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A 2-year fertilization experiment was conducted to study the effect of different ratios of organic (pig) manure on wheat yield and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). The four treatments were no nitrogen (N) (CK); 100% chemical fertilizer N (urea; T1); 70% chemical fertilizer N + 30% organic manure N (T2) and 50% chemical fertilizer N + 50% organic manure N (T3), with the same amount of applied nitrogen (120 kg/ha). The results showed the maximum grain yield (3049 kg/ha), crop nitrogen uptake (216 kg/ha), NUE (65.4%) and accumulated nitrate nitrogen (NO3−-N in 0–200 cm, 142 kg/ha) were observed in the T1 among all treatments in the first year. However, the largest grain yield (5074 kg/ha), crop nitrogen uptake (244 kg/ha) and NUE (82.5%) were under T2 treatment in the second year. Furthermore, T2 had the maximum NO3−-N content in 0–100 cm layer (116 kg/ha), especially 0–40 cm layer, and the lowest NO3−-N content in 100–200 cm (58.8 kg/ha). However, 50% organic manure N in T3 increased apparent nitrogen loss by 39.0% compared to that in T2. Therefore, 30% organic manure N application was more conducive for enhancing wheat yield and NUE and promoting environmental safety after 1-year fertilization time.
Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
The oriental armyworm, Mythimna separata is an important crop pest in eastern Asia. Nocturnal insects, including nocturnal moths, have phototactic behavior to an artificial light source. Phototactic behavior in insects is species-specific in response to different wavelengths of light sources. Our previous study showed that green (520 nm) light emitting diode (LED) light resulted in a significantly higher phototactic behavior in M. separata moths compared to the other wavelength LED lights. The goal of the present study is to investigate the influence of green light illumination on biological characteristics of different developmental stages in M. separata. Our results revealed that when different developmental stages of M. separata were exposed to the green light illumination in a dark period, several biological characteristics in all developmental stages except for egg stage were positively changed, but those of F1 generation M. separata which are next generation of the adults exposed to the green light did not significantly change compared with the control level. These findings suggest that green light illumination at night (or dark period) has a positive effect on the development and longevity of M. separata.
Copy number variations (CNVs), as an important source of genetic variation, can affect a wide range of phenotypes by diverse mechanisms. The somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) gene plays important roles in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Recently, this gene was mapped to a CNV region, which encompasses quantitative trait loci of cattle economic traits including body weight, marbling score, etc. Therefore, SSTR2 CNV may exhibit phenotypic effects on cattle growth traits. In the current study, distribution of SSTR2 gene CNVs was investigated in six Chinese cattle breeds (XN, QC, NY, JA, LX and PN), and the results showed higher CNV polymorphisms in XN, QC and NY cattle. Next, association analysis between growth traits and SSTR2 CNV was performed for XN, QC and NY cattle. In NY, individuals with fewer copies showed better performance than those with more copies. Further, the effects of SSTR2 CNV on the SSTR2 mRNA level were also investigated, but revealed no significant correlation in either muscle or adipose tissue of adult NY cattle. The results suggested the potential for use of SSTR2 CNV as a marker for the molecular breeding of NY cattle.
Hemostasis, a process which causes bleeding to stop, can be enhanced using chitosan; but the detailed mechanism is unclear. Red blood cells (RBCs) adhere to chitosan because of their opposite charges, but the adhesion force is small, 3.83 pN as measured here using an optical tweezer, such that the direct adhesion cannot be the sole cause for hemostasis. However, it was observed in this study that layer structures of aggregated RBCs were formed next to chitosan objects in both static and flowing environments, but not formed next to cotton and rayon yarns. The layer structure is the clue for the initiation of hemostatsis. Through the supporting measurements of zeta potentials of RBCs and pH's using blood-chitosan mixtures, it is proposed here that the formation of the RBC layer structure next to chitosan objects is due to the reduction of repulsive electric double layer force between RBCs, because of the association of H+ deprotonated from chitosan with COO− on RBC membrane, under the DLVO (Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek) theory. The results are beneficial for designing effective chitosan-based wound dressings, and also for general biomedical applications.
Knowledge about the infection transmission routes is significant for developing effective intervention strategies. We searched the PubMed databases and identified 10 studies with 14 possible inflight influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 outbreaks. Considering the different mechanisms of the large-droplet and airborne routes, a meta-analysis of the outbreak data was carried out to study the difference in attack rates for passengers within and beyond two rows of the index case(s). We also explored the relationship between the attack rates and the flight duration and/or total infectivity of the index case(s). The risk ratios for passengers seated within and beyond the two rows of the index cases were 1.7 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.98–2.84) for syndromic secondary cases and 4.3 (95% CI 1.25–14.54) for laboratory-confirmed secondary cases. Furthermore, with an increase of the product of the flight duration and the total infectivity of the index cases, the overall attack rate increased linearly. The study indicates that influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 may mainly be transmitted via the airborne route during air travel. A standardised approach for the reporting of such inflight outbreak investigations would help to provide more convincing evidence for such inflight transmission events.
Influenza is a long-standing public health concern, but its transmission remains poorly understood. To have a better knowledge of influenza transmission, we carried out a detailed modelling investigation in a nosocomial influenza outbreak in Hong Kong. We identified three hypothesised transmission modes between index patient and other inpatients based on the long-range airborne and fomite routes. We considered three kinds of healthcare workers’ routine round pathways in 1140 scenarios with various values of important parameters. In each scenario, we used a multi-agent modelling framework to estimate the infection risk for each hypothesis and conducted least-squares fitting to evaluate the hypotheses by comparing the distribution of the infection risk with that of the attack rates. Amongst the hypotheses tested in the 1140 scenarios, the prediction of modes involving the long-range airborne route fit better with the attack rates, and that of the two-route transmission mode had the best fit, with the long-range airborne route contributing about 94% and the fomite route contributing 6% to the infections. Under the assumed conditions, the influenza virus was likely to have spread via a combined long-range airborne and fomite routes, with the former predominant and the latter negligible.
This paper reports the measurement of the energy loss of protons at the energy of 100 keV penetrating a partially ionized hydrogen plasma. The plasma of ne ≈ 1015–16 cm−3; Te ≈ 1–2 eV and lifetime of about 8 µs is created by the hydrogen gas discharge. The experimental results show an increase of a factor of 2.8 in the energy loss, which are in good agreement with the Bethe, Standard Stopping Model, Li–Petrasso and Vlasov models’ predictions within the error limit. The Bethe–Bloch Coulomb logarithm term is found to increase by a factor of 4.0 for free electrons as compared with the situation where bound electrons prevail. The potential application of protons energy loss for diagnosing the electron density in plasma is proposed too.
Population decline among Asian horseshoe crabs in Asia is increasingly reported, but knowledge of their population and ecological status in China is limited. We conducted community interviews in 30 fishing villages around Beibu Gulf in Guangxi, China, to collect distribution information about the potential spawning/nursery grounds of Tachypleus tridentatus and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, and any imminent threats to their populations. Based on the results from 400 respondents we identified 45 potential spawning/nursery grounds distributed widely along the shores of Beibu Gulf. We visited 10 of these sites and verified the presence of juvenile horseshoe crabs by field surveys. Nearly all respondents reported an overall depletion in horseshoe crab populations from these 45 sites, which they attributed mainly to unsustainable fishing practices. Respondents who reported having seen horseshoe crab mating pairs on shores were mostly older people, which may suggest a considerable reduction in horseshoe crabs coming to the shores to spawn in recent years. The mean daily harvest of adult T. tridentatus offshore, as indicated by fishers, has declined from c. 50–1,000 in the 1990s to 0–30 individuals during 2011–2016. Our Wisdom of Crowds approach, supported by confirmatory field surveys, is a cost-effective method for assessing the population status of horseshoe crabs, and the level of threat they face. Similar approaches with other species are likely to be particularly valuable in the Asia–Pacific region, where well-structured population monitoring is largely unaffordable.
This poster reported our spectroscopy of the neutron-star X-ray binary 4U 1728-34, observed with Suzaku in 2010 October. It is classified as an atoll source. Its continuous X-ray spectrum can be fitted by a combination of a multicolour accretion-disk model for the soft energy, plus a power-law model for the hard energy. A broad emission line at 6–7 keV can be fitted well using a simple Gaussian component with an equivalent width of ∼322 eV. However, for this object the presence of that feature is disputed, even though our results from Suzaku do suggest the presence of a broad Fe emission line that is consistent with results from XMM-Newton. Nevertheless, the parameters of the line (the line centroid and the equivalent width) are a little different, but that could be due to a difference in modelling the continuum.
With so many spectroscopic surveys, both past and upcoming, such as SDSS and LAMOST, the number of accessible stellar spectra is continuously increasing. There is therefore a great need for automated procedures that will derive estimates of stellar parameters. Working with spectra from SDSS and LAMOST, we put forward a hybrid approach of Kernel Principal Component Analysis (KPCA) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) to determine the stellar atmospheric parameters effective temperature, surface gravity and metallicity. For stars with both APOGEE and LAMOST spectra, we adopt the LAMOST spectra and APOGEE parameters, and then use KPCA to reduce dimensionality and SVM to measure parameters. Our method provides reliable and precise results; for example, the standard deviation of effective temperature, surface gravity and metallicity for the test sample come to approximately 47–75 K, 0.11–0.15 dex and 0.06–0.075 dex, respectively. The impact of the signal:noise ratio of the observations upon the accuracy of the results is also investigated.
The neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.
In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.
Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.
High-intensity pulsed ion beam (HIPIB) technology is developed as an advanced manufacturing method for components with improved wear, corrosion and/or fatigue performance, etc. Robust HIPIB equipment with stable repetitive operation, long-lifetime, and easy maintenance are desired for industrial applications, on which stability of ion beam parameters is critical to achieve consistent result of reproducibility. Here, magnetically insulated ion diodes (MIDs) as ion source with durable graphite anode are investigated in a simple self-magnetic field configuration under repetitive operation. Influence of background pressure on ion beam generation and transportation is emphasized since ion beam sources were intrinsically a vacuum-based system. Comparative experiments were conducted on two types of HIPIB equipment, that is, TEMP-6 and TEMP-4M, differing in vacuum packages where turbo-molecular pump or oil diffusion pump was used. Both the HIPIB equipments are operated on a bipolar pulse mode, that is, a first negative pulse of 150–200 kV with pulse duration 450–500 ns to generate anode plasma on explosive electron emission, and a second positive pulse of 200–250 kV with 120 ns to accelerate the ions. Ion beam energy density up to 8 J/cm2 is achievable using MIDs of geometrical focusing configuration, and the total energy, energy density distribution along cross-section, deflection and divergence, and charge neutralization of the ion beams are assessed under background pressures in a wide range of two orders of magnitude, that is, 1–100 mPa. No appreciable change in the parameters is observed up to 50 mPa, and merely a slight increase in the beam deflection from about ±3 mm to about ±4 mm at the focal point over 50 mPa. The stability of ion beam at the varied pressure is mainly facilitated by the higher pressure up to several Pa in anode–cathode gap during plasma generation and good neutralizing effect for ion beam transportation.
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.
The oriental army worm Mythimna separata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a migratory pest in Eastern Asia and China. Seasonal high temperatures in Southern China and low temperatures in Northern China are pressures favouring the annual migration of this species, while cold tolerance determines the northern limit of its overwintering range. A number of physiological stress responses occur in insects as a result of variations in temperature. One reaction to thermal stress is the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can be harmful by causing oxidative damage. The time-related effects (durations of 1, 4 and 7 h) of thermal stress treatments of M. separata at comparatively low (5, 10, 15 and 20°C) and high (30, 35, 40 and 45°C) temperatures on the activities of antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POX) and glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) were determined. Thermal stress resulted in significant elevation of the activities of SOD, CAT and GSTs, indicating that these enzymes contribute to defence mechanisms counteracting oxidative damage caused by an increase in ROS. However, at high-temperatures, POX and T-AOC were also found to contribute to scavenging ROS. Our results also indicate that extreme temperatures lead to elevated ROS production in M. separata. The present study confirms that thermal stress can be responsible for oxidative damage. To overcome such stress, antioxidant enzymes play key roles in diminishing oxidative damage in M. separata.
The remarkable properties of nanotwinned (NT) face-centered-cubic (fcc) metals arise directly from twin boundaries, the structures of which can be initially determined by growth twinning during the deposition process. Understanding the synthesis process and its relation to the resulting microstructure, and ultimately to material properties, is key to understanding and utilizing these materials. This article presents recent studies on electrodeposition and sputtering methods that produce a high density of nanoscale growth twins in fcc metals. Nanoscale growth twins tend to form spontaneously in monolithic and alloyed fcc metals with lower stacking-fault energies, while engineered approaches are necessary for fcc metals with higher stacking-fault energies. Growth defects and other microstructural features that influence nanotwin behavior and stability are introduced here, and future challenges in fabricating NT materials are highlighted.
Orthocoelium streptocoelium is a common paramphistome species parasitizing the rumen and/or reticulum of small ruminants, leading to significant losses. This study first determined the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of O. streptocoelium. The complete mt genome of O. streptocoelium was amplified, sequenced, assembled, analysed and then compared with those of other digeneans. The entire mt genome of O. streptocoelium is 13,800 bp in length, which is smaller than those of other digeneans except for Opisthorchis viverrini. This mt genome contains 12 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, two ribosomal RNA genes and two non-coding regions. The arrangement of the O. streptocoelium mt genome is the same as those of other digeneans except for Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma spindale. Phylogenetic analyses based on concatenated amino acid sequences of the 12 protein-coding genes representing 16 digeneans were conducted to assess the relationship of O. streptocoelium with other digeneans. The result indicated that O. streptocoelium is closely related to Paramphistomum cervi and Fischoederius elongates, which is in accordance with their relationships by taxonomy. This complete mt genome of O. streptocoelium enriched the mitochondrial genome data of paramphistomes and provided important molecular markers for diagnostics and studies of population variation, epidemiology, ecology and evolution of O. streptocoelium and other digeneans.
Uranium dioxide, as the standard nuclear fuel in pressurized water reactors, motivates intensive research to get further insight into the link between radiation damage and microstructure evolution of the material. Cerium dioxide is often considered as a non-radioactive model material for uranium dioxide, for which the experimental study of radiation damage could be performed more easily. Using first-principles calculations based on the density functional theory (DFT) and its DFT+U variant, we compare these two oxides in terms of point defect formation.
Ag–reduced graphene oxide (Ag/rGO) nanoparticle composites were synthesized through a facile one-step hydrothermal reaction using GO and silver carbonate (Ag2CO3) as raw materials. The homogeneous silver nanospheres with an average size of 50 nm well dispersed on the surface of rGO were obtained without other additives. During the formation process, GO both promotes the dispersion of Ag2CO3 in aqueous solution and acts as the substrate of silver cations, and the hydrolysis of Ag2CO3 provides silver cations and alkaline condition. Moreover, GO further serves as reducing agent to generate elemental silver in the alkaline condition. The as-prepared materials exhibit excellent surface-enhanced Raman scattering activities when used to detect the Raman signals of R6G absorbed on the Ag/rGO substrate.
The imaginary part of the Clausius-Mossotti factor, Ki, is crucial for quantitative particle/cell manipulation and characterization using travelling wave dielectrophoresis (twDEP) and electrorotation (ER). It can be measured rather easily using twDEP instead of using ER, as numerical calculation of the electric field and complicated devices are not needed for evaluating Ki using twDEP. However, the current single frequency twDEP method works only for particles/cells exhibiting negative dielectrophoresis (DEP), which is in general the case when cells are manipulated in physiological strength buffers with conductivity of order of 1S/m. In order to remove such a restriction, a modified twDEP method is proposed using dual frequency operation here capable of measuring the Ki spectra of particles/cells for the entire range of medium conductivity, irrespectively of whether the particles/cells exhibit positive or negative DEP. The success of the modified method relies on the adequate design of force balance between various forces in a designed micro channel, which was discussed in details. The method was validated, and demonstrated by measuring Ki spectra of three human cancer cells for medium conductivity from 0.01 ~ 1.2S/m. Both the method and the cell result find biomedical and other industrial applications.