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The characteristic traits of maize (Zea mays L.) leaves affect light interception and photosynthesis. Measurement or estimation of individual leaf area has been described using discontinuous equations or bell-shaped functions. However, new maize hybrids show different canopy architecture, such as leaf angle in modern maize which is more upright and ear leaf and adjacent leaves which are longer than older hybrids. The original equations and their parameters, which have been used for older maize hybrids and grown at low plant densities, will not accurately represent modern hybrids. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to develop a new empirical equation that captures vertical leaf distribution. To characterize the vertical leaf profile, we conducted a field experiment in Jilin province, Northeast China from 2015 to 2018. Our new equation for the vertical distribution of leaf profile describes leaf length, width or leaf area as a function of leaf rank, using parameters for the maximum value for leaf length, width or area, the leaf rank at which the maximum value is obtained, and the width of the curve. It thus involves one parameter less than the previously used equations. By analysing the characteristics of this new equation, we identified four key leaf ranks (4, 8, 14 and 20) for which leaf parameter values need to be quantified in order to have a good estimation of leaf length, width and area. Together, the method of leaf area estimation proposed here adds versatility for use in modern maize hybrids and simplifies the field measurements by using the four key leaf ranks to estimate vertical leaf distribution in maize canopy instead of all leaf ranks.
We sought to determine whether combined chemical, mechanical, and heat cleaning was superior to standard cleaning for the decontamination of 32 sink and shower drains harboring carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPOs). Of 16 intervention drains, 10 (63%) were decontaminated until day 7 versus 1 (5%) of 16 comparator drains (P = .002). Intensive cleaning may be useful if administered repeatedly in drain-associated CPO outbreaks.
The aim of this study was to explore the frequency and distribution of gene mutations that are related to isoniazid (INH) and rifampin (RIF)-resistance in the strains of the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) in Beijing, China. In this retrospective study, the genotypes of 173 MDR-TB strains were analysed by spoligotyping. The katG, inhA genes and the promoter region of inhA, in which genetic mutations confer INH resistance; and the rpoB gene, in which genetic mutations confer RIF resistance, were sequenced. The percentage of resistance-associated nucleotide alterations among the strains of different genotypes was also analysed. In total, 90.8% (157/173) of the MDR strains belonged to the Beijing genotype. Population characteristics were not significantly different among the strains of different genotypes. In total, 50.3% (87/173) strains had mutations at codon S315T of katG; 16.8% (29/173) of strains had mutations in the inhA promoter region; of them, 5.5% (15/173) had point mutations at −15 base (C→T) of the inhA promoter region. In total, 86.7% (150/173) strains had mutations at rpoB gene; of them, 40% (69/173) strains had mutations at codon S531L of rpoB. The frequency of mutations was not significantly higher in Beijing genotypic MDR strains than in non-Beijing genotypes. Beijing genotypic MDR-TB strains were spreading in Beijing and present a major challenge to TB control in this region. A high prevalence of katG Ser315Thr, inhA promoter region (−15C→T) and rpoB (S531L) mutations was observed. Molecular diagnostics based on gene mutations was a useful method for rapid detection of MDR-TB in Beijing, China.
Lifestyle interventions are an important and viable approach for preventing cognitive deficits. However, the results of studies on alcohol, coffee and tea consumption in relation to cognitive decline have been divergent, likely due to confounds from dose–response effects. This meta-analysis aimed to find the dose–response relationship between alcohol, coffee or tea consumption and cognitive deficits.
Prospective cohort studies or nested case-control studies in a cohort investigating the risk factors of cognitive deficits were searched in PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane and Web of Science up to 4th June 2020. Two authors searched the databases and extracted the data independently. We also assessed the quality of the studies with the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Stata 15.0 software was used to perform model estimation and plot the linear or nonlinear dose–response relationship graphs.
The search identified 29 prospective studies from America, Japan, China and some European countries. The dose–response relationships showed that compared to non-drinkers, low consumption (<11 g/day) of alcohol could reduce the risk of cognitive deficits or only dementias, but there was no significant effect of heavier drinking (>11 g/day). Low consumption of coffee reduced the risk of any cognitive deficit (<2.8 cups/day) or dementia (<2.3 cups/day). Green tea consumption was a significant protective factor for cognitive health (relative risk, 0.94; 95% confidence intervals, 0.92–0.97), with one cup of tea per day brings a 6% reduction in risk of cognitive deficits.
Light consumption of alcohol (<11 g/day) and coffee (<2.8 cups/day) was associated with reduced risk of cognitive deficits. Cognitive benefits of green tea consumption increased with the daily consumption.
To compare sensitivity of specimens for COVID-19 diagnosis, we tested 151 nasopharyngeal/midturbinate swab pairs from 117 COVID-19 inpatients using reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Sensitivity was 94% for nasopharyngeal and 75% for midturbinate swabs (P = .0001). In 88 nasopharyngeal/midturbinate pairs with matched saliva, sensitivity was 86% for nasopharyngeal swabs and 88% for combined midturbinate swabs/saliva.
Although handwashing is an effective way to prevent infections, there is scarce evidence on predictors of handwashing during a pandemic. This paper aims to identify behavioural and demographic predictors of handwashing. The study surveyed 674 adults in Malaysia in May 2020 regarding whether the time spent on social media predicted handwashing contingent on gender and number of children. More time spent on social media was positively associated with handwashing for males with three or more children. However, for males without children, social media use was negatively associated with handwashing. The association was not significant for males with one or two children. For females, more time spent on social media was significantly linked to more handwashing only for females with one child. Gender, a traditional predictor of handwashing, was a useful predictor only for those who spent more than three hours per day on social media and had at most one child. Number of children was a novel negative predictor for males who did not use social media and who averaged one hour per day on social media, a positive predictor for males who spent lots of time on social media, but not a predictor for females. In sum, social media use predicts handwashing, and is thus a helpful variable for use in targeted health communication during a pandemic – particularly through social media. Further, more conventional predictors like gender and number of children exhibit contingency effects with social media use.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is a disease with a high case-fatality rate that is caused by infection with the SFTS virus (SFTSV). Five electronic databases were systematically searched to identify relevant articles published from 1 January 2011 to 1 December 2019. The pooled rates with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated by a fixed-effect or random-effect model analysis. The results showed that 92 articles were included in this meta-analysis. For the confirmed SFTS cases, the case-fatality rate was 0.15 (95% CI 0.11, 0.18). Two hundred and ninety-six of 1384 SFTS patients indicated that they had been bitten by ticks and the biting rate was 0.21 (95% CI 0.16, 0.26). The overall pooled seroprevalence of SFTSV antibodies among the healthy population was 0.04 (95% CI 0.03, 0.05). For the overall seroprevalence of SFTSV in animals, the seroprevalence of SFTSV was 0.25 (95% CI 0.20, 0.29). The infection rate of SFTSV in ticks was 0.08 (95% CI 0.05, 0.11). In conclusion, ticks can serve as transmitting vectors of SFTSVs and reservoir hosts. Animals can be infected by tick bites, and as a reservoir host, SFTSV circulates continuously between animals and ticks in nature. Humans are infected by tick bites and direct contact with patient secretions.
Unipolar non-seasonal depressed patients with concomitant evening chronotype were associated with poor clinical outcomes and higher non-remission rate. This study aims to examine the efficacy of adjunctive bright light therapy with gradual timing advance in a randomized, assessor and prescriber-blinded controlled trial.
Participants were randomly allocated to receive 5 weeks of either bright white light therapy (BLT) or dim red light (DRL) with the same advancement protocol. Participants were followed up till 5 months after treatment. Primary outcomes included (i) remission rate and (ii) the severity of depression. The analysis was conducted using Kaplan–Meier survival analysis, Cox proportional hazard analysis and linear mixed models.
A total of 93 participants (46.4 ± 11.7 years old, 80% female) were randomized. The cumulative remission rate for the BLT and the DRL groups was 67.4% and 46.7%, respectively. Time to remission was shorter for the BLT group relative to the DRL group (log-rank test p = 0.024). Cox proportional hazard survival analysis showed that patients in the BLT group had a higher probability of achieving remission relative to patients in the DRL group [hazard ratio = 1.9 (95% CI = 1.1– 3.4), p = 0.026]. Further sensitivity analysis demonstrated greater improvement in 17-Hamilton Depression Score (group × time interaction, p = 0.04) in the BLT group for those who were adherent to light therapy.
The use of bright light therapy with gradual advance protocol is an effective adjunctive treatment resulting in quicker and a higher rate of remission of depression in patients with non-seasonal unipolar depression and evening-chronotype.
The outcomes of dry and wet ears were compared following endoscopic cartilage myringoplasty performed to treat chronic tympanic membrane perforations in patients with mucosal chronic otitis media.
Patients with chronic perforations, and with mucosal chronic otitis media with or without discharge, were recruited; all underwent endoscopic cartilage myringoplasty. The graft success rate and hearing gain were evaluated at six months post-operatively.
The graft success rates were 85.9 per cent (67 out of 78) in dry ears and 86.2 per cent (25 out of 29) in wet ears; the difference was not significant (p = 0.583). Among the 29 wet ears, the graft success rates were 100 per cent in 11 ears with mucoid discharge and 77.8 per cent in the 18 patients with mucopurulent otorrhoea.
The wet or dry status of ears in patients with chronic perforations with mucosal chronic otitis media did not affect graft success rate or hearing gain after endoscopic cartilage myringoplasty. However, ears with mucopurulent discharge were associated with increased failure rates and graft collapse, whereas ears with mucoid discharge were associated with higher graft success rates.
Longan is an economically important sub-tropical fruit tree native to southern China and southeast Asia. Its production has been affected significantly by climate change, but the underlying reasons remain unclear. Herein, the potential growing areas of longan were simulated by the Maxent model under current and future conditions. The results showed excellent prediction performance, with an area under curve of >0.9 for model training and validation. The key environmental variables identified were mean temperature of the coldest quarter, minimum temperature of the coldest month, annual mean temperature and mean temperature of the driest quarter. The optimum suitable areas of longan were found to be concentrated mainly in south-western, southern and eastern China, with a slight increase in optimum suitable areas under two different emission scenarios of three global climatic models. However, its future potential growing areas were predicted to differ among provinces or cities. Suitable growing areas in Sichuan, Jiangxi, Guangxi and Chongqing will first increase and then remain approximately unchanged between the 2050s and 2070s; those in Yunnan, Guangdong and Hainan will remain approximately unchanged from the present to the 2070s; those in Fujian and Guizhou will fluctuate slightly from the present to the 2050s and then increase to the 2070s; those in Taiwan will first decrease and then increase. In summary, the major future production areas of longan will be Guangdong, Hainan and Guangxi provinces, followed by Chongqing, Yunnan, Fujian and Taiwan. Thus, this study serves as a useful guide for the management of longan.
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed serious challenges. It is vitally important to further clarify the epidemiological characteristics of the COVID-19 outbreak for future study and prevention and control measures. Epidemiological characteristics and spatial−temporal analysis were performed based on COVID-19 cases from 21 January 2020 to 1 March 2020 in Shandong Province, and close contacts were traced to construct transmission chains. A total of 758 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported in Shandong. The sex ratio was 1.27: 1 (M: F) and the median age was 42 (interquartile range: 32–55). The high-risk clusters were identified in the central, eastern and southern regions of Shandong from 25 January 2020 to 10 February 2020. We rebuilt 54 transmission chains involving 209 cases, of which 52.2% were family clusters, and three widespread infection chains were elaborated, occurring in Jining, Zaozhuang and Liaocheng, respectively. The geographical and temporal disparity may alert public health agencies to implement specific measures in regions with different risk, and should attach importance on how to avoid household and community transmission.
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can improve the growth performance of bulls. This study investigated the influences of GAA addition on growth, nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation and serum metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were randomly allocated to experimental treatments, that is, control, low-GAA (LGAA), medium-GAA (MGAA) and high-GAA (HGAA), with GAA supplementation at 0, 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g/kg DM, respectively. Bulls were fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg DM concentrate and 500 g/kg DM roughage. The experimental period was 104 days, with 14 days for adaptation and 90 days for data collection. Bulls in the MGAA and HGAA groups had higher DM intake and average daily gain than bulls in the LGAA and control groups. The feed conversion ratio was lowest in MGAA and highest in the control. Bulls receiving 0.9 g/kg DM GAA addition had higher digestibility of DM, organic matter, NDF and ADF than bulls in other groups. The digestibility of CP was higher for HGAA than for LGAA and control. The ruminal pH was lower for MGAA, and the total volatile fatty acid concentration was greater for MGAA and HGAA than for the control. The acetate proportion and acetate-to-propionate ratio were lower for MGAA than for LGAA and control. The propionate proportion was higher for MGAA than for control. Bulls receiving GAA addition showed decreased ruminal ammonia N. Bulls in MGAA and HGAA had higher cellobiase, pectinase and protease activities and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus populations than bulls in LGAA and control. However, the total protozoan population was lower for MGAA and HGAA than for LGAA and control. The total bacterial and Ruminococcus flavefaciens populations increased with GAA addition. The blood level of creatine was higher for HGAA, and the activity of l-arginine glycine amidine transferase was lower for MGAA and HGAA, than for control. The blood activity of guanidine acetate N-methyltransferase and the level of folate decreased in the GAA addition groups. The results indicated that dietary addition of 0.6 or 0.9 g/kg DM GAA improved growth performance, nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation in bulls.
Soybean meal is rich in soybean isoflavones, which exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer functions in humans and animals. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of soybean isoflavones on the growth performance, intestinal morphology and antioxidative properties in pigs. A total of 72 weaned piglets (7.45 ± 0.13 kg; 36 males and 36 females) were allocated into three treatments and fed corn-soybean meal (C-SBM), corn-soy protein concentrate (C-SPC) or C-SPC supplemented with equal levels of the isoflavones found in the C-SBM diet (C-SPC + ISF) for a 72-day trial. Each treatment had six replicates and four piglets per replicate, half male and half female. On day 42, one male pig from each replicate was selected and euthanized to collect intestinal samples. The results showed that compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had higher BW on day 72 (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM diet had significantly higher average daily gain (ADG) during days 14 to 28 (P < 0.05), with C-SPC + ISF being intermediate; pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P = 0.063), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P < 0.05). Moreover, compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have greater villus height (P = 0.092), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly greater villus height (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had significantly increased villus height-to-crypt depth ratio (P < 0.05). Compared with the C-SPC diet, dietary C-SPC + ISF tended to increase plasma superoxide dismutase activity on days 28 (P = 0.085) and 42 (P = 0.075) and reduce plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) content on day 42 (P = 0.089), as well as significantly decreased jejunal mucosa MDA content on day 42 (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference in the expression of tight junction genes among the three groups was found (P > 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that a long-term exposure to soybean isoflavones enhances the growth performance, protects the intestinal morphology and improves the antioxidative properties in pigs.
Considering the decision-making requirements of airport, airlines and passengers, a bilevel programming model which contains two parts was proposed in this paper. One part is to improve the utilization of gates of the airport (upper level), so the objective function of the upper level to the minimum overall variance of slack time between two consecutive air crafts at the same gate. The other part looks at maximize the airline revenue and passengers more conveniently and comfortably (lower level). The lower level has two objective functions — the minimum passenger transfer failure and the minimum passenger average transfer time, respectively. According to the latest data of an airport in Eastern China, the adaptive genetic algorithm is used to solve the above-mentioned bilevel optimisation problems. The numerical experiment shows that the model not only reduces the variance of the relaxation time, but also optimises the flight gate allocation and achieves the initial goal.
The meat quality of chicken is an important factor affecting the consumer’s health. It was hypothesized that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) could be effectively deposited in chicken, by incorporating antioxidation of soybean isoflavone (SI), which led to improved quality of chicken meat for good health of human beings. Effects of partial or complete dietary substitution of lard (LA) with linseed oil (LO), with or without SI on growth performance, biochemical indicators, meat quality, fatty acid profiles, lipid-related health indicators and gene expression of breast muscle were examined in chickens. A total of 900 males were fed a corn–soybean meal diet supplemented with 4% LA, 2% LA + 2% LO and 4% LO and the latter two including 30 mg SI/kg (2% LA + 2% LO + SI and 4% LO + SI) from 29 to 66 days of age; each of the five dietary treatments included six replicates of 30 birds. Compared with the 4% LA diet, dietary 4% LO significantly increased the feed efficiency and had no negative effect on objective indices related to meat quality; LO significantly decreased plasma triglycerides and total cholesterol (TCH); abdominal fat percentage was significantly decreased in birds fed the 4% LO and 4% LO + SI diets. Chickens with LO diets resulted in higher contents of α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3), EPA (C20:5n-3) and total n-3 PUFA, together with a lower content of palmitic acid (C16:0), lignoceric acid (C24:0), saturated fatty acids and n-6:n-3 ratio in breast muscle compared to 4% LA diet (P < 0.05); they also significantly decreased atherogenic index, thrombogenic index and increased the hypocholesterolemic to hypercholesterolemic ratio. Adding SI to the LO diets enhanced the contents of EPA and DHA (C22:6n-3), plasma total superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione and muscle GSH content, while decreased plasma total triglyceride and TCH and malondialdehyde content in plasma and breast muscle compared to its absence (P < 0.05). Expression in breast muscle of fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1), FADS2, elongase 2 (ELOVL2) and ELOVL5 genes were significantly higher with the LO diets including SI than with the 4% LA diet. Significant interactions existed between LO level and inclusion of SI on EPA and TCH contents. These findings indicate that diet supplemented with LO combined with SI is an effective alternative when optimizing the nutritional value of chicken meat for human consumers.
Porphyromonas gingivalis has been linked to the development and progression of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and is considered to be a high-risk factor for ESCC. Currently, the commonly used methods for P. gingivalis detection are culture or DNA extraction-based, which are either time and labour intensive especially for high-throughput applications. We aimed to establish and evaluate a rapid and sensitive direct quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) protocol for the detection of P. gingivalis without DNA extraction which is suitable for large-scale epidemiological studies. Paired gingival swab samples from 192 subjects undergoing general medical examinations were analysed using two direct and one extraction-based qPCR assays for P. gingivalis. Tris-EDTA buffer-based direct qPCR (TE-direct qPCR), lysis-based direct qPCR (lysis-direct qPCR) and DNA extraction-based qPCR (kit-qPCR) were used, respectively, in 192, 132 and 60 of these samples for quantification of P. gingivalis. The sensitivity and specificity of TE-direct qPCR was 95.24% and 100% compared with lysis-direct qPCR, which was 100% and 97.30% when compared with kit-qPCR; TE-direct qPCR had an almost perfect agreement with lysis-direct qPCR (κ = 0.954) and kit-qPCR (κ = 0.965). Moreover, the assay time used for TE-direct qPCR was 1.5 h. In conclusion, the TE-direct qPCR assay is a simple and efficient method for the quantification of oral P. gingivalis and showed high sensitivity and specificity compared with routine qPCR.
Reducing dietary CP content is an effective approach to reduce animal nitrogen excretion and save protein feed resources. However, it is not clear how reducing dietary CP content affects the nutrient digestion and absorption in the gut of ruminants, therefore it is difficult to accurately determine how much reduction in dietary CP content is appropriate. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of reduced dietary CP content on N balance, intestinal nutrient digestion and absorption, and rumen microbiota in growing goats. To determine N balance, 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were randomly assigned to one of three diets: 13.0% (control), 11.5% and 10.0% CP. Another 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were surgically fitted with ruminal, proximate duodenal, and terminal ileal fistulae and were randomly assigned to one of the three diets to investigate intestinal amino acid (AA) absorption and rumen microbiota. The results showed that fecal and urinary N excretion of goats fed diets containing 11.5% and 10.0% CP were lower than those of goats fed the control diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, N retention was decreased and apparent N digestibility in the entire gastrointestinal tract was increased in goats fed the 10% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the duodenal flow of lysine, tryptophan and phenylalanine was decreased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of lysine, methionine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, leucine, glutamic acid, tyrosine, essential AAs (EAAs) and total AAs (TAAs) was decreased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the apparent absorption of TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of isoleucine, serine, cysteine, EAAs, non-essential AAs, and TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the relative richness of Bacteroidetes and Fibrobacteres was increased and that of Proteobacteria and Synergistetes was decreased in the rumen of goats fed a diet with 10.0% CP. In conclusion, reducing dietary CP content reduced N excretion and increased nutrient utilization by improving rumen fermentation, enhancing nutrient digestion and absorption, and altering rumen microbiota in growing goats.
Thermal barrier coating is a high-temperature protective technology widely used in industrial gas turbines. However, the failure of coating peeling because of the generation of thermally grown oxide (TGO) at the interface during service hinders its further application. In this study, Raman spectroscopy and wedge indentation are used to determine the TGO residual stress and the interface energy release rate, respectively. The effect of TGO on the interfacial fracture toughness during the growth process was discussed. Raman spectroscopy test results show that the residual stress of TGO is about 0.5 GPa. Wedge indentation test results illustrate that high-temperature heat treatment could accelerate the interface degradation of thermal barrier coatings. Stress analysis and test research demonstrate that the microcracks induced by compressive stress of TGO will propagate with increasing heating time, ending with failure of barrier coatings.
It is to estimate the trend of suicide rate changes during the past three decades in China and try to identify its social and economic correlates.
Official data of suicide rates and economic indexes during 1982–2005 from Shandong Province of China were analyzed. The suicide data were categorized for the rural / urban location and gender, and the economic indexes include GDP, GDP per capita, rural income, and urban income, all adjusted for inflation.
We found a significant increase of economic development and decrease of suicide rates over the past decades under study. The suicide rate decrease is correlated with the tremendous growth of economy.
The unusual decrease of Chinese suicide rates in the past decades is accounted for within the Chinese cultural contexts and maybe by the Strain Theory of Suicide.