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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.
A multi-agent engagement scenario is considered in which a high-value aircraft launches two defenders to intercept two homing missiles aimed at the aircraft. Under the assumption that all aircrafts have first-order linear dynamic characteristics, a combined multiple-mode adaptive estimation (MMAE) and a two-way cooperative optimal guidance law are proposed for the target–defenders team. Considering the full cooperation of the target and both the two defenders, the two-way cooperative strategies provide the analytical expressions for their optimal control input, enabling the target–defenders team to intercept the missiles with minimal control effort. To successfully intercept the missiles, MMAE is used to identify the guidance laws adopted by the missiles and estimate their states. The simulation results show that the target cooperating with the defenders to perform lure manoeuvres for the missiles can improve the guidance performance of the defenders as well as reduce the control effort of the defenders for intercepting the missiles.
This study was a retrospective multicentre cohort study of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnosed at 24 hospitals in Jiangsu province, China as of 15 March 2020. The primary outcome was the occurrence of acute respiratory failure during hospital stay. Of 625 patients, 56 (9%) had respiratory failure. Some selected demographic, epidemiologic, clinical and laboratory features as well as radiologic features at admission and treatment during hospitalisation were significantly different in patients with and without respiratory failure. The multivariate logistic analysis indicated that age (in years) (odds ratio [OR], 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03–1.10; P = 0.0002), respiratory rate (breaths/minute) (OR, 1.23; 95% CI: 1.08–1.40; P = 0.0020), lymphocyte count (109/l) (OR, 0.18; 95% CI: 0.05–0.69; P = 0.0157) and pulmonary opacity score (per 5%) (OR, 1.38; 95% CI: 1.19–1.61; P < 0.0001) at admission were associated with the occurrence of respiratory failure. Older age, increased respiratory rate, decreased lymphocyte count and greater pulmonary opacity score at admission were independent risk factors of respiratory failure in patients with COVID-19. Patients having these risk factors need to be intensively managed during hospitalisation.
To investigate the influences of dietary riboflavin (RF) addition on nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation, eight rumen cannulated Holstein bulls were randomly allocated into four treatments in a repeated 4 × 4 Latin square design. Daily addition level of RF for each bull in control, low RF, medium RF and high RF was 0, 300, 600 and 900 mg, respectively. Increasing the addition level of RF, DM intake was not affected, average daily gain tended to be increased linearly and feed conversion ratio decreased linearly. Total tract digestibilities of DM, organic matter, crude protein (CP) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) increased linearly. Rumen pH decreased quadratically, and total volatile fatty acids (VFA) increased quadratically. Acetate molar percentage and acetate:propionate ratio increased linearly, but propionate molar percentage and ammonia-N content decreased linearly. Rumen effective degradability of DM increased linearly, NDF increased quadratically but CP was unaltered. Activity of cellulase and populations of total bacteria, protozoa, fungi, dominant cellulolytic bacteria, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus increased linearly. Linear increase was observed for urinary total purine derivatives excretion. The data suggested that dietary RF addition was essential for rumen microbial growth, and no further increase in performance and rumen total VFA concentration was observed when increasing RF level from 600 to 900 mg/d in dairy bulls.
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.
Late-life depression has substantial impacts on individuals, families and society. Knowledge gaps remain in estimating the economic impacts associated with late-life depression by symptom severity, which has implications for resource prioritisation and research design (such as in modelling). This study examined the incremental health and social care expenditure of depressive symptoms by severity.
We analysed data collected from 2707 older adults aged 60 years and over in Hong Kong. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and the Client Service Receipt Inventory were used, respectively, to measure depressive symptoms and service utilisation as a basis for calculating care expenditure. Two-part models were used to estimate the incremental expenditure associated with symptom severity over 1 year.
The average PHQ-9 score was 6.3 (standard deviation, s.d. = 4.0). The percentages of respondents with mild, moderate and moderately severe symptoms and non-depressed were 51.8%, 13.5%, 3.7% and 31.0%, respectively. Overall, the moderately severe group generated the largest average incremental expenditure (US$5886; 95% CI 1126–10 647 or a 272% increase), followed by the mild group (US$3849; 95% CI 2520–5177 or a 176% increase) and the moderate group (US$1843; 95% CI 854–2831, or 85% increase). Non-psychiatric healthcare was the main cost component in a mild symptom group, after controlling for other chronic conditions and covariates. The average incremental association between PHQ-9 score and overall care expenditure peaked at PHQ-9 score of 4 (US$691; 95% CI 444–939), then gradually fell to negative between scores of 12 (US$ - 35; 95% CI - 530 to 460) and 19 (US$ -171; 95% CI - 417 to 76) and soared to positive and rebounded at the score of 23 (US$601; 95% CI -1652 to 2854).
The association between depressive symptoms and care expenditure is stronger among older adults with mild and moderately severe symptoms. Older adults with the same symptom severity have different care utilisation and expenditure patterns. Non-psychiatric healthcare is the major cost element. These findings inform ways to optimise policy efforts to improve the financial sustainability of health and long-term care systems, including the involvement of primary care physicians and other geriatric healthcare providers in preventing and treating depression among older adults and related budgeting and accounting issues across services.
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.
Families facing end-stage nonmalignant chronic diseases (NMCDs) are presented with similar symptom burdens and need for psycho-social–spiritual support as their counterparts with advanced cancers. However, NMCD patients tend to face more variable disease trajectories, and thus may require different anticipatory supports, delivered in familiar environments. The Life Rainbow Programme (LRP) provides holistic, transdisciplinary, community-based end-of-life care for patients with NMCDs and their caregivers. This paper reports on the 3-month outcomes using a single-group, pre–post comparison.
Patients with end-stage NMCDs were screened for eligibility by a medical team before being referred to the LRP. Patients were assessed at baseline (T0), 1 month (T1), and 3 months (T2) using the Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale (IPOS). Their hospital use in the previous month was also measured by presentations at accident and emergency services, admissions to intensive care units, and number of hospital bed-days. Caregivers were assessed at T0 and T2 using the Chinese version of the Modified Caregiver Strain Index, and self-reported health, psychological, spiritual, and overall well-being. Over-time changes in outcomes for patients, and caregivers, were tested using paired-sample t-tests, Wilcoxon-signed rank tests, and chi-square tests.
Seventy-four patients and 36 caregivers participated in this research study. Patients reported significant improvements in all IPOS domains at both 1 and 3 months [ranging from Cohen's d = 0.495 (nausea) to 1.793 (depression and information needs fulfilled)]. Average hospital bed-days in the previous month fell from 3.50 to 1.68, comparing baseline and 1 month (p < 0.05). At 3 months, caregiver strain was significantly reduced (r = 0.332), while spiritual well-being was enhanced (r = 0.333).
After receiving 3 month's LRP services, patients with end-stage NMCDs and their caregivers experienced significant improvements in the quality of life and well-being, and their hospital bed-days were reduced.
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.
A disruption database characterizing the current quench of disruptions with ITER-like tungsten divertor has been developed on EAST. It provides a large number of plasma parameters describing the predisruptive plasma, current quench time, eddy current, and mitigation by massive impurity injection, which shows that the current quench time strongly depends on magnetic energy and post-disruption electron temperature. Further, the energy balance and magnetic energy dissipation during the current quench phase has been well analysed. Magnetic energy is also demonstrated to be dissipated mainly by ohmic reheating and inductive coupling, and both of the two channels have great effects on current quench time. Also, massive gas injection is an efficient method to speed up the current quench and increase the fraction of impurity radiation.
To improve the endurance performance of long-endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), a smart morphing method to adjust the UAV and flight mode continuously during flight is proposed. Using this method as a starting point, a smart morphing long-endurance UAV design is conducted and the resulting improvement in the endurance performance studied. Firstly, the initial overall design of the smart morphing long-endurance UAV is carried out, then the morphing form is designed and various control parameters are selected. Secondly, based on multi-agent theory, an architecture for the smart morphing control system is built and the workflow of the smart morphing control system is planned. The morphing decision method is designed in detail based on the particle swarm optimisation algorithm. Finally, a simulation of the smart morphing approach in the climb and cruise stages is carried out to quantitatively verify the improvement in the endurance performance. The simulation results show that the smart morphing method can improve the cruise time by 4.1% with the same fuel consumption.
‘Recurrence’ of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has triggered numerous discussions of scholars at home and abroad. A total of 44 recurrent cases of COVID-19 and 32 control cases admitted from 11 February to 29 March 2020 to Guanggu Campus of Tongji Hospital affiliated to Tongji Medical College Huazhong University of Science and Technology were enrolled in this study. All the 44 recurrent cases were classified as mild to moderate when the patients were admitted for the second time. The gender and mean age in both cases (recurrent and control) were similar. At least one concomitant disease was observed in 52.27% recurrent cases and 34.38% control cases. The most prevalent comorbidity among them was hypertension. Fever and cough being the most prevalent clinical symptoms in both cases. On comparing both the cases, recurrent cases had markedly elevated concentrations of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (P = 0.020) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (P = 0.007). Moreover, subgroup analysis showed mild to moderate abnormal concentrations of ALT and AST in recurrent cases. The elevated concentrations of ALT and AST may be recognised as predictive markers for the risk of ‘recurrence’ of COVID-19, which may provide insights into the prevention and control of COVID-19 in the future.
A magnetic field configuration of an island divertor for a quasi-axisymmetric stellarator (CFQS) is proposed. The configuration incorporates large islands surrounding the core confinement region. The interface between the core region and the peripheral region of the island divertor is a clear magnetic separatrix similar to a tokamak divertor. The structure of divertor magnetic field lines is very regular without stochasticity and the connection length is sufficiently long for good divertor performance. Such a divertor configuration is produced in the magnetic field configuration for the CFQS device, which is now under construction in China.
This study aimed to investigate the benefit of Bonebridge devices in patients with single-sided deafness.
Five patients with single-sided deafness who were implanted with Bonebridge devices were recruited in a single-centre study. Participants’ speech perception and horizontal sound localisation abilities were assessed at 6 and 12 months post-operatively. Speech intelligibility in noisy environments was measured in three different testing conditions (speech and noise presented from the front, speech and noise presented from the front and contralateral (normal ear) side separately, and speech presented from the ipsilateral (implanted Bonebridge) side and noise from the contralateral side). Sound localisation was evaluated in Bonebridge-aided and Bonebridge-unaided conditions at different stimuli levels (65, 70 and 75 dB SPL).
All participants showed a better capacity for speech intelligibility in quiet environments with the Bonebridge device. The speech recognition threshold with the Bonebridge device was significantly decreased at both short- and long-term follow up in the speech presented from the ipsilateral (implanted Bonebridge) side and noise from the contralateral side condition (p < 0.05). Additionally, participants maintained similar levels of sound localisation between the Bonebridge-aided and unaided conditions (p > 0.05). However, the accuracy of localisation showed some improvement at 70 dB SPL and 75 dB SPL post-operatively.
The Bonebridge device provides the benefit of improved speech perception performance in patients with single-sided deafness. Sound localisation abilities were neither improved nor worsened with Bonebridge implantation at the follow-up assessments.
Coated copper sulphate (CCS) could be used as a Cu supplement in cows. To investigate the influences of copper sulphate (CS) and CCS on milk performance, nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation, fifty Holstein dairy cows were arranged in a randomised block design to five groups: control, CS addition (7·5 mg Cu/kg DM from CS) or CCS addition (5, 7·5 and 10 mg Cu/kg DM from CCS, respectively). When comparing Cu source at equal inclusion rates (7·5 mg/kg DM), cows receiving CCS addition had higher yields of fat-corrected milk, milk fat and protein; digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF); ruminal total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration; activities of carboxymethyl cellulase, cellobiase, pectinase and α-amylase; populations of Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus flavefaciens and Fibrobacter succinogenes; and liver Cu content than cows receiving CS addition. Increasing CCS addition, DM intake was unchanged, yields of milk, milk fat and protein; feed efficiency; digestibility of DM, OM, NDF and acid-detergent fibre; ruminal total VFA concentration; acetate:propionate ratio; activity of cellulolytic enzyme; populations of total bacteria, protozoa and dominant cellulolytic bacteria; and concentrations of Cu in serum and liver increased linearly, but ruminal propionate percentage, ammonia-N concentration, α-amylase activity and populations of Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus decreased linearly. The results indicated that supplement of CS could be substituted with CCS and addition of CCS improved milk performance and nutrient digestion in dairy cows.
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can improve the growth performance of bulls. This study investigated the influences of GAA addition on growth, nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation and serum metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were randomly allocated to experimental treatments, that is, control, low-GAA (LGAA), medium-GAA (MGAA) and high-GAA (HGAA), with GAA supplementation at 0, 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g/kg DM, respectively. Bulls were fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg DM concentrate and 500 g/kg DM roughage. The experimental period was 104 days, with 14 days for adaptation and 90 days for data collection. Bulls in the MGAA and HGAA groups had higher DM intake and average daily gain than bulls in the LGAA and control groups. The feed conversion ratio was lowest in MGAA and highest in the control. Bulls receiving 0.9 g/kg DM GAA addition had higher digestibility of DM, organic matter, NDF and ADF than bulls in other groups. The digestibility of CP was higher for HGAA than for LGAA and control. The ruminal pH was lower for MGAA, and the total volatile fatty acid concentration was greater for MGAA and HGAA than for the control. The acetate proportion and acetate-to-propionate ratio were lower for MGAA than for LGAA and control. The propionate proportion was higher for MGAA than for control. Bulls receiving GAA addition showed decreased ruminal ammonia N. Bulls in MGAA and HGAA had higher cellobiase, pectinase and protease activities and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus populations than bulls in LGAA and control. However, the total protozoan population was lower for MGAA and HGAA than for LGAA and control. The total bacterial and Ruminococcus flavefaciens populations increased with GAA addition. The blood level of creatine was higher for HGAA, and the activity of l-arginine glycine amidine transferase was lower for MGAA and HGAA, than for control. The blood activity of guanidine acetate N-methyltransferase and the level of folate decreased in the GAA addition groups. The results indicated that dietary addition of 0.6 or 0.9 g/kg DM GAA improved growth performance, nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation in bulls.
Se can enhance lactation performance by improving nutrient utilization and antioxidant status. However, sodium selenite (SS) can be reduced to non-absorbable elemental Se in the rumen, thereby reducing the intestinal availability of Se. The study investigated the impacts of SS and coated SS (CSS) supplementation on lactation performance, nutrient digestibility, ruminal fermentation and microbiota in dairy cows. Sixty multiparous Holstein dairy cows were blocked by parity, daily milk yield and days in milk and randomly assigned to five treatments: control, SS addition (0.3 mg Se/kg DM as SS addition) or CSS addition (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mg Se/kg DM as CSS addition for low CSS (LCSS), medium CSS (MCSS) and high CSS (HCSS), respectively). Experiment period was 110 days with 20 days of adaptation and 90 days of sample collection. Dry matter intake was higher for MCSS and HCSS compared with control. Yields of milk, milk fat and milk protein and feed efficiency were higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Digestibility of DM and organic matter was highest for CSS addition, followed by SS addition and then control. Digestibility of CP was higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Higher digestibility of ether extract, NDF and ADF was observed for SS or CSS addition. Ruminal pH decreased with dietary Se addition. Acetate to propionate ratio and ammonia N were lower, and total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) concentration was greater for SS, MCSS and HCSS than control. Ruminal H ion concentration was highest for MCSS and HCSS and lowest for control. Activities of cellobiase, carboxymethyl-cellulase, xylanase and protease and copies of total bacteria, fungi, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminococcus amylophilus increased with SS or CSS addition. Activity of α-amylase, copies of protozoa, Ruminococcus albus and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and serum glucose, total protein, albumin and glutathione peroxidase were higher for SS, MCSS and HCSS than for control and LCSS. Dietary SS or CSS supplementation elevated blood Se concentration and total antioxidant capacity activity. The data implied that milk yield was elevated due to the increase in total tract nutrient digestibility, total VFA concentration and microorganism population with 0.2 or 0.3 mg Se/kg DM from CSS supplementation in dairy cows. Compared with SS, HCSS addition was more efficient in promoting lactation performance of dairy cows.