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Hepatitis E is an important zoonosis that is prevalent in China. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a pathogen that affects humans and animals and endangers public health in China. In this study, the detection of HEV epidemics in swine in Sichuan Province, China, was carried out by nested real-time PCR. A total of 174 stool samples and 160 bile samples from swine in Sichuan Province were examined. In addition, software was used to analyse the biological evolution of HEV. The results showed that within 2 years of swine HEV (SHEV) infection in China, SHEV was first detected in Sichuan Province. HEV was endemic in Sichuan; the positive rate for pig farms was 11.1%, and the total positive sample rate was 10.5%. The age of swine with the highest positive rate (17.9%) was 5–9 weeks. The examined swine species in order of highest to lowest HEV infection rates were Chenghua pig, Large White, Duroc, Pietrain, Landrace and Hampshire. Nucleotide and amino acid sequence analysis showed that the HEV epidemic in swine in Sichuan Province was related to genotype IV, which had the highest homology to HEV in Beijing. Sichuan strains have greater variation than Chinese representative strains, which may indicate the presence of new HEV strains.
To investigate the morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique computed tomography images.
The computed tomography temporal bone scans of 112 patients were retrospectively evaluated. Midpoint and opercular measurements were performed using axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images. Morphometric analyses were also conducted. The vestibular aqueduct sizes on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images were compared.
At the midpoint, the mean (± standard deviation) vestibular aqueduct measured 0.61 ± 0.23 mm, 0.74 ± 0.27 mm and 0.82 ± 0.38 mm on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the vestibular aqueduct measured 0.91 ± 0.30 mm, 1.11 ± 0.45 mm and 1.66 ± 1.07 mm on the respective images. The co-efficients of variation of the vestibular aqueduct measured at the midpoint were 37.4 per cent, 36.5 per cent and 47.5 per cent on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the measurements were 33.0 per cent, 40.5 per cent and 64.5 per cent. Regarding morphology, the vestibular aqueduct was fissured (33.5 per cent), tubular (64.3 per cent) or invisible (2.2 per cent).
The morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct were highly variable among axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images.
Based on unstructured hybrid grid and dynamic overlapping grid technique, numerical simulations of Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations were performed and investigation on isolated propeller aerodynamic characteristics and effects of propeller slipstream on turboprops were undertaken. The computational grid consisted of rotational subzone of propeller and stationary major-zone of aircraft, and walls criterion was used in the automatic hole-cutting procedure. Distance weight interpolation and tri-linear interpolation were developed to transfer information between the rotational and stationary subzones. The boundaries of overlapping grids were optimized for fixed axis rotation. The governing equations were solved by dual-time method and Lower Upper-Symmetric Gauss-Seidel method. The method and grid technique were verified by isolated propeller configuration and the computational results were in well agreement with the experimental data. The grid independence was studied to establish the numerical results. Finally, the flow around a turboprop case was simulated and the influence of propeller slipstream was presented by analyzing the surface pressure contours, profile pressure distribution, vorticity contours and profile streamline. It's indicated that the slipstream accelerates and rotates the free stream flow, changing the local angle of attack, enhancing the downwash effects, affecting the pressure distribution on wing and horizontal tail, as well as increasing the drag coefficient, pitching moment coefficient and the slope of lift coefficient.
A new trajectory tracking control approach for an under-actuated stratospheric airship is proposed. There is a two-level structure of the proposed controller. A low-level controller based on non-linear vectorial backstepping method, with the rigid-body dynamics expressed on vector form, stabilises the attitude and velocity of the airship, while a high-level controller performs guidance and trajectory tracking task in the three-dimensional (3D) space. Furthermore, a control allocation module based on the active set algorithm is incorporated into the low-level controller to optimise the practical control inputs under constraints of actuator saturation. The closed-loop trajectory tracking control plant is proved to be globally exponentially stable through the Lyapunov theory. Finally, simulations show that the vectorial backstepping trajectory tracking controller can achieve desired tracking performances even if the airship is affected by parametric uncertainties and exogenous disturbances.
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.
Studies of schizophrenia at drug-naive state and on antipsychotic medication have reported a number of regions of gray-matter (GM) abnormalities but the reports have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to conduct multimodal meta-analysis to compare the cross-sectional voxel-based morphometry studies of brain GM in antipsychotic-naive first-episode schizophrenia (AN-FES) and those with antipsychotic treatment within 1 year (AT-FES) to determine the similarities and differences in these groups. We conducted two separate meta-analyses containing 24 studies with a sample size of 801 patients and 957 healthy controls. A multimodal meta-analysis method was used to compare the findings between AN-FES and AT-FES. Meta-regression analyses were done to determine the influence of different variables including age, duration of illness, and positive and negative symptom scores. Finally, jack-knife analyses were done to test the robustness of the results. AN-FES and AT-FES showed common patterns of GM abnormalities in frontal (gyrus rectus), superior temporal, left hippocampal and insular cortex. GM in the left supramarginal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus were found to be increased in AN-FES but decreased in AT-FES, whereas left median cingulate/paracingulate gyri and right hippocampus GM was decreased in AN-FES but increased in AT-FES. Findings suggest that both AN-FES and AT-FES share frontal, temporal and insular regions as common anatomical regions to be affected indicating these to be the primary regions of GM abnormalities in both groups.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has become a global public health problem. Many studies have been conducted to identify risk factors for HCV infection. However, some of these studies reported inconsistent results. Using data collected from 11 methadone clinics, we fit both a non-spatial logistical regression and a geographically weighted logistic regression to analyse the association between HCV infection and some factors at the individual level. This study enrolled 5401 patients with 30·0% HCV infection prevalence. The non-spatial logistical regression found that injection history, drug rehabilitation history and senior high-school education or above were related to HCV infection; and being married was negatively associated with HCV infection. Using the spatial model, we found that Yi ethnicity was negatively related to HCV infection in 62·0% of townships, and being married was negatively associated with HCV infection in 81·0% of townships. Senior high-school education or above was positively associated with HCV infection in 55·2% of townships of the Yi Autonomous Prefecture. The spatial model offers better understanding of the geographical variations of the risk factors associated with HCV infection. The geographical variations may be useful for customizing intervention strategies for local regions for more efficient allocation of limited resources to control transmission of HCV.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) has been prevalent for some time in China and it was first identified in 2010. However, the seroprevalence of SFTSV in the general population in southeastern China and risk factors associated with the infection are currently unclear. Blood samples were collected from seven counties across Zhejiang province and tested for the presence of SFTSV-specific IgG antibodies by ELISA. A total of 1380 blood samples were collected of which 5·51% were seropositive for SFTSV with seroprevalence varying significantly between sites. Seroprevalence of SFTSV in people who were family members of the patient, lived in the same village as the patient, or lived in a different village than the patient varied significantly. There was significant difference in seroprevalence between participants who bred domestic animals and participants who did not. Domestic animals are probably potential reservoir hosts and contact with domestic animals may be a transmission route of SFTSV.
Because cerebral morphological abnormalities in major depressive disorder (MDD) may be modulated by antidepressant treatment, inclusion of medicated patients may have biased previous meta-analyses of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies. A meta-analysis of VBM studies on medication-free MDD patients should be able to distinguish the morphological features of the disease itself from those of treatment.
A systematic search was conducted for the relevant studies. Effect-size signed differential mapping was applied to analyse the grey matter differences between all medication-free MDD patients and healthy controls. Meta-regression was used to explore the effects of demographics and clinical characteristics.
A total of 14 datasets comprising 400 medication-free MDD patients and 424 healthy controls met the inclusion criteria. The pooled meta-analysis and subgroup meta-analyses showed robustly reduced grey matter in prefrontal and limbic regions in MDD. Increased right thalamus volume was only seen in first-episode medication-naive patients, and increased grey matter in the bilateral anterior cingulate cortex only in medication wash-out patients. In meta-regression analyses the percentage of female patients in each study was negatively correlated with reduced grey matter in the right hippocampus.
By excluding interference from medication effects, the present study identified grey matter reduction in the prefrontal–limbic network in MDD. The subgroup meta-analysis results suggest that an increased right thalamus volume might be a trait directly related to MDD, while an increased anterior cingulate cortex volume might be an effect of medication. The meta-regression results perhaps reveal the structural underpinning of the sex differences in epidemiological and clinical aspects of MDD.
Alterations in gray matter (GM) are commonly observed in schizophrenia. Accumulating studies suggest that the brain changes associated with schizophrenia are distributed rather than focal, involving interconnected networks of areas as opposed to single regions. In the current study we aimed to explore GM volume (GMV) changes in a relatively large sample of treatment-naive first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients using optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and covariation analysis.
High-resolution T1-weighted images were obtained using 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from 86 first-episode drug-naive patients with schizophrenia and 86 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Symptom severity was evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). GMV was assessed using optimized VBM and in 16 regions of interest (ROIs), selected on the basis of a previous meta-analysis. The relationships between GMVs in the ROIs were examined using an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
The VBM analysis revealed that first-episode patients showed reduced GMV in the hippocampus bilaterally. The ROI analysis identified reductions in GMV in the left inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral hippocampus and right thalamus. The ANCOVA revealed different patterns of regional GMV correlations in patients and controls, including of inter- and intra-insula, inter-amygdala and insula–postcentral gyrus connections.
Schizophrenia involves regional reductions in GMV and changes in GMV covariance in the insula, amygdala and postcentral gyrus. These findings were evident at the onset of the disorder, before treatment, and therefore cannot be attributable to the effects of chronic illness progression or medication.
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.
Gattini and CSTAR have been installed at Dome A, Antarctica, which provide time-series photometric data for a large number of pulsating variable stars. We present the study for several variable stars with the data collected with the two facilities in 2009 to demonstrate the scientific potential of observations from Dome A for asteroseismology.
At present there are no objective, biological markers that can be used to reliably identify individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study assessed the diagnostic potential of structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) for identifying trauma-exposed individuals with and without PTSD.
sMRI scans were acquired from 50 survivors of the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 who had developed PTSD, 50 survivors who had not developed PTSD and 40 healthy controls who had not been exposed to the earthquake. Support vector machine (SVM), a multivariate pattern recognition technique, was used to develop an algorithm that distinguished between the three groups at an individual level. The accuracy of the algorithm and its statistical significance were estimated using leave-one-out cross-validation and permutation testing.
When survivors with PTSD were compared against healthy controls, both grey and white matter allowed discrimination with an accuracy of 91% (p < 0.001). When survivors without PTSD were compared against healthy controls, the two groups could be discriminated with accuracies of 76% (p < 0.001) and 85% (p < 0.001) based on grey and white matter, respectively. Finally, when survivors with and without PTSD were compared directly, grey matter allowed discrimination with an accuracy of 67% (p < 0.001); in contrast the two groups could not be distinguished based on white matter.
These results reveal patterns of neuroanatomical alterations that could be used to inform the identification of trauma survivors with and without PTSD at the individual level, and provide preliminary support to the development of SVM as a clinically useful diagnostic aid.
It is not clear whether the progressive changes in brain microstructural deficits documented in previous longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies might be due to the disease process or to other factors such as medication. It is important to explore the longitudinal alterations in white-matter (WM) microstructure in antipsychotic-naive patients with first-episode schizophrenia during the very early phase of treatment when relatively ‘free’ from chronicity.
Thirty-five patients with first-episode schizophrenia and 22 healthy volunteers were recruited. High-resolution diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was obtained from participants at baseline and after 6 weeks of treatment. A ‘difference map’ for each individual was calculated from the 6-week follow-up fractional anisotropy (FA) of DTI minus the baseline FA. Differences in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) scores and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores between baseline and 6 weeks were also evaluated and expressed as a 6-week/baseline ratio.
Compared to healthy controls, there was a significant decrease in absolute FA of WM around the bilateral anterior cingulate gyrus and the right anterior corona radiata of the frontal lobe in first-episode drug-naive patients with schizophrenia following 6 weeks of treatment. Clinical symptoms improved during this period but the change in FA did not correlate with the changes in clinical symptoms or the dose of antipsychotic medication.
During the early phase of treatment, there is an acute reduction in WM FA that may be due to the effects of antipsychotic medications. However, it is not possible to entirely exclude the effects of underlying progression of illness.
Evidence shows that cognitive deficits and white matter (WM) dysconnectivity can independently be associated with clinical manifestations in schizophrenia. It is important to explore this triadic relationship in order to investigate whether the triplet could serve as potential extended endophenotypes of schizophrenia.
Diffusion tensor images and clinical performances were evaluated in 122 individuals with first-episode schizophrenia and 122 age- and gender-matched controls. In addition, 65 of 122 of the patient group and 40 of 122 controls were measured using intelligence quotient (IQ) testing.
The schizophrenia group showed lower fractional anisotropy (FA) values than controls in the right cerebral frontal lobar sub-gyral (RFSG) WM. The schizophrenia group also showed a significant positive correlation between FA in the RFSG and performance IQ (PIQ); in turn, their PIQ score showed a significant negative correlation with negative syndromes.
Overall, these findings support the hypothesis that WM deficits may be a core deficit that contributes to cognitive deficits as well as to negative symptoms.
Given the important role of the default mode network (DMN) in cognitive function and the well-known neurocognitive deficit in schizophrenia, it is intriguing to examine systematically the relationship between neurocognitive dysfunction and aberrant intrinsic activities, and also functional connectivity, of the DMN in patients with schizophrenia.
First-episode, treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia (FES) (n = 115) and healthy controls (n = 113) underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans and neurocognitive tests. Intrinsic neural activities evaluated by using the fragment amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) and the resting-state functional connectivity assessed by seed-based correlational analysis were compared between patients and controls. Aberrant intrinsic activities and DMN connectivity in patients were then correlated to neurocognitive performance and clinical symptoms.
Compared to controls, patients with FES showed decreased fALFF in the bilateral medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and increased fALFF in the bilateral putamen. Increased functional connectivity with the DMN was observed in the left insula and bilateral dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) in patients with FES. In patients, aberrant fALFF in the bilateral OFC were correlated with cognitive processing speed; fALFF in the left OFC and right putamen were correlated with the clinical factors excited/activation and disorganization; and increased DMN functional connectivity in the left insula was correlated with the clinical factors positive, excited/activation, disorganization and neurocognitive deficit in the domain of sustained attention.
These associations between neurocognitive dysfunction and aberrant intrinsic activities, and also functional connectivity, of the DMN in patients with schizophrenia may provide important insights into the neural mechanism of the disease.
Dome A on the Antarctic plateau is likely one of the best observing sites on Earth (Saunders et al. 2009). We used the CSTAR telescope (Yuan et al. 2008) to obtain time-series photometry of 104 stars with i>14.5 mag during 128 days of the 2008 Antarctic winter season (Wang et al. 2011). During the 2010 season we observed 2 × 104 stars with i>15 mag for 183 days (Wang et al. 2012). We detected a total of 262 variables, a 6 × increase relative to previous surveys of the same area and depth carried out from temperate sites (Pojmanski 2004). Our observations show that high-precision, long-term photometry is possible from Antarctica and that astronomically useful data can be obtained during 80% of the winter season.
Excitation of the geodesic acoustic mode continuum by drift wave turbulence is studied using the wave kinetic approach. For a model profile of weak non-uniform ion temperature, the forms of growth rate and radial structure of geodesic acoustic modes are obtained analytically. The growth rate is analyzed for several conditions for present-day tokamaks and compared with that for uniform ion temperature, as well as that given by the coherent mode approach for non-uniform ion temperature.
Brain structure appears to alter after antipsychotic administration, but it is unknown whether these alterations are associated with improvement of psychopathology in patients with schizophrenia. In this study, the authors explore this relationship.
Altogether, 66 first-episode, drug-naive patients with schizophrenia and 23 well-matched healthy controls underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging scans at baseline. All 23 healthy controls and 42 of the patients were rescanned after 6 weeks follow-up. The patients received regular antipsychotic treatment during the 6-week period and their psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline and 6 weeks. The difference in PANSS scores between baseline and 6 weeks was expressed as a ratio of the scores at baseline – ‘PANSS reduction ratio’. A modified tensor-based morphometry procedure was applied to analyse longitudinal images. Correlations between regional volume changes, PANSS reduction ratio and antipsychotic drug dosages were explored.
Compared with healthy controls, there was a significant increase in grey-matter volume of the right putamen in patients after 6 weeks treatment. This volume change was positively correlated with a positive PANSS reduction score but not related to drug dosages.
Putaminal volume increased after 6 weeks antipsychotic treatment in first-episode schizophrenia. The increased volume was closely correlated with improved psychopathology, suggesting the putamen might be a biomarker to predict the treatment response in schizophrenia.
The present paper describes an unconventional approach to fabricate superhydrophilic-superhydrophobic template on the TiO2 nanotube structured film by a combination of electrochemical anodization and photocatalytic lithography. Based on template with extreme wetting contrast, various functional nanostructures micropattern with high resolution have been successfully fabricated. The resultant micropattern has been characterized with scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. It is shown that functional nanostructures can be selectively grown at superhydrophilic areas which are confined by the hydrophobic regions, indicating that the combined process of electrochemically self-assembly and photocatalytic lithography is a very promising approach for constructing well-defined templates for various functional materials growth.