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Feathers play a critical role in thermoregulation and directly influence poultry production. Poor feathering adversely affects living appearance and carcass quality, thus reducing profits. However, producers tend to ignore the importance of feather development and do not know the laws of feather growth and development. The objective of this study was to fit growth curves to describe the growth and development of feathers in yellow-feathered broilers during the embryonic and posthatching periods using different nonlinear functions (Gompertz, logistic and Bertalanffy). Feather mass and length were determined during the embryonic development and posthatching stages to identify which growth model most accurately described the feather growth pattern. The results showed that chick embryos began to grow feathers at approximately embryonic (E) day 10, and the feathers grew rapidly from E13 to E17. There was little change from E17 to the day of hatching (DOH). During the embryonic period, the Gompertz function (Y = 798.48e−203 431exp(−0.87t), Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) = −0.950 × 103, Bayesian information criterion (BIC) = −0.711 × 103 and mean square error (MSE) = 559.308) provided the best fit for the feather growth curve compared with the other two functions. After hatching, feather mass and length changed little from the DOH to day (D) 14, increased rapidly from D21 to D91 and then grew slowly after D91. The first stage of feather molting occurred from 2 to 3 weeks of age when the down feathers were mostly shed and replaced with juvenile feathers, and the second stage occurred at approximately 13 to 15 weeks of age. The three nonlinear functions could overall fit the feather growth curve well, but the Bertalanffy model (Y = 116.88 × (1−0.86e−0.02t)3, AIC = 1.065 × 105, BIC = 1.077 × 105 and MSE = 11.308) showed the highest degree of fit among the models. Therefore, the Gompertz model exhibited the best goodness of fit for the feather growth curve during the embryonic development, while the Bertalanffy model was the most suitable model due to its accurate ability to predict the growth and development of feathers during the growth period, which is an important commercial characteristic of yellow-feathered chickens.
To examine the relationship between the therapeutic effect of intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion and histone acetylation in refractory sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
Thirty-four refractory sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients were enrolled and treated with intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion. Pure tone average, acetylated histone H3, acetylated histone H4 and histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells before and after intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion. Sixteen healthy volunteers were recruited to obtain normal reference values.
Pure tone average in sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients improved from 84.14 ± 13.54 dB to 73.56 ± 18.45 dB after intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion. Up-regulations in HDAC2 protein level, and down-regulations in histone H3 and H4 acetylation were observed in the intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion sensitive group (pure tone average gain of 15 dB or more), while no significant changes were observed in the intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion insensitive group (pure tone average gain of less than 15 dB).
Intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion can improve hearing in a considerable number of refractory sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients. The therapeutic effect is closely related to reduced histone acetylation.
Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have been used to investigate the interaction between a laser pulse and a foil exposed to an external strong longitudinal magnetic field. Compared with that in the absence of the external magnetic field, the divergence of proton with the magnetic field in radiation pressure acceleration (RPA) regimes has improved remarkably due to the restriction of the electron transverse expansion. During the RPA process, the foil develops into a typical bubble-like shape resulting from the combined action of transversal ponderomotive force and instabilities. However, the foil prefers to be in a cone-like shape by using the magnetic field. The dependence of proton divergence on the strength of magnetic field has been studied, and an optimal magnetic field of nearly 60 kT is achieved in these simulations.
A multi-scale strategy is employed in the paper to investigate the thermo-mechanical properties of 2.5D angle-interlock woven shape memory polymer composites (SMPCs). In the study, the mesoscopic model of 2.5D woven SMPCs and microscopic model of yarns are firstly developed. After that, the themo-viscoelastic constitutive relationship of the yarn is described in the form of hereditary integral and the parameters of relaxation moduli are obtained from nonlinear fitting of Prony series based on the results of finite element method (FEM). Based on the multi-scale models and the constitutive relationship, the effects of warp and weft arranged densities on viscoelastic properties of 2.5D woven SMPCs are studied in detail. Finally, the shape memory behavior along the warp direction in small strain region is also analyzed. The research in the paper lays a foundation for design and application of woven SMPCs in engineering.
This paper aims to build the finite element model of the composite sinusoidal specimens and to carry out the parametric analysis. In this paper, the damage behaviour and the energy-absorbing results of composite sinusoidal specimens have been studied by quasi-static crushing experiments. The failure mechanisms of specimens under quasi-static crushing is further analysed. A numerical simulation has been performed by using the finite element model code LS-DYNA. The numerical results, in terms of load -displacement data, have been compared against experimental data, and good agreement has been found. Moreover, a sensitivity study has been carried out by varying material properties in order to assess their influence on the numerical results, and the material parameter selection scheme is optimised based on the constructed corresponding response surfaces. The results show that the response surface model has passed the test of goodness of fit, and the optimisation method can effectively assist the finite element modelling, and greatly decrease the numbers of trial and error.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
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.
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are one of the most common and severe symptoms of schizophrenia, but the neuroanatomical abnormalities underlying AVHs are not well understood. The present study aims to investigate whether AVHs are associated with cortical thinning.
Participants were schizophrenia patients from four centers across China, 115 with AVHs and 93 without AVHs, as well as 261 healthy controls. All received 3 T T1-weighted brain scans, and whole brain vertex-wise cortical thickness was compared across groups. Correlations between AVH severity and cortical thickness were also determined.
The left middle part of the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) was significantly thinner in schizophrenia patients with AVHs than in patients without AVHs and healthy controls. Inferences were made using a false discovery rate approach with a threshold at p < 0.05. Left MTG thickness did not differ between patients without AVHs and controls. These results were replicated by a meta-analysis showing them to be consistent across the four centers. Cortical thickness of the left MTG was also found to be inversely correlated with hallucination severity across all schizophrenia patients.
The results of this multi-center study suggest that an abnormally thin left MTG could be involved in the pathogenesis of AVHs in schizophrenia.
Bacillary dysentery continues to be a major health issue in developing countries and ambient temperature is a possible environmental determinant. However, evidence about the risk of bacillary dysentery attributable to ambient temperature under climate change scenarios is scarce. We examined the attributable fraction (AF) of temperature-related bacillary dysentery in urban and rural Hefei, China during 2006–2012 and projected its shifting pattern under climate change scenarios using a distributed lag non-linear model. The risk of bacillary dysentery increased with the temperature rise above a threshold (18·4 °C), and the temperature effects appeared to be acute. The proportion of bacillary dysentery attributable to hot temperatures was 18·74% (95 empirical confidence interval (eCI): 8·36–27·44%). Apparent difference of AF was observed between urban and rural areas, with AF varying from 26·87% (95% eCI 16·21–36·68%) in urban area to −1·90% (95 eCI −25·03 to 16·05%) in rural area. Under the climate change scenarios alone (1–4 °C rise), the AF from extreme hot temperatures (>31·2 °C) would rise greatly accompanied by the relatively stable AF from moderate hot temperatures (18·4–31·2 °C). If climate change proceeds, urban area may be more likely to suffer from rapidly increasing burden of disease from extreme hot temperatures in the absence of effective mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Global, first-principles study of the kinetic ballooning mode (KBM) is crucial to understand tokamak edge physics in high-confinement mode (H-mode). In contrast to the ion temperature gradient mode and trapped electron mode, the KBM is found to be very sensitive to the equilibrium implementations in gyrokinetic codes. In this paper, we show that a second-order difference in Shafranov shift or geometric coordinates, or a difference between local and global profile implementations can bring a factor of two or more discrepancy in real frequency and growth rate. This suggests that an accurate global equilibrium is required for validation of gyrokinetic KBM simulations.
An outbreak of acute hepatitis recently occurred in a nursing home in Zhejiang Province, China. The objectives of this study were to confirm the outbreak and identify the aetiology, source and transmission patterns. All residents and staff in or near the nursing home during the period from 1 October 2014 to 21 May 2015 were investigated regarding hygiene and for epidemiological information including water and food (eating meat especially pork products). Serum and stool specimens were collected for detection of hepatitis E virus (HEV) antibodies using ELISA and RNA using RT–PCR. Samples that were RNA positive were genotyped. Of 185 senior residents and 24 staff in the nursing home, there were 37 laboratory-confirmed cases during the outbreak. Of these cases, 12 patients (three deaths) were symptomatic with jaundice, a common clinical symptom for hepatitis E infection. HEV strains were isolated from three cases and they formed a single cluster within genotype 4d. A case-control study was conducted to investigate potential risk factors for the outbreak and the results revealed that cases more often washed their dishes and rinsed their mouths using tap water than the controls (P < 0·05). Based on hygiene investigation and meteorological information, it is likely that HEV-infected sewage and faeces contaminated the water network on rainy days. Collectively, these results suggest that the outbreak of HEV genotype 4 infection was most likely caused by contaminated tap water rather than food.
At the end of 2013, China reported a countrywide outbreak of measles. From January to May 2014, we investigated the clinical and immunological features of the cases of the outbreak admitted to our hospital. In this study, all 112 inpatients with clinically diagnosed measles were recruited from the 302 Military Hospital of China. The virus was isolated from throat swabs from these patients, and cytokine profiles were examined. By detecting the measles virus of 30 of the 112 patients, we found that this measles outbreak was of the H1 genotype, which is the major strain in China. The rates of complications, specifically pneumonia and liver injury, differed significantly in patients aged <8 months, 8 months to 18 years, and >18 years: pneumonia was more common in children, while liver injury was more common in adults. Pneumonia was a significant independent risk factor affecting measles duration. Compared to healthy subjects, measles patients had fewer CD4+IL-17+, CD4+IFN-γ+, and CD8+IFN-γ+ cells in both the acute and recovery phases. In contrast, measles patients in the acute phase had more CD8+IL-22+ cells than those in recovery or healthy subjects. We recommend that future studies focus on the age-related distribution of pneumonia and liver injury as measles-related complications as well as the association between immunological markers and measles prognosis.
Paratylenchus nanjingensis n. sp. was obtained from Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. This new species is characterized by having a female with a slender, vermiform body (243–279 μm), head with distinct submedian lobes, slender and long stylet (64–68 μm), anchor-shaped stylet knobs, excretory pore anterior to the level of the stylet knobs, small lateral vulval flaps and lateral field with four lines; and male with more distinct body annuli, stylet lacking and pharynx degenerate. The internal transcribed spacer sequences of ribosomal RNA (ITS rRNA) gene of the new species were amplified and sequenced in this study. The phylogenetic relationships of the new species with other Paratylenchus species using the ITS rRNA gene sequences are given.
Gray matter (GM) atrophy and disrupted intrinsic functional connectivity (IFC) are often present in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), which shows high risk of developing into Alzheimer's disease. Little is known, however, about the relationship between GM atrophy and altered IFC, and whether they are related to cognitive decline.
A total of 30 aMCI and 26 cognitively normal (CN) subjects were recruited for this study. Optimized voxel-based morphometric and resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging approaches were performed to measure the GM volumes (GMVs) and atrophy-related IFC, respectively. Multivariate linear regression analysis was used to examine the effects of GM atrophy and IFC on cognitive performance across subjects, after controlling for the effects of age, education, gender and group.
Compared with CN subjects, aMCI subjects showed significantly reduced GMVs and decreased IFC in the frontal-parietal and medial temporal lobe systems. Multivariate regression analysis further demonstrated that the GMVs and decreased IFC simultaneously affected the cognitive function. Specifically, GMVs were positively correlated with cognitive performances, including global cognition and episodic memory, and showed a strong trend in correlation between GMVs and non-episodic memory, whilst IFC was positively correlated with the above three cognitive measures, across all subjects. In addition, significant correlation was found between GMVs and altered IFC strength across all subjects.
Our findings demonstrated that GMVs and IFC jointly contribute to cognitive performance, and combining quantitative information about GMVs and the strength of functional connectivity may serve as an indicator of cognitive deficits in non-demented elderly.
In this work, we compiled 604 blazars with available core-dominance parameter, out of which 149 blazars are known to have γ-ray emissions. We compared the logR between the 149 Fermi-detected blazars (FDB) and the rest non-Fermi-detected blazars (non-FDB), and found that the average values are < logR > = 1.12 ± 0.88 for FDBs and < logR > = 0.05 ± 0.94 for non-FDBs. A K-S test shows that the probability for the distributions of FDB and non-FDB to come from the same parent distribution is P = 2.38 × 10−7. We also investigated the correlation between the core-dominance parameters and the γ-ray emission variability index (VI) for 125 FDBs (45 BLs and 79 FSRQs), and found that there is a tendency for VI to increase with the core-dominance parameter for 79 FSRQs, but there is no such tendency for 46 BLs.
Intra-home and kindergarten transmissions were the reported major modes of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) transmission in preschool children. However, infection at home is not common and 65–80% of cases do not attend preschool. We conducted a matched case-control study to explore the role of public playgrounds in the transmission of HFMD in addition to direct and indirect exposure to HFMD patients. We used 156 hospital source cases and 156 community source controls. Univariate analysis was followed by conditional logistic regression with attributable fraction computed. Adjusted odds ratios were 11·70 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·26–109·40] for having HFMD cases in the same class, 14·19 (95% CI 3·55–56·74) for having HFMD cases within the 20 nearest neighbourhoods, 6·03 (95% CI 2·84–12·80) for exposure to public playgrounds, 2·13 (95% CI 1·05–4·32) for finger sucking and 0·29 (95% CI 0·11–0·78) for hand washing with soap before meals. The attributable fractions for the first four risk factors were 6·4%, 20·9%, 57·2% and 27·5%, respectively, while the population prevented fraction for hand washing with soap before meals was 18·7%. Based on our findings, hand washing with soap should be advocated. Health education could include topics which underline the precautions which need to be taken and the advice given regarding avoiding the use of public playgrounds during epidemic periods, especially when children have been getting sick.
The nonlinear characteristics of a simply-supported three-layer circular piezoelectric plate-like power harvester near resonance are examined in the paper, where the energy-scavenging structure consists of two properly poled piezoceramic layers separated by a central metallic layer. The structure is subjected to a uniform harmonic pressure on the upper surface. Nonlinear effects of large deflection near resonance to induce the incidental in-plane extension are considered. Results on output powers are presented, which exhibit multi-valuedness and jump phenomena.
Case report data and a matched case-control study were used to investigate the epidemiological characteristics of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in children in Shenzhen, China between 2008 and 2011. Multivariate analyses were used to evaluate factors associated with severity of infection. Laboratory tests were performed to determine aetiological identification for samples from 163 severe and fatal cases as well as an outpatient-based HFMD sentinel surveillance system (n = 446). All identified EV71 belonged to sub-genotype C4a. No major changes in the CA16 and EV71 viruses were found until the end of 2011. Annual attack rates and the case-severity ratios (CSRs) rose from 0·82/1000 and 0·56/1000, respectively, in 2008 to 2·12/1000 and 6·13/1000 in 2011. The CSR was higher in migrants than in local residents. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) of having a severe attack for being a migrant was 2·45, having a fever >39°C (OR 5·77), visiting a private clinic (OR 2·65), longer time from symptom onset to diagnosis (OR 1·49), visiting a doctor (OR 1·51), early use of intramuscular pyrazolone (OR 3·36), early use of intravenous glucocorticoids (OR 2·28), or the combination of both (OR 3·75). The mortality and increasing case severity appears to be associated with socioeconomic factors including migration and is of worldwide concern.
This paper is concerned with two-dimensional (r, θ) thermoelastic dynamic responses of a long functionally graded hollow cylinder subjected to asysmmetrical thermal and mechanical loads. The material properties, except the Poisson's ratio, are assumed to be temperature independent and vary exponentially and continuously in the radial direction. By means of finite difference method and Newmark method, the motion governing equations of the long FGM hollow cylinder are solved. Comparisons between this paper's results and the corresponding analytical results validate the proposed solution. In addition, the effects of the volume fraction, temperature boundary conditions on the hollow cylinder's deformations and stresses distributions are examined, and many other valuable thermoelastic dynamic characteristics are revealed.
This paper deals with the optimal design for a twin die stacked package. Firstly, the numerical model is built up in terms of a three-dimensional slice model along the diagonal direction of the package. The material behavior of the solder balls is a consequence of the viscoplastic property which can be described by the Anand's model. Secondly, the Darveaux model is applied to predict the solder ball reliability of the stacked die package under a cyclic temperature loading. Since simulation analysis found an obvious relation is found between the fatigue life of the solder ball and the distribution of the accumulated strain energy density (SED) on the critical solder ball of the package through the simulation analysis, the average value of the strain energy density for all solder balls is adopted as the optimization indicator of reliability. With such a viewpoint, the critical solder ball position can be ignored, and accordingly an efficient analysis can be obtained. Finally, the Box-Behnken regression model is adopted to construct all the experiments. Each experiment analyzes the reliability of the package under varying parameters. Subsequently, the pattern search algorithm is applied to search for optimal factors.
Through optimal analysis with the fatigue reliability indicator of an average SED, the fatigue life is found to be 59% lower than that of the original design. The fatigue life had clearly improved and the lowest ball fatigue life is found to be 2.859 times longer than the original one.