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The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is related to dopamine degradation and has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, how this gene affects brain function properties in MDD is still unclear.
Fifty patients with MDD and 35 cognitively normal participants underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. A voxelwise and data-drive global functional connectivity density (gFCD) analysis was used to investigate the main effects and the interactions of disease states and COMT rs4680 gene polymorphism on brain function.
We found significant group differences of the gFCD in bilateral fusiform area (FFA), post-central and pre-central cortex, left superior temporal gyrus (STG), rectal and superior temporal gyrus and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC); abnormal gFCDs in left STG were positively correlated with severity of depression in MDD group. Significant disease × COMT interaction effects were found in the bilateral calcarine gyrus, right vlPFC, hippocampus and thalamus, and left SFG and FFA. Further post-hoc tests showed a nonlinear modulation effect of COMT on gFCD in the development of MDD. Interestingly, an inverted U-shaped modulation was found in the prefrontal cortex (control system) but U-shaped modulations were found in the hippocampus, thalamus and occipital cortex (processing system).
Our study demonstrated nonlinear modulation of the interaction between COMT and depression on brain function. These findings expand our understanding of the COMT effect underlying the pathophysiology of MDD.
Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have been used to investigate the interaction between a laser pulse and a foil exposed to an external strong longitudinal magnetic field. Compared with that in the absence of the external magnetic field, the divergence of proton with the magnetic field in radiation pressure acceleration (RPA) regimes has improved remarkably due to the restriction of the electron transverse expansion. During the RPA process, the foil develops into a typical bubble-like shape resulting from the combined action of transversal ponderomotive force and instabilities. However, the foil prefers to be in a cone-like shape by using the magnetic field. The dependence of proton divergence on the strength of magnetic field has been studied, and an optimal magnetic field of nearly 60 kT is achieved in these simulations.
Hepatitis E is an important zoonosis that is prevalent in China. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a pathogen that affects humans and animals and endangers public health in China. In this study, the detection of HEV epidemics in swine in Sichuan Province, China, was carried out by nested real-time PCR. A total of 174 stool samples and 160 bile samples from swine in Sichuan Province were examined. In addition, software was used to analyse the biological evolution of HEV. The results showed that within 2 years of swine HEV (SHEV) infection in China, SHEV was first detected in Sichuan Province. HEV was endemic in Sichuan; the positive rate for pig farms was 11.1%, and the total positive sample rate was 10.5%. The age of swine with the highest positive rate (17.9%) was 5–9 weeks. The examined swine species in order of highest to lowest HEV infection rates were Chenghua pig, Large White, Duroc, Pietrain, Landrace and Hampshire. Nucleotide and amino acid sequence analysis showed that the HEV epidemic in swine in Sichuan Province was related to genotype IV, which had the highest homology to HEV in Beijing. Sichuan strains have greater variation than Chinese representative strains, which may indicate the presence of new HEV strains.
To investigate the morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique computed tomography images.
The computed tomography temporal bone scans of 112 patients were retrospectively evaluated. Midpoint and opercular measurements were performed using axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images. Morphometric analyses were also conducted. The vestibular aqueduct sizes on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images were compared.
At the midpoint, the mean (± standard deviation) vestibular aqueduct measured 0.61 ± 0.23 mm, 0.74 ± 0.27 mm and 0.82 ± 0.38 mm on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the vestibular aqueduct measured 0.91 ± 0.30 mm, 1.11 ± 0.45 mm and 1.66 ± 1.07 mm on the respective images. The co-efficients of variation of the vestibular aqueduct measured at the midpoint were 37.4 per cent, 36.5 per cent and 47.5 per cent on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the measurements were 33.0 per cent, 40.5 per cent and 64.5 per cent. Regarding morphology, the vestibular aqueduct was fissured (33.5 per cent), tubular (64.3 per cent) or invisible (2.2 per cent).
The morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct were highly variable among axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images.
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) participate in diverse physiological processes in insects, and HSP70 is one of the most highly conserved proteins in the HSP family. In this study, full-length cDNAs of three HSP70 genes (Lthsc70, Lthsp701, and Lthsp702) were cloned and characterized from Liriomyza trifolii, an important invasive pest of vegetable crops and horticultural crops worldwide. These three HSP70s exhibited signature sequences and motifs that are typical of the HSP70 family. The expression patterns of the three Lthsp70s during temperature stress and in different insect development stages were studied by real-time quantitative PCR. Lthsp701 was strongly induced by high- and low-temperature stress, but Lthsc70 and Lthsp702 were not very sensitive to temperature changes. All three Lthsp70s were expressed during insect development stages, but the expression patterns were quite different. The expression of Lthsc70 and Lthsp702 showed significant differences in expression during leafminer development; Lthsc70 was most highly expressed in female adults, whereas Lthsp702 was abundantly expressed in larvae and prepupae. Lthsp701 expression was not significantly different among leafminer stages. These results suggest that functional differentiation within the LtHSP70 subfamily has occurred in response to thermal stress and insect development.
A new trajectory tracking control approach for an under-actuated stratospheric airship is proposed. There is a two-level structure of the proposed controller. A low-level controller based on non-linear vectorial backstepping method, with the rigid-body dynamics expressed on vector form, stabilises the attitude and velocity of the airship, while a high-level controller performs guidance and trajectory tracking task in the three-dimensional (3D) space. Furthermore, a control allocation module based on the active set algorithm is incorporated into the low-level controller to optimise the practical control inputs under constraints of actuator saturation. The closed-loop trajectory tracking control plant is proved to be globally exponentially stable through the Lyapunov theory. Finally, simulations show that the vectorial backstepping trajectory tracking controller can achieve desired tracking performances even if the airship is affected by parametric uncertainties and exogenous disturbances.
Studies of schizophrenia at drug-naive state and on antipsychotic medication have reported a number of regions of gray-matter (GM) abnormalities but the reports have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to conduct multimodal meta-analysis to compare the cross-sectional voxel-based morphometry studies of brain GM in antipsychotic-naive first-episode schizophrenia (AN-FES) and those with antipsychotic treatment within 1 year (AT-FES) to determine the similarities and differences in these groups. We conducted two separate meta-analyses containing 24 studies with a sample size of 801 patients and 957 healthy controls. A multimodal meta-analysis method was used to compare the findings between AN-FES and AT-FES. Meta-regression analyses were done to determine the influence of different variables including age, duration of illness, and positive and negative symptom scores. Finally, jack-knife analyses were done to test the robustness of the results. AN-FES and AT-FES showed common patterns of GM abnormalities in frontal (gyrus rectus), superior temporal, left hippocampal and insular cortex. GM in the left supramarginal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus were found to be increased in AN-FES but decreased in AT-FES, whereas left median cingulate/paracingulate gyri and right hippocampus GM was decreased in AN-FES but increased in AT-FES. Findings suggest that both AN-FES and AT-FES share frontal, temporal and insular regions as common anatomical regions to be affected indicating these to be the primary regions of GM abnormalities in both groups.
Vector-borne diseases are one of the world's major public health threats and annually responsible for 30–50% of deaths reported to the national notifiable disease system in China. To control vector-borne diseases, a unified, effective and economic surveillance system is urgently needed; all of the current surveillance systems in China waste resources and/or information. Here, we review some current surveillance systems and present a concept for an integrated surveillance system combining existing vector and vector-borne disease monitoring systems. The integrated surveillance system has been tested in pilot programmes in China and led to a 21·6% cost saving in rodent-borne disease surveillance. We share some experiences gained from these programmes.
While Liriomyza sativae (Diptera: Agromyzidae), an important invasive pest of ornamentals and vegetables has been found in China for the past two decades, few studies have focused on its genetics or route of invasive. In this study, we collected 288 L. sativae individuals across 12 provinces to explore its population genetic structure and migration patterns in China using seven microsatellites. We found relatively low levels of genetic diversity but moderate population genetic structure (0.05 < FST < 0.15) in L. sativae from China. All populations deviated significantly from the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium due to heterozygote deficiency. Molecular variance analysis revealed that more than 89% of variation was among samples within populations. A UPGMA dendrogram revealed that SH and GXNN populations formed one cluster separate from the other populations, which is in accordance with STRUCTURE and GENELAND analyses. A Mantel test indicated that genetic distance was not correlated to geographic distance (r = −0.0814, P = 0.7610), coupled with high levels of gene flow (M = 40.1–817.7), suggesting a possible anthropogenic influence on the spread of L. sativae in China and on the effect of hosts. The trend of asymmetrical gene flow was from southern to northern populations in general and did not exhibit a Bridgehead effect during the course of invasion, as can be seen by the low genetic diversity of southern populations.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) has been prevalent for some time in China and it was first identified in 2010. However, the seroprevalence of SFTSV in the general population in southeastern China and risk factors associated with the infection are currently unclear. Blood samples were collected from seven counties across Zhejiang province and tested for the presence of SFTSV-specific IgG antibodies by ELISA. A total of 1380 blood samples were collected of which 5·51% were seropositive for SFTSV with seroprevalence varying significantly between sites. Seroprevalence of SFTSV in people who were family members of the patient, lived in the same village as the patient, or lived in a different village than the patient varied significantly. There was significant difference in seroprevalence between participants who bred domestic animals and participants who did not. Domestic animals are probably potential reservoir hosts and contact with domestic animals may be a transmission route of SFTSV.
Because cerebral morphological abnormalities in major depressive disorder (MDD) may be modulated by antidepressant treatment, inclusion of medicated patients may have biased previous meta-analyses of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies. A meta-analysis of VBM studies on medication-free MDD patients should be able to distinguish the morphological features of the disease itself from those of treatment.
A systematic search was conducted for the relevant studies. Effect-size signed differential mapping was applied to analyse the grey matter differences between all medication-free MDD patients and healthy controls. Meta-regression was used to explore the effects of demographics and clinical characteristics.
A total of 14 datasets comprising 400 medication-free MDD patients and 424 healthy controls met the inclusion criteria. The pooled meta-analysis and subgroup meta-analyses showed robustly reduced grey matter in prefrontal and limbic regions in MDD. Increased right thalamus volume was only seen in first-episode medication-naive patients, and increased grey matter in the bilateral anterior cingulate cortex only in medication wash-out patients. In meta-regression analyses the percentage of female patients in each study was negatively correlated with reduced grey matter in the right hippocampus.
By excluding interference from medication effects, the present study identified grey matter reduction in the prefrontal–limbic network in MDD. The subgroup meta-analysis results suggest that an increased right thalamus volume might be a trait directly related to MDD, while an increased anterior cingulate cortex volume might be an effect of medication. The meta-regression results perhaps reveal the structural underpinning of the sex differences in epidemiological and clinical aspects of MDD.
Alterations in gray matter (GM) are commonly observed in schizophrenia. Accumulating studies suggest that the brain changes associated with schizophrenia are distributed rather than focal, involving interconnected networks of areas as opposed to single regions. In the current study we aimed to explore GM volume (GMV) changes in a relatively large sample of treatment-naive first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients using optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and covariation analysis.
High-resolution T1-weighted images were obtained using 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from 86 first-episode drug-naive patients with schizophrenia and 86 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Symptom severity was evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). GMV was assessed using optimized VBM and in 16 regions of interest (ROIs), selected on the basis of a previous meta-analysis. The relationships between GMVs in the ROIs were examined using an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
The VBM analysis revealed that first-episode patients showed reduced GMV in the hippocampus bilaterally. The ROI analysis identified reductions in GMV in the left inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral hippocampus and right thalamus. The ANCOVA revealed different patterns of regional GMV correlations in patients and controls, including of inter- and intra-insula, inter-amygdala and insula–postcentral gyrus connections.
Schizophrenia involves regional reductions in GMV and changes in GMV covariance in the insula, amygdala and postcentral gyrus. These findings were evident at the onset of the disorder, before treatment, and therefore cannot be attributable to the effects of chronic illness progression or medication.
Convergent studies have highlighted the dysfunction of the amygdala, prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, only a few studies have investigated the functional connectivity between brain regions in PTSD patients during the resting state, which may improve our understanding of the neuropathophysiology of PTSD. The aim of this study was to investigate patterns of whole-brain functional connectivity in treatment-naive PTSD patients without co-morbid conditions who experienced the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in the Sichuan province of China.
A total of 72 PTSD patients and 86 trauma-exposed non-PTSD controls participated in the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study. All these subjects were recruited from the disaster zone of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Functional connectivities between 90 paired brain regions in PTSD patients were compared with those in trauma-exposed non-PTSD controls. Furthermore, Pearson correlation analysis was performed between significantly abnormal connectivities in PTSD patients and their clinician-administered PTSD scale (CAPS) scores.
Compared with non-PTSD controls, PTSD patients showed weaker positive connectivities between the middle prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the amygdala, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and rectus, as well as between the inferior orbitofrontal cortex and the hippocampus. In addition, PTSD patients showed stronger negative connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and the insula. The CAPS scores in PTSD patients correlated negatively with the connectivity between the amygdala and the mPFC.
PTSD patients showed abnormalities in whole-brain functional connectivity, primarily affecting the connectivities between the mPFC and limbic system, and connectivity between the PCC and insula.
Gattini and CSTAR have been installed at Dome A, Antarctica, which provide time-series photometric data for a large number of pulsating variable stars. We present the study for several variable stars with the data collected with the two facilities in 2009 to demonstrate the scientific potential of observations from Dome A for asteroseismology.
The current trends in stimulated Brillouin scattering and optical phase conjugation are overviewed. This report is formed by the selected papers presented in the “Fifth International Workshop on stimulated Brillouin scattering and phase conjugation 2010” in Japan. The nonlinear properties of phase conjugation based on stimulated Brillouin scattering and photo-refraction can compensate phase distortions in the high power laser systems, and they will also open up potentially novel laser technologies, e.g., phase stabilization, beam combination, pulse compression, ultrafast pulse shaping, and arbitrary waveform generation.
The Wenchuan earthquake was a catastrophic earthquake in China. The aim of this study is to explore longitudinally the rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression in adolescents after the Wenchuan earthquake, and to identify independent predictors of PTSD.
PTSD and depression symptoms among adolescents at 6, 12 and 18 months after the Wenchuan earthquake were investigated using the PTSD Checklist Civilian Version and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Subjects in this study included 548 high school student survivors in a local boarding high school.
The rates of PTSD symptoms were 9.7%, 1.3% and 1.6% at the 6-, 12- and 18-month follow-ups, respectively. BDI scores were found to be the best predictor of severity of PTSD at 6, 12 and 18 months. Gender was another variable contributing significantly to PTSD at 6 and 12 months after the earthquake. In the 12-month follow-up, home damage was found to be a predictor of severity of PTSD symptoms. Being a child with siblings was found to be a predictor of severity of PTSD symptoms at 12 and 18 months after the earthquake.
PTSD symptoms changed gradually at various stages after the earthquake. Depression symptoms were predictive of PTSD symptoms in the 18-month follow-up study. Other predictors of PTSD symptoms included female gender and being a child with siblings. The results of this study may be helpful for further mental health interventions for adolescents after earthquakes.
Brain structure appears to alter after antipsychotic administration, but it is unknown whether these alterations are associated with improvement of psychopathology in patients with schizophrenia. In this study, the authors explore this relationship.
Altogether, 66 first-episode, drug-naive patients with schizophrenia and 23 well-matched healthy controls underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging scans at baseline. All 23 healthy controls and 42 of the patients were rescanned after 6 weeks follow-up. The patients received regular antipsychotic treatment during the 6-week period and their psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline and 6 weeks. The difference in PANSS scores between baseline and 6 weeks was expressed as a ratio of the scores at baseline – ‘PANSS reduction ratio’. A modified tensor-based morphometry procedure was applied to analyse longitudinal images. Correlations between regional volume changes, PANSS reduction ratio and antipsychotic drug dosages were explored.
Compared with healthy controls, there was a significant increase in grey-matter volume of the right putamen in patients after 6 weeks treatment. This volume change was positively correlated with a positive PANSS reduction score but not related to drug dosages.
Putaminal volume increased after 6 weeks antipsychotic treatment in first-episode schizophrenia. The increased volume was closely correlated with improved psychopathology, suggesting the putamen might be a biomarker to predict the treatment response in schizophrenia.
A facile anodic electrophoretic deposition (EPD) process has been developed to prepare thin uniform films consisting of titanate nanotubes (TNTs) that were synthesized by a hydrothermal approach. Such an EPD process offers easy control in the film thickness and the adhesion to the substrate was found to be strong. The chemical composition and structure of the products have been characterized by HRTEM, FESEM, XRD and TG/DTA. It was found that the functionalization of TNTs plays a key role on the electrolyte stability and the successful formation of a uniform TNT film with good adhesion. The as-prepared TNT films show exceptional superhydrophilic behavior with ultra-fast spreading, while it converts to superhydrophobicity yet with high adhesion after 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctyl-triethoxysilane modification. This study provides an interesting method to prepare films with extremely high wettability contrast that are useful for producing different kinds of functional materials.
The present paper describes an unconventional approach to fabricate superhydrophilic-superhydrophobic template on the TiO2 nanotube structured film by a combination of electrochemical anodization and photocatalytic lithography. Based on template with extreme wetting contrast, various functional nanostructures micropattern with high resolution have been successfully fabricated. The resultant micropattern has been characterized with scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. It is shown that functional nanostructures can be selectively grown at superhydrophilic areas which are confined by the hydrophobic regions, indicating that the combined process of electrochemically self-assembly and photocatalytic lithography is a very promising approach for constructing well-defined templates for various functional materials growth.
In this work, the one dimensional (1D) titanate nanotubes (TNT)/nanowires (TNW), bulk titanate micro-particles (TMP), and three dimensional (3D) titanate microsphere particles (TMS) with high specific surface area were synthesized via different approaches. The chemical composition and structure of these products have been characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM) study and Raman scattering spectroscopy. The as-prepared TMS shows excellent adsorption performance compared with TMP, TNW and TNT when methylene blue (MB) and PbII ions are used as representative organic and inorganic pollutants.