To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Treatment non-response and recurrence are the main sources of disease burden in major depressive disorder (MDD). However, little is known about its neurobiological mechanism concerning the brain network changes accompanying pharmacotherapy. The present study investigated the changes in the intrinsic brain networks during 6-month antidepressant treatment phase associated with the treatment response and recurrence in MDD.
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was acquired from untreated patients with MDD and healthy controls at baseline. The patients' depressive symptoms were monitored by using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD). After 6 months of antidepressant treatment, patients were re-scanned and followed up every 6 months over 2 years. Traditional statistical analysis as well as machine learning approaches were conducted to investigate the longitudinal changes in macro-scale resting-state functional network connectivity (rsFNC) strength and micro-scale resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) associated with long-term treatment outcome in MDD.
Repeated measures of the general linear model demonstrated a significant difference in the default mode network (DMN) rsFNC change before and after the 6-month antidepressant treatment between remitters and non-remitters. The difference in the rsFNC change over the 6-month antidepressant treatment between recurring and stable MDD was also specific to DMN. Machine learning analysis results revealed that only the DMN rsFC change successfully distinguished non-remitters from the remitters at 6 months and recurring from stable MDD during the 2-year follow-up.
Our findings demonstrated that the intrinsic DMN connectivity could be a unique and important target for treatment and recurrence prevention in MDD.
Trypanosoma musculi is a, globally distributed, mouse-specific haemoflagellate, of the family Trypanosomatidae, which shares similar characteristics in morphology with Trypanosoma lewisi. The kinetoplast (mitochondrial) DNA of Trypanosomatidae flagellates is comprised of catenated maxicircles and minicircles. However, genetic information on the T. musculi kinetoplast remains largely unknown. In this study, the T. musculi maxicircle genome was completely assembled, with PacBio and Illumina sequencing, and the size was confirmed at 34 606 bp. It consisted of 2 distinct parts: the coding region and the divergent regions (DRs, DRI and II). In comparison with other trypanosome maxicircles (Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and T. lewisi), the T. musculi maxicircle has a syntenic distribution of genes and shares 73.9, 78.0 and 92.7% sequence identity, respectively, over the whole coding region. Moreover, novel insertions in MURF2 (630 bp) and in ND5 (1278 bp) were found, respectively, which are homologous to minicircles. These findings support an evolutionary scenario similar to the one proposed for insertions in Trypanosoma cruzi, the pathogen of American trypanosomiasis. These novel insertions, together with a deletion (281 bp) in ND4, question the role of Complex I in T. musculi. A detailed analysis of DRII indicated that it contains numerous repeat motifs and palindromes, the latter of which are highly conservative and contain A5C elements. The comprehensively annotated kinetoplast maxicircle of T. musculi reveals a high degree of similarity between this parasite and the maxicircle of T. lewisi and suggests that the DRII could be a valuable marker for distinguishing these evolutionarily related species.
Mode distortion induced by stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) has become a new obstacle for the further development of high-power fiber lasers with high beam quality. Here, an approach for effective suppression of the SRS-induced mode distortion in high-power fiber amplifiers has been demonstrated experimentally by adjusting the seed power (output power of seed source) and forward feedback coefficient of the rear port in the seed source. It is shown that the threshold power of the SRS-induced mode distortion can be increased significantly by reducing the seed power or the forward feedback coefficient. Moreover, it has also been found that the threshold power is extremely sensitive to the forward feedback power value from the rear port. The influence of the seed power on the threshold power can be attributed to the fact that the seed power plays an important role in the effective length of the gain fiber in the amplifier. The influence of the forward feedback coefficient on the threshold power can be attributed to the enhanced SRS configuration because the end surface of the rear port together with the fiber in the amplifier constitutes a half-opening cavity. This suppression approach will be very helpful to further develop the high-power fiber amplifiers with high beam quality.
Fruit intake may influence gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) risk. However, prospective evidence remains controversial and limited. The current study aimed to investigate whether total fruit and specific fruit intake influence GDM risk.
A prospective cohort study was conducted. Dietary information was collected by a 3-d 24-h dietary recall. All participants underwent a standard 75-g oral glucose tolerance test at 24–28 gestational weeks. Log-binomial models were used to estimate the association between fruit intake and GDM risk, and the results are presented as relative risks (RR) and 95 % CI.
Totally, 1453 healthy pregnant women in 2017.
Total fruit intake was not associated with lower GDM risk (RR of 1·03 (95 % CI 0·83, 1·27) (Ptrend = 0·789)). The RR of GDM risk was 0·73 for the highest anthocyanin-rich fruit intake quartile compared with the lowest quartile (95 % CI 0·56, 0·93; Ptrend = 0·015). A higher grape intake had a linear inverse association with GDM risk (Q4 v. Q1: RR = 0·65; 95 % CI 0·43, 0·98; Ptrend = 0·044), and after further adjustment for anthocyanin intake, the inverse association tended to be non-linear (Q4 v. Q1: RR = 0·65; 95 % CI 0·44, 0·98; Ptrend = 0·079). However, we did not find an association between glycaemic index-grouped fruit, glycaemic load-grouped fruit or other fruit subtype intake and GDM risk.
In conclusion, specific fruit intake (particularly anthocyanin-rich fruit and grapes) but not total fruit intake was inversely associated with GDM risk.
We aimed to examine the association between low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) scores during the first trimester and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) risk in a Chinese population. A total of 1455 women were included in 2017. Dietary information during the first trimester was collected by 24-h dietary recalls for 3 d. The overall, animal and plant LCD scores, which indicated adherence to different low-carbohydrate dietary patterns, were calculated. GDM was diagnosed based on the results of a 75-g, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test at 24–28 weeks gestation. Log-binomial models were used to estimate relative risks (RR) and 95 % CI. The results showed that the multivariable-adjusted RR of GDM from the lowest to the highest quartiles of the overall LCD score were 1·00 (reference), 1·15 (95 % CI 0·92, 1·42), 1·30 (95 % CI 1·06, 1·60) and 1·24 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·52) (P = 0·026 for trend). Multivariable-adjusted RR (95 % CI) of GDM from the lowest to the highest quartiles of the animal LCD score were 1·00 (reference), 1·20 (95 % CI 0·96, 1·50), 1·41 (95 % CI 1·14, 1·73) and 1·29 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·59) (P = 0·002 for trend). After additional adjustment for gestational weight gain before GDM diagnosis, the association of the overall LCD score with GDM risk was non-significant, while the association of animal LCD score with GDM risk remained significant. In conclusion, a low-carbohydrate dietary pattern characterised by high animal fat and protein during the first trimester is associated with an increased risk of GDM in Chinese women.
In Canada, individuals test for HIV commonly through clinic-based screening services (CBSS). However, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) may face barriers accessing such services due to, for example, feeling discomfort disclosing their sexual history or fearing judgment from healthcare providers. To reduce barriers and increase uptake and frequency of screening for sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control implemented an internet-based screening service, GetCheckedOnline.com (GCO), in September 2014 in Vancouver, Canada. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of GCO at different uptake scenarios compared to CBSS in Vancouver GBMSM.
Cost-utility analyses were conducted from a healthcare payer's perspective using an established dynamic GBMSM HIV compartmental model. The model estimated the probability of becoming infected with HIV, progressing through diagnosis, disease stages, and treatment over a 30-year time horizon. The base case assumed 4.7 percent uptake of GCO, and 74 percent of high-risk and 44 percent of low-risk infrequent testers becoming regular testers in five years. Scenario analyses tested GCO 10 and 15 percent uptakes.
Compared with the conventional CBSS alone, a 4.7 percent GCO uptake increased the costs by CAD90,059 (USD75,680; 95% confidence interval (CI): -CAD420,836, CAD273,987) and gained 3 (95% CI: 0, 6) quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) in a 30-year time horizon. There was a 71 percent probability that GCO was cost-effective at a cost-effectiveness threshold of CAD50,000 (USD42,000) per QALY. The results were consistent in other two uptake scenarios.
Expanding HIV screening for GBMSM through increasing uptake of GCO is a cost-effective alternative to expanding the conventional CBSS. We noted that difference in total costs might be smaller if a battery of STI tests is considered, which in turn may affect our cost-effectiveness estimate. For the next phase of cost-utility analysis, we will expand our model to include testing for other STIs.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
An increasing number of studies have described the relationship between celiac disease and schizophrenia. Based on the reported correlations and the overlapping linkage regions on 19p13, the myosin IXB gene (MYO9B) can be considered a highly relevant positional and functional candidate gene for schizophrenia. The present work was undertaken to investigate the association of the MYO9B gene with schizophrenia in a Chinese population.
A total of 329 patients with schizophrenia and 350 healthy control subjects in a Chinese population were recruited. A PCR-based RFLP protocol was applied to genotype 7 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including rs7249490, rs7256689, rs2279007, rs8113494, rs2305767, rs1545620 and rs2305764, in the MYO9B gene to investigate their association with schizophrenia.
The X2 goodness-of-fit test showed that the genotypic distributions of all 7 SNPs were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in both the patient group and the control group. Disease association was shown for rs8113494 (X2=12.77, P=0.0003, OR=1.89, 95% CI 1.33-2.68) and rs1545620 (X2=15.44, P=8.379e-5, OR=1.65, 95% CI 1.29-2.12), while rs2279007 was associated with schizophrenia in the female subjects (X2=4.637, P=0.031, OR=0.69, 95% CI 0.49-0.97) but not in the male subjects (X2=1.082, P=0.299, OR=0.85, 95% CI 0.63-1.15).
The present work shows that the polymorphisms of the MYO9B gene are likely to confer susceptibility to schizophrenia. Because the MYO9B gene has been found to be highly expressed in the tight junction gate, it could be considered as a meeting point for the interaction between environmental and genetic factors in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
The present study was designed to detect three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located on 22q11 that was thought as being of particularly importance for genetic research into schizophrenia. We recruited a total of 176 Chinese family trios of Han descent, consisting of mothers, fathers and affected offspring with schizophrenia for the genetic analysis. The transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) showed that of three SNPs, rs10314 in the 3′-untranslated region of the CLDN5 locus was associated with schizophrenia (χ2 = 4.75, P = 0.029). The other two SNPs, rs1548359 present in the CDC45L locus centromeric of rs10314 and rs739371 in the 5′-flanking region of the CLDN5 locus, did not show such an association. The global chi-square (χ2) test showed that the 3-SNP haplotype system was not associated with schizophrenia although the 1-df test for individual haplotypes showed that the rs1548359(C)-rs10314(G)-rs739371(C) haplotype was excessively non-transmitted (χ2 = 5.32, P = 0.02). Because the claudin proteins are a major component for barrier-forming tight junctions that could play a crucial role in response to changing natural, physiological and pathological conditions, the CLDN5 association with schizophrenia may be an important clue leading to look into a meeting point of genetic and environmental factors.
An increasing number of studies have described the relationship between velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) and schizophrenia. in a family-based study, we found that rs10314, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) present in the 3’-flanking region of the CLDN5 gene, was associated with schizophrenia among a Chinese population. High false positive rate is a common problem with the association study of human diseases. It is very important to replicate an initial finding with different samples and experimental designs.
A total of 749 patients with schizophrenia and 383 age and sex matched healthy control subjects in Chinese population were recruited. PCR-based RFLP protocol was applied to genotype rs10314 to see its disease association.
The χ2 goodness-of-fit test showed that the genotypic distributions of rs10314 were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in both the patient group (χ2=1.12, P=0.289) and the control group (χ2=0.22, P=0.639). rs10314 was associated with schizophrenia with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.32 in the male subjects (χ2=5.45, P=0.02, 95% CI 1.05-1.67) but not in the female subjects (χ2=0.64, P=0.425, OR=1.14, 95% CI 0.83-1.57). the χ2 test showed a genotypic association only for combined samples (χ2=7.80, df=2, P=0.02). SNP rs10314 is a G to C base change. Frequency of the genotypes containing the C allele was significantly higher in the patient group than in the control group.
The present work shows that the CLDN5 gene polymorphism is more likely to be involved in schizophrenic men than women, suggesting that this gene may contribute to the gender differences in schizophrenia.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) enters latency after primary infection and can reactivate periodically with virus excreted in body fluids which can be called shedding. CMV shedding during the early stage of pregnancy is associated with adverse pregnancy outcome. The shedding pattern in healthy seropositive women who plan to have babies has not been well characterised. Vaginal swabs, urine and blood were collected from 1262 CMV IgG-positive women who intended to have babies and tested for CMV DNA by fluorogenic quantitative PCR method. Serum IgM was also detected. The association between sociodemographic characteristics and CMV shedding prevalence was analysed. Among 1262 seropositive women, 12.8% (161/1262) were detected CMV DNA positive in at least one body fluid. CMV DNA was more frequently detected in vaginal secretion (10.5%) than in urine (3.2%) and blood (0.6%) also with higher viral loads (P < 0.00). CMV shedding was more likely detected in IgM-positive women than IgM-negative women (29.5% (13/44) vs. 12.2% (148/1218); OR 3.03, 95% CI 1.55–5.93; P = 0.001). CMV shedding in vaginal secretion was highly correlated with shedding in urine, the immune state of IgM, the adverse pregnant history and younger age. CMV shedding was more commonly detected in vaginal secretion than in urine or blood with higher viral loads among healthy seropositive women of reproductive age. Further studies are needed to figure out whether the shedding is occasional or continuous and whether it is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.
The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between three parenting styles (warmth, rejection, and overprotection), coping efficacy and risk-taking behavior in Chinese young adults. A total of 719 subjects completed three instruments: the Egna Minneu av Bardndosnauppforstran, the Coping Efficacy Questionnaire and the Adolescent Risk-Taking Questionnaire. Structural equation modeling results showed that maternal warmth (negatively) and rejection (positively), but not overprotection, correlated with risk-taking behavior via coping efficacy, whereas paternal rejection and overprotection (positively), but not warmth, correlated with risk-taking behavior via coping efficacy. These results suggest that parenting styles indirectly associate with risk-taking behavior through coping efficacy in young adults.
To evaluate the effects of gestational weight gain (GWG) in the first trimester (GWG-F) and the rate of gestational weight gain in the second trimester (RGWG-S) on gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), exploring the optimal GWG ranges for the avoidance of GDM in Chinese women.
A population-based prospective study was conducted. Gestational weight was measured regularly in every antenatal visit and assessed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) criteria (2009). GDM was assessed with the 75-g, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test at 24–28 weeks of gestation. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess the effects of GWG-F and RGWG-S on GDM, stratified by pre-pregnancy BMI. In each BMI category, the GWG values corresponding to the lowest prevalence of GDM were defined as the optimal GWG range.
Pregnant women (n 1910) in 2017.
After adjusting for confounders, GWG-F above IOM recommendations increased the risk of GDM (OR; 95 % CI) among underweight (2·500; 1·106, 5·655), normal-weight (1·396; 1·023, 1·906) and overweight/obese women (3·017; 1·118, 8·138) compared with women within IOM recommendations. No significant difference was observed between RGWG-S and GDM (P > 0·05) after adjusting for GWG-F based on the previous model. The optimal GWG-F ranges for the avoidance of GDM were 0·8–1·2, 0·8–1·2 and 0·35–0·70 kg for underweight, normal-weight and overweight/obese women, respectively.
Excessive GWG in the first trimester, rather than the second trimester, is associated with increased risk of GDM regardless of pre-pregnancy BMI. Obstetricians should provide more pre-emptive guidance in achieving adequate GWG-F.
The topological structure of a parallel manipulator (PM) determines its intrinsic topological properties (TPs). The TPs further determine essential kinematic and dynamic properties of the mechanism. TPs can be expressed through topological characteristics indexes (TCI). Therefore, defining a set of TCIs is an important issue to evaluate the TPs of PMs. This article addresses the evaluation of topological properties (ETP) of PMs based on TCI. A general and effective ETP method for PMs is proposed. Firstly, 12 TCIs are proposed, including 8 quantitative TCIs, that is, position and orientation characteristics sets (POC), dimension of the POC set, degrees of freedom (DOF), number of independent displacement equations, types and number of an Assur kinematic chain (AKC), coupling degrees of the AKCs, degrees of redundancy and the number of overs; as well as 4 qualitative TCIs, that is, selection of actuated joints, identification of inactive joints, DOF type and Input–Output motion decoupling. Secondly, the ETP method is illustrated by evaluating some well-known PMs including the Delta, Tricept, Exechon, Z3, H4 and the Gough–Stewart platform manipulators, as well as 28 other typical PMs. Via the ETP analysis of these mechanisms also some valuable design knowledge is derived and guidelines for the design of PMs are established. Finally, a 5-DOF decoupled hybrid spraying robot is developed by applying the design knowledge and the design guidelines derived from the ETP analysis.
To explore whether and how group cognitive-behavioural therapy (GCBT) plus medication differs from medication alone for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
Hundred and seventy patients were randomly assigned to the GCBT plus duloxetine (n=89) or duloxetine group (n=81). The primary outcomes were Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) response and remission rates. The explorative secondary measures included score reductions from baseline in the HAMA total, psychic, and somatic anxiety subscales (HAMA-PA, HAMA-SA), the Hamilton Depression Scale, the Severity Subscale of Clinical Global Impression Scale, Global Assessment of Functioning, and the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 4-week, 8-week, and 3-month follow-up.
At 4 weeks, HAMA response (GCBT group 57.0% vs. control group 24.4%, p=0.000, Cohen’s d=0.90) and remission rates (GCBT group 21.5% vs. control group 6.2%, p=0.004; d=0.51), and most secondary outcomes (all p<0.05, d=0.36−0.77) showed that the combined therapy was superior. At 8 weeks, all the primary and secondary significant differences found at 4 weeks were maintained with smaller effect sizes (p<0.05, d=0.32−0.48). At 3-month follow-up, the combined therapy was only significantly superior in the HAMA total (p<0.045, d=0.43) and HAMA-PA score reductions (p<0.001, d=0.77). Logistic regression showed superiority of the combined therapy for HAMA response rates [odds ratio (OR)=2.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02−4.42, p=0.04] and remission rates (OR=2.80, 95% CI 1.27−6.16, p=0.01).
Compared with duloxetine alone, GCBT plus duloxetine showed significant treatment response for GAD over a shorter period of time, particularly for psychic anxiety symptoms, which may suggest that GCBT was effective in changing cognitive style.
Signal-in-space (SIS) continuity and availability are important indicators of performance assessment for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSSs). The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) Open Service Performance Standard (BDS-OS-PS-1.0) has been released, and the corresponding public performance indicators have been provided, but the actual SIS performance is uncertain to users. SIS continuity and availability are primarily related to unscheduled outages (failures). Therefore, based on the existing failure classification system and actual operation modes, four types of failure modes are first analysed: long-term failure related to satellite service period, maintenance failure related to satellite manoeuvring, short-term failure associated with random repairable anomalies and equivalent failure corresponding to a combination of the above three types of failures. Second, based on the failure classification and selected precise and broadcast ephemerides from 2015–2016, the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) and Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) of each failure type are obtained using appropriate detection methods. Finally, using a corresponding assessment model, the SIS continuity and availability of BeiDou are calculated for individual and equivalent failure cases, and these are compared with the provided index in the BDS Open Service Performance Standard.
The present study examined Chinese speakers’ knowledge of English polysemous phrasal verbs (PVs) and factors that may constrain the development of PVs. The intermediate and advanced learners judged the acceptability of 100 senses of 50 PVs. Results indicate that both the intermediate and the advanced learners tended to favor the high-frequency senses (51.2%∼67.2%) of PVs but disfavor the low-frequency senses (32.9%∼46.3%) of PVs. PV frequency, semantic transparency, and time spent reading books and watching films/TV could predict the advanced learners’ mastery of the high-frequency senses, while PV frequency and preemption could predict their mastery of the low-frequency senses. Semantic transparency, PV frequency, and preemption could predict the intermediate learners’ knowledge of the high-frequency senses, while semantic transparency, frequency of high-frequency senses, and preemption could predict their acceptance of the low-frequency senses. No reliable relationship was detected among the learners’ PV knowledge, entrenchment, time spent in second language immersion, listening to music, and communicating with others for the two groups.
The molecular basis of resistance to tribenuron-methyl, an acetolactate synthase (ALS)–inhibiting herbicide was investigated in four resistant (R) and three susceptible (S) flixweed populations. The resistance level in the R populations was assessed in whole-plant pot experiments in a greenhouse, and resistance indices ranged from 723 to 1422. The ALS genes of the three S populations and four R populations were cloned and sequenced, and the full coding sequence of the ALS gene of flixweed was 2,004 bp. The sequences of the ALS genes of the three S populations collected from Shaanxi, Gansu, and Tianjin were identical. Comparison of the ALS gene sequences of the S and R populations with Arabidopsis revealed that proline at position 197 of the ALS gene was substituted by leucine in R population SSX-2, by alanine in R population SSX-3, and by serine in R populations TJ-2 and GS-2. In another study of two R flixweed populations from Hebei and Shaanxi, resistance was also related to mutation at position 197 of the ALS gene. Both studies confirmed tribenuron-methyl resistance in flixweed in China, with the resistance mechanism being conferred by specific ALS point mutations at amino acid position 197.
In this paper, a novel afterglow phosphor based on praseodymium ion doped Sr2Ta2O7 was synthesized successfully by solid-state reaction in the ambient atmosphere. The photoluminescence, afterglow, afterglow decay, and thermoluminescence (TL) properties were investigated in detail. The dependence of photoluminescence properties and long afterglow (LAG) performances on Pr3+ contents were investigated systematically. The optimal concentrations of Pr3+ ions for the best photoluminescence and LAG properties were experimentally to be 2 mol% and 0.5 mol%, respectively. Pr3+ exhibits prominent red emission in most reports, which derives from the 1D2 → 3H4 transition. However, the predominant blue emission locating at ∼489 and ∼507 nm coming from 3P0,1 → 3H4 transitions were observed in praseodymium ion-doped Sr2Ta2O7. Based on TL measurements, the trapping and de-trapping processes of charge carriers between shallower and deep traps were illustrated. A model was proposed on the basis of experimental results to explain the mechanisms of photoluminescence and LAG.
Insect defensins, are cationic peptides that play an important role in immunity against microbial infection. In the present study, an anionic defensin from Plutella xylostella, (designated as PxDef) was first cloned and characterized. Amino acid sequence analysis showed that the mature peptide owned characteristic six-cysteine motifs with predicted isoelectric point of 5.57, indicating an anionic defensin. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that PxDef was significantly induced in epidermis, fat body, midgut and hemocytes after injection of heat-inactivated Bacillus thuringiensis, while such an induction was delayed by the injection of live B. thuringiensis in the 4th instar larvae of P. xylostella. Knocking down the expression of nuclear transcription factor Dorsal in P. xylostella by RNA interference significantly decreased the mRNA level of PxDef, and increased the sensitivity of P. xylostella larvae to the infection by live B. thuringiensis. The purified recombinant mature peptide (PxDef) showed higher activity against Gram-positive bacteria, with the minimum inhibition concentrations of 1.6 and 2.6 µM against B. thuringiensis and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report about an anionic PxDef, which may play an important role in the immune system of P. xylostella against B. thuringiensis.