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Co-receptor tropism has been identified to correlate with HIV-1 transmission and the disease progression in patients. A molecular epidemiology investigation of co-receptor tropism is important for clinical practice and effective control of HIV-1. In this study, we investigated the co-receptor tropism on HIV-1 variants of 85 antiretroviral-naive patients with Geno2pheno algorithm at a false-positive rate of 10%. Our data showed that a majority of the subjects harboured the CCR5-tropic virus (81.2%, 69/85). No significant differences in gender, age, baseline CD4+ T-cell counts and transmission routes were observed between subjects infected with CXCR4-tropic or CCR5-tropic virus. The co-receptor tropism appeared to be associated with the virus genotype; a significantly more CXCR4-use was predicted in CRF01_AE infections whereas all CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC were predicted to use CCR5 co-receptor. Sequences analysis of V3 revealed a higher median net charge in the CXCR4 viruses over CCR5 viruses (4.0 vs. 3.0, P < 0.05). The predicted N-linked glycosylation site between amino acids 6 and 8 in the V3 region was conserved in CCR5 viruses, but not in CXCR4 viruses. Besides, variable crown motifs were observed in both CCR5 and CXCR4 viruses, of which the most prevalent motif GPGQ existed in both viral tropism and almost all genotypes identified in this study except subtype B. These findings may offer important implications for clinical practice and enhance our understanding of HIV-1 biology.
Curcumin has been attributed with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial activities, and has shown highly protective effects against enteropathogenic bacteria and mycotoxins. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the major intestinal pathogenic mycotoxins. The possible effect of curcumin on the alleviation of enterotoxicity induced by OTA is unknown. The effects of dietary curcumin supplementation on OTA-induced oxidative stress, intestinal barrier and mitochondrial dysfunctions were examined in young ducks. A total of 540 mixed-sex 1-day-old White Pekin ducklings with initial BW (43.4±0.1 g) were randomly assigned into controls (fed only the basal diet), a group fed an OTA-contaminated diet (2 mg/kg feed), and a group fed the same OTA-contaminated feed plus 400 mg/kg of curcumin. Each treatment consisted of six replicates, each containing 30 ducklings and treatment lasted for 21 days. There was a significant decrease in average daily gain (ADG) and increased feed : gain caused by OTA (P<0.05); curcumin co-treatment prevented the decrease in BW and ADG compared with the OTA group (P<0.05). Histopathological and ultrastructural examination showed clear signs of enterotoxicity caused by OTA, but these changes were largely prevented by curcumin supplementation. Curcumin decreased the concentrations of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α and malondialdehyde, and increased the activity of glutathione peroxidase induced by OTA in the jejunal mucosa of ducks (P<0.05). Additionally, curcumin increased jejunal mucosa occludin and tight junction protein 1 mRNA and protein levels, and decreased those of ρ-associated protein kinase 1 (P<0.05). Notably, curcumin inhibited the increased expression of apoptosis-related genes, and downregulated mitochondrial transcription factors A, B1 and B2 caused by OTA without any effects on RNA polymerase mitochondrial (P<0.05). These results indicated that curcumin could protect ducks from OTA-induced impairment of intestinal barrier function and mitochondrial integrity.
Methane produced from formate is one of the important methanogensis pathways in the rumen. However, quantitative information of CH4 production from formate has been rarely reported. The aim of this study was to characterize the conversion rate (CR) of formic acid into CH4 and CO2 by rumen microorganisms. Ground lucerne hay was incubated with buffered ruminal fluid for 6, 12, 24 and 48 h. Before the incubation, 13C-labeled H13COOH was also supplied into the incubation bottle at a dose of 0, 1.5, 2.2 or 2.9 mg/g of DM substrate. There were no interactions (P>0.05) between dose and incubation time for all variables evaluated. When expressed as an absolute amount (ml in gas sample) or a relative CR (%), both 13CH4 and 13CO2 production quadratically increased (P<0.01) with the addition of H13COOH. The total 13C (13CH4 and 13CO2) CR was also quadratically increased (P<0.01) when H13COOH was added. Moreover, formate addition linearly decreased (P<0.031) the concentrations of NH3-N, total and individual volatile fatty acids (acetate, propionate and butyrate), and quadratically decreased (P<0.014) the populations of protozoa, total methanogens, Methanosphaera stadtmanae, Methanobrevibacter ruminantium M1, Methanobrevibacter smithii and Methanosarcina barkeri. In summary, formate affects ruminal fermentation and methanogenesis, as well as the rumen microbiome, in particular microorganisms which are directly or indirectly involved in ruminal methanogenesis. This study provides quantitative verification for the rapid dissimilation of formate into CH4 and CO2 by rumen microorganisms.
To study the clinical effect of lens cleaning paper patching on traumatic eardrum perforations.
A total of 122 patients were divided into 2 groups, of which 56 patients were treated with lens cleaning paper patching and 66 acted as controls. The closure rate and healing time were compared between the two groups.
The healing rate of small perforations was 96.4 per cent (27 out of 28) in the patching group and 90 per cent (27 out of 30) in the control group. The difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). The healing rate of large perforations was 89.3 per cent (25 out of 28) and 80.6 per cent (29 out of 36) in the two groups, respectively. The difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The healing time of large perforations was shorter in the patching group than in the control group (p < 0.01).
Patching with lens cleaning paper under an endoscope can accelerate the closure of large traumatic eardrum perforations.
Over the past 8 years, human enteroviruses (HEVs) have caused 27 227 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Xiamen, including 99 severe cases and six deaths. We aimed to explore the molecular epidemiology of HFMD in Xiamen to inform the development of diagnostic assays, vaccines and other interventions. From January 2009 to September 2015, 5866 samples from sentinel hospitals were tested using nested reverse transcription PCR that targeted the HEV 5′ untranslated region and viral protein 1 region. Of these samples, 4290 were tested positive for HEV and the amplicons were sequenced and genotyped. Twenty-two genotypes were identified. Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackieviruses A16, A6 and A10 (CA16, CA6 and CA10) were the most common genotypes, and there were no changes in the predominant lineages of these genotypes. EV71 became the most predominant genotype every 2 years. From 2013, CA6 replaced CA16 as one of the two most common genotypes. The results demonstrate the vast diversity of HFMD pathogens, and that minor genotypes are able to replace major genotypes. We recommend carrying-out long-term monitoring of the full spectrum of HFMD pathogens, which could facilitate epidemic prediction and the development of diagnostic assays and vaccines.
The fruit of Ligustrum lucidum (FLL, Nuzhenzi in Chinese) is an important traditional medicine, and have attracted significant research attention because of their various biological activities. However, there are few research reports available on the use of FLL as a feed additive in livestock nutrition, particularly in layers. This study was conducted to determine the effects of supplementation of the diet of laying hens with FLL on laying performance, egg quality and blood metabolites. A total of 360 72-week-old hens were allocated to three dietary treatments (eight replications of 15 hens/treatment group) and were fed either a control diet or a diet supplemented with an inclusion level of 0.25% or 0.50% of FLL powder in the final feed, until 78 weeks of age. Hens were housed in a three-tier cage system. Feed and water were provided ad libitum. Blood samples and eggs were collected at the end of the experiment. The results showed that dietary supplementation with FLL did not affect egg weight, feed conversion ratio, eggshell thickness, albumen height, egg yolk color, eggshell breaking strength or egg shape index. However, FLL supplementation significantly decreased (P<0.001) mortality, cracked-egg rate and blood serum levels of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides and alanine aminotransferase, and increased (P<0.001) blood serum levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. No differences in serum levels of total protein, albumin, glucose, calcium, aspartate aminotransferase or alkaline phosphatase were observed in hens fed FLL compared with the control group. It can be concluded that FLL, at a supplementation level of 0.25% final feed, can be used as an effective feed additive to improve the performance of laying hens during the late laying period.
The multiple colliding laser pulse concept formulated by Bulanov et al. (Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 104, 2010b, 220404) is beneficial for achieving an extremely high amplitude of coherent electromagnetic field. Since the topology of electric and magnetic fields of multiple colliding laser pulses oscillating in time is far from trivial and the radiation friction effects are significant in the high field limit, the dynamics of charged particles interacting with the multiple colliding laser pulses demonstrates remarkable features corresponding to random walk trajectories, limit circles, attractors, regular patterns and Lévy flights. Under extremely high intensity conditions the nonlinear dissipation mechanism stabilizes the particle motion resulting in the charged particle trajectory being located within narrow regions and in the occurrence of a new class of regular patterns made by the particle ensembles.
As the energy spread of intense pulsed electron beams (IPEB) strongly influences the irradiation effects, it has been of great importance to characterize the IPEB energy spectrum. With the combination of Child–Langmuir law and Monte Carlo simulation, the IPEB energy spectrum has been obtained in this work by transformation from the accelerating voltage applied to the diode. To verify the accuracy of this simple algorithm, a magnetic spectrometer with an imaging plate was designed to test the IPEB energy spectrum. The measurement was completed with IPEB generated by explosive emission electron diode, the pulse duration, maximum electron energy, total beam current being 80 ns, 450 keV, and 1 kA, respectively. The results verified the reliability of the above analysis method for energy spectrum, which can avoid intercepting the beam, and at the same time significantly improved the energy resolution. Some calculation and experimental details are discussed in this paper.
Soluble starch synthase II (SSII) plays an important role in the biosynthesis of starch and in rice it consists of three isoforms encoded by SSII-1, SSII-2 and SSII-3. However, the genetic effects of various SSII alleles on grain quality have not been systematically characterized. In the present study, the japonica alleles on SSII-1, SSII-2 and SSII-3 (SSIIa) loci from a japonica cultivar, Suyunuo, were respectively introgressed by molecular marker-assisted selection into a typical indica cultivar, Guichao2, through successive backcrossing, generating three sets of near-isogenic lines (NILs). Grain quality and starch property analysis showed that NIL-SSII-3j exhibited significant decreases in the following parameters: amylose content, average granule size, and setback viscosity and consistency; but increases in peak viscosity, hot paste viscosity, gelatinization temperature and relative crystallinity. Moreover, the proportion of short amylopectin chains and branching degree also increased when compared with those of NIL-SSII-3i (Guochao2). Similar effects were observed in NIL-SSII-1j, and certain alterations in the fine structure of starch (granule size) were revealed. However, NIL-SSII-2j did not exert significant effect on grain quality and starch properties. In brief, among the SSII gene family, the functional diversity occurred on SSII-1 and SSII-3, and not on SSII-2. Therefore, it appears that more attention should be directed to SSII-1 and SSII-3 loci for improving the eating and cooking quality of rice.
The objective of this study was to determine if a moderate or high reduction of dietary CP, supplemented with indispensable amino acids (IAA), would affect growth, intestinal morphology and immunological parameters of pigs. A total of 40 barrows (initial BW=13.50±0.50 kg, 45±2 day of age) were used in a completely randomized block design, and allocated to four dietary treatments containing CP levels at 20.00%, 17.16%, 15.30% and 13.90%, respectively. Industrial AA were added to meet the IAA requirements of pigs. After 4-week feeding, blood and tissue samples were obtained from pigs. The results showed that reducing dietary CP level decreased average daily gain, plasma urea nitrogen concentration and relative organ weights of liver and pancreas (P<0.01), and increased feed conversion ratio (P<0.01). Pigs fed the 13.90% CP diet had significantly lower growth performance than that of pigs fed higher CP at 20.00%, 17.16% or 15.30%. Moreover, reducing dietary CP level decreased villous height in duodenum (P<0.01) and crypt depth in duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0.01). The reduction in the dietary CP level increased plasma concentrations of methionine, alanine (P<0.01) and lysine (P<0.05), and decreased arginine (P<0.05). Intriguingly, reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 13.90% resulted in a significant decrease in plasma concentration of IgG (P<0.05), percentage of CD3+T cells of the peripheral blood (P<0.01), also down-regulated the mRNA abundance of innate immunity-related genes on toll-like receptor 4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (P<0.01) and nuclear factor kappa B (P<0.05) in the ileum. These results indicate that reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 15.30%, supplemented with IAA, had no significant effect on growth performance and had a limited effect on immunological parameters. However, a further reduction of dietary CP level up to 13.90% would lead to poor growth performance and organ development, associated with the modifications of intestinal morphology and immune function.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a type of pathogenic bacteria that cause diarrhea in piglets through colonizing pig small intestine epithelial cells by their surface fimbriae. Different fimbriae type of ETEC including F4, F18, K99 and F41 have been isolated from diarrheal pigs. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study to map the loci associated with the susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 using 39454 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 667 F2 pigs from a White Duroc×Erhualian F2 cross. The most significant SNP (ALGA0022658, P=5.59×10−13) located at 6.95 Mb on chromosome 4. ALGA0022658 was in high linkage disequilibrium (r2>0.5) with surrounding SNPs that span a 1.21 Mb interval. Within this 1.21 Mb region, we investigated ZFAT as a positional candidate gene. We re-sequenced cDNA of ZFAT in four pigs with different susceptibility phenotypes, and identified seven coding variants. We genotyped these seven variants in 287 unrelated pigs from 15 diverse breeds that were measured with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype. Five variants showed nominal significant association (P<0.05) with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype in International commercial pigs. This study provided refined region associated with susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 than that reported previously. Further works are needed to uncover the underlying causal mutation(s).
Understanding the physiological mechanisms of biomass accumulation and partitioning in the grain, and the nitrogen (N) uptake associated with different plant densities and N management strategies, is essential for achieving both high yield and N use efficiency (NUE) in maize plants. A field experiment was conducted in 2013 and 2014, using five rates of N application and three plant densities (6·0, 7·5 and 9·0 plants/m2) in Quzhou County on the North China Plain (NCP). The objective was to evaluate whether higher plant density can produce more biomass allocated to the grain to achieve higher grain yield and to determine the optimal N management strategies for different plant densities. The highest grain yield and NUE were achieved in the 7·5 plants/m2 treatment; both the sub-optimal (6·0 plants/m2) and supra-optimal (9·0 plants/m2) plant densities resulted in diminished yield and NUE. Compared to 6·0 plants/m2, the 7·5 plants/m2 treatment displayed higher biomass accumulation during the grain-filling period and also exhibited more biomass allocated to kernels with similar total biomass accumulation compared with the 9·0 plants/m2 treatment, which contributed to its higher grain yield. The N uptake in the 7·5 plants/m2 treatment was similar to that in the 9·0 plants/m2 treatment up to pre-silking. However, the post-silking N uptake of the 7·5 plants/m2 treatment was 66·4 kg/ha, which was 29·1% higher than that of the 9·0 plants/m2 treatment. Furthermore, the highest maize grain yield was achieved in the 0·7 × optimal N rate (ONR × 0·7), ONR and ONR × 1·3 treatments for 6·0, 7·5 and 9·0 plants/m2, respectively, which suggests that different N management strategies are needed for different plant densities. In conclusion, selecting a planting density of 7·5 plants/m2 with an in-season root zone N management is a potentially effective strategy for achieving high grain yield and high NUE for maize production on the NCP.
Concerning a materials ability to convert heat to electrical energy, the electrical power factor S2/ρ as well as the thermal conductivity at elevated temperatures are of special interest. Since Flash experiments measure the thermal diffusivity and standard steady-state heat-flow experiments are inaccurate at elevated temperatures due to radiation errors inherent to this technique, direct and accurate thermal conductivity data on type-I clathrate single crystals at elevated temperatures are scarce in literature. Here we report 3ω thermal conductivity data on single crystalline Ba8Cu5.09Ge40.91 (BCG), La1.23Ba6.99Au5.91Si39.87, and Ce1.06Ba6.91Au5.56Si40.47 in the temperature range between 80 and 330 K, and specific heat data on BCG between 2 and 300 K. The comparison of our room temperature phonon thermal conductivity data (κph) to results on transition metal (TM) free type-I clathrates in terms of the guest free space (Rfree) suggests a stronger dependence of κph on Rfree for the clathrates containing TM elements.
The interferon-inducible transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3), as one of the key genes involved in the interferon pathway, is critical for defending the host against influenza virus, and the rs12252 T>C variant in IFITM3 might be associated with susceptibility to severe influenza. Owing to contradictory and inconclusive results, we performed a meta-analysis to assess the association between rs12252 T>C polymorphism and severe influenza risk. A comprehensive literature search up to 1 August 2014 was conducted in EMBASE, Pubmed, Web of Science, VIP, Wanfang and CNKI databases. Four eligible studies with a total of 445 influenza patients and 3396 controls were included in this meta-analysis. Overall, our results demonstrated a significant association between the IFITM3 rs12252 T>C polymorphism and influenza risk [C vs. T: odds ratio (OR) 1·68, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·32–2·13; CC vs. CT+TT: OR 2·38, 95% CI 1·52–3·73; CC+CT vs. TT: OR 1·62, 95% CI 1·18–2·22]. Stratification by ethnicity indicated that the variant C allele was associated with an 88% increased risk of influenza in Asians (C vs. T: OR 1·88, 95% CI 1·34–2·62). Moreover, subjects carrying the variant C allele had an increased risk of developing severe illness upon influenza infection (C vs. T: OR 2·70, 95% CI 1·86–3·94). However, no significant association was observed in patients with mild infection (C vs. T: OR 1·26, 95% CI 0·93–1·71). Our meta-analysis suggests that IFITM3 rs12252 T>C polymorphism is significantly associated with increased risk of severe influenza but not with the chance of initial virus infection.
Meta-analyses support the efficacy of cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) for schizophrenia in western cultures. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of CBT and supportive therapy (ST) for patients with schizophrenia in China.
A multicentre randomized controlled, single-blinded, parallel-group trial enrolled a sample of 192 patients with schizophrenia. All patients were offered 15 sessions of either CBT or ST over 24 weeks and followed up for an additional 60 weeks. All measures used were standardized instruments with good reliability and validity. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was used to assess symptoms of schizophrenia. The Schedule for Assessing Insight (SAI) was used to assess patients’ insight and the Personal and Social Performance Scale (PSP) was used to assess their social functioning.
Effect-size analysis showed that patients made rapid improvements in all symptoms, insight and social functioning as measured by the PANSS, SAI and PSP at 12 and 24 weeks and maintained these improvements over the course of the study to 84 weeks. Patients in the CBT group showed significantly greater and more durable improvement in PANSS total score (p = 0.045, between-group d = 0.48), positive symptoms (p = 0.018, between-group d = 0.42) and social functioning (p = 0.037, between-group d = 0.64), with significant differences emerging after completion of therapy.
Both CBT and ST combined with medication had benefits on psychopathology, insight and social functioning of patients with schizophrenia. CBT was significantly more effective than ST on overall, positive symptoms and social functioning of patients with schizophrenia in the long term.
Assessing carbon footprint (CF) of crop production in a whole crop life-cycle could provide insights into the contribution of crop production to climate change and help to identify possible greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation options. In the current study, data for the major crops of China were collected from the national statistical archive on cultivation area, yield, application rates of fertilizer, pesticide, diesel, plastic film, irrigated water, etc. The CF of direct and indirect carbon emissions associated with or caused by these agricultural inputs was quantified with published emission factors. In general, paddy rice, wheat, maize and soybean of China had mean CFs of 2472, 794, 781 and 222 kg carbon equivalent (CE)/ha, and 0·37, 0·14, 0·12 and 0·10 kg CE/kg product, respectively. For dry crops (i.e. those grown without flooding the fields: wheat, maize and soybean), 0·78 of the total CFs was contributed by nitrogen (N) fertilizer use, including both direct soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emission and indirect emissions from N fertilizer manufacture. Meanwhile, direct methane (CH4) emissions contributed 0·69 on average to the total CFs of flooded paddy rice. Moreover, the difference in N fertilizer application rates explained 0·86–0·93 of the provincial variations of dry crop CFs while that in CH4 emissions could explain 0·85 of the provincial variation of paddy rice CFs. When a 30% reduction in N fertilization was considered, a potential reduction in GHGs of 60 megatonne (Mt) carbon dioxide equivalent from production of these crops was projected. The current work highlights opportunities to gain GHG emission reduction in production of crops associated with good management practices in China.
Pre-storage drying-transfer operations and early stage storage expose cladding to higher temperatures and much higher pressure-induced tensile hoop stresses relative to normal operation in-reactor and pool storage under these conditions. Radial hydrides precipitate during cooling and could provide an additional embrittlement mechanism as the cladding temperature decreases below the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature. To simulate this behavior, unirradiated Zircaloy-4 samples were hydrided by a gas charging method to levels that encompass the range of hydrogen concentrations observed in current used fuel. Mechanical testing was carried out by the ring compression test (RCT) method at various temperatures to evaluate the sample’s ductility for both as-hydrided and post-hydride reorientation treated specimens. As-hydrided samples with higher hydrogen concentration (>800 ppm) resulted in lower strain before fracture and reduced maximum load. Increasing RCT temperatures resulted in increased ductility of the as-hydrided cladding. A systematic radial hydride treatment was conducted at various pressures and temperatures for the hydrided samples with H content around 200 ppm. Following the radial hydride treatment, RCTs on the hydride reoriented samples were conducted and exhibited lower ductility compared to as-hydrided samples.
Direct printing of functional oxide thin films could provide a new route to low-cost, efficient and scalable fabrications of electronic devices. One challenge that remains open is to design the inks with long term stability for effective deposition of specific oxide materials of industrial importance. In this paper, we introduce a reliable method of producing stable inks for ‘in-situ’ deposition of oxide thin films by inkjet printing. The inks were prepared from metal-acetates solutions and printed on a variety of substrates. The acetate precursors were decomposed into oxide films during the subsequent calcination process to achieve the ‘in-situ’ deposition of the desired oxide films directly on the substrate. By this procedure we have obtained room temperature contamination free ferromagnetic spintronic materials like Fe doped MgO and ZnO films from their acetate(s) solutions. We find that the origin of magnetism in ZnO, MgO and their Fe-doped films to be intrinsic. For a 28 nm thick film of Fe-doped ZnO we observe an enhanced magnetic moment of 16.0 emu/cm3 while it is 5.5 emu/cm3 for the doped MgO film of single pass printed. The origin of magnetism is attributed to cat-ion vacancies. We have also fabricated highly transparent indium tin oxide films with a transparency >95% both in the visible and IR range which is rather unique compared to films grown by any other technique. The films have a nano-porous structure, an added bonus from inkjetting that makes such films advantageous for a broad range of applications.