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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.
The Chinese culture of filial piety has historically emphasised children's responsibility for their ageing parents. Little is understood regarding the inverse: parents’ responsibility and care for their adult children. This paper uses interviews with 50 families living in rural China's Anhui Province to understand intergenerational support in rural China. Findings indicate that parents in rural China take on large financial burdens in order to sustain patrilineal traditions by providing housing and child care for their adult sons. These expectations lead some rural elders to become migrant workers in order to support their adult sons while others provide live-in grandchild-care, moving into their children's urban homes or bringing grandchildren into their own homes. As the oldest rural generations begin to require ageing care of their own, migrant children are unable to provide the sustained care and support expected within the cultural tradition of xiao. This paper adds to the small body of literature that examines the downward transfer of support from parents to their adult children in rural China. The authors argue that there is an emerging cultural rupture in the practice of filial piety – while the older generation is fulfilling their obligations of upbringing and paying for adult children's housing and child care; these adult children are not necessarily available or committed to the return of care for their ageing parents. The authors reveal cultural and structural lags that leave millions of rural ageing adults vulnerable in the process of urbanisation in rural China.
Current available antidepressants exhibit low remission rate with a long response lag time. Growing evidence has demonstrated acute sub-anesthetic dose of ketamine exerts rapid, robust, and lasting antidepressant effects. However, a long term use of ketamine tends to elicit its adverse reactions. The present study aimed to investigate the antidepressant-like effects of intermittent and consecutive administrations of ketamine on chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) rats, and to determine whether ketamine can redeem the time lag for treatment response of classic antidepressants. The behavioral responses were assessed by the sucrose preference test, forced swimming test, and open field test. In the first stage of experiments, all the four treatment regimens of ketamine (10 mg/kg ip, once daily for 3 or 7 consecutive days, or once every 7 or 3 days, in a total 21 days) showed robust antidepressant-like effects, with no significant influence on locomotor activity and stereotype behavior in the CUMS rats. The intermittent administration regimens produced longer antidepressant-like effects than the consecutive administration regimens and the administration every 7 days presented similar antidepressant-like effects with less administration times compared with the administration every 3 days. In the second stage of experiments, the combination of ketamine (10 mg/kg ip, once every 7 days) and citalopram (20 mg/kg po, once daily) for 21 days caused more rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects than citalopram administered alone. In summary, repeated sub-anesthestic doses of ketamine can redeem the time lag for the antidepressant-like effects of citalopram, suggesting the combination of ketamine and classic antidepressants is a promising regimen for depression with quick onset time and stable and lasting effects.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has an important role in learning, motivation and regulation of mood. A body of research indicates that dysregulation of BDNF is found in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The aim of this study was to investigate the association of baseline plasma BDNF and follow-up PTSD symptoms in Chinese motor vehicle accident survivors.
Motor vehicle accident (MVA) survivors were recruited from one Emergency Room of Shanghai. BDNF plasma levels were measured in 24 hours after motor vehicle accident. The Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) was used to evaluated PTSD symptoms one month after accident. Totally, 60 MVA survivors participated in this study and 49 of them completed follow-up evaluation.
In the one month follow-up interview, 14 of the MVA survivors met the PTSD diagnosis. The PTSD MVA survivors shown lower baseline BDNF plasma level when compare with non-PTSD participants (p < 0.05).
People who show lower plasma BDNF after traumatic event may be more susceptible to PTSD, and plasma BDNF could be a predictor of PTSD.
Predicting the magnitude of the annual seasonal peak in influenza-like illness (ILI)-related emergency department (ED) visit volumes can inform the decision to open influenza care clinics (ICCs), which can mitigate pressure at the ED. Using ILI-related ED visit data from the Alberta Real Time Syndromic Surveillance Net for Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, we developed (training data, 1 August 2004–31 July 2008) and tested (testing data, 1 August 2008–19 February 2014) spatio-temporal statistical prediction models of daily ILI-related ED visits to estimate high visit volumes 3 days in advance. Our Main Model, based on a generalised linear mixed model with random intercept, incorporated prediction residuals over 14 days and captured increases in observed volume ahead of peaks. During seasonal influenza periods, our Main Model predicted volumes within ±30% of observed volumes for 67%–82% of high-volume days and within 0.3%–21% of observed seasonal peak volumes. Model predictions were not as successful during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Our model can provide early warning of increases in ILI-related ED visit volumes during seasonal influenza periods of differing intensities. These predictions may be used to support public health decisions, such as if and when to open ICCs, during seasonal influenza epidemics.
Employing atomic-scale simulations, the response of a high-angle grain boundary (GB), the soft/hard GB, against external loading was systematically investigated. Under tensile loading close to the hard orientation, strain-induced dynamic recrystallization was observed to initiate through direct soft-to-hard grain reorientation, which was triggered by stress mismatch, inhibited by surface tension from the soft-hard GB, and proceeded by interface ledges. Such grain reorientation corresponds with expansion and contraction of the hard grain along and perpendicular to the loading direction, respectively, accompanied by local atomic shuffling, providing relatively large normal strain of 8.3% with activation energy of 0.04 eV per atom. Tensile strain and residual dislocations on the hard/soft GB facilitate the initiation of dynamic recrystallization by lowering the energy barrier and the critical stress for grain reorientation, respectively.
Previous studies have demonstrated that type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) could be triggered by an early childhood infection. Whether maternal infection during pregnancy is associated with T1DM in offspring is unknown. Therefore, we aimed to study the association using a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eighteen studies including 4304 cases and 25 846 participants were enrolled in this meta-analysis. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were synthesised using random-effects models. Subgroup analyses and sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess the robustness of associations. Overall, the pooled analysis yielded a statistically significant association between maternal infection during pregnancy and childhood T1DM (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.07–1.62). Furthermore, six studies that tested maternal enterovirus infection showed a pooled OR of 1.54 (95% CI 1.05–2.27). Heterogeneity from different studies was evident (I2 = 70.1%, P < 0.001) and was mainly attributable to the different study designs, ascertaining methods and sample size among different studies. This study provides evidence for an association between maternal infection during pregnancy and childhood T1DM.
We use two-dimensional numerical simulation to study the interaction between a pair of ferrofluid drops suspended in a rotating uniform magnetic field. Numerical results show four distinct regimes over the range of parameters tested: independent spin, planetary motion, drop locking and direct coalescence. These are in qualitative agreement with experiments, and the transition between them can be understood from the competition between magnetophoretic forces and viscous drag. We further analyse in detail the planetary motion, i.e. the revolution of the drops around each other while each spins in phase with the external magnetic field. For drops, as opposed to solid microspheres, the interaction is dominated by viscous sweeping, a form of hydrodynamic interaction. Magnetic dipole–dipole interaction via mutual induction only plays a secondary role. This insight helps us explain novel features of the planetary revolution of the ferrofluid drops that cannot be explained by a dipole model, including the increase of the angular velocity of planetary motion with the rotational rate of the external field, and the attainment of a limit separation between the drops that is independent of the initial separation.
20-Hydroxyecdysone (20E) is a key hormone which regulates growth, development and reproduction in insects. Although cytochrome P450 enzymes (P450s) participating in the ecdysteroid biosynthesis of 20E have been characterized in a few model insects, no work has been published on the molecular entity of their orthologs in the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera, a major pest insect in agriculture worldwide. In this study, four cytochrome P450 homologs, namely HarmCYP302A1, HarmCYP306A1, HarmCYP314A1 and HarmCYP315A1 from H. armigera, were identified and evolutional conservation of these Halloween genes were revealed among lepidopteran. Expression analyses showed that HarmCYP302A1 and HarmCYP315A1 were predominantly expressed in larval prothoracic glands, whereas this predominance was not always observed for HarmCYP306A1 and CYP314A1. The expression patterns of Halloween genes indicate that the fat bodies may play an important role in the conversion of ecdysone into 20E in larval–larval molt and in larval–pupal metamorphosis, and raise the possibility that HarmCYP315A1 plays a role in tissue-specific regulation in the steroid biosynthesis in H. armigera. These findings represent the first identification and expression characterization of four steriodogenic P450 genes and provide the groundwork for future functional and evolutionary study of steroid biosynthesis in this agriculturally important pest.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as a serious hospital and community-acquired infection and some strains are associated with greater severity. We investigated the clinical variability and molecular characteristics of MRSA infections in Shenzhen, China through a study at nine sentinel hospitals from January to December 2014. MRSA infections were classified as community-associated (CA-MRSA), healthcare-associated (HA-MRSA), and healthcare-associated community-onset (HACO-MRSA). In total, 812 MRSA isolates were collected and 183 of these were selected for further study. Patients with HA-MRSA infections were generally of greater age compared to other groups. Distinct body site and clinical presentations were evident in infected patients, e.g. CA-MRSA (skin and soft tissue, 53%), HA-MRSA (respiratory tract, 22%; surgical site, 20%; trauma wounds, 20%) and HACO-MRSA (mastitis, 47%). In contrast to HA-MRSA, other categories of strains were significantly more susceptible to gentamicin, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, and tetracycline. No resistance to vancomycin or linezolid was recorded. The predominant clonal lineage within each strain category was CC59-t437-SCCmec IV/V-agr I (CA, 51·4%; HA, 28·9%; HACO, 52·9%) which exhibited characteristics of a traditional CA clone together with agr I which is more often associated with HA clones. In conclusion, for the three categories of MRSA infections, there were significant differences in clinical characteristics of patients, but the predominant clone in each category shared a similar genetic background which suggests that transmission of MRSA strains has occurred between the community and hospitals in Shenzhen.
We present a scheme of electron beam radiography to dynamically diagnose the high energy density (HED) matter in three orthogonal directions simultaneously based on electron Linear Accelerator. The dynamic target information such as, its profile and density could be obtained through imaging the scattered electron beam passing through the target. Using an electron bunch train with flexible time structure, a very high temporal evolution could be achieved. In this proposed scheme, it is possible to obtain 1010 frames/second in one experimental event, and the temporal resolution can go up to 1 ps, spatial resolution to 1 µm. Successful demonstration of this concept will have a major impact for both future inertial confinement fusion science and HED physics research.
To evaluate the long-term efficacy of out-patient neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet laser photocoagulation surgery for patients with epistaxis.
A retrospective clinical study was conducted. A total of 217 consecutive patients who presented with acute or recurrent epistaxis received neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet laser photocoagulation treatment in an out-patient setting.
At three years, 94 per cent of acute epistaxis patients versus 88 per cent of recurrent epistaxis patients reported no bleeding. The outcome scores at 12 weeks and 3 years after treatment showed no significant differences between the 2 groups (p = 0.207 and p = 0.186). However, there was a significant difference in outcome scores at four weeks after treatment (p = 0.034). The median (and mean ± standard deviation) pain levels experienced during the laser operation (performed in an office setting) were 4.0 (3.75 ± 2.09) in the acute epistaxis group and 4.0 (3.83 ± 2.01) in the recurrent epistaxis group. Neither group had any complications.
Neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet laser photocoagulation is desirable in the treatment of both acute and recurrent epistaxis, and has long-lasting efficacy.
Attention bias modification (ABM) training has been suggested to effectively reduce depressive symptoms, and may be useful in the prevention of the illness in individuals with subthreshold symptoms, yet little is known about the spontaneous brain activity changes associated with ABM training.
Resting-state functional MRI was used to explore the effects of ABM training on subthreshold depression (SubD) and corresponding spontaneous brain activity changes. Participants were 41 young women with SubD and 26 matched non-depressed controls. Participants with SubD were randomized to receive either ABM or placebo training during 28 sessions across 4 weeks. Non-depressed controls were assessed before training only. Attentional bias, depressive severity, and spontaneous brain activity before and after training were assessed in both training groups.
Findings revealed that compared to active control training, ABM training significantly decreased depression symptoms, and increased attention for positive stimuli. Resting-state data found that ABM training significantly reduced amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) of the right anterior insula (AI) and right middle frontal gyrus which showed greater ALFF than non-depressed controls before training; Functional connectivity strength between right AI and the right frontoinsular and right supramarginal gyrus were significantly decreased after training within the ABM group; moreover, the improvement of depression symptoms following ABM significantly correlated with the connectivity strength reductions between right AI and right frontoinsular and right supramarginal gyrus.
These results suggest that ABM has the potential to reshape the abnormal patterns of spontaneous brain activity in relevant neural circuits associated with depression.
Rumination is an important cognitive risk factor for onset and relapse of depression. However, no studies have employed a dimensional approach in investigating the neural correlates of rumination and the relationship with depression.
Non-clinical healthy subjects (n = 306), who completed the classical rumination and depression scales, were studied using voxel-based morphometry and regional homogeneity (ReHo). Subsequently, mediation analysis was conducted to examine the influence of rumination on the relationship between brain structure and depression. Moreover, depressive patients (n = 60) and a control group (n = 63) of comparable age and education were studied with regions of interest that were identified in the healthy individuals.
For healthy individuals, regional grey-matter volume (rGMV) of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) were positively correlated with rumination. In addition, rumination had a mediating effect on the relationship between the DLPFC and PHG and depression. Moreover, ReHo analysis showed that rumination had a significantly negative correlation with functional homogeneity of DLPFC. However, compared to the control group, depressed patients showed significant decrease of rGMV in the DLPFC and PHG and there was a significant negative correlation between DLPFC volume and depressive rumination.
Increased DLPFC volume (decreased ReHo) in healthy individuals while decreased in depression indicated the trend of DLPFC from inefficient inhibition (‘overload state’) to impaired regulatory mechanism (‘paralysis state’). This finding might elucidate when and why healthy individuals would develop sustained negative mood and depression eventually.
A comparative study of the effect of dietary nitrogen (N) content [Low: 11·0; Medium-Low (MLow): 16·7; Medium-High (Mhigh): 23·1; High: 29·2 N g/kg dry matter (DM)] on apparent digestibilities, rumen fermentation and N balance was conducted in coarse wool Tibetan sheep and Gansu Alpine fine-wool sheep at Wushaoling in the northeast of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. It was hypothesized that responses would differ between breeds and that responses would favour Tibetan over fine-wool sheep at low N intakes. Eight wethers [four Tibetan sheep and four fine-wool sheep, 20–24 months old; body weight ± standard deviation was 52 ± 3·2 kg] were used in two concurrent 4 × 4 Latin square designs. Dry matter, organic matter, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre digestibilities were higher in Tibetan than fine-wool sheep when fed the Low, MLow and High N diets while N retention was higher when the animals were fed the Low and MLow N diets. Tibetan sheep had a higher rumen pH than fine-wool sheep; however, total volatile fatty acids were similar between breeds. Molar proportions of acetate were higher but propionate and butyrate lower in Tibetan than fine-wool sheep. In addition, Tibetan sheep had higher concentrations of ruminal free amino acid-N and soluble protein-N than fine-wool sheep. Plasma and saliva urea-N concentrations were higher in Tibetan than fine-wool sheep when supplied with the Low N diet. It was concluded that Tibetan sheep were better able to cope with low N feed than fine-wool sheep because of the higher N retention and higher DM and fibre digestibilities with Low and MLow diets.
Early life environments interact with genotype to determine stable phenotypic outcomes. Here we examined the influence of a variant in the brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) gene (Val66Met), which underlies synaptic plasticity throughout the central nervous system, on the degree to which antenatal maternal anxiety associated with neonatal DNA methylation. We also examined the association between neonatal DNA methylation and brain substructure volume, as a function of BDNF genotype. Infant, but not maternal, BDNF genotype dramatically influences the association of antenatal anxiety on the epigenome at birth as well as that between the epigenome and neonatal brain structure. There was a greater impact of antenatal maternal anxiety on the DNA methylation of infants with the methionine (Met)/Met compared to both Met/valine (Val) and Val/Val genotypes. There were significantly more cytosine–phosphate–guanine sites where methylation levels covaried with right amygdala volume among Met/Met compared with both Met/Val and Val/Val carriers. In contrast, more cytosine–phosphate–guanine sites covaried with left hippocampus volume in Val/Val infants compared with infants of the Met/Val or Met/Met genotype. Thus, antenatal Maternal Anxiety × BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism interactions at the level of the epigenome are reflected differently in the structure of the amygdala and the hippocampus. These findings suggest that BDNF genotype regulates the sensitivity of the methylome to early environment and that differential susceptibility to specific environmental conditions may be both tissue and function specific.
Microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP)-triggered immunity (MTI) is an important component of the plant innate immunity response to invading pathogens. Although several MTI responses can be measured in different plant species, their magnitude is probably plant species specific and even cultivar specific. In this study, a genome-wide transcriptome analysis of two soybean parental lines and two progeny lines treated for 30 min with the MAMPs flg22 and chitin was carried out. This analysis revealed a clear variation in gene expression, under both untreated and flg22+chitin-treated conditions. In addition, genes with potential additive and non-additive effects were identified in the two progeny lines, with several of these genes having a potential function in the control of innate immunity. The data presented herein represent the basis for further functional analysis that can lead to a better understanding of the soybean innate immunity response.
Little is known about HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) in newly diagnosed HIV-infected adults in eastern China where the HIV epidemic is spreading predominantly through sexual contact. During 2008–2011, newly HIV-diagnosed adults in Taizhou prefecture, Zhejiang province in eastern China were examined for HIVDR by amplifying and sequencing the HIV-1 pol gene. Of 447 genotyped participants, 53·7% were infected with CRF01_AE, 20·1% with CRF07_BC, 12·5% with subtype B, and 11·6% with CRF08_BC. Most of the participants had one or more minor genetic mutations in the pol gene that are associated with HIVDR. Twelve (2·7%) participants met the standard guidelines of having low to high HIVDR, suggesting that the prevalence of HIVDR in newly HIV-diagnosed adults was low in the study area and current antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens are likely to remain effective. However, given high frequency of minor HIVDR in HIV patients and the scaling up of ART programmes in China, larger HIVDR surveillance programmes are needed.
In the eastern Tibetan plateau both human cystic and alveolar echinococcosis (AE) caused by infection with Echincoccus granulosus or Echinococcus multilocularis, respectively are highly endemic. The domestic dog plays a key role in zoonotic transmission in this region. Our primary objective was to investigate the role of domestic dogs in maintaining transmission of E. multilocularis in Shiqu county, Sichuan. A cohort of 281 dogs was followed up over one year after a single treatment with praziquantel followed by re-infection surveillance at 2, 5 and 12 months post-treatment. Faecal samples were tested by an Echinococcus genus-specific coproantigen ELISA and two species-specific copro-PCR tests. Total Echinococcus coproantigen prevalence in Shiqu at baseline was 21% and 9·6% after 2 months. E. multilocularis copro-PCR was positive in 11·2% of dogs before treatment (vs 3·6% with E. granulosus copro-DNA), 2·9% at 2 months post-treatment, and 0% at 5 month and 12 months. The results suggest that dogs may have the potential to maintain E. multilocularis transmission within local pastoral communities, and thus dog dosing could be an effective strategy to reduce transmission of E. multilocularis as well as E. granulosus in these co-endemic Tibetan communities.
A high temperature ceramic selective emitter for thermophotovoltaic (TPV) electric generators is described with a spectral match to GaSb IR cells. While solar cells generate electricity quietly and are lightweight, traditional solar cells are used with sunlight and only generate electricity during the day. Workers at JX Crystals invented the GaSb IR cell as a booster cell to demonstrate a solar cell conversion efficiency of 35%. JX Crystals now makes these IR cells. In TPV, these cells can potentially be used with flame heated ceramic emitters to generate electricity quietly day and night. One of the most important requirements for TPV is a good spectral match between the ceramic IR emitted and the IR PV cells. The first problem is to find, demonstrate, and integrate a doped ceramic IR emitter with a spectral match to these GaSb cells. Recently, nickel oxide and cobalt oxide doped MgO-based ceramics have been shown experimentally and theoretically to have spectral selectivity but no attempts have been made to integrate these ceramic IR emitters into a fully operational TPV generator. Herein, we review the history of TPV and note that a key to future progress will be the integration of an appropriate ceramic emitter with cells and a burner to demonstrate an operational TPV generator. Integrating TPV into a residential boiler is discussed as a potential future large volume commercial market.