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As an epigenetic modification, DNA methylation may reflect the interaction between genetic and environmental factors in the development of schizophrenia (SCZ). Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is a promising candidate gene of SCZ. In the present study, we investigate the association of COMT methylation with the risk of SCZ using bisulfite pyrosequencing technology. Significant association between DNA methylation of COMT and the risk of SCZ is identified (P = 1.618e−007). A breakdown analysis by gender shows that the significance is driven by males (P = 3.310e−009), but not by females. DNA methylation of COMT is not significantly associated with SCZ clinical phenotypes, including p300 and cysteine level. No interaction is found between COMT genotypes and the percent methylation of this gene. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve shows that DNA methylation of COMT is able to predict the SCZ risk in males (area under curve [AUC] = 0.802, P = 1.91e−007). The current study indicates the clinical value of COMT methylation as a potential male-specific biomarker in SCZ diagnosis.
The development of digestive organs and the establishment of gut microbiota in pullets play an important role throughout life. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of Bacillus subtilis (BS) on growth performance, intestinal function and gut microbiota in pullets from 0 to 6 weeks of age. Hy-line Brown laying hens (1-day-old, n = 504) were randomly allotted into four diets with a 2 × 2 factorial design: (1) basal diet group (control); (2) antibiotics group (AGP), the basal diet supplemented with 20 mg/kg Bacitracin Zinc and 4 mg/kg Colistin Sulphate; (3) BS group, the basal diet supplemented with 500 mg/kg BS and (4) mixed group, the basal diet supplemented with both AGP and BS. As a result, when BS was considered the main effect, BS addition (1) reduced the feed conversion ratio at 4 to 6 weeks (P < 0.05); (2) decreased duodenal and jejunal crypt depth at 3 weeks; (3) increased the villus height : crypt depth (V : C) ratio in the duodenum at 3 weeks and jejunal villus height at 6 weeks and (4) increased sucrase mRNA expression in the duodenum at 3 weeks as well as the jejunum at 6 weeks, and jejunal maltase and aminopeptidase expression at 3 weeks. When AGP was considered the main effect, AGP supplementation (1) increased the V : C ratio in the ileum at 3 weeks of age; (2) increased sucrase mRNA expression in the duodenum at 3 weeks as well as the ileum at 6 weeks, and increased maltase expression in the ileum. The BS × AGP interaction was observed to affect average daily feed intake at 4 to 6 weeks, and duodenal sucrase and jejunal maltase expression at 3 weeks. Furthermore, dietary BS or AGP addition improved caecal microbial diversity at 3 weeks, and a BS × AGP interaction was observed (P < 0.05) for the Shannon and Simpson indexes. At the genus level, the relative abundance of Lactobacillus was found to be higher in the mixed group at 3 weeks and in the BS group at 6 weeks. Moreover, Anaerostipes, Dehalobacterium and Oscillospira were also found to be dominant genera in pullets with dietary BS addition. In conclusion, BS could improve intestinal morphology and change digestive enzyme relative expression and caecum microbiota, thereby increasing the efficiency of nutrient utilization. Our findings suggested that BS might have more beneficial effects than AGP in the study, which would provide theoretical evidence and new insight into BS application in layer pullets.
An improved variational optimization approach is established to optimize and analyse the propulsion efficiency of the high-altitude contra-rotating propellers for high-altitude airships based on the Vortex Lattice Lifting Line Method. The optimum radial circulation distribution, chord and pitch distribution are optimized under the maximum lift-to-drag ratio of aerofoils. To consider the effects of the actual Reynolds number and the Mach number of each aerofoil section, aerodynamics such as lift coefficient, drag coefficient and lift-to-ratio are obtained by interpolating a CFD database, which is established by numerical simulations under different Reynolds number, Mach number and angles-of-attack. The improved method is verified by validation cases on a high-altitude CRP using the three-dimensional steady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes solver and moving reference frames technique. The optimization results of thrust, torque and efficiency for both the individual front/rear propeller and CRP are shown to agree reasonably well with the CFD results. Using the improved approach, the influence of blade numbers, diameter, rotation speeds, axial distance and torque ratio on the optimum efficiency of CRPs is illustrated in detail by conducting parametric studies.
Rabies is one of the major public health problems in China, and the mortality rate of rabies remains the highest among all notifiable infectious diseases. A meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) vaccination rate and risk factors for human rabies in mainland China. The PubMed, Web of Science, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, Chinese Science and Technology Periodical and Wanfang databases were searched for articles on rabies vaccination status (published between 2007 and 2017). In total, 10 174 human rabies cases from 136 studies were included in this meta-analysis. Approximately 97.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) 95.1–98.7%) of rabies cases occurred in rural areas and 72.6% (95% CI 70.0–75.1%) occurred in farmers. Overall, the vaccination rate in the reported human rabies cases was 15.4% (95% CI 13.7–17.4%). However, among vaccinated individuals, 85.5% (95% CI 79.8%–83.4%) did not complete the vaccination regimen. In a subgroup analysis, the PEP vaccination rate in the eastern region (18.8%, 95% CI 15.9–22.1%) was higher than that in the western region (13.3%, 95% CI 11.1–15.8%) and this rate decreased after 2007. Approximately 68.9% (95% CI 63.6–73.8%) of rabies cases experienced category-III exposures, but their PEP vaccination rate was 27.0% (95% CI 14.4–44.9%) and only 6.1% (95% CI 4.4–8.4%) received rabies immunoglobulin. Together, these results suggested that the PEP vaccination rate among human rabies cases was low in mainland China. Therefore, standardised treatment and vaccination programs of dog bites need to be further strengthened, particularly in rural areas.
Analysis of the potato yield gap and the corresponding nutrient gap can help in devising strategies and measurements to increase productivity for closing the gaps through improved practices. On-farm experiments conducted in the main potato production areas of northwest China were used to determine attainable yield. Official statistical data were used to determine the actual on-farm yield. Yield gap was the difference between attainable yield and actual on-farm yield. Nutrient gap was calculated by dividing the size of yield gap by partial factor productivity. Results indicated that nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilization increased potato yield by an average of 1169–7625, 2937–5336 and 2331–7338 kg/ha, respectively. The maximum attainable yields (the 90th percentile yields) were 50 145, 37 855, 30 261 and 56 616 kg/ha and the average actual on-farm yield were 14 179, 16 732, 10 271 and 19 990 kg/ha in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR), Gansu, Ningxia and Qinghai provinces, respectively. In the above four regions, yield would need to increase by 165, 70, 112 and 121% from actual yield to reach 75% of attainable yield. Compared with recent 3-year average NPK rates by farmers, the total NPK rates need to increase by 90.1–134.3% for IMAR, 42.9–69.2% for Gansu, 68.1–111.2% for Ningxia and 48.1–83.8% for Qinghai to improve productivity to near the 75% attainable yield. In conclusion, the high yield responses to fertilizer application provide opportunities to close the large yield gaps through balanced nutrition.
Information on morbidity burden of seasonal influenza in China is limited. A multiplier model was used to estimate the incidence and number of outpatient visits for seasonal influenza by age group for the 2015–2016 season in Beijing, the capital of China, based on reported numbers of influenza-like illness consultations and proportions of positive cases from influenza surveillance systems in Beijing, general consultation rates and other parameters from previous studies, surveys and surveillance systems. An estimated total of 1 190 200 (95% confidence interval (CI) 830 400–1 549 900) cases of influenza virus infections occurred in Beijing, 2015–2016 season, with an attack rate of 5·5% (95% CI 3·9–7·2%). These infections resulted in an estimated 468 280 (95% CI 70 700–606 800) outpatient visits, with an attack rate of 2·2% (95% CI 0·3–2·8%). The attack rate of influenza virus infections was highest among children aged 0–4 years (31·9% (95% CI 21·9–41·9%)), followed by children aged 5–14 years (18·7% (95% CI 12·9–24·5%)). Our study demonstrated a substantial influenza-related morbidity in Beijing, China, especially among the preschool- and school-aged children. This suggests that development or modification of seasonal influenza targeted vaccination strategies need to recognize that incidence is highest in children.
A two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation is carried out to study the focusing effects of the long proton beam propagating in background plasmas. It is found that the smooth beam, with the long length and the small density gradient profile, is focused to high density. The sharp beam, with long length and the large density gradient profile, is modulated into many high density and periodic short beam pulses due to the wakefield induced by the beam. In addition, increasing the plasma density and adopting the non-uniform plasmas are the effective ways to reduce the wakefield.
CMOS-compatible fabrication and etching processes are often used in subwavelength grating structures manufacturing, it normally generates tapered sidewall profile of the gratings. In this work, we have studied the impacts on resonance mode characteristics of subwavelength grating structures due to the tapered sidewall profile, as well as grating with high aspect ratio. Our simulation results have revealed that both of these two factors play important roles on the resonance mode behavior of subwavelength grating devices. We also discussed the mechanism between the guided mode resonance and the grating cavity mode resonance. Our study will provide guidance for a series of integrated photonics devices applications, such as compact optical filter, photonics amplifier, and lasers, while the realistic subwavelength grating structure is considered.
One main difference between practical device and ideal design for subwavelength grating structure is the tapered sidewall profile of grating, which is normally obtained by the practical CMOS-compatible fabrication and etching process. Our work has investigated the impacts of tapered sidewall profile on the subwavelength grating wideband reflector characteristics. Both zero-contrast gratings (ZCG) and high- contrast gratings (HCG) are numerically investigated in detail and the results show a distinct differences of the impacts of tapered sidewall profile of grating. The simulation results reveal that this factor play a critical role in determining the reflection bandwidth, average reflectance, and the band edge. Our study has potential in guiding the utilization of subwavelength grating wideband reflector on application of a variety of nanophotonic devices and their integration, as well as to facilitate the design of the fabrication process on the control of tapered sidewall profile.
Human cystic echinococcosis (CE) is known to be endemic in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), China; however, there is relatively little data from hospital records or community prevalence studies, and the situation regarding occurrence of human alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is unclear. Here we review the available reports about human echinococcosis in the seven prefectures of TAR. In addition, two pilot studies by mass screening using ultrasound (with serology) were undertaken (2006/7) in Dangxiong County of Lhasa Prefecture (north central TAR) and Dingqing County of Changdu Prefecture (eastern TAR). In Dangxiong County a prevalence of 9.9% (55/557) for human CE was obtained but no human AE cases were detected. By contrast, in Dingqing County (N= 232 persons screened), 11 CE cases (4.7%) and 12 AE cases (5.2%) (including one mixed CE and AE case) were diagnosed by ultrasound. Hospital records and published reports indicated that CE cases were recorded in all of seven prefectures in Tibet Autonomous Region, and AE cases in four prefectures. Incidence rates of human CE were estimated to range from 1.9 to 155 per 100,000 across the seven prefectures of TAR, with a regional incidence of 45.1 per 100,000. Incidence of AE was estimated to be between 0.6 and 2.8 cases per 100,000. Overall for TAR, human AE prevalence appeared relatively low; however, the pilot mass screening in Dingqing in eastern TAR indicated that human AE disease is a potential public health problem, possibly similar to that already well described in Tibetan communities bordering TAR in north-west Sichuan and south-west Qinghai provinces.
Cydia pomonella is a serious invasive insect pest in China, and has caused severe damage to the production of apple and pear in its invaded areas. This species is distributing in the northwest and northeast of China, but no occurrence of it has been recorded in the large areas (about 3000–5000 km away) between the invaded northwestern and northeastern regions despite continuous monitoring. As yet the genetic diversity and invasion origin of the C. pomonella populations in Northwestern and Northeastern China is obscure. In this study, we investigate the genetic diversity of 14 populations of C. pomonella sampled throughout the main distribution regions in Northwestern (Xinjiang and Gansu Provinces) and Northeastern (Heilongjiang Province) China and compared them with nine populations from Europe and other continents using the mitochondrial COI, COII and Cytb genes. Both the populations from Northeastern and Northwestern China shared some haplotypes with populations from other countries. Haplotypes of the three mitochondrial genes had a different distribution in Northeastern and Northwestern China. The northeastern populations had more private haplotypes than the northwestern populations. A large number of the individuals from northwestern populations shared a few haplotypes of each of the three genes. The haplotype numbers and haplotype diversities of the northeastern populations were similar to those of field populations in other countries, but were higher than those of the northwestern populations. Populations from the Northwestern China showed similar haplotype number and haplotype diversity. We conclude that the population genetic background of C. pomonella populations in Northeastern and Northwestern China varies due to different invasion sources and that this should be considered before the application of new pest control tactics.
Desorption of gold ions from liver tissue sections, in which intravenously injected gold nanorods were accumulated, were studied to evaluate properties of gold nanorods as a "mass-tag". Gold ions were sensitively detected by using a conventional MALDI-MS machine. When 50-µm-thick blank sections without gold nanorods were placed on or beneath a sample section, desorption of gold ions was almost suppressed. It was found that the escape depth of gold ions from liver tissue sections was less than 50 µm. It was found that we do not have to take account of the escape depth of gold ions if a section were sliced into 10-20 µm thickness.
The synthesis of biocompatible noble metal nanoparticles dispersible in a wide range of biological media with control of polycrystalinity and nanogeometry, pH sensitivity and salt tolerance has been a challenging requirements. The role of 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (3-APTMS) and organic reducing reagents for real time synthesis of amphilic noble metal nanoparticles meeting these requirements are demonstrated justifying the following; (1) 3-APTMS capped noble metal ions are converted into respective metal nanoparticles in the presence of one of organic reducing agents i.e., cyclohexanone, tetrahydrofuran hydroperoxide (THF-HPO), formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, t-buty dimethyl keotone, 3-Glycidoxy-propyltrimethoxysilane (3-GPTMS); (2) 3-APTMS acts as micelle, promotes the interaction of metal ions with organic reducing agent, precisely controls the size of metal nanoparticles, pH sensititvity and salt tolerance and also provides a suitable medium for nanoparticles suspension, (3) the use of suitable organic reagent precisely controls the polarity of as made noble metal nanoparticles allowing specific biological interactions, and (4) 3-APTMS significantly increases the stability and controls the pH sensitivity and salt tolerance of metal nanoparticles. The as synthesized nanomaterials show potential viability in biomedical applications from many angles i.e. (a) as potential bioelectrocatalyst, (b) selective interaction with active proteins and cellular components, and (c) peroxidase mimetic.
Computed tomography (CT) is an important tool in clinical diagnostic imaging enabling three-dimensional anatomic imaging at high spatial resolution with short scan times. However, X-ray attenuation differences in physiological fluids and soft tissues are relatively small, requiring the use of contrast agents to achieve sufficient imaging contrast. Recent advances in energy-sensitive X-ray detectors have made spectral (color) CT commercially feasible by unmixing the energy-dependent attenuation profile of different materials and will potentially enable molecular imaging in CT. In order to leverage these capabilities for diagnostic imaging, we are developing a spectral library of nanoparticle contrast agents with K-shell absorption edges spaced at least 10 keV apart. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the ability of spectral CT to simultaneously detect up to three different contrast agents and unmixed their signals to create color images. Gadolinium oxide (Gd), hafnium oxide (Hf) and gold (Au) were chosen due to exhibiting K-edges spaced 10-20 keV apart. Core-shell nanoparticles of each composition were synthesized by various methods to have a core diameter of 15-20 nm and were coated with a silica shell at least 2-4 nm in thickness to create a common platform for surface functionalization. The contrast agents were imaged in a soft tissue equivalent phantom using source-side method for spectral CT imaging. The source-side approach utilized monochromatic synchrotron radiation at the Argonne National Laboratory which, while not clinically applicable, served as a gold standard due to providing the highest spectral resolution. The nanoparticles designed for this study have broad applications in biomedical imaging due to their modular assembly, potential for enabling multi-modal detection, and surface functionalization with biomolecules (e.g., antibodies, peptides or enzymes) for active targeting.
To determine risk factors for sporadic Vibrio parahaemolyticus gastroenteritis, we conducted a population-based case-control study in sentinel hospital surveillance areas of Shanghai and Jiangsu province, China. Seventy-one patients with diarrhoea and confirmed V. parahaemolyticus infections were enrolled, and they were matched with 142 controls for gender, age and residential area. From the multivariable analysis, V. parahaemolyticus infections were associated with antibiotics taken during the 4 weeks prior to illness [odds ratio (OR) 8·1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·2–56·4)], frequent eating out (OR 3·3, 95% CI 1·1–10·1), and shellfish consumption (OR 3·2, 95% CI 1·0–9·9), with population-attributable fractions of 0·09, 0·25, and 0·14, respectively. Protective factors included keeping the aquatic products refrigerated (OR 0·4, 95% CI 0·1–0·9) and pork consumption (OR 0·2, 95% CI 0·1–0·8). Further study of the association of V. parahaemolyticus gastroenteritis with prior antibiotic use and shellfish consumption is needed.
We prove that the minimal operator and the maximal operator of the Hermite operator are
the same on Lp(ℝn)
, 4 / 3
<p< 4. The
domain and the spectrum of the minimal operator (=maximal operator) of the Hermite
operator on Lp(ℝn),
4, are computed. In addition, we can give an
estimate for the Lp-norm of the
solution to the initial value problem for the heat equation governed by the minimal
(maximal) operator for 4/3<p<4.
Monolayers of arrays of periodic polystyrene (PS) spheres are designed to couple onto the surface of cerium-doped lutetium-yttrium oxyorthosilicate scintillator to improve the light extraction efficiency. The enhancement of extraction efficiency up to 38% relative to the reference case without polystyrene spheres is achieved. Combining with the simulation for the transmission as well as its dispersion relation, detailed analysis of the effect of whispering gallery modes and diffraction on the extraction mechanism are given. As a result, the optimal diameter of 414 nm is obtained based on a trade-off between the transmission loss and the diffraction enhancement.
We present results of theoretical and experimental studies of whispering-gallery modes in optical microdisk resonators interacting with subwavelength dielectric particles. We predict theoretically and confirm by direct observations that, contrary to the generally accepted models, both peaks of the particle-induced doublet of resonances are red shifted with respect to the position of the initial resonance.
Convergent studies have highlighted the dysfunction of the amygdala, prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, only a few studies have investigated the functional connectivity between brain regions in PTSD patients during the resting state, which may improve our understanding of the neuropathophysiology of PTSD. The aim of this study was to investigate patterns of whole-brain functional connectivity in treatment-naive PTSD patients without co-morbid conditions who experienced the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in the Sichuan province of China.
A total of 72 PTSD patients and 86 trauma-exposed non-PTSD controls participated in the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study. All these subjects were recruited from the disaster zone of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Functional connectivities between 90 paired brain regions in PTSD patients were compared with those in trauma-exposed non-PTSD controls. Furthermore, Pearson correlation analysis was performed between significantly abnormal connectivities in PTSD patients and their clinician-administered PTSD scale (CAPS) scores.
Compared with non-PTSD controls, PTSD patients showed weaker positive connectivities between the middle prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the amygdala, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and rectus, as well as between the inferior orbitofrontal cortex and the hippocampus. In addition, PTSD patients showed stronger negative connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and the insula. The CAPS scores in PTSD patients correlated negatively with the connectivity between the amygdala and the mPFC.
PTSD patients showed abnormalities in whole-brain functional connectivity, primarily affecting the connectivities between the mPFC and limbic system, and connectivity between the PCC and insula.