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We recently reported Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao in Tang et al., 2019, from the early Cambrian Hetang Formation in South China and interpreted it as a problematic animal fossil, possibly related to either sponges or bivalved arthropods (Tang et al., 2019). Slater and Budd (2019) contested our taxonomic identification and phylogenetic interpretation; instead, they claimed that Cambrowania ovata is a large acritarch referable to morphotaxon Leiosphaeridia Eisenack, 1958, and thus is not an animal. Here we refute their criticisms, clarify the differences between Cambrowania and Leiosphaeridia and other acritarchs, and reiterate why an animal affinity for Cambrowania cannot be ruled out.
Giardia duodenalis is a common intestinal parasite in humans and other mammals, and it causes major public and veterinary health problems worldwide. China is a major pig-raising country, and studies on Giardia in pigs have important public health significance. The present study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of Giardia and assess its genetic characterization. A total of 93 samples were collected from two farms in Shanghai. The presence of Giardia was determined using PCR and sequence analysis of glutamate dehydrogenase, beta-giardin and triose phosphate isomerase genes. The average prevalence of G. duodenalis infection was 26.88% (25/93) in the pigs, with 28.13% (18/64) in farm 1 vs 24.14% (7/29) in farm 2. All the PCR-positive products were successfully sequenced, and assemblage E was more prevalent. Zoonotic assemblages A and B and canine-specific assemblage C were identified in farm 1, whereas, only assemblage E was detected in farm 2. Interestingly, two pig isolates showed 100% homology with human-derived isolates from Australia and China at the bg and tpi loci respectively. Pigs infected with Giardia infect humans by polluting the environment; whether pigs are a potential environmental source of the human pathogen in China requires more epidemiological data.
The lower-middle Hetang Formation (Cambrian Stage 2–3) deposited in slope-basinal facies in South China is well known for its preservation of the earliest articulated sponge fossils, providing an important taphonomic window into the Cambrian Explosion. However, the Hetang Formation also hosts a number of problematic animal fossils that have not been systematically described. This omission results in an incomplete picture of the Hetang biota and limits its contribution to the understanding of the early evolution of animals. Here we describe a new animal taxon, Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, new genus new species, from the middle Hetang Formation in the Lantian area of southern Anhui Province, South China. Specimens are preserved as carbonaceous compressions, although some are secondarily mineralized. A comprehensive analysis using reflected light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and micro-CT reveals that the new species is characterized by a spheroidal to fusoidal truss-like structure consisting of rafter-like crossbars, some of which are secondarily baritized and may have been internally hollow. Some specimens have aperture-like structures that are broadly similar to oscula of sponges, whereas others show evidence of a medial split reminiscent of gaping carapaces. While the phylogenetic affinity of Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, n. gen. n. sp. remains problematic, we propose that it may represent carapaces of bivalved arthropods or more likely sponges in early life stages. Along with other problematic metazoan fossils such as hyolithids and sphenothallids, Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, n. gen. n. sp. adds to the diversity of the sponge-dominated Hetang biota in an early Cambrian deepwater slope-basinal environment.
The aim of this study was to investigate the in vivo degradation mechanism and the mechanical properties of poly(lactide-co-glycolide)/beta-tricalcium phosphate (PLGA/β-TCP) composite anchors. Anchors composed of PLGA and β-TCP were implanted in the dorsal subcutaneous tissue of beagle dogs for 6, 12, 16, and 26 weeks. The degradation of the materials was evaluated by measuring the changes in thermal behavior, crystallinity, and mechanical properties. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to observe the surface and longitudinal section of the material. The evaluation of mechanical strength retention and degradation properties suggest that the addition of β-TCP particles efficiently enhances their mechanical properties and thermal characteristics and delays their degradation rate. By analyzing the results of SEM, X-ray diffraction, and differential scanning calorimetry, we can infer that after 12 weeks, the connection between β-TCP and PLGA becomes less compact, which accelerates the decline of mechanical strength.
Northeastern China is a region of high tick abundance, multiple tick-borne pathogens and likely human infections. The spectrum of diseases caused by tick-borne pathogens has not been objectively evaluated in this region for clinical management and for comparison with other regions globally where tick-transmitted diseases are common. Based on clinical symptoms, PCR, indirect immunofluorescent assay and (or) blood smear, we identified and described tick-borne diseases from patients with recent tick bite seen at Mudanjiang Forestry Central Hospital. From May 2010 to September 2011, 42% (75/180) of patients were diagnosed with a specific tick-borne disease, including Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, human babesiosis and spotted fever group rickettsiosis. When we compared clinical and laboratory features to identify factors that might discriminate tick-transmitted infections from those lacking that evidence, we revealed that erythema migrans and neurological manifestations were statistically significantly differently presented between those with and without documented aetiologies (P < 0.001, P = 0.003). Twelve patients (6.7%, 12/180) were co-infected with two tick-borne pathogens. We demonstrated the poor ability of clinicians to identify the specific tick-borne disease. In addition, it is necessary to develop specific laboratory assays for optimal diagnosis of tick-borne diseases.
In the design process, different problem statements result in different problem-solving strategies. A proper problem statement is the key to effective problem-solving. Based on the characteristics of the product design process, we divided design problem statements into open-ended (OE), decision-making (DM), and constrained (CO) statements and attempted to investigate the influences of different problem statements on designers’ cognitive behaviors from three perspectives, namely divergent thinking, convergent thinking, and mental workload. Then we provided quantification description to these influences based on electroencephalography (EEG) technology. We conducted experiments on 19 participants and used the BrainProduct™ actiChamp-32 to record the EEG data. Results are as follows: (1) The higher task-related α power was found in the temporal and occipital regions in the OE task compared with that in the DM and CO tasks. The OE statement also would help designers get novel ideas by strengthening their divergent thinking. (2) In the DM and CO tasks, there was no significant difference in the impact of the brain region on convergent thinking, but activities in the left hemisphere were stronger than that in the right hemisphere. The DM and CO tasks have better performance in convergent thinking than the OE task. (3) In the CO task, the designer's mental workload is the highest and mainly related to the activation of the centroparietal and occipital regions. These findings help designers understand the design problem-solving process from the perspective of cognitive science and monitor their thinking modes in the design process so as to improve their design performance.
Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) is considered as a promising heterogeneous catalyst for photocatalytic H2 evolution from water under visible light illustration, and its photocatalytic performance could be controlled through its texture and optical/electronic properties. Herein, we present a facile one-step heating method for the synthesis of B/P/F doped g-C3N4 photocatalysts (BCN, PCN, and FCN). The prepared photocatalysts were characterized by XRD, SEM, UV-vis absorption, FTIR, BET, XPS, PL, and photocurrent measurement. The results show that the B/P/F doping increased the interplanar stacking distance of g-C3N4, enlarged the optical absorption range, and improved the photocatalytic activity of H2 evolution. FCN exhibits the highest photocatalytic activity, followed by BCN, and PCN that has the lowest performance. This work studies the doping effects of the nonmetal elements on the photocatalytic activities, the electronic structures as well as the band gaps of g-C3N4, to provide a feasible modification pathway to design and synthesize highly efficient photocatalysts.
System architecture is important for the design of complex mechatronic systems because it acts as an intermediator between conceptual design and detail design. An explicit and exact system modeling language is imperative for successful architecture design. However, some deficiencies remain, such as the lack of geometry elements, hybrid behavior description, and specific association semantics for existing architecture modeling languages. In this study, a Systems Modeling Language extension for mechatronic system architecture modeling called ArchME is proposed. The requirements for the mechatronic System Modeling Language are analyzed, and the metamodels are defined. Then, the modeling elements are determined. Finally, the profiles based on the systems modeling language are defined to support the modeling of function, behavior, structure, and their association. This enables system designers to model the system architecture and facilitates communication between different stakeholders. A case study is provided to demonstrate the modeling capability of ArchME.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of using Multiplex 3, a hand-held canopy fluorescence sensor, to determine rice nitrogen (N) status at different growth stages. In 2013, a paddy rice field experiment with five N fertilizer treatments and two varieties was conducted in Northeast China. Field samples and fluorescence data were collected simultaneously at the panicle initiation (PI), stem elongation (SE), and heading (HE) stages. Four N status indicators, leaf N concentration (LNC), plant N concentration (PNC), plant N uptake (PNU) and N nutrition index (NNI), were determined. The preliminary results indicated that different N application rates significantly affected most of the fluorescence variables, especially the simple fluorescence ratios (SFR_G, SFR_R), flavonoid (FLAV), and N balance indices (NBI_G, NBI_R). These variables were highly correlated with N status indicators. More studies are needed to further evaluate the accuracy of rice N status diagnosis using fluorescence sensing at different growth stages.
The relationship between climate, crop growth and crop yield is complicated. This study aimed to determine the ratio of CO2–C emission to grain yield, the field treatments were initiated in 2003, but the measurements for this analysis were collected during the summer maize-growing seasons of 2011 and 2012 in the North China Plain. The experiment showed that conventional tillage with straw application significantly increased grain yield and the ratio of CO2–C emission to grain yield of summer maize. The mean soil CO2–C emission rate with no tillage was significantly lower than that when conventional tillage was used; however, straw application significantly increased the soil CO2–C emission rate, irrespective of whether tillage was performed or not. This was mainly because straw application changed the soil total porosity and organic carbon content. In conclusion, the results of this study support the hypothesis that the ratio of CO2–C emission to grain yield in the North China Plain can be increased by straw application, whereas no tillage decreases this ratio.
Magnesium (Mg) alloy sheet has received increasing attention in automotive, transportation, and aerospace industries. It is widely recognized that magnesium sheet has a poor formability at room temperature. While at elevated temperature, its formability can be dramatically improved. To better understand the warm forming properties of magnesium alloy sheet, an accurate description of the mechanical behavior at elevated temperature is required.
In this paper, both uniaxial tensile tests and uniaxial compression tests were carried out at warm temperature for Mg AZ31B alloy sheets. The tensile tests were conducted under various strain rates and material orientations, while the compression tests only considered different material orientations. Based on the orthotropic yield criterion for hexagonal close packed (HCP) metals proposed by Cazacu et al., 2006, a viscoplasticity model has been developed to describe the initial yield anisotropy and asymmetry hardening behavior in tensile and compression of Mg sheet. This model was incorporated into ABAQUS through a user-defined material subroutine. The numerical results show a good agreement with experimental data in a large range of deformation.
Most long QT syndrome patients are associated with genetic mutations. We aimed to investigate the clinical and biochemical characteristics and look for genotype-based preventive implications in Chinese long QT syndrome patients.
Methods and results
We identified two missense mutations of the KCNQ1 gene in two independent Chinese families, including a previously reported mutation R380S in the C-terminus and a novel mutation W305L in the P-loop domain of the Kv7.1 channel, respectively. The proband with R380S was an 11-year-old girl who suffered a prolonged corrected QT interval of 660 ms, recurrent syncope, and sudden cardiac death, whose father was an asymptomatic carrier. The mutation W305L was detected in a 36-year-old woman with long QT syndrome and her immediate family members including the proband’s younger sister with an unexplained syncope, her son, and her elder daughter without symptoms. Metoprolol appeared to be effective in preventing arrhythmias and syncope in long QT syndrome patients with mutation W305L. Both R380S and W305L mutations led to “loss-of-function” of the Kv7.1 channel accounting for the clinical phenotypes.
We first show two missense KCNQ1 mutations – R380S and W305L – in Chinese long QT syndrome patients, resulting in the loss of protein function. Mutation W305L in the P-loop domain of the Kv7.1 may derive a pronounced benefit from β-blocker therapy in symptomatic long QT syndrome patients, whereas mutation R380S located in the C-terminus may be associated with a high risk of sudden cardiac death.
In this study, a novel hybrid block copolymer containing POSS (BCP), poly(methacrylisobutyl-POSS)-b-poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMAiBuPOSS-b-PMMA) was synthesized via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The structure and molecular weight were characterized via 1H NMR and GPC. BCP was creatively used as the compatibilizer to overcome the bad compatibility of epoxy and POSS in their blend system. SEM and dynamic mechanical thermal analyses (DMTA) were used to observe the surface morphology and thermal–mechanical behaviors of the resultant products. We found that the amount of microaggregation domains of POSS decreased, while the nano ones increased, when BCP content increased. All the aggregation domains were distributed in epoxy matrix uniformly at nanoscale with the addition of 10 phr BCP and 5 phr POSS monomers. The results indicated that BCP could effectively improve the compatibility between epoxy resin and POSS owing to its amphiphilicity in DGEBA. The fracture behavior of products transformed from brittle fracture to ductile fracture gradually with the increase of BCP, whereas the Tg and E′ decreased.
Ultra thin films of chromia (Cr2O3), less than 3 nm thick, grown epitaxial on α-Al2O3 (sapphire), and are thus compressively strained in-plane. The resulting films show evidence of some magnetic ordering above the Néel temperature of chromia (307 K). The observed higher temperature hysteresis effect observed are very likely a strain effect, and not associated with the typical antiferromagnetic ordering expected of chromia.
Predator–prey interactions play major and direct roles in the structuring of zooplankton communities. Asplanchna usually predates ciliates, rotifers, cladocerans and sometimes even copepods, its predation may drive not only the ecological, but also the evolutionary dynamics of prey populations. In the present study, the life-table demography and the population growth of Asplanchna brightwelli were investigated at four temperatures (16, 20, 24 and 28°C) using Brachionus angularis as prey at four densities (10, 20, 30 and 40 ind.mL−1). The results showed that temperature affected significantly all the life-table demographic parameters (age-specific survivorship and fecundity, average lifespan, life expectancy at hatching, generation time, net reproductive rate and intrinsic rate of population increase) and the population growth rate obtained from the population growth studies, prey density affected the generation time, the net reproductive rate, the intrinsic rate of population increase and the population growth rate, and the interaction between temperature and prey density affected the generation time and the population growth rate. Both the average lifespan and the life expectancy at hatching were the longest at 16°C, the generation times were longer at lower temperatures (16 and 20°C) and higher prey densities (30 and 40 ind.mL−1), the net reproductive rates were higher at lower temperatures (16 and 20°C) and 20–40 ind.mL−1 of B. angularis, and the population growth rates were higher at 20°C under 20–40 ind.mL−1 of B. angularis.
Early identification of patients with bipolar disorder during their first depressive episode is beneficial to the outcome of the disorder and treatment, but traditionally this has been a great challenge to clinicians. Recently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD), but it is not clear whether BDNF levels can be used to predict bipolar disorder among patients in their first major depressive episode.
To explore whether BDNF levels can differentiate between MDD and bipolar disorder in the first depressive episode.
A total of 203 patients with a first major depressive episode as well as 167 healthy controls were recruited. After 3 years of bi-annual follow-up, 164 patients with a major depressive episode completed the study, and of these, 21 were identified as having bipolar disorder and 143 patients were diagnosed as having MDD. BDNF gene expression and plasma levels at baseline were compared among the bipolar disorder, MDD and healthy control groups. Logistic regression and decision tree methods were applied to determine the best model for predicting bipolar disorder at the first depressive episode.
At baseline, patients in the bipolar disorder and MDD groups showed lower BDNF mRNA levels (P<0.001 and P = 0.02 respectively) and plasma levels (P = 0.002 and P = 0.01 respectively) compared with healthy controls. Similarly, BDNF levels in the bipolar disorder group were lower than those in the MDD group. These results showed that the best model for predicting bipolar disorder during a first depressive episode was a combination of BDNF mRNA levels with plasma BDNF levels (receiver operating characteristics (ROC) = 0.80, logistic regression; ROC = 0.84, decision tree).
Our findings suggest that BDNF levels may serve as a potential differential diagnostic biomarker for bipolar disorder in a patient's first depressive episode.
An ecofriendly process has been successfully developed to synthesize the polycrystalline silver nanopolyhedrons with a high yield at large scale. By using tannic acid in the presence of poly (vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP), high quality silver nanopolyhedrons were obtained in an aqueous one-pot reaction without any templates or auxiliaries. The film made from the silver nanostructures exhibits an electrical conductivity higher than 104 S/cm on both rigid and flexible substrates. The supreme mechanical strength of this silver film recommends its wide application in printing and flexible electronics.
The evolution of glyphosate resistance in weedy species places an environmentally benign herbicide in peril. The first report of a dicot plant with evolved glyphosate resistance was horseweed, which occurred in 2001. Since then, several species have evolved glyphosate resistance and genomic information about nontarget resistance mechanisms in any of them ranges from none to little. Here, we report a study combining iGentifier transcriptome analysis, cDNA sequencing, and a heterologous microarray analysis to explore potential molecular and transcriptomic mechanisms of nontarget glyphosate resistance of horseweed. The results indicate that similar molecular mechanisms might exist for nontarget herbicide resistance across multiple resistant plants from different locations, even though resistance among these resistant plants likely evolved independently and available evidence suggests resistance has evolved at least four separate times. In addition, both the microarray and sequence analyses identified non–target-site resistance candidate genes for follow-on functional genomics analysis.
Complex weather conditions, especially windshear and icing encounter, have severe effects on aircraft flight safety. The effect of low-altitude windshear and ice accretion on aircraft performance and control has been studied in this paper. With the employment of a windshear model and nonlinear inverse dynamics (NID) method, a low-altitude windshear penetration flight control law is designed. The effect of ice accretion was modeled on the stability and control of an aircraft. Several icing parameters are imported to the small disturbance flight dynamics model to calculate the change of performance, stability and control derivatives between clean and iced aircraft. These derivatives were used to calculate the elevator, the aileron and the rudder step responses to investigate the icing effect.
The simulation results indicate that the NID control logic works effectively in the trajectory control of the aircraft during the penetration of windshear. The method used to study the effect of ice accretion on aircraft is valid and it can provide data for real-time calculation for icing encounter.
In order to investigate the effects of DNA methylation on pig carcass traits, the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism technique (MSAP) was adopted to amplify DNA from blood samples taken from 77 F1 hybrids of Large White×Meishan crosses. A total of 15 carcass traits were tested. Results showed that means of internal fat rate (IFR), lean meat percentage (LMP) and ratio of lean meat versus fat meat (RLF) were significantly different (P<0.05) among five levels of general individual methylation difference (GIMDP); means of carcass weight (CW), IFR, backfat thickness at buttock (BFT3), average backfat thickness (ABF), carcass length to the first rib (CLR) and carcass length to the first neck vertebra (CLN) were also significantly different (P<0.05) among five levels of special individual methylation percentage difference (SIMDP), while means of 15 carcass traits were not significantly different (P>0.05) among five levels of neutral individual methylation percentage difference (NIMDP). Of all traits that were significantly affected by SIMPD, CW, ABF and BFT3 increased, IFR and backfat thickness at shoulder (BFT1) decreased, while CLR and bone percentage (BP) fluctuated with the SIMDP increase. The regressions between SIMDP and IFR, BFT1, BFT3 and ABF were significant (P<0.05). It is concluded that DNA methylation can be applied as a marker to related studies in pigs; positive methylation sites were superior to negative methylation sites in predicting hybrid performance, and methylation differences should be maintained at specific levels for different traits to improve the productivity of pigs.