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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.
Post-stroke depression (PSD) is the most common psychiatric complication facing stroke survivors and has been associated with increased distress, physical disability, poor rehabilitation, and suicidal ideation. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PSD remain unknown, and no objective laboratory-based test is available to aid PSD diagnosis or monitor progression.
Here, an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomic approach was performed to identify differentially expressed proteins in plasma samples obtained from PSD, stroke, and healthy control subjects.
The significantly differentiated proteins were primarily involved in lipid metabolism and immunoregulation. Six proteins associated with these processes – apolipoprotein A-IV (ApoA-IV), apolipoprotein C-II (ApoC-II), C-reactive protein (CRP), gelsolin, haptoglobin, and leucine-rich alpha-2-glycoprotein (LRG) – were selected for Western blotting validation. ApoA-IV expression was significantly upregulated in PSD as compared to stroke subjects. ApoC-II, LRG, and CRP expression were significantly downregulated in both PSD and HC subjects relative to stroke subjects. Gelsolin and haptoglobin expression were significantly dysregulated across all three groups with the following expression profiles: gelsolin, healthy control > PSD > stroke subjects; haptoglobin, stroke > PSD > healthy control.
Early perturbation of lipid metabolism and immunoregulation may be involved in the pathophysiology of PSD. The combination of increased gelsolin levels accompanied by decreased haptoglobin levels shows promise as a plasma-based diagnostic biomarker panel for detecting increased PSD risk in post-stroke patients.
Metabolic syndrome induced by atypical antipsychotics is more prevalence in schizophrenic patients. Much less is known regarding paliperidone ER. The objective of this study was to compare matched paliperidone-ER- and olanzapine-treated schizophrenic patients on measures of glucose and lipid metabolism. Eighty hospitalized patients with schizophrenia (DSM-) were randomly assigned to treatment with paliperidone ER or olanzapine for 12 weeks. At baseline and every 4 weeks, we assessed weight, subcutaneous fat, waist and hip circumferences, fasting glucose, insulin, glycohemoglobin A1, cholesterol, triglycerides, high density level (HDL) cholesterol, low density level (LDL) cholesterol and prolactin. And we also evaluate the body mass index (BMI), homeostasis insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and homeostasis β-cell function (HOMA-B). 33 patients randomly assigned to paliperidone ER and 23 patients randomly assigned to olanzapine completed the entire 12-week treatment. Within-group overall analysis showed that the fasting measures were increased in weight, BMI, waist circumferences, hip circumferences, subcutaneous fat, cholesterol, triglyceride and prolactin for two groups, and fasting glucose, LDL and HOMA-B were increased for olanzapine group. There was significantly difference in serum prolactin between paliperidone ER and olanzapine group. And there was a trend for HOMA-B to increase in olanzapine group over 12 weeks compared to paliperidone ER group. However, there were no overall differential drug effects over 12 weeks on the fasting measures of BMI, glucose, glycohemoglobin A1, insulin, HDL, LDL, cholesterol, triglyceride and HOMA-IR. The study further reinforces the necessity of regular monitoring the metabolic parameters in schizophrenic patients with atypical antipsychotics including paliperidone ER.
Recent imaging studies have shown that brain morphology and neural activity during sexual arousal differ between homosexual and heterosexual men. Whether the structural and task-related functional differences also exist in the resting state is unknown. The purpose of the study is to characterize the association of homosexual preference with measures of regional homogeneity and functional connectivity in the resting state. Participants were 26 homosexual men and 26 age-matched heterosexual men. The sexual orientation of every participant was evaluated using the Kinsey Scale. We first assessed group differences in regional homogeneity and then, taking the identified differences as seed regions, we compared groups in measures of functional connectivity from those seeds. The behavioral significances of the differences in regional homogeneity and functional connectivity were assessed by examining their associations with scores on the Kinsey Scale. Homosexual participants showed significantly reduced regional homogeneity in the left inferior occipital gyrus, right middle occipital gyrus, right superior occipital gyrus, left cuneus, right precuneus, and increased regional homogeneity in the rectal gyrus, bilateral midbrain, and left temporal lobe. Regional homogeneity correlated positively with Kinsey scores in the left inferior occipital gyrus. The homosexual group also showed reduced functional connectivity in left middle temporal gyrus, left supra-marginal gyrus and right cuneus. In addition, the connection between the left inferior occipital gyrus and right thalamus in the homosexual group was correlated positively with Kinsey scores. This differences in homogeneity and fucntional connectivity may contribute to a better understanding of the neural basis of male sexual orientation.
Radio observations allow us to identify a wide range of active galactic nuclei (AGN), which play a significant role in the evolution of galaxies. Amongst AGN at low radio-luminosities is the ‘radio-quiet’ quasar (RQQ) population, but how they contribute to the total radio emission is under debate, with previous studies arguing that it is predominantly through star formation. In this talk, SVW summarised the results of recent papers on RQQs, including the use of far-infrared data to disentangle the radio emission from the AGN and that from star formation. This provides evidence that black-hole accretion, instead, dominates the radio emission in RQQs. In addition, we find that this accretion-related emission is correlated with the optical luminosity of the quasar, whilst a weaker luminosity-dependence is evident for the radio emission connected with star formation. What remains unclear is the process by which this accretion-related emission is produced. Understanding this for RQQs will then allow us to investigate how this type of AGN influences its surroundings. Such studies have important implications for modelling AGN feedback, and for determining the accretion and star-formation histories of the Universe.
Some studies have shown that the excessive metabolic heat production is the primary cause for dead chicken embryos during late embryonic development. Increasing heat shock protein (HSP) expression and adjusting metabolism are important ways to maintain body homeostasis under heat stress. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of in ovo injection (IOI) of vitamin C (VC) at embryonic age 11th day (E11) on HSP and metabolic genes expression. A total of 320 breeder eggs were randomly divided into normal saline and VC injection groups. We detected plasma VC content and rectal temperature at chick’s age 1st day, and the mRNA levels of HSP and metabolic genes in embryonic livers at E14, 16 and 18, analysed the promoter methylation levels of differentially expressed genes and predicted transcription factors at the promoter regions. The results showed that IOI of VC significantly increased plasma VC content and decreased rectal temperature (P < 0.05). In ovo injection of VC significantly increased heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) genes expression at E16 and PDK4 and secreted frizzled related protein 1 (SFRP1) at E18 (P < 0.05). At E16, IOI of VC significantly decreased the methylation levels of total CpG sites and −336 CpG site in HSP60 promoter and −1137 CpG site in PDK4 promoter (P < 0.05). Potential binding sites for nuclear factor-1 were found around −389 and −336 CpG sites in HSP60 promoter and potential binding site for specificity protein 1 was found around −1137 CpG site in PDK4 promoter. Our results suggested that IOI of VC increased HSP60, PDK4 and SFRP1 genes expression at E16 and 18, which may be associated with the demethylation in gene promoters. Whether IOI of VC could improve hatchability needs to be further verified by setting uninjection group.
Starch digestion in the small intestines of the dairy cow is low, to a large extent, due to a shortage of syntheses of α-amylase. One strategy to improve the situation is to enhance the synthesis of α-amylase. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway, which acts as a central regulator of protein synthesis, can be activated by leucine. Our objectives were to investigate the effects of leucine on the mTOR signalling pathway and to define the associations between these signalling activities and the synthesis of pancreatic enzymes using an in vitro model of cultured Holstein dairy calf pancreatic tissue. The pancreatic tissue was incubated in culture medium containing l-leucine for 3 h, and samples were collected hourly, with the control being included but not containing l-leucine. The leucine supplementation increased α-amylase and trypsin activities and the messenger RNA expression of their coding genes (P <0.05), and it enhanced the mTOR synthesis and the phosphorylation of mTOR, ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (P <0.05). In addition, rapamycin inhibited the mTOR signal pathway factors during leucine treatment. In sum, the leucine regulates α-amylase and trypsin synthesis in dairy calves through the regulation of the mTOR signal pathways.
Plant nitrogen (N) links with many physiological progresses of crop growth and yield formation. Accurate simulation is key to predict crop growth and yield correctly. The aim of the current study was to improve the estimation of N uptake and translocation processes in the whole rice plant as well as within plant organs in the RiceGrow model by using plant and organ maximum, critical and minimum N dilution curves. The maximum and critical N (Nc) demand (obtained from the maximum and critical curves) of shoot and root and Nc demand of organs (leaf, stem and panicle) are calculated by N concentration and biomass. Nitrogen distribution among organs is computed differently pre- and post-anthesis. Pre-anthesis distribution is determined by maximum N demand with no priority among organs. In post-anthesis distribution, panicle demands are met first and then the remaining N is allocated to other organs without priority. The amount of plant N uptake depends on plant N demand and N supplied by the soil. Calibration and validation of the established model were performed on field experiments conducted in China and the Philippines with varied N rates and N split applications; results showed that this improved model can simulate the processes of N uptake and translocation well.
Network analysis is an emerging approach in the study of psychopathology, yet few applications have been seen in eating disorders (EDs). Furthermore, little research exists regarding changes in network strength after interventions. Therefore the present study examined the network structures of ED and co-occurring depression and anxiety symptoms before and after treatment for EDs.
Participants from residential or partial hospital ED treatment programs (N = 446) completed assessments upon admission and discharge. Networks were estimated using regularized Graphical Gaussian Models using 38 items from the Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire, Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.
ED symptoms with high centrality indices included a desire to lose weight, guilt about eating, shape overvaluation, and wanting an empty stomach, while restlessness, self-esteem, lack of energy, and feeling overwhelmed bridged ED to depression and anxiety symptoms. Comparisons between admission and discharge networks indicated the global network strength did not change significantly, though symptom severity decreased. Participants with denser networks at admission evidenced less change in ED symptomatology during treatment.
Findings suggest that symptoms related to shape and weight concerns and guilt are central ED symptoms, while physical symptoms, self-esteem, and feeling overwhelmed are links that may underlie comorbidities in EDs. Results provided some support for the validity of network approaches, in that admission networks conveyed prognostic information. However, the lack of correspondence between symptom reduction and change in network strength indicates that future research is needed to examine network dynamics in the context of intervention and relapse prevention.
Dense, controlled-impedance, superconducting cables with small cross-sections are desirable, especially for quantum computing applications. In this study, superconductivity properties, rf microwave response and mechanical reliability performance of embedded Nb dc cables and Nb microstrip transmission line resonators with different thicknesses of polyimide PI-2611 encapsulation layers (0, 4 and 8 μm) have been investigated. Critical temperature (Tc) and critical current (Ic) of embedded Nb dc cables are ∼ 8.2 K and ∼ 0.2 A, respectively. Embedded Nb resonators yield high loaded quality factor (QL), with values as high as 14481 at ∼ 1.2 K and at a fundamental resonance of ∼ 2 GHz. From mechanical fatigue testing, we have observed that a polyimide encapsulation layer can effectively enhance the mechanical reliability of superconducting Nb flexible cables.
The oriental fruit moth (OFM) Grapholita molesta (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) is an important economic pest of stone and pome fruits worldwide. We sequenced the OFM genome using next-generation sequencing and characterized the microsatellite distribution. In total, 56,674 microsatellites were identified, with 11,584 loci suitable for primer design. Twenty-seven polymorphic microsatellites, including 24 loci with trinucleotide repeat and three with pentanucleotide repeat, were validated in 95 individuals from four natural populations. The allele numbers ranged from 4 to 40, with an average value of 13.7 per locus. A high frequency of null alleles was observed in most loci developed for the OFM. Three marker panels, all of the loci, nine loci with the lowest null allele frequencies, and nine loci with the highest null allele frequencies, were established for population genetics analyses. The null allele influenced estimations of genetic diversity parameters but not the OFM's genetic structure. Both a STRUCTURE analysis and a discriminant analysis of principal components, using the three marker panels, divided the four natural populations into three groups. However, more individuals were incorrectly assigned by the STRUCTURE analysis when the marker panel with the highest null allele frequency was used compared with the other two panels. Our study provides empirical research on the effects of null alleles on population genetics analyses. The microsatellites developed will be valuable markers for genetic studies of the OFM.
The primary objective of this study was to investigate the effect of dietary fiber on methanogenic diversity and community composition in the hindgut of indigenous Chinese Lantang gilts to explain the unexpected findings reported earlier that Lantang gilts fed low-fiber diet (LFD) produced more methane than those fed high-fiber diet (HFD). In total, 12 Lantang gilts (58.7±0.37 kg) were randomly divided into two dietary groups (six replicates (pigs) per group) and fed either LFD (NDF=201.46 g/kg) or HFD (NDF=329.70 g/kg). Wheat bran was the main source of fiber for the LFD, whereas ground rice hull (mixture of rice hull and rice bran) was used for the HFD. Results showed that the methanogens in the hindgut of Lantang gilts belonged to four known species (Methanobrevibacter ruminantium, Methanobrevibacter wolinii, Methanosphaera stadtmanae and Methanobrevibacter smithii), with about 89% of the methanogens belonging to the genus Methanobrevibacter. The 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene copies of Methanobrevibacter were more than three times higher (P<0.05) for gilts fed LFD (3.31×109 copies/g dry matter (DM)) than gilts fed HFD (1.02×109 copies/g DM). No difference (P>0.05) was observed in 16S rRNA gene copies of Fibrobacter succinogenes between the two dietary groups, and 18S rRNA gene copies of anaerobic fungi in gilts fed LFD were lower than (P<0.05) those fed HFD. To better explain the effect of different fiber source on the methanogen community, a follow-up in vitro fermentation using a factorial design comprised of two inocula (prepared from hindgut content of gilts fed two diets differing in their dietary fiber)×four substrates (LFD, HFD, wheat bran, ground rice hull) was conducted. Results of the in vitro fermentation confirmed that the predominant methanogens belonged to the genus of Methanobrevibacter, and about 23% methanogens was found to be distantly related (90%) to Thermogymnomonas acidicola. In vitro fermentation also seems to suggest that fiber source did change the methanogens community. Although the density of Methanobrevibacter species was positively correlated with CH4 production in both in vivo (P<0.01, r=0.737) and in vitro trials (P<0.05, r=0.854), which could partly explain the higher methane production from gilts fed LFD compared with those in the HFD group. Further investigation is needed to explain how the rice hull affected the methanogens and inhibited CH4 emission from gilts fed HFD.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) has caused public health concerns worldwide. We aimed to investigate the effect of meteorological factors on the HFMD epidemic in Qingdao, a port city in China. A total of 78641 cases were reported in Qingdao between January 2007 and December 2014. Of those, 71084 (90·39%) occurred in children aged 0–5 years, with an incidence of 1691·2/100000. The incidence increased from early spring, peaked between spring and summer, and decreased in late summer. Aetiological agents in all severe cases and selected mild cases were characterized by examining throat swabs. Except for enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16), other EVs caused >50% of the HFMD cases between 2011 and 2014. EV71 was more frequent in the off-peak months than in the peak months and prone to causing more severe cases compared to CA16 (χ2 = 46·3, P < 0·001). CA10 caused more severe HFMD than did CA6 (χ2 = 20·49, P < 0·001) and all non-CA10 EVs (χ2 = 41·01, P < 0·001). Community-derived HFMD cases accounted for 65·11%. Spearman rank correlation analysis showed that HFMD incidence in children aged 0–5 years was positively correlated with atmospheric temperature (rs = 0·77, P < 0·001), relative humidity (rs = 0·507, P < 0·001), and precipitation (rs = 0·328, P < 0·001). Climate changes and CA10 surveillance in communities should be integrated into the current prophylactic programme.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease that was caused by a novel bunyavirus, SFTSV. The study aimed to disclose the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of SFTSV infection in China so far. An integrated clinical database comprising 1920 SFTS patients was constructed by combining first-hand clinical information collected from SFTS sentinel hospitals (n = 1159) and extracted data (n = 761) from published literature. The considered variables comprised clinical manifestations, routine laboratory tests of acute infection, hospitalization duration and disease outcome. SFTSV-IgG data from 19 119 healthy subjects were extracted from the published papers. The key clinical variables, case-fatality rate (CFR) and seroprevalence were estimated by meta-analysis. The most commonly seen clinical manifestations of SFTSV infection were fever, anorexia, myalgia, chill and lymphadenopathy. The major laboratory findings were elevated lactate dehydrogenase, aminotransferase, followed by thrombocytopenia, lymphocytopenia, elevated alanine transaminase and creatine kinase. A CFR of 12·2% was estimated, significantly higher than that obtained from national reporting data, but showing no geographical difference. In our paper, the mortality rate was about 1·9 parts per million. Older age and longer delay to hospitalization were significantly associated with fatal outcome. A pooled seroprevalence of 3·0% was obtained, which increased with age, while comparable for gender. This study represents a clinical characterization on the largest group of SFTS patients up to now. A higher than expected CFR was obtained. A wider spectrum of clinical index was suggested to be used to identify SFTSV infection, while the useful predictor for fatal outcome was found to be restricted.
Cholera is one of a number of infectious diseases that appears to be influenced by climate, geography and other natural environments. This study analysed the environmental factors of the spatial distribution of cholera in China. It shows that temperature, precipitation, elevation, and distance to the coastline have significant impact on the distribution of cholera. It also reveals the oceanic environmental factors associated with cholera in Zhejiang, which is a coastal province of China, using both remote sensing (RS) and geographical information systems (GIS). The analysis has validated the correlation between indirect satellite measurements of sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface height (SSH) and ocean chlorophyll concentration (OCC) and the local number of cholera cases based on 8-year monthly data from 2001 to 2008. The results show the number of cholera cases has been strongly affected by the variables of SST, SSH and OCC. Utilizing this information, a cholera prediction model has been established based on the oceanic and climatic environmental factors. The model indicates that RS and GIS have great potential for designing an early warning system for cholera.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is an acute contagious condition caused by a spectrum of human enteroviruses. HFMD reinfection is common in the absence of cross-protection from other virus subtypes. This study focused on reinfection in children in Anhui province, China between 2008 and 2013 using surveillance system data. We classified 8960 cases as reinfected, corresponding to a rate of 2·02%. The reinfection rate was higher in boys than in girls [odds ratio (OR) 1·27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·21–1·32, P < 0·001], children aged < 3 years (OR 3·82, 95% CI 3·58–4·07, P < 0·001), and children living in rural areas (OR 1·09, 95% CI 1·04–1·14, P = 0·001). The reinfection rate in children who were originally infected with non-enterovirus A71 (non-EVA71) enteroviruses was higher than those infected with EVA71 (OR 1·36, 95% CI 1·02–1·80, P = 0·034). Influential factors of reinfection rate included annual incidence (β coefficient = 0·715, P = 0·002) and the proportion of EVA71 in patients with mild HFMD (β coefficient = −0·509, P = 0·018). These results demonstrate that boys aged <3 years, especially those in rural areas or regions with a lower EVA71 proportion are more prone to reinfection, and specific health education programmes should be developed to protect these susceptible populations.
Lignification-associated phenolic acids are widely distributed in graminaceous plant cell walls. Nylon bags containing maize bran, wheat bran, millet husk and rice husk were incubated in the rumens of five Charolais (♂) × Nanyang (♀) crossbred steers for 6, 12, 24, 36, 48 and 72 h. The in situ ruminal disappearance of ester-linked phenolic acids linearly increased in the brans with increasing incubation time, and the disappearance was greater for ester-linked ferulic acid (FAest) than for ester-linked p-coumaric acid (PCAest). The disappearances of FAest and PCAest were positively correlated with disappearances of neutral detergent fibre (NDF), cellulose and hemicellulose. The effective degradabilities of NDF, cellulose and hemicellulose in the brans were markedly greater than the effective degradabilities of these components in the husks, and were negatively correlated with the contents of Lignin (sa), ether-linked ferulic acid, PCAest and ether-linked p-coumaric acid in both the cereal brans and husks. These findings suggested that breeding forage crops with modified phenolic acid contents could represent an alternative strategy to promote further increases in fibre digestibility of cereal residue feeds for ruminant animals.
We conducted a systematic review to compare resistance to third-generation cephalosporins (TGCs) in Shigella strains between Europe-America and Asia-Africa from 1998 to 2012 based on a literature search of computerized databases. In Asia-Africa, the prevalence of resistance of total and different subtypes to ceftriaxone, cefotaxime and ceftazidime increased markedly, with a total prevalence of resistance up to 14·2% [95% confidence interval (CI) 3·9–29·4], 22·6% (95% CI 4·8–48·6) and 6·2% (95% CI 3·8–9·1) during 2010–2012, respectively. By contrast, resistance rates to these TGCs in Europe-America remained relatively low – less than 1·0% during the 15 years. A noticeable finding was that certain countries both in Europe-America and Asia-Africa, had a rapid rising trend in the prevalence of resistance of S. sonnei, which even outnumbered S. flexneri in some periods. Moreover, comparison between countries showed that currently the most serious problem concerning resistance to these TGCs appeared in Vietnam, especially for ceftriaxone, China, especially for cefotaxime and Iran, especially for ceftazidime. These data suggest that monitoring of the drug resistance of Shigella strains should be strengthened and that rational use of antibiotics is required.
Boron nitride has attracted a great deal of attention as a two dimensional (2D) insulator for substrate and gate dielectric applications in 2D electronics. Development of a scalable technique to grow mono- to few-layer h-BN on microelectronics compatible substrates is desirable. Work on the growth of atomically smooth BN and graphene on sapphire and Si is presented in this paper. Two approaches are described: i) growth of h-BN and graphene on Si and sapphire substrates using a catalyzing Cu thin film, and ii) low pressure metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth on sapphire. In approach i) we discuss problems associated with the thermal instability of Cu at the interface with the substrate and show how the stability may be improved through the use of a thin Ni buffer layer or careful substrate selection. The correlation between Cu film morphology and h-BN (and graphene) quality is shown. In approach ii) we find two different growth modes, 3D island growth at low V/III ratios and self-terminating growth at high V/III ratios. Under self-terminating growth atomically smooth few-layer h-BN films are produced. Nitridation of the sapphire surface is found to promote this self-terminating growth by improving nucleation of BN on the substrate. Finally, we present results from the growth of graphene/h-BN on sapphire in a single process.