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Glutamine synthetase (GS) and glutamate synthase (GOGAT) play a central role in plant nitrogen (N) metabolism. In order to study the effect of powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici, Bgt) on N metabolism, field experiments were carried out to evaluate GS and GOGAT activity, GS expression and grain protein content (GPC) in susceptible (Xi'nong 979) and resistant (Zhengmai 103) wheat cultivars under three treatments. The three treatments were no inoculation (CK), inoculated once with Bgt (MP) and inoculated nine times with Bgt (HP). For Xi'nong 979, the activities of GS and GOGAT in grains as well as GS activity in flag leaves increased at 10–15 days after anthesis (DAA), and decreased significantly at 15 or 20–30 DAA in HP and MP. However, GS activity in grains decreased from 20 DAA, which was later than that of flag leaves (15 DAA). At the same time, GS expression in grains was up-regulated at early stage, with GS1 at 10 DAA and GS2 at 15 DAA, followed by a continuous down-regulation. This result indicated that GS and GOGAT activity as well as GS expression were inhibited by powdery mildew, indicating that N metabolism in grains was inhibited at 20–30 DAA. The current study also found out that the yield of the susceptible cultivar decreased significantly, while its GPC increased obviously in HP. It was shown that the increase of GPC was not due to the enhancement of N metabolism, but due to the passive increase caused by yield reduction.
The current study investigated associations between variation in the bovine perilipin-2 gene (PLIN2) and milk traits (milk fat content, milk protein content, milk yield and milk fatty acid (FA) component levels) in 409 New Zealand pasture-grazed Holstein-Friesian × Jersey-cross (HF × J-cross or Kiwicross™) cows. Five nucleotide sequence variants were found in three regions of the gene, including c.17C>T in exon 2, c.53A>G in exon 3, c.595+23G>A and c.595+104_595+108del in intron 5, and c.*302T>C in the 3′-untranslated region. The c.*302T>C substitution produces two nucleotide sequence variants (A5 and B5), and this variation was associated with variation in milk protein content and milkfat composition for C10:0, C11:0, C12:0, C13:0 and C16:0 FA and medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) and long-chain fatty acid (LCFA) groups. After correcting for the effect of variation in the diacylglycerol acyl-CoA acyltransferase 1 gene (DGAT1) that results in the amino acid substitution p.K232A, variation in the FA binding protein 4 gene (FABP4) and variation in the stearoyl-CoA desaturase (Δ-9-desaturase) gene (SCD) that results in the amino acids substitution p.A293V, significant differences between A5A5 and B5B5 cows were found for C10:0, C11:0, C12:0, C13:0, C16:0, and the MCFA, LCFA, total saturated FA and C10:1 index groups. This suggests that nucleotide sequence variation in PLIN2 may be affecting milk FA component levels.
Tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital heart defect diagnosed in infancy. Assessment of right ventricular size and function is important for evaluation of patients with tetralogy of Fallot, but these quantitative measures are challenging by echocardiography. This study evaluates a semi-automated software (EchoInsight®, Epsilon Imaging) by comparing its measures to manual measures in children with tetralogy of Fallot.
Echocardiographic measurements were performed using manual techniques and semi-automated software. Right ventricular measurements included end-diastolic and end-systolic area, fractional area change, chamber dimensions, and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion. Reliability, correlation, and agreement between manual and semi-automated measures were assessed.
Echocardiograms for 46 patients were analysed. Intra- and inter-observer reliabilities for semi-automated measures were good with intraclass correlation coefficients all over 0.95 and 0.85, respectively. There was high correlation between manual and semi-automated methods for areas and dimensions (r = 0.91–0.98). Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion measures and fractional area change also correlated, albeit less strongly. The semi-automated measurements of end-systolic and end-diastolic area were a 20 and 47% higher than manual methods, respectively.
The semi-automated method yielded a relative 52% lower fractional area change compared to the manual method.
The semi-automated software generates quantitative right ventricular measures in children with tetralogy of Fallot with good reliability and good correlation with manual methods for all measures, but with significant difference between manual and semi-automated techniques for area and functional measures. The specific right ventricular geometry in tetralogy of Fallot children may be why, compared to normal anatomy, greater differences were observed between the two techniques.
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.
We sought to determine whether combined chemical, mechanical, and heat cleaning was superior to standard cleaning for the decontamination of 32 sink and shower drains harboring carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPOs). Of 16 intervention drains, 10 (63%) were decontaminated until day 7 versus 1 (5%) of 16 comparator drains (P = .002). Intensive cleaning may be useful if administered repeatedly in drain-associated CPO outbreaks.
This study reports on the changes in stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms of subscribers after 3 months using Text4Hope, a supportive text messaging program designed to provide support during the pandemic.
Standardized self-report measures were used to evaluate perceived stress (measured with the Perceived Stress Scale-10 [PSS-10]), anxiety (measured with the General Anxiety Disorder Scale 7 [GAD-7]), and depressive symptoms (measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9]), at baseline and 3rd month (n = 373).
After 3 months of using Text4Hope, subscribers’ self-reports revealed significant (p< 0.001) mean score reductions compared with baseline on: the GAD-7 by 22.7%, PHQ-9 by 10.3%, and PSS-10 scores by 5.7%. Reductions in inferred prevalence rates for moderate to high symptoms were also observed, with anxiety demonstrating the largest reduction (15.7%).
Observed Text4Hope-related reductions in psychological distress during COVID-19 indicate that Text4Hope is an effective, convenient, and accessible means of implementing a population-level psychological intervention.
An increasing number of unexpectedly diverse benthic communities are being reported from microbially precipitated carbonate facies in shallow-marine platform settings after the end-Permian mass extinction. Ostracoda, which was one of the most diverse and abundant metazoan groups during this interval, recorded its greatest diversity and abundance associated with these facies. Previous studies, however, focused mainly on taxonomic diversity and, therefore, left room for discussion of paleoecological significance. Here, we apply a morphometric method (semilandmarks) to investigate morphological variance through time to better understand the ecological consequences of the end-Permian mass extinction and to examine the hypothesis that microbial mats played a key role in ostracod survival. Our results show that taxonomic diversity and morphological disparity were decoupled during the end-Permian extinction and that morphological disparity declined rapidly at the onset of the end-Permian extinction, even though the high diversity of ostracods initially survived in some places. The decoupled changes in taxonomic diversity and morphological disparity suggest that the latter is a more robust proxy for understanding the ecological impact of the extinction event, and the low morphological disparity of ostracod faunas is a consequence of sustained environmental stress or a delayed post-Permian radiation. Furthermore, the similar morphological disparity of ostracods between microbialite and non-microbialite facies indicates that microbial mats most likely represent a taphonomic window rather than a biological refuge during the end-Permian extinction interval.
Conservation tillage adoption continues to be threatened by glyphosate and acetolactate synthase-resistant Palmer amaranth and other troublesome weeds. Field experiments were conducted from autumn 2010 through crop harvest in 2013 at two locations in Alabama to evaluate the effect of integrated management practices on weed control and seed cotton yield in glyphosate-resistant cotton. The effects of a cereal rye cover crop using high or low biomass residue, followed by wide or narrow within-row strip-tillage, and three PRE herbicide regimes were evaluated. The three PRE regimes were: 1) pendimethalin at 0.84 kg ae ha-1 plus fomesafen at 0.28 kg ai ha-1 applied broadcast, 2) pendimethalin plus fomesafen applied banded on the row, or 3) no PRE. Each PRE treatment was followed by (fb) glyphosate (1.12 kg ae ha-1) applied POST fb a LAYBY applications of diuron (1.12 kg ai ha-1) plus MSMA (2.24 kg ai ha-1). Low residue plots ranged in biomass from 85 to 464 kg ha-1, while high biomass plots ranged from 3119 to 6929 kg ha-1. In most comparisons, surface disturbance width, residue amount, and soil applied herbicide placement did not influence within-row weed control; however, broadcast PRE resulted in increased carpetweed, large crabgrass, Palmer amaranth, tall morningglory, and yellow nutsedge weed control in row middles compared to plots receiving banded PRE. In addition, high residue increased carpetweed, common purslane, large crabgrass, Palmer amaranth, sicklepod, and tall morningglory weed control between rows. Use of banded PRE herbicides resulted in equivalent yield and revenue in four of six comparisons compared to those with broadcast PRE herbicide application; however, this would likely result in many between row weed escapes. Thus, conservation tillage cotton would benefit from broadcast soil-applied herbicide applications regardless of residue amount and tillage width when infested with Palmer amaranth and other troublesome weed species.
The compressibility effects on energy exchange mechanisms in a three-dimensional, spatially developing plane free shear layer are investigated via data produced by direct numerical simulation. The compressible shear layer is simulated using a high-order discontinuous spectral element method for convective Mach numbers $M_c = 0.3$, 0.5 and 0.7. The energy exchange mechanisms in the flow are examined by analysing the budget terms of mean kinetic, internal and turbulent kinetic energy transport equations, in both transition and turbulent regions. The results show that turbulent production, turbulent viscous dissipation, mean viscous dissipation, pressure dilatation and enthalpic production are the main mechanisms responsible for energy exchange among different forms of energy. The effects of compressibility on energy transfer mechanisms are studied based on the analyses of those five budget terms. The primary budget terms evolve differently in the transition and turbulent regions and change significantly for varying compressibility. In the transition region, a double-peak variation becomes a single peak in the streamwise profile of the turbulent production as $M_c$ increases from 0.3 to 0.7, due to significant changes in the vortex pairing structures. The shear layer centre slightly shifts to the high-speed side due to the appearance of the velocity deficit. The velocity deficit presence distance (VDPD) becomes longer as compressibility increases. However, in the turbulent region, the cross-stream profiles of the main budget terms significantly shift to the low-speed side because of the asymmetric mass entrainment and shift even further as $M_c$ increases.
It is important to understand the temporal trend of the paediatric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral load to estimate the transmission potential of children in schools and communities. We determined the differences in SARS-CoV-2 viral load dynamics between nasopharyngeal samples of infected asymptomatic and symptomatic children. Serial cycle threshold values of SARS-CoV-2 from the nasopharynx of a cohort of infected children were collected for analysis. Among 17 infected children, 10 (58.8%) were symptomatic. Symptomatic children, when compared to asymptomatic children, had higher viral loads (mean cycle threshold on day 7 of illness 28.6 vs. 36.7, P = 0.02). Peak SARS-CoV-2 viral loads occurred around day 2 of illness in infected children. Although we were unable to directly demonstrate infectivity, the detection of significant amount of virus in the upper airway of asymptomatic children suggest that they have the potential to shed and transmit SARS-CoV-2. Our study highlights the importance of contact tracing and screening for SARS-CoV-2 in children with epidemiological risk factors regardless of their symptom status, in order to improve containment of the virus in the community, including educational settings.
The aim of this study was to explore the frequency and distribution of gene mutations that are related to isoniazid (INH) and rifampin (RIF)-resistance in the strains of the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) in Beijing, China. In this retrospective study, the genotypes of 173 MDR-TB strains were analysed by spoligotyping. The katG, inhA genes and the promoter region of inhA, in which genetic mutations confer INH resistance; and the rpoB gene, in which genetic mutations confer RIF resistance, were sequenced. The percentage of resistance-associated nucleotide alterations among the strains of different genotypes was also analysed. In total, 90.8% (157/173) of the MDR strains belonged to the Beijing genotype. Population characteristics were not significantly different among the strains of different genotypes. In total, 50.3% (87/173) strains had mutations at codon S315T of katG; 16.8% (29/173) of strains had mutations in the inhA promoter region; of them, 5.5% (15/173) had point mutations at −15 base (C→T) of the inhA promoter region. In total, 86.7% (150/173) strains had mutations at rpoB gene; of them, 40% (69/173) strains had mutations at codon S531L of rpoB. The frequency of mutations was not significantly higher in Beijing genotypic MDR strains than in non-Beijing genotypes. Beijing genotypic MDR-TB strains were spreading in Beijing and present a major challenge to TB control in this region. A high prevalence of katG Ser315Thr, inhA promoter region (−15C→T) and rpoB (S531L) mutations was observed. Molecular diagnostics based on gene mutations was a useful method for rapid detection of MDR-TB in Beijing, China.
Lifestyle interventions are an important and viable approach for preventing cognitive deficits. However, the results of studies on alcohol, coffee and tea consumption in relation to cognitive decline have been divergent, likely due to confounds from dose–response effects. This meta-analysis aimed to find the dose–response relationship between alcohol, coffee or tea consumption and cognitive deficits.
Prospective cohort studies or nested case-control studies in a cohort investigating the risk factors of cognitive deficits were searched in PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane and Web of Science up to 4th June 2020. Two authors searched the databases and extracted the data independently. We also assessed the quality of the studies with the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Stata 15.0 software was used to perform model estimation and plot the linear or nonlinear dose–response relationship graphs.
The search identified 29 prospective studies from America, Japan, China and some European countries. The dose–response relationships showed that compared to non-drinkers, low consumption (<11 g/day) of alcohol could reduce the risk of cognitive deficits or only dementias, but there was no significant effect of heavier drinking (>11 g/day). Low consumption of coffee reduced the risk of any cognitive deficit (<2.8 cups/day) or dementia (<2.3 cups/day). Green tea consumption was a significant protective factor for cognitive health (relative risk, 0.94; 95% confidence intervals, 0.92–0.97), with one cup of tea per day brings a 6% reduction in risk of cognitive deficits.
Light consumption of alcohol (<11 g/day) and coffee (<2.8 cups/day) was associated with reduced risk of cognitive deficits. Cognitive benefits of green tea consumption increased with the daily consumption.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents an unprecedented threat to mental health. Herein, we assessed the impact of COVID-19 on subthreshold depressive symptoms and identified potential mitigating factors.
Participants were from Depression Cohort in China (ChiCTR registry number 1900022145). Adults (n = 1722) with subthreshold depressive symptoms were enrolled between March and October 2019 in a 6-month, community-based interventional study that aimed to prevent clinical depression using psychoeducation. A total of 1506 participants completed the study in Shenzhen, China: 726 participants, who completed the study between March 2019 and January 2020 (i.e. before COVID-19), comprised the ‘wave 1’ group; 780 participants, who were enrolled before COVID-19 and completed the 6-month endpoint assessment during COVID-19, comprised ‘wave 2’. Symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia were assessed at baseline and endpoint (i.e. 6-month follow-up) using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), respectively. Measures of resilience and regular exercise were assessed at baseline. We compared the mental health outcomes between wave 1 and wave 2 groups. We additionally investigated how mental health outcomes changed across disparate stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, i.e. peak (7–13 February), post-peak (14–27 February), remission plateau (28 February−present).
COVID-19 increased the risk for three mental outcomes: (1) depression (odds ratio [OR] = 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04–1.62); (2) anxiety (OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.16–1.88) and (3) insomnia (OR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.07–1.77). The highest proportion of probable depression and anxiety was observed post-peak, with 52.9% and 41.4%, respectively. Greater baseline resilience scores had a protective effect on the three main outcomes (depression: OR = 0.26, 95% CI: 0.19–0.37; anxiety: OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 0.14–0.33 and insomnia: OR = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.11–0.28). Furthermore, regular physical activity mitigated the risk for depression (OR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.79–0.99).
The COVID-19 pandemic exerted a highly significant and negative impact on symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia. Mental health outcomes fluctuated as a function of the duration of the pandemic and were alleviated to some extent with the observed decline in community-based transmission. Augmenting resiliency and regular exercise provide an opportunity to mitigate the risk for mental health symptoms during this severe public health crisis.
There is a lack of mental health promotion and treatment services targeting HIV-positive men who have sex with men (HIVMSM) in China. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mental health promotion efficacy of an online intervention that combined Three Good Things (TGT) with electronic social networking (TGT-SN) and an intervention that used TGT only (TGT-only), compared with a control group.
We conducted a randomised controlled trial among HIVMSM in Chengdu, China. The participants were randomly assigned to the TGT-SN, TGT-only, and control groups. The participants in the TGT-SN group were divided into five social network groups and asked to post brief messages to the group about three good things that they had experienced and for which they felt grateful. The participants in the TGT-only group were only required to write down their three good things daily without sharing them with others. The control group received information about mental health promotion once a week for a month. The primary outcome was probable depression. Secondary outcomes were anxiety, positive and negative affect, gratitude, happiness and social support. These outcomes were assessed at baseline, 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after the intervention. Repeated-measures analyses were conducted using generalised estimation equations. The study was registered with the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR-TRC-13003252).
Between June 2013 and May 2015, 404 participants were enrolled and randomly assigned to either the TGT-SN (n = 129), TGT-only (n = 139) or control group (n = 136). The main effects of TGT-SN (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.75, 95% CI 0.52–1.09; p = 0.131) and TGT-only (aOR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.57–1.21; p = 0.332) in reducing depression were statistically non-significant. The participants of the TGT-SN group showed significantly lower anxiety symptoms (aOR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.43–0.89; p = 0.009) and negative affect (β = −1.62, 95% CI 2.98 to −0.26; p = 0.019) over time compared with those of the control group. No significant main effect was found for any secondary outcomes for the TGT-only group.
The novel intervention combining the TGT exercise with electronic social networking was found effective in reducing anxiety and negative affect among HIVMSM.
Previous studies have revealed associations of meteorological factors with tuberculosis (TB) cases. However, few studies have examined their lag effects on TB cases. This study was aimed to analyse nonlinear lag effects of meteorological factors on the number of TB notifications in Hong Kong. Using a 22-year consecutive surveillance data in Hong Kong, we examined the association of monthly average temperature and relative humidity with temporal dynamics of the monthly number of TB notifications using a distributed lag nonlinear models combined with a Poisson regression. The relative risks (RRs) of TB notifications were >1.15 as monthly average temperatures were between 16.3 and 17.3 °C at lagged 13–15 months, reaching the peak risk of 1.18 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.35) when it was 16.8 °C at lagged 14 months. The RRs of TB notifications were >1.05 as relative humidities of 60.0–63.6% at lagged 9–11 months expanded to 68.0–71.0% at lagged 12–17 months, reaching the highest risk of 1.06 (95% CI 1.01–1.11) when it was 69.0% at lagged 13 months. The nonlinear and delayed effects of average temperature and relative humidity on TB epidemic were identified, which may provide a practical reference for improving the TB warning system.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are important consequences of adverse perinatal conditions such as fetal hypoxia and maternal malnutrition. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) can produce a wealth of physiological information related to the development of the heart. This review outlines the current state of CMR technologies and describes the physiological biomarkers that can be measured. These phenotypes include impaired ventricular and atrial function, maladaptive ventricular remodeling, and the proliferation of myocardial steatosis and fibrosis. The discussion outlines the applications of CMR to understanding the developmental pathways leading to impaired cardiac function. The use of CMR, both in animal models of developmental programming and in human studies, is described. Specific examples are given in a baboon model of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). CMR offers great potential as a tool for understanding the sequence of dysfunctional adaptations of developmental origin that can affect the human cardiovascular system.
To compare sensitivity of specimens for COVID-19 diagnosis, we tested 151 nasopharyngeal/midturbinate swab pairs from 117 COVID-19 inpatients using reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Sensitivity was 94% for nasopharyngeal and 75% for midturbinate swabs (P = .0001). In 88 nasopharyngeal/midturbinate pairs with matched saliva, sensitivity was 86% for nasopharyngeal swabs and 88% for combined midturbinate swabs/saliva.
Childhood exposure to interpersonal violence (IPV) may be linked to distinct manifestations of mental illness, yet the nature of this change remains poorly understood. Network analysis can provide unique insights by contrasting the interrelatedness of symptoms underlying psychopathology across exposed and non-exposed youth, with potential clinical implications for a treatment-resistant population. We anticipated marked differences in symptom associations among IPV-exposed youth, particularly in terms of ‘hub’ symptoms holding outsized influence over the network, as well as formation and influence of communities of highly interconnected symptoms.
Participants from a population-representative sample of youth (n = 4433; ages 11–18 years) completed a comprehensive structured clinical interview assessing mental health symptoms, diagnostic status, and history of violence exposure. Network analytic methods were used to model the pattern of associations between symptoms, quantify differences across diagnosed youth with (IPV+) and without (IPV–) IPV exposure, and identify transdiagnostic ‘bridge’ symptoms linking multiple disorders.
Symptoms organized into six ‘disorder’ communities (e.g. Intrusive Thoughts/Sensations, Depression, Anxiety), that exhibited considerably greater interconnectivity in IPV+ youth. Five symptoms emerged in IPV+ youth as highly trafficked ‘bridges’ between symptom communities (11 in IPV– youth).
IPV exposure may alter mutually reinforcing symptom co-occurrence in youth, thus contributing to greater psychiatric comorbidity and treatment resistance. The presence of a condensed and unique set of bridge symptoms suggests trauma-enriched nodes which could be therapeutically targeted to improve outcomes in violence-exposed youth.
Precise instrumental calibration is of crucial importance to 21-cm cosmology experiments. The Murchison Widefield Array’s (MWA) Phase II compact configuration offers us opportunities for both redundant calibration and sky-based calibration algorithms; using the two in tandem is a potential approach to mitigate calibration errors caused by inaccurate sky models. The MWA Epoch of Reionization (EoR) experiment targets three patches of the sky (dubbed EoR0, EoR1, and EoR2) with deep observations. Previous work in Li et al. (2018) and (2019) studied the effect of tandem calibration on the EoR0 field and found that it yielded no significant improvement in the power spectrum (PS) over sky-based calibration alone. In this work, we apply similar techniques to the EoR1 field and find a distinct result: the improvements in the PS from tandem calibration are significant. To understand this result, we analyse both the calibration solutions themselves and the effects on the PS over three nights of EoR1 observations. We conclude that the presence of the bright radio galaxy Fornax A in EoR1 degrades the performance of sky-based calibration, which in turn enables redundant calibration to have a larger impact. These results suggest that redundant calibration can indeed mitigate some level of model incompleteness error.