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The Silurian and Devonian plant fossil record is the basis for our understanding of the early evolution of land plants, yet our appreciation of early global phytogeographic evolution has been constrained by the focus of most studies on deposits from Europe, North America, and, more recently, South China. Devonian plants have been recorded rarely from northeastern China, and among previous records, few plants have been illustrated and formally described. In this article, megafossil plants representing a Late Devonian-aged (probably Famennian) flora are described from a locality at northern Sonid Zuoqi, Inner Mongolia, NE China. The flora includes Melvillipteris sonidia new species, Archaeopteris sp., and fragments of some other plants. The new plant shows main axes and two orders of lateral branches. The first-order branches of this plant show a typical zigzag appearance and are borne in pairs on main axes. Second-order branches are straight or slightly flexed, and are borne helically or alternately on first-order branches. Sterile ultimate appendages and fertile structures of M. sonidia n. sp. are borne alternately on second-order branches. An associated palynological assemblage, as well as U-Pb ages of detrital zircon grains from adjacent horizons, are also reported, indicating a Late Devonian age in accord with the megafossil plants. The present study contributes to our appreciation of the Devonian floristic diversity of the Xing'an Block, and, through our review of the record of early vascular plants from NE China, more broadly to the understanding of the mid-latitude vegetation of the Northern Hemisphere during the Late Devonian.
This study aimed to classify the pre-auricular sinus before performing radical dissection, so as to achieve optimal aesthetic results.
The recent five-year clinical data of 53 patients with a congenital pre-auricular sinus and infection treated in the hospital were reviewed. According to the sinus course, pre-auricular and post-auricular types were defined, and regional dissection was performed using the modified supra-auricular or post-auricular approach.
All patients achieved primary intention healing of the incision, and were followed up for six months to five years. No recurrence was found, and the incision scar was completely concealed.
Surgical approaches for regional dissection might be adopted based on the different types of pre-auricular sinuses, and further radical dissection might be performed to achieve optimal aesthetic results.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Peptide transporter 1 (SLC15A1, PepT1), excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (SLC1A1, EAAT3) and cationic amino acid transporter 1 (SLC7A1, CAT1) were identified as genes responsible for the transport of small peptides and amino acids. The tissue expression pattern of rabbit (SLC15A1, SLC7A1 and SLC1A1) across the digestive tract remains unclear. The present study investigated SLC15A1, SLC7A1 and SLC1A1 gene expression patterns across the digestive tract at different stages of development and in response to dietary protein levels. Real time-PCR results indicated that SLC15A1, SLC7A1 and SLC1A1 genes throughout the rabbits’ entire development and were expressed in all tested rabbit digestive sites, including the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon and cecum. Furthermore, SLC7A1 and SLC1A1 mRNA expression occurred in a tissue-specific and time-associated manner, suggesting the distinct transport ability of amino acids in different tissues and at different developmental stages. The most highly expressed levels of all three genes were in the duodenum, ileum and jejunum in all developmental stages. All increased after lactation. With increased dietary protein levels, SLC7A1 mRNA levels in small intestine and SLC1A1 mRNA levels in duodenum and ileum exhibited a significant decreasing trend. Moreover, rabbits fed a normal level of protein had the highest levels of SLC15A1 mRNA in the duodenum and jejunum (P<0.05). In conclusion, gene mRNA differed across sites and with development suggesting time and sites related differences in peptide and amino acid absorption in rabbits. The effects of dietary protein on expression of the three genes were also site specific.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
We investigated the prevalence of β-lactamase genes and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) determinants in 51 carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) from five teaching hospitals in central China. The prevalence of carbapenem resistance in Enterobacteriaceae was 1·0% (51/5012). Of 51 CRE, 31 (60·8%) isolates were positive for one tested carbapenemase gene, while 10 (19·6%) were simultaneously positive for two tested carbapenemase genes. The positive rates of blaKPC-2, blaNDM-1, blaIMP-4, blaIMP-26 and blaIMP-8 were 54·9%, 17·6%, 11·8%, 11·8% and 3·9%, respectively. Of 10 CRE with two carbapenemase genes, three, five, one and one were positive for blaKPC-2 and blaIMP-4, blaKPC-2 and blaIMP-26, blaKPC-2 and blaIMP-8, and blaKPC-2 and blaNDM-1, respectively. Eight of nine blaNDM-1-positive isolates lacked carbapenemases by the modified Hodge test, while 27/28 isolates harbouring blaKPC-2 were positive for carbapenemases determined by this test; 41·2% of the CRE-positive isolates also harboured ESBL genes in various combinations (three and two positive for blaKPC-2 also carried blaDHA-1 and blaCMY-2). The positive rates of qnrS1, qnrA1, qnrB and aac-(6/)-Ib-cr in CRE were 25·5%, 9·8%, 23·5% and 15·7%, respectively. In particular, 7/9 isolates harbouring blaNDM-1 were positive for these quinolone resistance genes, of which five carried qnrS1 and two carried qnrS1 and qnrB4. All but two of 29 Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates were grouped into 20 clonal clusters by PFGE, with the predominant cluster accounting for four blaKPC-2-positive isolates distributed in the same hospital. We conclude that there is a high prevalence of blaNDM-1 and PMQR determinants in CRE isolates in central China. Multiple resistance determinants in various combinations co-exist in these strains and we report for the first time the co-existence of blaKPC-2 and blaIMP-26 in a strain of Klebsiella oxytoca.
It has been postulated that aging is the consequence of an accelerated accumulation of somatic DNA mutations and that subsequent errors in the primary structure of proteins ultimately reach levels sufficient to affect organismal functions. The technical limitations of detecting somatic changes and the lack of insight about the minimum level of erroneous proteins to cause an error catastrophe hampered any firm conclusions on these theories. In this study, we sequenced the whole genome of DNA in whole blood of two pairs of monozygotic (MZ) twins, 40 and 100 years old, by two independent next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms (Illumina and Complete Genomics). Potentially discordant single-base substitutions supported by both platforms were validated extensively by Sanger, Roche 454, and Ion Torrent sequencing. We demonstrate that the genomes of the two twin pairs are germ-line identical between co-twins, and that the genomes of the 100-year-old MZ twins are discerned by eight confirmed somatic single-base substitutions, five of which are within introns. Putative somatic variation between the 40-year-old twins was not confirmed in the validation phase. We conclude from this systematic effort that by using two independent NGS platforms, somatic single nucleotide substitutions can be detected, and that a century of life did not result in a large number of detectable somatic mutations in blood. The low number of somatic variants observed by using two NGS platforms might provide a framework for detecting disease-related somatic variants in phenotypically discordant MZ twins.
A cluster dynamics model based on rate theory has been developed to describe the accumulation and diffusion processes of helium in tungsten under helium implantation alone or synergistic irradiation with neutron, by involving different types of objects, adopting up-to-date parameters and complex reaction processes as well as considering the diffusion process along with depth. The calculated results under different conditions are in good agreement with experiments much well. The model describes the behavior of helium in tungsten within 2D space of defect type/size and depth on different ions incident conditions (energies and fluences) and material conditions (system temperature and existent sinks), by including the synergistic effect of helium-neutron irradiations and the influence of inherent sinks (dislocation lines and grain boundaries). The model, coded as IRadMat, would be universally applicable to the evolution of defects for ions/neutron irradiated on plasma-facing materials.
Orientation adaptation and perceptual learning change orientation tuning curves of V1 cells. Adaptation shifts tuning curve peaks away from the adapted orientation, reduces tuning curve slopes near the adapted orientation, and increases the responses on the far flank of tuning curves. Learning an orientation discrimination task increases tuning curve slopes near the trained orientation. These changes have been explained previously in a recurrent model (RM) of orientation selectivity. However, the RM generates only complex cells when they are well tuned, so that there is currently no model of orientation plasticity for simple cells. In addition, some feedforward models, such as the modified feedforward model (MFM), also contain recurrent cortical excitation, and it is unknown whether they can explain plasticity. Here, we compare plasticity in the MFM, which simulates simple cells, and a recent modification of the RM (MRM), which displays a continuum of simple-to-complex characteristics. Both pre- and postsynaptic-based modifications of the recurrent and feedforward connections in the models are investigated. The MRM can account for all the learning- and adaptation-induced plasticity, for both simple and complex cells, while the MFM cannot. The key features from the MRM required for explaining plasticity are broadly tuned feedforward inputs and sharpening by a Mexican hat intracortical interaction profile. The mere presence of recurrent cortical interactions in feedforward models like the MFM is insufficient; such models have more rigid tuning curves. We predict that the plastic properties must be absent for cells whose orientation tuning arises from a feedforward mechanism.
Nano-crystalline films of pure cubic ZrO2 have been produced by ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) processes which combine physical vapor deposition with the concurrent ion beam bombardment in a high vacuum environment and exhibit superior properties and strong adhesion to the substrate. Oxygen and argon gases are used as source materials to generate energetic ions to produce these coatings with differential nanoscale (7 to 70 nm grain size) characteristics that affect the wettability, roughness, mechanical and optical properties of the coating. The nanostructurally stabilized chemically pure cubic phase has been shown to possess hardness as high as 16 GPa and a bulk modulus of 235 GPa. We examine the mechanical properties and the phase stability in zirconia nanoparticles using first principle electronic structure method. The elastic constants of the bulk systems were calculated for monoclinic, tetragonal and cubic phases. We find that calculated bulk modulus of cubic phase (237GPa) agrees well with the measured values, while that of monoclinic (189GPa) or tetragonal (155GPa) are considerably lower. We observe considerable relaxation of lattice in the monoclinic phase near the surface. This effect combined with surface tension and possibly vacancies in nanostructures are sources of stability of cubic zirconia at nanoscale.
In our study, closed-core threading screw dislocations and micropipes were studied using synchrotron x-ray topography of various geometries. The Burgers vector magnitude of TSDs can be quantitatively determined from their dimensions in back-reflection x-ray topography, based on ray-tracing simulation and this has been verified by the images of elementary TSDs. Dislocation senses of closed-core threading screw dislocations and micropipes can be revealed by grazing-incidence x-ray topography. The threading screw dislocations can be converted into Frank partial dislocations on the basal planes and this has been confirmed by transmission synchrotron x-ray topography.
Synchrotron white beam x-ray reticulography was used to quantitatively map the residual stress/strain in SiC wafers. The basic principle of our study is that there exists a relationship between the stress state in a crystal and the local lattice plane orientation and that this relationship can be exploited in order to determine the full strain tensor as a function of position inside the crystal. The theoretical background of the stress mapping using synchrotron white beam x-ray reticulography is introduced and it is based on the change of plane normal of the lattice plane due to the distortion associated with the residual strain. The stress mapping of a crystal region from a commercial 4H silicon carbide wafer has been studied using this technique and the results are discussed. This technique can in principle be used in any single crystal material.
This paper reports production of 4.5 μm-diameter monodisperse water drops using a micro electro-mechanical system (MEMS)-based 1 MHz 3-Fourier horn ultrasonic nozzle. The required electrical drive voltage for atomization was 6.5 V at 964±1 kHz that is in good agreements with the values obtained by impedance measurement and by the three-dimensional (3-D) simulation using a commercial finite element analysis program. Such small diameter drops with geometrical standard deviation (GSD) as small as 1.2 and 90% inhale-able fine particle fraction (<5.8 μm-diameter) were achieved in ultrasonic atomization for the first time. Therefore, the MEMS-based MHz ultrasonic nozzles should have potential application to targeted delivery of reproducible doses of medicine to the respiratory system.
Age-related changes in circadian rhythm (e.g., fragmented sleep-wake patterns) occur in many older persons but are particularly pronounced in patients with Alzheimer's disease. In these patients, disruptions of circadian rhythms can be severe enough to increase mental decline, agitation during the day, and restlessness at night. Moreover, patients whose nocturnal restlessness disrupts the sleep of the caregiver are more likely to be institutionalized than those who have cognitive impairment alone.
Retrotransposons and retroviruses replicate by
reverse transcription of an mRNA intermediate. Most retroelements
initiate reverse transcription from a host-encoded tRNA
primer. DNA synthesis typically extends from the 3′-OH
of the acceptor stem, which is complementary to sequences
on the retroelement mRNA (the primer binding site, PBS).
However, for some retrotransposons, including the yeast
Ty5 elements, sequences in the anticodon stem-loop of the
initiator methionine tRNA (IMT) are complementary to the
PBS. We took advantage of the genetic tractability of the
yeast system to investigate the mechanism of Ty5 priming.
We found that transposition frequencies decreased at least
800-fold for mutations in the Ty5 PBS that disrupt complementarity
with the IMT. Similarly, transposition was reduced at least
200-fold for IMT mutations in the anticodon stem-loop.
Base pairing between the Ty5 PBS and IMT is essential for
transposition, as compensatory changes that restored base
pairing between the two mutant RNAs restored transposition
significantly. An analysis of 12 imt mutants with
base changes outside of the region of complementarity failed
to identify other tRNA residues important for transposition.
In addition, assays carried out with heterologous IMTs
from Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Arabidopsis
thaliana indicated that residues outside of the anticodon
stem-loop have at most a fivefold effect on transposition.
Our genetic system should make it possible to further define
the components required for priming and to understand the
mechanism by which Ty5's novel primer is generated.