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Establishment of cellular polarity is one of the key events during oocyte maturation. Inscuteable (Insc) has been identified as a key regulator of cell polarity during asymmetric division in Drosophila. However, the function of its evolutionarily conserved mammalian homologue, mInscuteable (mInsc), in mouse meiotic maturation is not clear. In this study, we investigated the roles of mInsc in mouse oocyte maturation. mInsc was detected at all stages of oocyte maturation. The protein level of mInsc was slightly higher at the germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) stage and remained constant during mouse oocyte maturation. The subcellular localization of mInsc overlapped with spindle microtubules. Disruption of microtubules and microfilaments caused changes in the localization of mInsc. Depletion or overexpression of mInsc significantly decreased the maturation rates of mouse oocytes. Depletion of mInsc significantly affected asymmetric division, spindle assembly, alignments of chromosomes and actin cap formation. Taken together, our results demonstrated that mInsc regulates meiotic spindle organization during mouse meiotic maturation.
The cao vit gibbon Nomascus nasutus, also known as eastern black crested gibbon, is categorized as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and was considered one of the world's 25 most threatened primates. The only known population occurs along the border between China and Viet Nam. Accurate information on population size and dynamics is critical for the species’ conservation, but population surveys conducted in only one country may over- or underestimate total population size because the home ranges of cao vit gibbon groups often cross the international border. In 2007 and 2016 we conducted two collaborative transboundary censuses of the cao vit gibbon populations in the Trung Khanh Cao Vit Gibbon Species and Habitat Conservation Area in Viet Nam and the Bangliang Gibbon National Nature Reserve in China. The results showed a population size of 102–110 in 2007, which increased to 107–136 in 2016. Our results indicate that previous surveys conducted separately in Viet Nam and China underestimated the global population size of this species. According to our more comprehensive surveys, the gibbon population is increasing slowly. The gibbons and their habitat are legally protected in both countries. Hunting and charcoal making have not been reported in this area since 2007. As habitat carrying capacity is a limiting factor, habitat restoration is required. However, lack of funding to protect the cao vit gibbon remains a challenge.
The uncertainty and information asymmetry that surround initial public offering firms (IPOs) often introduce difficulties for potential investors to discern organizational value, thereby leading to ‘underpricing’. Using the signaling theory, we investigate the role of organizational reputation in the underpricing of IPOs. We analyze 463 initial public offerings in China from the period of 2010 to 2016 and find that being known for quality and generalized favorability dimensions of reputation are negatively related with underpricing on the first day of trading. In addition, we find that the negative effects of organizational reputation on underpricing are mediated by investor attention.
Compulsive behaviors in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have been related to impairment within the associative cortical-striatal system connecting the caudate and prefrontal cortex that underlies consciously-controlled goal-directed learning and behavior. However, little is known whether this impairment may serve as a biomarker for vulnerability to OCD.
Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we employed Granger causality analysis (GCA) to measure effective connectivity (EC) in previously validated striatal sub-regions, including the caudate, putamen, and the nucleus accumbens, in 35 OCD patients, 35 unaffected first-degree relatives and 35 matched healthy controls.
Both OCD patients and their first-degree relatives showed greater EC than controls between the left caudate and the orbital frontal cortex (OFC). Both OCD patients and their first-degree relatives showed lower EC than controls between the left caudate and lateral prefrontal cortex. These results are consistent with findings from task-related fMRI studies which found impairment in the goal-directed system in OCD patients.
The same changes in EC were present in both OCD patients and their unaffected first-degree relatives suggest that impairment in the goal-directed learning system may be a biomarker for OCD.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), characterized by deficits in memory and cognition and by behavioral impairment, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that influences more than 47 million people worldwide. Currently, no available drug is able to stop AD progression. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies need to be investigated.
We analyzed the RNA sequencing data (RNA-seq) derived from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database to identify the differentially expressed mRNAs in AD. The AD mouse model Tg2576 was used to verify the effects of IGF-2. The Morris Water Maze was administered to test the role of IGF-2 in memory consolidation. In addition, we quantified cell apoptosis by the TUNEL assay. The levels of amyloid plaques and the levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42 in the hippocampus were also determined by immunohistochemistry and ELISA, respectively.
RNA-seq analysis revealed that IGF-2 was remarkably reduced in AD. The expression of the upstream genes PI3K and AKT and the downstream gene CREB in the PI3K signaling pathway was significantly increased in the hippocampus of Tg2576 mice cells treated with IGF-2. The Morris water maze test showed that IGF-2 improved memory consolidation in Tg2576 mice. The activity of caspase-3 was decreased in Tg2576 mice treated with IGF-2. Amyloid plaques in the hippocampus were reduced, and the levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42 were decreased. The above effects of IGF-2 on AD were blocked when the PI3K signaling pathway inhibitor wortmannin was added.
IGF-2 attenuates memory decline, oxidative stress, cell apoptosis and amyloid plaques in the AD mouse model Tg2576 by activating the PI3K/AKT/CREB signaling pathway.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
This paper presents a low insertion loss low-pass filter based on the spoof surface plasmon polariton (SSPP) with single comb-shape. Compared with traditional ones, the proposed filter provides lower insertion loss and return loss by optimizing the structural parameters of the mode conversion and SSPP parts. According to the measurement results, the average insertion loss of the fabricated filter is 0.41 dB and the return loss of which at the near-zero-hertz band is <−25.9 dB. The S parameter comparison result between the unoptimized and optimized filters demonstrates that the optimized filter provides lower insertion loss and return loss, smaller size, and better out-of-band rejection. The dispersion comparison result reveals the reasons behind the improved performances. The better performances of the optimized filter proves that breaking the regularity of traditional SSPP filters is beneficial to the filter's performances.
Human innate immune plays an essential role in the spontaneous clearance of acute infection and therapy of HCV. We investigated whether the SNPs in retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptor family were associated with HCV spontaneous clearance and response to treatment. To evaluate the clinical value of DDX58 rs3824456, rs10813831 and rs10738889 genotypes on HCV spontaneous clearance and treatment response in Chinese Han population, we genotyped 1001 HCV persistent infectors, 599 participants with HCV natural clearance and 354 patients with PEGylated interferon-α and ribavirin (PEG IFN-α/RBV) treatment. People carrying rs10813831-G allele genotype were more liable to achieve spontaneous clearance than the carriage of the T allele (dominant model: adjusted OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.08–1.71, P = 0.008). In rs10738889, the rate of persistent infection was significantly lower in patients with the TC genotype compared to those with TT genotype (dominant model: adjusted OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.06–1.74, P = 0.015). Multivariate stepwise analysis indicated that rs10738889, age, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were independent predictors for HCV spontaneous clearance. However, there were no significant differences in the three selection SNPs between the non-SVR group and the SVR group. These results suggest the DDX58 rs10813831 and rs10738889 are associated with spontaneous clearance of HCV, which may be identified as a predictive marker in the Chinese Han population of HCV.
A dualband rejection filter and a triband rejection filter are proposed in this letter, both of which are implemented by cascading spoof surface plasmon polaritons (SSPPs) of the same structure but with diverse rejection bands. Compared with traditional ones, the proposed filters provide more compact structures, wider rejection bands, and better independent tunability. In the proposed filters, the rejection bandwidth, the center frequency of the rejection band and the filter's cutoff frequency can be adjusted independently. And the different rejection bands in the same filter also can be independently controlled. Agreements between the dispersion of SSPP units and the S21 of filters are also presented. Measurement results demonstrate that both filters load multiple rejection bands on the 27.7 GHz wide low-pass band and all the rejection bands locate in Ku and K bands. The average rejection bandwidth and the average rejection depth of the two filters are 1.49 GHz and 42.1 dB, respectively.
Although it is crucial to improve the treatment status of people with severe mental illness (SMI), it is still unknown whether and how socioeconomic development influences their treatment status.
To explore the change in treatment status in people with SMI from 1994 to 2015 in rural China and to examine the factors influencing treatment status in those with SMI.
Two mental health surveys using identical methods and ICD-10 were conducted in 1994 and 2015 (population ≥15 years old, n = 152 776) in the same six townships of Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
Compared with 1994, individuals with SMI in 2015 had significantly higher rates of poor family economic status, fewer family caregivers, longer duration of illness, later age at first onset and poor mental status. Participants in 2015 had significantly higher rates of never being treated, taking antipsychotic drugs and ever being admitted to hospital, and lower rates of using traditional Chinese medicine or being treated by traditional/spiritual healers. The factors strongly associated with never being treated included worse mental status (symptoms/social functioning), older age, having no family caregivers and poor family economic status.
Socioeconomic development influences the treatment status of people with SMI in contemporary rural China. Relative poverty, having no family caregivers and older age are important factors associated with a worse treatment status. Culture-specific, community-based interventions and targeted poverty-alleviation programmes should be developed to improve the early identification, treatment and recovery of individuals with SMI in rural China.
The plerocercoid (sparganum) of Spirometra erinaceieuropaei is the main aetiological agent of human sparganosis. To improve the current knowledge on S. erinaceieuropaei evolution, we performed multi-locus microsatellite typing of sparganum isolates from China for the first time. All available expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences for the Spirometra were downloaded from the GenBank. The identification and localization of microsatellites in ESTs was accomplished by MISA. Based on the selected microsatellites, the genetic structure of 64 sparganum isolates collected from 11 geographical locations in southwest China were investigated through principal component analysis, STRUCTURE analysis and neighbour-joining clustering. A total of 522 non-redundant ESTs containing 915 simple sequence repeats were identified from 12 481 ESTs screened. Five primer pairs were finally selected. Using these loci, a total of 12 alleles were detected in 64 sparganum isolates. Little variability was observed within each of geographical population, especially among isolates derived from Kunming of Yunnan (YN-KM) province. Both STRUCTURE analysis and the clustering analysis supported that two genotypes existed among the sparganum isolates from southwest China. In conclusion, five microsatellite markers were successfully developed, and sparganum population was observed to harbour low genetic variation, further investigation with deeper sampling was needed to elucidate the population structure.
Population-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programs that use a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) are often faced with a noncompliance issue and its subsequent waiting time (WT) for those FIT positives complying with confirmatory diagnosis. We aimed to identify factors associated with both of the correlated problems in the same model.
A total of 294,469 subjects, either with positive FIT test results or having a family history, collected from 2004 to 2013 were enrolled for analysis. We applied a hurdle Poisson regression model to accommodate the hurdle of compliance and also its related WT for undergoing colonoscopy while assessing factors responsible for the mixture of the two outcomes.
The effect on compliance and WT varied with contextual factors, such as geographic areas, type of screening units, and level of urbanization. The hurdle score, representing the risk score in association with noncompliance, and the WT score, reflecting the rate of taking colonoscopy, were used to classify subjects into each of three groups representing the degree of compliance and the level of health awareness.
Our model was not only successfully applied to evaluating factors associated with the compliance and the WT distribution, but also developed into a useful assessment model for stratifying the risk and predicting whether and when screenees comply with the procedure of receiving confirmatory diagnosis given contextual factors and individual characteristics.
Combining density functional theory calculations and temperature programmed desorption (TPD) experiments, the adsorption behavior of various sulfur containing compounds, including C2H5SH, CH3SCH3, tetrahydrothiophene, thiophene, benzothiophene, dibenzothiophene, and their derivatives on the coordinately unsaturated sites of Mo27Sx model nanoparticles, are studied systematically. Sulfur molecules with aromaticity prefer flat adsorption than perpendicular adsorption. The adsorption of nonaromatic molecules is stronger than the perpendicular adsorption of aromatic molecules, but weaker than the flat adsorption of them. With gradual hydrogenation (HYD), the binding affinity in the perpendicular adsorption modes increases, while in flat adsorption modes it increases first, then decreases. Significant steric effects on the adsorption of dimethyldibenzothiophene were revealed in perpendicular adsorption modes. The steric effect, besides weakening adsorption, could also activate the S–C bonds through a compensation effect. Finally, by comparing the theoretical adsorption energies with the TPD results, we suggest that HYD and direct-desulfurization path may happen simultaneously, but on different active sites.
Full-scale simulations of a (Magnetorheological) MR damper are carried out for revealing its hysteretic behaviors associated with implementation of semi-active control using the routine of computational fluid dynamics. By virtue of the structural symmetry of the MR damper, a two-dimensional configuration for finite element simulation is built up. Herschel-Bulkley model is employed to represent the property of the MR fluid, of which the control parameters and their relevances to the input current are addressed. Typical cases involving sinusoidal and irregular displacements, steady and transient currents loaded upon the MR damper are investigated. Numerical investigations reveal that the damper force has a positive correlation with input current, excitation amplitude and excitation frequency. The full-scale simulation is proved to exhibit a sound accuracy through the validation of experimental data. It provides a logical manner revealing the true performance of MR dampers under desirable operating modes in practice, and can be readily integrated with the gain design of the associated semi-actively controlled structure. This progress bypasses the technical challenge inherent in the traditional tests with low-frequency cyclic loadings due to the limitation of experimental setup. Besides, comparative study between two-dimensional and three-dimensional configuration simulations of the MR damper shows that former has a better applicability, which can be carried out on a low-cost platform.
Applying radiocarbon (14C) dating using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to the skeleton of a mammoth and the associated plant remains have been dated. The fossil of Zhalai Nur mammoth was dated to 43,500 +1000/–900 14C yr BP. The results of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating, which show that a fluvially deposited gravel layer, from that the mammoth fossils were excavated, formed between 51,300±2100 and 26,600±1200 yr BP, place the new AMS 14C dates in a well-developed chronological framework. Through this study, it can be summarized that, firstly, using suitable sample material, it is possible to obtain reliable AMS 14C results, even when the ages of the target materials approach the upper limits of the method. Second, it reveals that a depositional hiatus exists during the Late Pleistocene, between ca. 26,000 yr BP and ca. 13,000 yr BP. Finally, large rivers and widely distributed areas of alluvial-fluvial deposits existed in this present-day desert area between ca. 51,000 and 26,000 yr BP. These results may shed new light on the study of the Mammuthus-Colelodonta-Bubalus fauna, the most important and fully developed fauna during the Late Pleistocene in northeastern China. They also deepen our understanding about the eco-environments of the region.
Evidence on the association between maternal Hb concentration and preterm birth (PTB) risk is inconclusive. This paper aimed to explore whether women with anaemia or high Hb level before pregnancy would be at higher risk of PTB. We conducted a population-based cohort study with 2 722 274 women aged 20–49 years, who participated in National Free Pre-Pregnancy Checkups Project between 2013 and 2015 and delivered a singleton before 2016 in rural China. Logistic models were used to estimate OR and 95 % CI after adjusting for confounding variables. Restricted cubic spline models were applied to evaluate the dose–response relationships. A total of 192 819 (7·08 %) women had preterm deliveries. Compared with women with Hb of 110–149 g/l, the multivariable-adjusted OR for PTB was 1·19 (95 % CI 0·98, 1·44) for women with Hb<70 g/l, 1·01 (95 % CI 0·97, 1·03) for 70–99 g/l, 0·96 (95 % CI 0·95, 0·98) for 100–109 g/l, 1·04 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·06) for 150–159 g/l, 1·11 (95 % CI 1·05, 1·17) for 160–169 g/l and 1·19 (95 % CI 1·11, 1·27) for ≥170 g/l, respectively. The multivariable-adjusted OR for very PTB (VPTB) was 1·07 (95 % CI 1·03, 1·12) and 1·06 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·12) for women with Hb <110 and ≥150 g/l, compared with those with Hb of 110–149 g/l, respectively. Our study identified a U-shaped relationship between maternal preconception Hb concentration and PTB risk. Both preconception anaemia and high Hb level can significantly increase VPTB risk. Appropriate intervention for women with abnormal Hb levels before pregnancy is very necessary.
Invasive smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora Loisel) eradication is important for the health of many coastal ecosystems. An integrated regime of continuous submergence after clear mowing, with three interval levels between mowing and submergence (5, 10, and 15 d) and three submergence depths (20, 30, and 50 cm), was implemented in cofferdams enclosing invader populations along a Chinese coast. In July of the following year, after the roots of mowed S. alterniflora had been submerged for 12 mo, some ramets grew under the regime with an interval of 15 d and the regime with a submergence depth of 20 cm, but no ramets occurred under the regimes with submergence depths of 30 or 50 cm and intervals of 5 or 10 d. Four crab species were documented: Helice tridens tientsinensis Rathbun, Sesarma dehaani H. Milne-Edwards, Ocypode stimpsoni Ortmann, and Chiromantes haematocheir de Haan. Biomass and abundance values of crab species in the cofferdams were similar to those in the mudflats but different from those in smooth cordgrass populations. Thus, the treatment of submergence after mowing, which was implemented in the cofferdams, can control S. alterniflora and provide a mudflat-like habitat that promotes crab recovery if this treatment uses the proper combination of submergence depth and interval between mowing and submergence.
We report the utility of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) conducted in a clinically relevant time frame (ie, sufficient for guiding management decision), in managing a Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak, and present a comparison of its performance with emm typing.
A 2,000-bed tertiary-care psychiatric hospital.
Active surveillance was conducted to identify new cases of S. pyogenes. WGS guided targeted epidemiological investigations, and infection control measures were implemented. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)–based genome phylogeny, emm typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were performed. We compared the ability of WGS and emm typing to correctly identify person-to-person transmission and to guide the management of the outbreak.
The study included 204 patients and 152 staff. We identified 35 patients and 2 staff members with S. pyogenes. WGS revealed polyclonal S. pyogenes infections with 3 genetically distinct phylogenetic clusters (C1–C3). Cluster C1 isolates were all emm type 4, sequence type 915 and had pairwise SNP differences of 0–5, which suggested recent person-to-person transmissions. Epidemiological investigation revealed that cluster C1 was mediated by dermal colonization and transmission of S. pyogenes in a male residential ward. Clusters C2 and C3 were genomically diverse, with pairwise SNP differences of 21–45 and 26–58, and emm 11 and mostly emm120, respectively. Clusters C2 and C3, which may have been considered person-to-person transmissions by emm typing, were shown by WGS to be unlikely by integrating pairwise SNP differences with epidemiology.
WGS had higher resolution than emm typing in identifying clusters with recent and ongoing person-to-person transmissions, which allowed implementation of targeted intervention to control the outbreak.
Auto-alignment is a basic technique for high-power laser systems. Special techniques have been developed for laser systems because of their differing structures. This paper describes a new sensor for auto-alignment in a laser system, which can also serve as a reference in certain applications. The authors prove that all of the beam transfer information (position and pointing) can theoretically be monitored and recorded by the sensor. Furthermore, auto-alignment with a single lens sensor is demonstrated on a simple beam line, and the results indicate that effective auto-alignment is achieved.