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We demonstrate a suspended graphene-(poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) polymer angular displacement actuator enabled by variable elastic modulus of the perforated stacked structure. Azimuthal flexures support a central disc-shaped membrane, and compression of the membrane can be used to control the rotation of the entire structure. Irradiating the PMMA on graphene stack with 5 kV electrons in a convention scanning electron microscope reduces the elastic modulus of the PMMA and allows graphene’s built in strain to dominate and compress the flexures, thus rotating the actuator.
Starch digestion in the small intestines of the dairy cow is low, to a large extent, due to a shortage of syntheses of α-amylase. One strategy to improve the situation is to enhance the synthesis of α-amylase. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway, which acts as a central regulator of protein synthesis, can be activated by leucine. Our objectives were to investigate the effects of leucine on the mTOR signalling pathway and to define the associations between these signalling activities and the synthesis of pancreatic enzymes using an in vitro model of cultured Holstein dairy calf pancreatic tissue. The pancreatic tissue was incubated in culture medium containing l-leucine for 3 h, and samples were collected hourly, with the control being included but not containing l-leucine. The leucine supplementation increased α-amylase and trypsin activities and the messenger RNA expression of their coding genes (P <0.05), and it enhanced the mTOR synthesis and the phosphorylation of mTOR, ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (P <0.05). In addition, rapamycin inhibited the mTOR signal pathway factors during leucine treatment. In sum, the leucine regulates α-amylase and trypsin synthesis in dairy calves through the regulation of the mTOR signal pathways.
Background: Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cells (hiPS-NSCs) represent an exciting therapeutic approach for traumatically spinal cord injury (SCI). Unfortunately, most patients are the in chronic injury phase where a dense perilesional chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) scar significantly hinders regeneration. CSPG-degrading enzymes can enhance NSC-mediated recovery, however, nonspecific intrathecal administration causes off-target effects. We aimed to genetically engineer hiPS-NSCs to express a scar-degrading ENZYME into their local environment to enhance functional recovery. Methods: A bicistronic scar-degrading ENZYME and RFP reporter vector was non-virally integrated into hiPS-NSCs and monoclonalized. ENZYME activity was assessed by WST-1 and DMMB biochemical assays and an in vitro CSPG spot assay with hiPS-NSC-derived neurons. To assess in vivo efficacy, T-cell deficient rats (N=60) with chronic (8wk) C6-7 SCIs were randomized to receive (1)SMaRT cells, (2)hiPS-NSCs, (3)vehicle, or (4)sham surgery. Results: SMaRT cells retained key hiPS-NSC characteristics while stably expressing ENZYME. The expressed ENZYME could appropriately degrade in vitro and ex vivo CSPGs. While blinded neurobehavioural and immunohistochemical assessments are ongoing at 40wks post-injury, an interim analysis demonstrated human cells extending remarkably long (≥20,000µm) axons along host white matter tracts. Conclusions: This work provides exciting proof-of-concept data that genetically-engineered SMaRT cells can degrade CSPGs and human NSCs can extend long-distance processes in chronic SCI.
This cross-sectional study aimed to examine and compare prevalence and correlates of whole blood Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) DNA between HIV-positive and HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM). Five hundred and four HIV-positive MSM and 504 age-matched HIV-negative MSM were recruited from an HIV counseling and testing clinic in Shanghai, China from November 2014 to November 2015 and were administered with a face-to-face questionnaire interview. Whole blood EBV DNA was tested by nested polymerase chain reaction assays on EBNA-1, EBNA-2, and LMP-1 genes. The prevalence of whole blood EBV DNA was 56·0% (95% CI 51·7–60·3%) among HIV-positive MSM and 26·0% (95% CI 22·4–30·0%) among HIV-negative MSM. Whole blood EBV DNA positivity was significantly associated with HIV infection (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3·43, 95% CI 2·58–4·57) and frequent intake of pickled, smoked, or salty food (aOR 1·71, 95% CI 1·02–2·86) in the whole sample, and with <200 cells/μl CD4 cell counts (aOR 1·79, 95% CI 1·05–3·05) and pickled, smoked, or salty food intake (aOR 3·14, 95% CI 1·39–7·08) in HIV-positive group. HIV-infected MSM are at higher risk of active EBV replication than HIV-uninfected MSM, underscoring needs of surveillance and research on EBV-related carcinogenesis in this population.
Pig farmers and veterinarians have high prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) due to the occupational livestock exposure, while few reported this association on slaughterhouse workers. We conducted this cross-sectional study to explore the phenotypic and molecular characteristics of S. aureus and MRSA in slaughterhouse pig-related workers and control workers in Guangdong Province, China. Participants were interviewed and provided two nasal swabs. Swabs were tested for S. aureus, and isolates were further tested for antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence genes and multi-locus sequence typing. Compared with control workers, pig-related workers have significantly higher prevalence of MRSA carriage (adjusted odd ratio (aOR) 3·70, 95% CI 1·63–8·40). The proportions of MRSA resistant to clindamycin, erythromycin, tetracycline or chloromycetin were significantly higher in pig-related workers than in control workers. The predominant phenotypes of S. aureus were resistant to penicillin, clindamycin, erythromycin and tetracycline. Three MRSA CC9 isolates with livestock-associated characteristics (resistance to tetracycline and absence of immune evasion cluster (IEC) genes) were detected in pig-related workers but not in control workers. For human-associated CCs (CC7, CC59, CC6, and CC188), there was no significant difference in IEC profile or antimicrobial resistance between the groups. These findings reveal that there may be a potential risk for livestock-to-human transmission of LA-MRSA and human-to-human transmission of human-associated MRSA.
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.
It has been demonstrated that microRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in the control of melanogenesis and hair color in mammals. By comparing miRNA expression profiles between brown and white alpaca skin, we previously identified miR508-3p as a differentially expressed miRNA suggesting its potential role in melanogenesis and hair color formation. The present study was conducted to determine the role of miR508-3p in melanogenesis in alpaca melanocytes. In situ hybridization showed that miR508-3p is abundantly present in the cytoplasma of alpaca melanocytes. miR508-3p was predicted to target the gene encoding microphthalmia transcription factor (MITF) and a luciferase reporter assay indicated that miR508-3p regulates MITF expression by directly targeting its 3′UTR. Overexpression of miR508-3p in alpaca melanocytes down-regulated MITF expression both at the messenger RNA and protein level and resulted in decreased expression of key melanogenic genes including tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein 2. Overexpression of miR508-3p in melanocytes also resulted in decreased melanin production including total alkali-soluble melanogenesis, eumelanogenesis and pheomelanogenesis. Results support a functional role of miR508-3p in regulating melanogenesis in alpaca melanocytes by directly targeting MITF.
The behaviour of runaway electrons have been investigated in lower hybrid current drive (LHCD) and electron cyclotron current drive (ECCD) plasmas as well as the LHCD only plasmas in the HL-2A tokamak. The fast electrons generated by lower hybrid waves (LHWs) and electron cyclotron waves (ECWs) can act as a seed population for runaway electrons. In the LHCD only discharges, a large number of runaway electrons are produced after the termination of lower hybrid (LH) power by conversion of fast electrons into runaway electrons due to the fast electron tail which extends above the runaway critical energy. However, in contrast to LHCD only discharges, during the simultaneous application of LHCD and ECCD discharges, runaway electrons cannot be created by the termination of LH power when the ECCD is on duty. The runaway production is observed to be enhanced until the EC power termination. The loop voltage increase due to the termination of EC power gives rise to a decline in the critical runaway energy, which leads to some of the energetic fast electrons converting into runaway electrons via the acceleration from the toroidal electric field. That is, the fast electrons created by waves can be accelerated into the runaway regime due to the Dreicer process.
Obolodiplosis robiniae is native to North America and is an important introduced insect pest that forms leaf margin roll galls on species of genus Robinia (Fabaceae) in China. It was first detected in China in 2004, but subsequently spread and provoked local outbreaks. An analysis of a 676-bp sequence of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase subunit I was conducted in 560 individuals from 28 populations, in order to (1) assess population genetic structuring and (2) explore possible explanations for the rapid spread and invasion success of O. robiniae. Yet, only four haplotypes were identified and the nucleotide diversity was low (π = 0.00005) and among the 560 specimens studied, only ten showed haplotypic variation involving no more than three substitutions. The result showed a low degree of genetic diversity among populations of the successful invasive gall midge, which suggested that the pest experienced a severe genetic bottleneck and a loss of genetic diversity after its introduction. The successful establishment and spread of O. robiniae in China is attributed to the wide distribution of its host plant, thus allowing ample opportunities for gene flow in the pest species, and to the advantageous life history characteristics of O. robiniae.
Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MDRPA) infections are major threats to healthcare-associated infection control and the intrinsic molecular mechanisms of MDRPA are also unclear. We examined 348 isolates of P. aeruginosa, including 188 MDRPA and 160 non-MDRPA, obtained from five tertiary-care hospitals in Guangzhou, China. Significant correlations were found between gene/enzyme carriage and increased rates of antimicrobial resistance (P < 0·01). gyrA mutation, OprD loss and metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) presence were identified as crucial molecular risk factors for MDRPA acquisition by a combination of univariate logistic regression and a multifactor dimensionality reduction approach. The MDRPA rate was also elevated with the increase in positive numbers of those three determinants (P < 0·001). Thus, gyrA mutation, OprD loss and MBL presence may serve as predictors for early screening of MDRPA infections in clinical settings.
Converging evidence has revealed both functional and structural abnormalities in adolescents with early-onset conduct disorder (EO-CD). The neurological abnormalities underlying EO-CD may be different from that of adolescent-onset conduct disorder (AO-CD) patients. However, the cortical structure in AO-CD patients remains largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate the cortical alterations in AO-CD patients.
We investigated T1-weighted brain images from AO-CD patients and age-, gender- and intelligence quotient-matched controls. Cortical structures including thickness, folding and surface area were measured using the surface-based morphometric method. Furthermore, we assessed impulsivity and antisocial symptoms using the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS) and the Antisocial Process Screening Device (APSD).
Compared with the controls, we found significant cortical thinning in the paralimbic system in AO-CD patients. For the first time, we observed cortical thinning in the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) in AO-CD patients which has not been reported in EO-CD patients. Prominent folding abnormalities were found in the paralimbic structures and frontal cortex while diminished surface areas were shown in the precentral and inferior temporal cortex. Furthermore, cortical thickness of the paralimbic structures was found to be negatively correlated with impulsivity and antisocial behaviors measured by the BIS and APSD, respectively.
The present study indicates that AO-CD is characterized by cortical structural abnormalities in the paralimbic system, and, in particular, we highlight the potential role of deficient structures including the precuneus and PCC in the etiology of AO-CD.
We here present electronic structures and chiroptical responses of gold-based bimetallic nanoclusters protected by chiral thiolate ligand, glutathione (GSH), and compare them with those of monometallic counterparts. The nanoclusters examined are AuPd and AuAg bimetallic systems. The effect of Pd or Ag doping on the chiroptical responses of optically active Au nanoclusters as well as the importance of the bimetallic core configurations are discussed. Briefly, we find that GS-protected AuPd or AuAg nanoclusters exhibit quite different Cotton effects from those of the monometallic nanoclusters in metal-based electronic transition regions. In the AuPd system, all bimetallic nanoclusters exhibit featureless absorption profiles, but their circular dichroism (CD) signals are structured, offering a greater advantage in detecting a foreign atom doping in the nanocluster system. In the AuAg system, the nanocluster compounds exhibit relatively weaker CD responses than those of the corresponding Au compounds. This CD decrease can be explained in terms of the increased geometrical isomers that are formed by statistical distribution of Ag heteroatoms in the nanocluster, since an increased number of possible configurations gives an average in the CD response with positive and negative bands of different optical isomers.
We thank Liu Jun for his comment on our recent paper (Wang et al. 2014) and are grateful for his calling our attention to this apparent contradiction, and we welcome the opportunity to reply. Based on the sensitive high-resolution ion microscope (SHRIMP) U–Pb zircon age for a volcanic tuff bed within the upper part of the Guanling Formation, we suggested in our study that the age of the fossil horizon of the Panxian fauna is 244 ± 1.3 Ma, which is 14 Ma earlier than the previously estimated age that Li, Rieppel & LaBarbera (2004) published in Science. However, Liu Jun argued that this conclusion is confused, that there is no 14 Ma difference and that there is agreement between the biostratigraphic data and the new radiometric age.
Narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) galaxies are a sub-class of active galactic nuclei (AGN) with relatively low-mass black holes, accreting near the Eddington rate. A small fraction of them is radio-loud and harbors relativistic jets. As a class, these provide us with new insights into the cause(s) of radio-loudness, the blazar phenomenon at low black hole masses, and the operation of radio-mode feedback. The NLS1 galaxy RXJ2314.9+2243 is remarkable for its multi-wavelength properties. We present new radio observations taken at Effelsberg, and a summary of the recent results from our multi-wavelength study. RXJ2314.9+2243 is radio-loud, luminous in the infrared, has a flat X-ray spectrum and peculiar UV spectrum, and hosts an exceptionally broad and blueshifted [OIII]λ5007 emission line, indicating the presence of a strong outflow. RXJ2314.9+2243 likely represents an extreme case of AGN induced feedback in the local universe.
1H 0323+342 is one of the rare γ-ray detected narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies (NLS1s), a special subset of active galactic nuclei (AGN) owing to their hybrid behavior of both NLS1s and blazars. The rarity of such kind of sources makes their properties far from being understood. We analyze simultaneous X-ray and UV/optical monitoring observations of 1H 0323+342 performed by Swift over ~7 years. The UV/X-ray correlation and the broad band SED reveal that the X-ray band is dominated by the disk/corona emission during the observations. The large normalized excess variance of the X-ray variability detected with Suzaku suggests a relatively small black hole mass of the order of 107M⊙, consistent with the estimation based on the broad Hβ line in the optical band.
Schizophrenia (SCZ) and psychotic bipolar disorder (PBD) share considerable overlap in clinical features, genetic risk factors and co-occurrence among relatives. The common and unique functional cerebral deficits in these disorders, and in unaffected relatives, remain to be identified.
A total of 59 healthy controls, 37 SCZ and 57 PBD probands and their unaffected first-degree relatives (38 and 28, respectively) were studied using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rfMRI). Regional cerebral function was evaluated by measuring the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF). Areas with ALFF alterations were used as seeds in whole-brain functional connectivity analysis. We then tested whether abnormalities identified in probands were present in unaffected relatives.
SCZ and PBD probands both demonstrated regional hypoactivity in the orbital frontal cortex and cingulate gyrus, as well as abnormal connectivity within striatal-thalamo-cortical networks. SCZ probands showed greater and more widely distributed ALFF alterations including the thalamus and bilateral parahippocampal gyri. Increased parahippocampal ALFF was related to positive symptoms and cognitive deficit. PBD patients showed uniquely increased functional connectivity between the thalamus and bilateral insula. Only PBD relatives showed abnormal connectivity within striatal-thalamo-cortical networks seen in both proband groups.
The present findings reveal a common pattern of deficits in frontostriatal circuitry across SCZ and PBD, and unique regional and functional connectivity abnormalities that distinguish them. The abnormal network connectivity in PBD relatives that was present in both proband groups may reflect genetic susceptibility associated with risk for psychosis, but within-family associations of this measure were not high.
Previous studies showed that monochromatic green light stimuli during embryogenesis accelerated posthatch body weight (BW) and pectoral muscle growth of broilers. In this experiment, we further investigated the morphological and molecular basis of this phenomenon. Fertile broiler eggs (Arbor Acres, n=880) were pre-weighed and randomly assigned to 1 of the 2 incubation treatment groups: (1) dark condition (control group), and (2) monochromatic green light group (560 nm). The monochromatic lighting systems sourced from light-emitting diode lamps and were equalized at the intensity of 15 lx at eggshell level. The dark condition was set as a commercial control from day 1 until hatching. After hatch, 120 male 1-day-old chicks from each group were housed under incandescent white light with an intensity of 30 lx at bird-head level. No effects of light stimuli during embryogenesis on hatching time, hatchability, hatching weight and bird mortality during the feeding trial period were observed in the present study. Compared with the dark condition, the BW, pectoral muscle weight and myofiber cross-sectional areas were significantly greater on 7-day-old chicks incubated under green light. Green light also increased the satellite cell mitotic activity of pectoral muscle on 1- and 3-day-old birds. In addition, green light upregulated MyoD, myogenin and myostatin mRNA expression in late embryos and/ or newly hatched chicks. These data suggest that stimulation with monochromatic green light during incubation promote muscle growth by enhancing proliferation and differentiation of satellite cells in late embryonic and newly hatched stages. Higher expression of myostatin may ultimately help prevent excessive proliferation and differentiation of satellite cells in birds incubated under green light.
In this paper, we consider shock reflection problems, occurring in supersonic and hypersonic intake flow under off-design conditions, in which the incident shock wave is disturbed by the lip-generated upstream expansion wave and the reflected shock wave intersects with a downstream cowl-turning deflected shock wave. The expansion wave and deflected shock wave are here generated with the same magnitude of flow deflection angle or turning angle. With the help of shock interaction theory and numerical simulation, the influence of the turning angle of the lip and cowl on the flow structure and the critical conditions for transition between regular reflection and Mach reflection are analysed. It is found that the dual-solution domain is significantly altered by the interference between the expansion wave and shock waves. The flow structure in the condition of Mach reflection is then analysed with a model updated from a previous study. It is shown that the Mach stem height is an increasing function of the turning angle, while the horizontal position of the Mach stem is shifted in the downstream direction for small turning angle and in the upstream direction for large turning angle.
We investigated the genetic structure of 120 isolates of serotype 19F Streptococcus pneumoniae from Chinese children with acute respiratory infections collected from 1997 to 2006, and 2010. All strains were susceptible to vancomycin and levofloxacin, and only five strains were not susceptible to penicillin. The non-susceptibility rate to cephalosporins increased from 1997 to 2010. Of 119 erythromycin-resistant strains, 60 carried both ermB and mefA genes. The percentage of clonal complex 271 (CC271) increased from 14·3% in 1997–1998 to 92% in 2010, whereas that of CC983 decreased from 64·3% to 0%. CC271 had a higher non-susceptibility rate to β-lactam antibiotics than CC983 and other CCs. The increased non-susceptibility rate to β-lactam antibiotics in serotype 19F pneumococci was found to be associated with the spread of the international resistant clone CC271 presumably caused by antibiotic pressure. Long-term surveys of serotype 19F S. pneumoniae are required to monitor CC prevalence and trends in antimicrobial resistance.
We investigated the genetic structure of 99 isolates of serotype 23F Streptococcus pneumoniae from children with acute respiratory infections collected over two periods from 1997 to 2006, and 2010. All isolates were susceptible to vancomycin and amoxicillin–clavulanic acid; 97 were resistant to erythromycin, 95 of which carried the ermB gene and two carried both mefA/E and ermB genes. Multidrug resistance to three or more classes of antibiotics was exhibited by 90 isolates. Sequence types ST342 and ST81 were the most frequent in 1997–2006 and 2010, respectively. All CC81 isolates were non-susceptible to β-lactam antibiotics and had higher minimum inhibitory concentration values for penicillin than other clone complexes and sequence types. The increased β-lactam antibiotic resistance may have resulted from the replacement of multidrug-resistant clones related to ST81. Long-term studies on S. pneumoniae serotype 23F, especially the ST81 clone, should be conducted to better understand the epidemiological picture of this pathogen in China.