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Bituminous limestone of the Ediacaran Shibantan Member of the Dengying Formation (551–539 Ma) in the Yangtze Gorges area contains a rare carbonate-hosted Ediacara-type macrofossil assemblage. This assemblage is dominated by the tubular fossil Wutubus Chen et al., 2014 and discoidal fossils, e.g., Hiemalora Fedonkin, 1982 and Aspidella Billings, 1872, but frondose organisms such as Charnia Ford, 1958, Rangea Gürich, 1929, and Arborea Glaessner and Wade, 1966 are also present. Herein, we report four species of Arborea from the Shibantan assemblage, including the type species Arborea arborea (Glaessner in Glaessner and Daily, 1959) Glaessner and Wade, 1966, Arborea denticulata new species, and two unnamed species, Arborea sp. A and Arborea sp. B. Arborea arborea is the most abundant frond in the Shibantan assemblage. Arborea denticulata n. sp. resembles Arborea arborea in general morphology but differs in its fewer primary branches and lower length/width ratio of primary branches. Arborea sp. A and Arborea sp. B are fronds with a Hiemalora-type basal attachment. Sealing by microbial mats and authigenic cementation may have played an important role in the preservation of Arborea in the Shibantan assemblage. The Shibantan material of Arborea extends the stratigraphic, ecological, and taphonomic ranges of this genus.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of dietary Zn level on growth performance, Zn bioaccumulation, antioxidant capacity and innate immunity in juvenile mud crabs (Scylla paramamosain). Six semi-purified diets were formulated to contain dietary Zn levels of 44·5, 56·9, 68·5, 97·3, 155·6 or 254·7 mg/kg. Dietary Zn level significantly influenced percentage weight gain (PWG), with the highest observed in crabs fed the diet containing 97·3 mg/kg Zn. Tissue Zn concentrations significantly increased as dietary Zn levels increased from 44·5 to 254·7 mg/kg. Retention of Zn in hepatopancreas increased with dietary Zn levels up to 68·5 mg/kg and then significantly decreased. Moreover, inadequate dietary Zn (44·5 and 56·9 mg/kg) reduced antioxidation markers including total superoxide dismutase (SOD) and Cu/Zn SOD activities and total antioxidant level. Crabs fed the diet with 44·5 mg/kg Zn also showed significantly lower expression of genes involved in antioxidant status, such as Cu/Zn SOD, glutathione peroxidase, catalase and thioredoxin than those fed diets containing 68·5 and 97·3 mg/kg Zn. The highest activities of phenoloxidase and alkaline phosphatase were recorded in crabs fed the diets containing 68·5 and 97·3 mg/kg Zn. Expression levels of prophenoloxidase and toll-like receptor 2 were higher in crabs fed the 97·3 mg/kg Zn diet compared with crabs fed the other diets. Based on PWG alone, the optimal dietary Zn level was estimated to be 82·9 mg/kg, with 68·5 to 97·3 mg/kg recommended for maintaining optimal Zn bioaccumulation, oxidation resistance and innate immune response of juvenile mud crabs.
The current study compares the effects of two types of pronunciation instruction (segmental- and suprasegmental-based) on the development of second-year Chinese undergraduate students’ English pronunciation as against a group with no specific pronunciation (NSP) instruction. The participants were 90 university-level students in the Chinese mainland, from three intact classes. One class was taught with a segmental focus (N = 30) and the second with a suprasegmental focus (N = 31), while the third received NSP instruction (N = 29). The results showed that after an 18-week period of instruction, both the segmental and suprasegmental groups made statistically significant progress in pronunciation, as measured by comprehensibility on a sentence-reading task; however, only the suprasegmental group made statistically significant progress in comprehensibility at the spontaneous level, and it was also the only group that maintained these spontaneous gains on the delayed posttest. The positive effects of explicit pronunciation instruction in general and of suprasegmental instruction in particular account for the findings.
The aim of this study was to develop and externally validate a simple-to-use nomogram for predicting the survival of hospitalised human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) patients (hospitalised person living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs)). Hospitalised PLWHAs (n = 3724) between January 2012 and December 2014 were enrolled in the training cohort. HIV-infected inpatients (n = 1987) admitted in 2015 were included as the external-validation cohort. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator method was used to perform data dimension reduction and select the optimal predictors. The nomogram incorporated 11 independent predictors, including occupation, antiretroviral therapy, pneumonia, tuberculosis, Talaromyces marneffei, hypertension, septicemia, anaemia, respiratory failure, hypoproteinemia and electrolyte disturbances. The Likelihood χ2 statistic of the model was 516.30 (P = 0.000). Integrated Brier Score was 0.076 and Brier scores of the nomogram at the 10-day and 20-day time points were 0.046 and 0.071, respectively. The area under the curves for receiver operating characteristic were 0.819 and 0.828, and precision-recall curves were 0.242 and 0.378 at two time points. Calibration plots and decision curve analysis in the two sets showed good performance and a high net benefit of nomogram. In conclusion, the nomogram developed in the current study has relatively high calibration and is clinically useful. It provides a convenient and useful tool for timely clinical decision-making and the risk management of hospitalised PLWHAs.
The X chromosome is known to play an important role in many sex-specific diseases. However, only a few single-nucleotide polymorphisms on the X chromosome have been found to be associated with diseases. Compared to the autosomes, conducting association tests on the X chromosome is more intractable due to the difference in the number of X chromosomes between females and males. On the other hand, X-chromosome inactivation takes place in female mammals, which is a phenomenon in which the expression of one copy of two X chromosomes in females is silenced in order to achieve the same gene expression level as that in males. In addition, imprinting effects may be related to certain diseases. Currently, there are some existing approaches taking X-chromosome inactivation into account when testing for associations on the X chromosome. However, none of them allows for imprinting effects. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a robust test, ZXCII, which accounts for both X-chromosome inactivation and imprinting effects without requiring specifying the genetic models in advance. Simulation studies are conducted in order to investigate the validity and performance of ZXCII under various scenarios of different parameter values. The simulation results show that ZXCII controls the type I error rate well when there is no association. Furthermore, with regards to power, ZXCII is robust in all of the situations considered and generally outperforms most of the existing methods in the presence of imprinting effects, especially under complete imprinting effects.
Varicella is an acute respiratory infectious diseases, with high transmissibility and quick dissemination. In this study, an SEIR (susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered) dynamic model was established to explore the optimal prevention and control measures according to the epidemiological characteristics about varicella outbreak in a school in a central city of China. Berkeley Madonna 8.3.18 and Microsoft Office Excel 2010 software were employed for the model simulation and data management, respectively. The result showed that the simulated result of SEIR model agreed well with the reported data when β (infected rate) equal to 0.067. Models showed that the cumulative number of cases was only 13 when isolation adopted when the infected individuals were identified (assuming isolation rate was up to 100%); the cumulative number of cases was only two and the TAR (total attack rate) was 0.56% when the vaccination coefficient reached 50%. The cumulative number of cases did not change significantly with the change of efficiency of ventilation and disinfection, but the peak time was delayed; when δ (vaccination coefficient) = 0.1, m (ventilation efficiency) = 0.7 or δ = 0.2, m = 0.5 or δ = 0.3, m = 0.1 or δ = 0.4 and above, the cumulative number of cases would reduce to one case and TAR would reduce to 0.28% with combined interventions. Varicella outbreak in school could be controlled through strict isolation or vaccination singly; combined interventions have been adopted when the vaccination coefficient was low.
Transmission of varicella occurs frequently in schools and households. We investigated the characteristics of varicella cases derived from within-household transmission and the modes of varicella transmission between school and household settings in Shanghai, China, from 2009 to 2018. Within-household transmission occurred in 278 households, of which 134 transmission events were between children. Sixty-one household varicella transmission events may be attributed to isolation procedures for infected students during school outbreaks, and 7.6% of school outbreaks were caused by schoolchildren cases derived from within-household transmission. The frequency of ‘school-household-school’ transmission adds an additional layer of complexity to the control of school varicella outbreaks. Administration of varicella vaccine as post-exposure prophylaxis after exposure is considered to be an effective measure to control varicella spread within households and schools.
This study aimed to examine the efficacy of combining paroxetine and mirtazapine v. switching to mirtazapine, for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have had an insufficient response to SSRI monotherapy (paroxetine) after the first 2 weeks of treatment.
This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, three-arm study recruited participants from five hospitals in China. Eligible participants were aged 18–60 years with MDD of at least moderate severity. Participants received paroxetine during a 2-week open-label phase and patients who had not achieved early improvement were randomized to paroxetine, mirtazapine or paroxetine combined with mirtazapine for 6 weeks. The primary outcome was improvement on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression 17-item (HAMD-17) scores 6 weeks after randomization.
A total of 204 patients who showed early non-response to paroxetine monotherapy were randomly assigned to receive either mirtazapine and placebo (n = 68), paroxetine and placebo (n = 68) or mirtazapine and paroxetine (n = 68), with 164 patients completing the outcome assessment. At week 8, the least squares (LS) mean change of HAMD-17 scores did not significantly differ among the three groups, (12.98 points) in the mirtazapine group, (12.50 points) in the paroxetine group and (13.27 points) in the mirtazapine plus paroxetine combination group. Participants in the paroxetine monotherapy group were least likely to experience adverse effects.
After 8 weeks follow-up, paroxetine monotherapy, mirtazapine monotherapy and paroxetine/mirtazapine combination therapy were equally effective in non-improvers at 2 weeks. The results of this trial do not support a recommendation to routinely offer additional treatment or a switch in treatment strategies for MDD patients who do not show early improvement after 2 weeks of antidepressant treatment.
Chlamydia spp. are a group of obligate intracellular pathogens causing a number of diseases in animals and humans. Avian chlamydiosis (AC), caused by Chlamydia psittaci (C. psittaci) as well as new emerging C. avium, C. gallinacea and C. ibidis, have been described in nearly 500 avian species worldwidely. The Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) is a world endangered avian species with limited population and vulnerable for various infections. To get a better understanding of the prevalence of Chlamydia spp. in the endangered Crested Ibis, faecal samples were collected and analysed. The results confirmed that 20.20% (20/99) of the faecal samples were positive for Chlamydiaceae and were identified as C. ibidis with co-existence of C. psittaci in one of the 20 positive samples. In addition, ompA sequence of C. psittaci obtained in this study was classified into the provisional genotype Matt116, while that of C. ibidis showed high genetic diversity, sharing only 77% identity with C. ibidis reference strain 10-1398/6. We report for the first time the presence of C. ibidis and C. psittaci in the Crested Ibis, which may indicate a potential threat to the endangered birds and should be aware of the future protection practice.
The regulation of lipogenesis and lipolysis mechanisms related to consumption of lipid has not been studied in swimming crab. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the effects of dietary lipid levels on growth, enzymes activities and expression of genes of lipid metabolism in hepatopancreas of juvenile swimming crab. Three isonitrogenous diets were formulated to contain crude lipid levels at 5·8, 9·9 and 15·1 %. Crabs fed the diet containing 15·1 % lipid had significantly lower growth performance and feed utilisation than those fed the 5·8 and 9·9 % lipid diets. Crabs fed 5·8 % lipid had lower malondialdehyde concentrations in the haemolymph and hepatopancreas than those fed the other diets. Highest glutathione peroxidase in haemolymph and superoxide dismutase in hepatopancreas were observed in crabs fed 5·8 % lipid. The lowest fatty acid synthase and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase activities in hepatopancreas were observed in crabs fed 15·1 % lipid, whereas crabs fed 5·8 % lipid had lower carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 activity than those fed the other diets. Crabs fed 15·1 % lipid showed lower hepatopancreas expression of genes involved in long-chain-PUFA biosynthesis, lipoprotein clearance, fatty acid uptake, fatty acid oxidation, lipid anabolism and lipid catabolism than those fed the other diets, whereas expression of some genes of lipoprotein assembly and fatty acid oxidation was up-regulated compared with crabs fed 5·8 % lipid. Overall, high dietary lipid level can inhibit growth, reduce antioxidant enzyme activities and influence lipid metabolic pathways to regulate lipid deposition in crab.
Cinnamomum chago is a woody species of the family Lauraceae endemic to Yunnan province, China, previously known from only one location, and categorized as a Plant Species with Extremely Small Population. We surveyed to determine the distribution and population size of C. chago, characterize its habitat, identify any threats, assess its conservation status, and provide guidelines for its management and conservation. During 2014–2017 we found only 64 mature C. chago, in five locations. These small, fragmented populations occur along Lancang River in Dali Prefecture at altitudes of 2,200–2,400 m. The species' extent of occurrence is c. 923 km2, with an area of occupancy of c. 60 km2. The habitat of the species has been degraded by expansion of pastoral activities and deforestation. We recommend categorization of C. chago as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, prevention of the collection of seeds and wood of the species, protection and monitoring, and ex situ propagation for future reintroductions.
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.
A novel and highly efficient Ag3VO4/C3N4/reduced TiO2 microsphere composite was obtained through a hydrothermal and depositional process. The microstructure, individual components with different proportions, and optical properties of the ternary nanocomposites were intensively studied. The prepared ternary composites exhibited superior photocatalytic performance of degradation of methylene blue compared with single component and S1 (C3N4/reduced TiO2) binary composites, demonstrating that the introduction of Ag3VO4 into g-C3N4/r-TiO2 can effectively improve the photocatalytic activity. Recycling experiments confirmed that the nanocomposites exhibited superior cycle performance. The enhanced capability could be attributed to a synergetic effect including the formation of heterojunction, large surface area, improved light absorption, matched energy band structure, and the improved separation efficiency of photogenerated charges coming from dual Z-scheme structure. Particularly, the introduction of Ag3VO4 makes the dual Z-scheme charge transfer pathway completed with improved separation efficiency and stronger redox ability of photogenerated electrons and holes. The work provides a promising method to develop a new dual Z-scheme photocatalytic system to remove environmental pollutant.
In this paper, a novel multilayer substrate integrated dual-mode dielectric resonator (DR) filter is proposed. The square dual-mode DR is made of the high permittivity substrate by removing the undesired portions and the surface coppers so that the relatively high unloaded quality factor of the dominate TM11 pair can be obtained which compared to these fully dielectric-filled substrate integrated waveguides. Meanwhile, it can be easily integrated in an equivalent cavity implemented by multilayer printed circuit boards for filter design, showcasing low in-band loss, light weight, and compact size. For demonstration, a multilayer substrate integrated DR bandpass filter centered at X-band is designed and measured. Good agreement between the simulated and measured results can be observed, and the measured insertion loss at the passband center frequency (8.38 GHz) is 1.1 dB.
Sn–Sb alloy is an ideal candidate for lead-free solder; however, its performance has been inferior to that of Sn–Pb alloy. Here, the authors used ab initio molecular dynamics simulation to investigate the interatomic interaction in Sn–Sb-based lead-free solders. By calculating the electron density distribution, bond population, and partial density of states, the authors found that the Sn–Sb bonds are a mixture of nonlocalized metal and localized covalent bonds. The covalent bond between Sn and Sb is easy to break at higher temperatures, so Sn–Sb (6.4 wt%) had better fluidity than other studied Sn–Sb alloys. Furthermore, adding Cu or Ag into Sn–Sb alloys can decrease the strength of covalent bonds and stabilize the metal bonds, which improves the metallicity and wettability of the Sn–Sb–Cu and Sn–Sb–Cu–Ag systems when the temperature increases. These results are all in good agreement with experimental findings and have significant value for the development of new solder alloys.