, the adjusted hazard ratio for burn injury was 0.70 in children taking MPH for <90 days (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.64–0.77) and 0.43 in children taking MPH for ≥90 days (95% CI 0.40–0.47), with a 50.8% preventable fraction. The negative association of MPH was replicated in age-stratified analysis using time-dependent Cox regression and self-controlled case series models.
This study showed that MPH treatment was associated with a lower risk of burn injury in a cumulative duration of treatment dose-related effect manner.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis are the common causes of human echinococcosis in China. An accurate species identification tool for human echinococcosis is needed as the treatments and prognosis are different among species. The present work demonstrates a method for the simultaneous detection of these three Echinococcus species based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR). Specific primers of this mPCR were designed based on the mitochondrial genes and determined by extensive tests. The method can successfully detect either separated or mixed target species, and generate expected amplicons of distinct size for each species. Sensitivity of the method was tested by serially diluted DNA, showing a detection threshold as less as 0.32 pg for both E. granulosus s.s. and E. canadensis, and 1.6 pg for E. multilocularis. Specificity assessed against 18 other parasites was found to be 100% except weakly cross-react with E. shiquicus. The assay was additionally applied to 69 echinococcosis patients and 38 healthy persons, confirming the high reliability of the method. Thus, the mPCR described here has high application potential for clinical identification purposes, and can further provide a useful tool for evaluation of serology and imaging method.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
CrFeNiTix (x = 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, and 0.6 molar ratio) compositionally complex alloys were fabricated by vacuum arc melting to investigate the microstructure, hardness, and compressive properties. The results revealed that CrFeNiTix alloys consisted of the principal face-centered cubic (FCC) phase and body-centered cubic (BCC) solid solution, with an amount of (Ni, Ti)-rich hexagonal close-packed phase. CrFeNiTix alloys exhibited the typical dendrite. Ti0.2 and Ti0.3 alloys were composed of FCC and BCC solid solutions in the dendrite, as well as ε (Ni3Ti) and R (Ni2.67Ti1.33) phases in the inter-dendrite, simultaneously. For Ti0.4, Ti0.5, and Ti0.6 alloys, (Fe, Cr)-rich solid solution separated out and ε phase transformed into R phase gradually. Meanwhile, TEM analysis indicated that Ti0.4 alloy matrix consisted of the principal FCC phase containing (Ni, Ti)-rich intragranular nanoprecipitates. The hardness values of CrFeNiTix alloys were increased with the addition of Ti content and the high compressive strength of CrFeNiTix alloys was maintained, which was attributed to the solid solution strengthening and precipitation hardening.
To analyze the current development of HTA in China and to identify areas for improvement, we mapped the level of HTA development in China and compared it with the level of HTA development in ten other countries using a survey instrument.
We launched a nationwide survey targeting different stakeholders. For this purpose, we used a validated instrument that enables mapping HTA development in a country using eight domains. The views of the respondents regarding the overall level of HTA development and for each domain were compared with the results of a mapping study that included ten countries.
In total, we received 222 responses, 33 from policy-makers, 158 from researchers, and 31 from industry, as well as health provider representatives including 8 from hospitals, centers for disease control and prevention. We calculated the mean score for the level of HTA development. The overall HTA development for China was scored at 76.4 (out of a maximum of 146). Although the total score for China was comparable to the mean score of 75.6 among the ten countries, China scored significantly lower than the mean score of 117.0 among the three developed countries. In addition, China scored significantly lower in the domain of institutionalization compared to the other ten countries.
China needs to tackle the issue of low HTA institutionalization to strengthen the foundation of HTA development. Future government initiatives that institutionalize HTA, for example, establishing a national HTA system or consortium, will improve the development of HTA in China.
Previous studies have indicated that there is dopamine transporter (DAT) dysregulation and P300 abnormality in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, the correlations among the three have not been fully explored.
A total of 11 adults (9 males and 2 females) with ADHD and 11 age-, sex-, and education-level-matched controls were recruited. We explored differences in DAT availability using single-photon emission computed tomography and P300 wave of event-related potentials between the two groups. The correlation between DAT availability and P300 performance was also examined.
DAT availability in the basal ganglia, caudate nucleus, and putamen was significantly lower in the ADHD group. Adults with ADHD had lower auditory P300 amplitudes at the Pz and Cz sites, as well as longer Fz latency than controls. DAT availability was negatively correlated to P300 latency at Pz and Fz.
Adults with ADHD had both abnormal DAT availability and P300 amplitude, suggesting that ADHD is linked to dysfunction of the central dopaminergic system and poor cognitive processes related to response selection and execution.
Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is the common cause of cognitive decline in the old population. MRI can be used to clarify its mechanisms. However, the surrogate markers of MRI for early cognitive impairment in SVD remain uncertain to date. We investigated the cognitive impacts of cerebral microbleeds (CMBs), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and brain volumetric measurements in a cohort of post-stroke non-dementia SVD patients.
Fifty five non-dementia SVD patients were consecutively recruited and categorized into two groups as no cognitive impairment (NCI) (n = 23) or vascular mild cognitive impairment (VaMCI) (n = 32). Detailed neuropsychological assessment and multimodal MRI were completed.
The two groups differed significantly on Z scores of all cognitive domains (all p < 0.01) except for the language. There were more patients with hypertension (p = 0.038) or depression (p = 0.019) in the VaMCI than those in the NCI group. Multiple regression analysis of cognition showed periventricular mean diffusivity (MD) (β = −0.457, p < 0.01) and deep CMBs numbers (β = −0.352, p < 0.01) as the predictors of attention/executive function, which explained 45.2% of the total variance. Periventricular MD was the independent predictor for either memory (β = −0.314, p < 0.05) or visuo-spatial function (β = −0.375, p < 0.01); however, only small proportion of variance could be accounted for (9.8% and 12.4%, respectively). Language was not found to be correlated with any of the MRI parameters. No correlation was found between brain atrophic indices and any of the cognitive measures.
Arteriosclerotic CMBs and periventricular white matter disintegrity seem to be independent MRI surrogated markers in the early stage of cognitive impairment in SVD.
Obesity and hyperlipidaemia increase the risk of CVD. Some strains of probiotics have been suggested to have potential applications in cardiovascular health by lowering serum LDL-cholesterol. In this work, high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidaemia in hamsters was treated with different doses (5×108 and 2·5×109 cells/kg per d) of heat-killed Lactobacillus reuteri GMNL-263 (Lr263) by oral gavage for 8 weeks. The serum lipid profile analysis showed that LDL-cholesterol and plasma malondialdehyde (P-MDA) were reduced in the GMNL-263 5×108 cells/kg per d treatment group. Total cholesterol and P-MDA were reduced in the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatment group. In terms of heart function, the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatments improved the ejection fraction from 85·71 to 91·81 % and fractional shortening from 46·93 to 57·92 % in the high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts. Moreover, the GMNL-263-treated, high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts exhibited reduced Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis and a reactivated IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway. Interestingly, the GMNL-263 treatments also enhanced the heat-shock protein 27 expression in a dose-dependent manner, but the mechanism for this increase remains unclear. In conclusion, supplementary heat-killed L. reuteri GMNL-263 can slightly reduce serum cholesterol. The anti-hyperlipidaemia effects of GMNL-263 may reactivate the IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway and reduce Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis in high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts.
Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites play a significant role in the space segment of the Chinese Area Navigation System. The C-Band transfer ranging method developed by the National Time Service Center (NTSC) has been widely used in the Chinese Area Positioning System (CAPS), with its advantages of separating satellite ranging from time synchronization and being unaffected by weather. The explicit ranging correction models for the C-Band transfer ranging method are introduced in detail in this article for the first time. Precise Orbit Determination (POD) using C-Band pseudo-range observation of GEO satellite 2010-001A in July 2012 has been conducted. The residual Root Mean Square (RMS) of each site and POD are analysed with orbit difference over overlaps of adjacent orbit arcs. Moreover, the orbit of the GEO satellite has been evaluated by Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) data from both domestic and foreign SLR sites for the first time. The residual RMS of POD using C-Band observation is better than 0·1 m, and the orbit difference over overlaps of adjacent orbit arcs is better than 3 m. In addition, the residual RMS in line-of-sight for a SLR site in China are better than 1 m, while the RMS for the Yarragadee site in Australia is about 3·4 m. It has been shown that the GEO satellite orbit accords very well with the C-Band observation. Also, the distribution of CAPS stations affects the orbit precision. All sites in CAPS are now located in China with low and medium latitudes. The residual RMS of the SLR site in the southern hemisphere is larger than that of the site in China.