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Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic widespread pain syndrome. Although its mechanism remains relatively unknown, accelerated neurodegeneration in the brain has been reported in patients with FM. Sleep disturbance can increase the risk of neurocognitive disorders, which are associated with tau and beta-amyloid (Aβ) protein accumulation. We hypothesize neurodegeneration in patients with FM may be associated with sleep disturbance.
In this case-control study, we analyzed serum tau and Aβ levels and their association with symptom profiles for patients with FM, by recruiting 22 patients with FM and 22 age-matched healthy participants. The visual analog scale, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, pressure pain threshold test, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Beck Depression Inventory-II, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and serum tau and beta-amyloid-42 (Aβ-42) levels were recorded. The Mann–Whitney test was conducted to compare questionnaire and protein level results between the groups. Pearson correlation test was conducted to investigate the correlation of questionnaire scores with tau and Aβ-42 levels in patients with FM. The significance level was set at P < .05.
Serum tau and Aβ-42 levels were significantly higher in patients with FM than in controls. A positive correlation between serum tau levels and PSQI scores was observed in patients with FM (r = 0.476, P = .025). We found that only sleep disturbance in patients with FM was significantly associated with higher serum tau levels among all symptom scores.
We suggest sleep disturbance may play a vital role in the pathomechanism of accelerated neurodegeneration in FM.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common debilitating disorder characterized by impaired spontaneous brain activity, yet little is known about its alterations in dynamic properties and the molecular mechanisms associated with these changes.
Based on the resting-state functional MRI data of 65 first-episode, treatment-naïve patients with MDD and 66 healthy controls, we compared dynamic regional homogeneity (dReHo) of spontaneous brain activity between the two groups, and we investigated gene expression profiles associated with dReHo alterations in MDD by leveraging transcriptional data from the Allen Human Brain Atlas and weighted gene co-expression network analysis.
Compared with healthy controls, patients with MDD consistently showed reduced dReHo in both fusiform gyri and in the right temporal pole and hippocampus. The expression profiles of 16 gene modules were correlated with dReHo alterations in MDD. These gene modules were enriched for various biological process terms, including immune, synaptic signalling, ion channels, mitochondrial function and protein metabolism, and were preferentially expressed in different cell types.
Patients with MDD have reduced dReHo in brain areas associated with emotional and cognitive regulation, and these changes may be related to complex polygenetic and polypathway mechanisms.
We report the first shock-tube experiments on dual-mode Richtmyer–Meshkov instability (RMI). An extended soap-film technique is adopted to generate a dual-mode gaseous interface such that its initial wavenumber (
) and phase of the fundamental waves are well controlled. By extracting interfacial contours from the distinct schlieren images, a Fourier analysis is performed from linear to weakly nonlinear stages and the growth of each basic wave is obtained. A noticeable difference between the growth of each basic mode and the corresponding single-mode RMI is observed, which suggests evident mode coupling effects in the dual-mode RMI. For dual-mode interfaces with in-phase
waves, the mode coupling suppresses (promotes) the growth of the
) mode, while for interfaces with anti-phase
modes, the growth of the
) mode is weakly influenced (evidently inhibited). However, for the combination of
waves, the mode coupling has a negligible influence on the growth of each basic wave. The modal theory of Haan (Phys. Fluids B, vol. 3, 1991, pp. 2349–2355), originally for multi-mode Rayleigh–Taylor instability, is reformulated for the dual-mode RMI, and it is found that this model overestimates the present experimental results for ignoring the nonlinear saturation. This model is then modified by accounting for both the mode coupling and nonlinear saturation, which well predicts the experimental results not only for the growth of the basic waves but also for the growth of second harmonics.
Parakmeria omeiensis is a Critically Endangered tree species in the family Magnoliaceae, endemic to south-west China. The tree is functionally dioecious, but little is known about the species’ status in the wild. We investigated the range, population size, age structure, habitat characteristics and threats to P. omeiensis. We located a total of 74 individuals in two populations on the steep slopes of Mount Emei, Sichuan province, growing under the canopy of evergreen broadleaved forest in well-drained gravel soil. A male-biased sex ratio, lack of effective pollinating insects, and habitat destruction result in low seed set and poor seedling survival in the wild. We have adopted an integrated conservation approach, including strengthening in situ conservation, cultivation of saplings, ex situ conservation and reintroduction, to protect this species. The successful conservation of P. omeiensis has important implications for the conservation of the genus Parakmeria and the family Magnoliaceae.
In late December 2019, patients of atypical pneumonia due to an unidentified microbial agent were reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Subsequently, a novel coronavirus was identified as the causative pathogen which was named SARS-CoV-2. As of 12 February 2020, more than 44 000 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been confirmed in China and continue to expand. Provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions of China have launched first-level response to major public health emergencies one after another from 23 January 2020, which means restricting movement of people among provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. The aim of this study was to explore the correlation between the migration scale index and the number of confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and to depict the effect of restricting population movement. In this study, Excel 2010 was used to demonstrate the temporal distribution at the day level and SPSS 23.0 was used to analyse the correlation between the migration scale index and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. We found that since 23 January 2020, Wuhan migration scale index has dropped significantly and since 26 January 2020, Hubei province migration scale index has dropped significantly. New confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Wuhan gradually increased since 24 January 2020, and showed a downward trend from 6 February 2020. New confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Hubei province gradually increased since 24 January 2020, and maintained at a high level from 24 January 2020 to 4 February 2020, then showed a downward trend. Wuhan migration scale index from 9 January to 22 January, 10 January to 23 January and 11 January to 24 January was correlated with the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Wuhan from 22 January to 4 February. Hubei province migration scale index from 10 January to 23 January and 11 January to 24 January was correlated with the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Hubei province from 22 January to 4 February. Our findings suggested that people who left Wuhan from 9 January to 22 January, and those who left Hubei province from 10 January to 24 January, led to the outbreak in the rest of China. The ‘Wuhan lockdown’ and the launching of the first-level response to this major public health emergency may have had a good effect on controlling the COVID-19 epidemic. Although new COVID-19 cases continued to be confirmed in China outside Wuhan and Hubei provinces, in our opinion, these are second-generation cases.
The extent of intertidal flats in the Yellow Sea region has declined significantly in the past few decades, resulting in severe population declines in several waterbird species. The Yellow Sea region holds the primary stopover sites for many shorebirds during their migration to and from northern breeding grounds. However, the functional roles of these sites in shorebirds’ stopover ecology remain poorly understood. Through field surveys between July and November 2015, we investigated the stopover and moult schedules of migratory shorebirds along the southern Jiangsu coast, eastern China during their southbound migration, with a focus on the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea and ‘Endangered’ Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer. Long-term count data indicate that both species regularly occur in globally important number in southern Jiangsu coast, constituting 16.67–49.34% and 64.0–80.67% of their global population estimates respectively, and it is highly likely that most adults undergo their primary moult during this southbound migration stopover. Our results show that Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank staged for an extended period of time (66 and 84 days, respectively) to complete their primary moult. On average, Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Nordmann’s Greenshanks started moulting primary feathers on 8 August ± 4.52 and 27 July ± 1.56 days respectively, and their moult durations were 72.58 ± 9.08 and 65.09 ± 2.40 days. In addition, some individuals of several other shorebird species including the ‘Endangered’ Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris, ‘Near Threatened’ Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, ‘Near Threatened’ Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata and Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii also underwent primary moult. Our work highlights the importance of the southern Jiangsu region as the primary moulting ground for these species, reinforcing that conservation of shorebird habitat including both intertidal flats and supratidal roosting sites in this region is critical to safeguard the future of some highly threatened shorebird species.
Findings for the roles of dairy products, Ca and vitamin D on ovarian cancer risk remain controversial. We aimed to assess these associations by using an updated meta-analysis. Five electronic databases (e.g. PubMed and Embase) were searched from inception to 24 December 2019. Pooled relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI were calculated. A total of twenty-nine case–control or cohort studies were included. For comparisons of the highest v. lowest intakes, higher whole milk intake was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk (RR 1·35; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·59), whereas decreased risks were observed for higher intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·73, 0·96), dietary Ca (RR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·60, 0·84) and dietary vitamin D (RR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·67, 0·95). Additionally, for every 100 g/d increment, increased ovarian cancer risks were found for total dairy products (RR 1·03; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) and for whole milk (RR 1·07; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·11); however, decreased risks were found for 100 g/d increased intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·95; 95 % CI 0·91, 0·99), cheese (RR 0·87; 95 % CI 0·76, 0·98), dietary Ca (RR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·98), total Ca (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99), dietary vitamin D (RR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·97) and increased levels of circulating vitamin D (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·72, 0·97). These results show that whole milk intake might contribute to a higher ovarian cancer risk, whereas low-fat milk, dietary Ca and dietary vitamin D might reduce the risk.
Richtmyer–Meshkov instability of the SF6 gas layer surrounded by air is experimentally investigated. Using the soap film technique, five kinds of gas layer with two sharp interfaces are generated such that the development of each individual interface is highlighted. The flow patterns are determined by the amplitudes and phases of two corrugated interfaces. For a layer with both interfaces planar, the interface velocity shows that the reflected rarefaction waves from the second interface accelerate the first interface motion. For a layer with the second interface corrugated but the first interface planar, the reflected rarefaction waves make the first interface develop with the same phase as the second interface. For a layer with the first interface corrugated but the second interface planar, the rippled shock seeded from the first interface makes the second interface develop with the same phase as the first interface and the layer evolves into an ‘upstream mushroom’ shape. For two interfaces corrugated with opposite (the same) phase but a larger amplitude for the first interface, the layer evolves into ‘sinuous’ shape (‘bow and arrow’ shape, which has never been observed previously). For the interface amplitude growth in the linear stage, the waves’ effects are considered in the model to give a better prediction. In the nonlinear stage, the effect of the rarefaction waves on the first interface evolution is quantitatively evaluated, and the nonlinear growth is well predicted. It is the first time in experiments to quantify the interfacial instability induced by the rarefaction waves inside the heavy gas layer.
The interaction of a shock wave and a water droplet embedded with a vapour cavity is experimentally investigated in a shock tube for the first time. The vapour cavity inside the droplet is generated by decreasing the surrounding pressure to the saturation pressure, and an equilibrium between the liquid phase and the gas phase is obtained inside the droplet. Direct high-speed photography is adopted to capture the evolution of both the droplet and the vapour cavity. The formation of a transverse jet inside the droplet during the cavity-collapse stage is clearly observed. Soon afterwards, at the downstream pole of the droplet, a water jet penetrating into the surrounding air is observed during the cavity-expansion stage. The evolution of the droplet is strongly influenced by the evolution of the vapour cavity. The phase change process plays an important role in vapour cavity evolution. The effects of the relative size and eccentricity of the cavity on the movement and deformation of the droplet are presented quantitatively.
A CoNiCrAlTaHfY/Co composite coating was prepared on the etched C/C composites by using duplex vapor phase surface alloying treatments, i.e., Co alloying and Co–Ni–Cr–Al–Ta–Hf–Y alloying. Microstructures and oxidation behavior of the coated C/C composites were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The result showed that the CoNiCrAlTaHfY/Co composite coating, 25 μm in thickness, was compact and composed of CrCoTa, AlCo2Ta, AlxCry, AlxNiy, and Co. The coating adhesion can be enhanced by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition etching of matrix surface and adding a Co intermediate layer between the CoNiCrAlTaHfY top layer and C/C composites substrate. The honeycomb structure after etching was helpful to alloying element absorb and diffuse into substrate surface, and the composite coating continuation was improved by the Co buffer layer. After exposing in air for 180 min at 1000 °C, the bulk C/C composites volatilized while the loss rate of coated C/C composites was 0.82%, showing an improved oxidation resistance. Mixed oxides mainly containing Al2O3 and Cr2O3 were formed in the composite coating surface and protected the C/C composites from oxidation in air.
Improving the production traits and resistance against mastitis in dairy cattle is a challenge for animal scientists across the globe. The present study was designed to investigate the genetic effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1) genes with production and mastitis-related traits. Four SNPs in JAK2 and one in DGAT1 were analyzed through Chinese Cow's SNPs Chip-I (CCSC-I) and genotyped in a population of 312 Chinese Holsteins. Our findings demonstrated that milk fat percentage, somatic cell count (SCC), somatic cell score (SCS), serum cytokines interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) showed significant associations (P < 0.05) with at least one or more identified SNPs. Consequently, the analysis based on haplotypes amongst the SNPs in JAK2 revealed noteworthy (P < 0.05) association with SCC and IL-6. Collectively, our results verified the pleiotropic ability of detected SNPs in bovine JAK2 and DGAT1 for milk fat percentage as well as mastitis-related traits. The significant SNPs in both the genes could serve as powerful genetic markers to minimize mastitis risk. In addition, besides SCC and SCS, the IFN-γ and IL-6 could also be used as indicators of improved genetic resistance against mastitis.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have consistently revealed that a variant of microRNA 137 (MIR137) shows a quite significant association with schizophrenia. Identifying the network of genes regulated by MIR137 could provide insights into the biological processes underlying schizophrenia. In addition, DLPFC functional connectivity, a robust correlate of MIR137, may provide plausible endophenotypes. However, the regulatory role of the MIR137 gene network in the disrupted functional connectivity remains unclear. Here, we tested the effects of the MIR137 regulated genes on the risk for schizophrenia and DLPFC functional connectivity.
To evaluate the additive effects of the MIR137 regulated genes (N = 1274), we calculated a MIR137 polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia and tested its association with the risk for schizophrenia in the genomic data of a Han Chinese population that included schizophrenia patients (N = 589) and normal controls (N = 575). We then investigated the association between MIR137 PRS and DLPFC functional connectivity in two independent young healthy cohorts (N = 356 and N = 314).
We found that the MIR137 PRS successfully captured the differences in genetic structure between the patients and controls, but the single gene MIR137 did not. We then consistently found that a higher MIR137 PRS was correlated with lower functional connectivities between the DLPFC and both the superior parietal cortex and the inferior temporal cortex in two independent cohorts.
The findings suggested that these two functional connectivities of the DLPFC could be important endophenotypes linking the MIR137-regulated genetic structure to schizophrenia.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.
We hypothesize that the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) may play a role in disturbing the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) on the striatal connectivity in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
We performed a longitudinal observation by combining resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and biochemical analyses to identify the abnormal striatal connectivity in MDD patients, and to evaluate the effect of TNF-α level on these abnormal connectivities during SSRI treatment. Eighty-five rs-fMRI scans were collected from 25 MDD patients and 35 healthy controls, and the scans were repeated for all the patients before and after a 6-week SSRI treatment. Whole-brain voxel-wise functional connectivity (FC) was calculated by correlating the rs-fMRI time courses between each voxel and the striatal seeds (i.e. spherical regions placed at the striatums). The level of TNF-α in serum was evaluated by Milliplex assay. Factorial analysis was performed to assess the interaction effects of ‘TNF-α × treatment’ in the regions with between-group FC difference.
Compared with controls, MDD patients showed significantly higher striatal FC in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and bilateral middle/superior temporal cortices before SSRI treatment (p < 0.001, uncorrected). Moreover, a significant interaction effect of ‘TNF-α × treatment’ was found in MPFC-striatum FC in MDD patients (p = 0.002), and the significance remained after adjusted for age, gender, head motion, and episode of disease.
These findings provide evidence that treatment-related brain connectivity change is dependent on the TNF-α level in MDD patients, and the MPFC-striatum connectivities possibly serve as an important target in the brain.
The antennal sensilla of female Quadrastichus mendeli Kim & La Salle (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae) were observed with scanning and transmission electron microscopy in this study. The antenna of Q. mendeli was geniculate, and the flagellum was composed of seven subsegments. Six distinct types of sensory receptors were observed, including sensilla basiconic capitate peg, sensilla böhm, sensilla chaetica, sensilla campaniformia, sensilla placodea and sensilla trichodea. Sensilla basiconic capitate pegs were found on the flagellomeres, and Böhm sensilla were found on the basal part of scape and the pedicel. Two morphological subtypes of sensilla chaetica were found on the antennae, and sensilla campaniformia were only found on the pedicel. Sensilla placodea were divided into two morphological subtypes that were found on the flagellomeres. Sensilla trichodea were found on the 2nd–6th flagellomere. By comparison to existing antennal sensilla, it was found that sensilla basiconic capitate peg, sensilla chaetica, sensilla placodea and sensilla trichodea were the most common sensilla of the parasitoids of Eulophidae. The external and internal morphology, types, number, distribution, length, and width of these sensilla were described, and their possible functions are discussed in conjunction with the host-detection behavior. Future studies on the host location mechanisms in Q. mendeli will be facilitated by these observations.
This study aimed to determine the effects of supplementing the diet of adult Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus with phosphatidylcholine (PC) on growth performance, body composition, fatty acid composition and gene expression. Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia fish with an initial body weight of 83·1 (sd 2·9) g were divided into six groups. Each group was hand-fed a semi-purified diet containing 1·7 (control diet), 4·0, 6·5, 11·5, 21·3 or 41·0 g PC/kg diet for 68 d. Supplemental PC improved the feed efficiency rate, which was highest in the 11·5 g PC/kg diet. Weight gain and specific growth rate were unaffected. Dietary PC increased PC content in the liver and decreased crude fat content in the liver, viscera and body. SFA and MUFA increased and PUFA decreased in muscle with increasing dietary PC. Cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 and secreted phospholipase A2 mRNA expression were up-regulated in the brain and heart in PC-supplemented fish. PC reduced fatty acid synthase mRNA expression in the liver and visceral tissue but increased expression in muscle. Hormone-sensitive lipase and lipoprotein lipase expression increased in the liver with increasing dietary PC. Growth hormone mRNA expression was reduced in the brain and insulin-like growth factor-1 mRNA expression in liver reduced with PC above 6·5 g/kg. Our results demonstrate that dietary supplementation with PC improves feed efficiency and reduces liver fat in adult Nile tilapia, without increasing weight gain, representing a novel dietary approach to reduce feed requirements and improve the health of Nile tilapia.
This study aimed to investigate the impacts of dietary threonine on intestinal immunity and inflammation in juvenile grass carp. Six iso-nitrogenous semi-purified diets containing graded levels of threonine (3·99–21·66 g threonine/kg) were formulated and fed to fishes for 8 weeks, and then challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 d. Results showed that, compared with optimum threonine supplementation, threonine deficiency (1) decreased the ability of fish against enteritis, intestinal lysozyme activities (except in the distal intestine), acid phosphatase activities, complement 3 (C3) and C4 contents and IgM contents (except in the proximal intestine (PI)), and it down-regulated the transcript abundances of liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide (LEAP)-2A, LEAP-2B, hepcidin, IgZ, IgM and β-defensin1 (except in the PI) (P<0·05); (2) could up-regulate intestinal pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-17D mRNA levels partly related to NF-κB signalling; (3) could down-regulate intestinal anti-inflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2, IL-4/13A (not IL-4/13B) and IL-10 mRNA levels partly by target of rapamycin signalling. Finally, on the basis of the specific growth rate, against the enteritis morbidity and IgM contents, the optimum threonine requirements were estimated to be 14·53 g threonine/kg diet (4·48 g threonine/100 g protein), 15.05 g threonine/kg diet (4·64 g threonine/100 g protein) and 15·17 g threonine/kg diet (4·68 g threonine/100 g protein), respectively.