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 email@example.com
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.
We study a stochastic model for a target benefit pension plan suffering from rising longevity and falling fertility. Policies for postponing retirement are carried out to hedge the payment difficulties caused by the aging population. The plan members’ contributions are set in advance while the pension payments reflect intergenerational equity by a target payment level and intergenerational risk sharing by an adjustment. The pension fund is invested in both a risk-free asset and a risky asset. Applying the stochastic optimal control methods, we derive analytic solutions for optimal investment and benefit payment strategies which minimize the benefit risk. Besides, an optimal delayed retirement age which can hedge against the aging phenomenon under certain parameters is given. Therefore, it can provide a basis for quantifying the delay of retirement time.
In the treatment of infertile patients with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) caused by the deletion of the azoospermia factor c region (AZFc) on the Y chromosome, synchronous and asynchronous surgical strategies are discussed. Clinical data from NOA patients with the AZFc deletion who underwent micro-TESE were analyzed retrospectively. The sperm retrieval rate (SRR) and sperm utilization rate of synchronous and asynchronous operation groups were followed up and compared. The fertilization rate, high-quality embryo rate, clinical pregnancy rate, abortion rate, and cumulative live birth rate of ICSI in patients with successful sperm retrieval were compared between the two groups. The two groups had sperm utilization rates of 98.9% (93/94) and 50.0% (14/28), respectively. The asynchronous group’s sperm consumption rates were much lower than those of the synchronous operation group. Fertilization rate, high-quality embryo rate, clinical pregnancy rate of fresh transfer cycle, abortion rate, and cumulative live birth rate of patients in the synchronous operation group with fresh sperm, and the asynchronous operation group with thawed sperm, respectively, were 30.6% vs 33.8%, 33.8% vs 40.7%, 40.0% vs 12.5%, 30.4% vs 7.1%. Between the two groups, there was no significant difference. This suggests that individuals with NOA caused by the AZFc deletion have a high possibility of successfully acquiring sperm using micro-TESE and ICSI to conceive their own offspring. Synchronous micro-TESE is recommended to improve sperm utilization rate and the cumulative live birth rate.
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.
The current study examined the effects of a 16-week creative expression program on brain activity during a story creating task and resting-state functional network connectivity in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) adults.
Thirty-six MCI adults were allocated to either the creative expression program (CrExp, n = 18) or control group (CG,n = 18). Before and after intervention, all participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during story creating task performance and a resting state. The two-group comparison was calculated between the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes for each cluster to investigate the differences in fMRI activation and functional connectivity (FC) between two groups.
Task activation analyses showed an increase in the right anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG), right medial frontal gyrus (MFG), right lentiform nucleus (LN), left hippocampus (HIP), left middle occipital gyrus (MOG), and left cerebellum posterior lobe (CPL) (p < 0.05). Story creating performance improvements were associated with greater activation in the left HIP region. Resting-state functional connectivity (FC) between left HIP and certain other brain areas shown a significant interaction of creative expression group versus control group. Moreover, connectivity between the right angular gyrus (ANG), right inferior temporal gyrus (ITG), right superior occipital gyrus (SOG), left ANG, and left MFG were related to improved cognitive performance (p < 0.05).
These data extend current knowledge by indicating that the creative expression program can improve cognitive activation in MCI, and these enhancements may be related to the neurocognitive network plasticity changes induced by creative expression training.
Athetis lepigone Möschler (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) is a common maize pest in Europe and Asia. However, there is no long-term effective management strategy is available yet to suppress its population. Adults rely heavily on olfactory cues to locate their optimal host plants and oviposition sites. Pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) are believed to be responsible for recognizing and transporting different odorant molecules to interact with receptor membrane proteins. In this study, the ligand-binding specificities of two AlepPBPs (AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3) for sex pheromone components and host plant (maize) volatiles were measured by fluorescence ligand-binding assay. The results demonstrated that AlepPBP2 had a high affinity with two pheromones [(Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.11 ± 0.1 μM, (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.32 ± 0.15 μM] and ten plant volatiles, including (-)-limonene, α-pinene, myrcene, linalool, benzaldehyde, nonanal, 2-hexanone, 3-hexanone, 2-heptanone and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one. In contrast, we found that none of these chemicals could bind to AlepPBP3. Our results clearly show no significant differences in the functional characterization of the binding properties between AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3 to sex pheromones and host plant volatiles. Furthermore, molecular docking was employed for further detail on some crucial amino acid residues involved in the ligand-binding of AlepPBP2. These findings will provide valuable information about the potential protein binding sites necessary for protein-ligand interactions which appear as attractive targets for the development of novel technologies and management strategies for insect pests.
Using crossed homomorphisms, we show that the category of weak representations (respectively admissible representations) of Lie–Rinehart algebras (respectively Leibniz pairs) is a left module category over the monoidal category of representations of Lie algebras. In particular, the corresponding bifunctor of monoidal categories is established to give new weak representations (respectively admissible representations) of Lie–Rinehart algebras (respectively Leibniz pairs). This generalises and unifies various existing constructions of representations of many Lie algebras by using this new bifunctor. We construct some crossed homomorphisms in different situations and use our actions of monoidal categories to recover some known constructions of representations of various Lie algebras and to obtain new representations for generalised Witt algebras and their Lie subalgebras. The cohomology theory of crossed homomorphisms between Lie algebras is introduced and used to study linear deformations of crossed homomorphisms.
The aim of our study was to determine the distribution of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes and subgenotypes in ethnic minorities in Yunnan province to provide evidence supporting the theoretical basis for hepatitis B prevention and control. We obtained serum samples and demographic data from 765 individuals reported by Yunnan province who had either acute or chronic HBV infection and were from one of 20 ethnic minority populations: Achang, Bai, Brown, Tibetan, Dai, Deang, Dulong, Hani, Hui, Jingpo, Lahu, Yi, Lisu Miao, Naxi, Nu, Pumi, Wa, Yao, or Zhuang people. We sequenced the HBV DNA and determined the genotypes and subgenotypes of the isolated HBVs. We mapped the genotype and subgenotype distribution by ethnic minority population and conducted descriptive analyses. There were four genotypes among the 20 ethnic groups: genotype B (21.3% of samples), C (76.6%), D (1.8%) and I (0.3%). The most common subgenotype was C1. There were no genotype differences by gender (P = 0.954) or age (P = 0.274), but there were differences by region (P < 0.001). There were differences in genotype distribution (P < 0.001) and subgenotype distribution (P = 0.011) by ethnic group. Genotype D was most prominent in Tibet and most HBV isolates were C/D recombinant viruses. The only two genotype I virus isolates were in Zhuang people. Susceptibility and geographic patterns may influence HBV prevalence in different ethnic populations, but additional research is needed for such a determination.
Varicella is a highly infectious contagious disease, and Chongqing is one of the high incidence areas in China. To understand the epidemic regularity and predict the epidemic trend of varicella is of great significance to the risk analysis and health resource allocation in the health sector. First, we used the ‘STL’ function to decompose the incidence of varicella to understand its trend and seasonality. Second, we established SARIMA model for linear fitting, and then took the residual of the SARIMA model as the sample to fit the LS-SVM model, to explain the non-linearity of the residuals. The monthly varicella incidence peaks in April to June and October to December. Mixed model was compared to SARIMA model, the prediction error of the hybrid model was smaller, and the RMSE and MAPE values of the hybrid model were 0.7525 and 0.0647, respectively, the mixed model had a better prediction effect. Based on the study, the incidence of varicella in Chongqing has an obvious seasonal trend, and a hybrid model can also predict the incidence of varicella well. Thus, hybrid model analysis is a feasible and simple method to predict varicella in Chongqing.
Poor utilisation efficiency of carbohydrate always leads to metabolic phenotypes in fish. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in carbohydrate degradation. Whether the intestinal bacteria could alleviate high-carbohydrate diet (HCD)-induced metabolic phenotypes in fish remains unknown. Here, a strain affiliated to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens was isolated from the intestine of Nile tilapia. A basal diet (CON), HCD or HCD supplemented with B. amy SS1 (HCB) was used to feed fish for 10 weeks. The beneficial effects of B. amy SS1 on weight gain and protein accumulation were observed. Fasting glucose and lipid deposition were decreased in the HCB group compared with the HCD group. High-throughput sequencing showed that the abundance of acetate-producing bacteria was increased in the HCB group relative to the HCD group. Gas chromatographic analysis indicated that the concentration of intestinal acetate was increased dramatically in the HCB group compared with that in the HCD group. Glucagon-like peptide-1 was also increased in the intestine and serum of the HCB group. Thus, fish were fed with HCD, HCD supplemented with sodium acetate at 900 mg/kg (HLA), 1800 mg/kg (HMA) or 3600 mg/kg (HHA) diet for 8 weeks, and the HMA and HHA groups mirrored the effects of B. amy SS1. This study revealed that B. amy SS1 could alleviate the metabolic phenotypes caused by HCD by enriching acetate-producing bacteria in fish intestines. Regulating the intestinal microbiota and their metabolites might represent a powerful strategy for fish nutrition modulation and health maintenance in future.
Previously, it was suggested that haemadipsid leeches represent an important vector of trypanosomes amongst native animals in Australia. Consequently, Chtonobdella bilineata leeches were investigated for the presence of trypanosome species by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA sequencing and in vitro isolation. Phylogenetic analysis ensued to further define the populations present. PCR targeting the 28S rDNA demonstrated that over 95% of C. bilineata contained trypanosomes; diversity profiling by deep amplicon sequencing of 18S rDNA indicated the presence of four different clusters related to the Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) theileri. Novy–MacNeal–Nicolle slopes with liquid overlay were used to isolate trypanosomes into culture that proved similar in morphology to Trypanosoma cyclops in that they contained a large numbers of acidocalcisomes. Phylogeny of 18S rDNA/GAPDH/ND5 DNA sequences from primary cultures and subclones showed the trypanosomes were monophyletic, with T. cyclops as a sister group. Blood-meal analysis of leeches showed that leeches primarily contained blood from swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolour), human (Homo sapiens) or horse (Equus sp.). The leech C. bilineata is a host for at least five lineages of Trypanosoma sp. and these are monophyletic with T. cyclops; we propose Trypanosoma cyclops australiensis as a subspecies of T. cyclops based on genetic similarity and biogeography considerations.
Toxoplasma gondii can infect almost all warm-blooded vertebrates with pathogensis being largely influenced by the host immune status. As important epidemiological hosts, rodents are globally distributed and are also commonly found infected with haemoflagellates, such as those in the genus Trypanosoma. We here address whether and how co-infection with trypanosomes can influence T. gondii infection in laboratory models. Rats of five strains, co-infected with T. lewisi and mice of four strains, co-infected with T. musculi, were found to be more or less susceptible to T. gondii infection, respectively, with corresponding increased or decreased brain cyst burdens. Downregulation of iNOS expression and decreased NO production or reverse were observed in the peritoneal macrophages of rats or mice, infected with trypanosomes, respectively. Trypanosoma lewisi and T. musculi can modulate host immune responses, either by enhancement or suppression and influence the outcome of Toxoplasma infection.
The widespread occurrence of late Mesozoic volcanic rocks in SE China is associated with widespread mineralization. Most geologists have accepted the model of Pacific plate subduction beneath the eastern Asian continent, but there are still controversies, especially the initial timing of the tectonic transition. In order to understand the tectonic evolution of the palaeo-Pacific plate subduction, an integrated study of zircon U–Pb, Lu–Hf isotope compositions and whole-rock geochemistry was carried out for Mesozoic volcanic rocks in eastern Fujian Province. According to the field observations and zircon U–Pb ages, these volcanic rocks can be divided into three phases: an early stage of Late Jurassic volcanic rocks (Phase 1, 159–153 Ma), a late stage of Late Jurassic volcanic rocks (Phase 2, 152–146 Ma) and an early stage of Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks (Phase 3, 143–139 Ma). Overall, these volcanic rocks are composed of intermediate–acid pyroclastic rocks and lava, with high SiO2, Na2O, K2O and Al2O3 contents, belonging to the high-K calc-alkaline and peraluminous series, with enrichment in large ion lithophile and light rare earth elements but depletion in high-field-strength elements and heavy rare earth elements. However, the Phase 1 and 2 volcanic rocks contain different zircon Hf isotopic compositions and whole-rock geochemistry to the Phase 3 volcanic rocks, implying that they have a different petrogenesis. Our study combined with previous research shows that the decreasing zircon ϵHf(t) values of the Middle–Late Jurassic volcanic rocks indicate a decreasing mantle-derived material contribution. On the contrary, the majority of the Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks have variable ϵHf(t) values, requiring varied degrees of involvement of juvenile components in their origin. Thus, we consider that the Late Jurassic volcanic rocks were generated in a compressional tectonic environment during the early stage (> 146 Ma) of palaeo-Pacific subduction. In contrast, the Cretaceous volcanic rocks were formed in an extensional tectonic setting during a later stage (< 143 Ma) of subduction.
The Emeishan large igneous province (ELIP) in SW China is considered to be a typical mantle-plume-derived LIP. The picrites formed at relatively high temperatures in the ELIP, providing one of the important lines of argument for the role of mantle plume. Here we report trace-element data on olivine phenocrysts in the Dali picrites from the ELIP. The olivines are Ni-rich, and characterized by high (>1.4) 100×Mn/Fe value and low (<13) 10 000×Zn/Fe value, indicating a peridotite-dominated source. Since the olivine–melt Ni partition coefficient (KDNiol/melt) will decrease at high temperatures and pressures, the picrites derived from peridotite melting at high pressure, and that crystallized olivines at lower pressure, can generate high concentrations of Ni in olivine phenocrysts, excluding the necessity of a metasomatic pyroxenite contribution. Based on the Al-in-olivine thermometer, olivine crystallization temperature and mantle potential temperature (TP) were calculated at c. 1491°C and c. 1559°C, respectively. Our results are c. 200°C higher than that of the normal asthenospheric mantle, and are consistent with the role of a mantle thermal plume for the ELIP.
The gut microbiota is directly influenced by dietary components, and it plays critical roles in chronic diseases. Excessive consumption of trans-fatty acids (TFA) is associated with obesity induced by alterations in gut microbiota, but the links between obesity and gut microbiota remain unclear. Therefore, studies examining the impact of TFA on intestinal microflora are essential. In our study, we performed 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing on faecal samples from Sprague–Dawley rats fed a basal diet (control (CON) group), high-fat (HF) diet (diet-induced obesity (DIO) group) or TFA diets (1 % TFA group and 8 % TFA group) for 8 weeks to investigate the effects of TFA/HF diets on obesity and gut microbiota composition. We found that the TFA/HF diets significantly induced obesity and changes in blood and brain physiological parameters of the rats. The relative abundance of the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes was inversely altered in the three test groups compared with the CON group. Proteobacteria increased slightly in the DIO, 1 % TFA and 8 % TFA groups. The genus Bacteroides increased in the DIO and 1 % TFA groups, but Muribaculaceae decreased in all experimental groups compared with the CON group. Moreover, significant differences were observed among clusters of orthologous group functional categories of the four dietary groups. Our observations suggested that the TFA/HF diets induced obesity and dysfunction of gut microbiota. Gut dysbiosis might mediate the obesity effects of TFA/HF diets.
We investigate the phased evolution and variation of the South Asian monsoon and resulting weathering intensity and physical erosion in the Himalaya–Karakoram Mountains since late Pliocene time (c. 3.4 Ma) using a comprehensive approach. Neodymium and strontium isotopic compositions and single-grain zircon U–Pb age spectra reveal the sources of the deposits in the east Arabian Sea, and show a combination of sources from the Himalaya and the Karakoram–Kohistan–Ladakh Mountains, with sediments from the Indian Peninsula such as the Deccan Traps or Craton. We interpret shifts in the sediment sources to have been forced by sea-level changes that correlate with South Asian monsoon rainfall variation since late Pliocene time. We collected 908 samples from the International Ocean Discovery Program Hole U1456A, which was drilled in the east Arabian Sea. Time series of hematite content and grain size of the sediments were examined downcore. We found South Asian monsoon precipitation and weathering intensity experienced three phases from late Pliocene time. Lower monsoon precipitation, with a lower variability and strong weathering intensity, occurred during 3.4–2.4 Ma; an increased and more variable South Asian monsoon rainfall, along with strengthened but fluctuating weathering intensity, occurred at 1.8–1.1 Ma; and a reduced rainfall with lower South Asian monsoon precipitation variability and moderate weathering intensity marked the period 1.1–0.1 Ma. Maximum entropy spectral analysis and wavelet transform show that there were orbital-dominated cycles of periods c. 100 and c. 41 ka in these proxy-based time series. We propose that the monsoon, sea level, global temperature and insolation together forced the weathering and erosion in SW Asia.
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and caused devastating epidemics during the 20th century. Due to effective control programs implemented in the last two decades, the number of reported cases has fallen to a historically low level. Although fewer than 977 cases were reported in 2018 in endemic countries, HAT is still a public health problem in endemic regions until it is completely eliminated. In addition, almost 150 confirmed HAT cases were reported in non-endemic countries in the last three decades. The majority of non-endemic HAT cases were reported in Europe, USA and South Africa, due to historical alliances, economic links or geographic proximity to disease-endemic countries. Furthermore, with the implementation of the ‘Belt and Road’ project, sporadic imported HAT cases have been reported in China as a warning sign of tropical diseases prevention. In this paper, we explore and interpret the data on HAT incidence and find no positive correlation between the number of HAT cases from endemic and non-endemic countries. This data will provide useful information for better understanding the imported cases of HAT globally in the post-elimination phase.
To explore the association between dietary Na intake and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a nationally representative sample of the US population.
In this cross-sectional study, the associations between Na intake and NAFLD, defined by the hepatic steatosis index (HSI) and the fatty liver index (FLI), were assessed through multivariable logistic regression models.
Communities in the USA from 2007 to 2014.
Men and women aged 20 years and older.
A total of 11 022 participants were included in the HSI-defined NAFLD analysis, and a subsample of 5320 participants was included in the FLI-defined NAFLD analysis. Compared with the lowest quartile of Na intake, the highest quartile had a multivariate-adjusted OR and 95 % CI of 1·46 (1·29, 1·65) for NAFLD as defined by HSI, and 1·41 (1·18, 1·69) for NAFLD as defined by FLI. This association was, to some degree, attenuated but remained significant after adjusting for several related metabolic parameters, including BMI, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, and diabetes.
Findings from the current study indicate that dietary Na intake is positively associated with NAFLD in US 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 microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.