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The spatio-temporal variation of leaf chlorophyll content is an important crop phenotypic trait that is of great significance for evaluating crop productivity. This study used a soil-plant analysis development (SPAD) chlorophyll meter for non-destructive monitoring of leaf chlorophyll dynamics to characterize the patterns of spatio-temporal variation in the nutritional status of maize (Zea mays L.) leaves under three nitrogen treatments in two cultivars. The results showed that nitrogen levels could affect the maximum leaf SPAD reading (SPADmax) and the duration of high SPAD reading. A rational model was used to measure the changes in SPAD readings over time in single leaves. This model was suitable for predicting the dynamics of the nutrient status for each leaf position under different nitrogen treatments, and model parameter values were position dependent. SPADmax at each leaf decreased with the reduction of nitrogen supply. Leaves at different positions in both cultivars responded differently to higher nitrogen rates. Lower leaves (8th–10th positions) were more sensitive than the other leaves in response to nitrogen. Monitoring the SPAD reading dynamic of lower leaves could accurately characterize and assess the nitrogen supply in plants. The lower leaves in nitrogen-deficient plants had a shorter duration of high SPAD readings compared to nitrogen-sufficient plants; this physiological mechanism should be studied further. In summary, the spatio-temporal variation of plant nitrogen status in maize was analysed to determine critical leaf positions for potentially assisting in the identification of appropriate agronomic management practices, such as the adjustment of nitrogen rates in late fertilization.
The extent of the reduction of maize (Zea mays L.) kernel moisture content through drying is closely related to field temperature (or accumulated temperature; AT) following maturation. In 2017 and 2018, we selected eight maize hybrids that are widely planted in Northeastern China to construct kernel drying prediction models for each hybrid based on kernel drying dynamics. In the traditional harvest scenario using the optimal sowing date (OSD), maize kernels underwent drying from 4th September to 5th October, with variation coefficients of 1.0–1.9. However, with a latest sowing date (LSD), drying occurred from 14th September to 31st October, with variation coefficients of 1.3–3.0. In the changed harvest scenario, the drying time of maize sown on the OSD condition was from 12th September to 9th November with variation coefficients of 1.3–3.0, while maize sown on the LSD had drying dates of 26th September to 28th October with variation coefficients of 1.5–3.6. In the future harvest scenario, the Fengken 139 (FK139) and Jingnongke 728 (JNK728) hybrids finished drying on 20th October and 8th November, respectively, when sown on the OSD and had variation coefficients of 2.7–2.8. Therefore, the maize kernel drying time was gradually delayed and was associated with an increased demand for AT ⩾ 0°C late in the growing season. Furthermore, we observed variation among different growing seasons likely due to differences in weather patterns, and that sowing dates impact variations in drying times to a greater extent than harvest scenarios.
Mood plays an important role in our life which is illustrated by the disruptive impact of aberrant mood states in depression. Although vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has been shown to improve symptoms of depression, the exact mechanism is still elusive, and it is an open question whether non-invasive VNS could be used to swiftly and robustly improve mood.
Here, we investigated the effect of left- and right-sided transcutaneous auricular VNS (taVNS) v. a sham control condition on mood after the exertion of physical and cognitive effort in 82 healthy participants (randomized cross-over design) using linear mixed-effects and hierarchical Bayesian analyses of mood ratings.
We found that 90 min of either left-sided or right-sided taVNS improved positive mood [b = 5.11, 95% credible interval, CI (1.39–9.01), 9.6% improvement relative to the mood intercept, BF10 = 7.69, pLME = 0.017], yet only during the post-stimulation phase. Moreover, lower baseline scores of positive mood were associated with greater taVNS-induced improvements in motivation [r = −0.42, 95% CI (−0.58 to −0.21), BF10 = 249].
We conclude that taVNS boosts mood after a prolonged period of effort exertion with concurrent stimulation and that acute motivational effects of taVNS are partly dependent on initial mood states. Collectively, our results show that taVNS may help quickly improve affect after a mood challenge, potentially by modulating interoceptive signals contributing to the reappraisal of effortful behavior. This suggests that taVNS could be a useful add-on to current behavioral therapies.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Singapore's health system generates similar levels of health outcomes as does Sweden's but for only 4.4% rather than 11.0% of gross domestic product, with Singapore's resulting health sector savings being re-directed to help fund both long-term care and retirement pensions for its elderly citizens. This paper contrasts the framework of financial risk-sharing and the configuration and management of health service providers in these two high-income, small-population countries. Two main institutional distinctions emerge from this country case comparison: (1) Key differences exist in the practical configuration of solidarity for payment of health care services, reflecting differing cultural roots and social expectations, which in turn carry substantial implications for financing long-term care and pensions. (2) Differing arrangements exist in the organization of health service institutions, in particular balancing public as against private sector responsibilities for owning, operating and managing these two countries' respective hospitals. These different structural characteristics generate fundamental differences in health sector financial and delivery outcomes in one developed country in Far East Asia as compared with a well-respected tax-funded health system in Western Europe. In the post-COVID era, as Western European policymakers find themselves forced to adjust their publicly funded health systems to (further) reductions in economic growth rates and overall tax receipts, and as the cost of the information revolution continues to rise while efforts to fund better coordinated social and home care services for growing numbers of chronically ill elderly remain inadequate, this two-country case comparison highlights a series of health system design questions that could potentially provide alternative health sector financing and service delivery strategies.
The characteristic traits of maize (Zea mays L.) leaves affect light interception and photosynthesis. Measurement or estimation of individual leaf area has been described using discontinuous equations or bell-shaped functions. However, new maize hybrids show different canopy architecture, such as leaf angle in modern maize which is more upright and ear leaf and adjacent leaves which are longer than older hybrids. The original equations and their parameters, which have been used for older maize hybrids and grown at low plant densities, will not accurately represent modern hybrids. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to develop a new empirical equation that captures vertical leaf distribution. To characterize the vertical leaf profile, we conducted a field experiment in Jilin province, Northeast China from 2015 to 2018. Our new equation for the vertical distribution of leaf profile describes leaf length, width or leaf area as a function of leaf rank, using parameters for the maximum value for leaf length, width or area, the leaf rank at which the maximum value is obtained, and the width of the curve. It thus involves one parameter less than the previously used equations. By analysing the characteristics of this new equation, we identified four key leaf ranks (4, 8, 14 and 20) for which leaf parameter values need to be quantified in order to have a good estimation of leaf length, width and area. Together, the method of leaf area estimation proposed here adds versatility for use in modern maize hybrids and simplifies the field measurements by using the four key leaf ranks to estimate vertical leaf distribution in maize canopy instead of all leaf ranks.
Since the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically influenced almost every aspect of human life. Activities requiring human gatherings have either been postponed, canceled, or held completely virtually. To supplement lack of in-person contact, people have increasingly turned to virtual settings online, advantages of which include increased inclusivity and accessibility and a reduced carbon footprint. However, emerging online technologies cannot fully replace in-person scientific events. In-person meetings are not susceptible to poor Internet connectivity problems, and they provide novel opportunities for socialization, creating new collaborations and sharing ideas. To continue such activities, a hybrid model for scientific events could be a solution offering both in-person and virtual components. While participants can freely choose the mode of their participation, virtual meetings would most benefit those who cannot attend in-person due to the limitations. In-person portions of meetings should be organized with full consideration of prevention and safety strategies, including risk assessment and mitigation, venue and environmental sanitation, participant protection and disease prevention, and promoting the hybrid model. This new way of interaction between scholars can be considered as a part of a resilience system, which was neglected previously and should become a part of routine practice in the scientific community.
Objectives: Low educational attainment is a risk factor for more rapid cognitive aging, but there is substantial variability in cognitive trajectories within educational groups. The aim of this study was to determine the factors that confer resilience to memory decline within educational strata. Methods: We selected 2573 initially nondemented White, African American, and Hispanic participants from the longitudinal community-based Washington Heights/Inwood Columbia Aging Project who had at least two visits. We estimated initial memory (intercept) and the rate of memory decline (slope) using up to five occasions of measurement. We classified groups according to the educational attainment groups as low (≤5 years), medium (6–11 years), and high (≥12 years). We used a multiple-group latent growth model to identify the baseline predictors of initial memory performance and rate of memory decline across groups. The model specification considered the influence of demographic, socioeconomic, biomedical, and cognitive variables on the intercept and the slope of memory trajectory. Results: Our results indicated that the three educational groups do not benefit from the same factors. When allowed to differ across groups, the predictors were related to cognitive outcomes in the highly educated group, but we found no unique predictor of cognition for the low educated older adults. Conclusions: These findings highlight that memory-protective factors may differ across older adults with distinct educational backgrounds, and the need to evaluate a broader range of potential resilience factors for older adults with few years of school.
Good canopy structure is essential for optimal maize (Zea mays L.) production. However, creating appropriate maize canopy structure can be difficult, because the characteristics of individual plants are altered by changes in plant age, density and interactions with neighbouring plants. The objective of the current study was to find a reliable method for building good maize canopy structure by analysing changes in canopy structure, light distribution and grain yield (GY). A modern maize cultivar (ZhengDan958) was planted at 12 densities ranging from 1.5 to 18 plants/m2 at two field locations in Xinjiang, China. At the silking stage (R1), plant and ear height increased with plant density as well as leaf area index (LAI), whereas leaf area per plant decreased logarithmically. The fraction of light intercepted by the plant (F) increased with increasing plant density, but the light extinction coefficient (K) decreased linearly from 0.61 to 0.39. Taking the optimum value of F (95%) as an example, and using measured values of K for each plant density at R1 and the equation from Beer's law, the corresponding (theoretical) LAI for each plant density was calculated and optimum plant density (9.72 plants/m2) obtained by calculating the difference between theoretical LAIs and actual observations. Further analysis showed that plant density ranging from 10.64 to 11.55 plants/m2 yielded a stable GY range. Therefore, taking into account the persistence time for maximum LAI, the plant density required to obtain an ideal GY maize canopy structure should be increased by 10–18% from 9.72 plants/m2.
In 2015 and 2016, the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) Social Media (SoMe) Team collaborated with established medical websites to promote CJEM articles using podcasts and infographics while tracking dissemination and readership.
CJEM publications in the “Original Research” and “State of the Art” sections were selected by the SoMe Team for podcast and infographic promotion based on their perceived interest to emergency physicians. A control group was composed retrospectively of articles from the 2015 and 2016 issues with the highest Altmetric score that received standard Facebook and Twitter promotions. Studies on SoMe topics were excluded. Dissemination was quantified by January 1, 2017 Altmetric scores. Readership was measured by abstract and full-text views over a 3-month period. The number needed to view (NNV) was calculated by dividing abstract views by full-text views.
Twenty-nine of 88 articles that met inclusion were included in the podcast (6), infographic (11), and control (12) groups. Descriptive statistics (mean, 95% confidence interval) were calculated for podcast (Altmetric: 61, 42-80; Abstract: 1795, 1135-2455; Full-text: 431, 0-1031), infographic (Altmetric: 31.5, 19-43; Abstract: 590, 361-819; Full-text: 65, 33-98), and control (Altmetric: 12, 8-15; Abstract: 257, 159-354; Full-Text: 73, 38-109) articles. The NNV was 4.2 for podcast, 9.0 for infographic, and 3.5 for control articles.
Limitations included selection bias, the influence of SoMe promotion on the Altmetric scores, and a lack of generalizability to other journals.
Collaboration with established SoMe websites using podcasts and infographics was associated with increased Altmetric scores and abstract views but not full-text article views.
Trichinella spiralis is a parasitic helminth that can infect almost all mammals, including humans. Trichinella spiralis infection elicits a typical type 2 immune responses, while suppresses type 1 immune responses, which is in favour of their parasitism. DNA vaccines have been shown to be capable of eliciting balanced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses as well as humoral immune responses in small-animal models, which will be advantage to induce protective immune response against helminth infection. In this study, serine protease (Ts-NBLsp) was encoded by a cDNA fragment of new-born T. spiralis larvae, and was inserted after CMV promoter to construct a DNA vaccine [pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp]. Ts-NBLsp expression was demonstrated by immunofluorescence. Sera samples were obtained from vaccinated mice, and they showed strong anti-Ts-NBLsp-specific IgG response. Mice immunized with the pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp DNA vaccine showed a 77·93% reduction in muscle larvae (ML) following challenge with T. spiralis ML. Our results demonstrate that the vaccination with pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp plasmid promoted the balance of type 1 and 2 immune responses and produced a significant protection against T. spiralis infection in mice.
Mars landed and orbiter missions have instrumentation capable of detecting oxychlorine phases (e.g. perchlorate, chlorate) on the surface. Perchlorate (~0.6 wt%) was first detected by the Wet Chemistry Laboratory in the surface material at the Phoenix Mars Landing site. Subsequent analyses by the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyser aboard the same lander detected an oxygen release (~465°C) consistent with the thermal decomposition of perchlorate. Recent thermal analysis by the Mars Science Laboratory's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument has also indicated the presence of oxychlorine phases (up to 1.2 wt%) in Gale Crater materials. Despite being at detectable concentrations, the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffractometer has not detected oxychlorine phases. This suggests that Gale Crater oxychlorine may exist as poorly crystalline phases or that perchlorate/chlorate mixtures exist, so that individual oxychlorine concentrations are below CheMin detection limits (~1 wt%). Although not initially designed to detect oxychlorine phases, reinterpretation of Viking Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer data also suggest that oxychlorine phases are present in the Viking surface materials. Remote near-infrared spectral analyses by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument indicate that at least some martian recurring slope lineae (RSL) have spectral signatures consistent with the presence of hydrated perchlorates or chlorates during the seasons when RSL are most extensive. Despite the thermal emission spectrometer, Thermal Emission Imaging System, Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activité and CRISM detection of hundreds of anhydrous chloride (~10–25 vol%) deposits, expected associated oxychlorine phases (>5–10 vol%) have not been detected. Total Cl and oxychlorine data sets from the Phoenix Lander and the Mars Science Laboratory missions could be used to develop oxychlorine versus total Cl correlations, which may constrain oxychlorine concentrations at other locations on Mars by using total Cl determined by other missions (e.g. Viking, Pathfinder, MER and Odyssey). Development of microfluidic or ‘lab-on-a-chip’ instrumentation has the potential to be the next generation analytical capability used to identify and quantify individual oxychlorine species on future landed robotic missions to Mars.
Van der Waals (vdW) heterojunctions consisting of vertically-stacked individual or multiple layers of two-dimensional layered semiconductors, especially the transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), show novel optoelectronic functionalities due to the sensitivity of their electronic and optical properties to strong quantum confinement and interfacial interactions. Here, monolayers of n-type MoSe2 and p-type Mo1−xWxSe2 are grown by vapor transport methods, then transferred and stamped to form artificial vdW heterostructures with strong interlayer coupling as proven in photoluminescence and low-frequency Raman spectroscopy measurements. Remarkably, the heterojunctions exhibit an unprecedented photoconductivity effect that persists at room temperature for several days. This persistent photoconductivity is shown to be tunable by applying a gate bias that equilibrates the charge distribution. These measurements indicate that such ultrathin vdW heterojunctions can function as rewritable optoelectronic switches or memory elements under time-dependent photo-illumination, an effect which appears promising for new monolayer TMDs-based optoelectronic devices applications.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
To examine the association between urinary excretion of isoflavonoids and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), we conducted a nested case–control study among 1111 T2D pairs identified during 1995–2008 in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and NHSII, who were free of diabetes, CVD and cancer at urine sample collection. Urinary excretion of daidzein and genistein, as well as their metabolites O-desmethylangolensin (O-DMA), dihydrogenistein (DHGE) and dihydrodaidzein (DHDE) was assayed using liquid chromatography MS. Self-reported T2D incident cases were confirmed using a validated questionnaire. Higher urinary excretion of daidzein and genistein was associated with a lower risk of T2D in the combined cohorts. Comparing extreme tertiles of the urinary markers, the OR of T2D were 0·71 (95 % CI 0·55, 0·93) for daidzein and 0·74 (95 % CI 0·56, 0·97) for genistein, although the test for linear trend was not significant for genistein (Ptrend=0·03 and 0·15, respectively). DMA, DHDE and DHGE were non-significantly associated with a lower T2D risk. The inverse association of daidzein with T2D risk was stronger among post-menopausal women who did not use hormone replacement therapy (Pinteraction=0·001): the OR was 0·58 (95 % CI 0·34, 0·97) comparing extreme tertiles among these women. In conclusion, urinary excretion of isoflavones was associated with a lower T2D risk in US women, especially among post-menopausal women who did not use hormone. Further research is warranted to replicate these observations among western populations with similarly low overall isoflavone intake.
The material properties of atomic layer deposited hybrid organic-inorganic aluminate thin films have been evaluated for potential low dielectric constant (i.e. low-k) applications. The hybrid aluminates were deposited using trimethyl aluminum and various linear and aromatic carboxylic acids. The observed electrical and mechanical properties for the hybrid aluminate films varied greatly depending on the selected organic acid with k values ranging from 2.5 to 5.1 and Young’s modulus ranging from 6 to 40 GPa. Leakage currents as low as 4 x 10-10 A/cm2 (at 2 MV/cm) were obtained for films grown using saturated linear carboxylic acids. These results suggest the potential of ALD hybrid aluminate thin films for low-k dielectric applications.
Extensively drug resistant (XDR) Acinetobacter baumannii infections are increasing. Knowledge of risk factors can help to prevent these infections.
We designed a 1: 1: 1 case-case-control study to identify risk factors for XDR A. baumannii bacteremia in Singapore and Thailand. Case group 1 was defined as having infection due to XDR A. baumannii, and case group 2 was defined as having infection due to non-XDR A. baumannii. The control group comprised patients with blood cultures obtained to determine possible infection.
There were 93 patients in each group. Pitt bacteremia score (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.570 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.528–4.322]), central venous catheters (CVCs; aOR, 12.644 [95% CI, 2.143–74.620]), use of carbapenems (aOR, 54.391 [95% CI, 3.869–764.674]), and piperacillin-tazobactam (aOR, 55.035 [95% CI, 4.803–630.613]) were independently associated with XDR A. baumannii bacteremia. In case group 2, Pitt bacteremia score (aOR, 1.667 [95% CI, 1.265–2.196]) and third-generation cephalosporins (aOR, 2.965 [95% CI, 1.224–7.182]) were independently associated with non-XDR A. baumannii bacteremia. Concurrent infections (aOR, 3.527 [95% CI, 1.479–8.411]), cancer (aOR, 3.172 [95% CI, 1.135–8.865]), and respiratory source (aOR, 2.690 [95% CI, 1.160–6.239]) were associated with an increased risk of 30-day mortality. Survivors received more active empirical therapy (16.7% vs 9.6%; P = .157), had fewer cases of XDR bacteremia (45.8% vs 52.6%; P = .452), and received higher median definitive polymyxin B doses (840,000 units vs 700,000 units; P = .339)
Use of CVC and broad spectrum antibiotics were unique risk factors of XDR A. baumannii bacteremia. Effective antimicrobial stewardship together with use of a CVC bundle may reduce the incidence of these infections. Risk factors of acquisition and mortality may help identify patients for early initiation of polymyxin B therapy.